Welcome to the biggest and most comprehensive Airsoft Guide in the world!
If you’re here, I’m guessing it’s boys because you want to find out more about airsoft. You have probably watched a dozen YouTube videos, maybe you have spent hours on airsoft forums or you have been nagging your airsoft friends for the past weeks. Either way, you’re ready to pull the trigger (pun intended) and jump into this exciting new hobby that you can’t stop obsessing about. You are finally ready to buy your first airsoft gun & gear up!
Does this sound anything like you? It’s exactly how I felt when I first discovered the wonderful and exciting world of airsoft. I can actually play COD and CSGO in real life? Are you joking? Where do I sign up?!
Psst! Looking for the optimal airsoft assault rifle for a day on the fields? Check out my comprehensive guide on the best airsoft gun now!
Unless you want to repeat the same mistakes I made and spend way too much money on bad airsoft gear, you better read every word on this website.
Well, maybe not every word. The About Me section is very boring…
In an effort to save you a lot of time and money I have compiled everything you need to know about airsoft, in this article. If you’re reading this, chances are that there are many crucial things you don’t know about this awesome sport. I’m here to fix that. I will make your life easier and show you every golden nugget and share every piece of advice I have been given over many years of airsoft play.
I will try to be exhaustive where I need to be and efficient where I should. Airsoft is after all a technical game, some complexities can’t be avoided – but I will always try to explain them with very basic language and in terms that anyone will understand.
In this comprehensive airsoft guide we will be taking a detailed look at the fundamental topics of airsoft.
Want to know why your gun isn’t Li-PO ready? Read this article. Want to learn about HPA systems? Read this article. Want to find a date on Tinder? Take cheesy pictures on rooftops!
Armed with my expert knowledge and utilizing my recommendations, you will be ready to make the best, educated, decision on what gear you need, what gun you are interested in and how you want to approach this awesome game. Don’t rely on a whim or what advertisers are trying to push you. Read this article and you’ll know exactly what to buy and why.
Before we dive in, let me just say one thing – this is a huge guide on airsoft. In fact – it’s over 18,657 word long! It’s not made to be read in one go. But more of a reference and an awesome resource you can come back to anytime you’re wondering about a topic in airsoft. As you can see above, I’ve included a wikipedia style table of contents for your convenience. Use it to jump to different section of the guide!
I’m constantly expanding the guide and covering more complicated topics. You should absolutely bookmark or otherwise save this guide and check up on it often.
And lastly, if you appreciate the hundred hours it took me to write it, please share it with your friends and let others know about it so all my effort wasn’t in vain. Thank you very much!
Without further ado, I present to you – The Ultimate Airsoft Guide!
No, these are not airsoft guns and it’s not the 1980s…shh
General consensus is that the sport came about sometime during the 1980s in Japan. Fueled by the desire to imitate their favorite action heroes and limited by their strict gun ownership laws, Japanese gun enthusiasts set out to create the first replica guns – DIY airsoft handguns.
The Japanese hobbyists were limited in expertise and material. These first prototypes have very little in common with modern airsoft guns.
Nevertheless, the craze about airsoft quickly spread throughout Japan as well as the whole of Asia. As demand for better airsoft replicas grew, so did production.
Big players such as Tokyo Marui, KWC and Classic Army were born and started manufacturing high-quality airsoft guns and rifles. Although the center of the airsoft world still remains in Asia, soon airsoft guns were being made and sold in Europe and North America as well.
Over the past 40 years, airsoft guns have evolved tremendously, bearing little resemblance to those of the early 1980s. With the introduction of commercially available gas and electric powered guns also came snipers, rifles, SMGs and even grenades as well as a wide array of different accessories, gun addons & upgrades.
Today airsoft has become an extremely popular sport played all around the globe. We have our own leagues, associations and thousands of teams in all countries of the world!
I am excited to see what the future holds for airsoft, if past performance is any indication – it will be a blast!
In an effort to give credit where credit is due, I’ve decided against writing out a complete safety section. I may revisit this section in the future, as I constantly keep this guide up to date and expand on it. For now, there are just so many good resources on this topic by experts just as qualified as me.
One of my favorites and the one I quote most often is the comprehensive airsoft safety guide by Elite Force.
With that said, you’ll find many safety instructions, reminders and remarks throughout this guide. Protecting yourself, other players and bystanders is of paramount importance.
Here are the main fundamentals which I’ll be covering in this airsoft guide.
You can use the table of contents at the beginning of this guide to navigate it more efficiently.
- The Tech – Spring, Gas, Electric & HPA
- The Guns – Rifles, SMG’s, Pistols, Snipers & Shotguns
- The Juice – Batteries & Gases
- The Ammo – BBs
- The Addons & Attachments – Grenade Launchers, Scopes, Silencers…
- The Accessories & Gadgets – Magazines, Speedloaders, Grenades…
- The Tactical Clothing & Gear – Masks, Gloves, Vests…
After covering these subjects, we will have a strong foundation upon which we can build our buying decisions.
You wouldn’t go to a car dealership and buy a car without first knowing how an engine works, would you?
When we talk airsoft, we specify guns according to their firing mechanism. In that respect, we can classify airsoft guns in a several main categories – spring powered, gas powered, electric powered as well as HPA, a new-ish technology which is quickly gaining the attention of the airsoft world.
We also categorize guns by their specific purpose on the battlefield; rifles, smg’s, pistols, snipers, shotguns. We will be covering gun classes later.
For now, let’s get a firm understanding of the basics.
Spring Powered Airsoft Guns Basic inner workings of a spring powered airsoft sniper
Ah, the springer. Most of us seasoned vets have owned at least one spring gun during our airsoft lifetime.
Spring powered airsoft guns use powerful springs to propel their ammunition at speeds of 150 FeetsPerSecond (pistols) to 800 FPS (snipers).
Let me take this opportunity to digress into a short rant about FPS. Beginners often obsess about the FPS output on a gun and think of it as the horsepower of a car. It’s true that the higher the FPS of a gun, the faster the velocity of your BBs, but FPS can be increased easily and will not give you an enormous advantage on the battlefield.
What truly matters is the quality of the gun and all of its internal mechanisms and parts. Please don’t make the mistake of buying or upgrading high FPS weapons in the hopes of gaining advantage over your opponent.
It just doesn’t work like that.
Best case scenario is you will have shelled out hundreds of dollars for a meager or non-existent strategic advantage. Worst case scenario; your gun will give out quickly and will have to be repaired regularly because it isn’t designed to handle high FPS performance.
