Airsofters take their competition seriously – some way more than others. A sense of realism adds excitement to the game, and like many other activities, serious competitors have come to develop their own Airsoft lingo. Common slang, acronyms, and phrases also get thrown around quite a bit in Airsoft competition.
Some of Airsoft Terminology is borrowed directly from the military, and other terms are specific to Airsoft. Whether or not you begin using any of the words in this list, the more you know, the more fun and excitement you’ll have competing with your friends.
Airsoft Lingo – Common Slang, Acronyms, and Phrases in Airsoft
AAR – After Action Review. A recap of an engagement to determine what happened and how it can be done better next time.
ABZ – Airsoft Battle Zone. An Airsoft store in Wisconsin.
ACOG – Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight. A type of gun sight that provides magnification and a lighted aim point. Do not require batteries as with similar “red dot” sights. Pronounced “ay-cog”.
ACU – Army Combat Uniform. Mostly uses variations of green, tan, and gray colors in a digital camouflage pattern for use in urban, woodland, and desert environments. Replaced the Woodland and Desert Camouflage pattern BDU’s that were in service during the 1980’s and 90’s.
AEG – Automatic Electric Gun.
AEP – Automated Electric Pistol.
AO – Area of Operation. Can mean your game location, a team’s base, or your own personal space. “Get out of my AO!”
AR – Assault Rifle. Originated with the name “Armalite”, which first manufactured the M16 rifle. AR is now a colloquial term for any variant of the original M16 rifle.
ASC – Airsoft Carolina. An Airsoft store in North Carolina.
ASG – Airsoft gun.
ASGI – Airsoft GI. An Airsoft store in California.
Backspin – The rearward rotation of a BB as it leaves the Barrel of your gun.
Batt – Slang for AEG battery.
BB’s – The small, circular projectiles fired from an Airsoft gun or explosive devices. BB actually stands for “ball bearing.”
BDU – Battle dress uniform.
BE – Both Elephant. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
Blowback – When a portion of the gun’s firing energy is used to cause realistic action of the slide or bolt to simulate the feel of a real firearm. Blowback can be powered electrically or by compressed gas.
Blue Falcon – Derogatory term used in place of “buddy fucker” as in “Stop being a blue falcon!”
BlueFor – Blue Force. Friendly combatants, aka the opposite of the enemy.
Burst – The act of firing 2-3 BB’s per trigger pull.
CA – Classic Army. An Airsoft gun manufacturer, mostly AEG’s.
CADPAT – Canadian Disruptive Pattern. The camouflage pattern used by the modern Canadian military.
“Call your hits” – Being honest when you’ve been hit by an opponent.
Camper – A player who sits in one spot for an extended period of time., usually to snipe out competitors. “Camping” refers to being a Camper.
Casual – Normal person who enjoys playing Airsoft, as opposed to a Geardo or Tacticool Airsofter.
Chairsofter – A person who spends more time sitting around talking about Airsoft guns, and related gear than actually competing.
Charlie Foxtrot – The letters “C” and “F” in the US Military phonetic alphabet. Usually means “Cluster Fuck,” or when the situation has gone into complete disarray.
Charlie Mike – The letters “C” and “M” in the US Military phonetic alphabet. Usually means “Continue Mission.”
Cheapsoft – Cheaply made Airsoft guns and accessories. Usually from Chinese manufacturers (Aka Chinasoft).
Chrono – Short for chronograph, a device for measuring an Airsoft gun’s ROF by way of Feet Per Second or Meters Per Second.
Chrono Queen – A person who is forever pre-occupied with using the chrono to measure their gun’s ROF and FPS.
Clone – Equipment that imitates the look and feel similar products rom another manufacturer, usually of inferior quality.
CO – Commanding Officer.
“Contact” – Taking fire from an enemy. Usually combined with a direction of fire. “Contact 2 o’clock!”
CQB – Close Quarters Battle. Think urban combat and room clearing.
CTF – Capture The Flag. A game type in which two teams compete to capture one another’s team flag and successfully bring the flag to their own team’s base.
