There is a wide variety of airsoft guns from which to choose, and the list is so long we had to divide it into two parts. This is Part 1, in which we go over some common varieties.
Generally the cheapest variety of airsoft guns, those in the spring-loaded category are commonly found in a handheld pistol form and require the shooter to cock the weapon before every fire. They’re the perfect choice for more casual or beginner players due to their reliability, durability, cost, and availability.
Although some high-end spring-loaded guns, such as sniper or shotgun types, easily compete with the more expensive varieties, spring-loaded airsoft guns are generally not acceptable for competitive play due to the difficulty of firing and inaccuracy at long range.
Automatic Electric Guns
Remakes of the popular AK-47 or M16 assault rifles would fall into this category. Simply by holding down the trigger, the shooter can let loose an entire clip of ammunition in a few seconds – sometimes up to 1500 BBs per minute. These are the most common type of airsoft guns and, although price differs radically depending on the area and the quality of the gun, most people should have no trouble finding an acceptable electric gun.
True to their name, these guns run on battery power and have the added bonus of not needing a manual cock before each shot. Unfortunately, one has to be careful with these guns – they can short-out and become useless in wet conditions.
These guns are basically the same as the electric guns, but they often feature the added realism of a blowback and a muzzle flash. These are more common among collectors than players, though, as they are usually more realistic-looking and, in combat, the muzzle flash can give away your position.
These guns are generally not the preferred choice for competition. Their slower muzzle velocity causes the BBs to go off-target more than is desirable and, for the price, one could find a comparable and hardier spring-loaded gun. They are, however, relatively cheap and can simulate the rapid-fire capabilities of their bigger, badass relatives listed above.
Mid-powered electrics are considered a close match to the competitive quality of high-end guns, but can be bought for as little as half the price. If you’re just looking for something to shoot around or have skirmishes with friends in your back yard, this is the type of airsoft gun for you. They aren’t as sturdy as the more expensive guns, and the muzzle velocity is still a bit slower than is necessary in a true competitive setting, but this variety is common among casual players and is a great pick for beginners.