It’s time to take your gun to the next level with upgrades that are easy to implement, yet effective.
Some guns are better than others straight out of the stock, but almost every gun is keen on upgrades.
Hopefully, these upgrades do not require high tinkering skills, so it won’t take you more than a couple of hours to increase the tier of your favorite airsoft gun.
With the following upgrades, We’ll target the range, effective distance, and accuracy. The point of the following upgrades is to make your gun capable of achieving high standards with upgrades that everyone can implement with some basic knowledge and a manual.
Do you have a good airsoft AEG by hand? Good, now let’s tweak a few things on it to make it superior.
TIP: You need to disassemble the gearbox and reassemble it just like with the rest of the gun to truly understand what’s going on for some upgrades. Follow the manual or have someone experienced with you for the first time. This will make you a real tech after you repeat the process a few times and you won’t have to go to the workshops.
If you do not feel comfortable doing these upgrades on your own, ask for help or you might end up damaging your gun. Bear in mind that once you upgrade some parts in your gun it will no longer cover the warranty. It is also recommended not to upgrade a fresh new gun before you have experienced it and know its flaws (2 months of use+) unless you are really determined.
1. Inner barrel
Stock inner barrels are okay, but they by no means should be a part of your finally upgraded airsoft gun. Inner barrels are quite important for your airsoft gun!
Those barrels are usually made from brass or aluminum because they are cheap to make. Although this allows for an affordable initial price for the airsoft gun, these barrels should be later replaced.
Brass and aluminum barrels will eventually wear and tear and a barrel is absolutely fundamental for accuracy.
Barrels should not have any damage such as scratches because even a minimal amount will affect the BB’s trajectory. This is yet another reason why it is not recommended to reuse BBs and keep up with maintenance.
To mitigate this problem and assure the healthy lifespan of your airsoft gun, you should upgrade to a steel inner barrel!
Steel is sturdy and resilient, but it is also heavier than brass and aluminum so it can also add additional stability to counter vibrations.
Soon, I will give you one recommendation for a barrel upgrade, but I think you should do it along with the hop-up, so let me first say a few things about the Hop-up.
2. Hop-up (bucking)
If you are looking to improve the effective range of your airsoft gun, you should look for quality Hop-ups.
Simply put, every inner part can be the best, but if Hop-up is not, the gun won’t be accurate.
For instance, the Tokyo Marui brand has great hop-up builds with low velocity and their guns are among the most accurate at long range, so it does not have to do much with FPS and other stuff.
Remember how important is the inner barrel? Well, now I can recommend the Elvish Tac R-Hopped ZCI 6.02mm Tightbore Barrel + Modify Flat-Hop Bucking set that is ridiculously good and fits most peoples’ budgets.
This recommended set will give your stock gun a big and noticeable improvement in the effective range and grouping of your shots.
A good Hop-Up rubber replacement will make the gun feel new and improved from a single upgrade, so this is one of the best upgrades in airsoft.
This upgrade affects the backspin on a BB (Magnus effect) and also affects the air seal between the barrel and cylinder head nozzle.
It is not the easiest upgrade like switching a battery, but it can be a fun time when you follow the tutorials and it’s nothing that a beginner can not handle.
I recommend tight-bore steel barrels because I know they are good and will provide you with the best accuracy.
Alternatively, you’ll be also looking for buckings like Maple Leaf, Prometheus, or MadBull if you find them one day in the store and didn’t choose the set I recommended above.
3. Stronger battery
Sometimes the upgrade that matters the most, is done in a minute. 9.6v NiMH or 11.1 V LiPos are the batteries that will make a significant change after you upgrade them from the stock 7.4 LiPo or 8.4v NiMH.
A stronger battery will give you a better rate of fire which is a direct upgrade for your AEG that won’t be unnoticed.
However, in order to fit in a stronger battery, you first need to assure that your airsoft gun is ready!
Never throw in a stronger battery than what is recommended because some guns simply can’t handle the power and you may end up damaging it.
For instance, a strong 11.1 V LiPos should be installed along with a MOSFET, and if you have electric blowback, a battery stronger than the stock one could easily break it.
By the way, I recommend LiPos over NiMHs for certain reasons, but eventually, just choose a stronger battery your gun can handle.
A MOSFET is one of the most important upgrades for high-tier airsoft guns. You can see it as a fundamental upgrade that will handle the rest of the components and make it work fluidly.
It will help with the trigger response and will protect the electric components within your gun from circuits and increase the efficiency of electricity.
