Introduction: How to Pick a Good Airsoft Gun for Yourself.(and a Secondary)

Picture of How to Pick a Good Airsoft Gun for Yourself.(and a Secondary)

I have seen many Instructable on Airsoft, but not one with any kind of help for those who don't know what weapon they want or where to get it. Airsoft guns are an important part of airsoft. So as much as I would like to make yet another 'Airsoft for Rookies' style instructable, I will refrain and instead help beginners in their choice(s) of weapon. My first instructable. Read on.

Step 1: Ask Yourself Some Questions

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You need to ask yourself some questions to know what weapon will be right for you.

How hardcore am I and are my friends?

If you like little pistols and mini cheap automatics, travel no farther than your local department store.
There is no shame in not liking to get hit very hard, not having much money, or just simply preferring those kinds of weapons. Of course, if you like vulcan miniguns and use vehicles and have games that last a weekend straight including camping, that's another story.

What am I using my gun for?
If you like to do target practice in your room, that's fine, and there are some good instructables for targets. If you are playing with your friends, there are several roles you can play.

Leader/Auxiliary You will want something automatic (battery, rapid fire) that can lay down the plastic but also shoot accurately-ish. Any assault rifle looking gun should work.

Sniper/Designated Marks(wo)man Obviously, something accurate is in order, and a gun that looks like a sniper rifle should do the trick (airsoft guns tend to look like their real counterparts in terms of functionality).

Support Gunner get something that can lay down a wall of plastic quickly. A support gunner uses lots of ammo and something called "Spray and Pray" tactics because you spray at your target like nuts and pray one or to will hit. Miniguns, a SAW style gun, or, in a pinch, anything with a decent rate of fire should work.

Remember, you can have more than one or none of these among your friends, as these are simply the basic roles requiring different guns.

How much dinero have I got to burn?
If you don't have much money lying around, you can still get a pretty decent weapon. (As long as you don't take up paintball!) My UMP was $110 and is very good. Decent weapons can be had for much less, however, so fear not. You won't be getting the same quality, guarantees, or functionality, but most who spend a lot on a new gun get only maybe 15% petter performance anyway. (If you are about to comment that your $1500 custom M4 is waaaay better than anyone else's and it's soooo worth it, maybe it is, but I dont want to hear it and neither do the newbies who just want to have fun with their friends without being intimidated.)

How many/ what capacity magazines do I want?
Magazines (or clips) are containers that hold your ammo and push it up into your gun. (Wal-Mart plastic-fantastic guns may not have these.) If you are a sniper, you are in no rush and will not use up much ammo, and will not need too much. (One or two low-capacity clips should suffice. Remember, bring extra BBs.) If you're a support gunner, your clips will be sizable but you will still want a few. For Leader/Auxiliary, you will want a few clips of high capacity (if you don't like reloading, like me.) Or you could lug around the extra plastic of many low capacity magazines.

What FPS range will I be playing at?
This is a big question. FPs is an acronym for

There are many factors that would decide this question. First, how much do you want to wear? A sweatshirt should more than suffice for under 200FPS, but more than that and you may want to wear something extra. Also, don't worry too much about your sensitive areas. Almost always, the cloth/folds in your pants will do the trick. Some wear cups, but that is overkill since the projectiles have little momentum because they weigh in at around a fifth of a gram. Paintball is another story. For the ladies, a padded sports bra should suffice, but I lack the equipment to know this for certain, although I'm guessing that the projectile needs more weight to have enough momentum to hurt there more than any other part of the body. Feel free to correct me on this.
Also, at what range are you playing at? With an aresenal from a department store, 20 feet can be an accepted range, but with high FPS weapons, that same range should be a no-fire zone.

What do I want it to look like?
Personally i like neither of the common types of airsoft guns (AK family and M16/M16/AR-15 family), so I have Heckler & Koch MP5s and a UMP. Just a matter of personal choice.

Once you have pondered these questions for awhile, go to the next step.

Step 2: What Gun Will I Get?

Picture of What Gun Will I Get?

