Easily the most popular platform of all in the airsoft armory – is the airsoft rifle.

Pistols make great sidearms, shotguns are fun for close quarters, grenade launchers are…painful.

For beginners and pros alike, a rifle of some description will be your primary weapon.

But there are so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

So, in this article, we explore the best airsoft rifles available in 2022, across a wide variety of styles, roles, and price points.

Some are included because they’re outstanding, some because they’re useful for a specific job, others because they’re just totally badass.

Either way, we can pretty much guarantee you’ll find something to suit your game. A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.

Let’s go to war!

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TOP 11 Best Airsoft Rifles in 2022

GameFace GFR37 Elite Renegade Airsoft Rifle

We begin, as ever, at the super-budget-friendly end of the spectrum, because we can’t go scaring potential new recruits off just yet. This is a worthy inclusion, therefore, a spring-powered, single-shot airsoft rifle that has a lot of features for the price.

With a synthetic, adjustable stock, smooth bore barrel, and a high-capacity 400 round magazine, there’s a lot to like here for a tiny, minuscule amount of money compared to what’s coming up.

And as it’s capable of up to 350 fps muzzle velocity, it’s a great entry-level weapon if you’ve never played the sport in your life, and just want to turn up to a local field and get involved.

Pros

  • Amazing price point.
  • Picatinny rail system.
  • Fixed front and rear sights.
  • Sling mounts.
  • Partial metal construction.

Cons

  • It’s as basic as they come.
  • Longevity might be an issue down the line.
  • Single shot on this platform isn’t that practical for a game.

Takeaway

It’s not going to light up the battlefield, but for a first timer who has never picked up an airsoft gun, this can’t be beat. It’s great value for money, and it will give any rookies the chance to get a feel for airsoft, before graduating to something with a little more credibility.

BBTac Airsoft Sniper Rifle M62

I also included this next entry in our recent best airsoft sniper rifles article, because I think it’s a great gun for the price, and ideal if you want to try your hand at the sniper role for the first time.

Either that, or it’s perfect for simply plinking in your backyard. With a realistic bolt-action, the weapon is fired with a spring system, and the reinforced ABS polymer construction gives it a solid look and feel.

You should achieve between 400-450 fps with this rifle, and it’s highly accurate considering it’s an entry-level, long-distance shooter.

Pros

  • Scope included.
  • Picatinny railings.
  • Hop-up.
  • Realistic feel.

Cons

  • The optics aren’t the best.
  • You will need to adjust the fps for indoor play.

Takeaway

For all you wannabe rogue snipers out there desperate to pick the enemy off from distance – this is a great place to start. Just change the scope – the one supplied isn’t up to scratch.

ASG Tac-6 CO2 Airsoft Sniper Rifle

Staying with the sniper platform now we have this ASG Tac-6 Co2-powered rifle that offers semi-auto capabilities.

It has a 15 round magazine, capable of shooting up to 400 fps with a non-gas blow back Co2, cartridges.

Featuring a removable orange fiber optic, top and bottom Picatinny rails for adding plenty of accessories, and even a removable, integrated red-dot laser target unit.

A 12 gram gas Co2 unit is stored in the ergonomic grip, and a bipod is included so you can steady your aim and improve your accuracy every time.

Pros

  • Great price for what you get.
  • Ideal for plinking.
  • Adjustable rear sight.
  • Thumb-hold stock with rubberized pad.

Cons

  • No hop-up.
  • Not suitable for indoor play without adjustment.
  • Low capacity magazine.

Takeaway

A great sniper rifle for backyard target practice that comes with loads of features and a lot of bang for the buck. It’s not really suitable for airsoft games, however, with an engagement range limited to 100 feet unless you customize it.

CYMA Standard Airsoft AK47-S AEG Rifle

Modeled after one of the most iconic firearms of all time, you can’t have a list of the best airsoft rifles without including at least one AK47.

I’ve gone for this folding stock, AEG version from airsoft stalwarts CYMA. It just offers you something a little different, and has an awesome aesthetic that should garner you a lot of compliments at the field.

With real wood furniture and a metal barrel, the assembly is top-drawer and looks highly accurate, added to the fact that it can “kill every motherf**ker in the room” with a 450-round capacity magazine and semi and full auto fire modes.

For the price, this is one of the most attractive and practical airsoft rifles you can purchase.

Pros

  • Beautifully designed.
  • Steel folding stock.
  • Adjustable front and rear sights.
  • Adjustable hop-up.
  • Name to trust in airsoft.

