Tech Tips: The last gearbox instructional you’ll ever need!

Our lead technician Josh takes you through this in-depth video on everything you’ll ever need to know about your M4 airsoft gearbox. How do they work? How to take them apart? Tips, tricks and hints galore!

The video may be long, but it is chock full of great information. A definite “FAVORITE” and a video you can come back to again and again.

If you still have additional questions or want to suggest another video for our techs to provide, email us at info@vipairsoft.net!

VIP Tech Tips: How to Change an Outer Barrel

So last time we showed you how to change you inner barrel, and now we’re gonna walk you through changing your outer barrel as requested by one of our YouTube subscribers.

Helpful tools to have:
1. AR Wrench (Also known as a Delta Wrench)
2. 3/32nd Punch (if you have an A2 Front forward triangle site)
3. Vice
4. Patience

Please remember- these higher end airsoft guns are durable, yet fragile. If you aren’t comfortable or confident completing any of these TechTips, please find a technician to complete the work for you. An important note for new gun buyers: most manufacturers will not warranty out your gun or any parts if you broke it while trying to mess with it yourself, but they will warranty it if a technician at a certified airsoft company does.

Don’t forget that you can reach out to our technicians with your questions or suggestions for new Tech Tips! They will be more than happy to answer questions like “I want to switch from a A2 Front Site to a quad rail system. What will I need?” or “Will this rail system work for my rifle?” or our personal favorite… “I [verb]ed my gun into [object] and now the barrel is bent/curves to the side. What do I do?” (The answer to that last one is get a new inner and outer barrel, cus you done broke your gun. Like broke broke your gun.)

Stay tuned for more Tech Tips!

HEAD TECHS: ben@vipairsoft.net and josh@vipairsoft.net

KWA Downloadable Manuals!

KWA DOWNLOADABLE MANUALS!

There was an overwhelming “Hurray!” with the Echo1 manuals, so here more helpful downloads for those of you who carry a KWA! Be on the lookout for more brands and their manuals!

Click the gun you have and get your manual.

Gun Manual Pic 1911MK Gun Manual Pic ATP Gun Manual Pic KZ75Gun Manual Pic M226Gun Manual Pic M9PTP Gun Manual Pic TT33Gun Manual Pic M93RGun Manual Pic M11A1Gun Manual Pic KMP9Gun Manual Pic KrissGun Manual Pic CQR Gun Manual Pic KM16 Gun Manual Pic LM4 PTR Gun Manual Pic LM4PTS   Gun Manual Pic RIS Gun Manual Pic SR7 Gun Manual Pic SR10Gun Manual Pic Commando

ENJOY!!

If you’re looking to purchase one of these guns or you need them repaired, VIPAirsoft Arena has 4 on-site airsoft technicians who can definitely help you out! We sell a ton of upgrades, internals, externals and have a great working relationship with our distributors and manufacturers to get you what you need!

VIPAIRSOFT ARMORY ONLINE PROSHOP IS NOW AVAILABLE!!

ADVANCED TIPS 2: Upgrading Your Gun

So you bought a great gun, but now you’ve grown tired of it. It doesn’t shoot as quickly or perform the way you want anymore. Instead of buying a new gun- upgrade it! But where do you start? Just like a new car being brought into the shop, you don’t want to spend a ton of money on parts you don’t need or are unnecessary. You just want it to go from good to amazing.

Some players choose to purchase a high end gearbox, while others just upgrade their existing gearbox through new bearings and shimming. Upgrading gearboxes can be confusing with a wide array of parts, choices, brands, fittings, and terminology. Knowing the type of parts that work for your gearbox and which will parts will give you the performance enhancements you’re looking for, will help you get the most for your money. Get to know your local airsoft technician if you’re still unsure, and they’ll help you choose the best bang for your buck.

TYPES OF UPGRADES:

GG CM16 TAN - LRG

External Upgrades
         These are the aesthetic enhancements to the look and body of your gun. Plastic to PolyCarb to Metal bodies, RIS Rail systems, stocks, hand guards, motor grips, selectors, extensions and silencers. Most have no real impact on the overall performance of your gun.

External changes will enhance the realistic look, feel and ergonomics of your AEG airsoft gun.

