I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
A good airsoft gun does make a significant difference while playing the game… or does it?
Airsoft is a great way to get yourself into the great outdoors, meet interesting people, and shoot them, all without the legal complications and moral quandaries that would normally accompany that kind of action. If you’re not already familiar with the sport, then you’re probably wondering where to start when it comes to picking out your first gun.
Thankfully, it’s not as complicated as it seems. Once you remove the trash from the huge amount of guns available on the market you’ll be left with a few basic types which make it relatively simple for you to pick out the one which you think will be best suited to your own style of mock-combat.
We’ve rounded up ten of the best guns on the market for your viewing pleasure and will give you a closer look so you can pick out the one which you feel will best suit you once you hit the field.
Compare: The 10 Top Rated Air Soft Guns of 2016
|COLT M4 CQB||360||AEG Carbine||5|
|Thompson 1928||426||AEG SMG||4.8|
|H&K 416 CQB Elite||335||AEG Rifle||4.6|
|ASG CZ Scorpion Evo 3 A1||385||AEG SMG||4.6|
|kwa akg-74m||400||Gas Blowback Rifle||4.5|
|H&K .45 Blowback||320||Gas Blowback Pistol||4.3|
|BBTac JG M4 S-System JGF6613||400||AEG Carbine||4.3|
|Colt 1911 Co2||350||Gas Blowback Pistol||4.2|
|Umarex Walther 2262020 P99||380||Gas Blowback Pistol||4.1|
|H&K Ump Competition||350||AEG SMG||4|
- What is an Airsoft Gun?
- What Are the Different Types of Airsoft Gun?
- What Are the Advantages of Owning a High-Quality Airsoft Gun?
- Comparing Features
- Some Quick Recommendations
- Top 3 Best Airsoft Gun Reviews
What is an Airsoft Gun?
Put simply, an airsoft gun is a replica firearm which propels a spherical, plastic projectile at speeds ranging from about 150ft/s to 650ft/s.
The defining feature of the guns is that they generally look like actual firearms, vaguely in some cases but in many of the higher quality guns you’ll find that they’ve actually been licensed from the firearm manufacturers themselves in order to produce something with the same weight, aesthetics, and dimensions of the real thing.
There’re a few different types, and really there’s something to suit almost everyone at the end of the day. Whether you prefer to get close and let loose with a flurry of automatic fire or engage at a distance with small bursts of controlled shots.
What Are the Different Types of Airsoft Gun?
There’re a few different types of mechanism used to achieve the end result and your preference between them is largely personal.
The most commonly used guns “in the field” are automatic electric guns or AEGs. These use a gearbox system in order to repeatedly fire pellets with a single pull of the trigger. For the most part, these guns will fire in automatic or burst modes, allowing you to saturate an area with fire.
Some electrical guns will simply be fully automatic, holding the trigger will cause the motor in the gearbox to repeatedly engage the mechanism. Others are select-fire, with options including single shot, three round burst, and full auto to allow for a wider range of tactical options during play.
The other common mechanism relies on controlled release of a gas to propel the pellet. While they make guns in all sizes which use gas, most serious players prefer this system for a sidearm and will go with an AEG for their primary weapon. Gas pistols will often have a blowback mechanism, making the visual of firing look quite similar to firing an actual pistol.
There are also spring guns, but these are most commonly used in less formal play due to their relatively inexpensive cost, lower velocity, and the fact that they’re invariably single shot and require you to make some manual action on the mechanism between shots.
For most players, it might be worth considering two guns on the field. A primary weapon, usually an AEG in the style they feel suits them and a gas-operated sidearm for closer action and in the case of the failure of the primary due to running out of pellets or the battery going down.
What Are the Advantages of Owning a High-Quality Airsoft Gun?
While there are a lot of super cheap pistols and even rifle variants available at swap meets and other places where cheap goods can be found, they’re not really viable in the field for the most part.
