Airsoft guns are not complicated nor expensive. Even though some top quality models can cost a bit more, typical good quality equipment can be purchased at a very reasonable price. However, before a new airsoft enthusiast begins their search for the optimal weapon or weapons, a good understanding of the different airsoft guns available is both helpful and sensible.
Airsoft guns fall into three general categories, defined by how the guns operate. As the systems become more complicated, so they become more expensive.
The first category is the electric airsoft gun, or, AEG. The AEG is the most popular gun among the ‘veteran’ airsoft crowd. They have given the sport its greatest appeal and are singularly responsible for its explosive growth around the world. The AEG has an electric motor that is powered by a battery. The motor turns the gears inside the gun, which in turn causes a piston to compress and release. The piston creates a blast of air that propels a plastic BB through the barrel of the gun. This fully automatic system gives the AEG guns rapid-fire features that make them so popular. These guns also tend to be the most expensive of the airsoft guns, usually costing several hundred dollars or more.
The next group are the gas powered airsoft guns. These guns operate by compressed air that fires the BB. The gas is either stored in an onboard cylinder or a gas filled magazine that connects to the gun. Some of the more popular styles are the gas blowback guns or commonly called the GBBs. The compressed air that fires the BB also returns the firing slide to the fire position at the same time. This return action creates a realistic “recoil” sensation from which the name blowback is derived. Reputed to be great fun to play with, the high-end GBB model guns can also cost around several hundred dollars. Non-blowback gas guns are less costly and start at around 40 dollars.
The last category of guns are the spring airsoft guns, also referred to as the “Springers”. Commonly tagged the cheap Airsoft gun, these spring guns were the original Airsoft models. In order for the gun to fire, a spring mechanism must be manually cocked back each and every time. Due to their simplistic design, the Springers are the most inexpensive and cost effective Airsoft guns. These guns are recommended as perhaps the best for entry-level players. Most players at some point have owned one of these models, which can be purchased for as little as 20 dollars.
Finding an inexpensive, quality airsoft product is easy if you know what to look for. Even though it is possible to purchase a gun for around 20 dollars, this does not mean that the gun is cheap in quality. A well made 20 dollar ‘Springer’ can be a great value, just as a two hundred dollar AEG can be a great value as well. No matter which gun you decide to purchase and how much you decide to spend, buying an airsoft gun you can have fun with is the most important objective.
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