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:
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).
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.
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!
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).
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!
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.)