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Which Airsoft BB Gun is Right for You?


What combines the thrill of combat video games, marksmanship practice in a realistic setting, the strategic prowess of Sun Tzu, and the physical exertion of a particularly spirited game of freeze tag? If you happen to be an Airsoft enthusiast, you know the answer well! From backyard skirmishes to large-scale open-air competitions, Airsoft BB guns appeal to soldiers of all ages and skill sets.


Since their development in the early 1980s, Airsoft BB guns have been growing in popularity and complexity. Today, there are three main types of Airsoft guns—spring-loaded, electric, and gas-powered. Each type of gun carries its own set of strengths and setbacks, so you should weigh its usefulness based on context and technique. Below is a brief overview of the three main categories, their characteristics, and their most common uses.


Spring-Loaded Guns


As their name suggests, spring-loaded Airsoft guns are powered mechanically by elastic potential energy from a spring located inside the barrel. Because they must be cocked before each shot, spring-loaded guns cannot fire in rapid succession, making them a mismatch for electric and gas-powered guns at both close and long range. However, they possess other practical qualities that are not to be ignored, for instance:


·         Low Cost—For many people, the price of an electric or gas-powered Airsoft gun is dauntingly steep. A spring-loaded gun typically comprises more commonplace materials that will not break the bank. They are easily the cheapest Airsoft guns in the UK: While some prices are as high as £350, many can be bought for pocket change (under £5).

·         Ease of Repair—On the one hand, spring-loaded guns are prone to wearing down more quickly than the other types of guns. On the other hand, their nuts-and-bolts assembly makes them easy to repair and modify when they do fall into disrepair. Do-it-yourselfers will appreciate the customizable nature of a spring-loaded gun.

·         Weather Resistance—An entirely mechanical device such as a spring-loaded gun can be used in all kinds of weather, be it stinging wind, pouring rain, or scorching heat. Whereas other guns are susceptible to externally-rooted malfunctions like extreme cold and water, spring-loaded guns remain operational and accurate come rain or shine, making them ideal for your Arctic adventure or a jaunt in Vladivostok.

·         Accessibility—Spring-loaded Airsoft guns can be purchased more easily than other types of Airsoft guns in the UK, thanks to their relative simplicity. They are also considered elementary enough for learners trying to get a foothold on Airsoft.


Although their single-shot capability puts them at a marked disadvantage against electric and gas-powered guns in competitions, spring-loaded Airsoft BB guns are great for beginners, renovators, coin-counters, and backyard skirmishes.


Electric Guns


Electric Airsoft BB guns take several forms, but the most commonly used are automatic electric guns (AEGs) and medium-price electric guns (MPEGs). The primary difference between the two is—you guessed it!—price. A less-expensive electric gun can be purchased for a mere £25, while some high-end AEGs are closer to £500!


Depending on the brand, an MPEG may approach the quality of an AEG at a fraction of the cost. Alternately, you might soup it up to match or surpass the power of an AEG. The difference between a standard AEG and a dazzling MPEG is negligible, so both will be referred to simply as “electric guns.”


Electric guns are the most popular Airsoft BB guns in the UK. They are not as powerful as gas-powered as guns or as weather-resistant as spring-loaded guns, but they find a happy medium in both areas. They run on hardy rechargeable batteries, fire automatically, and come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and weights to suit the tastes of a broad customer base. These Airsoft guns are also highly visually authentic.


Essentially, the electric gun combines the advantages of spring-loaded and gas-powered guns without their considerable drawbacks.


Gas-Powered Guns


Green gas, propane, and HFC-134a are the most common gases powering the most expensive of the three categories of gun. There exist some pistols for under £20, but the best-quality gas-powered Airsoft guns in the UK can exceed £500. Propellants for gas-powered guns can also be pricey. On top of that, standard gas-powered guns can be extremely sensitive to changes in temperature. Yet, these firearms are most popular among serious hobbyists/collectors, and this for the following reasons:


  • Authenticity—Gas-powered guns are built like real guns, look like real guns, and “feel” real. Automatic settings for many gas-powered guns include the blowback one experiences when firing a real gun.
  • Compactness—A spring-loaded or electric pistol would be improbable, as both require a certain amount of volume to operate effectively. Gas-powered guns are not so constrained, and can thus be conveniently petite.
  • Sheer, Brute Power—Gas-powered guns can achieve a tremendous muzzle velocity, providing the shooter with the ability to shoot with greater accuracy over longer distances. Like electric guns, gas-powered guns are capable of automatic firing.
  • Adjustable Velocity—The main advantage to a gas-powered Airsoft gun is its capacity for adjustable velocity. This trait allows the shooter to adapt to different types of combat at different ranges.


These are not characteristics most hobby shooters will require while they enact the zombie apocalypse, but the serious Airsoft enthusiast may appreciate the quirks and subtle edge of a gas-powered gun. Hybrid gas/electric guns are an option for those wanting the best of both worlds, offering the electric gun’s ease of use with the power of a gas-powered gun (but not, sadly, the authenticity of a real gun’s foibles).


To browse the best selection of Airsoft guns in the UK, check out our inventory on! We stock the hottest brands, models, and components for Airsoft enthusiasts of every stripe.