You obviously want something that will work with your fps range, price range, and usage expectations. When looking for a gun (see next step), remember that usually they act how they look, meaning that a sniper rifle looking gun will snipe, an assault rifle will be automatic or semi-auto and still be accurate, and so on. Remember your FPS range, price range, and looks too. It's helpful to write it all down, and have a picture.
For example, if you like 200-250 FPS, the Steyr AUG series, and want a fully automatic weapon, then that will help you later on, in the next step.

Step 3: Where Will I Get It?

Picture of Where Will I Get It?

Now that you know what you want, go shopping. If you are in the department store price range, by all means go there. Most of us, however, will want to use the internet. Some ideas:

Wouldn't recommend, sometimes they have cheap stuff when others are very expensive

 Another site that can be cheap and has some very reasonable decent quality CO2s.

Would recommend this site, seems to work well and it's easy to find things at good prices.

A very serious and well made site. Decent prices, but very credible.

Remember, avoid brand loyalties. That is, don't listen to the folks that say, "OMG! Get a Classic Army gun! they Rock!!!" a relatively non biased review is that Tokyo Maurui make very high quality but expensive weapons, then next comes maybe Classic Army or G&G, then the Echo 1/Star/Jing Gong, then lesser is Wells and CYMA. Remember, you won't be getting better than you pay for by much. Also, trust the general idea of the reviews. Aviod guns without reviews.

Step 4: Accessories

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If you bought a gun with rails (AKA Picatinny or RAS/RIS) which are the bumpy things that you attach things to, you have room for improvement. If you like to fight at night, get a flashlight. If you have targeting issues, get a red dot sight. If you can't quite make out that moving blob out there, get a scope. If you prefer the grip, get a forward pistol grip. If you like laying down, get a bipod. If you don't like looking down the gun, get a laser. Or just a cover to smooth things out. yeah
And so on.

A word about scopes:
Scopes have numbers involved. A 5X30 mm scope means that it has a 5X zoom and 30mm aperture. If a scope has a range of zoom, like 3-9X20mm, you can adjust it. Keep in mind that farther zoom isn't always better, and it can get maddening if your AEG sprays shots randomly and go all over the place form your scope's view. Also, you may need to get mounts for some scopes.

A word about lasers:
Can be useful. Beware ones that veer off of your intended line of fire, can be very annoying. Also, NEVER EVER shine one in someone's eyes.

A word about flashlights:
Can be very pricey. I would recommend getting a Mini-Maglite or some lesser flashlight from a store and buying a mount for it. The Mini-Maglite is good because of the adjustable cone angle and standard batteries and fits well in a scope mount.

Step 5: Secondary Weapon

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It's always good to have a pistol stuffed up your boot (so to speak) just in case. Whether it's one of those one cent special offer springers or a fully automatic gas beast, try to have one around. What you get depends on all the factors I listed for the primary weapon. Gas is nice, but not so much in cold weather or when you run out. I recommend a semiautomatic gas/electric pistol or decent springer. Spare magazines are not as important, but a speedloader is. Shop around.

Also, get a speedloader. Can be VERY useful when loading midcap/pistol magazines. I have one for my pistol (.12 gram bbs) and one for my UMP (.2 gram bbs).

Step 6: Ammunition

The BBs themselves are very important. The higher price you pay for them, the better they will be in general. This means less flaws in them such as mold lines, dents, extra bits, and off sizes. This is more important with more expensive and accurate guns, since they shoot harder and have smaller interior bore measurements in their barrels, hence the need for more perfect ammo.

Another concern is density. The heavier BBs are, the less they will be affected by wind and will not smash as easily in your gun (this could lead to broken internal parts. If your AEG jams, STOP FIRING!) at the cost of range. In general, low end AEGs or springers should be okay with .12 gram BBs, even reused as long as they are perfectly clean and sis not hit a hard surface, although this is arguable. As for a high end AEGs/sniper rifles, get very high quality BBs. Look for tolerances of +-.01 mm. You can get BBS up to around .3 grams, but i wouldn't recommend that except for sniper rifles.

Step 7: In Conclusion

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Good luck. If you have any questions, ask me. Other than that, make sure you know what you're doing if you do an internal upgrade, keep your safety on when not using your weapons(s), always use good eye protection, and have fun!

