Shooting airsoft guns can be a lot of fun, but if you start taking it seriously you might notice that the range on most of the guns can vary massively, and that when you’re shooting at the edge of the range of the gun, the pellets will drop significantly, which means that aiming at longer ranges can be tricky, since you have to aim higher than the target to ensure it hits.
They work by reducing the air pressure on the top side of the pellet via what is known as the “Magnus Effect”.
This means that the pellet will fall less as it travels over the given distance, so you can shoot further while still retaining accuracy, without having to increase the velocity at which the pellet is fired.
Since there are limits on the power of the guns, this latter requirement becomes quite important.
The Hop-up of an airsoft gun is usually performed via a projection, or a ‘bucking’ into the path of the projectile.
This is located at the top of the barrel. When the pellet hits the bucking, it will momentarily hinder the movement of the top part of the projectile. This makes it spin.
The backspins that some airsoft pellets can hit are as much as 120,000 revolutions a minute.
With high-quality guns, the backspin can be adjusted depending on the weight and the speed of the pellet, to make the gun easier to shoot.
The backspin creates the “Magnus effect”, which throws off the air that is on the surface of the pellet, and sends it off in angles.
As air is thrown in one direction, it will cause the ball to move in the opposite direction.
Since the air is being thrown downwards and backward, according to Newton’s law, the ball must move the same amount in the opposite direction.
Therefore, the ball moves up and forwards.
If you fire a ball in a wind tunnel you will see that the air moves to create a wake that looks something like a comet’s tail and points downwards.
Do They Come With The Gun?
The ball is supported as it moves, which allows it to move forwards faster and far more accurately.
Many airsoft guns and revolvers come with a hop up pre-installed, but you can also buy hop-up adjustments that you can fit to airsoft guns yourself.
They are designed to fit specific barrels and they are fairly easy to fit, then to dial in to allow for more accurate and faster shooting.
Since most modern airsoft weapons come with a hop up already (even if they are comparatively budget replicas)
Some of the original designs did not have hop ups, though, so if you have a much older model then you might need to install your own.
What Do They Do?
The difference between an airsoft replica with a hop up and one without is amazing and can be a huge advantage for your team
On its own, the power of an airsoft gun is barely enough to shoot 20 to 30 feet with any accuracy.
The simple act of adding some backspin to the pellet will allow you to shoot 75 to 100 feet with the same device and the same pellets.
What is particularly interesting, though, is the way that dialling in the hop up can improve accuracy.
When you use a hop up, the pellet will travel straight for a much longer distance, but it will also drop off more quickly, so instead of being a long arc, once it starts to drop it will drop faster.
You have a longer range where you know that it will be in a straight line.
Dial it in and figure out that range and you will have a much more accurate replica, which makes shooting targets easier, and much more fun.
Once you figure out how much spin to add you will be able to predict the movement of the pellet over that 70+ feet range quite reliably.
“Note that the adjustments will vary depending on the type of pellet that you are shooting at that moment.
Heavier pellets may need a different setting to plastic ones