End of rant 🙂 Back to the good ol’ springer…
As show on the picture above spring airsoft guns use a very simple mechanism.
To shoot, you cock your gun, pulling the piston into the spring guide and against the spring, and squeeze the trigger which releases the compressed spring and sends your BB flying.
Their design make spring powered airsoft guns incapable of being fired semi-automatically or automatically. You have to cock your gun for every single shot. Every. Single. Shot.
Because of this, 90% of spring guns are either pistols, snipers rifles or shotguns. Manually powering an “assault rifle” simply isn’t efficient.
In comparison with gas powered pistols, spring powered pistols aren’t as powerful. They do hold themselves up well against most electric airsoft pistols, as they have similar inner workings.
Spring powered pistols are almost always the cheapest airsoft pistols as they are usually of lower quality. which in turn makes them prone to wear and tear.
Because of their straightforward mechanics, springers are also extremely light-weight. So light, in fact, that some manufacturers install weights to give a more appropriate feel to the gun.
Most cheap spring guns are difficult to repair due to a lack of standard manufacturing practices among airsoft gun manufacturers. You’ll be hard pressed to find spare plastic parts for your springer.
Weather conditions is where spring powered airsoft guns really shine. While gas models are adversely affected by harsh weather conditions, spring powered guns are not affected at all. You won’t have to worry about a gas-leaking magazine or underperforming electricals.
You will never have to worry about rain or snow, something that can’t be said about electric or gas powered airsoft guns.
Spring powered guns also don’t rely on any external source of power (not counting your hands). Except for a new spring from time to time, you will never have to shell out money for expensive gas or finicky batteries.
Their low prices and reliability make spring powered pistols useful for beginners and general target practice. I could never recommend spring rifles or pistols for combat purposes as their clumsiness, low rate of fire (ROF), weak performance and short range make them about as useful as throwing sesame seeds at your opponents.
When it comes to snipers, the only reason (next to shotguns) you would use a springer, things look very different. Highly customized 550 FPS JG Bar10 Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle
There are a few disadvantages of spring powered airsoft snipers. For one, it becomes taxing to manually operate the bolt for every shot. This may become a problem with upgraded sniper rifles that achieve 500+ FPS as you’ll be pulling back very powerful, tense springs.
Another problem with highly customized, powerful airsoft snipers are the vibrations that ensue as the piston hits the front of the cylinder, when the gun is shot. Vibrations are the enemy of accuracy. As a sniper, who’s main advantage is range, this can prove detrimental to your effectiveness and gameplay.
With that said…
Springers are a very strong contender if your main role is a sniper. Their low costs, light weight, versatility in different weather condition, customizability (is that even a word? It is now!) and low noise make spring powered bolt-action snipers a solid choice for anyone keen on spotting their opponents through a scope!
Gas Powered Airsoft Guns My first ever Airsoft gun <3. Disregard JD, acquire guns!
Admittedly, I wasn’t feeling too hot the first time I was told about gas powered airsoft guns. Something about highly pressurized gas made me feel uneasy.
Fortunately, I quickly realized that gas powered guns, when handled with care (as with any airsoft gun!), are the coolest friggin thing in airsoft. If you’re like me and like loud noises, do read everything I’ve written below.
Gas powered airsoft guns use compressed gas to fire out BBs out of your gun. In contrast to springers, gas powered guns are capable of firing semi-automatically through a blowback feature. No more cocking your gun for every shot. This makes gas powered guns scarily similar to regular firearms. Blowback guns sound amazing!
Gas powered guns most commonly use “Green Gas”, a mixture of propane and silicon oil, or some other type of gas, such as 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (try saying that 3 times in a row) or rarely Difluoromonochloromethane, also known as “Red Gas”.
Keep in mind that Red Gas is illegal, banned since January 1994, in the United States because of the compound’s adverse effects on our planet’s ozone layer.
Plain old CO2 is probably the second most popular propellant for airsoft gas weapons. We’ll get more into this on our gas section of this airsoft guide.
Gas powered airsoft guns are fun. A lot of fun. My first ever airsoft gun was a gas powered pistol. I love that little bugger! Unfortunately, I quickly realized how expensive “fun” was. Gas powered guns can become problematic and finicky if you don’t take care of them. And sometimes even then.
Gas guns are heavily affected by weather conditions, with power loss directly correlated with the outside temperature. Because your green gas is stored in it’s liquid form, in order for it to be converted to gas it requires heat. The colder it is, the more difficult the conversion. The colder it is, the less power and function you’ll get out of your gun. Don’t even think about using it below 10 °F. You might get a shot or two off but that’s it.
Another thing to note is that when a gas gun is fired on full auto mode, the temperature inside the gun will rapidly drop by 10-15 °F after a short burst, as the gas is depressurized and sends the BBs flying. This becomes a problem in a heated, no pun intended, battle. The more you shoot, the colder your gun becomes, the more you’re lowering your power output.
Buying gas can be expensive. Sooner or later magazines start to leak and you’ll be going through O-rings like crazy, always buy extra.
Gas powered airsoft guns are considered best for intermediate shooters. They are also some of the most powerful guns out there. Their semi-automatic and (sometimes) automatic rate of fire make them as useful as they are fun.
If you’re goal is to have to squeeze the most amount of fun out of this hobby, I can wholeheartedly recommend that you buy at least one GBB (Gas BlowBack).
I rarely use my first ever GBB (pictured above) on the fields nowadays, but it remains my favorite gun to shoot around with. I just realized I haven’t even named it yet. Damn! You should always name your first gun! If you have any ideas for a cool name, contact me ASAP!
Electric Airsoft Guns
The inner workings of an AEG
The Holy Grail. Your daily driver.
The first time I was told about electric guns, I was skeptical. At the time I already owned my Sig Sauer GBB and couldn’t imagine ever using anything else. The noise. The feel. The blowback? How could anything ever match that? Boy was I naive…
Like most things in Airsoft, the principles behind electric airsoft guns are rather simple.
Your regular electric gun has a setup of gears, which are powered by the motor inside your gun. Those gears then “pull” the piston assembly against the spring and when the trigger is squeezed, said assembly is released which in turn propels your bb out of your gun muzzle.
Electric guns are nothing more than a springer with an electric motor that cocks the gun for you.
In other words, what you do with your hands on a springer, the electric gun does on its own using the motor. Simple, right?
Electric powered airsoft guns are by far the most common on the airsoft field. Their advantages are hard to compete against. Due to the use of an electric motor, which operates the spring, both automatic and semi-automatic fire can be achieved. This is also the reason why people commonly call this type of gun AEG’s – Automatic Electric Guns.
