For those who are new to airsoft, these guns shoot 6mm round pellets commonly known as "BBs." They travel at speeds much lower than real bullets and although a bit painful when hit by one of these pellets, they cannot kill someone nor cause heavy-bleeding injuries unlike real guns. Even though airsoft is considered a toy gun, safety precautions should still be taken into account when playing with these replicas
As mentioned most airsoft are the exact copies of the actual guns. Some manufacturers even use real mold of the originals in order to create the look, feel and even weight of their real-steel counterpart. Automatic Electric Guns can only cause welts. It is still painful however when the BB pellets hit the skin, since they travel at high speeds. That is why during "skirmishes," protective gears must be worn to avoid serious injuries, especially around the eyes. Also, thick protective outfits are also recommended to be worn. There are special camouflages similar to those used by cadets that can be worn. Sweatshirts and thick pants can also protect the skin from being directly hit.
Airsoft guns can be categorized into 3 types. They are:
1. Automatic Electric Guns (AEG)
The Automatic Electric Guns (AEG) is among the most popular, although the most expensive, gun out of the three. Ranging an average of about $300, these guns are not anywhere cheap. Tokyo Marui is by far the most popular manufacturer of these guns. AEG's are powered by the Nickel Cadmium battery. It operates the motors that run the three gears inside the gun. These gears, in turn, compress and release the piston creating a blast of air that propels the BB pellets out of the gun barrel. The system allows the gun to function efficiently with its fully-automatic features in compare to most AEG's resulting in a realistic Rate-of-Fire. It can reach anywhere from 600 to 900 Rounds-per-Minute replicating the capabilities of the real-steel gun. For those who are advanced in the field, these are the guns of choice because even though pricey, they are worth it.
The next most popular gun is the gas-powered ones. Designed for those who are intermediate to the field of airsoft guns, they are less expensive than the AEG's. There are several types of gas-powered guns. The most popular one is the Gas-Blowback; also know as GBB's. They operate using 134a green gas (a form of propane) to compress the air used to propel the BB's out of the barrel. The same gas is used to cycle back the slide, creating recoil by cycling the slide back and forth. The gas is either stored in the magazine or on-board. Similar to AEG's, the Gas-Blowbacks allow realistic semi-automatic firing. The gun allows the ease of magazine reload and making it very appealing to its users
Now let's talk about the spring-powered Airsoft gun. Spring-cocking guns are true to their name in that you cock the spring first, and then fire. Cock spring, fire, cock, fire, cock, fire, etc. These guns are usually magazine fed and semi-automatic, but they must be hand-cocked after every shot. This system is very cost-effective, and the guns are surprisingly sturdy. Every Airsofter, in his lifetime, has owned at least one spring-powered gun, either a pistol or a rifle. Due to its relatively cheap price-range, this is usually the gun of choice for the person just starting to play airsoft. A spring-powered handgun can be purchased for as little as $20.
Determining which gun would work for your purpose
This is a very commonly asked question. To determine the type of gun you are going to need during combat is definitely a key factor in your days victory over a day of defeat. Think of it this way you definitely would not want a gun suited for Close Quarter Combat when you are playing in an open woodland type environment. The range is going to be about half of the assault rifles, this would put you at a major disadvantage over your opponents. CQB battles do not need long range where most of the engagements are within 50ft to100ft. With this being said the CQB guns fire at a lower FPS than the normal assault rifles, however since the engagement is so close a person would not want to be using a 400 to 450 Fps velocity.
The most common style of CQB weapon is the MP5 series. These guns range in price and quality from $20 up to $450 on occasion they could run even more. When it comes to out door engagements the weapons of choice are mainly the M16/ M4 series rifles. Of course other good weapons to use in the out door environment would be the M14, and the G36 rifles.
Many people wonder if it would be an advantage to carry a pistol with them, personally I feel that a person is at an advantage to carry a pistol on their body. If you are running low on ammo for your rifle and you need a quick burst of fire to take down your enemy, you do not want to be caught loading in the middle of a firefight. With a pistol this can be an advantage, you could definitely surprise your enemy as he thinks he is going to finish you off, with a burst of 3-5 shots from your pistol.