Some airsoft guns are more durable than others, but to determine how long will they last greatly depends on how you treat them and how well the manufacturer did their job.
I hate broken things just as much I hate the repairs and wasted time waiting for something to get fixed before I can use it again.
This is especially true with airsoft guns because sometimes the damage done may require professional help if you do not have the knowledge to fix them yourself and sometimes the repairing process can be additionally delayed which makes things more difficult.
How long are airsoft guns expected to last?
Airsoft guns can last almost indefinitely, but can also break at the very first game. On average, a decent quality airsoft gun may last you 2-4 years before first big repairs if you play a couple of times a month. The amount of shot BBs or dry firing wears on a motor and gearbox in AEGs, but all airsoft guns with time wear down the inner parts such as a hop-up rubber.
There different types of airsoft guns and with each type come new threats that can damage them, therefore I will break the analysis on vulnerabilities of inner parts and will provide you with preservation tips for each type.
You can check my maintenance guide later, so you can take care of the basic maintenance needs.
In this post, I will be sharing the most common reasons why airsoft guns break and how to preserve them to last for as long as they can get to last, so if you have a brand new airsoft gun that you just bought, take a look at possible threats and learn to apply the best methods to maintain it and keep it healthy.
Why do airsoft guns break?
In short, what are the usual reasons why airsoft guns break?
Airsoft guns break due to poor quality materials, bad handling, or due to bad maintenance. Each airsoft gun type requires specific care and each type has unique vulnerable parts that can break if you are not careful.
Before we get to each gun type, let’s share some good universal tips that apply to all gun types.
1. Dirt, the notorious enemy of airsoft guns
Dirty inner barrels
Dirty inner barrels can affect the gun’s performance by high margins, but hopefully, it is not difficult to get rid of this problem by applying some cleaning to it.
People forget, or are too lazy to clean their airsoft guns, and then this problem occurs.
It only takes 2 minutes to clean your inner barrel and there is no excuse to maintain it regularly!
Not to mention that only gas guns require a high level of maintenance, most people with AEGs or spring airsoft guns have to clean their gun only after a couple of weeks for proper care.
Dirt in moveable parts
Dirty inner barrels are certainly a problem to any airsoft gun type, however, blowback gas guns and some other guns with sliding mechanisms are especially vulnerable to this problem.
Dirt can not only prevent the sliding mechanism to work properly, but can get even deeper into the gun through such openings and thus destroy the inner parts in some cases.
2. Keep your airsoft gun dry
Some airsoft guns are more resistant to water than others, but with every exposure to the rain or mud, you risk the health of your gun tremendously if you do not dry it afterward.
Gas and spring guns are very resistant to water due to the lack of electric components, however metal parts may rust if the gun was not dried for a day or so.
AEGs on the other hand have lots of electric components, but they are hidden deep within the gun and are well-protected by the body, so some rain won’t damage it.
However, the problem occurs if you drop it in a pool or if somehow lots of water manages to penetrate through the downside part of the gun and finds itself the way to the trigger and destroys a Mosfet or similar electric components.
For the full picture of what it looks like to play airsoft in the rain and what can water do to airsoft guns feel free to check my post on how to secure airsoft guns from water damage.
3. Danger of low temperatures
Some people claim that playing in winter times can hurt your airsoft gun and this is true, however how cold is too cold for airsoft guns?
I like to go by the rule of the thumb, do not play airsoft if your nose is frozen and it won’t affect your gear either!
Winters can be chill, but not all winter weathers go below the freezing point, so if it is far below 32°F (0°C), simply stay at home.
On all gun types, the plastic may crack at one point, but it would really need to be freezing cold for that and you should rather be at your sofa drinking hot cacao near the fireplace.
Green gas performs terribly on the first sight of the cold, but Co2 can sustain your normal winter games at somewhat reduced effectiveness.
Batteries are affected by cold weather and the colder it is, the less efficient they may get, however, LiPo batteries are known for standing toe to toe with the cold quite well.
You should have a LiPo anyways because these are the best batteries out there!
So, unless you play in Siberia, it is very unlikely that it will affect the LiPo batteries.
Pro-tip for winter play: Drop the weight of BBs because the lighter you go, the less energy will be required to propel it!
4. Keep inner parts lubricated at all times
Lubrication does not need to be maintained after every game and yet again, guns with lots of moving components require more lubrication than those without moving components.
Every gun has important inner parts that need to be moving smoothly at all times, whether it is a gearset in the gearbox or a sliding mechanism of a GBB. You can find lubricants for cheap and they will last a long time, but it’s important to understand when to apply low-viscosity and high-viscosity lubricants, so I created a lubrication guide.
This also applies to magazines and often people forget that magazines need extra maintenance.
Depending on a model of a gun and a magazine it will require more or less lubrication, but without it, it’s going to last a very short lifespan.
5. Reused or poor quality BBs
Reused BBs can be dirty and shuttered to some extent which is the reason you should never reuse fallen BBs around you if you want to maximize the health of your gun.
Jamming is a terrible thing, but a shattered or low-quality BB can also destroy inner parts of the gun when it moves throughout the gun.
Poor quality BBs can also damage the airsoft gun due to manufacturing imperfections.
Tip: Always throw the free, testing BBs that come packed in a box with the airsoft gun.
6. Do not use sketchy upgrades
There are some sound-promising upgrades for airsoft guns on the market that people may want to sell you.
What I have in mind is the kickback mechanism that you install into your AEG.
It gives you a better feeling of the kickback which may seem awesome, but in reality, it is quite questionable how well will it perform compared to the actual GBB gun that is manufactured to have a strong kickback.
The other terrible thing is that people report that their gearbox was shuttered and worn out due to such malevolent upgrades.
