What is Airsoft?
Airsoft is an extremely popular sport which involves teams of players shooting at each other (in a manner similar to paintball) with non-lethal spherical plastic or metal bullets using a pretend gun, which is mostly made out of plastic. These airsoft guns have also been extensively used for hunting and target practise purposes since handling a real weapon is extremely hazardous. Unlike paintball, the bullets used (also called BB's) don't leave any blotches of paint, making it a lot less messy. Most of the guns you see in movies or your favourite TV shows are in fact airsoft guns due to their safety, cheap price tag and realism. CGI and various digital effects are then added to mimic actual fire arms.
When I was a little kid, I used to go everywhere with a mini airsoft pistol in my hand. It had a cartridge which could hold about 15 pellets and I remember shooting everything that was within plain sight. When I grew up to be a teenager, me and my buddies used to stroll out to the woods with the airsoft rifles in our hands, our pockets full of BB's, feeling like a bunch of badasses on a mission, and we played tactical games where one group were the bad guys and the other group were the good guys. Airsoft really helps inculcate skills such as leadership, bravery and friendship. Back in those days, our choices were limited and we had to make do with whichever type of gun was available. It was mostly restricted to pistols, rifles and a shotgun or two(which failed to work most of the time).
But due to the recent boom in the sports and recreational activities industry, including our beloved airsoft, there has been a tremendous increase in the number, types and companies producing these airsoft guns. There are AEG(Airsoft Electric guns), AEP(Automatic Electric Power guns), Gas guns, Pistols, Shotguns, Submachine guns, Sniper rifles and a ton more.
Therefore I felt the need to sit down and write this airsoft buying guide which will help you make wise decisions as to which airsoft gun to choose, let it be for amateur or professional games and make sure you get the best value for as little as possible.
These guns will not kill you, but do hurt quite a bit if you do not wear the proper protective gear. Therefore you need to consider buying protective helmets, vests and pads to save yourself from unnecessary bodily harm. Safety is the number one priority!
1. BBTac Airsoft Gun M82 Fully Automatic AEG
The BBTac M82 AEG is one of my favourite airsoft weapons of choice. It is an AEG(Automatic Electric Gun) which means it uses rechargeable batteries to power an electric motor which in turn cycles an internal pistons enabling the gun to rapidly shoots a bunch of pellets at a time. The AEG's are the most commonly used types of airsoft guns.
WHY DO I LIKE THIS GUN?
- Contents: In the box, we get a 7.2 Ni - CD rechargeable battery which can be fully charged up in about 3 hours, an adjustable red dot sight(which I sadly did not receive), silencer, BB's for the gun, flash muzzler and the gun has a selector switch which enables you to switch from fully automatic to semi automatic.
- Looks: Right out the box, this gun looked gorgeous. It felt like I was actually holding the real gun itself and not some pretend replica. It is made out of high grade ABS plastic and has a nice heavy feel to it. I dropped this beast a couple of times and sure, there were a couple of indents, but the gun was perfectly functional. It is very durable and so don't be shy of using it roughly.
- Performance: The thing that really caught my attention(in a good way) was the amazing sound. It felt so realistic that I was having second thoughts as to whether this gun was an airsoft gun! the speed loader could hold 30 BB's and the gun was very accurate every from 60 feet away. It has a fold-able stock and has an average velocity of 200 FPS.
This gun surely will up your game and I recommend it for amateurs and professionals alike. It is decently priced at $59 and is a bang for the buck.
2. Crosman Stinger P311 Airsoft Pistol
No shooting sport is complete without a good old handy pistol. The Crosman Stinger is admittedly the best airsoft pistol that I've used in a quite a while. Most of these pistols are based on steel spring power source which packs a serious punch (literally).
WHY DO I LIKE THIS PISTOL?
- Looks and Feel: The Stinger is about 9 inches long and weighs only half a pound. It is extremely durable and comes with a 12 round magazine. It fits perfectly in my hand and works well with any sort of holster. Since it is based on a spring powerplant, you need to cock it and then shoot. I would rate it a 4.5/5 when it comes to looks and user aesthetics.
