Milsim Dictionary


AAR: After Action Review. A process that takes place after an engagement by which individual operators can give feedback on the quality of the game and the performance of their unit. The purpose of this is to help us learn from our mistakes and successes.

ACU: Army Combat Uniform. This is a proper term for a specific cut of uniform that comes in many patterns but is usually used to describe the current army grey and tan digital pattern officially known as the Universal Camouflage Pattern.

AEG: An Air Electric Gun. This is the most popular of all airsoft gun types due to its reliability and more consistent performance through a wide variety of temperatures.

AK: Standard generalization of the Avtomat Kalashnikova line of weapons stemming from the AK-47 designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1947.

AmbushA type of attack where one unit sets a trap for another for the purpose of destroying it.

AR: AR stands for Armalite Rifle, paying homage to the company Armalite that was the first to put out the line of weapons now known as the M16 and M4.


BDU: Battle Dress Uniform. This refers to a specific cut of uniform but is most often linked to the BDU uniforms in woodland, 6 color desert and 3 color desert.

Blackside Operations: Also called Direct Action missions, these operations are missions where the primary objective includes the firing of weapons. This includes assaults, raids and ambushes.

Bullpup: A special type of gun designed to decrease overall length. In a bullpup weapon, the receiver is inside the stock of the weapon and the mags enter the weapon near the rear, behind the grip and trigger.


Caliber: The diameter of the projectile exiting your weapon. Airsoft guns are generally found in 6 and 8mm calibers.

Callsign: A name chosen for a player to be called in the airsoft world. This mimics the military policy of never using real names on radio.

Charging Handle: On a real firearm, the charging handle is used to put a round in the chamber. On an airsoft gun, the pulling the charging handle back usually reveals the hop up adjustment.

Chrono/Chronograph: Device used to check the speed of the BB exiting your gun.

Clip: A clip holds rounds and feeds them into a magazine. Clips do not feed rounds into receivers.

Concealment: A substance or item that skews or prevents others from seeing you.

Cover: A substance or item that prevents or impedes bullets. This usually refers to something you can hide behind that will protect you.

CQB/CQC: Close Quarters Battle/Combat. Refers to fighting in and among buildings and obstacles where engagement distances can decrease to only a few feet. Most field rated airsoft guns are not allowed to be used in CQB and it is the reason that many carry a sidearm.


DM: Designated Marksman, sometimes called a sharpshooter. Designed to give the infantry squad a farther effective range, this soldier is given extra marksmanship training and is utilized to engage targets outside the range of the standard infantry rifle.

DMR: Designated Marksman Rifle. Used by a DM, DMRs are rifles with enhanced accuracy and range, usually out to the 1000 meter range in the real world or out to the 4-500 foot range in airsoft. In airsoft, these rifles are semi automatic only and have zoom optics mounted on them.


Extract/Extraction: To be removed from the battlefield or area of operations. Extraction generally occurs at the end of a mission.


FPS: Feet Per Second. This is the standard unit of measure (in the U. S.) to measure how fast the projectiles are exiting your gun.


Gas Blow Back/GBB: An airsoft gun that uses a gas to propel the projectile and propels the slide or bolt rearward as on a real firearm.

Gearbox: A box that sits inside the receiver and contains the mechanism that propels your BB projectile. Generally, the motor is positioned adjacent to the gearbox.

Ghillie Suit: A type of three dimensional camouflage usually worn by snipers or scouts to break up their human outline. Often, parts of local vegetation are attached to the suit to aid in camouflage.

Greenside Operations: Greenside ops refer to missions that if accomplished do not require the team to use their weapons. More specifically this usually refers to information gathering missions.

Grenadier: The grenadier gives the infantry squad the ability to cover defilades, clear rooms from the outside and destroy non armored vehicles.


High Cap: A high capacity magazine. Hicaps look like normal magazines but hold several hundred rounds. They have a winding mechanism inside that is used to move the BBs up into the receiver.

Hop Up: A mechanism that attaches to the back of the barrel and puts back spin on the BB as it goes by. This gives the BB lift and makes it fly farther. Adjusting your hop up is the first step in making your airsoft gun accurate.

HSLD: High Speed Low Drag. This refers to the speed that elite units are known to operate with. It also refers to the look of current elite operators.


IIFS: Individual Integrated Fighting System. This system was designed to replace the ALICE system and did so in part for about 10 years. It was mostly used between 1988 and 2003. The most recognizable part of this system is the enhanced load bearing vest which holds 6 AR magazines in slanted pouches.



LARP/Live Action Role Play: Not to be confused from science fiction buffs, in airsoft these people play civilians and other special rolls that bring realism to a game and force teams to do more than just shoot.

LiPo: Lithium Polymer battery. These are popular upgrades to normal NiCd and NiMH batteries as they are more powerful and smaller. However, they require special care and charging.

Low Cap: See Real Cap

LRRP: Long Range Reconnaissence Patrol

LRS: Long Range Surveillance

LRSC/LRSU/LRSD: Long Range Surveillance Company/Unit/Detatchment

LZ: Landing Zone. This refers to a set location where a helicopter is able to land in order to insert, extract or resupply troops.


Magazine: Magazines hold rounds and feed them directly into the receiver of your weapon.

Mechbox: See Gearbox

Mid Cap: A mid capacity magazine, or midcap holds 50-150 rounds kept under constant pressure. No winding is necessary and they make no noise.

Milsim: Military Simulation. This refers to a type of airsoft game play that attempts to emulate real military missions, objectives, and battles. This is done by using realistic uniforms, scenarios, unit structures and vehicles.

