In this guide, we will take a look at TOP-6 best airsoft guns currently available in the market. A comparison chart will help you decide which model is right for you. Also, you will learn about how these devices work and the differences between their types — manual spring-powered, electric spring-powered, and gas-powered models. Apart from that, this guide elaborates on the factors that you should take into consideration before investing your money and mentions some safety precautions you should consider.
The sport of Airsoft has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Starting in Japan, the sport grew in popularity and spread to the UK sometime in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, Airsoft is enjoyed by millions of participants of all ages across the globe. Since you are reading this article, there is a good chance that you are either one of these participants or considering giving the popular combat simulation sport a try. In either case, you have come to the right place.
How Does an Airsoft Gun Work?
As the name implies, airsoft guns use air to launch projectiles, commonly a 6 mm hard plastic BB, at a target. Compressed air is created by a spring and piston or by using pre-compressed gas, we will cover the different types of these devices in the following section.
For the spring and piston models, a piston is drawn back to add tension to a spring that is located behind the piston and locked into place. Once the trigger is pulled, the piston and spring are released thereby creating the compression needed to launch the projectile.
For models that use pre-compressed air or gas, there is no spring and piston. When the trigger is pulled, air is released from a pressurized gas canister and pushes the projectile out of the barrel. The canister is typically stored inside of the handle to the gun or in the magazine.
What Are The Types of Airsoft Guns?
When it comes to the types of airsoft guns to choose from, there are three types available, spring powered manual, spring powered electric, and gas powered. Each function in different ways and have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Manual Spring-Powered Models
Manual spring-powered models use a spring and piston to provide the compressed air. With this type of airsoft gun, you have to manually compress the spring and piston, or cock, the gun each time you want to shoot.
- Manual spring-powered models are typically more budget-friendly then the other types.
- Since everything is manual, there is no need for gas cylinders or batteries.
- Very reliable and will function in all types of weather conditions.
- There are plenty of upgrade components available for manual spring-powered options.
- The spring action in most manual spring-powered models are noisey.
- While they may be budget-friendly, they typically do not have a long life span.
- Not available in semi-auto or full auto and have to be cocked before every shot.
- Hard to find with metal bodies instead of plastic.
Electric Spring-Powered Models
The next type available is the electric spring-powered option. This type of gun functions just like the manual model except that you do not have to cock the gun each time you want to shoot since it is done by an electric motor.
- You do not have to cock the gun each time you want to shoot.
- Readily available with the more-realistic metal body.
- Faster shooting with semi-auto and full auto capabilities.
- There are plenty of upgrade components available.
- Not ideal for wet conditions.
- Does require recharging used for extended periods.
- Pistols of this type have very limited ammo capacities.
- Most electric spring powered pistols lack realism.
Gas-powered options use cylinders of compressed gas such as propane, CO2, or other gases. These types are available in many different designs and have blowback and non-blowback models. Blowback models feature a functional slide action that moves back when the trigger is pulled.
- Automatic and semi-auto firing capabilities.
- Very realistic designs and functions.
- Typically a cheaper alternative to electric spring powered models.
- Currently the most popular type of airsoft gun.
- The gas can freeze and cause malfunctions.
- The cost of gas cylinders can add up.
- Will need additional gas cylinders for extended use.
- Air temperatures can have a negative effect on gas-powered models.
What to Look for When Buying Airsoft Guns?
As with most products, buying the first airsoft gun you see is typically not a good strategy. There are some factors that you should take into consideration before investing any of your hard-earned money. With that said, ask yourself the following questions before committing to a specific product:
How often do you plan on using the airsoft gun?
If this is your first attempt at the sport of airsoft or you are a casual player and do not play regularly, investing a large amount of money into a high-end model really does not make much sense. However, if you are an avid player and possibly compete in competitions, then such an investment might be a good idea.
Do you like to make distance shots or do you like close-quarters shots?
How you like to use your airsoft gun is another factor to consider. If you like to make shots at opponents from halfway across the playing field or like to use it for target practice, then you may want to look for a gun that has longer range capabilities.
Guns that have a bore opening of 6.01 MM to 6.05 MM are typically the best for this type of shooting. If playing in shorter ranges or speed shooting is more to your liking, a model with rapid semi-auto or full auto capabilities might be more to your liking.
How much are you looking to spend?
Your budget is another factor to consider. You can find basic models of manual spring powered pistols for as little as $20 or you can spend over $500 for an electric spring-powered model with all the features you could possibly want. How much you can afford to spend should be one of the first factors you think about.
What is your experience level?
If you are a beginner, you may want to reconsider before you drop a weeks pay on an airsoft gun. Instead, look more towards the low to mid-range models. These are typically easier on the bank account and can be upgraded. However, if you are a seasoned airsoft gun user, paying more for a high-end model may better suit your needs.