As I already mentioned above, AEGs aren’t the most powerful guns. Still, they come in at a respectable muzzle velocity of up to 650 ft/s (185 m/s).
All electric powered airsoft guns are powered by batteries, rechargeable batteries in most cases. I have written a whole section on batteries, which you can find below. In contrast to gas guns, where their power output may deteriorate as the gas in the magazine is used up, battery powered guns do not suffer from this issue. As the charge in the battery goes down, your rate of fire may take a hit – but your gun will shoot just as well.
When compared to gas airsoft guns, AEG’s are much more weather resistant. In colder conditions where GBBs simply stop working, your AEG will be just fine. Apart from the hop-up bucking stiffening up, a shortcoming that all airsoft guns share, AEG’s will be just fine in high and low temperatures.
For most of us, AEG’s are our favorite class of guns, and with good reason. Some of the biggest names in Airsoft manufacturing produce AEG’s, they are reliable, fast and pack as much power as you would ever need in competitive combat. I would still chose a GBB to shoot some cans in my backyard and annoy my neighbors – but AEG’s will forever be my best friend on the battlefield.
High Pressure Air Airsoft Guns A V2 Gen 3 Polarstar Fusion Engine
For the longest time AEG’s have had a firm grasp on the airsoft market. HPA manufacturers are dead-set on changing that trend. They seem to be very successful at this endeavor as well, seeing how HPA systems have been rapidly growing in popularity during the past several years.
Instead of using green gas or an electrically powered spring, HPA systems rely on the mechanism of pneumatics; High Pressure Air, to propel BBs.
HPA guns are connected via a hose, through a regulator, to a tank of compressed air, which you’ll be carrying around at all times.
Yes, you physically carry a tank of compressed air with you.
The compressed air travels through the regulator and the hose into the gun’s “engine”, usually powered by LiPo batteries.
Some newer models, such as the Valken AR1, sport a self-contained system. This means no cord, as the air tank is hidden within your rifle stock. Useful for sure, but the gun’s aesthetics take a hit. Hiding a bulky air tank without compromising the original look of an airsoft firearm is not very easy.
Then again, a hose sticking from your magazine isn’t exactly MILitarySIMulation, eh?
Conventional HPA air tanks are pressurized at 300-800 psi. Some tanks are designed to handle less pressure, which increases the longevity of the regulator and all the internals of your HPA system. Regulators downgrade the air tank’s psi to 200 psi and less.
You control your regulator and how much it…regulates your air pressure. More pressure means more ouch and less pressure means less ouch. Pretty straight-forward. A lot of airsoft regulators can only be adjusted with an allen key, which makes it a bit of a pain in the neck to change psi’s.
Maybe it’s time to mention that, because HPA is such a new technology for airsoft, the mechanisms are usually sold as a standalone product. You’ll have to buy the gun separately and go through an installation manual to install your HPA engine. Most manufacturers will gladly install your HPA mechanism for you. For a fee of course…
There are some pre-built rifles available, though I highly recommend you install the HPA system on your own gun, by yourself. It’s a fun thing to experience and you’ll truly understand how your gun works.
You won’t have to buy special HPA magazines for your gun, but you will have to “tap” them (if they are gas guns). Tapping is the act of customizing your GBB magazine for an HPA setup, mainly – to connect the airflow between the air tank and engine.
If this seems daunting, don’t worry. Dobey, an awesome custom gun builder and airsoft hobbyist, has got you covered.
Why HPA then? What makes this new tech so sexy that people are willing to schlep an air tank around at all times, go through a lengthy installation and mag tapping process?
Cost is yet another obstacle. Currently Valken and Wolverine HPA systems start at 0 while Polarstar, the father of modern airsoft HPA starts at a whopping 0 per set-up. Remember, this does not include your gun.
Additionally, when you have used up your air tank you will have to have it filled up by a professional. You won’t be able to just refill a magazine, like you would if you were to use a GBB setup. If you like wasting bullets on the airsoft fields, a full tank might last you as little as one day’s worth of airsoft games.
More specifically – (Tank Capacity) x (Tank Pressure/100) = Shots
So. Why would someone put up with all this hassle? Well…
Many people enjoy the process of buying a 0 gun and customizing it to fit their needs for the field. Others would prefer to spend their time shooting people and thus enjoy the instant optimizations that airsoft HPA kits can provide. You install it once, tap one or two mags and you’re good to go.
HPA systems performs much better in cold climates in comparison to AEG’s and GBB’s. They are also much quieter, a huge advantage in competitive play.
Except for your generic O-ring maintenance, HPA guns don’t need much attention. Once set up, it’s a simple system, you won’t be spending hours maintaining its performance.
Adjustability is another humongous plus. I cannot understate this. The ability to change your gun’s power and rate of fire is considered so overpowered, that some cynics have labeled HPA users as “cheaters”.
Usually airsoft fields will have strict rules about this. Your settings will have to be approved before play, so as to avoid unnecessary damage to your opponents.
Additionally, the trigger feedback mimics that of a real life firearm, recovering some MILSIM points.
The reliability and consistency of a well programmed HPA engines, such as the Polarstar fusion engine, has no equal. Your gun can go years without the slightest change in power output. Having every bb shot at the same exact velocity and rate of fire is a luxury no AEG or GBB owners can relate to.
At the end of the day HPA performance is better across the board. Whether it’s good enough to warrant the costs, is up to you to decide. As most things in life, your mileage may vary. Many people swear by HPA and would never go back to AEG’s. Others prefer to fully optimize their AEG for about half the cost of a P engines (P = Polarstar).
Different gun classes have different, unique purposes on the battlefield. In this section, we’ll take a detailed look at each of the five major airsoft gun classes, their unique traits, advantages, disadvantages and specific roles.
I’d like to preface this with a disclaimer about general airsoft gun performance.
Contrary to real firearms, in airsoft, gun performance between gun classes can be surprisingly similar.
Real life SMG’s are fundamentally different to real life assault rifles. In airsoft – they are almost the same in terms of specs. A battery is a battery and while the inner mechanics of airsoft guns do have slight differences, the overall power systems, and thus output, are the same.
Unmodified snipers have longer barrels, but their range and accuracy are only marginally superior to a run-off-the-mill airsoft rifle. Sniper shine once customized (also one of the reasons they are NOT recommended for beginners).
Keeping that in mind, let’s get into it.
Modeled after their real life counterpart, such as the M4s/M16s, AKs, AUGs, Famas’ and others, these beauties are semi and/or fully automatic airsoft guns with medium range and accuracy. They can be springers, gas, electric or HPA, with AEG’s being the most common (for now).