Part of this is due to the nature of the game. Better equipment means more range, higher levels of accuracy, and fewer jams to deal with while you’re engaging. All of these provide a lot of advantage, and you can be sure your opponents will be using the best guns they can find as well.
While you don’t need to break the bank, flea market guns are going to cause a lot of issues that will likely result in you being hit or missing a vital shot. It’s not just about the equipment you’re using being outclassed, it’s really about some guns simply not being viable during a match at all.
By taking some time to select your gun carefully, you’ll be able to have a fighting chance.
The first of these is the FPS of the gun. A gun that fires a slow moving projectile allows your opponent a chance to dodge and at longer distances they may not even recognize that they’ve been hit. Higher is generally better, but most fields will restrict FPS to a reasonable amount to avoid additional risks of injury. Automatic guns will usually be restricted to a lower FPS than single shot ones.
Due to the range that you’re likely to be engaging at your FPS isn’t only tied to how hard you hit the other guy and whether or not they can dodge. It’s also tied to another very important quality.[/su_shadow]
You’ll also need a gun that’s accurate when you hit the field. It does you no good if you have high FPS and a ridiculous rate of fire but can’t hit the broadside of a barn from three yards. FPS will tie into accuracy with your guns, however, ballistic drop figures into airsoft shooting at a much closer range than you’d see with even a low powered regular rifle.
Like any other shooting sport, some people will have a tendency to blame their guns for their own errors, but you’d be surprised at how accurate a good AEG or gas gun can be.
The accuracy can also rely on the sights, particularly if you’re engaging over twenty-five feet or so. Adjustable sights are a good thing to have, but they’re not always necessary in the sport when it comes down to it. What mainly matters is that you’ve got something easy to work with since speed of aiming is rather important in close range engagements.
Keep in mind that you’re going to want to check on the inner barrel length when you begin to select a gun for accuracy. The inner barrel is the important part here, the outer barrel is primarily to make sure the gun looks like it’s supposed to but it’s not what the pellet will be going down.
If you’re planning on using an AEG there’s another consideration to take into account: you want a metal gear box. While plastic can work just fine for a little while, it’ll naturally strip out much more quickly than even the cheapest metal one and you’ll be left with a tactical looking paperweight until you replace the box.
SMG vs Rifle vs Carbine
Finally, and one of the most important considerations is the terrain that you intend to play on. If you stick with the sport for a while you’re most likely going to end up with a few guns, usually an SMG-type model and a rifle-type at the very least.
Shorter stocks and overall length, foregrips, and higher rates of fire are preferred for fighting in close quarters since the gun will be more easily maneuverable. At longer ranges, the rate of fire becomes less important, with accuracy being the focus.
It can be something of a balancing act, but airsoft guns are generally useful for the same things their replicas would be although the “long range” action will be happening at only a couple of hundred feet or so instead of the hundred to two hundred yards which is common in real-world warfare.
SMG replicas are fantastic for under thirty feet or so, but they simply don’t have the accuracy for long range engagements. Rifles, on the other hand, are generally more accurate and a bit higher in FPS while sacrificing maneuverability. A carbine design will fit neatly in between the two categories and with a folding stock will allow you to fire in most situations without worrying about switching guns.
One other thing to keep an eye out for is rails and other accessory attachment points. If you get serious about the sport it’s quite nice to be able to attach some form of optics to the gun, generally a red dot sight, without having to jury rig anything.
Some Quick Recommendations
We highly recommend using an AEG for your primary arm, they’re cheaper to run and there won’t be a burst of gas to reveal your location if you’re the type who likes to ambush. However, for a sidearm, most people will prefer a gas gun for the realistic blowback.
Realistically, unless you switch to your pistol on purpose or don’t keep an eye on how many rounds are left in your magazine, your sidearm is unlikely to see a whole lot of use during most matches which makes the need to change gas canisters every few magazines a bit less of a hassle.
