There are hundreds if not thousands of airsoft guns on the market! With so many options it may seem like a daunting task picking your first gun. It’s important to keep in mind what you plan on using your new weapon for. Are you going to be shooting targets from across the room while you’re watching T.V.? Is a massive neighborhood war more your style? Or maybe you are looking for more militaristic airsoft combat. Whatever you’re planning to do, the application that you use your gun for will make the biggest impact on what type of airsoft gun to get.
Pick a Style
The first criteria for picking a gun is to pick something that you like; whether it be a handgun or a rifle, there are many options to choose from. Below is a list of a few different styles to give you an idea of your choices. Many real life guns have airsoft replicas.
Different Airsoft Gun Styles:
Do You Want Any Add-ons?
Once you’ve decided upon the style of airsoft gun that is right for you consider whether you are going to want any accessories. Many but not all airsoft guns are equipped with RIS or a Rail Integrated System. If you plan on using a laser, flashlight, or scope make sure that your gun has rails that will accommodate them.
Sources of Power
To recap, you have the airsoft gun style picked out, as well as whether you want to include some add-ons. Something else to look at is what kind of power you’re going to use. There are three different ways that airsoft guns are powered, spring, gas, or electric.
This is one of the more common sources of power for airsoft pistols and rifles. It’s important to realize that spring/mechanical powered guns must be cocked each time before firing, which may not be advantageous in certain scenarios. Spring powered guns tend to be on the cheaper side with pistols firing at rates of 160-300 fps and rifles firing at rates of 300-400 fps. That being said there are some really nice spring power sniper rifles and shotguns. Firing rates on spring powered sniper rifles can reach 500 fps and having to cock the gun after each shot isn’t as much of an issue at long range. Spring powered shotguns generally have a burst type effect and are used for closer combat where again a lower fps isn’t as important.
A step up from spring, gas powered airsoft pistols and rifles are much more powerful with speeds around 400-500 fps. This added power allows you to shoot further and with increased accuracy. Many different types of gas can be used although the most common is probably propane which is widely available. Other sources of gas are C02 or nitrogen. A lot of the gas powered guns have semi-auto and full-auto capabilities, so make sure you are getting what you want. They also tend to be made of metal, giving you a much more realistic look and feel. Gases tend to not function as smoothly at colder temperatures so keep this in mind depending on where you live.
Electric – This is the prefered choice among most airsofters in league type combat. The electric powered airsoft gun is run off a battery and spring. Because of this they are mainly all semi-auto and full-auto, firing at rates of 500 fps. The advantage of an electric gun is that battery power is rechargeable, making it less expensive and more convenient to power than gas.
Finally take a look at price. Ask yourself “Does this gun fit my budget?” A super expensive gun isn’t always the best airsoft gun for you. A good starter airsoft gun should be anywhere from 100-200 dollars depending on how crazy you get with accessories. A good quality gun will always last longer; however, quality is more expensive. If there is an airsoft gun that you really want then save the money. A higher quality airsoft gun will not only last longer but will work smoother and faster.