You’ve probably heard a lot about electric, gas, and maybe spring airsoft guns. If you’re confused about the difference between these types of airsoft guns, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss in detail everything you need to know about electric airsoft guns, as well as how they differ from other types of airsoft guns. Let’s dive in.
What Is an Electric Airsoft Gun?
An electric airsoft gun is an airsoft gun that is powered by electricity from a rechargeable battery. The battery powers the motor, which transmits through a gearbox to pull back a piston that compresses air and shoots out the pellet out of the gun. Further down there’s a separate section that goes deeper into how electric airsoft guns work, if you want to know how it works internally.
Electric guns will come with a rechargeable battery and a charger. This means that once you buy the electric gun, you don’t have additional recurring costs, apart from buying pellets. If your battery goes out, you can simply charge it. Having a reserve battery on you can also come in handy, since if the battery goes out while you’re playing that would be game over for you.
They’re also easy to maintain, powerful, accurate, durable, consistent, have a fast trigger response, and offer a wide variety of choices to modify them.
Electric airsoft guns are the most commonly used airsoft guns. This is because most airsoft rifles, which are the most used type of airsoft weapon, are automatic electric guns (AEGs). There are also gas-powered rifles, but they are not as common as AEGs.
Even if you’re just starting into airsoft, an AEG is probably the best option for your first airsoft gun. This is in part due to their ease of use. Essentially, you need to only worry if the battery is charged, and to clear and lubricate it. And if some part breaks, you’ll likely easily find a replacement due to the popularity of AEGs.
AEGs can shoot automatically, which makes them superior to spring guns for example. You also have the choice to select semi-automatic shooting, and in some cases a 3-round burst.
In case you’re not familiar, 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, you need to release the trigger and press it again for another firing. And a burst means firing a certain number of rounds for every press. For example, a 3-round burst will shoot 3 pellets when you press the trigger.
AEGs are also popular because of their close resemblance to the real guns they replicate, both in looks and feel. Some of the most popular airsoft replicas that you can play with are the M4, M16, AK-47, as well as many others. Due to their popularity, you can easily find parts to repair, modify, or upgrade them.
When we talk about electric airsoft guns, people usually think of airsoft rifles. But, there are also automatic electric pistols. While not as popular as gas-powered pistols, they can still be a good choice, and in some cases even a better option than the gas pistol (especially in cold weather, when electric airsoft guns perform better than gas guns).
What Is an Airsoft Gun in General?
Airsoft guns are essentially replica guns that closely resemble real-life firearms, at least in looks. Although they look close to the real firearms they replicate, airsoft guns shoot small (6 mm in diameter), round, plastic pellets that generally aren’t dangerous (as long as the safety rules are followed).
This makes them the optimal choice for games in which real-life combat is simulated. For combat enthusiasts, the realism of airsoft guns makes them a far better option than something like paintball, which is similar in concept, but far less realistic.
What Are the Different Types of Airsoft Guns?
The three main types of airsoft guns are spring, electric, and gas airsoft guns. These types of airsoft guns differ in the power source, as well as in the mechanism that shoots the pellets out of the barrel. Each of the three types has certain characteristics, pros, and cons that you should take into account when deciding what airsoft gun to buy.
We already discussed electric airsoft guns, and we’ll discuss them even further. In a nutshell, electric guns have a battery, a motor, and a gearbox, in addition to other parts. They use electricity from the battery, hence the name. The motor drives the gears to pull back a piston which shoots out the pellet from the gun. For beginners, automatic electric guns (AEGs) are probably the best choice as their first gun.
Another popular choice is gas-powered guns. They use compressed gas to propel the airsoft pellet out of the barrel. They are probably not as beginner-friendly as the AEG, but they’re very realistic and can be a great option for a secondary weapon. Gas guns can use many different gases, including green gas, CO2, and HPA.
Spring airsoft guns are cheaper, but far less practical than both electric and gas guns. That’s because you have to manually cock the spring gun after every shot. This makes their rate of shooting much slower. Spring airsoft guns were the first airsoft guns invented, but today they’ve fallen out of the favor of airsoft players. However, they can still be commonly found in airsoft sniper rifles. They may also be useful for target practice.
How Do Electric Airsoft Guns Work?
Electric airsoft guns work by having the battery power an internal motor, which then transmits to a gearbox with 3 gears inside it, which then loads a pump piston against a spring. When the spring is released, the piston goes forward and propels the waiting pellet outside of the barrel.
Some parts of the AEGs are the battery, motor, gearbox, spring, and piston.
As you can see, automatic electric airsoft guns (AEGs) also have a spring, similar to spring guns. However, while with the spring gun you have to manually cock the gun after every shot, the AEG allows automatic and semi-automatic shooting. Therefore, the AEG is far superior to a spring airsoft gun.