Top 3 Best Airsoft Gun Reviews
Soft Air COLT M4 CQB Full Metal AEG
The M4 is currently the standard combat carbine in use by the US armed forces, having mostly replaced the larger M-16. This is a full metal replica, officially endorsed by Colt and having some pretty impressive features that’ll help you out on the field.
The gearbox is high-quality and should easily last you a couple of years of use since both the box and the gears themselves are made of steel. The gun itself is milled on a CNC design machine and made of solid parts that should hold up when you inevitably drop the gun.
The magazine that comes with the gun holds 350 rounds, which will keep the fight going for a long time even if you just set the select-fire switch to full auto and let out bursts of twenty to thirty shots at a time.
Of particular interest to those who like to engage in a variety of different environments is the collapsible stock. You can quickly and easily fold it in for fighting in extremely tight quarters, or extend it for the extra stability if you decide to engage at a longer distance.
Just like the gun it’s a replica of, this one has rails which will allow you to attach accessories. For airsoft purposes, this will generally be optics, but depending on your playing field you can also attach lights or whatever you think you may need.
The only thing to really keep in mind here is that if you purchase this gun it ships “dry”, so do yourself a favor and get some silicon lubricant as well and take care of the gun before you fire it in order to save yourself some trouble.
All-in-all this is a high-quality, versatile gun that should allow you to remain competitive in almost any airsoft arena you might want to try it in.
Soft Air Thompson 1928 AEG Airsoft Gun
Based on one of the most infamous guns in American history, this Thompson replica makes for a fantastic addition to the airsoft collection of anyone who prefers to engage in close quarters. It also serves pretty well at a distance, although the overall short length might take some getting used to if you prefer full rifle length guns.
The gun has a pretty respectable FPS rating, even taking into account the fact that the manufacturer’s claimed rating is with .12 BBs and not the usual .20s. It should still be able to launch regular projectiles at around 350fps which is plenty for most purposes.
The gun itself is quite accurate and has a high rate of fire. Combine that with the imitation-wood foregrip and an overall short length and you’re left with an airsoft gun that’s ideal for fighting in close quarters where you may need to shoot from the hip.
The sight is adjustable as well, so make sure that you set it up for yourself before you get out in the field in order to get that extra degree of accuracy you may need.
The only real drawback here is that the drum magazine can be kind of a pain to use right out of the box and will need some lubrication. In a lot of cases, you might be better off investing in the regular stick magazines used with most replicas since it’s compatible with most of the ones available.
If you’re looking for a close-quarters gun that can still hold its own at ten to fifteen yards then you’ve got exactly what you’re looking for with this replica SMG. Take care of it, and it’ll take care of you in the field.
1911 Co2 Full Metal Airsoft Pistol
If you’re engaging in close quarters while playing airsoft, your primary arm is eventually going to run dry at the wrong moment. That’s when a good sidearm comes in handy, and this full metal Colt M1911 is perfect for that kind of usage.
The main draw of CO2 pistols is definitely the blowback action, which adds a little bit of kick to the gun’s action and helps maintain the illusion of it being a real firearm. This gun delivers on that and combined with the metal frame you’re looking at something that can add quite a bit of realism to your next match.
For sidearms, there’re a couple of different things to keep in mind than with your primary. The main thing is the capacity, as a general rule CO2 pistols will hold way fewer projectiles than your bigger guns but anything over twelve or so should give you enough time to either get out of there or finish off your opponent. This one holds fifteen, making it just about right.
The FPS is comparable or higher than many long guns used for airsoft, coming in at a solid 350-400 when used with .20 projectiles. Since you’re likely to be using it at a very close range it’s good to know your opponent won’t have a chance to dodge as long as you’re on target.
This comes highly recommended as a sidearm for nearly any airsoft player, it looks and feels realistic and has the performance to match.
We hope that we’ve helped to give you a definitive guide to allow you to pick out a gun which will let you get up and engage with others to your heart’s content. Just make sure that you keep your field and style in mind, and you certainly won’t be able to go wrong with any of these guns.