7 Best Airsoft Pistols for Beginners for 2024 (Ranked and Reviewed)

Having a great airsoft pistol is important for any airsoft player. Even as a beginner, you could use a reliable sidearm with you on the field. However, choosing the best airsoft pistol for beginners from the hundreds of options available is very difficult. To help you make that choice, we ranked and reviewed 7 of the best airsoft pistols for beginners out there.

If you’re in a hurry:

For complete beginners in airsoft, we usually recommend getting an electric airsoft rifle (AEG). These have great performance and are easy to maintain. Despite that, if you’re looking for an airsoft pistol, there are dozens of great options. And airsoft pistols are much cheaper than rifles. However, keep in mind that if you’re playing airsoft outdoors, a rifle will usually be superior to a pistol.

The choice of airsoft pistols on the market is huge, with hundreds or even thousands of options available. On one hand, the large number of airsoft pistols is great, since it gives you a lot of options to choose from. But, it also makes it very difficult for you to choose the best airsoft pistol for you. And to make matters worse, a large percentage of the airsoft pistols available are low-quality and should be avoided. That’s why having a reliable guide in choosing an airsoft pistol is crucial.

Airsoft pistols are mostly used as a sidearm, a secondary weapon. However, for many people, pistols are the first airsoft gun they use, mainly because they’re usually cheaper than airsoft rifles. And for a close quarter game, an airsoft pistol can even be your first choice. All in all, owning an airsoft pistol is almost essential for an airsofter.

There are many factors to consider when choosing an airsoft pistol. Some of the more important ones that we took into account when we made this list are shooting performance (FPS), accuracy, reliability, build quality (both internal and external), value for money (we made sure to only include airsoft pistols on the list if they’re definitely worth their respective price), adjustable hop up, the reputation of the manufacturer, as well as others.

If you’re not really sure what airsoft pistols are, how they are used, what to look for in them, and what types of airsoft pistols are there, you can check out our buyer’s guide below.

And now, here are the best airsoft pistols for beginners on the market in 2023.

Best Airsoft Pistols for Beginners for 2023

1. KJW M9

Best airsoft pistol for beginners

KJW Full Metal M9 - best airsoft pistol for beginners
FPS Range300-340
PowerGreen gas, propane adapter, red gas, CO2.
Dimensions216mm x 133mm
Magazine25+1 rounds
Hop upYes, non-adjustable
SystemGas Blowback
ManufacturerKJ Works

Among the many great options, we chose the KJW M9 Full Metal as the best airsoft pistol for beginners in 2023. And not just for beginners, this is a great pistol for more experienced players too, ranking very high in our list of best airsoft pistols overall.

The KJW M9 is very realistic and with a great internal and external build. Unlike many other pistols on the list, it’s compatible with both green gas and CO2. The construction of this gas blowback airsoft pistol is full metal.

It shoots roughly at between 300 and 340 FPS. Keep in mind that if you’re using CO2 the FPS should be higher compared to green gas. Also, by using CO2 you get a stronger recoil.

The KJW M9 has a great grip, is perfect for lefties too, and comes with reinforced steel parts, which increase its durability.


  • Full Metal Construction
  • Full Metal Heavy Weight New Version Aluminum Slide and Frame.
  • Able to handle high pressured gas: green gas, red gas, Co2, Propane adapter.
  • TONS of after market upgrade / replacement parts available.
  • Hard Kick Blowback Action / Working Realistic Hammer action.
  • Great accuracy and performance.
  • Standard Military Type Tactical Grip.
  • Ambidextrous on frame safety.
  • Built in front & rear sight with high visibility white dot.
  • Reinforced metal steel parts on entire pistol.
  • Built in lanyard adapter, a spec. requested by the US military to KJW. For increased tactical advantage and realism.
  • On Slide Serration.
  • It’s a KJW: Marui Design, reputable manufacture and its close relationship with your#1 retailer means it will never go out of service on you. (Tons of spare / upgrade parts available).

This airsoft pistol is perfect for all conditions, both outdoors and indoors. It has a great range and accuracy, and comes with an adjusted hop up.

The KJW M9  is one of the most realistic airsoft pistols out there. In fact, it’s even used by the US military and law enforcement, as part of their training. This is due to their great performance and their realism.

Although it’s already awesome out of the box, the KJW M9 is highly upgradeable and customizable, with numerous parts available for fine-tuning it.

This is a great pistol for starters in part due to its very affordable price. As a beginner, you probably still don’t have an idea about what you want from a pistol. Because of this, it won’t make sense to get the most premium pistol out there. Instead, the KJW M9 is a great pistol at a price that’s more than fair.

