Monday, July 30, 2012

Airsoft Spring Guns: The Pros and Cons

Using airsoft guns is both a fun and educational hobby to pick up, whether you’re an adult trying to guide your child into the world of real guns, or a teenager who wants to participate in airsoft tournaments. There are currently many different types of guns available on the market, in both style and performance. Today we’ll give you a quick overview of spring-powered guns and the pros and cons of choosing this type of airsoft weapon.

How Spring Guns Work
Spring powered airsoft guns work by using a high tension spring that locks the piston back when you cock the gun. Depending on the type of gun, this happens when you either pull back the slide on a pistol, the grip on a shotgun, or the bolt on a rifle. Once the weapon has been cocked, you’re ready to fire. When the trigger is pulled,the spring is released, causing the piston to move forward, propelling the bb down and out of the barrel.

The Pros of Owning A Spring Gun
First, lets look at some of the pros of spring airsoft guns. One of the main reasons almost all airsoft enthusiasts own one is simply because they are very inexpensive to both purchase and maintain. The lower price range make them perfect for people just starting out who want to try airsoft before spending a large amount of money on a more advanced gun. They are also fairly easy to modify, making them a top choice amongst users looking to customize their guns.

Another reason many airsoft owners choose spring guns is because of their reliability. Unlike gas and electric guns (AEGs), spring guns have no outside power source, making them extremely dependable, which can come in handy for those players who find themselves in wet or cold conditions. The reliability of spring guns have made them a prime choice among many players.

Although spring guns can only fire one shot at a time before reloading, they’re hailed for their accuracy and silence, making them a popular choice amongst snipers. Most airsoft snipers will choose a spring gun over any other type of airsoft gun.

The Cons of Spring Guns
Spring guns cheap price may make them excellent for beginners, but one of their flaws is that they can break after excessive use. Because of the stress on the spring, they tend to tire out with time and eventually stop firing, requiring either a repair or a whole new weapon… but at this price point, replacing is not too painful. Spring gun bodies are also usually made out of plastic to keep their price down, however this makes the weapons more susceptible to cracks and breakage that may come along with rough use. The plastic may also affect the overall authenticity of the piece.

The most common factor that keeps users from purchasing spring guns is just the simple fact that their design requires the user to reload before each shot. Although this may not be a problem for a sniper, for close quarters battles this is not any option, especially as most players are outfitted with guns that can fire semi, and even fully, automatic. The spring guns slow rate of fire is their only major flaw, but it comes with the territory.

Whether you’re a seasoned airsoft owner looking to add a new airsoft gun to your collection, or a new enthusiast to the sport, spring guns can be an affordable and rewarding choice of airsoft weaponry.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, the nation's foremost airsoft retailer offering electric and gas and C02 powered airsoft guns. Please visit Airsoft Megastore to shop for airsoft AEGs, full metal airsoft rifles or the right gas or spring powered airsoft gas gun for players of any experience level.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Airsoft Gun Maintenance

Just as with a true firearm, it is important to practice appropriate gun care with airsoft guns.  Airsoft guns are, after all, highly complex replicas of their real-life counterparts. A neglected gun can result in misfires, malfunctions and a broken weapon. Every gun is different and will require care based on its specifics… so be sure to read the manual thoroughly.  That said, there are a few universals that are worth keeping in mind, no matter what weapon you are caring for. 
Storing Your Airsoft Gun
  • Always store your gun in a clean, dry space, away from young children.  If there are very young children around, it is advisable to keep guns locked in a proper firearm storage unit.
  • Never leave a gun loaded – or cocked - and be sure to store magazines and guns in separate places.
Use Quality Airsoft Ammo
  • Only use high polished, high density, quality airsoft BBs that are perfectly spherical – no visible seams or bubbles. 
  • Cheap BBs like those sold at Wal-Mart and general sport goods stores, will cause irreparable damage to gun internals and void out your warranty.
  • Please note that some BBs will bill themselves as seamless, when in fact they are not.  They have only been polished so that seams are no longer visible.  Do your research and only buy bbs from respected brands like Goldenball and King Arms BBs.