TOP-6 Best Airsoft Guns
As promised, here is our pick for six of the best options currently available to you on the market, with the price ranging from $20 to $150. We have picked two models from each type, manual spring-powered, electric spring-powered, and gas-powered. Basically, they differ in velocity and capacity, however, such peculiarities as an authentic design make some models stand out more than others.
Budget-Friendly Airsoft Gun | Crosman Stinger P311
The Crosman Stinger P311 has the look and design features of a real 1911 pistol. It comes with a 12-shot magazine and weighs just under one pound. The manual spring powered pistol has a nice velocity of 325 FPS and shoots the standard 6.0 MM projectile.
High-Performance Airsoft Gun | FN
Designed off of the real SCAR firearm, this manual spring-powered model has the look and feel of the real weapon. This model features foldable front and rear sights, a Picatinny rail for adding attachments and a capacity of 350 BBs. The stock is foldable and a foregrip is included.
Electric Spring-Powered Models (AEGs)
Durable Airsoft Gun | Lancer Tactical
This electric spring powered rifle is constructed of polymer and has a molded lower receiver. The Interceptor has a velocity of 390 FPS with .12g BBs and features an adjustable stock and Picatinny rail for attachments.
Fully Automatic Electric Rifle | BBTac BT-M82
The BBTac BT-M82 features a rechargeable battery and tactical accessories, such as red-dot sight and flashlight. This model is designed to look and feel like the real firearm it was designed after, the SG 552. The stock is foldable and it also features an adjustable hop-up system so you can fire at longer ranges.
Gas-Powered Models (CO2)
Airsoft Pistol with Authentic Design | Glock G19
This gas-powered model not only looks like a real Glock G19, but it’s also manufactured by Glock. Featuring the weight, design, and feel of the real Glock G19, this could possibly be the most authentic-looking airsoft gun available. It features a 16-shot magazine and the CO2 cylinders provide a velocity of 410 FPS.
Airsoft Pistol with 20-Shot Magazine | Beretta
This model is also very authentic in design elements. It features a 20-shot magazine and is powered by CO2 cylinders that are located in the grip of the pistol. The APX also features a Picatinny rail so you can attach a flashlight or laser sight and has a velocity of 395 FPS.
Comparison Chart of Air Soft Gun Effectiveness
As one would expect in a sport that involves projectiles that are traveling at hundreds of feet per second, there are certain safety precautions to keep in mind.
Know where you are shooting
If you are shooting soda cans off of the fence in the backyard, be mindful of your surroundings. Even though it may only be plastic, a BB traveling at 200+ FPS can seriously injure an animal or person not wearing safety protection.
Wear proper safety protection
If you are planning on competing in an airsoft event, the officials will not let you attend unless you have on the proper safety equipment, such as eye protection and face protection. However, if you are playing with friends and family in the yard or in a field, keep in mind that this same safety protection should be worn.
Always assume the gun is loaded
I have a relative that is walking around with buckshot in his right foot. Why? Because his friend that he went hunting with assumed the gun was unloaded and uncocked, it was neither.
The gun, which was propped in the corner, fell over and discharged right into my relative’s foot. This could have been prevented if he would have assumed the gun was loaded instead of thinking it was cleared. Always assume your airsoft gun is loaded and make sure it is pointed in a safe direction during movement.
Here, we will answer some of the more common questions regarding the guns we reviewed as well as questions about airsoft guns in general.
What airsoft gun is the most powerful?
Of the models we reviewed, the Glock Gen 3 G19 Pistol has the highest velocity at 410 FPS. The FN model Scar was close behind it at 400 FPS.
Which one is best for a beginner?
For the beginner, we recommend one of the manual spring-powered models. Not only are the budget-friendly, but they are also upgradable.
What is high FPS for airsoft guns?
There are some models of airsoft guns that have a muzzle velocity of about 700 FPS. However, the average is around 350 FPS.
Is an airsoft gun considered a toy?
Airsoft guns are typically considered to be toys. However, they do fire projectiles at high velocities so the chance of serious injury does exist. Refer to our “Safety Precautions” section below for more information on this topic.
Why are some of these products so expensive?
Many of the airsoft guns available on the market have more components then real firearms. Additionally, many of the components are small and have to be assembled by hand.
Another factor that may add to the costs is popularity. The sport of Airsoft has become very popular and is even used by law enforcement personnel and military personnel for training under live-fire scenarios. As something becomes popular, the demand increases and causes prices for items relating to it, such as guns and safety equipment, to increase.
Airsoft is a fun simulation sport that provides you with plenty of exercise and an epic adrenaline rush. That is, so long as you do it safely. We hope this buyer’s guide has provided you with some helpful information. If you feel as though we have left anything out or you know something that might be helpful, please feel free to leave your feedback.