CTW – CELSIUS Training Weapon. A line of premium Airsoft guns manufactured by CELSIUS Technology, designed to closely mimic the look and feel of real steel firearms.
DE – Double Eagle. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
Dead Rag – A piece of cloth a player can pull out when to indicate they’ve been hit. Usually colored red, orange or black (aka Kill Rag).
Deans Connector – A more efficient type of wiring connector, compared to Tamiaya’s. Usually an after market modification intended to make an Airsoft gun more electrically efficient and increase it’s Rate of Fire.
DM – Designated Marksman. A rifleman within a squad equipped with a long-range weapon and tasked with eliminating targets at rangers further out than typical skirmishes. Similar to a sniper but without the use of sniper-specific weapons.
DMR – Designated Marksman Rifle
Dry – Out of ammunition. “Weapon’s dry!” or “I’m dry on ammo!”
Dry-Fire – The act of activating the Airsoft gun action without the presence of BB’s.
EBB – Electronic Blow-Back of the gun slide or bolt to simulate the recoil of a reel steel firearm.
E1 – Echo 1. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
Eye-Pro – Eye Protection. Aka Goggles.
Field Gaming – Outdoor Airsoft competition
Flank – The area to you or your team’s left or right. Can also mean the act of moving to an enemy’s left or right side, as in “Flank left.” or “Flank around to their right!”
FPS – Feet per second. Used to demonstrate speed as a BB leaves the barrel of an Airsoft gun.
Frag – Grenade.
“Frag Out” – “I’m throwing a grenade!”
Full Auto – A weapon that is capable of rapid fire a single trigger-pull. Using this capability is also known as firing on full auto.
GBB – Gas Blow-Back of the gun slide or bolt to simulate the recoil of a reel steel firearm.
Gearbox – The heart of your AEG. An electrical motorized spring/piston assembly that creates compressed air to fire your BB’s. (aka Mech Box)
Geardo – A person who collects and is well-versed in all manner of weapons and tactical equipment. Usually more interested in looking the part than actually becoming a good tactician (rhymes with “weirdo”).
Gear-up – Putting on protective gear such as eye-pro, face masks, and gloves or generally getting ready for competition. “Alright, everybody gear up!”
Ghillie Suit – The camouflage suits worn by snipers.
Green Gas – a propellant for gas operated Airsoft guns
GNBB – Gas Non-Blow Back. A gas powered Airsoft gun with no simulated recoil.
G & G – Guay Guay. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
H-Harness – A tactical suspender system used to support a combat webbing belt. Similar to an LCE or LBV.
Hi-Cap – High Capacity. Used to describe magazines that can hold high numbers of BB’s. Usually in the 300 to 5,000 range.
Hit – The act of shooting an opponent with a fired BB or the state in which a competitor has been hit by an opponent. “I’m hit!” See “Call your hits.”
Hop-up – A system within an Airsoft gun that puts backspin on the BB to extend the BB’s effective range.
Hot – The state in which a weapon is fully loaded and ready to be fired. “Let’s go weapons hot!”
HPA – High Pressurized Air
HQ – Headquarters
HSLD – High speed, low drag
ICS – I Chih Shivan/Innovation Competition Satisfaction. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
IF – A British term for “imitation firearm.”
“I’m Out” – An indication that you are out of ammunition.
InOp – Inoperable. Refers to when a weapon or piece of equipment is non-functioning or otherwise out of service.
Iron Sights – Traditional gun sights, as opposed to reflex optics such as ACOG or Red Dot sights.
JG – Jing Gong. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
KA – King Arms. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
KJW – Kuan Ju Works. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
Kill Rag – A cloth marker used to demonstrate when an Airsoft competitor has been hit. See “Dead Rag.”
LARP – Live Action Role Play.
LBV – Load Bearing Vest. A vest designed to carry ammunition and other combat gear.
LCE – Load Carrying Equipment. Similar to an LBV. Webbing gear for carrying equipment around the torso area.
Lima Charlie – The letters “L” and “C” in the US Military phonetic alphabet. Means “Loud and clear,” as in “I hear you loud and clear.”
