If you’re an airsoft newbie looking to buy their first gun, you probably already know that there are different types of airsoft guns. The two most popular are electric and gas airsoft guns. You’re probably wondering what are their differences, pros and cons, and which one is the best for you. Worry not, in this article we’ll go deep into all you need to know about one of the biggest dilemmas in airsoft: gas vs electric.
Let’s dive in.
What Are Airsoft Guns and How Many Types Are There?
Before we go deeper, we need to first look at the basics: what even are airsoft guns, what are they used for, and what are the different types of airsoft guns. If you feel like this is too basic for you, feel free to skip the first section.
Airsoft guns are replica guns that are designed to closely resemble real-life weapons. The resemblance is solely in looks, and unlike real guns, airsoft guns are actually very much safe (as long as the safety guidelines are followed). They shoot plastic, round pellets that are only 6 mm in diameter wide and weigh much less than a gram.
These toy guns are mostly used in the sport of airsoft, which is a simulation of real-life combat. It’s a game similar in concept to paintball, although much more realistic. This realism offers the thrill of real-life warfare, while not being in any kind of danger.
There’s a wide variety of airsoft guns to choose from. Depending on their power source and mechanism by which they work, they’re usually divided into three types: electric, spring, and gas airsoft guns. All of them have the same idea: to shoot the plastic BB out of the gun. However, they do so in different ways. The three types of airsoft guns have their own characteristics, as well as some pros and cons which you need to consider when choosing a gun to buy.
Spring airsoft guns are the most basic type. The first airsoft guns invented were of this type. However, these are generally not very practical for airsoft (apart from maybe practicing target shooting or if you’re using an airsoft sniper rifle), since they have to be manually cocked after each shot. Therefore, the main dilemma that we’ll look into in this article is gas vs electric airsoft guns.
Let’s first see how each of these works and then we’ll discuss the differences, pros, and cons.
What Is an Electric Airsoft Gun?
As the name suggests, an electric airsoft gun is one that is powered by electricity. The electricity is coming from a battery, which is rechargeable, so once it’s empty you simply charge it and you’re good to go again. This makes them cost-effective since once you buy them there aren’t a lot of recurring costs (charging the battery is an insignificant cost compared to powering gas airsoft guns).
The battery powers a motor which transmits to a gearbox with 3 gears inside of it, which then pulls back a piston that compresses air and fires out the BB out of the barrel.
Electric airsoft guns are the most commonly used airsoft guns on the field. Most airsoft rifles are automatic electric guns (AEG). They’re a great option both for beginners and for more experienced players, which makes them widely popular.
AEGs are easy to use and maintain, they’re powerful and accurate, and they have a lot of choices for upgrading them if you want to do so. They can shoot automatically, semi-automatically, and sometimes a 3-round burst.
Electric airsoft guns come in a wide variety of choices. For AEGs, there are countless of great choices, including M4, M16, and AK-47 replicas. Outside of rifles, you can also get an automatic electric pistol (AEP). Here you can find the best electric airsoft pistols currently on the market.
What Is a Gas Airsoft Gun?
Gas airsoft guns are airsoft guns that use gas as the source that powers them. Some of the gases that can power them are green gas, CO2, propane, and others too. The gas is stored inside the magazine and a little bit is released when the trigger is pulled. The released guns shoots out the BB out of the barrel.
Gas-powered guns have the ability to shoot semi-automatically, but also automatically. They’re usually the best option for a secondary weapon since the best airsoft pistols are gas-powered. However, gas rifles are also common and can be a great option.
What Is the Difference Between Electric and Gas Airsoft Guns?
The main difference between electric and gas airsoft guns is in the power source that fuels them. Electric guns are powered by electricity that comes from rechargeable batteries, while gas guns are powered by gas (green gas, CO2, propane). Due to the different power source, electric and gas airsoft guns differ in their cost, realism, ease of use and maintenance, consistency, options for upgrading, and vulnerability to external conditions.
Electric vs Gas Airsoft Guns: Pros and Cons
Cost: One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an airsoft gun is the cost. And not just the cost of purchasing a gun, but the recurring costs that you’ll necessarily have. Indeed, the price of both electric and gas guns varies widely, with gas guns generally being more expensive.
However, the real cost-effectiveness of electric guns is seen when it comes to the recurring costs. This is because you’ll have to continually buy gas cartridges in order to power gas airsoft guns. Magazines for gas guns are also more expensive. On the other hand, it’s very easy to power electric guns, since all it takes is to charge the battery.
