If you’re just getting into airsoft, or have a child/grandchild interested in the sport, you might be asking what is an airsoft pistol? Well you’re in luck friend, because this article covers that, plus materials used to make airsoft pistols, types of fuel used, best airsoft pistol brands, and parts and accessories.
So, what is an airsoft pistol? An airsoft pistol is a type of airsoft gun that is made to look like a standard pistol. Just like real pistols, airsoft pistols come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. These firearms shoot pellets (BBs) instead of bullets. Airsoft pistols, as opposed to rifles, are best for close range because of their maneuverability and ability to be quickly drawn.
Not sure what airsoft pistols are used for? Read on to find out!
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What is an Airsoft Pistol Used For?
An airsoft pistol is a replica toy gun. They are modeled after real pistols, often looking very realistic in design.
These replica weapons are used in sports competitions and training exercises in the US and other countries around the world. Airsoft pistols project small pellets (often called BBs) at targets, stationary or moving.
BBs are small spheres made from plastic or biodegradable materials. When hit on bare skin by a BB projected by an airsoft pistol, the target will feel something very similar to a pinch or rubber band snapping.
Common Airsoft Pistol Materials
Airsoft pistols are made from a wide range of different materials. Here is a list of the types of materials of which they are made:
- ABS Plastic
Airsoft pistols made from plastics tend to be cheaper and lighter, but they are also more easily broken. Oppositely, those made from metal usually are sturdier and last longer, but they are heavier and more expensive. Metal airsoft pistols are also more realistic to real firearms.
Types of Airsoft Pistol Fuel
Airsoft pistols, like airsoft guns, can be divided into three categories based on the type of fuel they use to project BBs.
Here are the three categories:
Spring-powered airsoft pistols are the simplest and cheapest type. These pistols use a spring to propel the BB at a target. The spring is set through a hand-cock or bolt-action mechanism.
If you’re just getting into airsoft and want to buy a pistol, a spring-powered pistol is best for beginners and for target practice. Do know that you will want to upgrade before participating in competitions!
Electric airsoft pistols are the most common. These pistols require a battery which allows them to project BBs at an increased firing rate compared to the spring-powered alternatives. Users can select between automatic and semi-automatic firing rates.
Typically, airsoft pistols require most sturdy housing and more complex mechanisms, and are thus more expensive than spring-powered models.
The last type of airsoft pistol uses pressurized air or gas to propel BBs. These are know as gas-powered airsoft pistols. The types of gases used include HPA (high-pressured air), CO2, or some other type of red of gases.
These pistols have a more realistic “blowback” effect because of the gas being used. They also tend to fire at a higher velocity and are much more accurate as a result. Just like electric airsoft pistols, gas-powered allows users to select between automatic and semi-automatic firing rates. For this reason, these types of pistols are very popular.
Airsoft Pistol Makes and Models
Finally, let’s look at a few examples of make and models:
There are literally thousands of makes and models for airsoft pistols. Examples of popular brands include:
- Lancer Tactical
- UK Arms
- Redwolf Airsoft
- Tokyo Marui
- And many more
All of these companies produce airsoft guns that are designed as replicas of real guns.
For pistols, this includes replicas of the various makes and models of revolvers, derringers, and semi-automatic pistols. There are even replicas based on old fashioned pistols such as flintlocks and caplocks pistols! Popular models include Desert Eagles, Glocks, and Hi-CAPA.
Airsoft Pistol Parts and Accessories
There are many different types of accessories for airsoft pistols. Mock silencers give a visual impression similar to real silencers (airsoft is already pretty quiet, unlike real firearms). You can also install lights, lasers, and scopes to your airsoft pistol.
Based on the type of fuel you require for your pistol, you will need batteries and/or gas, as well as replacements parts. Full magazines of BBs will allow you to move and reload more quickly, if you plan on competing.
Don’t forget tools such as hex key sets or multitools for those sporadic fix-ups!