Choosing your external parts can be confusing as to whether it will fit your existing gun and add/decrease the overall weight ratios. First, its best to check for compatibility by simply checking if the packaging states a type/model (M4, G36, AK47, etc).

Body Style
Upgrading from a polycarbonate to a metal body style will not only add a more realistic look and feel, but it will also improve your gun’s durability. Metal adds an extra amount of protection for your gearbox and will be tighter around the shell keeping your gearbox from rocking back and forth in the receiver.

RIS Rail Systems
          A rail system will give you more space to add accessories like sights, scopes, flashlights, lasers and lower hand grips. Rails provide ample opportunities for customization of your gun. Many companies offer rails in body polycarb and metal and you can choose from single, double, triple or quad set rails.

Grips/Stocks
          Changing your grip can make a huge difference in the comfort of your gun- important for long airsoft scrimages. Choosing a new stock that adapts to your needs and fits comfortably against your shoulder will also improve overall comfort and if your accessories work the way you need- you’ll love your gun even more!

V2 Gearbox

Internal Upgrades
          These upgrades are the parts that will directly affect the way your gun runs and fine tuning these parts are the key to getting your gun to peak performance. You’ll want to consult an airsoft technician for the parts you’ll need and to assist in some of the upgrades. Upgrading bushing sizes will require you to drill and gradient into your gearbox shell and shimming is an art that takes patience and a keen eye/ear.

Upgrading Rate of Fire
          To upgrade your ROF, it is highly recommended not to use a spring tension any higher than an M100. This will help relieve the wear and tear on your gears and piston while allowing your motor to cycle through faster. It will also take some wear off your motor since it won’t have to work harder to pull the spring. You’ll also want to consider a high speed steel gear set at a higher ratio, upgraded lightweight piston, ball bearing bushings at either a 6mm or 8mm setup, and a high speed motor. Remember to shim, shim, shim that gearbox! These upgrades will help add 8-15 round per second increase to your ROF!

Upgrading FPS Limits
          While increasing FPS can also increase range, you’ll want to check with your local field and check on the requirements and regulations so you don’t spend the time and money and not be able to use your gun. To increase your FPS, you’ll want to look into a spring tensioned at M110 or higher depending on the FPS you’re looking for. You’ll also want to consider a high torque steel gear set set at a higher ratio, spring guide, reinforced steel piston and a high torque motor. These changes will get you an increase of 20-100FPS (depending on the original AEG set up and the spring tension).

Increasing Range
          So you want to be a sniper without the sniper rifle, you’ll need to look at the two main components: your hop-up and a tight bore inner barrel. The best Hop-Ups are made of metal and are CNC machined; some have external O-rings which can provide maximum air compression, but the external o-rings are not always necessary. A tight bore barrel can drastically improve your accuracy and your range by keeping the bb from jostling against the barrel sides and by decreasing the air pressure loss in the space between the bb and the barrel edge. This tighter space will keep all the air pressure behind the bb pushing it further and harder. Tight bore barrels require the use of high quality BB as well as rigorous cleaning to prevent bb scoring. Tight bore barrels are available from 6.04mm – 6.01mm; the small the inner diameter of the barrel, the more consistent your range and accuracy will be, but it also means that dirty or imperfect bbs will jam MUCH easier!

389151_3417560879510_1717649243_n

Now that you’re knowledgable about the ways to customize, personalize and enjoy your existing AEG, go out and make the gun you LOVE and couldn’t imagine playing without!

*Remember that these upgrades are only recommendations and not every upgrade is necessary. Consult with an airsoft technician you trust to find the best configuration for your needs and your wallet. Some upgrades will require prerequisite upgrades or companion upgrade parts to keep your gun from destroying itself. (ie. Don’t upgrade your gears or motor without also upgrading your piston, otherwise you risk stripping out your piston.)

BEGINNER TIPS 3: Your Warranty

Voided warranties can cause a lot of anxiety to new gun buyers. Manufacturer warranties can be extremely easy to invalidate based on different actions or changes to the equipment. Many new gun buyers forget that their guns are complex pieces of machinery when in fact; they are realistic replicas with sophisticated firing systems and fragile internals. For these reasons, many manufacturers impose strict warranty rules to their high-end equipment. Remember to carefully read through your warranty manual to ensure you understand all the limitations of your warranty in case anything breaks.

