The sport of airsoft has been growing leaps and bounds in recent years, and it’s now possible to find high-end gear at every price point. Of course, some guns are better than others—and we’re here to tell you which ones to buy. We actually bought these airsoft guns (and had the time of our lives “testing” them) to bring you the absolute best airsoft guns on the market right now:
Our list contains some of the biggest names in airsoft, as well as some lesser-known companies that are making some truly innovative and well-reviewed gear.
What to Look for When Buying Airsoft Guns: 3 Firing Mechanisms
Whether you are new to the game or not, you’ll definitely come across tons of online and offline discussions about the best airsoft guns for different situations.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not as simple as it seems. Different types of airsoft guns exist for various purposes, and the best mostly depends on playing conditions. Despite the tons of online discussions on this topic, it’s still pretty difficult finding a decent summary of information to help you determine the best, and that’s where we come in.
Here, let’s review the different types of airsoft guns available today in terms of their working mechanisms.
Spring Powered Airsoft Guns
If you entered the world of airsoft by engaging in occasional entry-level backyard fights, chances exist that your first gun was a springer. From the name, you probably can already tell that the gun uses a manual propulsion system. Unfortunately, this typically means that you’ll need to cock the gun every time you want to shoot.
This type of gun will not serve you well for competitive plays, but they are still helpful for understanding how airsoft guns work. However, you need to understand springers are usually on the low side of the quality scale, so the gun may not last forever.
On the flip side, we noticed that several airsoft snipers are cool with using spring-operated, bolt action sniper rifles for different levels of gameplay. However, beyond snipers, there’s very little that other types of spring-powered guns can do in competitive plays. Therefore, we often advise against the idea of using springers for advanced plays.
Battery Powered Airsoft Guns
Otherwise known as automatic electric guns, this type of gun uses a spring-loaded piston pump like spring guns. However, they are powered by portable rechargeable batteries, while springers are powered by manual operation. The batteries typically power an internal electric motor that transmits through a gearbox to compress the pump spring while propelling the pallets. This type of gun allows you to choose between their fire options, including semi-automatic, 3-round burst, and automatic options. These operation options are why the gun is popularly called automatic electric guns or AEGs.
AEGs are by far the most common type of gun used for competitive gameplay. They typically utilize a hop-up system to put a backspin on the BB as it is fired. The system also helps to stabilize BB flight and allow for a flatter trajectory. Their popularity and functionality mean that AEGs are the market leaders in quality, price, and gun style. Additionally, their use of an electric blowback mechanism means that you won’t need to cork your gun every time you want to shoot.
Today, newbies prefer to wet their feet in actual gameplay using entry-level electric guns. Fortunately, these guns come in different styles, although the M4 carbines are the most popular.
As expected, you can twist and upgrade most parts of an AEG to alter performance.
Gas Powered Airsoft Guns
Although less popular than electric airsoft guns, different styles of gas-powered airsoft guns are also available in today’s market. Their shooting mechanism is typically driven by the pneumatic potential energy stored within the compressed gas.
The most common type of gas-powered airsoft guns is the gas blowback (GBB). They come with an internal canister that forced the release of the prefilled gas every time the trigger is pulled. The released gas propels the pallet and generates a blowback, therefore stimulating a recoil and clinically reloading for the next shot. They feature automatic and semi-automatic operations.
Different types of gasses can be used, although we often see players opt for “green gases” because of their obvious benefits. Some players also opt for external gas like HPA or CO2. Most owners of gas airsoft guns save them as sidearms or secondary weapons when in the field of play. Despite the reliability level of these guns, experts still often advise against using them as a primary weapon.
An airsoft rifle is a long-barrelled firearm with a unique design to aid accurate shooting. The barrel of this gun features a helical pattern of grooves (rifling) cut into the bore wall. To ensure better accuracy, airsoft rifles feature a design that allows them to be held with both hands and braced firmly against the shoulder. Airsoft rifles are mostly used for airsoft warfare. They are also used for practice shooting and hunting.
Typically, there are two types of airsoft rifles:
- Airsoft sniper rifles
- Airsoft assault rifles
Airsoft Sniper Rifles
This type of rifle is designed for long-range and high precision shooting. Their main features include accuracy, mobility, reliability, optics, and concealment. Modern airsoft snipers are portable shoulder-fired weapon systems, offering shooters the chance to choose between semi-automatic action and bolt action. In addition, they typically come with a telescopic sight for better accuracy.
Airsoft Assault Rifles
This type of rifle uses a detachable magazine and an intermediate cartridge. They are designed to switch between automatic and semi-automatic modes efficiently.
By strict definition, an airsoft assault rifle must have the following characteristics:
- It must allow selective operation, which means a shooter can switch between automatic and semi-automatic operations.
