Airsoft Buyer's Guide - Choosing an Airsoft Gun
Right now, you're probably wondering, there are so many guns to choose from. Where do I start? This guide will show you how to choose the right gun.
1) Knowing your Airsoft Terms
Before you're bombarded with all sorts of terms and abbreviations, I will explain the main things you need to know.
What is FPS?
-FPS stands for "Feet per Second". It is measured by the distance it travels every second. A higher FPS rating means the velocity of each shot is higher, meaning that your BB will arrive at its destination faster.
-To increase your FPS, internal upgrades to the gearbox are necessary; namely the spring.
What is ROF?
-ROF stands for "Rate of Fire". It is measured by the quantity of rounds fired every minute. Most airsoft guns have a standard ROF of 600-800 rounds per minute.
-To increase your ROF, a battery with a higher voltage is necessary, however, the life span of your gun will be shortened.
-A commonly misunderstood fact is that batteries increase FPS. This is NOT TRUE. Stronger batteries only increase the Rate of Fire.
Ni-Cd, Ni-Mh, Li-po...? What do these mean?
-The 3 names listed above are the different battery compositions used in Airsoft.
-Ni-Cd, short for Nickel-Cadmium, is the most basic of batteries used in Airsoft. Great care must be taken in charging these batteries, as they have "cell memory". You must never overcharge them, and be sure you use them until they are dead before recharging.
-Ni-Mh, short for Nickel-Metal Hydride, is an upgraded battery from the NiCd. These batteries do not have "cell memory", so they are easier to use and charge. Take care not to overcharge them as well.
-Li-po, short for Lithium-Polymer, is the strongest battery used in Airsoft guns. These batteries often come with extremely high discharge rates, significantly increasing the Rate of Fire of your weapon. However, if your gun is not made to withstand the high amount of power these batteries put out, you gun will break in a very short time.
What battery voltage do I choose?
-8.4V batteries are the standard in Airsoft guns. Anything stronger (9.6V and above) will cause your gun to wear down prematurely. If you choose to use a stronger battery, be prepared to replace internal parts earlier than usual.
What does the mAh rating mean?
-mAh stands for Milliamp Hour, which is the measurement of the capacity of the battery. Batteries with higher mAh ratings can be used for a longer period of time before a recharge is needed.
2) Pick the gun that best suits your play style.
There are airsoft replicas of nearly every gun that is currently being manufactured, so where do we start? Let's start with the more popular models being used in the world today.
-The M4/M16 style weapon is predominantly used by the United States military. It was first adopted in 1964 by the United States Air Force, and is still being used as the main weapon of choice for members of our military.
-The M4 is relatively average in size compared to most other rifles out there, making it very versatile in mid-long range combat, and CQB (close quarters battle).
-The M16 however, houses a much longer barrel, making it more suitable for long range play.
-Both the M4 and the M16 use a V.2 Gearbox. This is universal for all brands that produce M4/M16 models.
-The AK-47 was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1940's, just after the second world war.
-Compared to the M4, the AK-47 is a longer weapon, making it more suitable weapon for long range combat. There are however, CQB versions of the AK-47, the AK47S, or Spetznaz.
-The AK-47 utilizes a V.3 gearbox what is universal to all AK-47 models regardless of brand.
-The MP5 was developed in the 1960's in Germany.
-Comparatively , the MP5 is a MUCH shorter gun, and is mainly used for CQB (close quarters battle) purposes.
-The MP5 utilizes a V.3 gearbox what is universal to all MP5 models regardless of brand.
The Sniper Rifle
-Snipers have always been an integral part of a military force. They provide reconnaissance, precise 1-shot-1-kill capabilities, and are virtually invisible to the enemy force.
-Sniper rifles are the largest weapons you will come across. They house an incredibly long barrel in order to deliver extremely accurate shots at long distances.
-Spring sniper rifles do not utilize a gearbox of any sort. They contain a bolt which houses the few internal parts needed for it to function.
3) Choosing the right BB's
Using good bb's is extremely important in order to obtain the full potential of your gun. Poor-quality bb's will not fly straight, and will jam your gun. Poor-quality bb's are usually found at Wal-Mart and general sporting good stores. High-quality bb's are listed below, and can be found on our website.
0.12g - Used in low end guns ONLY. These will jam High-Quality guns
0.20g - Standard weight for most guns
0.25g - Higher precision, slower speed. Recommended in High-Quality guns
0.30g - Sniper rounds. Best precision, Slower speed. Must have for Snipers.
MetalTac - Very high-quality, Very accurate.
4) Choosing the Best Charger
Using a high quality charger prolongs the life of your battery, and makes sure your battery is fully charged when you need it. It charges 5-6x faster than a conventional charger, and shuts off automatically when your battery is finished charging.
-Smart Charger is a must have for anybody who is serious about airsofting.
-It automatically detects the charge in the battery and shuts itself off when finished.
-Comes with an adjustable charging current of 0.9A - 1.8A. Charges much faster than conventional charger.
-Comes with both Large and Small Tamiya connectors.
-Package includes all shown in the picture to the left.