Cons

  • Charger and battery sold separately – as such, it’s not the best airsoft rifle for beginners.

Takeaway

Fully upgradable, this truly is a wonderful airsoft rifle that would grace any collection – or totally devastate on the battlefield. The folding stock is a great touch for CQB, and you can’t beat it for MilSim action, either.

Electric G&G r8-l Desert Tan Airsoft Rifle

Renowned airsoft company G&G are up next with this excellent rifle package that includes the battery and charger this time.

Also included right out of the box is the red dot sight – which is a really nice touch and will have you playing real life COD in no time.

The muzzle velocity is a safe 350 fps, which means this is field ready for most airsoft arenas in the US at least, and a high-capacity magazine offers 300 rounds before you need to reload.

And when you do need to slap another one in, the mag itself has a rubberized grip for easy in and out control, while semi and auto firing capabilities are at the flick of a switch.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • All-inclusive package.
  • Adjustable crane stock.
  • Long railing system.
  • Lightweight polymer construction.

Cons

  • Might be a little too long for some.

Takeaway

There’s a lot of gun for your money here – literally. While the length might put some folks off (it’s not really suitable for close quarters) it’s a great airsoft assault rifle that’s packed with features and fully upgradeable. If you love the support/assault role – this one’s for you.

Krytac Trident MK2 CRB Airsoft Rifle

US company Krytac manufactures superior replica airsoft weaponry and training arms, and are one of the most popular and revered suppliers in the game.

This is their excellent Trident MK2 AEG rifle, capable of 365 fps (although that can be adjusted to align with US field rules). It has rails for days, enabling you to fully customize the weapon with anything your heart desires, and two removable iron sights are included in the package.

Made predominantly from metal with a polymer grip, it looks and feels the business in the hands, and the reliable V2-style gearbox won’t let you down.

If you’re ready to step up your game – you need this bad boy in your locker.

Pros

  • Name to trust in airsoft.
  • Adjustable crane stock.
  • Integrated MOSFET.
  • Comfortable pistol grip.
  • Highly rated in the community.

Cons

  • Battery and charger sold separately – not suitable for beginners.

Takeaway

Possibly one of the best airsoft assault rifles to ever grace the market, a beautifully made replica that looks, feels, and performs like a premium weapon. That’s probably because it is one.

KWA AKG-KCR Airsoft Rifle

Let’s return to gas-power now with another ultra-realistic airsoft rifle, that offers gas blow back for authenticity, satisfaction, and power.

Featuring a full metal receiver with flat top railed dust cover, this baby has a muzzle velocity of between 360-380 fps using green gas.

The nylon polymer stock is highly durable, and a fully adjustable, type four hop-up system allows you to fine tune your accuracy.

And with the increased sight radius, it allows for windage adjustment to make this one of the most pin-point target rifles on the market with outstanding range. Perfect for running support roles.

Pros

  • Picatinny rails.
  • AK side optic mount.
  • Adjustable front and rear sights.
  • Integrated sling attachment points.
  • It’s just really sexy.

Cons

  • Small magazine capacity – but you can upgrade that.
  • It’s loud – not useful for stealth (but who cares)?!

Takeaway

This is an absolute beast of a weapon. One of the most upgradeable, powerful, realistic, and most accurate airsoft rifles there is or ever was – short of it being a sniper. KWA knocked it out of the park with this one.

Tokyo Marui VSR-10 Pro Bolt Airsoft Rifle

Tokyo Marui VSR-10 Pro Bolt Action Airsoft Rifle

Is this the best spring powered airsoft rifle ever invented? Quite possibly. The Tokyo Marui VSR-10 has an outstanding reputation in the airsoft community.

Forever copied, never bettered (arguably), it has stood the test of time as one hell of a sniper rifle.

With a high strength polymer receiver, aluminum outer barrel and metal bolt assembly, and a muzzle velocity of a field-safe 290 fps, this is a beautiful, accurate and practical airsoft weapon that everyone who’s anyone in airsoft has desired at some point in their lives.

And with its unrivaled build quality, right out of the box you have an outstanding basis on which to fully mod it into a truly devastating sniper rifle – even more so than it already is.

Pros

  • Premium quality design and build.
  • Name to trust in airsoft.
  • Integrated fixed sights.
  • Bipod compatible.
  • Highly accurate.
  • Fully upgradeable.

Cons

  • No top railing system – yet.
  • Bipod sold separately.

Takeaway

So, you want to be a sniper? Here’s a huge piece of advice: buy this. Not just a good airsoft rifle, probably one of the greatest airsoft rifles ever made.

