Are you looking for the best airsoft pistol? Here you’ll find a straightforward guide to picking out a good airsoft pistol that fits your needs. Whether you are curious about a gas, spring or an electric airsoft pistol here you’ll find information to help make the most informed decision. Also make sure to check out the comparison chart, which is a nice visual guide to picking the best pistol.
There are many different styles of airsoft pistols to choose from. Once you’ve made the decision to get an airsoft pistol the most important thing to keep in mind when picking your gun, is to pick a style that you like. Whether it be a James Bond style Walther PPK or a more rugged, bulky and powerful Desert Eagle, the choice is for you to make. No matter the style of gun you go with, there are many different brands, qualities, and price points to choose from.
Now that you have a particular style in mind, take a minute to consider how your pistol is going to be powered.
There are three main sources of power for an airsoft pistol:
Spring Airsoft Pistols
A spring powered airsoft pistol is going to be on the lower end of the quality/performance spectrum. Now that is not to say that spring airsoft pistols are completely worthless, in fact there are some really great revolver style handguns that use spring. With almost everything, you get what you pay for and there are a few spring powered pistols that hold their own against the best electric or gas counterparts. However with a spring power the user must cock the pistol before each shot. For one, this isn’t the most realistic and secondly, this could also pose a serious problem in battle. A pistol is generally a secondary weapon that you need in a pinch, something that you want to be able to fire rapidly to get you out of a jam. If you’re looking for an airsoft pistol that won’t break the bank and that you can say, shot targets with while sitting on the couch watching T.V. then go spring.
Gas Airsoft Pistols
Gas powered airsoft guns are great, they generally have a stronger FPS than spring and many are made with metals as opposed to plastics. Having a full metal airsoft pistol gives the user a very realistic feel while holding and shooting. There are a few different ways of powering gas airsoft pistols; CO2, Green gas, or propane are the most commonly used gases. You may find a gun powered by refrigerator gas but they’re not as common. Most gas powered pistols are semi-auto allowing the operator to fire as fast as they can pull the trigger. Gas tends to jam up less than both spring and electric airsoft pistols and refilling is a breeze, just keep a few CO2 charges with you or a bottle of green gas. If you’re looking for a pistol that will go the distance and has a realistic feel then gas airsoft pistols may be for you.
Electric Airsoft Pistols
This is probably the most desired choice for powering an airsoft pistol. These guns are fast, reliable and cheap to power. Powering electric airsoft pistols is as easy as plugging them in. The charges will generally last longer than gas and as opposed to spring, electric gives you the semi-auto functionality, allowing you to fire off rounds as fast as your finger can pull. Batteries are cheap and having a couple on hand is always a good idea. The one plus to electric that gas doesn’t offer is that once you’re setup with a few batteries the only cost is BB’s. Whereas with gas you’ll have to continue purchasing gas to keep it powered. Again many of these pistols are full metal leaving the user with a nice weighted feeling in the hand.
What is blowback?
While looking around for an airsoft pistol you may have come across the term blowback. So what is blowback on an airsoft gun and what does it mean for your handgun? If you watch a real gun being fired you’ll notice the top portion of the gun slides backwards this motion is actually re-cocking the pistol. Once you’ve shot through the clip, the slide stays pulled back until reloaded. In an airsoft pistol the same thing basically occurs, the top portion of the gun slides back, re-cocking the gun. There is only a minor increase in performance on guns with blowback and the main reason for airsoft blowback is to give the user a more realistic recoil feeling when firing. A gun with blowback is without question fun to have, but know that you are using more gas and battery with a blowback gun. It isn’t a terrible amount of waste but it is there, so make sure you have an extra battery or some extra gas. Also when going with a blowback airsoft gun you must consider the added maintenance. Like a real gun, the blowback feature involves a lot of moving parts which need to be disassembled, cleaned and oiled or lubed properly. If this isn’t something you want to deal with than stay away from an airsoft blowback pistol.
Do I need Special BBs?
In short no you don’t need a fancy type of BB or BB brand, go with your favorite. That being said, if the airsoft pistol that you go with fires at less than 200 FPS a 0.12g BB is recommended. If you get an airsoft pistol that shoots more than 200 FPS than go with a 0.2g or higher BB. Putting a heavier BB in a handgun that shoots at lower velocities is only going to limit your distance, where a lighter BB will be able to travel further.
Airsoft Upgrades For a Pistol
The last thing to consider when looking at an airsoft pistol is whether or not you’ll want to attach some upgrades. Airsoft upgrades are simply individual pieces that attach to the side, underside or top of your pistols barrel. These include but are not limited to scopes, lasers, and flashlights. One thing to note is that in order to attach one of these, you’ll need a RIS or rail integrated system. Keep this in mind when looking at guns and make sure the gun you purchase has an RIS if this is something that appeals to you. Most pistols aside from revolvers generally have a rail of some sort and a lot of upgrades for pistols can attach with a rail. Lastly there is the option for a silencer. If this is what you’re looking to do then make sure your pistol has a threaded tip. An airsoft pistol in general is very quiet and a silencer isn’t going to do much in terms of making it quieter.
There may be some added benefit to having a longer barrel, but at the same time it makes the pistol bigger and harder to carry/conceal. An airsoft silencer is generally for purely aesthetic purposes.