- It must function as an individual weapon.
- It must feature an intermediate-power cartridge.
- It should have an effective range of between 120-180 FTS.
Otherwise known as airsoft handguns, this type of firearm is designed to look like a real gun. It is a short-barrelled firearm that’s usable with one hand.
More specifically, this type of airsoft gun comes with its chamber integrated into the gun’s barrel, making it smaller and easier to use. The most common types of airsoft pistols include:
Manual action spring airsoft pistols are typically known as training pistols because of their manual operation. They feature a unique spring compression propulsion system. This mechanism means that you’ll have to draw the spring into compression by yourself to get it working. The gun offers you control over the amount of tension that it stores.
Electric-Powered Airsoft Pistols
As the name denotes, this type of airsoft pistol is powered by an electric current. Therefore, it needs batteries to function.
Gas-Powered Airsoft Pistols
This type of airsoft pistols come with small tanks attached to them. The storage tanks contain pressurized gas that propels the BB out of the barrel.
Customize Your Out-of-the-Box Airsoft Gun with These Accessories
Nothing says “this an airsoft gun in which I’m well pleased” better than proper customization. Whether it’s the pistol’s grip or the barrel’s length, the importance of getting the perfect fit for your gun cannot be overemphasized.
The truth is that there’s no shortage of reasons to customize your airsoft weapon. Unfortunately, modern guns need so many alterations to make them reliable and accurate. Too many airsoft guns come from the manufacturers in a less than ideal state. Issues from poor sight to crappy triggers and several other flaws may occur right out of the box.
In addition to increased accuracy, proper customization can also help the longevity of your airsoft gun.
Here, let’s take a look at the 4 most important ways to customize your airsoft gun:
Although often overlooked, the stock is such a vital part of an airsoft gun. Its primary duty is to provide structural support for the gun. Therefore, a wrong stock choice may cost you shooting accuracy. After all, it’s the part of the gun that offers shooters a means to firmly brace the gun while shooting. Fortunately, there are different types of stock out there. However, we often advise airsoft players to opt for adjustable stocks.
Adjustable stocks allow you leverage to fit in more accessories. This type of stock can also fit different kinds of guns. Collapsible stocks are also pretty common these days. Like adjustable stocks, their length can be increased to contain more accessories. It typically allows for a comfortable arrangement of the barrel, action, and firing mechanism. Crane stocks are also available as replacement or upgrade custom rear stocks. Your choice of stock should depend on what you want from your airsoft gun.
Most top airsoft players understand the need for accuracy when shooting. Therefore, they often look out for accuracy when in the market. However, it’s still possible that your gun would not be as accurate as you want out of the box. Fortunately, you can just change the rifle’s barrel to improve accuracy. But not many people know the right barrels for different situations.
Different types of barrels feature different designs, but we generally advise our readers to choose high-end barrels with better inner surface finish. While the length may be important when selecting a barrel, it’s not the first thing to look at. It’s important to note that the longest doesn’t usually mean the best. In fact, most people would look at the quality before length and bore size when choosing a barrel.
Beyond length, there’s a need to also look out for inner quality and straightness. Clean, polished barrels always outperform poorly manufactured barrels. To achieve this, you may need to choose a high-end stock barrel from a trusted manufacturer.
If you are using an electric airsoft gun, you want to look at battery choice. Fortunately, you can change your gun’s battery if you want to, although the numerous options in the market may confuse you. It’s important to decide what you want in a battery before going to the market. Bear in mind that you’ll only require a battery for electric airsoft guns. The style/model of your gun would heavily influence your choice of battery. When choosing a battery for your gun, one of the most important things to look at is space. You also want to look at reliability. You want a battery that’s powerful enough to last you through hours of shooting.
We often see buyers get stuck on trying to understand the difference between Ni-MH and Li-Po batteries.
We often recommend Bulldog Airsoft Power Batteries and chargers for starters. These batteries offer immense reliability and value for money. If you’ve played airsoft for a while, LiPo batteries will not sound strange to you. They are the most common batteries among airsoft enthusiasts. The batteries typically feature an impressively lightweight design and are available in different shapes and sizes. If this is what you want as your replacement battery, then you have the 11.1-volt and 7.4-volt options to choose from.
Nothing’s worst than running out of ammo in the middle of a target practice session, or worse, in the middle of an airsoft game! Irrespective of your expertise level, having a spare loaded magazine would give you an extra edge.
However, the question is, “how do you find the right airsoft magazine for your need?” Take a quick stroll to the market today, and you’ll find different styles and sizes of airsoft magazines. Your choice of magazines would usually depend on your gun type. You want to be sure of your magazine’s compatibility with your gun.