Mini Op: A short, single day or part of the day operation. These generally have the missions, givaways and team structure of an op but are held at smaller locations and include fewer people.

Missile: In the military sense of the word, a missile is a rocket with some type of guidance system.

MRE/Meal Ready to Eat: The meal issued to service men and women while in the field. These are very high in calories and make a great, but expensive mid game meal.


NBB: Non Blowback. This indicates an airsoft replica that has no blow back (fake recoil) system.

NiCd: Nickel Cadmium battery. An older technology, NiCad batteries are now being replaced with NiMH and LiPo batteries.

NiMH: Nickel-Metal Hydryde battery. This is the most common construction for airsoft bateries.

NOD: Night Observation Device. This is a broad term encompassing any sort of device that aid’s the human eye in detecting objects in low light.

NVD: Night Vision Device. This refers to any device that amplifies light to enable the human eye to see in low light situations.

NVG: Night Vision Goggle. This is a specific device which covers both of the wearer’s eyes and amplifies ambient light, enabling them to see in low light situations.


Op: Short for operation. Normally a day long or multiple day game held at a large facility. Often there are raffles, givaways, vehicles, LARPs, vendors and other side competitions. There is almost always a back story and an extensive set of objectives for each team to accomplish.


PDW/Personal Defense Weapon: A newer class of weapon, PDWs are usually very small sub machine guns designed to be easily carried and concealed and yet pack as much firepower as possible. Good examples of this are the MP7 and MP9 by Heckler and Koch.

Pyro/Pyrotechnics: This is a collective term for various sound and smoke emitting devices used to simulate smoke screens, artillery, rockets, explosive breach and various other effects.



Raid: A deliberate attack that overwhelms the enemy, accomplishes an objective and leaves as quickly as possible. This is not an attack designed to gain territory.

Real Cap: Real capacity magazines, or real caps hold the same number of rounds as their real steel counterparts.

Real Steel: The term used to designate a firearm from an airsoft replica.

RWO: Real World Operator. This refers to the military and other professionals that we emulate as milsim players.

Receiver: The receiver is the central portion of a rifle, sub machine gun or machine gun. It is the part of the gun that the magazines go into, the barrel attaches to, the trigger comes out of and the stock attaches to.

RIS/RAS: Rails that can be attached to just about anything and allow the attachment of accessories such as lights, lasers and optics.

Rocket: In the military sense of the word, a rocket is an unguided projectile that uses a rocket motor to deliver a weapon to a target. Rockets are usually launched from an air platform or from a handheld device.

ROF: Rate Of Fire. How many BBs your gun emits per second.


SAR: Search and Rescue.

Screen:  Security element.

Seabasing: A concept by which troops conduct amphibious or land operations and are fully supported and resupplied by ship-borne assets. Ports, land bases and even beachheads are not necessary to conduct operations on land.

Section: A tactical unit of the Army or Marine Corps, smaller than a platoon but larger than a squad. In some nations, the section is the basic tactical unit as the squad is in the United States armed forces.

Sector: The area in which a unit operates and is responsible for.

Sector of Fire: A specific area that is given to an individual, crew served weapon or unit to cover.

Security Element: A security element (unit or team) who’s primary function is to observe and report information and only fires in self defense. Screens are often employed ahead, to the sides and behind a large group of infantry, vehicles or ships.

Sidearm: A backup weapon carried in a holster. In all but rare circumstances this is a pistol or revolver.

Skirmish: Small, part to most of the day airsoft game. This is your pay at the gate, weekend trigger time. Generally there are only two teams and one or two objectives per match.

Sniper: A marksman trained to maximize his range and gather information. In airsoft, sniper rifles are usually confined to bolt action but can engage out to roughly 220 meters. Often, sniper/spotter teams are sent on reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines as they are very difficult to track.

Spring Gun: Spring powered airsoft guns shoot once every time you manipulate the charging handle. Sniper rifles and shotguns are the most common guns that use this method of propulsion.

Stalker Suit: A stalker suite is of the same construction and design as the ghillie suit but usually only covers the head and torso, often ending at or above the waist.

Stock: On a shoulder fired weapon, the stock is the portion of the gun that sits up against the user’s shoulder.

Strategic Air Support: Air support designed to destroy the enemy’s ability to make war. Typical targets include manufacturing areas, military installations, avenues of transportation and natural resources.

Support Gunner: Squad member who’s primary objective is to suppress enemy units and positions to enable the rest of the squad to maneuver. They generally carry light and medium machine guns and have a max effective range of about 300 feet.


Tango: Common slang for an enemy operator. This is also the phonetic word for the letter “T” in the NATO alphabet.

Tactical Air Support: Air support that directly assists units on the ground. Examples include strafing areas, destroying vehicles and bombing hard targets like bunkers or compounds.

Time on Target: The amount of time it takes your unit to accomplish it’s objective while at the target site before leaving (applies most to raids and ambushes).


UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. UAVs come in numerous sizes from hand tossed to full sized aircraft. They are most often used in the intelligence gathering role but larger variants can carry rockets, missiles or guns.

Universal Time: A unit of time that coincides with the rotation of the Earth. Time zones are named and numbered according to their position relative to Greenwich, England. The time zone that Greenwich is in is called zero time which results in the military calling it Zulu time. Oklahoma falls in Sierra Time which is 6 hours behind Zulu Time.



Warning Order: A notice warning your unit that an order or action is about to happen.

Way Point: A point or series of points marked on a GPS unit that are used to navigate a specific route.


X-Ray: British term for Tango


Zulu Time: See Universal Time