Caring for Magazines and Clips
  • Never leave a gun loaded – or cocked - and be sure to store magazines and guns in separate places.
  • To prevent jamming and misfires, always check that magazines and clips are free of debris so you don’t have a loading jam. If you choose to recycle airsoft pellets, ensure that they are 100% clean.
  • Empty magazines after each use.
  • With gas guns, do not use the release valve when expelling gas. Loss of clip pressure can damage a gun.
Oiling Your Airsoft Gun
  • Always keep airsoft gun barrels free of obstruction. Whenever cleaning a gun, be sure to set it to safety.
  • If you are using an AEG, decompress the spring after every use. In some instances the gun will have a decompression button while others will require that you switch the gun to semi-automatic and fire a few shots. 
  • Lubricate the barrel approximately every 6 months with pure silicone oil spray.  Never use petroleum lubricants, water, solvents or general cleansers. And be sure to turn off hop-up before oiling and be careful not to over oil your gun, which can damage bow rings and seals.
  • Spray cloth swatch and thread it through the slit in your cleaning rod.  Insert and gently swab the inside of the barrel.  Follow the oiled swatch with a clean piece of cloth, to pick up excess dirt and oil.
  • After cleaning, it may take a few fires for hop-up to function.  This is perfectly normal.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the VP of Operations of Airsoft Megastore, the #1 fastest growing Airsoft retailer in the nation. Airsoft Megastore offers the latest airsoft shotguns, pistols, rifles, and gear as well as the best collection of seamless, high grade airsoft ammo available.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Airsoft Guns – A Guide to Gas vs. Electric vs. Spring

If you decide to purchase an airsoft gun, no matter which make or model you select, you will be guaranteed an adrenaline-pumping good time. That said, the type of gun you need will depend on your climate, your competition level, and whether you are practicing accuracy or just looking to have a killer time on a budget. We understand how important these factors are when making a decision between springs powered, AEG’s or gas powered airsoft gun, and that’s why we put together a good comparison guide for beginners and advanced alike. 

Spring Powered

The spring powered airsoft gun is probably the most readily available variety since they’re affordable. These weapons are named for their spring functionality which is responsible for launching the BB pellet. Although some other airsoft gun's use a spring mechanism as well this is the main and only function the spring airsoft gun uses to shoot.

  • Usually the least expensive option
  • No need for additional accessories like batteries and chargers
  • Unlimited power source since it doesn’t run on battery or gas
  • Many upgrade options to create a very powerful gun
  • Can be used in all weather conditions (cold, hot, wet, dry) since there’s no gas to freeze or battery to get wet
  • Great starter gun for first time airsoft gun users
  • Certain models can make extremely powerful sniper rifles with 400-700 fps

  • Must manually cock your gun before every shot, making them incapable of semi-automatic or automatic fire
  • They generally don’t last as long as other airsoft guns although this can vary depending on the model you purchase
  • Often a plastic body as opposed to metal – meaning cheaper but not as reliable or realistic
  • The spring can make a noise that discloses location

Automatic Electric Guns

The automatic electric is the most commonly used airsoft gun in the market, especially the AEG rifle. They run on electric motors and are require an electric airsoft gun battery that you will have to routinely charge in order to use the gun.  Although it typically contains a spring, there are additional features on it that you won’t find on a spring powered airsoft, like the gearbox. The gearbox possesses 3 gears that combined with the piston, push against the spring to launch the pellet through the barrel. This often provides extra power for your shot.

  • Commonly available in metal body form for a more realistic feel
  • Usually the preferred form for field gamers, especially the airsoft rifle
  • No need to manually cock before each shot
  • Capable of rapid semi-automatic and automatic fire
  • Can “hot rod” them at a reasonable cost
  • Good option when you need to be quiet
  • Can use in both hot and cold weather

  • You will have to recharge for multiple uses
  • Need to pay close attention to what battery you purchase since some last longer than others
  • Can malfunction in wet conditions
  • The electric pistol form is usually more “toy like” in appearance and feel
  • Restricted space for magazines on automatic electric pistols

Gas Powered

Gas powered guns are often called “classic airsoft guns” since they were some of the first airsoft guns ever made. There have been protocols enforced since then, however, to restrict the type of gas you can use to power them. It’s recommended to stay away from “red gas” or R-12 liquid propellants which both violate US EPA regulations when used as an aerosol. Stick to “green gas” guns or propane adapters to be safe.

  • Automatic and semi-automatic capabilities
  • Preferred type when purchasing an airsoft pistol due to size constraints with AEG’s
  • People love the blowback feature on the airsoft gas pistols, which automatically puts the next shot in place for you for the most realistic performance
  • Favorite for airsoft gun collectors
  • Also favored when you need adjustable velocity capabilities on your airsoft gun
  • One of the most versatile and realistic looking options
  • Often more affordable than AEG’s but more expensive than springs

  • Often malfunction in cold weather since the gas can freeze
  • Purchasing gas canisters can be costly
  • No unlimited power since it needs gas reloads to run
  • If gaming, you will need to carry spare gas canisters with you, especially if using a blowback pistol
  • Many gasses are illegal due to their effects on the environment
  • Can produce a gas cloud which could give away your location if you need to stay hidden
  • When using propane you need an adapter
Although all the airsoft guns are fun, some are preferable depending on your conditions and constrains. Hopefully this list gave you some guidance and which is best for your needs.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, the #1 fastest growing Airsoft retailer in the nation. Airsoft Megastore offers the latest airsoft gun upgrades as well as a 125% low price guarantee on all new airsoft guns and airsoft pellets.

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