How to Dispose of an Airsoft Gun

A day will come when a replica in your Airsoft arsenal has reached the end of its useful life.  Or perhaps you have already been playing Airsoft for years and have an accumulation of weapons stashed in a corner of your garage that you want to get rid of, but are not sure what the best way to dispose of them is.   This leaves you searching for the answer, “How to dispose of an Airsoft gun?”

As a general rule, you should not throw the Airsoft gun in the trash. The best practice to dispose of an Airsoft gun is to render it non-functional and then recycle it. Most Airsoft gun parts can be recycled once broken down. If the Airsoft gun is still works and is in good repair, try reselling it.

When getting rid of and Airsoft gun, the method of disposition should not be taken lightly given that Airsoft replicas can bear a striking resemblance to their real steel counterparts.  As such, the concern for many relates to safely disposing of the gun in a way that no one would be inadvertently hurt by the replica itself or the brandishing of a found replica.  Regardless of which method you choose to dispose of your Airsoft gun, best practice is, to begin with always following proper handling and safety.  Make sure there are no bb’s in the gun and the safety is on before doing anything.

So, without further ado, let’s explore some ways you can safely dispose of your old, broken or just unused Airsoft replica.

 Sell It

If the potential value of the gun does not outweigh the expense in time or effort needed, this may be a good way to dispose of your Airsoft gun.  Deciding if it is worth it may be the balancing act that will vary from person to person.  I value my time, however, if my overall goal was to simply get rid of an Airsoft gun and I could make a few bucks in the process, I’d probably go for it.  Just keep in mind that this really is going to be dependent upon if the Airsoft gun you have is something saleable.

If you have something modern that could be repairable, but you do not feel like putting in the effort to fix it, there just maybe someone out there who is handy that will take it off your hands for a few bucks.  However, if the type of gun you have is old as dirt, broken, cheap, etc. there simply may not be anyone looking to do anything with it either.  Just like with anything you sell, before running out and putting together a sales effort, you should be open to at least seeing if there is even someone looking for something remotely like it.  This is something that shouldn’t take you very long to do.  Just check a few online venues like Craigslist, Reddit or similar online communities that would have a place for used Airsoft weapons.

***TIP:  When selling an Airsoft Gun, set the price from the perspective of the buyer and, not from the perspective as the seller.  This will help you not overprice your replica which can sometimes happen when selling something which you have a personal history with.

Use it for Parts

This is another great way to dispose of an Airsoft gun.  Parting it out will also allow you to get even more from it than just throwing it away.   Depending on the type and age of the gun you are disposing of, there may be many good reusable parts.  Airsoft gun parts can encompass anything from internal parts such as springs, motors, gearboxes, wiring, etc. to external parts such as handguards, rail systems, sling mounts, etc.  Also consider some of the accessory parts like magazines, sights, tactical lights, foregrips and the like.  Parting out an Airsoft gun is not limited to just reusing the parts for another gun.  Many hobbyists, makers, and DIYer’s may also benefit from some of the internal parts for use in a variety of their projects.   Any leftover or unusable parts can then be either recycled or thrown away with your normal trash.

***TIP:  When you part it out, don’t forget to keep any bolts, nuts, washers or screws.  Throw them into an old baby food jar, or small container.  If for whatever reason you happen to lose a bolt or screw on your current replica, you will have a small supply that you can draw from for replacement.

Recycle or Repurpose

If the Airsoft gun you are disposing of is made from recyclable materials like metal, you may be able to take it to a local recycling center.  Recycling centers take various metals such as aluminum, steel, and copper.  Keep in mind it would probably be best to dismantle it so that it can not only easily separated by material but also, so you are not walking into a recycle center with what may appear to others to be a real firearm.

Now, if you are into Cosplay, collecting replica weapons, or filmmaking, repurposing an Airsoft gun can be a great way to do something with that gun you no longer use.  With a little modification, some paint and detail work, you can turn that Airsoft gun into an awesome prop weapon.  Keep in mind that if you make an Airsoft weapon ultra-realistic for Cosplay or filmmaking, that others may not be able to determine if the gun is real or a prop.  While this may not be that much of an issue for filmmakers on set, keep in mind that anytime you are in public with what appears to be a real firearm, there is the chance that it could be mistaken for something it is not which could lead to a meeting with the authorities.

Destroy it (For Fun or Therapy)

Now, this can be a fun one.  Sometimes you just need to get some frustration out.  Whether for fun or for your mental well being, creatively destroying your old, busted Airsoft gun is yet another way to dispose of it while getting something more out of it.  Depending on your implements of destruction and what replica you will be working with, this could be done and over with rather quickly, even somewhat effortlessly.  This especially holds true for that cheap plastic weapon you may have bought when you were just thinking about plinking in the backyard.  Destroying an Airsoft gun also lends itself to being reduced to component parts which can be converted to another method of disposition.  Have fun breaking it up, then recycle or throw the remnants that are left in with your household garbage. Simple, yet satisfying!

***TIP: Make sure you remove any batteries or gas that may have been left in the guns before properly disposing of them before smashing that Airsoft gun with the sledgehammer!

 Give it Away

Giving it away, is one of the easiest ways to dispose of an Airsoft gun aside from throwing it in your weekly trash pickup.  Ask around where you regularly play, even post in one of the online communities.  Someone will gladly take it off your hands.  If not, you can always move forward in a different direction. Just make sure whomever you are giving it to is legally able to receive it.

Throw It in the Trash

As a last resort… perhaps the only option left is to just chuck it into the trash.   While it doesn’t help reduce your carbon footprint, we are only talking a minimal amount of waste by tossing the Airsoft gun in the trash.  As an Airsoft gun is not a real firearm, I am pretty sure that there would be nothing illegal with just throwing it in the trash. Having said that, I have to add that I am not an attorney, your attorney or even familiar with the laws where you reside.  If you are in question regarding if this is illegal, I would recommend that you contact the entity responsible for the collection of your trash and get their take on the matter.  They should be able to advise what is permitted and not permitted to go into your trash can for collection.

One thing I will say is to make sure you remove any batteries that may have been left in the gun and properly dispose of them.  Also, if you are going to throw the Airsoft gun into your trash can, be sure to take some minimum steps to ensure that if it is retrieved from the trash that someone won’t inadvertently hurt themselves.  Two things you can effortlessly do to make the Airsoft gun safe would first be to make sure that it is not loaded with any Airsoft bb’s and leave the safety on.  As dumb or obvious as this may sound, even one overlooked bb left in the gun can cause harm to some curious person who finds it and starts messing around with it.  If you are a little more ambitious and want to be one-hundred percent sure that someone won’t get hurt if they pull it from the trash, you can disassemble it.  By breaking it into pieces it can then can be discarded.

In Conclusion

Whether your Airsoft gun has reached the end of its useful life or you no longer use it, there are several ways you can dispose of your replica.  Regardless of how you dispose of your Airsoft replica, you want to be sure that it is not going to end up hurting others in the process.  Make sure it is unloaded, safety on, and in the event that the replica is battery operated or gas-powered, be sure the power source has been removed.  At the end of the day, disposing of an Airsoft gun can be done safely with minimal effort all while in some cases allowing for some degree of recycling or reuse.

See you out on the battlefield!