In my opinion, the AK platform is the best beginner’s airsoft platform, unless you are not keen on its look. That said, if you managed to bump into this article, I suppose that you are already sold on the awesomeness of the AK platform and are looking for a great starting AK that won’t disappoint you.
In this article, I have chosen my picks for beginner AKs and although the AKs are my favorite guns, you must know that my biased opinion does not affect the objective facts, so if you follow the airsoft community or chat with experienced players, you will hear that AK platform is indeed supported by some great budget-friendly manufactures such as Cyma.
Let’s get straight to my picks that won’t disappoint you.
For beginner AKs, I will list $80-$200 guns, and while almost every single gun here will perform great in terms of performance out of stock, the upper end of the budget AKs will come with enhanced functionalities but mostly in higher built quality.
1. CYMA CM028B AK-47 AEG Airsoft Rifle
Cyma produces the best airsoft AKs and that’s something I could put my arm in a fire for.
CYMA CM028B is a full metal gun beside the polymer lower receiver which is not a big deal because it’s also of astonishing quality and it has a metal gearbox which already makes this gun awesome for the price it comes for.
It has great FPS (around 380 with 0.20 BBs) and an adjustable hop-up, so it’s capable of reaching 180 feet quite accurately making this one of the best beginners’ picks for outdoor games where you need range, power, and a decent rate of fire that AKs are known for.
It also comes with a high-capacity magazine that holds 600 BBs which means that you won’t need to spend extra money on magazines at beginning of your airsoft journey.
The gun comes with a Cleaning rod and a manual, but you will need to buy a battery and charger separately.
I like the option of a folding stock on the AK platform and this gun has an integrated R.I.S which is great because you will be able to easily attach sights, scopes, flashlights, lasers, or whatever you desire and this option is not always present on other AKs out of stock.
Personally, this is my favorite CYMA AK alongside CM.045A (AKS74U replica of Russian carbine) and this gun has everything you will be looking for in the AK platform unless you prefer the classic wooden-steel look.
2. AK47 Kalashnikov 60th Anniversary AEG Airsoft Rifle
This is my second option if you are looking for a tactical AK47 that won’t break and that can compete with high-tier guns in the field.
AK47 by Kalashnikov has a truly unique look thanks to the adjustable foregrip and tactical side folding stock that allows you to shift it for both outdoor and indoor use.
Add to this beautiful matte finish, full metal construction (except for the nylon fiber stock, rail, and foregrip), and a tactical rail that makes the gun ready for a couple of useful accessories out of the box.
The externals are really good, but the internals is not of the less quality either, the full metal gearbox V3 and steel gears mean that this AK is on the same level as the first listed CYMA AK.
The effective range is also similar to CYMA’s, so you can expect around 180 feet of solid accuracy and the gun also comes with a high-capacity magazine that holds 550 BBs.
This gun is similar to the CYMA’s CM028B, but it also comes with a battery and charger which is a good deal eventually when you buy a battery and charger for CM028B you end up with an almost identical price anyways. (In this case, I would also get a smart charger because they are worth it and LiPo 7.4).
It comes down to the personal preference of which look you like better, the more tactical look with a folding foregrip, or the simpler design with the old-school-inspired stock.
3. CYMA CM0.45A AEG Airsoft rifle
This list could easily only contain CYMA AKs and I would feel good about it, but I’ll be versatile because certain guns are not always available in stock.
So, I will be short here!
CYMA 0.45A is an AKS47U replica so it is not your classic AK47 model but rather a series that had been inspired by the original AK47.
You may have seen this gun in movies or in popular games such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and the difference is found in a shorter barrel and a few other design details.
However, this gun also works outstanding and produces similar performance as the CM028B but it’s entirely built from metal and has wooden look in a compatible size making this gun better for those who like the aesthetics of shorter guns with a high rate of fire perfect for both the outdoor and CQB games.
