WHISPERING SMITH: Game, shot and match

Allsorts Airsoft, in Arundel Road
Allsorts Airsoft, in Arundel Road

There is a new shop in our town. An unusual shop, not a café, vape shop or charity shop, making shopping a tad more interesting.

It is a little off the beaten track situated as it is in the recently closed video shop on Arundel Road.

I can see eyebrows raised by some Littlehampton residents when they peer through the window of Allsorts Airsoft and see an array of firearms on display that are, although realistic in appearance, not actually firearms but replica and airsoft spring guns.

Airsoft, the shooting of spring guns in mock woodland battles on specialist built sites, two of which are in our area, is a popular and growing sport and, as far as I can tell, one which is quite harmless.

Fairly fit people dressed in camo playing out their fantasies much as I did as a youngster with my Gene Autry cap firing six-gun in Rustington’s old brickfield, games that eventually lead to reasonably successful pastime of writing western novels.

I made an over the counter test purchase of a spring gun – a posh version of some toy guns readily available nowadays in many cheap end High Street shops.

Ray, the business proprietor with his partner Elizabeth, both airsoft enthusiasts, did me the courtesy of not asking if I was over 18, the age you have to be to purchase a two-tone pistol, and launched into just what I could and could not do with the colourful replica, stressing both safety for the public’s sake and the law for my own sake.

Information backed up by clear explanations of the current legislation in the window display.

To purchase a higher-grade gas operated replica you have to be registered with the governing body UKARA and a proven regular Airsoft player.

My son, who has little interest in sport whatsoever, enjoyed a gaming day out especially as it was paid for by his company as a ‘staff bonding’ exercise.

I hope Ray and Elizabeth bond well in Littlehampton.

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TRADED in my car last week, like me – old but reliable, had it from new. They offered me £140 for it, I told them my lawn mower cost more than that. They were not impressed…

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