In fact, in its price bracket, it’s probably the best pistol and the one that provides most value for the money. If you’re a beginner looking for a realistic, accurate, and reliable airsoft pistol, you should definitely consider the KJW M9.

2. Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2

Best CO2 airsoft pistol for beginners

Elite Force 1911 Tactical CO2
Gas Type12g CO2 Cartridges
Dimensions230mm x 135mm
Magazine14+1 rounds
Hop upYes, Adjustable
SystemGas Blowback
Firing ModeSemi-Auto, Safety
ManufacturerElite Force / Umarex

Another option you absolutely can’t go wrong with is the Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2. It’s a little bit pricier than the KJW M9, but even as a beginner it’s worth spending on this pistol, since you really can’t go wrong.

The Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2 features a full-metal construction, which makes it very realistic. Another thing that adds to the realism is the ultra-realistic slide action. This pistol has a great shooting performance and accuracy out of the box, and it comes with an adjustable hop up which further improves them.

It comes with all the features expected of a 1911 safety pistol. The usage of CO2 enables the Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2 to have an FPS of around 345, which is among the highest on this list. The CO2 also enable this pistol to have a very strong blowback, making it one of the most realistic airsoft pistols out there.


  • Full Metal Construction
  • 20mm Underside Rail great for Tactical Accessories
  • Threaded Orange Tip

The Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2 has a built-in rail to which you can add on a flashlight or a laser. It also features a threaded tip which allows you to add a mock silencer or a suppressor.

The only con to this gun is its relatively low magazine capacity of 14+1 rounds, which is characteristic of all single-stack 1911s. Despite that, this is a great pistol that also ranks very high on our list of best airsoft pistols overall.


Gas TypeGreen Gas
Dimensions216mm x 140mm
Magazine25 rounds
Hop upYes, Adjustable
SystemGas Blowback

Another M9 on the list, and another great choice. A gas blowback pistol with full metal construction, this airsoft pistol has one of the best external builds out there. Apart from the high-quality metal construction, the KWA M9 is also a highly realistic replica of its Beretta counterpart.

The KWA M9 is characterized by a great performance right out of the box. It’s accurate, durable, with a great range, shoots at an FPS of roughly 325, and features an adjustable hop up.


  • Full metal construction mimics the real counterpart
  • Functioning safety / decocker mechanism
  • Double – Action / Single-Action capable
  • Realistic takedown
  • Realistic blowback

The pistol is powered by green gas and is actually very efficient when it comes to gas consumption. That’s owed to the NS2 gas system, pioneered by the Taiwan’s KWA, which is the company that manufacturs this airsoft pistol. The NS2 gas system manages to maximize the green gas efficiency.

Without a doubt, the KWA M9 PTP is along with the KJW M9 one of the best M9s on the market. If an M9 is what you want, it’s probably best to decide between these two.

4. Action Army AAP-01 “Assassin” Gas Blowback Pistol

Best airsoft pistol under $100 for beginners

Action Army AAP-01
Gas typeGreen Gas
Magazine22 rounds
Hop upYes, adjustable
SystemGas Blowback
Firing ModeSemi-Auto, Full-Auto
ManufacturerAction Army

While all of the above mentioned guns are great and definitely worth the money, the reality is that not everyone is willing to spend that much money as a beginner. But, does that mean that you have to settle for a low-quality gun? Not at all.

Although it may not be as perfect as the other airsoft pistols on the list, the Action Army AAP-01 “Assassin” is definitely a great choice. With it, you get a sidearm that’s not too far from the highest-quality airsoft pistols out there, at a significantly lower price.

The Action Army AAP-01 “Assassin” is great for both target shooting and airsoft games, is great for lefties as well as for right-handed users, and features a threaded barrel to which you can add a suppressor. It shoots with a solid FPS of over 300.


  • Action Army’s first unique pistol design comes with aggressive styling and performance to match
  • Unique target pistol design, great for both target plinking and use in Airsoft skirmishes
  • Selectable Semi-Auto and Full-Auto firing modes!
  • 14mm- threaded barrel allows the use of Airsoft suppressors
  • Fiber-optic style front and rear iron sights
  • Ambidextrous and side-swappable features such as the mag-release and charging handle optimize ergonomics for both right and left-handed shooters
  • Uses TM g-spec compatible green gas magazine

One of the features that sets this pistol apart is that it comes with both semi-auto and full-auto firing modes. You can seamlessly switch from semi to full auto and vice versa through a selector switch featured in the pistol.

