Who Made The First Airsoft Gun?

First Airsoft gun

Let’s investigate the history of airsoft and discover who developed the concept for the original airsoft gun. Come along on a historical journey to discover how this creative mind established the groundwork for the thrilling game of airsoft.

The Origin of Airsoft:

When gun ownership became difficult due to stringent rules in Japan in the early 1970s, airsoft was born. Toyokazu “Mr. Tanio” Tanio, an engineer and gun lover, took this as motivation to develop a safe and authorized substitute for those who like shooting sports.

Toyokazu "Mr. Tanio" Tanio:

An engineer by trade, Mr. Tanio recognized the need for a safe way to enjoy shooting. His objective was to develop a device that could replicate shooting without the risks connected to actual firearms. As a result, he created the first airsoft gun ever.

The Tanio Koba VP-70:

Mr. Tanio unveiled the Tanio Koba VP-70, a revolutionary invention, in 1972. This semi-automatic airsoft handgun served as the catalyst for the innovative and secure recreational shooting movement. This airsoft version, which was modeled after the Heckler & Koch VP70, fired 6mm plastic pellets using a spring-powered system, offering a safe and realistic shooting experience.

Impact on Shooting Sports:

The Tanio Koba VP-70’s release had a big influence on shooting sports. As a convenient and risk-free substitute, airsoft gained popularity fast, enabling fans to participate in lifelike combat simulations without the dangers of actual ammunition.

Evolution of Airsoft Technology:

Mr. Tanio’s innovation set the stage for the evolution of airsoft technology. As time passed, the industry witnessed the development of electric and gas-powered airsoft guns, along with advancements in design, materials, and performance.


The story of the first airsoft gun highlights the creativity of Toyokazu “Mr. Tanio” Tanio. His vision for a safe and legal shooting alternative not only gave birth to a new recreational sport but also laid the foundation for a global community of airsoft enthusiasts. As we enjoy the thrills of airsoft, let’s take a moment to appreciate the pioneer whose passion and innovation sparked a revolution in the world of simulated combat sports.

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