How to Choose Your First Airsoft Gun


How to Choose Your First Airsoft Gun


To know how to choose your first airsoft gun, it would be good to know some basics before buying. There are many high quality airsoft guns to consider; but which one is the best one for you, and what equipment and accessories will you need? Airsoft guns are replicas to scale of real firearms shooting six-millimeter pellets. Though they are not real guns, they can be dangerous if not handled properly so safety should always be a concern.


Safety First


Airsoft guns realistic appearance means you should always be mindful of local laws in your area and those in your environment. Carrying one, or more, around in the open could alarm people and law enforcement who are unaware you are not carrying a real gun. All airsoft guns sold in the United States are equipped with an orange tip by law to identify them as one, but that is not always enough.


Choosing an Airsoft Gun – Three Basic Types of Airsoft Guns


Just as real firearms come in a large number of major categories, so do airsoft guns.


  • Sniper rifles

  • SMG

  • Assault rifles

  • Machine Guns

  • Shotguns

  • Pistols


Spring Powered


galaxy-g13-full-metal-1911-style-airsoft-pistol-2-68032.1415723609.1280.1280.jpgThe original airsoft gun used for airsoft gaming is generally reliable and offers a decent amount of firepower for its price. Upgrading is readily available to make your gun more powerful and spring powered airsoft guns have a lower risk of harming the environment. Being a cost effective choice, since on the lower end of pricing, makes spring powered models popular. However, unlike the gas and electric models, these do not have an automatic firing feature.


  • Most basic type

  • Viewed as entry level airsoft gun (except for some sniper rifles)

  • Use spring action to fire plastic pellets

  • Cock and fire – mechanical power – action required to fire each pellet



  • Generally least expensive option

  • Does not require batteries – no recharging

  • Power source is unlimited – manual cocking to fire

  • Many upgrades available – possible to increase to a powerful airsoft gun (on higher end spring powered guns)

  • Works in hot, cold, dry and wet weather conditions

  • Perfect as a starter for new airsoft gun owners

  • Some models are very powerful sniper rifles



  • Must be manually cocked prior to every shot

  • Not available in semi-automatic or automatic firing capabilities

  • Low cost models generally have a short life expectancy

  • More common in plastic than metal

  • Spring action is not always quiet and location disclosure is possible


Gas Powered


cz-p09-sportline-5-30332.1459789833.1280.1280.jpgGas powered airsoft guns are available in several models – most common are propane, CO2 or gas, blowback or non-blowback – and use compressed carbon dioxide or compressed gas, propelling the pellet from the barrel. The gas also moves the slide and loads the next round on co2 blowback models.




  • Nonblowback gas airsoft guns look and feel less realistic than blowback guns do.

  • Nonblowback guns are powerful and conserve gas more than blowback guns.

  • Multiple types of compressed gas used to fire BBs

  • Viewed as intermediate to advanced airsoft guns

  • Popular for outdoor target shooting & training

  • Most are semi-automatic

  • Some are available fully automatic

  • Green gas or CO2 are most common propellants. Propane can also be used in some gas models.

  • Nitrogen, CO2 and HFC134a refrigerant also useable – R-12 (red gas) aresols violate US EPA regulations

  • Some models can use more than one type of gas



  • Semi-automatic firing capabilities

  • Automatic firing capabilities

  • AEG’s constraints makes gas powered airsoft pistols popular due to size

  • Pistol blowback feature – places pellet automatically for next shot, highly popular feature

  • More realistic and most versatile option

  • Usually costs less than AEGs



  • Gas can freeze causing malfunctions

  • Gas canisters can be costly

  • Power is not unlimited

  • Spare gas canisters are required for lengthy gaming

  • Many gases are harmful to the environment – check local, state and federal laws

  • Gas clouds can happen giving up your location

  • Propane use requires an adapter

  • More expensive than spring powered airsoft guns

  • Sensitive to outside air temperature


Automatic Electric


  • Most popular

  • Available in rifle or pistol styles

  • Runs on electric motor

  • Rechargeable batteries

  • Equipped with a gearbox – 3 gears works with a piston pushing against a spring to launch the pellet

  • Launch pellets at the rate of around 250 feet to 500 feet per second

  • Effective range of 100-200 feet

  • Available materials – metal and plastic



  • Commonly available in metal for more realistic feel

  • Preferred for field gamers – especially airsoft rifles

  • Manual cocking not required

  • Rapid semi-automatic firing capabilities

  • Automatic firing capabilities

  • Quiet

  • Useable in hot and cold weather conditions

  • Many upgrade options available



  • Multiple use requires recharging

  • Battery life differs depending on battery

  • Known to malfunction in wet conditions

  • Electric airsoft pistol has a toy like appearance

  • Magazine & battery space is restricted on pistols



  • Metal gearboxes – produce more power, more expensive, allow faster firing

  • Plastic gearboxes – produce less power, less expensive, slower firing


 Where to start on how to choose your first airsoft gun may seem a little overwhelming with all the guns on the market; but researching will simplify your search for you. Information on the airsoft guns you favor and learning all you can will help insure you make an informed decision on the best airsoft gun, accessories and gear that is right for you.