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Airsoft Guns: tips for picking the best plastic pellet bb guns

Developed about 35 years ago, airsoft guns are safer versions of traditional BB guns. They fire lightweight plastic BBs instead of the more dangerous metal ammunition. The muzzle velocities that airsoft pistols and rifles produce are relatively low (180-300 fps). The pellets are not moving as fast, so they're safer than standard air guns.

Airsoft products are often designed to be close replicas of military guns - for three reasons. First, collectors have created a market for authentic-looking replica guns for cheaper and safer display. Next, war gamers are switching from paintball in large numbers to similar team sports featuring airsoft BB guns. And finally, the movie industry provides a steady demand for realistic, blank-firing weapons for use in their productions, and modified airsoft pistols and rifles are the perfect solution.

Ammunition is fired from airsoft guns using one of three methods: springs, gas (CO2 or environmentally safe "green gas"), or electric (via batteries). The following is a brief explanation of how each type of airsoft gun works.


Spring Airsoft Guns

Spring-powered guns are the simplest, least expensive, and most durable kind of airsoft gun you can buy. A single cock of the gun coils the spring, preparing the BB for launch. Many of the newer airsoft models feature the "hop up" system, which is an additional piece added to the inside of the barrel of the guns. This imparts backspin to the pellet on its way out, which in turn causes the ammunition to fly straighter for longer distances. Accuracy out to 75-100 feet is now possible with these newer airsoft products.  Here are two of the most popular spring airsoft guns:



Gas Airsoft Guns

Gas-powered guns use either CO2 cartridges or so-called "green gas" cartridges to fire pellets. While airsoft BB guns using this power plant produce excellent distance in most circumstances, it's important to note that muzzle velocities will drop off significantly while firing these guns when it's cold outside. The other potential drawback is expense, as replacement cartridges can add up if you use your gun a lot. However, airsoft enthusiasts often choose these models over the others because of the added firepower and don't mind the trade-offs.



Electric Airsoft Guns

Electric airsoft guns (often referred to as 'AEG') are the most popular among war gamers. These BB guns are often made to mimic serious military weaponry, like Uzis, M16s, and AK-47s. Their biggest appeal is that the internal motors that operate the airsoft's firing mechanism allow for extremely rapid automatic fire. Hold down the trigger and spray your opponents in a barrage of airsoft BB fury!


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