Pick up some tactical shooting gloves while you’re at it and treat this beauty with the respect it deserves. DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH IT WITH GREASY FINGERS!

ARES Airsoft L1A1 AEG Rifle

As far as airsoft rifles go, this is a monster of a gun, one of the longest weapons available on the market today.

The L1A1 is an iconic firearm, and this is a beautifully reconstruction of a gun that has had a very long and successful history in several conflict theaters around the world.

The black polymer stock is tough and durable, and provides a realistic look to the original, as does the semi automatic firing mode.

Made largely out of metal, the mock charging handle allows for easy hop-up adjustment, and you’ll get a muzzle velocity of somewhere between 417-427 fps, with a 120 round magazine to keep the enemy at bay.

Pros

  • Premium materials in the build.
  • Faithful, iconic reconstruction.
  • Sling hooks.
  • Folding charging handle lever.
  • Flip up rear sights.

Cons

  • It’s very long.
  • Slick handgrip.
  • Some mold lines left over.

Takeaway

Wow. Step out onto the battlefield with this, and they’ll know you mean business (if you’re not turned away for the fps being too high – make sure to adjust accordingly). Failing that, you could always use it to get to anything down from a shelf that’s out of reach…

Tokyo Marui Colt Licensed M4A1 Rifle

Tokyo Marui Colt Licensed M4A1 Rifle

A licensed, Tokyo Marui, GBB version of the M4? Shut up and take my money.

And money is what you’ll need to obtain one of these incredible airsoft rifles, nearly all metal and proudly brandishing Colt license trademarks.

It offers unbeatable gas efficiency with the TM ZET system, and can handle dumping a mag without running out of fuel, with a 35 round capacity that can be fired at a skirmish-ready 310-310 fps.

With semi and full auto fire modes, hyper-realistic recoil, and the authentic Cerakote firearm finish, this is one that will drive MilSim players into a frenzy. It’ll look really nice on the wall, too.

Pros

  • Premium quality internals.
  • Adjustable hop up.
  • Ready out of the box.
  • Removable flip up rear sight.
  • Fully customizable.

Cons

  • Optics not included.
  • Very expensive.

Takeaway

An outstanding CQB rifle that will scare the living daylights out of your opponents when they come up against it. On looks alone – this is the real deal – but it’s also a solid performer in the field.

What else would you expect marrying Tokyo Marui and the number one standard infantry weapon of the US armed forces?

Tokyo Marui Herstal Licensed Airsoft MK16 Rifle

Our final inclusion in the best airsoft rifles review is this beast of a gun from – surprise, surprise – Tokyo Marui.

Utilizing the next generation of airsoft technology, it’s an AEG that feels like a gas blow back.

Recoil and muzzle flip is simulated for the first time using a battery, so you get the best of both worlds without having to rely on gas cartridges or canisters.

Featuring an 82 round capacity magazine, adjustable stock with cheek riser, Picatinny rails galore, and a game-friendly 280 fps right out of the box, this is an airsoft player’s dream – apart from maybe the price.

Pros

  • Next-level technology.
  • Mock bolt racks after last round.
  • Fully licensed FN Herstal trademarks.
  • Flip up front and rear sights.
  • Choice of tan or black colors.
  • Highly upgradable.

Cons

  • Exorbitantly expensive.
  • Specific magazines required for the empty mag bolt action to work.

Takeaway

Want to own the future of airsoft rifles, now? You’re looking right at it. But if you’re a total noob, it might be best to wait until it comes down in price a bit, first.

How to Choose the Best Airsoft Rifle

Trawling through the hundreds of airsoft rifles on the market can be a bit of a headache – especially if you’re new to the sport.

With that in mind, below you’ll find a buyer’s guide with FAQ section to help you bust the jargon, and sort the wheat from the chaff.

airsoft sniper with automatic rifle and mask

Why an Airsoft Rifle?

An airsoft rifle – in whatever form it takes – is the most popular primary weapon with airsofters around the world.

With most decent rifles, there’s plenty of scope for upgrades, customization, parts, and service – no matter which country you live in (although it is slightly easier to get Tokyo Marui stuff in Japan…)

Of all airsoft weaponry and platforms, it is the rifle that offers the most choice, with hundreds of guns on the market already – and many more being released every year.

If you’ve never played airsoft in your life, 99.9 times out of 100, an experienced player will tell you to start with an entry-level rifle.

It’s up to you to decide the power-source and style – so read on for more info.

However, you should also think about having an airsoft backup gun in case something happens to your rifle, or simply because you are ready to take this game seriously.