This is the reason why stronger batteries really go well with MOSFETs and you will see many high-tier airsoft guns rocking one. That being said, you should also think to upgrade a battery and deans along with a Mosfet.
Mosfets can be both easy and difficult to install and might demand some soldering.
There’s a plug-and-play MOSFET that can be simply plugged into the wiring and that’s it.
You will need to understand what + and – mean and the instructions will lead you through the process with absolute ease.
However, there are also drop-in MOSFET upgrades that will require you to open the gearbox and remove the old trigger. So, this will demand some understanding of how gearboxes work.
5. DEAN connectors
Dean connectors will provide your gun with a better connection, increase heat resistance and stay stiff at one place. Deans are a basic upgrade that will protect your AEG from the inside.
Thinking in advance can save your gun, so it’s a great cheap upgrade that will only require some soldering (which is fun!).
Due to better conductivity, this may lead to better performance in terms of the rate of fire as well.
Deans show the most improvement for LiPos but are a good choice for any battery.
Throw Tamiya connectors in the trash and install these bad boys!
A motor is a key component because it essentially makes AEGs what they are. Motors directly impact the rate of fire, trigger response, and the longevity of your AEG.
You can choose between High torque motors and High-speed motors.
Upgrading to a high-torque motor will give you a better rate of fire than your stock motor, but will also last longer due to great durability.
High-speed motors on another hand will give you an even better rate of fire, but will also give up sooner. Therefore, I won’t recommend them to everyone but if you have money and want that extra juice, go ahead!
This may scare you, but it’s actually not a big deal to replace a motor on m4 or Ak AEG platforms.
You need to remove the plate at the bottom of the gun’s body, disconnect black and red wires, pull out the motor and fit in a new one following the same protocol.
In the worst case, wires may be soldered to the terminals which means a bit more skill, but that’s it.
Of course, you should follow a guide because it needs to fit right and it’s better to be safe than to do things on your own without any experience.
Regarding the motors I can recommend I couldn’t find a great variety due to a limited time and lack of good choices in online stores, but this CHEEKON Ultra Torque Motor I found on Amazon is a great upgrade from a stock motor and has a great ratio of quality and price. You can choose the long or short axis, so whether you own an mp5 or m4 or something else you’ll be able to fit it right in.
I recommend using it with either an 8.4v or 11.1v battery on guns below 400 FPS. If you combo it with MOSFET and an 11.1v LiPo you’ll have a machine with a relatively budget-friendly upgrade (I mean the motor + LiPo and MOSFET can be demanding on a budget if you upgrade all at once but it’s worth it).
I recently wrote a dedicated article for the best airsoft motors, so check it out if you need more information. There you’ll find some extra recommendations for High Torque motors and further explanation on why they matter.
Spring can be the simplest upgrade you can do on your airsoft gun, but simplicity may depend on the gun model.
However, the spring should only be changed in accordance with the FPS you want to achieve. In other words, do not put a strong spring if your field limits do not allow 400+ FPS guns.
A good spring will give you more FPS which will count as a basic upgrade and might give you additional range on your gun.
However, spring alone won’t do much alone so it requires the rest of the gun to work with it. Moreover, spring will put more tension on the gearbox, so do not add a strong spring to a mediocre build or it will slowly eat it.
8. Disable blowback
In case you bought a gun with an electric blowback system, you should know about its disadvantages. The cool look is there, I give them that, but electric blowback hardly competes with a gas blowback, so usually, it’s more of a liability than an asset.
If you like it, you can keep it, but the blowback mechanism will drain some battery and will probably slightly reduce the performance of your gun.
Some people even believe that it may hurt your piston over time, but this in my opinion depends on the quality of the gun.
Anyways, if you want to disable it for maximum functionality it is quite an easy procedure.
9. Maintenance upgrades
Sometimes the gun is good in its stock version or the shape you bought it, but it needs a little push.
Re-grease and re-shim and polish the gearbox and make sure that the angle between gears and piston is properly aligned (AoE). Moreover, make sure you use the right lubricants as not all lubricants are good for airsoft guns.
Furthermore, better compression will mean instant tier-up because fewer air leaks are the point of every excellent airsoft gun.
Additionally, taking care of your inner barrel by cleaning it of dirt can also have an improvement.
These are maintenance upgrades and besides barrel polishing, I find the gearbox maintenance and compression a bit complex for beginners. However, it can all be done with enough fate in yourself, or well, with the help of the local workshop!