Realism: One of the main reasons why people would choose airsoft instead of paintball is due to its realism. Airsoft guns are designed to be close replicas of real weapons, at least in looks. So, it’s normal that most airsofters would prefer their guns to be as realistic as possible.
When it comes to realism, gas airsoft guns are at an advantage. They’re some of the most realistic airsoft guns out there. This is even more true for gas airsoft guns that have the blowback feature. A gas blowback pistol will recoil similarly to a real pistol. The realism makes them a good choice for stuff like shooting a movie or training.
Maintenance: Electric airsoft guns require less maintenance compared to gas airsoft guns. If you’re a beginner, this is a significant advantage. The fact that they’re easy to maintain is one of the important arguments for why AEGs are usually the best airsoft gun for a beginner.
Consistency: Another important thing where electric airsoft guns have an advantage is consistency. Electric guns will shoot with roughly the same FPS regardless of the battery level. On the other hand, the FPS of gas-powered airsoft guns will slowly drop off as there is less gas in the magazine.
Ease of repairing and modifying/upgrading: Unfortunately, airsoft guns can sometimes not work as expected, and you’ll need to find a fix for them. Electric airsoft guns have the advantage here, since parts used in them are more general and can usually be found more easily. On the other hand, gas airsoft guns have some specific parts which can be difficult to find if you’re in need of one.
Electric guns also allow you a plethora of choices when it comes to modifying them. Due to their popularity, many options for modifying them are available.
External conditions: Airsoft guns are affected by external conditions. However, different conditions affect electric and gas guns differently. For example, the performance of gas guns worsens in cold weather, unlike electric guns which are unaffected. On the other hand, electric guns tend to perform worse in rainy and humid conditions.
As you saw, electric airsoft guns are more cost-effective, easier to use and maintain, more consistent, durable, and less affected by external conditions. All of these make them generally the better choice for a beginner buying their first gun.
However, gas-powered guns are more realistic, which is an important aspect of the sport. Therefore, once you get more experienced, you can decide for yourself if you want to switch to a gas-powered gun.
Airsoft Guns CO2 vs Electric
The same differences that exist between gas and electric airsoft guns apply to CO2 guns, which are just a specific type of gas guns, powered by CO2. Electric guns are much more cost-effective since all it takes to power them is to recharge the battery, while to power CO2 you’ll need to buy small CO2 cartridges that you put in the gun.
Electric airsoft guns are also much more consistent since the performance of CO2 guns will decrease as there is less gas in the cartridge. They’re also less vulnerable to external conditions and will work without problems even in cold weather, which is not the case with CO2 guns.
On the other hand, CO2 airsoft guns offer a much more realistic look and feel compared to electric guns, which is an important aspect of airsoft.
Choosing the best airsoft gun for you is an important choice whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced airsoft player. Therefore, it’s important to know the different types of airsoft guns, how they work, what are their characteristics, pros, as well as cons. In this article we discussed those in detail for the two most popular types of airsoft guns: electric and gas airsoft guns.
Are Gas Powered Airsoft Guns Better Than Electric?
Gas-powered airsoft guns are better than electric ones if you want airsoft guns that are more realistic, fun, and more challenging. They can also be a better choice if you’re already experienced in airsoft. On the other hand, electric airsoft guns can be better if you’re a beginner looking for a consistent, cost-effective, durable, and easy to maintain airsoft gun.
Is Gas or Electric Better for Airsoft Guns?
Whether gas or electric is better for airsoft guns depends entirely on your own preferences, since both have their own pros and cons. Gas-powered guns are better
Do Electric Airsoft Guns Have Blowback?
Some electric airsoft guns have a blowback feature, which adds some realism to regular AEGs. Most of electric airsoft guns that have blowback are rifles, commonly named electric blowbacks, or EBBs. EBBs are equally powerful to an AEG, but with a blowback feature. However, even though it adds a touch of realism, the blowback drains the battery more quickly and creates additional pressure to the gears which can make the electric gun break sooner.
Are Electric Airsoft Pistols Good?
While there are some good electric airsoft pistols, most of them have flaws that make them inferior compared to gas pistols. Mainly, due to their small size, it’s difficult to fit a good gearbox in them. They do have some advantages, such as their cheaper price, being easier to use and maintain, and not having the cooldown effect.
Which Type of Airsoft Gun Is the Best?
No type of airsoft gun is the best overall. All of them are best for different situations. Electric airsoft guns are usually the best choice for beginners and for airsoft rifles, gas-powered airsoft guns are the best choice for a sidearm and for people who put a lot of importance on realism, and spring airsoft guns can be a good choice for airsoft sniper rifles and for simple target shooting.