Most airsoft beginners should start out with a simple assault rifle and make it their primary, it should be their first and most important purchase.
Snipers are reserved for more experienced players, pistols are pure sidearms and shotguns…well, let’s just be polite and say they are situational.
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Because of this, and with good reason, rifles are the most common gun class on the fields.
Airsoft rifles are versatile and useful in most every combat situation you will face. Their high rate of fire and accuracy make them extremely effective in both medium and close ranges.
Airsoft rifles are your bread and butter.
Nothing beats a well customized, sturdy AEG or HPA airsoft rifle.
Although higher-end rifles and customization can quickly inflate the price tag, as a beginner, you can find a good match for around 0.
Your store bought AEG might shoot only 12-17 rounds per second, but you can modify your rifle to shoot at up to 50 RPS. I can’t recommend a ROF over 30, as the high stress that your gun will have to absorb simply isn’t worth it.
High-cap AEG magazines can carry up to 500 BBs. Buy two or three backup mags and you’re Rambo incarnate.
Although accuracy drops off severely at over 100 feet, rifles are extremely adaptable to most ranges below 100 feet.
Everybody and their brother wants a rad M4 or a gritty Ak47. All the big boys in airsoft manufacture airsoft rifles and modification parts. You’ll never have to worry about hunting down a specific part for your rifle.
As this con isn’t unique to rifles, it really doesn’t belong here…
If there is ONE truth in airsoft, it’s this: You Get What You Pay For. Again, this “con” isn’t unique to rifles and some will say it’s not a con at all. As a beginner, who didn’t have a huge budget, this was definitely a source of frustration for me.
Buy. Buy now.
An airsoft SMG is any airsoft gun that is inspired by firearms such as M5’s, MP7’s, P90’s, Uzi’s, PP-19’s, UMP45’s. They are usually smaller, more compact versions of a regular airsoft rifle as they share almost all characteristics with their big brothers.
The best way to make it clear why airsoft SMG’s are mostly the same with airsoft assault rifles, is to compare their real life counterparts and check if the same applies to airsoft.
Real SMG’s use pistol caliber ammunition, assault rifles fire bigger, rifle cartridges. Airsoft SMG’s and rifles fire the same ammo – BBs.
Real SMG’s effective range is up to 200 yds, an assault rifle’s range is up to 400 yds. Airsoft rifles and SMG’s mostly share the same range.
Real SMG’s have shorter barrels, assault rifles have longer barrels. This makes a huge difference accuracy at long range. Their airsoft counterparts have the same accuracy drop off points.
Real SMG’s are much lighter, more compact while assault rifles are heavier and are not as maneuverable. In airsoft, there is no weight correlation. Airsoft SMG’s remain more compact.
Airsoft SMG’s and assault rifles share the exact same inner workings. Your parts is what make your gun, not how it looks from the outside.
Size and barrel length are the biggest differences between the two.
In airsoft, barrel length has no impact on accuracy and range. An SMG with a 225mm barrel can be the same as an AK47 with a 420mm barrel. The only thing that matters is the quality of the built. Hence YGWYPF.
We already established that barrel length is has zero impact on performance. Size is the other variable.
Airsoft is inherently close quarters combat only. Most bb hits happen at 150 feet and less. Due to this, the CQC advantage of having a more maneuverable airsoft gun is negligible. It could be argued that SMG’s are more mobile indoors, but I’m not sure how a few dozen centimeters will have a big enough impact to be a definitive choice over an assault rifle.
Thus, SMG’s share the same purpose as a regular airsoft rifle.
Deja vu anybody? It’s true, SMG’s are smaller, shorter. It allows for a more flexible playstyle.
If you’re into SMG’s, go right ahead. A P90 primary is just as effective as an AK47.
If you are budget constricted, pistols are not a strictly necessary purchase. Though they will often save you in tricky situations, pistols will (for the most) remain a secondary.
In conventional outdoor battlefields, airsoft pistols are secondary handguns used only when your primary is out of ammo. While their muzzle velocity is similar to rifles and SMG’s, their rate of fire is their real drawback.
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Some of the most popular pistol replicas include Colt 1911’s, USP’s, Sig Sauer’s, Desert Eagle’s as well as the praised Tokyo Marui’s Original 5.1.
You’d think that with those awesome 450 High Capacity assault rifle mags, you are never going to run out of ammo. Hi capa’s are definitely worth the buy, yet the fact remains that pulling out your trusted sidearm will always be faster than a reload. My trusty TM 5.1 has saved me more than once in intense indoor battles.
There is nothing quite as fast, reliable and compact as a pistol sidearm. Additionally, sidearms are heavily used in close quarter combat where long rifle barrels can prove both cumbersome and revealing your position. A pistol’s small size and maneuverability make it very advantageous in tight spaces.
In fact, some specific situations and the right circumstances may offer the opportunity to turn a pistol into a stand-alone primary. These set-ups are usually reserved for close quarter battles only and require heavy upgrades to turn them into effective airsoft weaponry.
You can easily pick up a Tokyo Marui 5.1 for less than 0 and be confident that you’re purchasing one of the best airsoft pistols on the market today.
Yes, shotguns make for awesome secondaries, but they don’t come close to the ease of use of an airsoft handgun.
I’m sorry, but there is nothing more badass than a pistol hanging from your thigh holster. This is totally my own opinion, don’t talk back to me sniper and shotgun mains!
With the exception rare-ish/unnecessary-ish Automatic Electric Pistols, most airsoft pistols are semi-automatic and fire only as fast as you can pull the trigger.
Even Hi-Capa pistols can only hold around 30 rounds before they run out. No bueno compared to Hi-Capa rifles.
Unfortunately pistols (especially springers) are not a prudent economical choice. Very often their magazine or upgrade parts cost disproportionately more than the guns themselves. If you plan on building a pistol primary, be prepared to drop just as much on upgrades (if not more) as you did on the gun itself.
Unless you’re an airsoft pro like reddit user /u/lonex420, DO NOT try your hands at building a pistol primary 😉!
You can’t really go wrong with acquiring an airsoft pistol as a your secondary. You’ll somehow survive without one, but if you want to be a “real playa”; pick up one asap!
Beginners: PLEASE stay away from snipers.
Not only are snipers expensive, they are a completely different playstyle. Unless you’re very patient (I’m not) and able to sneak around (I really can’t), you’re most likely better off with an M16 in your hands.
