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## The Science of Airsoft

Airsoft, like any other sport, involves many scientific principles that go relatively unnoticed. In the heat of battle, one rarely worries about something like kinetic energy transfer. While knowing airsoft physics won’t really help you in a game, the principles are good to know. On the other hand, knowing pellet ballistics can help you in your game.

Pellets typically transfer very small amounts of kinetic energy due to their size. Energy transfer is basically impact force. Airsoft and paintball energy transfer have been compared, and paintball transfers significantly more energy. Energy transfers are measured in joules, the SI unit of energy. A standard .20g BB moving at 300ft/s transfers .8 joules, while a standard paintball moving at the same speed transfers almost 12 joules. Energy transfer can actually be calculated using a mathematical formula; E = 1/2mv2, where E is joules, m is mass in kilograms, and v is velocity in meters per second. Because paintballs carry more kinetic energy, they can be considered more damaging than air pellets.

The weight of airsoft pellets significantly affects their velocity and trajectory. The lighter a pellet is, the faster it will travel, but also the less accurate it will be because it will be more susceptible to environmental factors like wind. Heavier pellets have more accurate trajectories, so they are suitable for lighter pellets, but in most cases heavier pellets are not used because the airgun using them is not powerful enough to propel the pellets at a fast rate. . Therefore, players who want to use pellets heavier than .25g usually need to upgrade their gun. Another advantage of heavy pellets is that they burn slowly, unlike light pellets, which start fast but quickly disappear. Airsoft snipers typically use .30g pellets due to their high stability, but sniper weights can go as high as .43g (although very expensive upgrades are required to use this pellet grade). The heaviest blade is .88g, which is never used in airsoft because it is too slow, not to mention too dangerous, since it is usually made of steel.

Pellet velocity is determined primarily by the spring tension used to propel the pellet, or in the case of gas airguns, the type of gas used. Energy transfer is related to the speed of the pellet, and speed has a large effect. For example, a .12g pellet using .800J (common airsoft energy rating) of energy will initially travel 375 fps. However, a .20g pellet using the same amount of energy only travels at about 280 fps, and a .45g pellet will travel at about 200 fps. For a .45g pellet to reach the velocity of a 375fps .12g pellet, it would need to use more than 2.50J of energy.

Bernoulli’s principle is the method by which pellets fly. It is, interestingly, also the principle by which planes rise. Bernoulli’s principle states that the velocity of liquids increases with decreasing pressure. In air contact, there is a relatively high velocity liquid (air) above the pellet, which means that the pressure above the air pellet is lower than the pressure below it, as less air flows under the pellet. there is above. Therefore, the pressure under the pellet increases the air and lifts the pellet, allowing it to fly for a long time. Hop-up systems in airsoft guns apply recoil to the pellets, speeding up the air travel over the top of the pellet and creating a large difference in pressure between the top and bottom.

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