Lipo – Lithium Polymer battery
LMG – Light Machine Gun.
Lo-Cap – Low Capacity. Used to describe magazines that hold less than 100 BB’s.
LPAG – Low Power / Price Airsoft Gun. Usually cheaply made with plastic parts.
Mag – Short for magazine. Interchangeable with “Clip,” although some people dislike the use of “Clip” in reference to a magazine.
mAH – Milliamps Per Hour. A description of how long a battery will deliver electricity before needing to be recharged.
MARPAT – Marine Pattern. The digital camouflage pattern presently used in US Marine Corp utility uniforms. A desert variant is known as Desert MARPAT.
Mask – Face protection. Can be full face or lower face only. Eye-pro must be worn when using a lower face protection mask.
MED – Minimum Engagement Distance. An established rule in an Airsoft competition in which competitors are not permitted to engage one another with Airsoft guns. Inside the MED, competitors are usually required to yell “Bang!”
Mid-Cap – Medium Capacity. Used to describe magazines that hold anywhere between 100 to 300 BB’s.
Mike(s) – Minute(s). Mike is the letter “M” in the US Military phonetic alphabet. “We move out in three mikes.”
MilSim – Military simulation, or simulated military-style competition.
Mod – Modification, as in modifying your gun or equipment.
MOLLE – Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. The modern replacement for the ALICE system. Used for connecting tactical load bearing equipment such as vests, backpacks, and various equipment pouches.
MOSFET – Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor. A solid-state transistor modification to an AEG’s trigger assembly that prevents electrical over-arching. Installing a MOSFET is intented is to improve trigger-pull response and to increase the life of the trigger contacts.
MPEG – Mid Powered Electric Gun. A less powerful, less expensive alternative to a full AEG. Can also mean Mid Priced Electric Gun.
MPS – Meters Per Second. Used to demonstrate speed as a BB leaves the barrel of an Airsoft gun.
Multicam – Multi-environment camouflage. A blanket term used to describe the “digital” camouflage patterns used in modern military utility uniforms.
NBB – No blow-back. An Airsoft gun that does not simulate slide or bolt cycling.
Negative – Answering “No” in response to a question.
Newbie – Someone new to Airsoft.
NiCd – Nickel Cadmium battery (pronounced ny-cad)
NiMH – Nickel Metal Hydride battery (pronounced nim).
Noob – A derogatory form of Newbie.
NVG’s – Night Vision Goggles.
OD – Olive Drab. The shade of green common in the US Army from about World War II up through the Vietnam War. Olive drab uniforms are known as “OD Greens.”
OP – Observation post.
Operation – A large Airsoft competition consisting of roughly 30 or more people and with a specific scenario or planned event, as opposed to a skirmish.
OPFOR – Opposing force. The enemy.
Parlay Rule – When two competitors inadvertently fire upon one another at close range or otherwise come into very close contact and one or both competitors shout “Parlay.” Both competitors will back off until out of sight from each other and resume competition.
Pegboard – A wall mounted Airsoft gun display. Peg-boarding can also mean the act of attempting to shoot an OpFor when the BB’s hit the wall next to the intended target.
Picatinny – Another name for an accessory rail system (see RAS / RIS)
PTW – Professional Training Weapon. A line of premium Airsoft guns manufactured by Systema, designed to closely mimic the look and feel of real steel firearms.
QRF – Quick Reaction Force. A relatively small contingent of combat personnel ready to quickly respond to any emergency situation. Usually under direct control of the unit commander.
Rambo – A derogatory term for a person who charges ahead of the group to attack the enemy on their own, often giving away the element of surprise or ruining the plans of the group.
RAS / RIS – Rail accessory system / Rail interface system. The rails system on which you can attach accessories such as optics and lights to a weapon.
Real Steel – An actual firearm or related equipment.
Real Steel Counterpart – An Airsoft replica of a real steel firearm.
Recon – Short for reconnaissance. Can be used as a verb (as in to conduct reconnaissance) or an adjective (as in a Recon Team).
Referee – A person who oversees and officiates an Airsoft competition. Similar to referees in other sports competitions.
