Airsoft pistols are perfect secondary guns outdoors, a great CQB primary, or a realistic replica used for target shooting practices.
Airsoft manufacturers do a good job at making airsoft pistols as realistic as possible, and while the obvious ammunition and power difference can never be matched, these pistols are still worthy for the desired purpose.
Moreover, it’s possible to do a few upgrades on airsoft pistols and make them shinier!
In this article, We’ll cover possible upgrades for popular pistol models.
The Upgrade Potential on Airsoft Pistols
Before delving into the realm of upgrades, it is essential to understand what airsoft pistols are upgrade friendly.
Here you’ll better understand what I’ll focus on, as certain pistol types are simply more upgrade friendly than others.
There are various types of airsoft pistols, including spring-powered, gas-powered, and electric-powered pistols.
Gas pistols are the most common, and usually, the best airsoft pistols you can own with many available upgrades.
Spring-powered pistols require manual cocking before each shot, and they are rarely used in airsoft or for target practice as they are mostly toys. Thus, I won’t recommend upgrades for spring pistols, besides an obvious spring upgrade which will give the pistol more velocity.
Electric-powered pistols, commonly known as AEPs (Automatic Electric Pistols), operate with the help of a battery-powered motor. Thus, I’ll recommend some upgrades I know that apply to AEPs.
Most upgrade-friendly pistols
Gas airsoft pistols are the most upgrade friendly, and for a reason the most popular airsoft pistol type you’ll see in the field.
Moreover, they are a great choice for practicing target shooting as some models are authentic replicas of their real pistol counterparts.
Glock models are in my opinion among the pistols with the most upgrade options, and this especially applies to Glock 17 series from Elite Force.
Next to Glocks, the high-capacity 1911 models from Elite Force and Tokyo Marui are great options with many upgrades available on the market.
Thus, I’ll mostly focus on these two popular pistol platforms with the following upgrades, but certain upgrades such as barrel, spring, or hop-up change can be done on other models as long as the measure fits.
Let’s start with something shiny and spectacular.
These conversion kits are created for pistol enthusiasts who want to quickly turn their pistol into a weapon similar to SMG or a carbine.
Pistols converted with these kits will provide you with better aim and target acquisition both for outdoor and CQB games.
The prolonged stock will make it possible to rest the pistol against the shoulder, and you’ll have plenty of additional room for gadgets such as flashlights and optics.
I love these pistol conversion kits because I can invest in a high-tier pistol and use it instead of a rifle or SMG quite competitively, while simultaneously protecting the pistol from any blow (pistols are more prone to breaking if you are not careful).
The overall enhanced grip and the possibility to hang it against the shoulder are so satisfying, so if you are looking for special and somewhat unusual upgrades this is the right stuff to go for.
Glock 17 convert kit (Short one)
This convert kit is made exclusively for Glock 17 and it’s made short, ideal for that SMG look.
Glock series Convert Kit (Carbine)
This universal Glock series convert kit is made to transform your Glock into a carbine.
1911 Convert Kit (Carbine)
This convert kit is made to fit the 1911 series into an awesome-looking carbine.
Best Upgrades for Airsoft Pistols
At the moment when I wrote this article, I looked to recommend a product alongside each suggestion, yet I wasn’t able to find good products in online stores that ship worldwide. Thus, I only recommended those products I could find, for more visit your local airsoft store or visit popular airsoft stores that ship in your region.
When it comes to upgrading your airsoft pistol, numerous options are available. Here are some of the best upgrades you can consider:
One of the most effective upgrades for improving the accuracy and range of your airsoft pistol is a barrel upgrade. Upgrading to a precision inner barrel made from high-quality materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, or brass, can significantly enhance the pistol’s performance. The upgraded barrel provides a better air seal, reduces barrel wobble, and ensures consistent and precise shots.
Many stock barrels aren’t ideal, as even the smallest imperfections in build can impact the trajectory of a bb, so choose a decent inner barrel from a quality brand that doesn’t sacrifice quality for a better price.
One inner barrel I have in mind is Maple Leaf Crazy Jet Inner Barrel.
Hop-up Chamber Upgrades
The hop-up chamber is another critical component that influences the pistol’s accuracy and range. Upgrading the hop-up chamber allows for better control over the backspin applied to the BBs, resulting in improved accuracy and increased range.
Look for hop-up units with adjustable settings so that you can fine-tune the hop-up effect according to your preferences and the weight of the BBs you use.
Hop-up upgrades should be the priority if you need a more effective range!
Piston and Cylinder Upgrades
Upgrading the piston and cylinder assembly can enhance the pistol’s overall power and efficiency. A reinforced piston with a high-quality polymer or metal construction can withstand higher spring tensions, allowing for increased muzzle velocity. Additionally, upgrading the cylinder can improve consistency and reduce air leakage, resulting in more reliable performance.
If you are looking to increase the FPS of your airsoft pistol, upgrading the spring is a viable option. A stronger spring can propel the BBs at a higher velocity, providing a significant advantage on the field when you are battling at a distance or the wind is interfering with the BB’s trajectory.
However, it’s crucial to consider the limits set by your local airsoft regulations and ensure that the upgraded spring is compatible with your pistol’s internals.
Pistols don’t need a powerful spring as it’s the case with rifles or snipers, as they are used as a close-range weapon.
