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Guide in Buying Airsoft Guns for Beginners

Updated on April 4, 2013
Classic Army M15A4
Classic Army M15A4 | Source

Do you want to own an airsoft gun and become a weekend warrior like many? Like many other hobbies, people try it out, and then find themselves spending too much for something that they can’t use or won’t really enjoy. If you’re new to airsoft and would want to try out this game, here are essential tips so you can buy an airsoft gun for beginners without wasting cash.

Body size

I know that most people will not put body size at the top of list when choosing an airsoft gun for beginners. But it is essential that you understand how important your body is when buying your first airsoft gun. First, you need to consider your arm and forearm lengths. Just imagine swinging a rifle with a long stock. The gun may look cool, but maneuverability in the field is diminished. There are numerous Automatic Electric Guns (AEG) that offer adjustable stocks. Many MP5s out there provide this option. Another body size consideration is your hand size. Yes, It would seem unimportant, but they way you grip the gun affects the way you fire it. So test out different airsoft guns from different brands first before you eventually dish out cash.

Airsoft tactics

This second factor in choosing airsoft guns for beginners is likewise important. Although this one is quite broad, let’s narrow it down for our purpose. Simply put, it’s how you play the game. I’ve met different airsoft players with different airsoft tactics. For example, if you like wiggling around corners and inconstant movement, then wielding a long assault rifle or even a sniper rifle is not for you. If you like marching of in front and showering BBs at your enemy (not a good tactic by the way), single shot, spring airsoft rifle is not for you. The way you see yourself playing the game will allow you a etter understanding of what beginner airsoft gun you should buy.

Type of airsoft scenarios

There are basically two types of field that airsoft enthusiasts go for. First is CQB or close quarter battle scenario. In this indoor playing field, airsoft players navigate through buildings, rooms or corridors. As such, you require an airsoft gun that is maneuverable in tight spaces. SMGs or submachine guns offer CQB airsoft equipment. On the other hand, outdoor terrain offers wider playing field thus maneuverability may not be the issue.

Another important consideration is the velocity of your BB as your airsoft equipment spews it out. This is commonly known as FPS or feet per second. Most CQB facilities allow a maximum of 350 FPS while woodland or outdoor games have an FPS of 400. SO what’s the big deal, well, if you buy an airsoft gun with a 400 FPS rating, then you can use it in a CQB scenario. You’d have to downgrade it or buy a new one. On the other hand, if you buy a 280 FPS (one of the most common off the box FPS for beginners airsoft gun) you will be outranged by others.

Airsoft body

Here’s is a toss up between metal frames or bodies and plastic ones. Of course durability is important. If you’re like who likes hitting the dirt, rolling around, running, hiding, then you need something that can withstand the abuse. You don’t want your airsoft gun to brake in the middle of an airsoft game!

Generally speaking, metal bodies offer higher durability, but there are some plastic guns out there that can match the big boys. There are many SMGs that are plastic but offer better performance than assault rifles. Moreover, most SMGs have there foregrips are built into the guns frame thus reducing wobbles. Pus the shorter barrels offer higher maneuverability with less creaking. Another plus of a short barrel is that you don’t accidentally hit them on trees, walls or doors. I sold my TM M4A1 several years ago because of the wobble problem. I’m not sure others have experienced the same thing, but I did.

Internal mechanisms

The internal mechanism, known as the gearbox is an essential part of an airsoft gun. You want high quality not just for durability but also for performance. Even if an AEG has a metal body, you need to look at the gearbox. Metal gearboxes are often more reliable and more powerful than plastic ones. A reinforced gearbox is one with additional bushings and designed to withstand the rigors of the play. For beginners, you may want to go for a simple one and choose to upgrade in the future.

Another internal component that you need to know is the battery type. There are two important things you need to known. First, you need to identify the mAh or mili amperes per hour. In a nutshell, the higher the mAh; the longer the battery will last. In the market, you can find batteries with 600 to 1600 mAh. Second, you need to know the battery voltage. Higher voltage means higher rate of fire.


The beginners’ airsoft gun will provide you with the basics. But when you begin to really get into he game, you may want to upgrade your airsoft gun. Of course it beats buying a new one since you already got used to it. So consider the potentials for upgrades with your first airsoft gun. Ask about upgrades for barrels, stocks, gearbox, bushings, batteries and others. You may even want to accessorize your gun. From foregrips, red dot scopes, to flashlights and other mounts, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and your available cash!

Of course as a beginner, you don’t need al of these, but I assure you will crave for them when you start playing regularly.

You may think that I forgot to include a fundamental criterion – cost. NO, in fact, more than just cost, it’s about value for money. I know an airsoft player who bought a Systema PTW that cost roughly around $1800. This full metal airsoft gun was supposed to provide he player with the best experience. But it went all to waste because he did not like it.

There are many brands out there. TM, G&G, and some Chinese names like CYMA and Jing Gong may offer varied prices and airsoft gun options. The bottom line is to find one that suits your need and personality. A beginner’s airsoft gun should provide you the experience to truly enjoy the sport. Your first airsoft gun must be reliable, durable and most importantly, suited for you. It would be a waste to spend and fail to enjoy your purchase. So buy an airsoft gun for beginners that you can use and enjoy.


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