There are four core rules that will not only help keep your guns in tip-top shape, but will also help keep your warranty valid should anything break down.

 

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TAKE APART YOUR GUN ON YOUR OWN: 

Unless you are an airsoft technician, you shouldn’t attempt to take your gun apart or perform any upgrades on your own. High-end airsoft guns are complex machines that have very intricate gearbox internals. Many new players figure- “I can just watch a YouTube video and I’ll know how to do it myself!” but in reality, most of the players recording those YouTube videos are very familiar with their equipment.

If you feel the need to make changes within the first 30-45 days of buying your gun, find an airsoft technician to help you make any alterations you desire. If you attempt to tinker with the internals of your gun on your own, you risk losing important small internal mechanisms, causing irreversible damage and voiding your warranty.

Version-2-GearboxCR_G12V01 USP_MATCH

 

USE ONLY HIGH QUALITY “PRECISION GRADE” BBS:

  • Only use precision or match grade, high density, seamless and polished bbs. You don’t want to see any seams, bubbles or dents in your bbs
  • Cheap bbs, like those sold at Wal-Mart and other sporting good stores, will cause irreparable damage to your gun internals and void your warranty!
  • Most often, brightly neon colored bbs are made of a cheap light-weight plastic and will break within your gearbox causing bb shards to lock up your gearbox.
  • Do not reuse your bbs after they have been fired or have been rolling around on the ground. These bbs can be compromised by stress from the gearbox, dented from the ricochet, or have gathered dirt and debris from the ground causing gams and internal damage.
  • Do your research and only purchase bbs from respectable airsoft distributors.

BBs

 

KNOW YOUR BATTERY’S CHARGE TIME:

Batteries are often overlooked when it comes to warranties. AEG batteries are extremely sensitive and have specific requirements for charging and storing. Most often, standard wall chargers do not come embedded with a chip that shuts off charging when the battery is at capacity. You will need to keep a close eye on the charging time with a time, or invest in a smart charger.

Smart chargers come in two styles:
– BASIC: lets you know the battery is fully charged but does not stop power to the battery
– COMPREHENSIVE: shuts off electricity to the battery when it is fully charged. You cannot overcharge with this option.

If you leave your battery on its charger for too long, you run the risk of overloading and frying your battery. If the battery does not have enough power for the motor to draw from, it can cause jamming and damage to your gearbox.

Proper battery storage can also keep your battery life at maximum for longer. Store your battery in a cool temperature – not in your car in the middle of summer!! Store your battery either out of your gun, or disconnected from the wiring harness.

If damage occurs to your battery either due to overcharging or heat exposure, it can void the entire gun’s warranty! Take good care of your battery to keep your gun in tip-top shape.

 

Smart Charger - LRGAC-BT-96V1600-S

 

STICK WITH GREEN GAS: 

Often, when a player purchases a green gas gun, they immediately want to switch to propane for cost-saving purposes. This not only voids your warranty, but it can also cause severe damage to your gun’s internals – especially if you aren’t cleaning it well!

Green gas is already infused with silicone oil to keep the internals and o-rings lubricated between more thorough cleanings. Propane, on the other hand, leaves adding the silicone oil into the adapter up to you. Propane not only dries out the internals and 0-rings faster, it can cause girding of the gears and slide mechanisms and ruin the magazine’s ability to hold gas.

If your gun breaks down during your warranty period, the manufacturer requires the disclosure of whether propane was used. They WILL be able to tell! The use of propane immediately voids your warranty. If you are intent on switching from green gas, wait until the end of your warranty period, invest in silicone oil and clean your equipment before and after you play each time!

Silicone Spray MadBull Propane Adapter Metal

**NOTE** If you are new to airsoft or aren’t comfortable cleaning your gun on your own, find an experienced technician like the ones we have here at VIPAirsoft. They will help teach you to properly clean and maintain your equipment. You run the risk of voiding your warranty if you do not properly clean your equipment.

 

LEARN YOUR WARRANTY!