There are also 0.35 series that are made from a polymer which is around $30-$40 cheaper. (In my opinion, the full metal version is better due to the quality external build).
4. CYMA CM0.50 AEG Airsoft rifle
This time we have the upper-end budget AK that can slightly exceed $200 if you also purchase a battery and a charger together with it.
However, this gun has 60FPS more than previous CYMA AKS and can reach 30 feet long in distance!
Why I think that this gun is special due to its blowback action that is not usually found on good budget AKs.
If you are keen on EBB and full metal construction alongside with real wood receiver and a grip this gun will be a perfect pick.
This is the only EBB budget AK I trust because unlike other manufacturers this AK has strong and durable internals that won’t break from the blowback action.
The rest of this gun is just great, so I won’t continue with a review of it here because you can find some great reviews on youtube where people have already highlighted what makes this gun great!
5. Double eagle AK47 AEG Airsoft rifle
This Double Eagle AK47 is by no means the best beginner AK, but it is probably the cheapest while also coming with okay quality, so it can actually be used for games before you get something better.
Besides being super affordable, this gun has an amazing appearance for the price and actually, there are many metal parts to it such as a metal trigger and trigger guard area, metal bolt, metal lever, metal stock, metal sling point, and the metal upper receiver, while the lower receiver is made from ABS and the “wooden parts” are also made from imitation plastics.
In terms of performance, this gun has good accuracy at under 100 feet and around 330 FPS with 0.20 gram BBs, so it is not a good outdoors gun, but can actually be an amazing beginner’s pick for CQB games.
The big downsides are the internals and plastic gearbox, so it won’t be as good as other AKs on the list nor is it upgrade friendly, but it does not mean it is useless because for someone who is just starting out and has a limited budget this can be a good gun.
Personally, I would buy a Cyma 0.28B for the difference in price which is not huge, but this gun has to be on the list because it’s super affordable (comes with a battery, charger, and manual from what I have seen) and if you have to buy something really budget then this gun will work for you or it will be a good gift to players who do not take airsoft competitively but rather as a form of fun or for backyard shooting.
Oh, it also has an adjustable hop-up!
Which brands are the best and what to look for in beginner AKs?
The majority of the guns on the list are CYMA AKs, so I must say a few words about why I love Cyma AKs so much.
CYMA has specialized in the manufacturing of beginner AKs and you can find a variety of great CYMA AK series.
What’s so special about these AKs is the fact that the internals is almost Godlike and will last for years, while externals are also so well built that any force you will experience during airsoft games such as crashing it onto walls and dropping it on the concrete in rush from a man-size height won’t crack it as it could happen with other AK manufacturers.
There are polymer CYMA AKS with less sturdy externals that are less resilient which is the reason why I prefer that most of the gun is made from metal, but even those polymer CYMA AKs come with astonishing internals and their externals will still show the resilience that you won’t expect from a cheap gun.
Simply put, there are CYMA AKS that people had for 8 years and they have only lost some minor external parts and the gun has only gotten around 20% reduced in performance.
I will put a few CYMA AKS, but you can’t go wrong with any CYMA 028,0.35,040,045,048,050… AK series.
APS, Lancer Tactical, and Game Face brands have decent guns, but in my opinion, they are not better than CYMA when it comes to quality AK platforms.
For instance, APS has amazing-looking AKs and they are known for their affordable EBBs, but I have heard too many bad stories about the quality of internals to recommend them, so unless I experience a positive journey with one of their AKs in the future I won’t put them on the list.
Things I always look for in a gun whether it is in the lower, mid, or high tier are the sturdy build (metal and real wood), metal gearbox V3 or +, brand reputation, upgrade friendliness and simplicity of maintenance.
If it matters to you, you can also change springs to fit FPS limits in the fields, so it can be another factor or you can initially think of this before purchasing a gun (do not get a 450 FPS gun if you know the local field limits are 380 FPS).