Types of Airsoft Rifles/Roles

Airsoft rifles are available on a number platforms, and the type you choose can depend on a number of factors that we will cover below.

But also influencing your decision, will be what kind of role you want to play at the airsoft field?

  • If you’re the kind of play who likes to get up close and personal, assaulting the enemy front line, and trying to push through defenses, then AK-47, M-16, or AR-15-style airsoft guns would be a good choice here. Alternatively, for breach and clear operations indoors, an airsoft shotgun might be the way to go.
  • For engineer or medic roles, a slightly smaller, lighter weapon like an M4 Carbine is perfect. Something that’s going to come into its own in CQB scenarios.
  • If you prefer to support advancing team members and lay down suppressing fire, then you’ll need an FN M249, or L1 A1 semi-automatic to keep your squad covered.
  • Finally, for reconnaissance, overwatch, tracking enemy positions and taking down targets from distance like a Hollywood action star – you’ll need a sniper rifle like the VSR-10 (based on the Remington 700 adapted into the US M24 system).

Just don’t forget you’ll need a backup sidearm for when the enemy gets too close for long range, so you should try one of these awesome airsoft pistols as a trusty secondary weapon.

Or, if you don’t want to play combat sports and you just want to shoot targets in your backyard, feel free to choose whatever platform you like the look of.

For more information about airsoft roles, check out the cool and informative video below.

Power Source

Once you’ve decided on the type of rifle you would like to purchase, you need to decide on its power source.

Spring-Powered

You’ll find that many sniper rifles are spring-powered, with a single-shot, bolt-action system that has the advantage of not requiring gas or batteries in order to operate. They’re also highly accurate and have excellent range.

However, they’re no use for rapid fire, and pretty obsolete in CQB games. They’re also the most limited when it comes to upgrades.

Electric Rifles

Electric rifles (or AEGs) use a battery pack to fire BBs down range, with the obvious advantage that you can recharge the power system, as well as fire an absolute barrage of ammo with semi and full auto fire modes.

While they are the most common of all rifles and very user-friendly for beginners, airsoft guns that use batteries are not as realistic as gas-powered guns. There’s also so many of them that the choice can often be overwhelming.

Gas-Powered

Finally, gas-powered airsoft rifles are highly realistic – which alone is enough to make them a winner within the community. Particularly if you’re using a GBB weapon (Gas Blow Back) which simulates recoil after firing, and is as close as you can come in airsoft to a real firearm.

The downsides are that canisters can leak, guns are expensive, require more maintenance, are not very accessible for beginners, and you will likely burn through gas supply very quickly.

Gas is also affected by the weather, and problems can occur in extreme conditions.

As with all power sources in most everyday appliances, the type you choose will depend on you weighing up the pros and cons of each and proceeding accordingly.

airsoft military game players with assault rifles

Range/FPS/Hop-Ups

FPS stands for Feet Per Second, and it refers to the muzzle velocity of the rifle. How fast a BB is going to travel after it has been ejected from the barrel.

The higher this number, the faster it moves and the further the projectile’s range – but bear in mind this isn’t always a good thing – especially for indoor games that usually have a cap of around 350 fps in the US.

Outdoor arenas will be between 400-550 fps, but likely with a minimum engagement distance rule.

This number can also vary depending on the quality and power of the weapon – and, importantly, the size and weight of the BBs being fired.

Look for rifles that can be adjusted and customized to suit your needs. This includes understanding “hop-ups” which is a little device inside most guns that imparts the “Magnus Effect” on a BB pellet.

Watch the video below for an excellent explanation of this – and why it’s very important in airsofting.

Weight

Realistic, gas-powered weapons will likely be much heavier than AEG or spring-action rifles. They’ll usually be constructed with a more metal composition for as much real-life accuracy as possible.

While this might sound enticing at first, remember that carrying around a heavy-weapon for a day of airsofting will take its toll – particularly on younger players or noobs.

MilSim players would love to simply play with the real things, however, (minus the killing – one hopes), and so they prefer the weight of rifles to be as close to the original weapon as possible.

Either way, it’s something you should always consider when purchasing any airsoft gun. It’s also a good idea to have a weapon capable of holding a shoulder sling.

Accessories/Rails

As previously mentioned, it’s always a good idea to seek out an airsoft rifle that can be fully customizable.

Some are more accessible than others for this purpose, while there are airsoft rifles that can’t really be adapted at all.

It’s up to you and how far you want to take the hobby – because these days it’s possible to pimp up rifles so far that they look and perform vastly different from when first taken out of the box.