Another aspect worth looking at is magazine capacity. Remember that you are buying an extra to give you an edge during airsoft games. Therefore, you want to get one that’s totally worth it.
The 7 Best Airsoft Guns in the World (Right Now)
Today’s popularity of airsoft means that more manufacturers are exploring the market. Hence, the availability of so many options to choose from. Unfortunately, with so many options come more complications when making your choice. Most of these airsoft guns look similar, so you’ll often need to review the technical details to find the right one for you.
Luckily, we’ve done the heavy work for you! After going through tons of online and offline information, we’ve streamlined the best airsoft guns in the market to just seven that are immensely functional and qualitative. So read on to find our review of the top airsoft guns available in the market today.
1. Tokyo Marui M4A1 SOCOM EBB
Most medium to top-level airsoft players have used at least one product from Tokyo Marui. This company pays extra attention to details when producing top-quality airsoft guns. The Tokyo Marui M4A1 SOCOM EBB is one of such guns that offers so much. Straight out of the box, you can tell that there’s so much to unpack about this gun. It is one of the oldest electronic blowback guns in the market, but that doesn’t take anything away from its quality. It offers you the reliability and convenience you will want in a battery-powered airsoft gun. Add that with the realistic recoil of a real M4A1 that it features, and you can tell that it is a fantastic choice for any serious airsoft player.
This EBB is very durable, such that you’ll barely need any serious upgrade, except maybe for a sight, scope, rail mods, and spring for airsoft players that love adventure. Furthermore, with the Tokyo Marui’s M4 magazine serving as the gold standard for magazine compatibility, you can tell that you won’t have any problem switching out the TM M4A1’s mags.
This is a good option for people that want an AEG with the blowback of a gas blowback rifle.
- It features the right accessories for accurate shots
- The superior production that this gun features mean that you’ll hardly need any serious upgrade.
- Its realistic recoil makes it a perfect option for real firearm training.
- The Tokyo Marui’s M4A1 features a relatively lower FPS, which can be an issue when airsoft battles get intense.
- Shoots 0.20g BBs at around 285 FPS.
- It is an AEG that offers you the blowback of a gas blowback rifle.
2. Elite Force / VFC Avalon Saber Gen 2 VR16
Many users of the Elite Force / VFC Avalon Saber Gen 2 VR16 love to refer to it as a beast because of its unique internal and external features. Straight out of the box, you’ll love its accurate, lightweight, and snappy design. Thanks to this design, you can take out an opponent in an airsoft battle from miles away. The gun’s internal parts look like they’ve been upgraded even before you receive the weapon, but that’s something most VFC Avalon internals are known for.
The external parts of the gun are also on point, both in construction and features. With 99% aluminum construction, you can tell that it’ll last through years of intense gameplay. So it’s not surprising that experts often recommend it to people looking for a rifle that will allow them to play in the big league right out of the box. But, perhaps, the most significant feature of this gun is its ability to allow you to switch between full and semi-automatic shooting modes. This guarantees fast and responsive shooting in different situations.
- Its top-level metal aluminum construction means that it can withstand years of intense usage.
- At 440 ft/s, this gun makes it to the top when ranking guns by speed.
- Strong battery life allows for continuous shooting.
- It is highly-priced
- Some users complain of metal paint scratching off.
- It features an integrated M-LOK rail system that allows for the attachment of customization accessories.
- Can switch from full to semi-automatic shooting modes
- It comes with flip-up front and rear sights.
3. ASG Scorpion Evo ATEK
The most noticeable feature of this ASG gun is the side-mounted Rip Clip loader, Apex2 barrel for easy aim and target shooting. You’ll also notice the fast-firing electronic grip frame. It’s easy to fall in love with the style and design of the frame, especially considering that it was modeled after real guns.
The unique design of this gun stands it out from most others. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t add extra customization if you want. In fact, it features a Picatinny at the top rail to allow the addition of accessories.
While testing this gun, we also fell in love with the foldable stock that it features. Top-level shooters understand that this type of stock allows them to shoot in small places and tight areas.
Its replication of real guns means that military personnel can use them for target practice. Let’s also mention that the versatile electronic frame and Rip Clip loader featured in the gun allows you to switch through different firing modes.
- Its durable design means that it can withstand years of tough usage
- An automatic trigger allows for continuous shooting during intense airsoft battles.
- A very sleek gun for those that love to maintain their style while shooting.
- It is relatively heavy
- The absence of a safety firing lock makes storage in areas accessible by little children unsafe.
- APEX ready barrel and Drop-in upgrade for better electronic grip
- A unique top-Picatinny rail for easier attachment of accessories.
4. Tippmann Airsoft Marker 94160
At first glance, this gun may look heavy, but it is worth every extra gram it weighs. It’s one of the few options that efficiently combines durability with superior performance in a milsim body. You are assured that it works with compressed air and Co2, depending on what works best for you.
