Airsoft is a popular game where players defeat opponents by striking each other with plastic or biodegradable bullets fired from a compressed air gun that may be operated by gas, air, battery or manual spring-load. The type of guns which players use has so much to do with their performance and enjoyment. Hence, airsoft hobbyists are particular with their tools and features of their firearms. If you are new to the game that is usually compared to paintball, know the following types of airsoft guns before you purchase your own.
- Spring powered airsoft gun. This type of airsoft gun is operated manually. It cannot be automatic or semi-automatic. You have to cock the spring by pulling back the lever or slide of the gun to reload it after every shot. Because it takes time to reload before you fire, it is not appropriate for close combat competitions although it is commonly used for sniper purposes. The advantage of manual-operated gun over gas and electric powered firearms is it does not need any external source of power. You will not be bothered by running out of gas and battery. Gas and battery powered guns are more inclined to malfunction in cold weather or when they are wet compared to spring firearms. Another advantage of spring powered guns is their availability and cost. Compared to other versions, they are the least expensive. With proper care and cleaning it will practically last a lifetime. For a beginner airsoft hobbyist, a spring pistol or spring rifle would be a great tool for airsoft games.
- Automatic electric airsoft gun. The most popular among the types of airsoft guns is powered by a rechargeable battery to drive an electric motor to launch the pellets. Electric powered guns can fire on a semi-auto or full automatic setting. They are more reliable in accuracy and typically have the highest rate of fire thus they are also more expensive. Spare batteries will be very handy so you can still play while charging another battery for a few hours.
- Gas based airsoft gun. Like electric powered guns, gas operated firearms can also be manipulated in semi-auto or full automatic setting Many hobbyists prefer this carbon dioxide gas and/or green gas powered guns because they are more realistic. A gas chamber is reloaded subsequent to firing several magazines and the slide of the gun moves back and forth like that of an authentic gun. The gas is compressed in a canister and when the trigger is pressed the intensity of gas that is released sends the pellet out of the chamber. However, gas can quickly be exhausted, thus you need to carry extra cartridges. Some airsoft players think it is a drawback but others believe it enhances their accuracy as it makes them more calculated in their target.
Amazon, ShortyUSA and HobbyTron are sites where you can begin your search for airsoft guns. They have all types of airsoft firearms ranging from inexpensive guns to quality ICS firearms.