Make yourself aware of your manufacturer’s warranty policy to ensure you can get the necessary help should your equipment break down unexpectedly. Should you have any questions about your warranty or you’re having trouble submitting your gun for repair, ask your local airsoft retailers. They will know how to send your gun in, what you will need to submit, and whether you’ve already voided your warranty.

Seek out your local airsoft technician for any repairs or questions you have about your equipment.

Your Guide to Spring vs Electric vs Gas Guns

KWADay37

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 gun

SPRING POWER: 

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

 

Crosman Gun

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

 

GG CM16 TAN - LRG

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

 


KWA MP9R - LRGKWA LM4 PTS Magpul - LRG


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

KWADay46

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!

ADVANCED TIPS 1: Lubing Your Guns

As with live firearm maintenance, airsoft guns need some lovin’ too! So many people think that airsoft guns are toys, but they are far from it! They have working parts and are live fire replicas that need the same level of maintenance and cleaning. Read on for some tips to cleaning your guns.

DO NOT LUBRICATE YOUR GUN WITH WD-40 OR GUN OIL!
dont use to clean

The proper lubricant for airsoft guns are high-grade silicone oils or sprays. Anything else will gather dirt, dust and debris, gunk up your barrel and gearbox and cause corrosive damage to your gun. Stick to Silicone Oil and Spray!

Silicone Spray

CLEANING YOUR BARREL:
         Airsoft gun barrels DO need to be cleaned to keep bbs flying steady and straight. You can usually tell its time for a good ol’ fashioned barrel clean when your bbs start to travel upwards out of the barrel.

          Grab your cleaning rod and a strip of paper towel. Push the paper towel wedge through the eyelet on your cleaning rod and spray the towel with silicone oil. Insert the rod into the barrel spinning the rod as you travel through the barrel, then back out. Grab another piece of clean paper towel and place it through the rod eyelet. Repeat the spinning within the barrel to remove any extra oil from the barrel and ensure all the debris and goop is cleared from your barrel.

cleaning rod

LUBING YOUR HOP UP & GEARBOX:
         When it comes to issues with misfeeding or jamming, it typically means the hop-up needs a good lubrication. Remove your magazine and fire a few shots to ensure your gun has no bbs in it at all. Place your gun on a surface upside down with the magazine well facing up. Place the red spray straw of your silicone spray slightly into your hop up and spray once or twice. Don’t use too much!!! Let your gun sit for a few minutes so the silicone can settle throughout the hop up unit.

          Gearboxes may also need some lube lovin’ every once in a while too. Most gearboxes come from the manufacturer packed full of industrial strength grease or white lithium, but if you notice a whining sound or are doing general gearbox maintenance, it can’t hurt to head in there and do some spring cleaning. To lubricate your gearbox, remove the motor and peer down the motor casing. You’ll see a small hole where the motor enters the gearbox. Place your silicone spray stray into the hole and spray three or four times. Leave your gun upside down to allow the silicone to run throughout the gearbox and get in all those nooks and crannies.

LUBING YOUR GAS GUN:
         Silicone oil is a necessity for any airsoft gun owner, especially if you are running with gas guns! Airsoft gas magazines rely mainly on rubber gaskets and o-rings in order to run, so they need to be cleaned and lubed often to keep the gasket’s expansion working and will help to keep the gun from expelling or venting gas unnecessarily.

          To lube your gas mag, spray silicone oil into the port at the top of the mag and press the valve on the side up and down a few times to allow the oil to seep down onto the inner gasket. Lubing the fill port on the bottom of the mag should also be done. Hold your mag upside down and insert the silicone spray straw into the fill port and spray once or twice. Leave your mag upside down for a few minutes so the oil can get to the fill port gasket. Don’t spray and immediately try to fill your mag with gas. It’ll cause problems and your gasket won’t have gotten any of the oil to it. (Essentially, you’ll have just sprayed and wasted silicone for nothing).

          CO2 guns and magazines also need to be lubed every once in a while. To do this, take your silicone spray and lube the gasket where the CO2 cylinder meets the gun itself. Wait a few minutes before testing your gun otherwise you’ll have wasted oil and it won’t have been able to get to the gaskets or rubber seals.

