Types of Airsoft Guns – Which Gun is Right for You?
As a potential new Airsoft player, you are likely wondering how to get started, and more importantly, what type of Airsoft gun is right for your personal style, price range, and needs. Before purchasing a gun, equipment, and safety gear, you need to be educated about the products available to you. There are almost as many makes and models of Airsoft guns as there are real guns, so when selecting an Airsoft gun that you like and that suits your personal style, the possibilities are limitless. However, on the whole, Airsoft guns can be easily divided into three different categories and price ranges: spring, gas, and electric Airsoft guns.
Most people looking to get started in Airsoft simply want to purchase something affordable and economical so that they can start playing right away, with the intention of purchasing better equipment or guns later on (also called “upgrading”). Spring Airsoft guns, so-called because you have to cock them each time you want to shoot, are oftentimes the first Airsoft gun for many players. A spring Airsoft pistol can be purchased at between $20 and $50 US dollars. More detailed spring Airsoft guns such as rifle, automatic, or shotgun models do not usually run more than $175 – $275 US dollars. However, spring Airsoft guns have a tendency to become jammed easily, as the plastic BBs can get stuck while cocking or loading the gun. Speed is also a factor, and cocking a spring gun every time you have to shoot it in an Airsoft game wastes valuable time. They can, however, be a good back-up weapon in a tight spot, as any veteran player might admit. If you are looking to simply have some fun once in a while, and do not intend to become a serious Airsoft player, this is the gun type that would likely be recommended to suit your needs.
The second type of Airsoft guns are called Gas guns, or sometimes more specifically, Green Gas guns. The gas itself is not actually green in color, but is a silicone based gas that comes in a canister. Gas powered Airsoft guns are typically semi-automatic and fully automatic. A gas Airsoft gun costs around $90 to $150 US dollars on average, though some can cost more. A unique feature of gas guns is gas blowback, which means that the slide on the gun moves back just like a real gun. Gas gun blowback is similar to a miniature recoil effect, however, not all gas Airsoft guns are ones with blowback. Most players that use gas Airsoft guns prefer those with blowback, claiming them to be much more fun. There are a few cons to having a gas powered Airsoft gun, however. First of all, they don’t work very well in cold weather, which can be irritating or take the fun out of playing if you do not have a replacement (a spring gun for example). The ammunition tends to be a little bit expensive, about $20 US dollars a can, however, the cans can last a long time in the hands of a decent Airsoft player. For someone that has the desire to play Airsoft regularly, this type of gun is good to consider.
People that want to make Airsoft a serious pass time for entertainment generally purchase AEGs, or Automatic Electric Airsoft guns. This type is the most common Airsoft gun used by Airsoft players, and is overall the most practical. Electric Airsoft guns are a bit costly, ranging from $250 to $375 US dollars on average. They do not require any external connections, and use magazines full of BBs as their ammo, loading an electric Airsoft gun is just like loading a real gun. Electric Airsoft guns are battery powered, and the batteries for them usually cost between $40 and $55 US dollars, but can be recharged, so purchasing a battery charger for them is also recommended. This type of Airsoft gun shoots at an average speed of 300 feet per second, though it can become faster if parts are upgraded. Upgrading an electric Airsoft gun requires quite a bit of knowledge and should only be left to professionals, as attempting upgrades on your own can be frustrating and leave you with nothing but a broken AEG to show for it. Though it can be exceptionally costly to start out with an electric Airsoft gun, it almost always proves to be a good investment for someone that intends to make Airsoft their primary entertainment activity.
All of the types of Airsoft guns have their pros and cons, and in Airsoft, a gun is only as good as the player using it. The determining factor in which type of gun is right for you is your own personal interest in Airsoft itself and Airsoft activities. The frequency with which you have a desire to participate in Airsoft games should also be a factor in choosing how much you want to spend and what gun would suit your needs best. A person could get started in having some occasional fun in Airsoft games with less than $100 US dollars, for ammunition and a decent spring Airsoft pistol, perhaps some safety equipment as well, which is highly recommended. Some people have the desire to become completely involved in Airsoft games right away, and go ahead and make a larger investment and purchase a gas Airsoft gun or an AEG (electric) gun. The choice is up to you, but no matter what your selection, good times and fun await you in future Airsoft games.