But, the most important thing that sets the Action Army AAP-01 “Assassin” apart from the other airsoft pistols in the list is its very affordable price.

All in all, the Action Army AAP-01 “Assassin” is a solid airsoft pistol, and without a doubt worth the money. If you’re looking to spend less than $100 on a sidearm, this pistol is very likely your best option.

5. H&K Licensed USP AEP by Elite Force

Best electric airsoft pistol for beginners

H&K Licensed USP AEP
Battery7.2v 500mAh NiMH Micro AEP Type
Magazine29 rounds
Hop upYes, adjustable
Firing ModeSemi-Auto, Full-Auto
ManufacturerElite Force

Up until now, all the recommended pistols were powered by gas. This is no surprise since gas airsoft pistols are without a doubt superior to both electric and spring airsoft pistols. However, for a beginner, an electric airsoft pistol may be a great choice. And probably the best among electric airsoft pistols (AEP) is the H&K Licensed USP AEP.

Keep in mind that this pistol won’t perform as well as the others mentioned already. Still, it has the advantages that come with electric airsoft guns. First of all, it’s cost-effective, because the battery is rechargeable and you won’t have to keep buying gas. It’s also much easier to maintain than gas guns, so it might be a good choice for a beginner.


  • Fully licensed by H&K
  • Based on the Tokyo Marui AEP system
  • Full metal slide and polymer frame, is easily upgradeable with Tokyo Marui spec gearbox internal components
  • Heavy weight robust construction with full metal slide, magazine, selectors, inner barrel
  • Adjustable Hop-up and Precision bore inner barrel and high-performance motor
  • Detachable magazine and on-frame ambidextrous magazine release
  • Utilizes the traditional 7.2v AEP battery

The H&K Licensed USP AEP is a great and underrated airsoft pistol. It features a full metal slide and polymer frame, and is manufactured by the highly regarded Elite Force. This AEP shoots at an FPS of around 200, is very accurate, and has a surprisingly solid range. The H&K Licensed USP AEP comes with a magazine capacity of 29 rounds, an adjustable hop up, as well as both semi and full-auto firing modes.

It also comes with a great battery life, and is very consistent even in conditions such as cold weather. The AEP is also a good choice if you’re playing indoors, where limits may prevent you from using more powerful pistols.

In a nutshell, if you decide to go with an electric airsoft pistol, you should definitely consider The H&K Licensed USP AEP by Elite Force.

6. Cybergun Magnum Research Officially Licensed Desert Eagle AEP

Cybergun Magnum Research Desert Eagle AEP
Battery7.4v 500mAh NiMH Micro AEP Type
Magazine29 rounds
Hop upYes, adjustable
Firing ModeSemi-Auto, Full-auto
ManufacturerCYMA (Licensed by Cybergun)

We already discussed about the advantages of electric airsoft guns, especially for beginners. So if you decide to get an electric airsoft pistol and want a more premium option than the H&K Licensed USP AEP, than the Cybergun Magnum Research Officially Licensed Desert Eagle AEP can be a great option.

It’s an AEP manufactured by the always reliable CYMA, and licensed by Cybergun. This pistol is also heavy weight, and features a full metal slide, magazine, selectors, as well as a very durable polymer frame.

When it comes to performance, it shoots at 190-210 FPS, has a 29 round magazine, good battery life, an adjustable hop up, and can shoot both semi and full auto. This AEP is based on the Tokyo Marui AEP system.


  • Based off of the Tokyo Marui AEP system
  • Features an internal MOSFET system to protect your internals and extend the lifespan of your pistol
  • Full metal slide and polymer frame, is easily upgradeable with Tokyo Marui spec gearbox internal components
  • Heavy weight robust construction with full metal slide, magazine, selectors, mag well, inner barrel
  • Precision bore inner barrel and high performance motor
  • Semi-automatic and fully automatic dual firing model with on frame selector / safety
  • Detachable magazine and on-frame magazine release
  • Utilizes the traditional 7.2v AEP battery

The Cybergun Magnum Research Officially Licensed Desert Eagle AEP features an internal MOSFET system, which will protect the internals of the pistol. This will significantly expand its lifespan. So, although you pay more for this pistol than for others, you can expect it to last much longer than other, more affordable pistols.

7. Colt M1911A1

Best spring airsoft pistol for beginners

Colt M1911A1
Dimensions225mm x 150mm
Magazine12 rounds
Hop upYes, non-adjustable
Firing ModeSingle Shot, Safety

For more diversity, we’ll include a spring airsoft pistol on the list too. Clearly, this pistol can’t compare to any on the list. Still, if a spring pistol is what you’re looking for, this one is a great choice.

