Airsoft guns are great replicas of the real guns and they do almost everything right to mimic the realism, but the recoil is a big task for any airsoft gun to completely replicate.
Recoil is quite awesome, but it is also what makes real guns difficult to control before you get used to them.
Airsoft guns in another hand, do not have this same problem because the recoil works differently on them.
So, in short do airsoft guns have recoil at all?
All airsoft guns have recoil, but only blowback airsoft guns have a noticeable recoil that can be compared to the recoil of the real guns. However, even the recoil on blowback guns is not as realistic as the real gun recoil.
As it is said, all airsoft guns must have some recoil because the Newton law states that every action must have a reaction that is equal in energy.
Therefore, if you hold any airsoft gun in your hands there will be some minimal recoil present at least, but you won’t necessarily be able to feel it.
In the following, I will explain how strong is the recoil on each airsoft gun type, explain its importance for airsoft and eventually give you some advice on what are the ways to get the maximum recoil on your airsoft gun.
What airsoft guns have recoil and why
Airsoft spring guns are known for their simplicity and such guns do not rely on any energy source, but your own muscles and the spring mechanism. It is not a surprise that they do not support the blowback mechanism and overall do not produce much recoil at all.
However, spring guns are either bolt action or pump action powered and they do mimic the real sniper and shotguns to some extent at least in that way.
Many real snipers and shotguns use a similar principle to work, so it comes with some realism. The only big downside is that there won’t be almost any recoil after you shot it.
AEGs are more powerful and advanced than spring guns, so logically you could expect to feel more recoil on them, but the difference will be pretty much neglectable.
AEGs are made for efficiency and performance after all and recoil is not their thing.
This can be seen the best from the lack of blowback mechanism on electric airsoft guns, there is rarely any such gun that is famous and solid.
Does it mean that there are no blowback electric guns at all that you can buy? Absolutely not, but in my opinion, gas blowback rifles are better at blowback feature and recoil, and gas blowback rifles came first on the market.
I won’t recommend blowback AEG guns because I have not tested such guns, but you can make further research on AEG blowback because there seem to be some fine guns.
If there is a gun you should go after in order to come as close to the realistic recoil as possible, then you should go after gas airsoft guns.
Blowback guns have a sliding mechanism at top of them that allows them to mimic the real gun blowback feature which also generates additional recoil.
Gas is a more powerful energy source than electricity and it can create lots of pressure, thus making the blowback sliding mechanism worth it.
There are blowback and non-blowback airsoft gas guns available, however, the serious recoil can only be felt on a blowback one.
How good the kickback is, also depends on the model to model and if you are going after the recoil, then you should carefully read the reviews and experiences of other people in order to pick the strongest one.
So, the conclusion is to go for quality, high-velocity blowback gas guns for the best recoil, the only downside is that some of these guns can be very expensive.
Should you use Green gas or Co2 on Gas guns for best performance?
Airsoft gas guns can be powered either by Co2 and green gas and I believe that Co2 is the only gas you should use in almost every situation.
You should definitely make further research on gas guns if you have not already, but in short, I will mention that green gas behaves quite poorly in a cold environment, while Co2 seems to never truly disappoint.
However, gas guns will always be trickier than spring guns or AEGs when it comes to performance and handling.
Due to the properties of the gas, there are more components within gas guns that can get damaged than in any other gun type.
You can find some relevant information in my post about CO2 for gas guns here, so you can get a deeper understanding of what it takes to own a gas airsoft gun.
How to add the recoil to your airsoft gun
Buy a GBB
Take a look at this guy’s GBBR, this kind of a recoil can be achieved with high tier GBBR guns only!
Honestly, this is the best advice if you want a realistic kickback feature on your airsoft gun.
Sell the AEG if you own one and buy a GBB with the money.
However, this greatly depends on what you want to achieve, do you need a blowback feature on your primary gun or you can rock it on the secondary one?
Many experienced players use blowback on their secondary gun and rather focus on efficiency and performance on their primary one.
GBBR are great guns but are also harder to maintain and cost more than AEGs, so if you are a beginner consider all the advantages and disadvantages.
Blowback pistols are awesome and both, beginners and experienced players should go for one!
Should you install the recoil kit on your current airsoft gun?
There are recoil kits available for your AEGs, so if you want to add the recoil to it, you could technically experiment with these recoil kits.
However, I do not think that they are worth it and I have based this assumption on the experiences of other players who have tried to upgrade their AEG with a kit.
Everyone reported that such kits do not provide a recoil that would be worth the money spent and the other potential expenses and time wasted in case the gun started to malfunction and these kits do weaken the gun internals accordingly.
I have not experimented with these kits, but I neither never had a desire to do so after I heard all the negative stories.
I might be wrong, but I am sure that you won’t risk with a brand new GBB that’s being proven to work every day in the fields.
HPA system can increase recoil
Whether you want to add the recoil to a rifle, SMG, pistol, shotgun, or to a sniper, HPA systems will boost it if the blowback mechanism exists on the gun.
HPA is the best energy source that can be controlled by you to its finest, allowing you to increase almost every feature on your airsoft gun.
However, not all guns are compatible with HPA systems and to install one requires knowledge, so you might not be able to do it on your own!
Before you make a decision and fall in love with HPA, make sure that you have researched everything about it because there is plenty of research to be done about HPA!
You can start your research with one of the posts that I have written to introduce new players to the advantages of HPA in airsoft.
Advantages and disadvantages of having blowback recoil on airsoft guns
For many players, realism is what makes airsoft so exciting and it indeed offers a variety of different gun replicas, tactical gear, and opportunities to replicate real battle strategies in the field.
Recoil plays a big role in the overall realism of every airsoft gun, therefore players who really like the immersion choose blowback guns instead of non-blowback guns.
Although the kickback is not as strong as the kickback on real guns, most high-tier blowback airsoft guns do a good job, but they still significantly differ from real guns in terms of actual impact.
Blowback airsoft guns are a good choice for target practicing and competitive play, however, if you ever decide to go for the real guns, you will notice that the recoil on real guns takes way more hours of practice to be properly controlled and mastered.
Efficiency and performance
Realism at the side, there are reasons why some players do not prefer blowback and it’s kickback feature and efficiency and performance are some of them.
Every blowback gun uses more energy (usually gas) for the same performance than a non-blowback version.
It is due to additional requests that a gun performs besides being focused to propel a BB throughout the barrel.
The blowback mechanism constantly slides from point A to point B during shooting and in order for such action to be performed, the gun needs to use more power from the energy source.
Non-blowback guns simply use the available power from the energy source to propel a BB and that’s it.
For instance, a blowback gun will only shoot 4 magazines on one cartridge while the non-blowback one will shoot twice as much.
Blowback guns are complex and are built of more moving parts than their non-blowback counterparts.
This means that you will have to clean them more often and make sure that every part is properly lubricated, so it does not break.
Regular non-blowback AEGs are easier to maintain and you do not have to clean them that often at all.
If you choose to go for GBBR it will be necessary to clean it after almost every game!
Gas blowback pistols, on the other hand, are quite popular and a way lesser of a problem when it comes to maintenance, but still require more of it than non-blowback pistols.
The final important factor is the expenses that blowback guns make compared to the expenses of a non-blowback variant.
You can make your own calculations depending on how often you want to use your airsoft gun, but bear in mind that the gas expenses can add up over time and although it may not be a big deal at the beginning, it could become one sooner than you realize.
If you want to find more about the price of Co2 and blowback guns themselves, you can check my post where I have compared blowback guns with non-blowback guns here.