Thursday, June 25, 2009

Airsoft Gun Types: Spring, Gas and Electric (AEG)

airsoft guns types
From manually operated spring loaded pistols to fully automatic electric rifles, the variety of guns available to airsoft players today is vast. Airsoft players have more options than ever when choosing what types of guns to add to their collections. Airsoft guns fall into one of three main categories based on how they are powered:

Spring Loaded Airsoft Guns
Spring loaded airsoft guns fire single shots using the potential energy stored in a spring, which is compressed when the gun is cocked and then released when you shoot. Cocking a spring loaded airsoft gun compresses the spring in preparation for the next shot, so spring loaded guns must be cocked before each shot.

In general, spring loaded airsoft guns cost less than their electric or gas powered counterparts, making them popular starter guns for newcomers to the sport. Most experienced players prefer electric or gas airsoft guns for their power and realistic feel.

Electric Airsoft Guns
Electric airsoft guns, also called airsoft AEGs (automatic electric guns) because of their automatic or semi-automatic capabilities, utilize an electric motor powered by a rechargeable battery to cycle an internal piston or spring that fires the pellets. Because of their power, performance and realism, AEGs are the most common type of airsoft guns you will see used in the sport of airsoft and are also the most widely available.

Gas Airsoft Guns
Gas airsoft guns are powered by pressurized gas – in the form of either green gas or CO2 - that is used to propel pellets from the chamber. Unlike spring loaded guns, gas airsoft guns do not have to be manually cocked before each shot. Gas powered airsoft guns are renowned for their power and precision. They are further classified as either non-blowback or blowback airsoft guns.

A blowback airsoft gun will have a slide that kicks back each time a shot is fired, mimicking the feel of firing a real gun. Non-blowback airsoft guns, on the other hand, have fixed slides and revolvers, and do not kick back as blowback guns do. Non-blowback airsoft guns give airsofters an economical alternative to blowback gas guns, but because of their realism blowback airsoft guns remain the most popular type of gas gun.

Deciding which type of airsoft gun you prefer may just take some trial and error. Many airsoft players have different types of guns to use for different purposes. Check out our Airsoft Knowledge Base for more details on the differences between spring loaded, electric and gas airsoft guns!

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the VP of Operations of Airsoft Megastore, an airsoft retailer offering electric and gas powered airsoft guns. Please visit Airsoft Megastore to shop for airsoft AEGs, full metal airsoft rifles or the right airsoft gas gun for players of any experience level.

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