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What is the ‘best’ Airsoft Gun?

Today we're going to make an attempt at answering (or sidestepping) the eternally asked, and impossible to answer question; "What is the best Airsoft Gun?". There is, unfortunately, no real answer to this besides personal preference and purely comes down to the Airsoft replica that ticks the most amount of boxes for the price you're willing to pay. For some, it's all about cost. Cheap is good in some people's eyes, and there's nothing wrong with having just the right amount of kit to scrape by. Other Airsofters look for 'quality of life' features like Quick Change Springs, MOSFETs, Electronic Triggers and High Speed (Rate of Fire) in their purchases, whereas some want their RIF to be built as solidly as possible. Of course in an ideal world, you'd like to have the best of all that, but the world is far from perfect and we will sometimes have to make compromises.

Which Airsoft Gun is right for me?

The first question you need to ask yourself if 'what am I going to be doing with your Airsoft replica', as you're going to find that some guns are better in different situations. A Gas Blowback Pistol may be a fine choice in your local CQB Arena, but is going to be massively outgunned as soon as you want to take it to an outdoor/woodland Skirmish Site. The most useful style of replica for being effective in the field is an Airsoft Electric Gun (or AEG for short), especially if you're a beginner and this is your first RIF. These styles of gun just need a Battery and BBs to get working, and can happily churn through thousands of BBs in a day without skipping a beat. It would be easy to talk all day about this stuff so in the spirit of getting on with it, here's a breakdown of key features to look out for, and recommendations for each of these categories. Remember that these are my opinions, and may differ vastly from yours. The best way to make your mind up is to come and visit us to get your hands on some Airsoft Guns and get some impartial (commission-free) advice.


Airsoft Electric Guns

Also known as AEGs

The absolute bread and butter of the Airsoft world, this style of replica is the most commonly seen type on the skirmish field, for the simple reason that they're easy to use, readily available and perform the most consistently out of the bunch. Because they're so popular there's a massive variety in price point, cheap/expensive, features they're supplied with, build quality and so on. The best thing to do is to go with a brand that you can trust, and thankfully we've done most of the hard work for you. We only stock brands/lines that we truly believe in such as CYMA, Specna Arms, G&G Armament, NUPROL, Tokyo Marui, ARES, Krytac, Bolt and ASG to name a select few. Let's break down what makes an AEG great:

Price Point

Should I be spending more?

The main thing on most peoples' mind, especially new players, is going to be how much is this hobby going to cost? There is a temptation to try and spend as little as possible, and I honestly can't fault that, especially if you're just dipping your toe into the Airsoft world. CYMA should be first on your list if you're looking to spend as little as possible, as they have a fantastic range of AEGs starting from £79.99. CYMA have been in the game of cloning popular designs since the dawn of Airsoft and are exceptionally good at it by now. Performance-wise you will hardly see any difference next to an AEG that costs £150+, however the externals are made to a cheaper standard which explains the low cost.

If you don't plan on falling onto your AEG during a skirmish or simply don't care that your replica weighs less than others, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with going for these lower-cost models. They are a great way to try the sport at a smaller buy-in price, but be warned: you are going to want to buy another at some point, as that's simply the nature of Airsoft. My personal recommendation is to spend slightly more and go for one the G&G CM16 Raider models (£119.99+), as they are a highly reputable brand that we have been selling for years, and are made from tougher Polymer on the externals which will withstand more abuse and feel great to the touch!

Find out more about the CYMA Series of AEGs;
Find out more about the G&G Series of AEGs;

Features & Functions

Quick Change Spring Systems

As you start to spend more on your AEG then you will see more features and quality of life improvements start to appear. By quality of life, we mean features that make your life easier as an Airsofter, or a feature that helps you to be as effective as possible in the field. A quick change spring is a great example of a quality of life improvement. Each system is slightly different, but the rough idea is that it allows you to change your Main Spring without having to disassemble the gearbox; sometimes taking less than 45 seconds to complete! This is an amazing feature for those who want to play at lots of fields with different power limits, or those who want to quickly switch between a ~350FPS standard role, or ~400FPS DMR/Sniper role. The Specna Arms series (especially those with the ESA™ quick-change system) are great for making quick spring changes, as you simply need to use a screwdriver in the buffer tube.

MOSFETs

A MOSFET is a great way to squeeze performance out of any Airsoft Electric Gun, and can be installed to pretty much any electric replica out there, or may come pre-installed out of the box. There is a huge variety in terms of cost and features, and can provide anything from simple circuit protection, to every bell and whistle you can imagine (Rate of Fire control, Pre-Cocking, Active Braking, Trigger Delay and much, much more). The EDGE Series from Specna Arms come with the GATE X-ASR MOSFET installed which will provide circuit protection, trigger debouncing (better trigger response and rate of fire). If you want to go all-out then the EDGE TITAN Series from Specna Arms come with the Gate TITAN ready to go which will give you a tonne of features that let you control every aspect of how your AEG fires, all from the comfort of your computer.