Thus, only upgrade the spring if the stock version seriously underperforms (this won’t be the case with most non-budget pistols), or if you want to customize your pistol into a primary gun for outdoor battles.
One such example is upgrading the pistol with convert carbine kits, installing a scope and a powerful spring, and switching to heavier BBs.
Upgrading the trigger on electric airsoft guns can improve the responsiveness and trigger pull.
AEPs can benefit from a MOSFET and low-resistance wiring upgrade, offering you multiple trigger settings.
Gas pistols, on the other hand, don’t need any trigger upgrades, so stick with a high-quality gas and you’ll be good.
Having reliable magazines is essential for uninterrupted gameplay and sometimes the cost of gas magazines can exceed the cost of a gun.
First, consider only quality magazines made from real materials, such as metal or reinforced polymer, for improved longevity and feeding consistency.
Second, if some part of the magazine malfunctions, or is of questionable quality you don’t need to trash it. There are magazine upgrade kits (Link to Airsoft Station) you can use to reinforce existing magazines or repair them.
Third, high-capacity magazines can also provide you with more shots before needing to reload, so if the high-capacity mag is an option I would take it.
There are also drum magazines you can get for your AEP and never need another magazine.
Most importantly, gas pistols need a reliable gas magazine and magazine maintenance! There’s nothing as annoying as a leaky magazine, so assure you don’t buy suspiciously budget-friendly gas magazines.
Slide and Frame Upgrades
Upgrading the slide and frame of your airsoft pistol can enhance its durability, aesthetics, and overall performance. Aftermarket slides made from lightweight yet robust materials, such as aluminum or steel, can improve the pistol’s cycle rate and reduce slide resistance.
Furthermore, upgraded frames may offer ergonomic enhancements or stippling for improved grip and control.
Slide and frame upgrades aren’t as important on AEPs, but blowback gas pistols can greatly benefit from such upgrades.
Internal and External Modifications
Beyond the specific upgrades mentioned above, there are numerous internal and external modifications you can consider. These include upgrading the internal gearbox components for electric pistols (the best way of increasing the rate of fire), adding suppressor adapters or threaded barrels for attachment of accessories, and customizing the pistol’s appearance with grips, sights, and other external accessories.
Holsters may not affect the pistol’s performance, but they play a big role in reaction time and comfort.
A good holster will allow you to quickly reach for the pistol when you need to switch from the primary gun to a secondary one to deal with rushing enemies.
While I see the importance of holsters in airsoft fields, they are even more important for target practicing as every practice begins with the pistol in a holster.
Moreover, airsoft Glocks are known for their authenticity, so they can perfectly fit the real Glock’s holsters, allowing for a more realistic target shooting practice.
If you own any airsoft Glock, this holster will make you ultra-satisfied when you notice how its special design allows for the quickest draws.
I also found another great holster on Amazon which is universally made to fit guns of different sizes.
This holster is more traditional, but it will fit any pistol you got!
While most quality airsoft pistols come with decent grips already, some budget alternatives obviously lack quality.
A better grip means less struggle with sweaty hands, soreness, and a better experience which can even translate to better performance if you often rely on a pistol.
Moreover, some grips are purely for cosmetic purposes, so if the appearance makes you happy, it’s worth it.
Skins might not be considered “upgrades” for some people, but for others, skins are a fresh breeze into a hot, summer day.
I always cared about how airsoft guns look and if you are one of us, you’ll understand.
Tracer units might not be used during the daytime in outdoor fields, but they are the best thing ever invented for nighttime games and CQB games in fields with limited lightning.
A tracer will improve your accuracy as you’ll see exactly where your BBs travel, which is also a great solution to stopping cheaters.
I mean, you can’t claim the BB didn’t hit you if everyone witnessed a light beam pointing at you.
Tracers are also useful for zeroing scopes, increasing realism by mimicking the fire at the end of a nozzle, and making the whole experience so much cooler!
While most airsoft pistols are used in close combat, expensive scopes with magnification aren’t recommended, yet certain airsoft sights are a great option on a pistol even in a CQB environment.
Red/green dot sights offer a better target acquisition than aiming through an iron sight and are recommended if you want to upgrade your pistol skills in combat.
At first, you think that no sights are needed at all, yet once you learn to use a sight you start having way more success.
Final take on the importance of airsoft pistol upgrades
Upgrading your airsoft pistol offers several advantages that can greatly enhance your gameplay experience.
Upgrading specific components of your airsoft pistol can lead to significant improvements in its overall performance. Upgraded parts can enhance range, accuracy, velocity, and consistency, allowing you to hit your targets more effectively.
Upgrades that will make the biggest difference in performance are:
- Inner barrel
- Hop-up unit
A quality precision barrel helps stabilize the BB’s flight path, while an upgraded hop-up unit imparts a backspin for increased range and accuracy.
Upgrading your airsoft pistol opens up a world of customization possibilities. You can personalize your pistol’s appearance with aftermarket slides, frames, grips, and accessories, allowing you to create a unique and personalized weapon.
These customizations usually mean a cooler, better-looking pistol, but many of these parts can also slightly increase the performance and overall experience, so they are worth considering.
For instance, a good grip won’t be slippery when the hands get sweaty, aftermarket slides might make the gun more durable, a frame with rails will open room for flashlights or optics which can significantly impact target acquisition, and so on.
Hopefully, this article helped you consider the best upgrades for your pistol, I’ll be updating the article as soon as I find more worthy upgrades to recommend.