So you’ve decided to purchase an airsoft gun! Things to think about before you drop money at the register: the type of field you’ll be playing at, your competition level, the level you want to play at and the budget you have set for your new gun. These are important factors to think about before spending your money and making the comparison between a spring gun, an AEG or a gas gun will help you make your choice.
Spring guns are the most readily available and affordable guns. They are manually powered by pumping the spring and the bb then fires from the barrel with the trigger pull. Your rate of fire is only as fast as you can pump the spring.
PROS OF SPRING:
- Most affordable
- You don’t need a battery or charger so there is unlimited play so long as you have enough bbs!
- Can be used in any weather circumstance
- Great option for young new airsoft players
- Lightweight, typically smaller and little to no recoil
- Certain high-end spring models like bolt action sniper rifles can reach upwards of 700 fps
CONS OF SPRING:
- Must manually cock your gun each time you want to shoot
- No semi or full auto firing option
- Do not tend to hold up well to extended use and will break down quickly
- Made of plastic with plastic internals means once the gun breaks- it cannot be fixed by a technician
LOW END AUTOMATIC ELECTRIC GUNS (AEG):
The AEG is the most common airsoft gun on the market. These guns run on an electric motor and require the use of a battery. These batteries will need to be charged and occasionally replaced. Like a spring gun, AEG guns run on a spring, however they possess a gearbox comprised of 3 gears and a piston which together, propel the bb through the barrel. Most often, these guns have the magazine disguised as a scope while the battery mimics the look of a magazine.
PROS OF LOW END AEG:
- These guns are typically sold at Wal-Mart or other sporting goods stores
- They are easily accessible and very affordable
- They provide an increased level of play from the solely spring gun
CONS OF LOW END AEG:
- Typically made of cheap plastic with plastic internals which break quickly and easily
- Once broken- they cannot be fixed
- The batteries that accompany these guns are specific to that gun and cannot be replaced
- They don’t often reach a high FPS
HIGH END AUTOMATIC ELECTRIC GUNS (AEG):
High end AEGs utilize the same internals as the low end AEGs except they are extremely upgraded and comprised of full metal gearbox internals encased in strong polycarbonate. The gears and piston are joined by a sophisticated hop up unit which draws the bb into the chamber and are then pushed out the barrel by the spring and piston.
PROS OF HIGH END AEGS:
- Commonly available in a hard polycarbonate plastic body – realism is key!
- The most common airsoft gun type for players
- Capable of semi-auto and full-auto firing
- Easily upgradable internals to increase rate of fire
- External attachment upgrades can be added
- Can be used in hot and cold weather conditions
- Battery can be upgraded to LiPo to increase rate of fire
CONS OF HIGH END AEGS:
- The battery will need to be recharged periodically
- The battery may need to be completely replaced if you overcharge or burn it out
- Can malfunction in wet conditions
- Needs to be cleared of debris and oiled
GAS POWERED GUNS:
Gas guns are often seen as the go-to for experienced airsofters or those who are looking to get as close to a live fire shooting experience as possible. When it comes to gas guns there are important things to remember: STAY AWAY FROM “RED GAS” or R-12 liquid propellants as it violates EPA regulations, is illegal and can damage your gun. Stick to Green Gas or propane with an adapter.
PROS OF GAS GUNS:
- Realistic field stripping
- Realistic weight and feel
- Heavy recoil
- Preferred secondary weapon
- Can come with full-auto capabilities
- Rifles have realistic bolt action and lock back with empty magazines
- Do not require winding of magazines
CONS OF GAS GUNS:
- Can malfunction in cold weather since the gas can freeze or drop in density
- Must purchase green gas or propane
- Will need to carry additional canisters of gas
- You will need a propane adapter if you choose to use propane gas
- Must clean and maintain gas guns like live fire weapons
While all airsoft guns provide their own level of fun, one type may be better for your needs, skill level, and ability to maintain the equipment properly. Visit your local airsoft proshop like VIPAirsoft to find a gun that suits your needs!