Interesting discussion today.
American goggle manufacturers JT and Brass Eagle were in attendance to discuss safety standards for airsoft eye protection. Unfortunately the parties deciding on safety standards are not airsoft players themselves. They're doing the best they can, but without a solid appreciation of what's appearing on the fields, it's tough to appreciate the range of muzzle velocity and bb weight out there.
There needs to be a more concerted effort amongst the airsofting community to particapate in these standards discussion or they may find themselves unable to play at pball fields because the existing standards are written to cover lower grade guns than we're used to seeing (e.g. Tippmann rebranded products).
I think I'm the most experienced airsoft player at the table and I've only been playing 5 or 6 years now. Good chance for me to contribute though. I raised some eyebrows when I said that 0.2g is where Canadian airsoft bbs generally start at in terms of lowest weight. 0.25 and higher are fairly commont too. It appears that .12-0.2g is the norm in the US. Really raised some eyebrows when I said it's not too uncommon to see a 450fps sniper rifle firing 0.43g pellets either.
If the North American airsoft community is unable to attend these confrences on a regular basis, we may find ourselves having to play under soft air style regulations because most of the people determining standards market mostly softair style ASGs.
What happens at ASTM will have some reprecussions here in Canada. While ASTM standards are voluntary, they often end up being used as minimum safety standards for the insurance industry. If a field wants insurance, they may have to adhere to ASTM req's even here in Canada.
Tommorow I attend a more general meeting on airsoft safety. If anyone has any particular concerns in the next few hours, post them here and I'll see if they fit into the discussion today. Gah, I have to attend a 8am meeting just under 6hrs from now.
Want nearly free GBB gas?