The Colt M1911A1 is a very realistic replica fully licensed by the Colt company. Although it’s inferior to the other pistols on the list, it’s also by far the cheapest option. But it’s still a reliable and durable option.


  • Fully Licensed by Colt
  • No gas or battery required to operate / power.
  • Polymer Frame with heavyweight metal slide.
  • 1:1 True scale with realistic slide action
  • Detachable magazine / on-frame safety
  • Serrated slide

Since it’s a spring airsoft pistol, the Colt M1911A1 doesn’t come with an auto-firing mode. But on the other hand, it requires neither gas nor battery to work. It has a magazine capacity of 12 rounds, comes with a non-adjustable hop up, and shoots at around 325 FPS.

While the performance of the Colt M1911A1 is clearly not up to par to gas guns, you should definitely consider it if you’re looking for the best spring airsoft pistol.

Comparison Table of Best Airsoft Pistols for Beginners

 KJW M9Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2KWA M9 PTPAction Army AAP-01 “Assassin”H&K Licensed USP AEPCybergun Magnum Research Officially Licensed Desert Eagle AEPColt M1911A1
FPS Range300-340345325312190-210190-210325
PowerGreen gas, propane adapter, red gas, CO2.12g CO2 CartridgesGreen GasGreen Gas7.2v 500mAh NiMH Micro AEP Type7.4v 500mAh NiMH Micro AEP Type/  
Magazine25+1 rounds14+1 rounds25 rounds22 rounds29 rounds29 rounds12 rounds
Hop upYes, non-adjustableYes, adjustableYes, adjustableYes, adjustableYes, adjustableYes, adjustableYes, non-adjustable
SystemGas BlowbackGas BlowbackGas BlowbackGas BlowbackElectricElectricSpring
ManufacturerKJ WorksElite Force / UmarexKWAAction ArmyElite ForceCYMA (Licensed by Cybergun)SoftAir

Buyer’s Guide

What Is an Airsoft Pistol?

An airsoft pistol is essentially a highly realistic replica of a real pistol. While they closely resemble the real pistol they replicate, airsoft pistols shoot small, round, plastic BBs.

In airsoft, pistols are mainly used as a sidearm, a secondary weapon. If you’re mostly playing close quarters, you may even opt for an airsoft pistol as your primary weapon. Pistols are also great for target shooting practice.

Airsoft pistols are highly popular, in part due to their affordability. Indeed, compared to airsoft rifles, pistols are usually much cheaper.

Types of Airsoft Pistols

Depending on what powers them, there are different types of airsoft pistols. Mainly, we divide them into 3 categories: spring, electric, and gas airsoft guns.

Spring Airsoft Pistols

The simplest and by far cheapest are the spring airsoft pistols. Although the first airsoft guns ever were spring guns, they aren’t practical for an airsoft battle. This is mainly because they require the player to manually cock the gun before each shot. Because of this, they have a much slower rate of shooting and are virtually unusable in an airsoft match.

They also require some hand strength in order to pull back the slide before every shot. Finally, their range and accuracy are inferior to other types of pistols. They can still be fun for target shooting in your backyard though.

If this works for you, the Colt M1911A1 may be your best option, which is also very affordable.

Electric Airsoft Pistols

Next up are the electric airsoft pistols (AEPs). They are definitely an upgrade over spring pistols, and these can even be used in an airsoft match. Electric airsoft guns are battery-powered and don’t require you to manually cock the gun.

While electric airsoft guns are generally the most popular, when it comes to pistols, they are clearly inferior to gas pistols.

Still, they do have some advantages over them. Mainly, AEPs are more cost-effective. This is because they are powered by batteries, which can easily be recharged when depleted. On the other hand, with gas pistols, you’ll need to keep buying gas whenever you’re out of it.

AEPs are also much easier to maintain, which makes them a good option for beginners. They’re also very consistent and are able to perform great in difficult conditions such as cold weather.

All in all, while not as good as gas pistols, AEPs are an option that you can consider when buying an airsoft pistol, depending on how much you rate cost-effectiveness and maintenance.

The choice of electric airsoft pistols isn’t as good as that of gas pistols. Still, there are a couple of great choices. If you decide to go this route, you won’t be disappointed with the H&K Licensed USP AEP by Elite Force, arguably the best electric airsoft pistol on the market.