Additionally, in order to be effective as a sniper, you’ll have to do some heavy customizing to your stock sniper. I’m talking in-depth knowledge about your gun, a huge budget, love & time for tinkering.
Bolt Action Sniper Rifles are mostly spring and gas powered, but electric snipers are sold as well. Popular stock purchases, for example: L96’s, VSR10’s,
If you want to outclass your AEG opponents, you’ll have to spend A LOT on your BASR. There really isn’t a compromise. You either have to go all in, or be stuck with shitty, underperforming parts. If you want your sniper to be accurate at 300 feet, expect to shell out a lot of money.
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The only purpose a sniper should have is accuracy at long range. Too often I see people modifying their snipers by prioritizing their muzzle velocity output. First comes accuracy, then stability, then FPS.
Good snipers are rare. People are rarely willing to shell out 0+ and invest all this time and effort into customizing and perfecting their rig.
There is nothing that comes close to the range of a well built, well customized BASR. Hits of up to 300 feet are possible, although built-out sniper will be most accurate at 200-250 feet.
Hunting down your prey beneath your immaculately crafted ghillie watching every leaf through your scope, just waiting for the right moment to pull the trigger as the apex predator you are. You are a god among men.
As I already mentioned, sniping in airsoft is expensive. Next to the price tag for a good sniper, you also have to buy ghillie, keep spare parts etc.
Building a well functioning sniper is no joke.
While your friends are running around and having fun, you’re laying on the ground in your sweaty ghillie waiting for an opponent to walk into your crosshair, trying not to get distracted by ants crawling up your pant leg.
Please make sure you’re 100% confident in your choice to play a sniper role.
If you’re convinced that sniping is what you want to do, if you have the time, willingness and money – go straight ahead and dive into the world of airsoft snipers.
They are something special, aren’t they…
First, forget everything you know about shotguns (except that you’ll look BALLER if you own one), airsoft shotguns have little to do with their real life cousins.
Where real shotguns shoot shells are filled with dozens of pellets, ordinary airsoft shotguns shoot good ol’ BBs. Fortunately, manufacturers have found a way to mimic real shotguns, at least to some extent.
Two forms of airsoft shotguns exist. Single and tri-burst. Single shot shotguns shoot one bb a time, while tri-shot shotguns shoot a burst of 3 BBs, in a triangle formation.
Shotguns are inherently single-shot guns. You have to pump or cock your shotgun before every shot. That’s just their nature. Due to this, there are both spring and gas powered shotguns available for sale.
A spring module, though completely useless in an assault rifle, is very much appreciated in shotguns. It keeps the price of the gun down and provides enough firepower.
Shotguns are used both as primaries and secondaries. I’m not sure I agree with the notion that shotguns should be used as primaries, especially in action packed spots where you want your teammates to be quick and reliable, but that’s just my opinion.
Unfortunately, any standard loadout which includes a shotgun has its drawbacks as I’ve shown below.
Primary/Secondary Bulky Heavy Low ROF Underpowered Unnecessary Perfect
| Rifle/Shotgun || ✓ || ✓ || ✓ || ✓ || || |
| Shotgun/Pistol || || || ✓ || ✓ || || |
| Rifle/Shotgun+Pistol || ✓ || ✓ || || || ✓ || |
| Rifle/Pistol || || || || || || ✓ |
Don’t take the above as gospel. I’m only trying to illustrate a point.
If you’re in an intense battle and don’t have the time to reload your primary or you’re out of ammo, the last thing you want is the slow rate of fire from a single action shotgun.
I should mention that gas shotguns can hold their own on the battlefields, especially if HPA tapped. Having said that, their low rate of fire, high cost (if HPA tapped) and lack of versatility makes them more suited for advanced players and not something a beginner should spend his money.
You can pick up an awesome M1014 Tri-shot spring powered shotgun for less than and immediately start clearing buildings with it.
Storming rooms like a maniac is quite a breather from regular, strategic and sometimes slow-paced airsoft gameplay.
It’s a friggin’ shotgun, do I need to say more?
Both gas and spring powered airsoft weapons fire immediately after you pull the trigger.
If you opt for a spring shotgun, you’ll never have to worry about batteries, gas or any other AEG and GBB related problems that might arise. No battery, no gas, no headaches.
Unless you can surprise your opponent and shoot first, you stand no chance. In outdoor play especially, shotguns just fade in comparison to AEG’s.
Springers are prone to wear and tear, better stock up on replacement parts. Don’t expect your shotgun to last for years.
Fun? – Definitely!
Effective? – Meh…
If you are an airsoft nut like me, you won’t listen to reason anyway and just buy as many guns as you can. Bless you, brother!
Back in the real world, guns are powered by explosions which send bullets flying for more than 2000 yards at speeds of up to 2500 miles/hour. That’s 4 times as fast as a the top speed of a Boeing 747!
In airsoft, we have to be a bit more careful about our propellant. In order to ensure the safety for those involved most airsoft guns shoot at around 350-400 FPS (around 1/11th of real firearms). Since gunpowder is out of the question, manufacturers opt for one of the three main propulsion strategies we talked about earlier.
As already discussed, electric and gas airsoft guns are widely favored over simple springers. In this section, we’ll take a more detailed look at what airsoft batteries and airsoft gas are and how they work inside our guns.
All electric airsoft gun motors are powered by batteries. If you want to be a responsible AEG owner, you have to know exactly what an airsoft battery is, how it works, how it should be charged, stored and used. Every airsoft player should get acquainted with batteries, if they want to be effective on and off the airsoft fields.
Airsoft batteries are a vast and fairly technical subject. Below, I provided a general overview on the topic. I made sure to include only the most important specifics, without going too deep into technicalities.
With that said, let’s get right into the technicalities and terminology, so we get those out of the way.
Electromotive force, measured in Volts. The higher the voltage, the faster your gun will shoot. I think of volts as the speed of my car. It’s potential energy. Be advised, just like with cars, you can’t simply install a Porsche engine in a Toyota Corolla and expect it to run smoothly. If your gun isn’t built to handle the force of a powerful battery, you’ll destroy your internals. Fortunately, you can always upgrade those internals by purchasing better parts.
Batteries consist of one or more electrochemical cells. Here is the cell & voltage for batteries used in airsoft.
Volts is expressed with the lowercase letter “v”.
