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How Do Airsoft Guns Work?

You can spend an entire day playing airsoft with your kids and friends in the backyard.

The thrill of using weapons that resemble the ones used by the police and armed forces give you a feeling of being one of them.

If you are enthusiastic about the guns and rifles used in this game, you need to dig deep into knowing how they operate.

Essentially, there are three types of airsoft guns: gas-powered, including CO2 and green gas, spring loaded, and electric.

Wondering how they operate considering they fire almost at the same speed?

Here’s what you need to know.

How The Tree Different Types Of Airsoft Guns Work

Spring-powered airsoft guns

These are the least expensive of the lot and are often favorites of parents who don’t want their kids to use the high-end airsoft guns that cost a lot.

The spring-powered variants use spring energy that compresses air inside the gun to launch the pellet.

These are available both in pistol and gun variants.

The user will have to cock the spring of the gun every time when he/she wants to shoot.

powered gun

This almost looks like pulling the slide of pistols as you so often see the police doing with their revolvers.

When you pull the slide back, the spring compresses the air and prepares the gun to shoot the pellet.

Since you have to cock the gun before shooting manually, you will not find them in automatic and semi-automatic models.

It is suitable for kids to play around if they are playing airsoft for the first time.

One of the drawbacks of spring-powered guns are their range is low compared to gas-powered or electric variants.

Since the spring is the primary source of power, the range of the pellets & BB’s is shorter.

However, there are high-precision spring bolt guns that have slightly more power than the regular spring-powered airsoft guns.

Are spring powered guns worth it?

Players have mixed feelings when it comes to spring-powered guns.

If you consider their performance, you would prefer to avoid them if you are an avid player.

On the other hand, if your kids want to play airsoft, these should be the guns they should start with.

But, if you are adamant on using spring-powered guns, you should use the sniper rifles.

They have enough power to hit long-range opponents.

Some of them even shoot at 500 FPS or even higher.

One of the benefits of using spring-powered airsoft guns is they shoot endlessly.

Unless the spring runs out of power, you can keep filling as many pellets as you want to take down your opponents.

side view spring airsoft pistol
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But, be sure that you don’t play in a big field.

These guns usually have a firing speed of around 175 to 350 FPS. Low firing speeds often leads to less accuracy.

Some of the high quality rifles though have firing speeds ranging from 300 to 500 FPS.

So, you need to keep an eye on the FPS of the gun you are using.

Gas-powered airsoft guns

Gas-powered guns are one of the most popular.

They use pneumatic potential energy that is stored inside compressed for the shooting mechanism.

Their realistic design and high precision make them the favorite among us.

You will find two gas variants for these guns: CO2 and green gas.

CO2-powered airsoft guns

One of the reasons why people love CO2-powered guns is they combine different principles and theories of various weapons and present them in one neat package.

The CO2 itself is available in cans that you need to fit in the rifle.

The compressed gas releases right at the time when the hammer is cocked or when the gun is pumped.

This gas fires the pellet at a very high speed.

Unlike spring-powered guns where you need to cock the gun every time before shooting, you don’t need to do anything similar with CO2-powered guns.

These are often known as blowback guns because they recoil or jolt back resembling the sliding movement of real handguns.

co2 pistol

CO2-powered guns allow fast repeat shooting.

It is the perfect choice for players who love being in action all the time.

Since you don’t need to cock the gun, all you need to make sure is the gun has enough pellets.

The rest will be taken care of by the gun because, with its high speed, it offers immaculate accuracy.

Green-gas-powered airsoft guns

The firing mechanism of green-gas-powered guns is similar to the CO2 variants. Unlike paintball, Green Gas is unique to airsoft weapons

A significant portion of the magazine is used to store the gas and only a small volume houses the pellets.

Since the gas needs to last an entire game, it focuses more on the magazine.

It is safely stored and locked inside until you start firing.

Green gas has slightly low firing speed than CO2, but they are cheaper too.

The gas pressurizes the magazine that creates a higher density allowing the pellets to fire at full throttle.

When you pull the trigger, the hammer inside pushes against the valve in the magazine for a split of a second.

This allows the gas to release into the top half of the gun and quickly propels the pellet from its chamber.

green gas pistol on table

Both CO2 and green gas are highly popular and remain my personal favourite.

Depending on your preference, you can buy either of them; if you want a cost-effective variant, green gas should be your choice.

On the other hand, if you lean towards performance, you should go for CO2-powered guns.

Electric-powered airsoft guns

Electric-powered airsoft guns use rechargeable batteries to drive the electric motor.

The motor is responsible for operating the internal spring or piston to launch the pellets.

These are available in both automatic and semi-automatic variants.

electric airsoft pistol inside

Most of these guns are powered using NiMH or NiCad motors.

NiMH models are more expensive than their counterparts.

They usually use an 8.4v rechargeable battery.

These batteries run for many rounds before you have to charge them again.

The gun has a battery chamber that comes with an indicator to show how much charge is left.

All you need to do is fill the magazine with the pellets inside the chamber and set the hammer.

Once you press the trigger, the hammer is released.

It comes in contact with the nozzle pressurizing the top half of the gun.

This pressure leads to the pellet that releases at a tremendous speed hitting your opponent on its way.

Electric Powered Is One Of The Most Popular

Electric guns are the most popular among players like myself, and there is a good reason for that.

Since they come with rechargeable batteries, you don’t have to think of spending anything more, unlike the gas variants.

Moreover, they reach firing speeds of up to 500 FPS, which is pretty bad ass, so make sure you have the right protective gear on, trust me.

cut in half view of pistol

Although they cost more than spring and gas-powered guns, they are worth every penny you spend.

However, you need to keep an on a couple of things: make sure you don’t keep the gun in a damp place.

It will reduce its performance significantly. Secondly, you should always check the charge left in the battery.

You wouldn’t be able to fire a single pellet is the battery runs out.

It is always wise to charge the battery before you start a fight.

Final Thoughts

There are many factors that you need to consider while comparing the different types of airsoft weapons.

All the variants have their own pros and cons.

It depends on what features you are looking for.

Also, think of the skill level and the money you are ready to spend.

There are enough varieties that you will love to try out.

Compare a few of them and then decide.

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