Can I Paint The Orange Tip On An Airsoft Replica? – [USA]
Simply the answer is – yes you can! In the USA, the orange tip on airsoft replicas is only a requirement by law during the importation and sale of the replica. Once the replica is sold to you and is in your possession you are allowed to repaint or remove the tip of the replica.
Reasons to paint the tip of your airsoft replica?
You can make your replica look more realistic
Although the orange tip is usually there to let people know you are not holding a real firearm, it is not necessary if you are playing on a designated airsoft field. Many people want their loadouts to be as realistic and authentic as possible and that includes removing the orange tip. Most people will do this at MilSim games, as realism is of utmost importance there.
Important thing to remember is if you have removed the orange tip, please do not use the replica in your backyard or anywhere the public can see you. Without the orange tip, most airsoft replicas are almost indistinguishable from their real counterparts so it might be mistaken as a real firearm and you wouldn’t want to be fending off the SWAT team with plastic BBs!
Better for camouflage
Let’s say you are a sniper and have ghillied up you essentially are part of the shrubbery, but you have a bright orange tip on the end of the replica. Believe it or not, you are not going to have a good day on the airsoft field. Likewise if you are playing indoors in some dimly lit hallways you will be surprised how well the orange tip of your rifle will stand out against dark backgrounds, therefore making you an easier target.
Well this is probably the reason you want to remove the orange tip of your airsoft replica and I wouldn’t be surprised. This is easily the number one reason why orange tips are removed from airsoft replicas.
Most medium to high end rifles and some pistols will come with 14mm threads under the orange tip to allow for easy attachment of mock suppressors, tracer units, sound amplifiers, unique flash hiders, and other barrel attachments that can improve gameplay experience as well as making the replica look more awesome.
Reasons not to paint your airsoft rifle?
May void the manufacturer’s warranty?
Ok this one maybe a little bit of a bummer – most airsoft replica retailers/ manufacturers will refuse to repair or replace a replica that has had the tip removed, even if it’s still under warranty.
At first this may sound like a huge injustice, but you have to remember that the orange tip is there to protect you from someone mistaking your airsoft replica for an actual firearm. The manufacturers want to deter people removing the orange tip for fear of litigation were you to get in trouble for using what looks like a live firearm.
There are even some states in which you have to leave the orange tip affixed to the barrel or you will be prosecuted for it. For this reason it is important to check the local laws in your area in regards to if you can paint the orange tip of your rifle.
Most decent airsoft replicas have the orange tip simply screwed on the threads, which means it can easily be removed; if it’s difficult to rotate, soaking the barrel in hot water and then unscrewing the tip might do the trick. However, sometimes this can prove more difficult.
Some manufacturers will glue the orange tip to the threads to further discourage people from taking it off. Simply applying tons of force may cause unnecessary damage to the barrel and threads, potentially decreasing its accuracy if any of it gets in the way of the BBs trajectory. If the tip is glued, we recommend heating it up with a hairdryer and then rotating it with pliers – repeat until it’s off.
Generally, taking off the orange tip and not replacing it with anything else, can lead to the threads being exposed to damage and reducing or eliminating their functionality. So make sure to put an alternative tip or a suppressor on asap!
That being said you are now fully aware of all the risks and benefits associated with removing the orange tip from your rifle, how would you go about doing this safely?
How to repaint my airsoft replicas tip?
Method 1) Spray Paint
This is the easiest and most obvious choice to paint the tip of your replica. You have to keep in mind that this will void the warranty of your gun. If this is an issue for you, jump to the next point where I take you over a reversible way of “painting” the tip of your replica.
First make sure to tape up the parts of the barrel you don’t want to paint. For extra measure wrap the rest of your replica in newspaper or a plastic sheet (just an extra precaution in case the wind changes or you slip).
You are going to need two cans of spray paint. One canister will be the colour of your choice. I generally recommend going for a stealthy black, but also check out alternatives such as Tan or Forest Green to pair nicely with the rest of of the replica of your loadout.
The other spray canister will be a clear coat which is used for protection of the primary paint in order to save secure it from chipping off and weather. This is obviously optional, but I would recommend doing this for your replica as you will be putting it through its paces during games and you don’t want the orange tip to show through the chipped paint.
Pick the spray paint in the colour of your choice, I would recommend Krylon because they are a reputable brand, having used them myself I can say they are very reliable, you can check their prices on amazon usually around $10-15 mark.
Method 2) Rubber Paint
Those of you that are worried about having to void your warranty on your replica, or worried about doing something permanent to the replica, look no further, this is the solution you have been looking for.
You can use the innovative product called PLASTIDIP, it is an air dry, specialty rubber coating. It has other properties such as being flexible, insulating, non slip and most importantly peelable.
What does this actually mean? You will be able to spray a black rubberised coating on the tip of your replica, use it as normal without the orange, and if you ever have to rely on the warranty, you simply peel away the rubber paint and have the original orange tip below.
Hope you have now learnt a couple of things today and now you understand why airsoft replicas have orange tips and how to remove or paint them if you decide to. If you have any comments or suggestions on better ways to hide the orange tip on your replica, write them down below we shall get this article updated!