What are Airsoft Tanks?
The Airsoft Battle Tank Adds to Game Play
When people normally talk about airsoft, the first thing that comes to mind is a bunch of guys and gals in military gear wielding some pretty impressive firearms.
But guns are not the limit of the sport of airsoft. Simply put, airsoft tanks are little remote-controlled vehicles that spit out standard 8mm or 6mm BB pellets.
What Do They Look Like?
Airsoft battle tanks are as varied as model tanks go. You can have models that resemble the modern M1A1 Abrams tank, or you could even go for the classic feel with the British Mark I that was one of the first World War I tanks to be fielded in actual combat.
Or you could go for one of those wheeled Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) if the tracked shape of typical tanks does not suit your tastes.
It is notable, though, that while commercial airsoft tanks are the size of your regular remote controlled car, custom-built airsoft tanks can be as large as a real car!
How Do These Tanks Work?
Like all remote-controlled vehicles, airsoft tanks are powered either by a combustion engine running from gas or by rechargeable batteries.
The tracks or wheels provide maneuverability around the field, while the tank is controlled by an operator using controller that emits radio signals
The controls, however, are modified to include full control of the tank's turret and firing systems. This means that an operator can fire off a volley of BB pellets at a target 25m away at most, making for some interesting airsoft games.
Some models even include a built-in camera for the hardcore airsoft enthusiasts! It is important to note, however, that even if these airsoft tanks may look like toys, they are most certainly not to be left unsupervised with children.
Airsoft tanks, unlike regular remote-controlled tanks, are equipped with airsoft guns that fire BB pellets at very dangerous speeds if not 'chronoed' properly. Chronoing a gun involves adjusting the speed at which a BB pellet leaves the barrel. This can mean the difference between a fun toy and a lethal weapon.
History of Airsoft Tanks
All airsoft toys can attribute their origins to strict Japanese firearm laws. The 1970's saw a huge demand in Japanese markets for guns, but it was and still is illegal to own any live firearm. So the next best thing would be a gun that fired plastic BB pellets instead of real live bullets, and thus the roots of airsoft were planted.
The first models to come out used a spring to eject the pellets, but at this time, these first guns were both inaccurate and extremely weak.
Manufacturers then increased the 'caliber' of the pellets by using compressed air to power the ejection the process. These first automatic electric guns meant that airsoft guns were given the capacity to go 'full-auto' and unleash a barrage of pellets on their unsuspecting targets.
Tokyo Marui, the pioneer in AEGs, was then responsible for releasing the first airsoft tank back in 2000. This made them the undisputed leaders in airsoft tanks, and competitors were quick to cash in on the market.
Tokyo Marui still continues to be a popular brand when it comes to airsoft equipment, tanks and guns in particular.
What Types of Airsoft Games Are Airsoft Tanks Used?
Shooting an airsoft gun is one thing, but actually making a hit from a tank is another thing. Mounted cameras make the job a lot easier, though, and they make for a totally different kind of target-shooting game altogether.
An obstacle course can be constructed, complete with targets for the airsoft tank to take down. Everything from desert terrain to forests to urban courses is fair game, and each provides unique challenges to keep the game fresh and enjoyable.
If you manage to find enough airsoft tank enthusiasts, you can go on an all-out war between tanks!
Carefully wrap your tank's chassis with aluminum foil to serve as damage indicators, find a neutral judge to determine if a tank has sustained enough damage to knock it out, and let the barraging commence!
What Are the Top 5 Airsoft Tanks Models and Brands?
Airsoft tank models are varied, but the more common models include the World War II-era Panzer tanks and the modern M1A1 Abrams models.
Brands, on the other hand, are wide and diverse with most suppliers coming from China and include Tokyo Marui, Hen Long, TSD Sports, VSTANK, and SENKITA.
Tokyo Marui is the only Japanese company on the list, and they set the standards when it comes to airsoft equipment.
Models range from $40 to $400, depending on factors ranging from brand name to the inclusion of built-in cameras.
These airsoft tanks are a general improvement over other remote-controlled vehicles, as their capability to fire BB pellets allows for much more diverse games to be played. This makes them viable for actual play rather than model-collection purposes.
Turret controls can prove to be a challenge, especially without cameras to assist the operator's sights.
Gun maintenance is also an added hassle, as the components are not as easily tampered with as traditional airsoft guns.
You also cannot give these tanks as a gift for younger children, as they could cause serious property damage and injury if carelessly used.
Airsoft Battle Tanks - Summary
Airsoft tanks are generally a terrific addition to any RC-enthusiast's collection. And their ability to bridge the gap between model tanks and airsoft games puts them a notch above other RC vehicles.
Battle Airsoft tanks come highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in remote-control vehicles, model tanks, airsoft games, or any resulting combination!