Friday, January 8, 2010

Airsoft AEG Upgrades

The Airsoft Megablog has been delving into rifles lately, namely how to select, use and care for your airsoft rifle. So, now that we've covered the basics, I want to address the more complex issue of upgrading your rifle. The internet makes it easy to buy the upgrade parts for less, but it is important to understand that sometimes you will need to loop in a professional to get the job done right. If you dive into an upgrade on your own, you risk damaging the rifle and voiding your warranty. For best results, use a certified professional airsoft technician / shop. In most cases, you can have that professional show you how it's done. This will give you a better understanding of how the firearm works which will help you troubleshoot issues in the future.

Needless to say, there are a lot of upgrades to consider. For the sake of simplicity, I'll summarize a few of the most common upgrades for electric airsoft rifles below. Once you identify the upgrades you are interested in, you can contact an authorized retailer like Airsoft Megastore for further information and advice. In many cases, one upgrade may require further upgrades in order to make sure the parts are compatible.

  • Hop Up. There are two parts to Hop Up that you may consider upgrading. Hop Up Bucking puts back spin on the bb. A quality bucking will improve your shot accuracy. Look for Bucking made in durable materials such as silicone, which will minimize deterioration. Another potential Hop Up upgrade is the chamber, which will also improve accuracy.

  • Barrel. Many airsoft enthusiasts prefer to upgrade to a longer, tighter barrel. In most instances, the tighter the barrel, the better, assuming you are using quality BBs as is strongly recommended by any qualified airsoft dealer.

  • Gears. There are three gears to consider: the sector, bevel and spur gears. Gears are both critical and expensive. Avoid sub-quality gears at all costs because they will break and lead to expensive gear box repairs. The type of gears you use depends on the other upgrades and I recommend speaking to a professional about your specific needs.

  • Bushings. Gears rotate on the Bushings. They also keep the gears in place and are thus critical in their own right. Broken Bushings lead to stripped gears. Bigger Bushings constructed in highly durable materials are generally better.

  • Piston. The piston is a flat-toothed gear that is maneuvered by the motor and spring. Because of the tremendous pressure on the piston, quality counts. Metal pistons are a common upgrade but in some firearms they may strip gears. I recommend discussing possible piston upgrades with a professional so that you can determine what will work best for you.

  • Spring. Upgrading your spring will increase the velocity of the piston. If you plan on upgrading your spring, you will need to make sure your internals are upgraded as well to avoid damaged gears and pistons.

  • Spring Guide. The spring guide does just what it says and prevents the spring from jumping into the gear case.

  • Cylinder. The cylinder compresses the air that will force the bullet down the barrel. A longer barrel requires a bigger cylinder, so these upgrades typically go hand-in-hand.

  • Cylinder Head. You can either silence your gun or improve the piece's air seal by upgrading your rifle's cylinder head.

  • Air Nozzle. This part pushes the bb into the Hop Up chamber while also sealing the airflow.

  • Motor. Too powerful a motor can decrease overall performance and negatively affect rate of fire, so speak to a professional before you commit to a motor upgrade purchase.

  • Battery. A higher voltage battery increases your rate of fire, but too high of a battery voltage may damage internal components. Again, I recommending speaking to a professional about what your gun can handle.

  • Scopes and optics. This external upgrade is certainly something you can install yourself. A quality scope will improve your accuracy, especially in a sniper-type role.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the VP of Operations of Airsoft Megastore, an airsoft retailer. Please visit Airsoft Megastore to shop for airsoft AEGs, electric airsoft rifles or the right airsoft sniper rifle for players of any experience level.

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