Sorry about the quality of the pics!


admin (author)2008-11-04

Hey, this is a great instructable and is very informative. Just one thing is missing... pictures! It really helps a lot when trying to follow directions so you should consider taking some photographs. Once you do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks! Thanks for the cool instructable and we hope to publish this soon!

Henryworks (author)2018-01-15

My first airsoft gun was the Lancer Tactical LT-14C. Got it from
AirsoftGI. No reviews (I forgot to look at other sights, lol!) but I
just really liked how it looked. Got it 1 week and 2-3 days later
(Reviews of AirsoftGI tend to say it has long shipping times.). Works
great, looks even better than in the photos, and shoots pretty
accurately! Only problem I'm having is that the hop up is at it's
lowest, and it still shoots high. Can't adjust the front sights as my
dad accidentally broke the little knob in the middle. Not much of a problem however. Just aim at the crotch-knee area and you'll be fine! :') Good advice! Keep on going!
(Sorry, I kind of like to ramble sometimes. Also I put a lot of things
in parenthesis!)

dhyde79 (author)2017-11-15

so, I'm curious, why do you say to stay away from heavy BBs other
than on snipers? If I'm running a 430fps AEG, .25's drop me under
400fps, and .30s get me down in the 350ish neighborhood, and, the added
mass will make them exceedingly more accurate, so, what's the drawback
that I'm not seeing? I've previously run .25s in EVERYTHING I have, and
if I make the step up to a new AEG like I'm planning, I'll be shifting
to .3s or maybe even heavier, unless there's some awesome reason not to?

jakerox43 (author)dhyde792017-11-15

Cost and field rules. If those aren't a problem, go nuts.

DavidO9 (author)2015-04-06

Oh I'm kinda new to airsoft and I am going to Buy The JG Bar 10 from Arisoft Gi for 124 dollars. For my sidearm I'm going to probably get a micro smg but I don't know what kind of vest to get?

SimonM176 (author)DavidO92017-03-09

Choose what's best for you!
Try to check out this one
it might help!

dhyde79 (author)SimonM1762017-11-15

....that site lists nothing that you can't buy from amazon, and, nothing that anyone has spent any money on airsoft goods would ever consider "decent" and certainly not "best of 2017"'s listing the number one choice as a plastic springer that is meant to run 0.12g bbs?

TatuM2 (author)DavidO92016-04-21

Anything from strike systems really, at least that's my personal choice

JacobM192 (author)2017-05-06

Good article, one issue,

Clips are used to load magazines faster, Magazines are used to load chambers faster

CiaranP3 (author)2017-04-23

Hey, I have been looking for a gun with good accuracy, adjustable Hop-up, foldable sights, two tone, adjustable stock and semi-auto and 350 fps or below

I have looked about online and only found two guns I liked, i was wondering if you could take a look and give any suggestions.

the guns I have looked at :

HunterL28 (author)2016-08-22

Dear god, a sweatshirt AND an extra layer for 200Fps??? Thats childplay, airsoft is not a sport you want to wear thick clothing. I wear a multicam T with multicam bottoms while being shot by guns at a minimum with 320 and average being 360 with highest being 550.
Also, NOTHING was said about face protection? Thats ridiculous, thats how you lose an eye, tooth or teeth or getBBs inbedded in your face. If youre worried about pain, dont play airsoft honestly.

IronicF (author)2016-01-13

What sort of a blowback-pistol can you recommend in a reasonable prize range?

And maybe some other tips can be useful.

Greetings from Germany :D

TatuM2 (author)IronicF2016-04-21

Asg g19 blowback. No doubt.

PaulH23 (author)2015-05-28

somebody have mercy on a 68 year olefart . I am looking for a reasonable (sub$100) airsoft pistol. Nothing really matters but accuracy. That meaning I don't care what brand, don't need blowback or anything else specific. If it's co2 need one that does not leak down over time. Gun is for starlings and sparrows in the back yard running off my bluebirds etc. Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks

jakerox43 (author)PaulH232015-05-29

Hey, this is the first time in years I found my old Instructable! I have no idea how you ended up here.

You don't want an airsoft gun, though. It just doesn't have the power or right type of projectile to do the job.