- Performance: Looks can be deceiving. Even though this gun looks tiny in comparison with most other guns, it packs some serious firepower. It has a velocity of 325 FPS all thanks to the spring powered repeater. You can shoot multiple bb's depending on the number of time you pump it. The gun itself is very accurate and can be used to supplement or a side arm to other airsoft guns and rifles. In terms of performance, I rate it a solid 5/5.
Overall, I'd say this pistol is quite a steal at $16.
3. Marines Airsoft SR01 Spring Powered Rifle
The spring powered airsoft pistols and rifles were the most common type of airsoft guns in the good old days. They are single-shot devices which use elastic potential energy(EPE) which is stored in a spring and is used to compress air which then launches the pellet from the barrel of the gun. These guns have to be cocked prior to every shot in order to reload the spring. These are considerably less expensive compared to their electric counterparts and I found the Marines Airsoft SR01 to be the best spring powered rifle that I've used in quite a while.
WHY DO I PREFER THIS RIFLE?
- Looks: When I first took the gun out of the box, I immediately noticed how light yet sturdy it was. It has flip up sights and there is knob on the rear sight which allows you to change the size/accuracy of the sight. It also had a folding stock which makes it very compact for close combat and scores big on the portability factor. An additional but cool features is the tactical rail attachments.
- Features: The actual clip of the gun holds about 18 rounds whereas the reservoir magazine holds a staggering 350 pellets. It sports a repeater mechanism which is powered by a spring. It weighs a decent 2 pounds and shoots an average of 300-325 FPS depending on the BB's.
- Performance: Even after 2 months of vigorous use, this gun still delivers almost perfect accuracy with exceptional consistency upto 100-150 feet. Cocking and loading this gun is a breeze compared to most other spring rifles and I personally have faced no problems whatsoever. I recommend using 0.2 gram bb's for the best experience.
Overall, this gun has passed my test with flying colors and I rate it 4.5/5.
4. UTG Gen 5 AccuShot Competition Master Sniper Rifle
In the era of fine precision shooting, one cannot just restrict their choices to pistols or rifles. They need to step up their game and go for the more advanced sniper rifles. Sniper rifles cut down on the portability factor in order to enhance their accuracy, power and velocity. When it comes to choosing the right sniper rifle, I have always preferred to go with the UTG Gen 5 AccuShot since it is the best in its class in terms of both performance and looks.
WHY DO I PREFER THIS SNIPER RIFLE?
- Contents: The box contains the metal barrel, the trigger box and the stock along with a speedloader, stackable pads, bipod for stability and a scope and the usual instruction manual. You may have to purchase your own scope if you really need it.
- Looks: As you can probably tell, it looks exactly like a sniper rifle. It has a really sturdy feel to it which is mostly due to the metal parts and has quite a bit of weight too. It is very easy to assemble and is surprisingly very quiet(which is quite unusual for a sniper rifle).
- Performance: The UTG is a gen 5 bolt action sniper rifle which can shoot upwards of 450 FPS (tested with .2g bb's) and is extremely accurate in hitting targets which are 100-150 ft far easily. Just like the other guns listed in this review, it is very sturdy and can be manhandled without fear and worries. I'd recommend modding this gun to get the most out of it.
Although it may be a little bit more expensive compared to ordinary rifles, it sure is on a whole new level. I'd give it a solid 5/5.
5. UTG Multi-Shot Combat Airsoft Shotgun
There are many airsoft shotguns in the market, many of which are not very reliable and are an absolute nightmare to use. After trying out many (emphasis on many) shotguns, the UTG multi-shot shotgun was the only gun which I found reliable, accurate and very easy to use.
WHY DO I PREFER THIS SHOTGUN?
- Looks and Feel: The thing that immediately sticks out about this gun is its perfect weight, sturdiness and the solid buttstock. When you hold it, it feels like you're holding a real remmington (minus the orange tip). At first, the gun is a little bit tough to pump but as time progresses, it gets much better. The gun comes with 3 shells and each shell can hold up to 10 bb's.
- Performance: The UTG shotgun uses a tension spring operated mechanism which enables it to shoot 3 burst rounds of bb's at a time. It can shoot 100-120ft which is very impressive for an airsoft shotgun. It shoots at about 330-350 FPS (tested with .2g bb's) and is very accurate up to 100ft.
Overall, this gun shoots every other shotgun out the water when it comes to price-performance ratio. I rate it a decent 4/5.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Rakshith MG