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Airsoft Rifle – Electric or Spring Powered?

When it comes to using an airsoft rifle, the question boils down to what kind is best for you: electric or spring powered.  Your answer should ultimately be based on why you want an airsoft gun in the first place.  If you are interested in target shooting or knocking over tin cans in your backyard, spring airsoft rifles are the way to go.  However, if you’re a serious enthusiast and are into airsoft war games with your friends, an electric rifle is clearly superior in almost every case.

The Pros and Cons of Electric Airsoft Rifles

An electric rifle uses a rechargeable battery - usually Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMh) – to propel airsoft BBs.  There are several advantages to choosing electric rifles over spring airsoft guns.  The main benefit is that you get rapid-fire automatic discharge capabilities.  This is extremely important on the combat field!  An airsoft electric rifle also holds a charge for a long time, especially the airsoft models being manufactured today.

The biggest downside to using an airsoft rifle is durability.  This is especially true if you’re hard on your rifle during war games – tossing it around, dropping on the ground with the gun under you, etc.  Electric airsoft rifles necessarily have more intricate and sensitive internal parts than a spring rifle.  So expensive repairs must be taken into consideration.  Batteries can also be costly.

The Pros and Cons of Spring Airsoft Rifles

Spring powered airsoft rifles are comparatively simple guns.  They typically utilize a pneumatic pump or bolt to load (coil) the spring that fires the airsoft ammunition.  The main advantage of this type of rifle is durability and consistency.  They can take a beating better than electric airsoft guns, and they produce very consistent muzzle velocities, which makes for better accuracy.

In recent months, advances in the technology used in the manufacturing process of the springs in airsoft guns have produced some truly amazing results.  One of the knocks on a spring rifle used to be that the spring lost its elasticity and eventually had to be replaced (a real pain in the neck).  That seems to have been largely eliminated with the modern airsoft products.

The other disadvantage of a spring rifle is still true, though.  They’re single-shot guns that require significant time between shots.  Therefore, they are virtually useless for airsoft war gamers.  However, a growing trend for airsoft teams is to include a hidden sniper.  If that’s the case for your team, then a spring powered airsoft rifle is a perfect addition!


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