Buying an airsoft gun is primarily a matter of what we want from the replica we are going to buy. Will we have it for participating in airsoft battles, for shooting at a target or for a wall because we are collecting military things. When choosing, we first decide between the type of replica, be it a pistol or a rifle, or maybe something more exotic such as a grenade launcher or a shotgun, or something else, there is a lot to choose from. We also have to decide what kind of replica we will buy depending on the operation, be it an airsoft electric gun, a gas pistol or maybe a spring operated sniper rifle. And of course, if we decide on a gas gun, will it be a gas blowback or a gas non-blowback, etc ... The choice is suddenly not so easy. So it is good to know the main types of replicas, and their essential properties, before buying.
Airsoft electric guns are the flagship of the airsoft world. In this category are mostly replicas of classic rifles, support rifles, and some sniper rifles and some pistols. These are replicas that operate on an electropneumatic system. They operate by the battery, which runs an electric motor that drives a closed system in the replica, called a garbox. In the gearbox, there are gears that tension the spring. When released, the spring pushes the piston into the cylinder, which than pushes air out in front. That propells the BBs out of the barrel. For the most part, airsoft electric replicas are non-blowback, only some are blowback. In the case of blowback guns a system for creating blowback is added to the gearbox, and there is no significant difference in performance. The batteries are rechargeable, with one charge we can shoot about as many BBs as the capacity of the battery (1500mAh = 1500 BBs).
Gas airsoft guns are most similar in operation to real weapons, especially here we mean blowback guns. In this category are the most realistic airsoft replicas: most airsoft pistols, some classic rifles, sniper rifles, and other airsoft replicas. It is essential for gas replicas to distinguish between blowback and non-blowback guns. Gas airsoft guns are powered by airsoft gas or CO2 gas contained in CO2 cartridges. The gas is filled into the magazine or a CO2 bomb is inserted into it. In some non-blowback replicas, CO2 cartridge is inserted into the gun handle. When fired, the gas from the magazine is released in the gun, which drives the ball out of the barrel. In the case of blowback guns, in addition to firing the ball, gas is released in the gun also to push the slide back, which creates the recoil. Operation of blowback gas replicas is exactly the same as that of a real weapon, except that instead of gunpowder gas, airsoft gas or CO2 gas is released to operate the gun. Non-blowback replicas do not have this recoil, they are less realistic, and at the same time there is less gas consumption.
Spring airsoft replicas include mostly sniper replicas and cheaper replicas of pistols and rifles. The system of operation is quite simple, by pulling the lock lever or slide on the gun, we tension the spring in the gun. When fired, this spring pushes the piston into the cylinder, at the front it pushes air from the cylinder into the barrel and propells the BB out.
When we are buying a gun to participate in airsoft fights, the first choice will be an airsoft electric rifle. Here we get the most versatile replica, it has good power and range, it shoots automatically, and we have no addittional expenses with its use as the battery is rechargeable. When we participate in a lot of fights, we will probably buy an additional gun. It makes sense to buy a sniper rifle when we have enough experience and will be able to operate with it. These replicas have more power and greater range, which can be further increased by upgrading, but they only shoot single shots. For the most part, we have to manually tension the spring for each shot, during which time we can quickly be the target of an opponent’s automatic fire. As an additional weapon (sidearm), if we need it, we can choose between gas or electric pistols. The most realistic are gas blowback pistols, they offer us good power and range, here are also the most choices. A more affordable choice are gas non-blowback pistols, which offer the same power and range, consume much less gas but do not offer the realism of recoil pistols. The third choice are electric pistols, which have much less power but do not need gas to operate and have the option of automatic fire.
If we are buying a replica to shoot at a target or for a picnic to shoot at cans then depending on the budget we recommend buying a gas or spring pistol. Airsoft replicas are not as accurate as air guns but shooting with them is cheaper and not dangerous. This allows children to shoot with it without any problems, of course eye protection is needed. Any airsoft pistol with a power of at least 0.5J will be suitable for shooting at a target or cans. In the case of buying a gas pistol, in addition to bullets, it will be necessary to buy gas or CO2 cartridges, as well as oil for recoil pistols. We will not have additional costs with springs operated replicas.
If buying weapons for the wall, depending on the budget, the collector is of course looking at how realistic the replica is. When buying a gun we can not miss if we choose from a gas blowback repica. We have a lot of choices for rifles here, from historic replicas, WW2 replicas to modern electric or gas blowback replicas.