Friday, September 17, 2010

To Maximize your Airsoft Gun’s Performance, Pick the Right Ammo

Airsoft enthusiasts spend hours debating the weaponry and accessories currently available, all in an effort to not only improve their game, but more importantly their ‘life-expectancy’ in a skirmish. From feet per second to rate of fire, from metal gearboxes to upgraded springs, from red dot versus optical zoom scopes and red versus green lasers and more, it’s all about speeding target acquisition and ‘time on target.’ All understandable, but what about the one component inherent to the entire process: the airsoft pellet itself?

As anyone who’s ever operated an actual semi-automatic firearm can tell you, all the bells and whistles simply won't matter if low-grade ammunition is used. An enjoyable afternoon of target practice can become an exercise in frustration, with stove-pipe jams and misfires galore. This writer used to own an old Charter Arms AR-7, and I can attest to this. Low-grade ammunition did not make for a happy fire-arm, or a happy shooter.

The same can be said for the sport of airsoft, and for those new to the game, let me clarify: these aren’t your grandfather’s BB guns. Firstly, airsoft electric air guns, as well as most airsoft guns (whether they be spring or gas-operated), are not built to fire those old copper BBs you are most likely familiar with. In fact, they’ll cause irreparable damage to your airsoft gun. Also will low-grade plastic BBs. What are low-grade BBs? Here’s a bit of a primer on quality:

Unfortunately most BBs marketed by most sporting goods and ‘big box’ stores are of an inferior grade and should not be used with high performance Airsoft guns, although the packaging won’t tell you that. They may even list them as ‘Seamless Airsoft Gun BBs’ but in most cases, they simply aren’t. They lack the high density and spherical consistency needed for dependable operation of an airsoft gun, and will most often have a tendency to shatter during use, which will only serve to yield the costly repair of your airsoft weapon. I know this from personal experience. Upon my initial purchase of an AEG, I fed my gun low-grade airsoft pellets and came away with a not only a missed skirmish, but also with a cracked piston and a gearbox full of plastic shrapnel. Needless to say, I learned my lesson.

The majority of airsoft guns fire 6mm, seamless, polished BBs, and most sporting goods stores simply don’t carry the quality brands rated for use in airsoft guns. Most airsoft specialty retailers and airsoft websites do, however. It's easiest to make it a habit to purchase a few of these bags in addition to your latest acquisition of weaponry or accessory. What brands you may ask? I personally use ‘GoldenBall ProSlicks” for regular skirmishing, and GoldenBall MaxSlicks for competition and bigger OPs where I need every advantage I can get. I choose these after years of trial and error, and so far like them for their accuracy, as due to their construction there seems to be little to zero flight deviance when fired. Simply put, if my sighting is dead-on, so is the BB. Purchasing the right airsoft ammo will serve to keep you in the game, instead of sitting one out while waiting for your order of a replacement gearbox or gun to arrive.

The bottom line is this: the use of high-grade, seamless, polished and spherically dense airsoft BBs will not only ensure the life of your airsoft gun, but will also increase your ‘time on target.’ Your choice of airsoft pellets is as important as the gun itself.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, the #1 fastest growing Airsoft retailer in the U.S. Airsoft Megastore offers a full selection of gas and electric Airsoft guns including airsoft sniper rifles and spring airsoft shotguns.

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