At least look out for Picatinny or Weaver railing systems (or rifles that allow you to install them) so you can add accessories, such as flashlights, optics, red dot sights, camera systems, handrails, and more.

Cost

Of all the airsoft weapon platforms, it is the rifles that vary in cost the most.

You can pick them up for the change you have found down the back of the couch.

Or, you can clean out your entire savings account to score one.

Of course, it’s up to you how much or how little you spend – but I recommend suiting your budget to your experience, and not getting ahead of yourself with a top-of-the-range killing machine before you’ve ever fired a BB in anger.

airsoft soldier with a rifle playing strikeball

FAQs

What is AEG airsoft?

AEG stands for Automatic Electronic Gun. It is the most common power source in airsoft weaponry – and highly advised as a solid choice for a beginner.

What is the best airsoft rifle on the market?

Wow – what a question – and probably one that is impossible to answer.

However, since you asked so nicely, I’m going to give you my two favorites that I think are up there with the best airsoft rifles ever made.

The Krytac Trident MK2 and the Tokyo Marui Colt M4A1.

Having said that, I can’t get enough of the CYMA AK47 and may just have to pick one up, just because it looks so freaking awesome.

How accurate are airsoft rifles?

Airsoft rifles are very accurate, providing the shooter has the skill, that is.

Also, you must bear in mind the hop-up settings, and make sure they’re finely tuned to improve the gun’s accuracy. Make sure you have the best weight of pellet loaded for that particular rifle.

And don’t forget about the weather – windage plays havoc with BB shots, so if there’s a gale blowing then the rifle isn’t exactly going to be nailing bullseyes.

What is the most powerful airsoft rifle?

Again, that depends. Some modulated airsoft guns can reach dizzyingly high velocities, with speeds of up to 700 fps and more.

Remember, this is not allowed on commercial airsoft fields (who usually cap it at 350 fps), and any rifle that can reach this level should only really be used for target practice at non-living objects.

Or, pesky rodents if you want to protect your garden blackberries.

What is the maximum range of an airsoft rifle?

I hate to keep saying it, but it depends! There are so many factors that contribute to an airsoft rifle’s maximum range. This includes the power source, quality of the weapon, conditions on the day, hop-up settings, BB weight, and more.

As a rule of thumb, a 400 fps rifle should reach about 100 feet. Watch the airsoft sniper video below if you’re interested in learning more about range.

How bad does an airsoft rifle hurt?

It’s not too bad – providing you’re wearing the right kind of protective gear, of course.

Start with one of these essential airsoft masks – you won’t be able to play without some form of eye protection, anyway.

Other than that, wear comfortable clothing that covers your skin and you won’t feel much more than a flick (providing you’re not being shot from point black range by some asshole, that is.)

What is the best AR 15 Airsoft rifle?

There are so many variants under this vast umbrella, and many players will have their choices, favorites, and steadfast opinions.

Personally, I find it hard to see past the Tokyo Marui M4 platform, so that’s my answer.

What is the best AEG airsoft rifle?

A subjective question. I doubt there really is one all-encompassing answer to this. Much like “what is the best actual gun of all time?”

I’ve given some pretty good options here in this review – try some of those out and make your own mind up.

What’s the difference between cheap and expensive airsoft rifles?

Like anything you purchase in life, you get what you pay for. Cheaper airsoft rifles just won’t be as well-designed, have premium materials, or last nearly as long as higher-end models.

Fire a cheap airsoft rifle and fire an expensive airsoft rifle and you will almost immediately feel and see the difference.

That’s not to say bargains can’t be had at the budget-friendly level of things – especially if you’re just starting out.

What’s the legal age limit for owning an airsoft rifle?

It depends on the country you live in. If you’re in the US, you can own an airsoft rifle at any age, however, this can vary from state to state – and you should check the legal requirements where you are before purchasing.

Permission needs to be given from parents or guardians for anyone who is under 18 to obtain an airsoft rifle.

Do I need a permit to own an airsoft rifle?

Again, it depends on where you are in the world, as different countries have different laws. In the US, an airsoft rifle is not classed as a firearm – so you don’t need a permit to own one.

It’s highly recommended that you don’t take it out in public, however, and when you’re transporting the weapon, you use a satisfactory case.

Summary

A vast subject with an even larger following and community, the world of airsoft shows no signs of slowing down.

And discovering the best airsoft rifle in 2022 will find you well on the way to getting bitten by the bug of the sport – and diving right on in.

Let me know which airsoft replica firearm you would choose and why.

Happy airsofting!