Airsoft Buying Guide: Types of Airsoft Guns and Features
When I was seven years old, my parents had left me back at home with my elder brother, Dan and asked us to stay at home until they come back. But Dan surely had some other plans as soon after our parents left, his friends arrived, picked us up and guess what our destination was?
An airsoft field! I was the only child there and I was thrilled to see all those airsoft couches swarming around us, people dressed as veterans and carrying many different types of airsoft guns in their hands.
I still remember the way my heart was racing in my chest and bumping hard against it as if it could come out at any second. My pulse was racing and the adrenaline was high as if I had just come from running a marathon.
My brother and his friends went to a room to select their guns and airsoft accessories and I literally fell in love with all that amazing stuff.
There was a huge variety of different types of airsoft guns, ranging from shotguns, rifles, snipers to pistols. The collection had many latest models as well which I had just seen on television before now.
I yearned to grab them and play with them but of course, I was just a kid back then and nobody would let me as I was quite young for that stuff according to them.
They had me sit on a safe corner of the field and I was happy to just sit there and watch the fascinating game they were playing.
The game they chose to play that day was Team Death-match and watching the match really made my day. My love for airsoft grew from there and turned to deep passion and obsession.
When I grew a little older, I started having my own airsoft guns as well and used to have some backyard fun with them with my friends.
Playing with these guns, made me learn the art of shooting and my skills got polished over the years with their continuous use.
I had a variety of airsoft guns, some of them were cheap but some very quite expensive. Today, my collection has the most popular models of all types of airsoft guns.
If you have ever had the chance to buy an airsoft gun, then you would know how frustrating it gets to choose one gun from a million ones available all over online stores and in markets as well.
Almost each one of them has mind-blowing features, some are more advanced than others and some are cheaper than others.
When you look at the features of these guns, it is possible that you will not understand some terms which is why it is important to have a knowledge of such terms about guns and also understand the mechanisms of these guns.
So, firstly, let me tell you about the different types of airsoft guns so you can have a better idea about each one of them in case you want to make a purchase.
The Different Types of Airsoft Guns
Airsoft guns are divided into three types based on their mechanism of operation. Each one of them brings its own pros and cons to the box. Therefore, it is necessary to gain some knowledge about them so you can know which one of them you want for yourself.
1- Electric Powered Airsoft Guns
The Electric Powered Airsoft Guns are also known as AEGs and they are by far the most common types of airsoft guns available in the market nowadays. One good reason is that they are powered by batteries and are easy to handle as compared to other types.
They come in the both automatic and semi-automatic mode as well. As they are powered by batteries, therefore, a charger and extra rechargeable batteries are also included in the box.
Lithium batteries are used, most of the times, for high powered electric guns so they can perform efficiently. The approximate firing velocity of such guns lies between 300 to 400 FPS and they make use of 0.20g plastic BBs.
AEGs which come with a complete metal gearbox is much more effective and must be preferred as guns having plastic construction are less durable than the metal ones and wear out quickly and easily.
The electric airsoft guns are good and reliable options and you must give them a thought when buying airsoft gun for yourself.
2- Gas Powered Airsoft Guns
The gas-powered airsoft guns are those which make use of compressed gas, mostly CO2 to operate the gun. Some other gases used for this purpose are propane and the black gas, however, CO2 is the most widely used to operate these guns.
The CO2 cartridges come in small bottles which only store up to twelve grams of gas whereas propane gas comes in small bottles and is pumped right into the gun’s magazine. These gas cartridges are quite cheap when it comes to their prices and can be easily bought from stores all over the world.
They also keep your guns all powered up for a considerable time when you are playing in the field with them. However, you must have extra gas cartridges as a backup as well.
Gas-powered airsoft pistols come in either blowback or no blowback types. If you want a sense of realism and want to have a realistic experience, then you can choose blowback guns otherwise non-blowback airsoft guns will do just fine for you.
The gas cylinders are placed inside a groove which is made on the inside of the gun’s magazine. So, the main purpose of the gas is to infuse some momentum to the projectiles so that they can move out of the barrel and can be fired into the air, towards the target.
Whenever the trigger of such guns is pulled, the gas cylinder releases the gas which is in compressed form and gives momentum to the BB that has to be fired.
The working mechanism of these guns is also just like that of a real one but the difference is that the gas-powered airsoft guns are replicas and make use of gas as a subject of operation. There is a pressure nozzle on the gun through which the gas escapes from the cartridge and into the barrel.
If the gun is blowback gun, then the gs coming out of the nozzle also helps in the execution of this function and gives the gun a realistic look as it produces a recoil just like a real gun when a bullet is shot from it.
3- Spring Powered Airsoft Guns
The spring-powered airsoft guns are by far the simplest airsoft guns that are available in stores but they are also the most widely used as well. The guns which kids play with also spring airsoft guns.
These types of airsoft guns operate with the help of a spring mechanism which is why they are called spring powered airsoft guns. These guns do not require any kind of gas cartridges or batteries in order to operate and this is why they are easily maintained and are preferred by people.
Otherwise, their mechanism of operation is not so good as you have to cook them when you pull the trigger, Every time.
This feature makes these types of airsoft guns look less realistic, hence more advanced airsoft players rarely use them. They mostly prefer high powered electric airsoft guns, airsoft machine guns or gas powered airsoft guns.
The mechanism of spring-powered guns do not have any space for automatic mode, hence these guns are only available in semi-automatic modes. If we look at the mechanism of these guns, then we come to know that there is a lever inside these guns which compresses the spring inside the gun.
Whenever you pull the trigger, that spring is released and the plunger races forward. This results in the compressed air being passed through the barrel of the gun, and the BB getting out of it.
