What is an Airsoft Gun? What are the types of airsoft guns?

If you’re into keenly contested team shooting activities, Airsoft is the sport for you. Participants eliminate opponents by “tagging” them with small round plastic projectiles (commonly called BBs) fired from imitation air weapons known as airsoft guns.

What is an Airsoft Gun

Airsoft guns can be simply defined as copycat weapons used in playing the sport of Airsoft. For newbies making their first foray to Airsoft, these weapons fire 6mm spherical pellets commonly referred to as “BBs.” The BBs travel much slower than actual bullets, and yes, they can be kind of painful on impact, especially on delicate parts of the body, they do not possess the ability to take life nor cause injuries that lead to heavy bleeding, unlike real bullets. Even though an airsoft gun is seen as a toy weapon, it is advised that safety measures should be of the utmost importance when playing around with these guns. 

As aforementioned, most Airsoft weapons are replicas of real guns. Some manufacturers go as far as using the actual framework of the authentic firearms to accurately construct the weight, look, and even feel of their original model. Powerful Airsoft guns like AEGs can only inflict swelling. The impact is still going to hurt; however, when the pellets strike the skin since they are traveling at usually very high speeds. This explains why it is a rule that during firefights, the appropriate protective paraphernalia must be put on to avoid needless pain and damage, especially in areas around the teeth, eyes, and nose. There is unique camouflage gear similar to the types used by the military that can also be bought and worn during games. Thick pants and sweaters can also help keep the skin safe from being hit. 

What are the Types of Airsoft Guns? 

There are 3 main types of airsoft guns;

  1. The Gas-powered airsoft guns
  2. The Spring-powered guns
  3. The Electric powered guns (AEGs)

The gas-powered guns are a popular option among players. Designed particularly for people with intermediate experience when it comes to airsoft guns, these bad boys are more affordable than their AEG counterparts. There are numerous options when choosing a gas-powered gun. One that seems to be a fan favorite is the Gas Blowback, commonly known as GBB’s. They’re operated using a specific type of Propane gas known as 134a (it is a green gas) to squeeze the air that was used to fire the pellets through the barrel of the gun. The gas has other functions; it cycles the slide back, hereby creating a recoil by letting the slide cycle in a back to front motion. The gas can be stored on-board or in a magazine. Similar to its AEG counterparts, the Gas-Blowbacks enable semi-automatic firing with a realistic feel. The gun permits easy magazine reload, which is something that endears it to users worldwide.

gas powered airsoft guns
gas-powered airsoft

Next, we turn our focus to the least popular but cheapest option; spring powered weapons. These guns do not possess the ability to fire automatically. It has to be spring-cocked before you fire a shot. This must be done before and after every shot, as many times as you need. Yes, the spring powered guns are typically semi-automatic and magazine-fed, but they have to be cocked after every blast. Albeit surprisingly, these guns are very durable and are on the low-end scale of the price range. I can guarantee you almost every Airsofter once had a spring powered gun or even more, either a rifle or a pistol. Newbies in the sport of Airsoft usually pick this type of gun because it’s relatively cheap. You can get them at stores or online for as low as $20.

spring powered airsoft gun
spring powered airsoft

Finally, we face what the Airsoft that is at the top of every user’s wishlist, the AEG! Automatic Electric Guns are undoubtedly the most sort after choice among all three, even though they are the priciest of them all. With a cost ranging around $300 on average, these weapons are not in any way cheap. These guns are popularly produced by manufacturing giants Tokyo Marui. Automatic electric guns are operated by battery, Nickel Cadmium model, to be precise. The gun has 3 internal gears that are run by battery-powered motors. These internal gears then compress and fire the piston producing a gust of air, which then propels the pellets, releasing them from the barrel and onto a target. The system enables this gun to perform wonderfully. The fully-automatic features on this gun allow it to have a realistic firing rate. It can fire anywhere between 500 to 950 Rounds-per-Minute, copying the abilities of the original gun. For the advanced and serious players in the game, the AEGs are the weapons of choice even though they’re not financially easy to come by, their capabilities and performance make them worth the hassle.

electric powered airsoft guns

How to Make a Choice on Airsoft Guns 

When you feel you’re ready to pick your airsoft gun for the first time, it is vital that you understand some basics about these weapons before purchasing. There are various top-notch airsoft guns to ponder on; but which of them best suits your needs and purpose. Selecting the right gun can be the decider between loss and victory. To put it in perspective, you would definitely be in trouble if you had a weapon meant for combat in close quarters while playing in an outdoor setting. The range would be utterly inferior compared to that of an assault rifle, this would almost certainly spell your defeat. So, before making a choice on a gun, know what you want to use it for in the first place. This would guide you in making the right choice.


Embarking on the journey of choosing an airsoft gun might seem like a herculean task when you take into consideration the number of guns there are out there, but doing a bit of research will make the search easier. Finding information on the types of guns and the situations they are most suitable for would go a long way in making sure you show up to the field ready to dominate.