A lot of people ask me for advice on selecting an airsoft rifle. Here’s a quick check list for finding the right rifle for your needs:
- Spring or electric (AEG)?Electric airsoft rifles are the most popular choice because they shoot at a higher velocity and have longer range. Spring rifles, on the other hand, have slower speeds and thus shorter range, but they are less expensive. Spring airsoft rifles are appropriate for less experienced gunmen and younger players. I generally recommend electric airsoft rifles for experienced airsoft enthusiasts and anyone considering sniping. Look for an electric airsoft rifle with a velocity of at least 285 feet per second (FPS). If you plan to focus on sniping, it’s best to look for Bolt Action 303 British ammo sniper rifles with 400+ FPS.
- Metal or plastic composition?Metal is very durable and has a nice, real-life feel, but it is also heavier and may cause fatigue in long games with a lot of maneuvering. AEGs that feature plastic receivers or bodies are made of a composite polymer-ABS. The plastic has been engineered to have a high stress tolerance, making it resistant to shock or drop. In many cases these arms are just as durable as metal bodies, but a lot lighter. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference and which “feel” suits you best.
- Gearbox or no gearbox?If the rifle you select has a gearbox, make sure the parts are metal. Other materials can break or warp much more quickly, damage gears, and will ultimately lead to an inoperable weapon.
- Scope or no scope?If you want to add optics to your airsoft rifle, you will need a rifle with railed sight mounts. , for example, are intended to be highly accurate at long ranges, so a scope is really a must. Some rifles come with these sight mounts already in place; on others you can add them. You’ll also want to check how the rifle mounts to bipods and other accessories.
- How much ammo can it hold?Ammo capacity varies. Some players prefer a high ammo capacity so that the need to reload is minimized. Others, however, are will to sacrifice ammo capacity for a more compact gun that is easy to maneuver. Choosing an ammo storage size really just depends on how you want to use your gun.