Battery Per cell Per battery (Min-Max)
| Ni-Cad || 1.2v || 7.2v / 8.4v / 9.6v / 10.8v / 12.0v |
| Ni-Mh || 1.2v || 7.2v / 8.4v / 9.6v / 10.8v / 12.0v |
| Li-Po || 3.7v || 7.2v / 11.1v / 14.8v |
The milliampere-hour is a unit with which we define the electric charge over time. In simpler terms – mAH is the gas in my car’s tank. More mAH means you can operate your gun for longer periods of time. More mAH also means a bigger, more expensive battery and longer charging times.
On an average stock AEG, you can expect to lose around 1 mAh per trigger pull (semi-auto). If your battery is rated 1100 mAH, you’ll go through two or three Hi-Capa magazines before having to change out your battery.
Depending on your discharge rate, your wiring, your connectors, gun fuses, battery age, weather conditions and about a million other factors, this rate can fluctuate dramatically. For example: Li-Po’s, a type of battery explained below, have a higher discharge rate and use about half the mAH per trigger pull.
The charge and discharge rates of a your battery are measured in C-rates. The capacity of a battery is commonly rated at 1C (ie 1 Charge). If your battery is fully charged (1C) and is rated at 1100 mAH, it should provide 1100mA per hour (mA per hour= milliampere-hour). If you’re discharging that same full battery as “0.5C” it should provide 550mAh for two hours. Discharge it at 0.2C, it will deliver 220mAh for 5 hours.
A C-rate of 1C is also known as a one-hour discharge; 0.5C or C/2 is a two-hour discharge and 0.2C or C/5 is a 5-hour discharge. Some high-performance batteries can be charged and discharged above 1C with moderate stress.
| 5C || 12 min |
| 2C || 30 min |
| 1C || 1h |
| 0.5C or C/2 || 2h |
| 0.2C or C/5 || 5h |
| 0.1C or C/10 || 10h |
| 0.05C or C/20 || 20h |
I think of discharge rate as the acceleration of my car. The higher your C-rate, the faster you’ll use up your mAH. Cool thing about C rate is that even if you have a lower voltage battery, if your C rate is high enough – you’re still faster out of the gate.
Now that we have the most important terminology out of the way, let’s take a look at the three main types of batteries used in today’s airsoft world.
Ni-Cad (NyeCad) – Nickel Cadmium
Ni-Cad’s are an older technology, batteries which used to be popular a decade ago. Ni-Cad batteries have “memories”, you have to exhaust their charge completely before recharging, otherwise you cut their life by however much gas was left in the tank. Say you take a 100% charged Ni-Cad and discharge it down to 25%. If you plug it into your charger and charge it back up to full, the battery will lose the 25% that weren’t discharged before charging, forever.
They have a 10%/month self-discharge rate, meaning they lose 10% of their charge if you let them sit on a shelf, without touching them.
If charged too quickly or overcharged, Ni-Cad batteries can explode. Not very fun.
Unsurprisingly, Ni-Cad batteries are the cheapest of the bunch. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of cheaper and low quality guns come with Ni-Cad’s. Make sure you keep this in mind when making your purchase.
If someone recommends Ni-Cad’s to you, safely proceed to disregard all of their past, present and future advice. They don’t have your best interest in mind.
Ni-Mh (Nyme) – Nickel Metal Hydride
Ni-Mh batteries are the staple of AEG’s. They are considered superior to Ni-Cad’s in most aspects. Ni-Mh’s hold more charge, have no “memory” and can be overcharged without worry, which comes in handy as they also need longer to recharge.
Their cells are smaller, meaning your battery will take up less room. One of the drawbacks is that the energy discharge rate is lower than Ni-Cad’s which results in a lower ROF. They are a also marginally more expensive than Ni-Cad’s and have a self-discharge twice as fast as Ni-Cad’s.
The majority of today’s automatic electric guns come with Ni-Mh batteries stock.
Li-Po (Lypo) – Lithium Polymer
Li-po’s are the new kid on the block. Maybe “new diva” is a bit more accurate. This battery hold its charge for much longer, it recharges much faster, has no “memory” to speak of and is lighter in comparison.
Li-Po’s have much faster discharge rates, an average of 20C (ie. higher ROF). Li-po’s are are also more demanding when charging, but then have lower self-discharge rates (around twice as low as Nickel based batteries). Li-po’s perform much better in colder climates, in comparison to other batteries.
Faster discharge rates also means faster trigger response, very very useful if you’re up against a spring powered tri-shot for example. Input lag is super annoying and I hate it with a passion.
Li-Po cells hold 3 times the voltage, (3.7 per vs 1.2 per) which constrict configuration options. With Ni-Mh’s you can use 7.4v, 8.6v,9,8v on your stock AEG, while with Li-Po’s you can only use 7.2v. Theoretically you can install a 11.1v battery, but here comes another drawback of Li-Po’s – too much juice.
Off-the-shelf AEG’s are simply not designed to take 11.1v batteries with Li-Po level discharge rates. There is no such thing as a “Li-Po ready gun”. Unless you upgrade your parts, your electrical systems will not be able to handle the discharge rate without damaging your gun internals.
Understand this – the wear and tear on a gun using an 7.2v Li-Po is the same as on a gun that uses a 7.2 Ni-Mh, but due to the enormous discharge rate of a Li-Po you wear down your internals faster. Li-Po’s don’t do more damage, they do the same damage in less time.
These little dudes facilitate the connection between your battery wiring and your gun motor wiring. Think of them as the fuel nozzle that enables the flow of gas from the pump into your car.
Connectors are an often overlooked topic and considered trivial. In my opinion however, a basic understanding of battery connectors will make troubleshooting your battery much less of a headache should that need ever arise.
Tamiya connectors are mostly used in RC cars but also commonly found in generic airsoft gun batteries. The problem with Tamiyas is their cheap design. The prongs inside the housing might bend and hinder a stable connection, the plastic housing can fall of your wiring and disconnect, the clamp holding the two connectors might snap. Tamiya connectors are fragile. If you’re really into airsoft, it’s a matter of time before you break these connectors.
Also called T Plug Connectors, Deans connectors are preferred by most hobbyist and advanced airsoft players due to a more efficient connection which directly correlates to your gun performance . Deans are a very durable and stable connector and their compact size is always appreciated over a more bulky Tamiya.
Due to popular demand from the airsoft community I’ve decided to add a short paragraph on XT-60 connectors. Be aware that we’re getting into hobbyist territory. XT-60 connectors are superior to Tamiyas but virtually the same as Deans when it comes to performance. Their bulkiness is a double edged sword. While they may be more durable, they are also much bulkier and difficult to fit. XT-60s score big points with their usability. Easy to solder and disengage. A big drawback is that very few people use XT-60s in airsoft. This means if your battery fails, you won’t be able to connect a borrowed one to your XT-60 fitted gun.