What you want is a pellet gun/air rifle, preferably in .22. (Just to be clear, this is a .22" diameter lead/leadfree pellet, not the firearm)

An air pistol like this:
which uses disposable CO2 cartriges may be on the lower power side but would work under maybe 15 yards, depending on your aim.
An air pistol like this:
uses smaller pellets that are cheaper and easier to find locally but do less damage to game (although they fly flatter and faster). Also no CO2 canisters to buy.

If you need more effective range than 15 yards, you'll need a breakbarrel air rifle such as this one:
Notice the choice between .177 and .22 cal, and that you can mount a small scope using a dovetail mount, which I highly recommend that you do.

In other words, get an air rifle with a scope mount unless you really want a pistol and don't need the range. Make sure you know how to adjust your sights so you know where things land on paper at various ranges before you aim at live targets. Happy shooting!

DylanS8 (author)2015-03-22

So, I am a beginner to airsoft, and I have taken a number of quizes and followed your instructable, and I have decided that I would like a sniper rifle, with either a scope or a laser. I would like a laser because I think it is more accurate, but I am a see and dont be seen type of player, in other words, very stealthy. So could you help me figure out if I should get a scope or a laser? If I have enough money, I would also like a pistol and any modifications you recommend. My price range is $150-$200 not including ammo, maximum. Can you help me find good quality guns and modifications that fit that price range? I might be able to go a little over, but only if it is really worth it. Thank you. Also tell me which type of ammo I should buy for each gun. Thanks!!!

Pinnyboy (author)DylanS82015-03-30

I've been playing yourself for A very long time and I know a thing or two about Airsoft rifles and pistols here's a good set for you and I think it's around your price range.
Also I would recommend using pro slick .23 bbs.

Rifle -

Pistol -

Pinnyboy (author)Pinnyboy2015-03-30

Sorry about the typo I meant to say airsoft in the beginning of that

ChickenJo (author)2014-11-19

This is an one of the best instructables I have ever seen. Great job!

runamazondry (author)2014-09-26

This bad boy

easton.romney (author)2014-09-07

what website do you recomend

Pjj1999 (author)2013-02-19

would you recommend a scope for an assult riffle

BlockA (author)Pjj19992014-08-13

i would say to get a red dot sight and then something called an optic protector or something look it up on airsoft gi.

or there is this $85 red dot sight with something built in to protect it.

jakerox43 (author)Pjj19992013-02-19

Depends how accurate it is, the distances you play at, and how much weight it adds.

Vinnster101 (author)2013-08-17

Im just starting airsoft, i thaught your instructables was great. Im looking at buying an MP7 type airsoft gun. I was going to get an electric H&K MP7 either online or at something like a Walmart, though I just noticed i could possibly get a gas blowback MP7 type gun for relatively cheap, the WE SMG8. Is that a gun that can be trusted? and also, if i want to get something other than the electric MP7 i was talking about, its going to have to be online, shippable to canada, since i live in ontario. So if i could possibly get something better (like a better deal) than the WE SMG8, what would be some of your reccommenndations? Thanks alot

BlockA (author)Vinnster1012014-08-13

if you check Airsoft GI at this link :

its an ak74u for only $99 (US) and i am pretty sure it can ship to canada. the specs are pretty good and its full metal internal with polymer externals.

Manufacturer: Lancer Tactical
Model: AK74U RIS
Muzzle velocity: 390 - 400 FPS

Magazine Capacity: 450 rounds
Color: Black
Package Includes: Gun, Magazine, Battery, Charger

Full Metal Ver. 3 gearbox
Realistic Design
Durable Polymer Construction

i justed bolded most important good qualities for you, also it can have attachments but it doesn't come with the optics and angled grip shown.

and it qualifies for a free gift so you could select a free gift at checkout and they have some guns so you could select a sidearm or another rifle to take with you. they are based off of tokens so i don't know if how many tokens you get depends on how much you paid so if you don't have enough tokens to get a sidearm or another gun as a free gift, since you can choose multiple you could choose some attachments that you would want like a grib and a red sight or something and if you get a red dot sight u should get an opic protector or something (look up LevelCapGaming's video "what attachments do i buy first"

hope this helped.

