Pistols should be a part of every airsoft player’s loadout. They offer quick, close-range engagements when needed and can come in handy as a backup weapon. But should you go for an electric airsoft pistol or a gas one?
More importantly – does it make any difference?
Before going ahead and purchasing any type of airsoft gun (whether that’s a pistol, rifle, or SMG), you want to do your research and make sure that what you’re getting actually fits in with your personal performance style. You don’t want to buy a gun only to find that you actually don’t like how it handles or you don’t get the performance you were expecting.
We’re going to compare electric airsoft pistols and gas airsoft pistols, discussing all the important features and performance capabilities, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right type to fit into your loadout.
Let’s get into it.
How do Electric Airsoft Pistols Work?
Electric airsoft pistols – or AEPs as they’re commonly referred to in the airsoft community – are battery-powered, with an internal motor that powers both the semi and full auto firing modes. They run completely off this battery, which is usually stored in the grip of the gun.
When you pull the trigger, a signal is sent to the battery to power the motor, which in turn gets the gears inside the gun moving. The BB is then fed into the air nozzle and fired out using compressed air.
What are the Benefits of using Airsoft Electric Pistols?
Your decision on whether or not to buy a gas or electric airsoft pistol can be largely affected by the benefits each type offers, so let’s get straight into the advantages of AEPs:
Electric Airsoft Pistols are Economical
AEPs offer a great way to save money. They don’t require any type of gas or HPA reservoir and, instead, just need the battery to be recharged when it runs low. This means you won’t have to keep buying gases or tanks, meaning the gun is very economical in the long run.
AEPs are Versatile
Thanks to their super handy rechargeable batteries, you’re not only saving yourself money but time too. As long as your battery is charged, you’re good to go out on the field without having to worry about gases or HPA tanks.
You can simply put your battery charger on the night before or even just before you hit the field. Plus, having a spare battery always comes in handy, so you can hot-swap them and get back into the action quickly.
Electric Airsoft Guns Look Realistic
One of the biggest factors of electric airsoft guns that tend to win over most players is aesthetics. They’re typically made with sturdy and bulky materials, providing an element of realism – which many airsoft players love.
We have a great selection of airsoft pistols, perfect for close-quarter combat and airsoft skirmishes. At Socom Tactical, we carry a variety of gas blowback airsoft pistols in a range of styles at incredible prices.
What are the Drawbacks of AEPs?
As with any type of airsoft gun, there are certain drawbacks to consider before buying an electric airsoft pistol. Let’s take a look:
You’ll Inevitably Run Out of Juice at Some Point
Because these pistols solely rely on battery power, it’s highly likely you’ll run out of power at some point, and if this happens mid-game, it could compromise your whole performance.
Of course, you can just swap out the batteries – but this does cut into your playing time and can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you’re a beginner airsoft player who isn’t quite as quick at swapping out batteries as more experienced players.
You Can’t Really use them in Wet Conditions
Perhaps the biggest letdown of most electric airsoft pistols is that they don’t do too well in wet environments. You’re likely to experience a bit of delay in firing if your gun gets wet, and if it’s hammering it down, you actually run the risk of damaging your AEP altogether.
In this scenario, it’s probably best to take your gas or spring-powered pistol to avoid any potential damage and disappointment.
How do Gas Airsoft Pistols Work?
Much unlike AEPs, gas airsoft pistols run on compressed gas, usually in the form of green gas, HPA or CO2. This is stored in the magazine, which can be refilled by unscrewing the cap and depressing the nozzle.
They can be either gas blowback (GBB) or non-blowback (NBB), with the former being the favourite choice amongst airsoft players.
Gas Blowback Pistols
In short, a GBB pistol generates a realistic recoil when fired, which to many airsofters, feels and looks more like a real gun.
While they’re more expensive than their non-GBB counterparts, if you’re looking for realism and performance, it’s worth investing in one.
Non-Gas Blowback Pistols
As you might have guessed from the name, these pistols don’t generate any recoil, making them slightly more suitable for beginner players so as not to overwhelm them with the firing action.
Plus, they’re typically cheaper than GBBs, so if you’re on a budget or just starting out, a non-blowback gas gun is a great way to go.
What are the Differences between a Gas Airsoft Pistol and an AEP?
Aside from the way in which the two types of pistols function, there are a few other differences between the two.
While electric airsoft guns have all the aesthetics of a realistic firearm, a gas blowback pistol does a better job of feeling like you’re using a real gun and comes with the added recoil. A lot of players enjoy the feeling of the recoil and believe it adds an extra layer of realism to their game. There are some AEGs that attempt to replicate the blowback effect, but it’s not quite the same!
Repeatedly buying your gas ammo is more expensive than recharging an electric battery, so over time, you’ll end up spending more money on ammunition, making it not as economically friendly as electric pistols.
The gas pistol itself tends to be more expensive than an electric one, too, so AEPs are definitely the way to go if you’re on a budget.
Our Judgement: Are Gas or Electric Airsoft Pistols Better?
After considering the various advantages and drawbacks of both gas and electric airsoft pistols, we’d suggest considering what budget you have before making a final choice.
Electric airsoft pistols are great for those on a budget, thanks to the lower initial cost and the fact that you don’t need to keep re-buying ammunition. Gas airsoft pistols, on the other hand, might be more expensive to maintain, but they deliver realistic recoil action that a lot of players enjoy.
Overall, both types offer great performance and can really complete your airsoft loadout.
Shop airsoft pistols at Socom today!
Laurence is a keen airsoft player and has been the owner of SoCom Tactical for over 10 years. He’s played airsoft all over the country solo and as part of teams and is an expert on all things airsoft, like tactics, airsoft guns and gameplay equipment. As one of the UK’s leading airsoft suppliers and retailers, Laurence is the go-to source for airsoft knowledge.