Gas Airsoft Pistols

Without a doubt, gas airsoft pistols are the superior pistol type. They’re the most realistic, powerful, accurate, reliable, and durable airsoft pistols there are. If you’re really serious about airsoft, these are virtually the only type you should look at.

The only disadvantages they have is that they aren’t as cost-effective (you’ll need to buy gas bottles or cartridges), and require some maintenance, which shouldn’t be much of an issue. If you find these factors crucial, you may opt for an electric airsoft pistol instead. But, be aware that the performance and realism you get from them won’t be as good as with gas airsoft guns.

Gas airsoft pistols are powered by gas, such as green gas or CO2. Green gas is stored in bottles, and you fill it in by “pouring” it from the bottle into the magazine. Generally, you can shoot 2-3 full magazines before you need to refill gas. The best green gas airsoft pistol, as well as the best airsoft pistol overall in our rankings, is the Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1.

On the other hand, CO2 gas is usually found in small CO2 cartridges, which are inserted whole into the pistol. If this is what you’re looking for, your best option is to go with the Elite Force 1911 TAC CO2.

Blowback vs non-blowback gas airsoft pistols

Some of the terms that you might have heard are blowback vs non-blowback gas pistols. In essence, gas blowback airsoft pistols are those that have a recoil upon firing, similarly to real pistols. This hugely increases the realism of these type of pistols, so they’re far more popular than any other type of airsoft pistols. A large majority of the items on our list of best airsoft pistols are gas blowback guns.

Still, you should be aware that gas blowback airsoft pistols have a disadvantage too. Once again, that’s their cost-effectiveness. A blowback pistol will use gas both for shooting the BB and for the recoil. In comparison, a non-blowback pistol will only use gas for the shooting.

Despite this, if you’re looking for the best of the best airsoft pistols, it’s very likely you’ll end up with a gas blowback airsoft pistol.

Other terms that you should know are fully and semi-automating firing modes. In essence, fully automatic shooting means that the gun will shoot out pellets for as long as the trigger is pressed, up until you release it. Semi-automatic means that the gun shoots out one pellet for every pressing of the trigger, and you need to release the trigger and press it again for another firing.

What To Look Out for When Buying an Airsoft Pistol?

If you’re looking to buy an airsoft pistol, it’s crucial to know what to look out for. We considered a bunch of different factors when creating this list of best airsoft pistols for 2023. These factors are some of the most important things you should look for in an airsoft gun. Here are just some of the things to consider when buying an airsoft pistol:

  • Build quality – It’s no surprise that one of the key things to consider is the build quality, both internal and external. You want a gun with high-quality internal components (such as the barrel, trigger, and bucking), as well as high-quality external components (such as the grip, slide, and rail).
  • Shooting performance – You want an airsoft pistol with consistent FPS (meaning that the FPS doesn’t vary too much between different shots), high accuracy (so that you can hit opponents from a distance), and a hop up.
  • Reliability – When it comes to construction, metal build is usually considered more reliable than plastic. However, in some cases, the plastic can be of high quality and very durable (such as the Tokyo Marui models), so it’s not a problem.
  • Value for money – You’d be surprised how often price doesn’t correlate with quality when it comes to airsoft guns. Therefore, getting a more expensive airsoft pistol is justified only if it lives up to its price. When making the list of best airsoft pistols, we ensured that the price of each pistol on the list is justified.
  • The reputation of the manufacturer – Getting an airsoft pistol from a well-known brand means that you shouldn’t worry too much about its quality. If you’re buying an airsoft gun produced by a company such as Tokyo Marui or Elite Force, it’s very likely that you’re getting a high-quality piece. You can find other good brands on our list of best airsoft brands overall.

How We Made This List

In order to make the reviews as reliable as possible, I’m continuously testing the products we recommend. This is especially true for lists geared toward beginners

Out of the 7 pistols reviewed in this list, I’ve personally tried and tested 6 of them. I’ve also consulted countless experienced airsofters, as well as looked and analyzed other blogs and the products they recommend, so that I don’t miss a good product.

All of this is done to give you the best possible recommendations for your first airsoft pistol.


With thousands of airsoft pistols out there, it’s difficult to distinguish the quality from the junk. So, we took into account the shooting performance, accuracy, reliability, build quality, value for money, and the manufacturer of the numerous pistols on the market to create a list of the best airsoft pistols for beginners for 2023.

In this article, we presented the 7 best airsoft pistols for beginners currently on the market. Some of the best of the best are the:

Although there are many options on this list, you really can’t go wrong with any of these picks.

Affiliate disclaimer: Airsoft Freaks is reader supported. If you buy some of the products on this list through our links, we may earn a small commission.