Gas vs Electric vs Spring Airsoft Guns –Which type is best for airsoft?


Comparison between different airsoft gun types

Being able to choose between gas, electric and spring airsoft guns can be overwhelming at the beginning because there are pros and cons regarding their functionality, efficiency, and overall cost that makes them worth it for a specific purpose.

Choosing the right type of airsoft gun is important, and understanding what options you have will prove to be valuable knowledge.

I will state the benefits of available gun types, explain what you can expect from them, and a few advices for each gun type to help you figure out what exactly you need at your stage.

In short, I can give you short advice on what I would do when choosing between gas, electric, and spring airsoft guns.

Beginners may find electric and spring airsoft guns easier to use, maintain and they are cheaper than gas airsoft guns, so any electric (AEG) airsoft gun or a spring shotgun, or a sniper should be a priority for beginners unless they want the fancy look and realism of gas airsoft guns.

As you improve your game and satisfaction with airsoft, you can invest in awesome gas guns but it is suggested that you first get some experience in airsoft before doing so.

However, you do not have to follow my advice and if you like a specific gas model you should go for it if you are fine with the features and the price.

Life is too short, to overthink and going straight in for the fun is sometimes the best decision!

Let’s quickly explain how each type works and then we’ll compare them by advantages and disadvantages.

How electric airsoft guns work?

Electric airsoft guns are powered by batteries that run the motor and the motor runs the gearbox which operates the gun with the help of other inner parts found in all airsoft gun types such as trigger, hop-up unit, inner barrel, and so on.

Electric airsoft guns are usually non-blowbacks.

Advantages

  • Electricity is cheap
  • Good power and fire speed
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Easy to maintain and upgradable

Disadvantages

  • Not ideal for blowback action
  • Not super realistic
  • Decent guns cost at least $150-$200 without upgrades

How do gas airsoft guns work?

Gas airsoft guns are also composed of traditional inner parts such as trigger, hop-unit, inner barrel, and similar inner parts but are powered by the gas placed in the magazine which creates pressure when the trigger is pressed and propels the BB.

Gas guns can be non-blowbacks but they often come with blowback action and are perfect for it because gas is more powerful than electricity or spring action.

Advantages

  • Super realistic potential
  • Perfect for blowback action
  • Can achieve great performance (velocity, speed)

Disadvantages

  • Gas gets expensive if you play alot
  • Better for intermidiate+ players due to maintainance
  • Usually Louder than electric and spring guns (problem for some people)
  • Cost $200+ to perform on a good level (except pistols, they can be found under $150)
  • Temperature dependent (usually not a big deal)

How do spring airsoft guns work?

Spring airsoft guns are the simplest airsoft guns that are composed of traditional inner parts like every airsoft gun but they use the spring force to create pressure that propels the BB by player’s manual clocking of a gun.

Some spring airsoft guns can be considered as blowbacks if we count moving parts, but that’s not the same blowback action as found on gas guns because spring airsoft guns are not automatic and are differently built.

Advantages

  • The operation costs are free
  • Simple maintenance
  • Low chance of malfunctioning due to simple built
  • Good performance except of the speed (good for snipers and shotguns, bad for other gun types)
  • Great starter guns can be found under $150

Disadvantages

  • No semi-auto/auto mod, only a shot at the time
  • No real blowback action support

What airsoft gun type is most effective?

When it comes to the effectiveness of each airsoft gun type it is important to understand that every type can be effective if the gun is quality made.

Cheap electric airsoft guns will perform similarly to cheap gas airsoft guns and the performance won’t be good, but if you cash out for something decent it will perform great. However, spring airsoft guns are the most usual cheap-made guns on the market due to low manufacturing costs and almost every single spring airsoft gun will function poorly to the unplayable extent.

So, understanding that even cheaper gas or electric guns work better than spring guns, it is also important to understand that you should not consider any spring rifle or a pistol for competitive play nor are they a good recommendation for anything more than cosplaying or toys for kids.

The conclusion is that any rifle, pistol, SMG, sniper, DMR, shotgun, or whatever comes to your mind will be effective whether it is a gas or electric but there will be other pros and cons to it in terms of maintenance, realism, and price.

Bear in mind that for spring airsoft guns, only shotguns and snipers are recommended because naturally, you do not expect them to work on automatic mode.

