what is an airsoft gun?

Now we come to the fun part. Just as how a real gun could come in many different forms, we also have different types of airsoft guns.

Spring powered airsoft guns

The original type of airsoft gun is the spring-powered gun. They are also called springers or air-cocking guns (Tokyo Marui).

They are single-shot airsoft guns that you need to cock or pump first before firing. These airsoft guns fire a relatively slower rate of fire and they also aren’t for long-distance shots. But they can be very reliable in close-quarter battles.

Because of its simplicity…

…it’s considered one of the best airsoft guns for new or practicing airsoft players as it’s very easy to use and not intimidating. Not to mention, it also helps the user practice muscle memory and gun handling.

In addition to that, most spring-powered airsoft guns come very cheaply, just perfect if you’re still not sure whether to dive into airsoft or not.

On the flip side…

The downside of springers is they don’t have automatic firing capabilities.

Gas Airsoft Guns

A gas-powered airsoft gun operates very differently from a spring gun. Basically, it’s powered by pressurized gas which is contained in a canister that’s usually kept inside the gun’s handle.

The pressure from the gas is what propels the airsoft pellets to shoot forward.


…the most common type of gas-powered airsoft gun is the gas blowback gun or GBB and the most common gases used for gas-powered guns are green gas and CO2.

Green gas is a kind of lubricated propane that is odorless and usually requires an adapter to use.

One of the benefits of using green gas is it’s very cost-efficient and it tends to give more shots compared to CO2.

But what’s cooler…

…is because it has silicone in it, the green gas can also lubricate your gun, resulting in smoother action. But most green gas airsoft guns have a relatively lower pressure than CO2. While you may see it as a disadvantage, it can also mean that it’s easier on your airsoft gun.

On the other hand…

…CO2 is simply pressurized air or carbon dioxide in a canister. The most common is the 12-gram CO2 which is more or less the size of your thumb.

While green gas is much gentler on your gun, if you love some extra punch, you can rely on CO2 gas to do the job for you.

Because it’s more pressurized, a CO2 Airsoft gun usually has a higher FPS and heavier punch.

And that’s not all.

CO2 is also very dependable on cold weather, much more than the lubricated green gas.

Gas-powered guns are popular as sidearms. While they’re more convenient than spring guns, not many gas imitation firearms are perfectly accurate and most of them tend to spray BBs everywhere.

Automatic Electric Guns (AEG)

Sometimes called Airsoft Electric guns, most AEGs are powered by rechargeable batteries.

AEGs are fast becoming a favorite among most players as they’re very easy to use, don’t require tuning, are easy to maintain, and can be very powerful.

A powerful AEG could go as fast as 650 FPS. Seriously!


…AEG guns tend to have decent to excellent velocity and range, especially ones that come at over $100.

Aside from spring guns, AEGs are also recommended for beginners as they’re not very fussy to use.

what is an airsoft gun? is written by Brett Lewis for www.airsoftnut.com

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