Friday, September 2, 2011

Airsoft Pistols: How to Choose the Right Gas Powered Pistol

The only thing worse than running out of ammo, or having a battery die on you in the middle of a firefight is not having a sidearm to switch to in those emergencies. Every serious airsoft player should carry a pistol with them, because you never know when you might need it. Choosing the right pistol for your game style and your budget is extremely important. There are two main types of gas powered airsoft pistols, gas powered blowback and non-blowback pistols. There are also two main types of gasses used as propellant in gas airsoft pistols, CO2 and Green Gas/ Propane. In this article, we will cover the basic differences between the two types of airsoft pistols and the two types of gas.

The major difference between non-blowback gas pistols and blowback gas pistols is the action of the slide when the trigger is pulled. Blowback pistols’ slide cycles back and forth after each trigger pull. This gives the gas blowback pistols a more realistic feel and look when they are operated. Gas blowback pistols are also normally designed to operate much more like real steel pistols, in which you have to rack the slide back to ready the pistol. Also, gas blowback pistols’ slide will normally lock to the rear when you are out of rounds, just like a real steel pistol. The advantages of having a gas blowback pistol are the realistic look, feel, and action of the pistol. The disadvantages of using a gas blowback pistol is that they use more gas to cycle the slide back and forth while operated.

Non-blowback pistols have a non-functional slide that does not cycle when the pistol is fired. This makes non-blowback pistols’ operation less realistic, however it also reduces the amount of gas used each time it is fired. This means that non-blowback pistols will be able to fire more rounds before having to refill it with gas. Non-blowback pistols are also generally quieter than blowback pistols, because the slide does not cycle back and forth. The advantages of using a non-blowback pistol are that less gas is used when firing the pistol, they are generally lighter than blowback pistols, they have a higher FPS, and they are much quieter than blowback pistols. The disadvantage of using a non-blowback pistol is the lack of realistic function and action when fired.

Gas powered airsoft pistols use two main types of gas to propel the BB; one is green gas (which is a mixture of silicone oil and propane gas), and the other is CO2 compressed gas. The type of gas used by an airsoft pistol depends on the pistol and magazine design; green gas designed pistols can only use green gas, and CO2 designed pistols can only use CO2; they cannot use green gas. Green gas is a specialty airsoft gas that can normally only be found at airsoft stores, though propane can be used in its place with an adapter that adds in silicone oil. Green gas cans are used to fill an internal gas reservoir in green gas magazines. The reservoir in green gas magazines normally only holds enough gas to fire the full capacity of the magazine, which means that after all of the BB’s are fired the magazine must be refilled with gas before it can be reused. Green gas has many advantages; it is quick and easy to refill your magazine, the silicone in green gas keeps the pistol and magazine lubricated, and the green gas magazines are generally less expensive. The disadvantages of using green gas is that refilling a magazine with green gas on the field can be cumbersome, green gas magazines normally don’t store enough gas for multiple reloads, green gas magazines do require regular maintenance, green gas does not perform well in very hot or cold temperatures, and green gas can be flammable.

The other widely used airsoft gas is compressed CO2, which comes in small 12g cartridges. These cartridges are loaded either directly into the gun, or into the magazine. CO2 cartridges are widely available at most sporting goods stores, and it is relatively inexpensive. Using CO2 has many advantages; a single CO2 cartridge can last for multiple magazine reloads which means you can reuse your magazine on the field, CO2 provides a slightly higher FPS than green gas, and CO2 is 100% non-flammable. The disadvantages of using CO2 is that CO2 magazines can be more expensive, reloading a CO2 cartridge is more time consuming and normally requires the use of tools, and CO2 does not lubricate your gun so regular care for CO2 pistols is recommended.

Choosing the right sidearm can be difficult because of the wide variety of options. Hopefully this guide will help you determine what type of pistol will work best for you. Don’t be caught out on the field without your airsoft bbs ammo and without a pistol as backup. Check out‘s extensive selection of airsoft pistols.

To see our full selection of tactical gear and airsoft guns, visit

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, a growing online Airsoft retailer that carries airsoft guns and airsoft tatical gear. Airsoft Megastore offers a 125% low price guarantee on all new airsoft guns and airsoft ammunition.

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