Electronic Trigger Units

Electronic Triggers are starting to become more and more common on new releases, as they are a very pleasant feature to have and make for a quick/snappy trigger response. G&G Armament and ARES are well known for installing Electronic Trigger Units in their Airsoft replicas, and you will start to see them appear in the £164.95+ price point. Their replicas with the ETUs installed allow you to use 11.1v LiPos which makes for crazy high rates of fire, as well as incredibly fast trigger response to make sure that your BB leaves the barrel before your opponents' does, and to allow for rapid follow up shots to make sure that you hit. Their triggers also allow you to reprogram your Automatic function to give you 'Burst Fire' capabilities by simply holding the trigger down on Single Shot for ten seconds.

Find out more about the EDGE Series from Specna Arms;
Find out more about the EDGE Titan Series from Specna Arms;
Find out more about the ARES range of replicas;
Find out more about MOSFETs for sale;

Build Quality

Tough body worth paying for?

Build quality is yet again a matter of personal taste, and whether or not you think you need it. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a collector, you may well want an authentic 'Stamped Sheet Steel Receiver' (such as you might find on the E&L or Bolt series). You may also deem yourself as a hazard on the field who is prone to accidental damage, if so, you probably want a replica that is built to be tough and rigid in case you do go head over toe on the battlefield. Yet again Specna Arms will be appearing on this list as their replicas (with the exception of the CORE range) are all built from a mix of Aluminium/Zinc Alloy & Steel, weighing in at the 3kg area. The new range of BOLT replicas are all made to a tough standard with a mix of Aluminium & Steel (they need to be to handle the intense recoil).

Arcturus are another brand that come to mind when thinking of external quality, as they are manufactured in the same factory and by the same processes as real firearms, making them exceptionally good at producing quality replicas. The ARES Amoeba Pro series are another sure choice if you want an Electronic Trigger Unit to go with your rock-solid and flawless construction. Another thing to bare in mind is that most Airsoft replicas can accept aftermarket parts. If there's something you don't particularly like about your replica, something that creaks/wobbles or you just fancy a different stock/handguard then you can throw another one on!

Find out more about the BOLT Series of AEGs;
Find out more about the Arcturus Series of AEGs;

YOU DIDN'T ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!

I'm getting there people, bare with me.

So we've discussed some features that make an Airsoft gun 'good', but don't have an answer to what is the 'best'. I'm going to settle on a boring and non-committal answer that is unfortunately: you need to decide! Everyone has different tastes and what makes something great for me, might not be for you. Personally, I'm a man of balance, and like to get the best of all possible outcomes. In an attempt to keep the peace I will (begrudgingly) pick out what I consider to be a perfect balance of all the options.

Specna Arms SA-H03 Assault Rifle

The perfect blend of quality and price.

£199.99

The Specna Arms SA-H03 is, as far as I'm concerned, my ideal blend of quality and price. The externals are made to a delicious standard with Aluminium/Zinc Alloy and Steel, and high-density Nylon Fiber Polymers where appropriate. It is rock-solid in the shoulder and feels like a real quality piece of kit the minute that you lay hands on it. The quality continues inside the replica as it has a world of parts which would be considered an 'upgrade' in any other RIF. It does have a Quick Change Spring, however is a system that requires the gearbox to be pulled out of the body, so it isn't the fastest. As I don't need to quickly switch between power

levels then I'm not overly bothered about this; it's nice to know that its there if I ever need it, and that the gearbox shouldn't really ever have to come apart. Other goodies include a metal HOP unit, 14mm CCW thread and railed receiver & handguard. The big ol' stock gives you plenty of space to stick a big battery in and keep you shooting for as long as possible. My favorite part about this replica is the cost... £199.99! It is a faithful replica of a very popular real-world Assault Rifle (which I unfortunately can't name lest the Gods of pew-pew try to sue me), which would cost a fortune if it was made by anyone else (let alone a licensed replica). This does come at the cost of not having authentic trademarks... but who cares?! It looks like what it's supposed to and that's good enough for me!

Staff Feature Friday – Sam MkII

Today we're introducing Sam MkII, a once customer now turned customer services rep. An ex-paintballer turned Airosfter and played his first-ever Airsoft game 4 years ago at our CQB site, HALO MILL Arena.