So, that is how a spring-powered gun actually works. The spring airsoft BB guns are quite inexpensive but there are some rifles and airsoft guns snipers which are a bit expensive as they feature a great FPS.
Other Types of Airsoft Guns
Let us now have a look at some other types of airsoft guns. You can choose to have any one of them for yourself but that depends on the purpose of your use. Let us start!
1- Airsoft Guns Sniper
Do you know themselves? These people are specially trained and use highly specialized airsoft gun snipers to pick off-targets. Shooting at such long distances is not possible with a regular gun, this is why snipers make use of sniper rifles which help them do this easily.
Sniper Airsoft guns have long barrels and are positioned on bipod stands to provide balance to the gun so that the marksman can take the shot properly. Moreover, these rifles have lasers and scopes as well to help the snipers in making precise and accurate shots.
2- Airsoft Rifles
A rifle is a gun which has a long barrel and is usually braced against the shoulder of the user to provide stability to the gun when firing from it.
Rifles are designed specifically for accurate and precise shots and are a little heavy which is why they are to be held with both hands.
They usually make the spin of the projectile so that a more accurate and precise shot can be made. For this purpose, they have spiral grooves inside the barrel so that spin can be delivered to the projectiles.
3- Airsoft Shotguns
An airsoft shotgun is something which fires a shell instead of one BB which means that you have more chances of hitting the target than you have with any other gun. The energy it uses is also of one projectile but instead of one, it shoots a number of BBs.
That one projectile is normally called a slug and is composed of multiple BBs. Airsoft shotguns are good for those who are just beginners or for those who cannot make precise shots.
Airsoft Guns Features
1- Semi-Automatic and Fully Automatic Mode
There are two modes in which airsoft guns operate. The first one is the full features of airsoft guns. These guns keep on discharging BBs until you stop pulling the trigger.
But when we talk about the semi-automatic guns, they fire off only one projectile on pulling a trigger once. Subsequently, it is clear now that the automatic guns are those which keep the contacts of the firearm from connecting with the engine after one draw of the trigger.
The automatic guns and automatic machine guns are those weapons which are the progressive and complex sorts of airsoft firearms, likewise being the most practical as well.
Full mechanization is just accessible in electrically controlled airsoft weapons and gas-fueled airsoft firearms, and not accessible in guns which operate on spring mechanism as you need to cockerel them each time you will fire.
The basic meaning of the automatic weapons, as we talked about is that they continue shooting until you have enough BBs. But in guns which are semi-automatic, you must pull the trigger for each shot.
2- Single Action and Double Action Mode
The single-action mode, unlike the double one, requires you to pull the trigger and the hammer separately, each time you will want to shoot from the gun.
But in the double-action, you have to just cock the hammer once, and after that, you will only have to pull the trigger on the time of the shooting and not the hammer.
So, the hammer will stay in the cocking position and you will not have to cock it every time you pull the trigger. Well, that is the double-action mode. The hammer of the gun is dropped in a single action mode, which will require you to cock it whenever you will want to shoot from the gun.
But quite the opposite happens in a double-action, which keeps the hammer as it is i.e. in the cocked position so you can be saved from the hassle of cocking it again and again.
This is additionally the reason that firearms having this mode of action perform quicker shots than the ones which operate on a single-action mode; however, they likewise have a more extended trigger draw.
The airsoft weapons which feature single activity modes may have shorter trigger force however the time between successive shots is longer when contrasted with that of the firearms featuring double-action modes.
3- Blowback and Non-Blowback Mode
Most of the guns have non-blowback mode but there are some which feature a blowback mode as well. But what makes them different from each other? The blowback ones look more sensible as this feature imparts some realism to the weapon and the weapon draws back when you shoot from it.
This action of a gun is well aligned with Newton's third law of motion says that “Action and Reaction are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction”. Therefore, a blowback feature looks realistic and practical as well.
But when it comes to the guns with a non-blowback feature, the firearm does not a drawback. This doesn’t seem practical and sensible.
For instance, the way a non-blowback firearm works is superior to a blowback firearm since it spares the air and utilizes it completely on giving energy to the shot, not at all like a blowback weapon which uses some portion of the air to create the "drawback" impact.
Also, blowback airsoft guns are much costly than the non-blowback ones as they are increasingly mind-boggling. The non-blowback firearms are anything but difficult to utilize, and they do not make much noise as well.
In any case, an after-effect gives a realistic touch to the gun and that is what a blowback feature does. It also delivers a sound despite the fact that a little one due to the force it produces.
Regardless of whether you incline toward unmistakable quality or adequacy, a blowback weapon is fancier since it looks practical but a non-blowback firearm performs decently and is progressively powerful.
4- Hop Up Feature
Have you ever heard about the hop-up feature? It facilitates in providing spin to the BBs so they can cover long distances. Therefore, we can say that it is used to increase their range.
So, if you are wondering how does this all occur, then let me explain the mechanism of the hop-up function to you.
Everything occurs with the Magnus impact which says that when the BBs are spun in the reverse direction after they strike against the bucking inserted inside the barrel of the firearm, the pneumatic force on the top side of the BB is diminished, thereby keeping its speed the same but increasing its range.
The Magnus impact says that the range of the BB is increased in light of the fact that, after the BB is spun, it begins tossing air on its underside and towards its backside giving the lift and expanding its range also.
Now, that you know about the different stunning airsoft guns, which one do you think would suit you the most? My personal favorite is electric airsoft guns as they are battery powered and come with great features. Also, they are less messy with gas-powered guns but much more fun to use than spring powered ones.