JST’s are functionally very similar to Deans connectors in both their stability and compact size. JST connectors are more often used in HPA setups, for reasons which are entirely irrelevant to beginners.
Different battery types unsurprisingly require different chargers. Seeing as how you’ll be recharging your ordinary Ni-Mh battery quite often and because Li-Po charging is slightly more finicky, airsoft battery chargers are a fairy important topic.
For now, all you need to know is that chargers must always be battery specific. If you purchase a standalone battery, you MUST make sure that you also have a charger that is designed to charge that specific battery type.
Having said that, for those hobbyists with deep pockets, acquiring a multi-functional battery charger is definitely a viable option. Since most of you are beginners, just stick to the much cheaper and safer battery specific chargers.
Due to the large variety of airsoft gun models as well as the ability to rearrange battery cells, manufacturers have adopted several different staple cell configurations.
It’s important to have an understanding of battery configurations. Your typical AEG is likely to be able to accommodate only one specific configuration into its stock or fore grip.
In this battery, the cells are arranged in long line, forming a stick. These batteries are used in AEG’s which lack a sizable stock such as AK’s as they can easily fit into the dustcover.
This term usually specifies a battery configuration in which the battery cells connected in series but are placed in parallel groups of two forming a shorter andwider stick. Large batteries can be placed into the handguard of your typical AEG.
Also called nunchuk’s, crane batteries are configured into two separate, shorter sticks, connected by a wire. These are placed either into the handguard of the AEG or into a crane specific stock; a crane stock.
As with anything airsoft, custom configuration do exist but you shouldn’t worry about them if you’re new to airsoft and are just looking for a standard beginner AEG.
In comparison to batteries, gases are a much simpler and straightforward airsoft topic. GBB guns can be powered by one of two different gases: Green Gas and CO2. We’ll also take a look at Red Gas and Duster Gas as potential propellants. Yes, other gases do exist but again, as a beginner I would stick to the tried and tested.
Vapor Pressure is the pressure exerted by a vapor in its pressurized phase of a solid or a liquid, at any given temperature in a closed system (can/magazine). The vapor pressure indicated the liquid’s rate of evaporation once pressure is released. All airsoft gases are in a semi-liquid, semi-solid state in the cans and in the magazines.
Pound-force per square inch. A simple way to measure pressure and what I will use to express the different levels of vapor pressure of different gases.
Called “green” because of its friendliness to the environment, green gas is nothing more than a mixture of propane and silicon oil. As you may know, propane has a very strong, foul smell to it resembling rotten eggs. This is because manufacturers add Ethanethiol (commonly knows as ethyl mercaptan) to the naturally scentless propane in an effort to give it a distinct odor to alert people of dangerous leaks.
Green gas, to be used specifically for airsoft, doesn’t have such additives and is therefore odorless.
Green gas is the most popular gas in airsoft and most GBB guns are powered by it. You can, however, substitute the relatively more expensive Green Gas for pure propane. All you need to do is buy a propane adapter. Since you’ll be using regular propane tanks meant for a wide variety of uses, yo can expect that Ethanethiol has been added.
If you can stand the smell of rotten eggs (I couldn’t), you should expect to pay around 40%-50% less for the same amount of propellant. Keep in mind that propane is obviously highly flammable and should never be used near an open flame or while smoking.
For me, it wasn’t worth saving per can of gas. I’m going to stick to Green gas, thank you very much Mr Rotten Eggs.
How long does a can of green gas last? Depends a lot on your gun, but 2000-4000 fired rounds is a good range.
CO2 is the second most popular choice in gas blowback guns. What makes CO2 unique is the significantly greater pressure its under. CO2 is 7 times more pressurized than green gas. This means that, unless your gun is specifically made to withstand CO2 pressures, it will literally blow up in your hands. Let me say that again. Your gun and magazine need to be specifically designed for C02. DO NOT insert a C02 magazine into your regular GBB gun.
Because of this immense pressure, CO2 doesn’t come in a can, it comes in small prefilled 12 gram cartridges. As CO2 is widely used outside of airsoft, those cartridges are available everywhere, including your local Walmart.
Usually you’ll get around 80-100 shots out of a CO2 cartridge. This figure varies and can get down to 40 shots in really cold climates.
First and foremost, Red gas is banned in the United States. There is this notion that Red Gas is an improved, more powerful version of Green Gas. Sometimes beginners ask me where they can get their hand on this stuff.
For all intents and purposes, Red gas has NO advantages over Green gas. It is NOT designed specifically for airsoft. It’s NOT more powerful than Green Gas.
Red gas has been a very popular refrigerant and propellant in the past and is still very heavily used in developing countries. Due to its high ozone depletion potential and global warming potential, developed countries such as the US and the whole of Europe have been phasing out this gas over the past 10 years. Beginning in 2004, the Montreal Protocol (ozone layer protection) required the US to reduce its use of Red Gas by 35%, then 90% by 2015 and 99.5% by 2020.
As you’ll see in my comparison below, there truly is no reason to ever use Red Gas.
Ever needed to clean your PC? This is probably what you would have used. Duster Gas, also mistakenly called compressed air or canned air, is often used to clean electronics or other sensitive appliances that can’t be cleaned with water. It’s available at any office depot, staples etc.
Duster gas is usually mixed with HFC-134a, a popular refrigerant and propellant with negligible ozone depletion potential. HFC-134a is the main reason why airsoft players sometimes use Duster Gas for their gas guns, as HFC-134a does not come as a standalone airsoft gas.
I’d like to point out that inhaling this gas is very dangerous and may lead to nerve damage, paralysis, serious injury, or death. Please stay safe.
Most gas duster cans do not come with a nozzle suitable to fill an airsoft magazine, so you either have to purchase an adapter or put in a suitable nozzle yourself.
Bottom line is, gas dusters are neither more powerful nor cheaper, nor more convenient than Green Gas or CO2. Combine that with the potential dangerous of inhaling it and it’s a clear zero in my book.
An easy way to compare the different gases is to take a look at their pressure at different temperatures. The vapor pressure in the table below, expressed in PSI, give an accurate idea of how powerful the different gases are and how they should behave in comparison to each other. Temp °FGreen Gas (Propane)CO2Red Gas (HFC-22)Duster Gas (HFC-134a)
| 30 || 69 || 491 || 55 || 26 |
| 40 || 81 || 569 || 69 || 35 |
| 50 || 95 || 655 || 84 || 45 |
| 60 || 111 || 750 || 102 || 57 |
| 70 || 128 || 855 || 121 || 71 |
| 80 || 148 || 971 || 144 || 86 |
| 90 || 169 || 1100 || 168 || 104 |
| 100 || 193 || 1251 || 196 || 124 |
Right away we can infer several things.
