Airsoft For Beginners 101: What Is An Airsoft Gun?

What Is An Airsoft Gun

For any airsoft beginner, it’s important to understand the basics so you can get to grips with the sport quickly. One of the first things you’ll want to understand is what an airsoft gun actually is.

While it might sound like a strange question to ask, it’s actually a very important one! You need to understand what an airsoft gun is so you can enjoy the sport safely and play better.

Let’s get into it!

So, What is an Airsoft Gun?

You might think that it’s pretty obvious what an airsoft gun is, but it’s actually not a completely black-and-white area.

At a basic level, an airsoft gun is one that looks and often feels much like an actual firearm but that shoots plastic BB pellets rather than bullets. They are generally a safe option that allows airsoft sports players to enjoy their hobbies with realistic but non-deadly props.

But airsoft guns are much more than simply replica guns – they come in a massive range of shapes and sizes, with many different types of ammunition. They can be used in sports, for filming, during historical re-enactments, and so much more!

What are the Different Types of Airsoft Guns?

There are various types of airsoft guns available for enthusiasts – the type you use will depend on what you’ll be doing with your gun and your own personal preferences and style of play.

Here, we’ll have a look at some of the most popular types of airsoft guns and what they can be used for.   

Spring-Powered Airsoft Guns

A spring-powered airsoft gun is one of the most basic and popular types of airsoft guns. It works by using a spring to draw back a mechanism that compresses air, which is then released to propel the BB pellet or other ammo out of the chamber. 

These are often the most affordable types of airsoft guns and are often recommended for beginners.

Gas-Powered Airsoft Guns

Gas-powered airsoft guns are often more powerful than spring-powered ones, making them a preferred choice for more experienced airsoft enthusiasts. Gas-powered airsoft guns use compressed gas such as green gas or CO2 to propel ammunition.  

Green Gas Guns

Green gas guns are powered using green gas – a mix of mostly propane and a small amount of oil. The green gas is loaded into the gun, either in a section of the magazine or in a separate chamber attached to the weapon.  

CO2 Guns

CO2 guns use – you guessed it – CO2 to power the ammunition in the airsoft gun. Unlike green gas guns, the CO2 is stored in its own canister, and small amounts of the gas are released when you pull the trigger.  

HPA Guns

HPA (high-pressured air) guns use compressed air to propel ammunition. The air is stored in an external canister and fed into the gun when the trigger is pulled.  

Electric-Powered Airsoft Guns

Electric-powered airsoft guns use a battery to load and fire pellets with compressed air. They offer excellent reliability and fast firing power, making them a popular choice among pro and beginner airsoft enthusiasts alike.  

What ammo to use for an Airsoft Gun
Airsoft For Beginners 101: What Is An Airsoft Gun?

What Ammo Do You Use in an Airsoft Gun?

There are various types of ammo you can use when shooting an airsoft gun. The most common are plastic BBs, but there are also options like rubber pellets.

BBs are typically made of plastic and come in a range of sizes to suit a particular airsoft gun, sport or hobby. The most popular sizes are 0.20g, 0.23g and 0.25g. You can also get heavier-weight BBs for more accurate shooting and realistic experience, ranging from 0.28g to 0.43g, but these aren’t as commonly used.

You must always use the correct size and type of ammo for the airsoft gun you’re using – incorrect use of ammo can cause significant damage to your gun and reduce performance.  

How Do Airsoft Guns Work?

Different airsoft guns work in different ways, but some things are universal among all guns and the physics behind how airsoft guns function can be fascinating.

As we discussed above, there are different ways to power an airsoft gun, with all types using either air or gas to propel ammunition. The gas or air is pressurised in the inner barrel to force the BB or other ammo out of the barrel of the gun. The use of gas or air also creates a blowback that simulates the recoil of a firearm and is a big part of what makes airsoft guns feel so realistic.  

How Do You Maintain an Airsoft Gun?

Regular maintenance is crucial for an airsoft gun to help keep it in top condition. This should include regular cleaning and general maintenance to keep the gun working well at all times.

Any dirt and debris should be cleaned from the gun after each use, with a deeper clean being done every few uses. You should also oil the moving parts using a suitable lubricant to reduce the risk of damage. You’ll need to understand how to safely disassemble and reassemble your airsoft gun so you can clean and maintain it.

You’ll also need to know how to maintain the gas or air supply to ensure you get the best performance when using your airsoft gun.  

Cleaning an Airsoft Gun
Airsoft For Beginners 101: What Is An Airsoft Gun?

What Type of Airsoft Gun is Best for Beginner Airsoft Players?

Basic electric airsoft guns are often best suited to beginner airsoft gun users, as they don’t need too much maintenance and are relatively affordable. They are the easiest of the various types of guns to use, as they don’t require you to load the gun with gas or air – the battery does this work for you. 

They also offer excellent performance for your money, with a high rate of fire and a realistic feel.  

Electric airsoft guns are also great for different scenarios that you might run into as a new airsoft player, from indoor and outdoor sports to casual, laid-back play.

A spring airsoft gun can also be a great option for newbies, as they don’t require any additional power source, equipment or charging to start using. If you’re not sure which is the right option for you, it may help to do some research and weigh up the pros and cons of each.

Where to Buy Top-Quality Airsoft Guns

There are plenty of places you can find airsoft guns to invest in if you want to get into the sport. There are physical and online stores, second-hand marketplaces, and airsoft gun shows that could be perfect for helping you find your first airsoft gun.

Always be sure to invest in the best possible quality when buying an airsoft gun; you’ll want the peace of mind of knowing that your gun will stand the test of time. 

Here at Socom Tactical, we have an outstanding range of airsoft guns from all of the best brands in the industry – whatever your airsoft needs, we’ve got you covered! From gas blowback guns, to airsoft replica models and electric airsoft gun types, we have a truly unbeatable selection of guns to give you the ultimate airsofting experience.

The Roundup: What is an Airsoft Gun for Beginners

So, now you should have an idea of what an airsoft gun is, how they are powered, and which could be the best fit for you as a beginner. 

You’ll need to know what kind of uses you’ll have for your airsoft gun before you make your final choice – there are different options that can be suitable for the whole range of airsoft gun activities out there. 

There’s a lot to learn about airsoft guns, and it can feel daunting to get into the sport as a new player, but the research will be well worth it! 


About Laurence

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.