What brought Sam to the dark side of Airsoft from Paintball? Costs and Sam's own personal opinion of Airsoft looking cooler (we can't disagree there!) Sam originally started off playing at HALO MILL running pistol rentals and then fastly purchasing his first gun, the Armourer Works - Custom HX11 Hi-Capa. Drawn to the pistol due to its Iron Man looking vibe and sheer performance of the split slide trigger action.

Quickly chasing more action and a bigger battlefield, Sam experienced the outdoors and eventually came across our sister site HALO MILL - Proving Grounds. Having sniper for just over 2 years and owning a G&G Armament - Wild Hog as a more reliable backup, Sam has more recently transitioned into rocking his fully upgraded primary, the SPECNA ARMS - SA-H09.

Sam was chasing more reliability and a weapon that delivered incredible range, accuracy and trigger response. Using the SA-H09 as a base for looks, the internals have been fully gutted and kitted out with a GATE Titan setup, motor, gears, bearings, piston and piston head have all been changed to allow Sam to now rock a single shot DMR build all day long. Also a quick note, Sam rocks NUPROL m4 magazines that are feeding flawlessly for him and resulting in not breaking the bank with buying spares.

As with quite a few of our staff now, optics are crucial and investing in the right one is made easy thanks to our VORTEX range and finance deals too. Sam loves his VORTEX - Strikefire 2, if it ever gets shot out or accidentally damaged beyond use he gets a free replacement. No receipt or original box required to claim!

With Sam rocking a DMR and having a single shot lock, high FPS build he runs a pistol all the time as a backup. Sam say this is his pride and joy out of all of his collection, the Socom Gear - Special Edition Punisher 1911. Completely standard and combined with his NUPROL - Drop Leg holster platform he runs this pistol in any environment.

Now onto the gear. From the head down Sam rocks a budget setup that works perfectly for him! You don't need to spend a fortune, what you save on gear though usually ends up in the guns (100% the case for Sam).

From head to toe Sam wears:

For more photos of Sam and previous staff feature Friday pics, check out our Instagram account for the pinned album.


EVOLVE your Airsoft gun today!

There's a new MOSFET in town! A complete drop-in placement for your Airsoft version 2 gearbox which now includes the possibility of ramping! More on that later...

What is this new bit of kit exactly? We're proud to be stocking a complete trigger board replacement with built-in sector gear cam detection and microswitch trigger switch which provides up to 12x adjustable features.

Within a couple of minutes after splitting your Version 2 gearbox in half, say goodbye to your cut off lever, anti reversal latch and secure your new trigger board with one screw. You've now eliminated cut off lever wear (where your gun would fire full auto even on semi), no more backspin of your gears thanks for programmable active breaking and you have fresh 16 gauge stiff fitting wiring throughout your build.

Below is a basic installation video, the video covers more than just the ETS III unit installation but the guidance is the same.

Something else new for a MOSFET / Trigger Board replacement that we have never seen before, every unit gets shipped from the manufacturer in its own mini foam-filled polymer hard case! Your electronics are protected from day one and make for a very nice storage box for keepsake after you have fitted your unit.

Let's get onto some of those features that make this MOSFET truly worth the price tag!

Programable eatures:

  • Semi-auto programming features:
    • Burst control from 1 to 10 shots per trigger pull
    • Adjustable trigger response up-to 10x levels of sensitivity
    • Ramping - Switch from semi to progressive auto-firing after a programmed hold time
    • Active breaking milliseconds control from 10 to 50 milliseconds for fine pre-cocking tuning
    • Full cycle resets your piston to the front of every trigger pull for more realistic firing and prevents spring tension wear
    • Reset - Resets all modified settings back to factory default
  • Full auto programming features:
    • Burst control when flicked to full-auto from 1 to 10x shots per trigger pull
    • PWM ROF control - Literally controls your rate of fire up to 4-speed changes
    • Ramping auto - If you previously have a burst control limit on your full auto switch, press and hold on full auto will override after the burst is performed and go straight into constant full-auto firing
    • Battery protection up to 5x levels of sensitivity. You will receive a buzz after shooting warning you that you're running low on juice before cutting the power completely
    • Full cycle saves spring wear and completes a full operation and piston reset no matter how long you hold full auto for
    • Reset - Resets all modified settings back to factory default

Below is a very detailed video on how to program the new MOSFET. Within the included product hard case is a simplified paper guide too:

What else is so good about this system? Well, there are no optical sensors that could get covered up in your gear grease, your switches are micro but mechanical and are adjustable in sensitivity as shown above. The unit can also handle up to 30v, but we do recommend a maximum of 14v. As well as handling the crazy high voltage, high-speed gears and high torque setups you can easily modify the wiring or re-solder to go from rear to front wired in a couple of minutes (this would void your warranty).

To find out more about the product features and additional product photos, you can check it all out here on our official product page.


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