Respawn – A game rule in which a player who has been hit can go to a prearranged waiting area (Respawn Point) and wait a set period of time before rejoining the competition.
Roger – Affirmative. Answering “Yes” in response to a question.
RPG – Rocket Propelled Grenade.
RPS – Rounds per second.
ROE – Rules of engagement (aka game rules).
ROF – Rate of Fire.
SAW – Squad Automatic Weapon or M249 Machine Gun.
Semi Auto – A weapon that is capable of firing only one BB per trigger squeeze.
SF – Special Forces. Can also mean Sustained Fire, or continuous weapons fire.
SITREP – Situation Report. As a military term, a quick report given to a higher command regarding the situation at hand. In general terms, the present goings-on in the battle field or in any other circumstances. “Give me a SITREP” means “Tell me what’s going on right now.”
Skirmish – a small airsoft competition consisting of roughly 4 to 20 people, as opposed to an Operation.
Slicing the Pie – A technique for tactically clearing blind corners with your weapon at the ready. Aka Pieing the Corner.
SMG – Sub machine gun.
Smoke – Smoke grenade.
“Sniped” – Hitting a competitor without them knowing your location or being hit by a competitor you are unable to see. “Dude, I just got sniped!”
“Sound Off” – Answer-up when asked so other people can hear you or know you’re location. “Hey, Mike! Sound off!”
SOPMOD – Special Operations Peculiar Modification. An accessory kit used by US Special Operations forces to modify the M4 Carbine rifle and similar weapons to each individual user’s needs or preferences.
Springer – Slang for any spring-powered airsoft gun.
Stock – An airsoft gun as it was delivered from the manufacturer (i.e. without modification). Also means the back end of a rifle (i.e. the part that gets pushed up against a user’s shoulder).
Sugar-Timmy – Similar to Geardo. A young airsofter with wealthy parents who spends inordinate sums of money on unnecessary tactical gear. When competing in airsoft, the Sugar-Timmy insists on wearing all of his unnecessary gear, weighing him down and rendering him unless in the competition.
Suppressive Fire – Weapons fire directed at an enemy with the intention of keeping the enemy from attempting to engage. Used in conjunction with team movements. Aka Covering Fire.
Tamiya – A battery connector type that comes in large and small varieties
Tacticool – A gun or piece of equipment that looks more tactically useful than it is in reality. Goes hand-in-hand with being a Geardo.
Tango – The enemy. Tango is the letter “T” in the US Military phonetic alphabet. Terrorist also starts with “T”, hence the word Tango in reference to the enemy.
TBB – Tight bore barrel, an aftermarket inner barrel with a diameter of less than 6.04mm.
Tiger Stripes – A camouflage pattern resembling tiger stripes used extensively by US Special Forces during the Vietnam War. The US Air Force presently uses a tiger stripe pattern in the Airmen Battle Uniform (ABU).
Tracer – A glow in the dark BB. Used to “walk” rounds onto the intended target.
Tokyo Marui (aka TM) – The first company to produce electric powered Airsoft guns.
Turkey Peek – To look face-first around a corner without a weapon. Opposite of Slicing the Pie.
UCP – Uniform Camouflage Pattern. The digital camouflage pattern used by the US Armed Forces in modern utility uniforms.
UHC – Unicorn Hobby Corporation. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
UTG – Under The Gun. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
VA – Vector Arms. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
VFC – Vega Force Company. An Airsoft gun manufacturer.
Wasatch – a type of modular armor plate carrier manufactured by High Speed Gear (HSGI).
“Watch my Six!” – Cover my rear. 6 o’clock is the directional number representing the back, while 12 o’clock is to the front.
Weesatch – a Wasatch armor plate carrier designed for people of slimmer build.
XO – Executive Officer. The right-hand-man to the CO (Commanding Officer).
“Your Six” – The area behind you. “Enemy to your six!”
Zero – The state in which a weapon’s sites and firing point are aligned or at their most accurate. “Zeroing” a weapon is the act of adjusting the sites so that the round or BB will hit an intended target. Aka Battle-site Zero.