How difficult are electric, gas and spring airsoft guns for maintainance

Any AEG is going to be less of a burden than gas guns when it comes to cleaning and lubricating, and it will generally be easier to fix AEGs if something breaks than it will be a case with gas guns.

Gas guns need to be cleared after every or every second game for precaution measures while AEG can be maintained only once after the fifth game or so. This, of course, depends on how dirty the gun got after the game of airsoft, rainy days, or playstyles with lots of sprawling and habituating in dusty, dirty places will require you to clean your airsoft guns more often.

The reason for this is because gas guns have more moving parts, especially the models with blowback mechanisms and the dirt is the enemy number one, while all moving parts require good lubrication to function.

Another thing is that the magazines and gas cartridges also need to be taken care of and although it is nothing complex when you add all these maintenance requirements in one bucket you end up with more time spent taking care of gas guns than AEGs.

With AEGs you need to assure that no electric components get wet and you apply a standard clearing and lubricating procedure to them that takes minimal time.

Next to electrics and gas guns, spring guns have even fewer inner parts to worry about so maintenance is the easiest on them. However, some spring airsoft guns have movable parts such as a bolt mechanism and assuring that it is lubricated and out of the dirt is important.

How expensive electric, gas and spring airsoft guns are in comparison?

Electric airsoft guns are usually more affordable compared to gas guns when buying a gun in a store due to lesser manufacturing expenses, while spring guns are the most affordable on average.

Another expensive factor about gas guns is the gas cartridges that are way more expensive than the electricity required for recharging a battery in AEGs.

To recharge a battery you will only need a charger and a small amount of electricity that you won’t notice on your electricity bill, but gas can get quite expensive if you play regularly.

Not only that cartridges are more expensive, but gas airsoft guns, especially those with blowback action require more energy consumption to power up the mechanism and do the job, while AEGs generally only require some electricity to power up the small motor.

Spring airsoft guns, on the other hand, will only require some kinetic force that your body will produce, so there won’t be any expenses for running them.

What airsoft gunt type is most realistic?

Realism is important for some players, while others care more about simplicity and performance. I personally think that both are important for true airsoft experience.

The importance of blowback feature

Some players say that blowback is not even a great thing for airsoft because it produces unnecessary sounds which many springs or electric airsoft guns do not and it takes more energy which means more expenses.

However, airsoft is played for entertainment purposes, and it is not worth sacrificing personal joy, so if you like the blowback effect go for it.

Many gas guns come with a blowback mechanism, while most AEGs on the market do not,

Spring airsoft guns technically have a blowback feature and even the cheapest spring toys come with a moving slide, but having to manually clock a gun before it slides is not really realistic in the first place. This effect present on spring snipers and shotguns is actually cool.

Blowback on gas guns and some electric guns is great for realism and fun, but the lack of it means some saved money in the pocket and simpler maintenance that comes as a result of fewer moving components.

How the sound differs between electric, gas and spring airsoft guns

There is nothing realistic in the sound that a motor and a gearbox produce, but it certainly comes with its unique charm that some people may like.

Personally, SMGs and automatic AEG pistols sound satisfying, but the sound that comes from most electric guns do not come even close to the sound that GBBS produces.

If you do not care about realism then it’s fine and neither gas guns produce realistic sound as real guns do, but they at least mimic it to the extent and besides the blowback action, the gas that pressures the air has its unique and quite interesting sound.

It is important to understand that the sound the gun makes does not come only from internals but also from every single part of a gun that is mobile, so metal-made gas blowback guns definitely sound the best thanks to lots of power being generated that runs metal parts crashing into each other with each shot.

Due to this reason, it is difficult to enhance the sound the gun makes with sound amplifiers or any technique, but sound amplifiers have at least some effect because they compress and release the air coming from the barrel.

Spring airsoft guns are usually almost completely silent, but some models may be a bit louder, however, none will ever produce a serious noisy sound.

Final take on

As you can see, every airsoft gun type can work and if you find the right model that comes with the advantages you like, you should get it.

I recommend that you find out what you are looking for and get the airsoft gun that will make you happy, the performance alone is not the only factor because airsoft is about entertainment.

To be honest, most upgrades people make on their airsoft guns are of cosmetic nature just like with the rest of the gear, but they are having tons of fun and that’s perfect!

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