First, there is a direct correlation between weather conditions and vapor pressure and ultimately your gun’s power output. This is nothing new, but probably the most important fact you need to remember.
Second, CO2 is under immense pressures. When it’s a nice 80 °F outside, CO2 is approximately 6.6 times more pressurized than Green gas. This pressure translates into higher muzzle velocity. In my personal tests, I’ve concluded that CO2 powered guns are approximately 80-120 FPS faster than Green Gas/Propane powered guns.
Third, Green gas performs better in the cold than Red gas and equals out at warmer temperatures. In theory Red Gas will surpass Green Gas in terms of PSI, at temperatures over 95 °F. In practice, it’s no ground to break the law and hurt our ozone layer. Besides, I’m guessing you’re not playing on the sun’s surface…
Fourth, duster gas packs around half the punch of Green gas at lower temperatures. You can expect your gun to shoot around 90-140 FPS less than Green Gas/Propane. Yet another reason to stay away from using “canned air” as a propellant for airsoft.
Finally a topic that does not include physics! I have a secret to share, I love talking about BBs (ball bearings), also called pellets. It’s a very simple yet vital topic in airsoft, as a good understanding of the different BB types will give you a noticeable advantage over your opponents. For example:
When good teams play each other at night, tracer BBs can sometimes be the deciding factor between a game-winning hit or a pissed of tree branch. Low-quality BBs will both hurt your game as well as wreak havoc on your gun internals. The difference in range between a.30g and.40g BB is imperative for any sniper to know.
Psst! If you’re looking to purchase awesome BBs, make sure you check out my best BBs review guide!
The FPS of your airsoft gun is the most important factor when considering your BB choice. In fact, it’s all that matters. The more powerful your airsoft weaponry, the heavier BBs it can shoot. If your gun isn’t powerful enough, the BBs will plop out of your barrel and land short of their target. If your gun is powerful but you’re using BBs which are too light, you’re doing yourself a major disservice and sacrificing both accuracy and range.
Pellet Weight to FPS
| Up to 250 || 0.12g |
| 280-350 || 0.20g |
| 350-400 || 0.25g |
| 400-450 || 0.28g |
| 450-500 || 0.30g |
| 500-600 || 0.36g |
| 600-650 || 0.40g |
| 650-700 || 0.43g |
When you go into the different BB weights below, reference this table. Please keep in mind it’s only a general guide. Each airsoft gun is unique and while FPS is the main factor when it comes to BBs – I urge you to test and experiment yourself!
As you might have already noticed, airsoft can get fairly technical and complex at times. I always do my best to illustrate concepts in easy to understand terms; I realize I sometimes do fail.
However! You have my promise that, on the subject of BBs, there will be no terminology, no physics and no car analogies!
Sit back and let me teach you a thing or two about our ammo!
There are several types of BBs you can use with your gun. For the most part standard or biodegradable (my preference and recommendation) BBs should do just fine. For the sake of being informative and exhaustive, I’ve listed some other, more unique BBs available for sale.
Personally, I would classify the standard BB as one that lacks any features.
Also called “Precision” or “High-Grade” (just buzzwords), they have a petroleum-based center surrounded by a non-degradable plastic layer. Standard BBs come in all weights and are the most common airsoft pellet used indoors. Due to their plastic and petroleum make up, these BBs pose are harmful to the environment, as they may take hundreds of years to decompose on their own.
Due to their lack of features, standard BBs are the cheapest of the bunch.
I promised no physics, I never mentioned Biology!
Jokes aside, biodegradability is concept which is very dear to my heart and one which I’ll always push as hard as I can. In short, biodegradable BBs are designed to compost with time, leaving no trace or plastic which may harm animals and pollute our environment.
In comparison to the Standard BBs,Bio BBs are produced with a homogeneous resin, which composts into the soil without posing any harm to the environment.
A lot of outdoor airsoft fields nowadays only allow Biodegradable airsoft pellets to be used.
Lower quality bio BBs are sometimes more brittle and biodegrade much slower than their high quality counterparts. Always make sure you know exactly what BB you’re buying before you hit that buy button.
Biodegradable airsoft BBs are slightly more expensive, but it’s a very very minuscule price to pay to ensure that future generations can enjoy nature as we do. Please always opt for high quality biodegradable BBs. Thank you!
Also called “glow-in-the-dark”, Tracer pellets are used together with an airsoft tracer unit, which disguised as a suppressor, that “charges” the photoluminescent BBs as they exit your barrel. As they fly through the air they emit an awesome looking bright green light.
Tracer BBs are used predominantly during night skirmishes to better see where you’re shooting. Unfortunately, tracer BBs are a double edged sword, as your opponent will immediately spot your position.
Tracer BBs are more expensive than both standard and Bio BBs, but the real cost is the tracer unit which can run from all the way up to 0.
Non-traceable BBs are a fancy way to call black standard BBs. There is a good reason why 90% of all BBs are white – they are easy to spot. Black BBs on the other hand are very difficult to see which helps you disguise your position as you’re raining hell on your opponents.
Because of this, black BBs are often preferred by snipers, for which positioning is imperative. Keep in mind that if the enemy can’t spot your BBs, you can’t either. Once the pellet leaves your gun, it’s going to be very difficult for you to determine whether you hit your opponent. This may cause issues if you’re up against unknown player who like to cheat and not call their hits. Something to keep in mind.
Me personally, I think black BBs are useless. The concept of stealthy BBs is unnecessary, by the time your opponent sees your BBs flying at him – it’s most likely to late for him to react anyway. Not to mention, in the heat of battle, the color of the BBs is of little importance.
An argument can be made for snipers, but for most of you who play with rifles or smgs – invest your money in better parts instead of non-traceable BBs.
Marking BBs are coated in a colored powder that leaves a residue when they hit their target. Marking BBs can be used both for testing gun accuracy as well as during actual games, as a way to deter cheaters from not calling their shots. Then again, not everybody is ok with having powder all over them and even if so – a quick pat down will remove most of the powder from clothes, defeating the purpose.
The real problem with marking BBs stems from the fact that, as you shoot, some of the powder will scrape off the BB and remain in your gun. As you continue shooting you will experience jamming as the powder builds up. This will inevitably lead to massive damage to your gun internals.
Better to use standard targets or a recording to do a quick accuracy check.
Metal BBs do exist
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