Conclusion? Do not make it complex at the cost of the primary function of the gun, which is to perform well as it is intended and to last a happy lifetime, so stick to proven upgrades that will make your AEG instantly better.
7. Do not drop airsoft guns
To not drop airsoft guns on the concrete may seem like an obvious tip, however not all guns react in the same way and while some guns won’t have a scratch if you drop them from 10 feet, some other guns may break immediately.
Airsoft guns can be resistant to fall damage, but this depends on how is your gun built-in particular.
Check the body of your gun and see how sturdy it feels, is it made from low tier or high tier polymer, and are there metal parts to protect it from a fall?
The better the construction is, the more resistant they will be to fall damage, but this always comes with the price.
A high-tier airsoft gun is often quite expensive and if you have bought your replica for around $100, it might not be as resilient as the $300 airsoft replica.
Inner parts are rarely damaged from a fall, however in some cases, something may bend at the side or get crushed by the force, so better do not drop it from high distances.
It is normal to sometimes drop airsoft guns when you run, jump or take covers, they will be fine, just make sure it is not made from absolute plastics and that you still do not throw it from the roof.
8. Pay for the quality and go for the brand
At last, comes the obvious, but yet sometimes players want to keep it on a budget.
To have a budget is an understandable proposition, but in that case, you should aim for discounts and really good offers, aim for proven brands with decent reviews and be ready to upgrade it in the future.
High tier airsoft guns can be very expensive, but they will perform great and be resistant to lots of outer threats.
If I were to buy a budget airsoft gun, I would look for a sturdy and quality build, the accuracy, range, and power would not be the first thing on my mind because I could later upgrade it and get it once I have put more dollars in a piggy bank.
Some great airsoft brands that you can trust are:
- Tokyo Marui
- Lancer Tactical
Additional break-prevention tips per airsoft gun type
AEGs are known for their reliability and can last almost indefinitely when properly taken care of.
The reliability, efficiency, and lack of complex maintenance make AEGs the best guns for beginners, so to preserve the AEG, it should not take much.
The motor may start to perform poorly after a couple of years in some cases and a battery may run off or break.
There is no much point to worry about any of these if you have bought a quality gun and a battery is easily replaceable, however, just like any airsoft guns, AEGs have other vulnerable parts that can break or start to malfunction, such as:
- Gear failure
- Nozzle failure
- Trigger failure
- Tappet plate failure
- Nozzle failure
- Motor failure
None of this should be your concern and I could continue to name other parts that could start to malfunction due to poor quality, but there is no point in that and I will rather speak of the most important parts in AEGs that are directly under your control and you can affect it.
1. Gear shimmering
The gearset in the gearbox should be properly aligned at all times or it may start to malfunction.
This is called shimmering and if you have not heard of it before, check it out because it does not only impact the health of your AEG but also affects the sound and performance of AEGs.
Basically, if the gears are well-aligned and lubricated, there is no much to worry about, however, sometimes they are not, and often it can be heard.
If you suspect that there might be a problem with it, shimmering is a must-action to perform!
2. Install MOSFET to your AEG ASAP
If you want to help your AEG live a long and happy life, you should install MOSFET for your very first and most important upgrade.
The thing with MOSFETs is that they do not always come with a brand new gun when you purchase it, so you will have to check whether you have one installed or you will have to do it on your own.
MOSFET is a small device unit that helps with electricity absorption and thus reduces the odds of electricity malfunctioning, increases efficiency and performance, and preserves the trigger.
Running a battery without a MOSFET ( especially something stronger like 11.1 V LiPo) is not suggested by any meanings and can reduce the AEG’s performance dramatically.
Gas airsoft guns tend to be harder to maintain and are more likely to malfunction than any other airsoft gun type.
However, they are awesome, and added maintenance and risk come with the price and although they may not be the best pick for beginners, they certainly are a great pick for more experienced players or people who want more challenge and reward.
I have already mentioned how important is it to clean and lubricate guns and this especially applies to gas guns.
Lubricate them and clean them after every match if you have time, but it will probably be fine if you do the same after every couple of games, this thing depends on the model and brand and you should always read a manual and reviews of the gun you own.
1. Do not use cheap or suspicious gas cartridges
This is a thing of gas airsoft guns, they get powered by gas cartridges and it means that there are more threats that come with it than it is on other gun types.
Do not worry, it might sometimes happen that people misuse the gas cartridges and break a seal on the gun, but if you go through a manual and learn everything about gas cartridges, you will soon realize that it is simpler than it may sound at first.
If you own a Co2 gas gun, you can check my Co2 FAQ post where I have written about common questions about Co2 cartridges, so you get equipped with the basic knowledge required for handling and maintenance.
Spring airsoft guns are not as common as AEGs, but they actually require the least amount of maintenance and they are the easiest airsoft guns to preserve.
Spring airsoft guns can sometimes outlast AEGs when the owner does not take care of their guns adequately.
Therefore, if you do not want to worry about anything and have the least amount of replaceable parts, go with spring guns.
There are some things that you will still need to take care of on spring guns, but as you will see, they are not anything energy draining or time-consuming.
I have already mentioned everything important about spring airsoft guns above and have nothing specific to add.
Just handle and maintain it well with universal tips and your spring gun will shine forever!
You choose a gas airsoft gun or AEG and decide to add HPA to it, now you have to worry about the original threats that come with your gun type and the newly added HPA system threats.
HPA systems are very interesting and very complex, so with HPA airsoft guns you increase the level of maintenance, but it can certainly be worth it!
Additional maintenance and proper handling on HPA systems is required on the following system units:
- The functionality of the tank (everything from the regulator to the valve)
- HPA engine
- Tournament lock
- These are some of the additional parts that form the system and maintenance is very important in this case, just as it is important to regularly refill the tank with the right pressure compressor.