Meleeassassin (author)2014-06-27

Hey, i was going to get an airsoft sniper rifle from and i dont know what the fps is. that is the gun i would like.

BlockA (author)Meleeassassin2014-08-13

i saw it if you scroll down the very small but bold text is where you find it, it says 350-390 FPS.

xXDEATHX500Xx (author)2014-06-19


Swaggernaut (author)2012-06-25

I just read your guide and I found it very helpful. I still am not sure what to get as a good starter's gun, though. I like the assault rifles but every time i have tried one i didn't like it. Do you have any recommendations for a good assault rifle 150$-200$ or under?

jakerox43 (author)Swaggernaut2012-06-25

What about assault rifles do you not like? I can give you lots of recommendations, but it's helpful to know what you prefer. Have the ones you tried been too heavy, or too small, or too weak, or too inaccurate, or you just don't like the aesthetics? Let me know, and I'll find you some nice hardware.

jlovins (author)jakerox432014-02-13

I'm new to the sport an would like some info on an assault rifle. I love the AK-47 always have just a sex gun if you ask me. An I was wondering where I could find a good one for a decent price but I want it to be accurate an as legit looking as possible please an thank you.

Swaggernaut (author)jakerox432012-06-27

the main problem i had was the magazine. It was bigger than what my guns are, but when i would play a match with them they would run out too fast and i wouldn't have time to reload, they were 30rd. mags. also they were pretty inaccurate. i'm fairly certain it was an M4 worth about 50$. but it would also b nice if it looked pretty beast...

jakerox43 (author)Swaggernaut2012-06-29

Any real AEG will have high cap mags for it, so don't worry about that. Any particular types you think look "pretty beast"?

Swaggernaut (author)jakerox432012-06-29

haha:) well most assault rifles look pretty awesome to me but i would really prefer for it not to be an m4 or m16 mainly cause that's the gun i always see my friends with and I've never liked using them and kinda want something different. and please no spring powered.

evilmadcow (author)Swaggernaut2012-09-02

the wells P90 kit tops at $50

jakerox43 (author)Swaggernaut2012-06-30

Are you a fan of AKs?

Swaggernaut (author)jakerox432012-07-01

yeah. i like that gun, I think i'm gonna get it. Thanks for the help!:)

whaaat7 (author)2013-08-17

What about an Echo1 Troy M-4 for beginners?

Socrates187 (author)2008-12-07

...Evike is horrible. Go to any airsoft forum and say Evike is great and you will be bombarded by flames. Look up Evike Horror Stories

Dear God...

jakerox43 (author)Socrates1872008-12-08

all sites have horror stories. evike has worked fine for me, but whatever you like will work

evilmadcow (author)jakerox432013-08-17

the difference in tales is noticed though, I hope?

Sgt.JJB (author)jakerox432008-12-13 is a great site.

That Weasel (author)Sgt.JJB2009-01-20

yes is a great site i would highly recommend it

evilgenius32 (author)Socrates1872010-11-14

Where do you live? Because I live in California, where Evike is based so I get great service. If you live farther and another company is closer, you might get better service with them.

WarPig137 (author)Socrates1872010-07-25

Evike cleaned up their act.

happiness1 (author)2009-08-08

Hey, does anybody know what the highest fps non gas pistol is?

evilmadcow (author)happiness12013-08-17

is this modded or stock? anyone could make an unconventional pistol that succeeds 1200 fps.
'cuts the but stock off a sniper rifle and calls it a unconventional pistol'

yobwoc (author)happiness12011-01-10

Evike has one that shoots close to 500fps.

It may not fall specifically into the "gas" category for some of you, since it's CO2, but it's the same general idea.

Surprisingly, it just so happens to be any of the three most affordable CO2 pistols they have. It gets 100 shots per CO2 cartridge, where most will get 40 per cartridge. Tons of good reviews for all three of them. Just $40.

baneat (author)yobwoc2011-03-20

If not CO2 then what gas is usually used? I was led to believe that gas pistols are by default CO2 powered.

500FPS is severe for a pistol though, especially considering the range

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