AEGs are usually powered by either Li-Po (lithium polymer) or NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) batteries. When choosing an AEG you should consider the battery, mainly its mAH (milliampere-hour) rating and voltages. Batteries with higher mAH will last longer, and batteries with higher voltages will have a higher RPM (which stands for rounds per minute, meaning how many pellets the airsoft gun can fire in a minute)
You can find some of the best electric airsoft guns currently on the market in this article.
Pros and Cons of AEGs
AEGs have many pros over spring and gas guns, as well as some cons. Let’s look at those.
A great thing about them is that they’re cost-effective, meaning that since the battery is rechargeable you won’t need to spend a lot once you buy the gun. That is not the case with gas guns, which use gas to work, and once they’re out of gas you’ll need to buy new gas cartridges.
They’re also easier to maintain than gas guns, since you’ll only need to recharge the battery, and standardly clean and lubricate the gun.
AEGs are more consistent and aren’t affected as much by external conditions. On the other hand, gas guns will perform worse in cold weather.
And if you want to modify and upgrade your AEG, there are many options to do so, due to their popularity. Even if some part breaks, finding parts for AEGs should be relatively easier.
On the other hand, there’s the danger that your battery drains while on the field and leaves you empty-handed. Also, for players that want their airsoft experience to be as realistic as possible, gas guns may be a better option than AEGs.
Which Is Better: Electric or Gas Airsoft Guns?
One advantage that electric airsoft guns have over their gas counterparts is that they’re more cost-effective. This is because electric guns use batteries that are rechargeable. So, you buy it once, and then simply recharge it. On the other hand, when you finish a cartridge of a gas gun, you need to buy new cartridges. Over time, this is a significant money-saver.
When it comes to how realistic they seem, gas blowback pistols are much more realistic. While both electric and gas airsoft guns are essentially toys, gas blowback pistols resemble real guns more closely. You can find the best gas blowback pistols here.
If you want to learn more, check out this definitive guide to the differences between electric and gas airsoft guns.
What Is Electric Blowback on an Airsoft Gun?
Electric blowback on an airsoft gun is a system that tries to simulate the blowback which characterizes real guns. Airsoft guns are designed to replicate real firearms as closely as possible, and adding a blowback system to electric guns is a step in that direction. Most blowback systems are pneumatic.
One of the problems with using electric blowbacks is that the battery depletes more quickly due to the working of the blowback system. In the long run, it may also cause the electric gun to break sooner than it would without it. On the other hand, electric blowbacks don’t offer much apart from a cooler sound and a recoil.
How Much Do AEGs Cost?
The cost of AEGs varies widely, but you can find solid starter AEGs for a price between $150 and $300. AEGs below that should probably be avoided due to low quality. For a beginner, you can find a solid entry rifle for $150, and good AEGs will range between $200 and $300. AEGs above $300 can be considered high-end rifles and are of great quality.
Generally, airsoft gun prices vary a lot, depending on their quality, power, accuracy, material, range, etc. Therefore, answering how much airsoft guns cost is not straightforward. The more money you’re willing to spend, the better will be the airsoft gun you get.
Spring airsoft guns are usually the cheapest. Despite this, you should probably avoid them for most use cases. The prices of electric guns and gas guns may be more comparable, but electric guns are usually more cost-effective. That’s because they are rechargeable, so you don’t have many costs after you buy the gun. On the other hand, with gas guns there are recurring costs since you’ll have to buy gas cartridges.
An electric airsoft gun is a type of airsoft gun that is powered by electricity. In this article we went into much detail about electric airsoft guns, what they are, how they work, their pros and cons, how are they different from gas airsoft guns, as well as how much they cost.
What Does AEG Mean in Airsoft?
AEG in airsoft means automatic electric gun and denotes airsoft guns that are powered by electricity and have the option for automatic firing. AEGs are the most important subset of electric airsoft guns. They’re also probably the most popular choice for an airsoft gun.
Are Electric Airsoft Guns Good?
Electric airsoft guns are more than good, in fact, they may as well be the best option for many airsoft players. They’re good for beginners because they’re easier to maintain, cost-effective, and powerful. Electric airsoft guns are also good for more experienced players, who have a lot of options to modify and upgrade them.
How Long Do Electric Airsoft Guns Last?
The battery of an electric airsoft guns will roughly last between 1,100 and 1,600 airsoft pellets shot. The battery duration doesn’t depend on time, but rather on how much you shoot, because that’s when the electricity is needed. Generally, one pellet fired will use 1 mAH. So, since most AEG batteries range between 600 mAH and 2,500 mAH, that’s how many shots you’ll be able to fire before your battery drains. How long that will last depends on how much you’re shooting.
Do Electric Airsoft Guns Hurt?
Electric airsoft guns shouldn’t hurt terribly as long as players are following the safety guidelines, involving the recommended protection and appropriate clothing. This is true not just for electric airsoft guns, but also for gas and spring guns.