Over time, the Tippmann brand has worked itself into the hearts of airsoft enthusiasts for the level of attention it pays to quality and top-notch design. This model features the outstanding quality that Tippmann is known for. Despite the weight, users still attest to the fact that it’s easy and comfortable to use. It features a composite body that allows for safe and longer usage under heavy-duty gaming conditions.
The set comes with additional accessories and sights for easier upgrading. However, it still allows you the liberty to buy extra accessories for better customization. We also found the placement of the Co2 perfect since it does not interfere with a shooter’s underarm. In addition, the gun pays attention to shooting stability because it’s the primary determinant of accurate shots.
- It comes with an ergonomic design that allows for easier handling.
- It contains additional accessories for easier customization
- Its ease of maintenance makes it an excellent choice for entry-level airsoft players.
- It is relatively heavy
- The sights cannot be adjusted
- Not a great option for speedballing.
- It works with Co2 and compressed gas.
- Adjustable from 250-325 FPS.
5. Umarex / VFC H&K 416 CQB Elite AEG
Right out of the box, the Umarex / VFC H&K 416 CQB Elite AEG is a nail driver. It looks great and shoots awesome. Therefore, airsoft players that fancy a combination of style and performance would love this option. One of the first things you’ll notice about the gun is its metal construction which allows for more extended usage. Beyond the physical design, it packs several fascinating features. For example, the gun’s unique rail system features an integrated front sight that can be folded to become part of the rail.
Its robust and variable fire rate is capable of shooting up to 1200 rounds per minute. This makes it an excellent rifle for outdoor and indoor uses. In addition, it comes with a new trigger guard that allows for more adaptability, especially for airsoft players with bulkier gloves.
Like most other guns in its price range, it doesn’t come with a battery, so you may need to buy an additional battery to use it. However, the presence of a fire selector makes it possible to switch across different firing modes.
- It is incredibly durable, making it an excellent option for top airsoft players.
- Rapid-fire capability makes it an excellent option for outdoor usage.
- It can be customized to suit personal needs.
- It is relatively pricey
- It shoots at 1200 rounds per minute.
- Features a heavy-duty metal bolt assembly.
6. Wellfire VSR-10 Urban Combat
The Wellfire VSR-10 brings everything you’ll desire from a good airsoft gun. Yes, it’s an airsoft sniper, but you can still use it in an airsoft field battle. Many buyers are drawn to the lightweight design of the gun, which allows for better handling and easier maneuverability. Young people love the design for the extra comfort it provides.
However, despite being impressively lightweight, the gun still packs some exciting features to impress airsoft enthusiasts. The use of water-resistant ABS for the design of its outer body makes it excellent for outdoor usage.
Straight out of the box, it is evident that the manufacturers have put in efforts into ensuring that this gun suits modern airsoft needs. However, they still recognize the occasional need for customization, so they’ve made it compatible with several useful accessories. There’s already a 3X – 9X scope and a bipod for more accurate shots. Beyond this, you’ll also notice a one-piece aluminum barrel that allows for easier and more efficient adjustments.
- The impressive lightweight design of this gun helps for easier maneuverability.
- It comes with complete customization kits.
- Its operation ease makes it an excellent option for mid-level airsoft players.
- Advanced shooters may need to upgrade the scope and bipod
- Inexperienced shooters often complain of accuracy problems.
- The scope and bipod present in the pack can be upgraded to suit different needs.
- Shoots between 480-510 fps.
7. Glock 19 Gen3 6mm BB Pistol
Whether you are trying airsoft for the first time or you are an ardent airsoft enthusiast, this Glock 19 Gen3 pistol offers you everything you’ll need to thrive. This pallet gun comes looking like the Glock 17, although we find it relatively smaller. However, if you are familiar with the Glock 17, then you’ll love handling this one.
Users typically find the small design fascinating because it means easier carriage and holstering. Despite its petite design, it still packs some exciting functionalities. For instance, its metal slide helps to make it stable during shots. At 350 fps, you can tell that the gun is really fast.
Let’s also mention that the gun features a durable aluminum alloy slide, so you can expect to enjoy long-term usage. Moreover, with 23 rounds of ammunition in its magazine, airsoft battles will never remain the same for you again.
It’s not so hard to see that this gun resembles the original, giving users the feel of handling real firearms.
- It features additional accessories for shot accuracy
- It is relatively cheap
- Its sleek look gives you the feel of a real gun.
- Users often complain of the absence of additional green gas
- The stiffness of the magazine’s spring may make operation more difficult.
- Powered by a 12-gram Co2 tank
- An excellent option for military training, airsoft play, and target shooting.