          Slide rails on both gas and CO2 guns need to be cleaned and lubricated regularly to keep your slide running smoothly on the track. Remove your slide and using a clean cloth or paper towel, gently run the cloth along the slide and body to remove any debris and dust. Then lightly spray silicone along all the points where your slide meets the gun body. Not too much!! This will keep your slide from grinding against the body, warping the gun and causing dangerous issues or costly part replacement.

          If you are comfortable field stripping your gas pistol entirely to clean it, make sure you are using a clean, dry and level surface. Take everything apart slowly to keep any springs from flying off into wayward directions and clean everything one part at a time with a clean cloth. Put your gun back together in the opposite steps as you took it apart and make sure everything slides and glides smoothly.

***If you are not comfortable performing this cleaning on your own, or have lost a part along the way- please don’t fire your gun! Come see an airsoft professional or technician so they can walk you through the steps and ensure you’re using a safe and clean gun. Having a technician perform this task for you will prevent your warranty from being voided and keep your gun in tip top condition.

You spent a lot of money on your pride and joy- give it some TLC!

BEGINNER TIPS 2: Maintenance

Airsoft guns, like live firearms, must be cleaned and maintained with proper gun care. A neglected airsoft gun can result in malfunctions, misfires, locked gears and a broken weapon. Every gun requires different care based on its propellant and needs, so it is important to read its manual or ask an airsoft technician or professional. Basic gun maintenance, however, is simple.

STORING YOUR GUN: 

  • Always store your gun in a clean dry space away from young children. You don’t want those kids hurting themselves or hurting your equipment. 
  • Never leave your gun loaded or cocked as it could damage your internal mechanisms.
  • Don’t store your gun outside or in the garage, especially in Arizona. The extreme heat will damage the o-rings, possibly melt the wiring, heat the motor and cause severe damage for gas guns and gas magazines.

Soft Case

USE QUALITY AMMO:

  • Only use precision or match grade, high density, seamless and polished bbs. You don’t want to see any seams, bubbles or dents in your bbs
  • Cheap bbs, like those sold at Wal-Mart and other sporting good stores, will cause irreparable damage to your gun internals and void your warranty!
  • Most often, brightly neon colored bbs are made of a cheap light-weight plastic and will break within your gearbox causing bb shards to lock up your gearbox.
  • Do not reuse your bbs after they have been fired or have been rolling around on the ground. These bbs can be compromised by stress from the gearbox, dented from the ricochet, or have gathered dirt and debris from the ground causing gams and internal damage.
  • Do your research and only purchase bbs from respectable airsoft distributors.

BBs

CARING FOR MAGAZINES:

  • To prevent jamming or misfired, check your magazines for debris, dust and dirt. 
  • It is best to empty your magazine after each use, although it is not required.
  • With gas guns, it is not preferable to use the release valve to expel excess gas. Loss of magazine pressure can damage the gun.

KWA LM4 PTR - TMB

OILING YOUR GUN: 

  • Always keep your airsoft barrel free of obstruction. Before cleaning your gun, make sure your selector switch is set to safety. 
  • If you’re using an AEG, decompress the spring after each use. Some guns have a decompression button while others you can just set your gun to semi and fire a few shots.
  • Lubricate your barrel every 6 months with pure silicone oil spray. NEVER USE WATER, PETROLEUM OR GENERAL CLEANERS! Anything other than pure silicone will damage your internals. Be turn to turn off the hop-up before oiling and be careful not to over oil your gun. Over oiling can damage o-rings and seals.
  • Spray small cloth swatches and thread it through your cleaning rod. Insert and gently swab the inside of the barrel. Follow the oiled swatch with a clean cloth to pick up excess debris and oil.
  • After cleaning, it may take a few fires for the hop-up to function properly.
  • If you have upgraded from Green Gas to Propane, ensure you are using a propane adapter like the one below and are taking care to oil and lube your gun before and after every time you play. This will keep all your o-rings pliable and keep them from cracking. It will also keep from your gearbox drying out.

Silicone Spray MadBull Propane Adapter Metal

**NOTE** If you are new to airsoft or aren’t comfortable cleaning your gun on your own, find an experienced technician like the ones we have here at VIPAirsoft. They will help teach you to properly clean and maintain your equipment. You run the risk of voiding your warranty if you do not properly clean your equipment.