It’s a debate that has raged long and hard since time began.
Well, since airsoft technology improved, at least.
Which is better – gas or electric guns?
If you’re an airsoft regular, certainly over the last decade, it’s likely that you will have encountered just about everything there is to offer on both platforms. You probably have your own strong opinions on the matter.
But for beginners, in the battle of gas vs electric airsoft guns, the overall winner might not be so clear cut.
With that in mind, we’re going to cover the advantages and disadvantages to both in this article, and then you can make your own mind up which you prefer – and which one is right for you.
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- Gas vs Electric Airsoft Guns – Too Long Didn’t Read
- Gas Powered Airsoft Guns
- AEGs (Electric Airsoft Guns)
- Overall Winner
Gas vs Electric Airsoft Guns – Too Long Didn’t Read
Yes, I understand you’re in a rush, and we’re all leading busy lives, so let’s just get right to the point if you don’t want to delve any deeper into this interesting face-off.
Gas guns are more expensive, and operating costs can be as much as three times more expensive than that of an electric gun – often more, depending on how much you shoot.
They have smaller magazine capacities, and nowhere near the rate of fire an AEG offers.
However, they’re unbeatable when it comes to realism, and the feeling you get when firing a gas-powered airsoft gun is particularly satisfying. Especially if you’re using a gas blowback gun that simulates the recoil of a real firearm.
Gas-powered guns also offer a higher fps and can shoot BBs much harder than electric weapons.
AEGs are more common, more affordable, have larger capacity magazines, need less maintenance, and offer a higher rate of fire.
If you’ve stayed with us, read on to explore the battle of the airsoft guns in a bit more depth.
Gas Powered Airsoft Guns
Let’s take a look at each type of gun individually now and break down its pros and cons – starting with the gas powered version.
Gas power is most commonly used with the airsoft pistol platform, but gas assault and sniper rifles are available. Check out the best airsoft pistols for some excellent examples.
Types of Gas
Let’s say you’ve settled on a gas-powered airsoft gun – the decision-making process has only just begun.
Next, you have to choose the type of gas you want to use, from a choice of “green gas”, Co2, or propane.
And let me tell you – this is a HUGE subject of much debate in the airsoft community, and we don’t have the time or space to properly explore it here. So, let’s just give you the basics.
We all know Co2 is carbon dioxide, and for airsoft guns it’s usually sold in 12 gram cartridges that are inserted into the gun’s magazine, punctured, and then ready to fire.
Stored at around 800 psi, you’ll achieve close to 400 fps with a Co2 weapon, and this power does remain constant until the canister is empty.
Green gas is a mixture of petroleum gas and silicone oil that fires and simultaneously cleans your airsoft gun during use. It is the same as propane but without the smell, plus the oil.
You fill your magazine from a green gas canister as you would a butane lighter, and it’s stored at a lower pressure than Co2 – at around 100 psi. A green gas airsoft gun will give you about 300 fps velocity.
There is a third gas option called HPA – High Pressure Air – which uses a much larger canister outside the firearm itself. It does have some notable advantages, but it’s an expensive choice to begin with.
As I previously mentioned there’s a lot more to it than that – and we could be here for days to explore it all. Perhaps we’ll cover this with an in-depth article in the future, so stay tuned.
Gas Blowback Airsoft Guns
Another gas-related airsoft gun choice you will have to make is if you want a standard gas gun, or a gas blowback weapon.
Gas blowback (GBB) guns use the same gas platforms (Co2, green gas, propane) with the added advantage of offering a realistic kick when the weapon is fired.
The slide (on pistols, of course) “blows back” to give the feeling that a projectile has been fired from the gun.
This is something you just don’t get from AEGs – that awesome recoil action that is very similar to a real firearm.
Aside from this, as a little gas is used towards creating this blowback action and not solely on firing down range, you’ll find that these pistols already fit within the fsp limits for most airsoft fields – and aren’t as powerful as non-gas blowback equivalents.
Watch the video below for more information and advice for choosing which platform you would prefer.
By far the biggest draw to gas weaponry is the significant increase in power they command over their AEG counterparts.
AEG rifles will usually sit somewhere between 200 and 400 fps, whereas gas will be around 350 to 500.
Having a more realistic firing action is a big plus point – especially for MilSim (Military Simulation) players or anyone looking for the look, feel and recoil of a real firearm.
This is especially true of the GBB variants as explained above – and you just don’t get the same satisfaction with firing an AEG.
As well as the joy you get from actually shooting the weapon, you’ll also enjoy the experience of taking the gun apart. Stripping a gas-powered airsoft gun is far more realistic than any other platform.
As mentioned, gas-powered guns are mostly pistols, and as such are the preferred choice for an airsofter’s sidearm rather than their primary weapon.
However, they’re also available as sniper rifles, and some of the best airsoft shotguns for maximum realism with “room cleaners.”
As you might expect with having to run Co2 cartridges/propane/green gas – the costs will soon add up when you’re packing a gas-powered airsoft weapon.
They’re not too expensive (you can pick up 100 Co2 cartridges for around $60, and an 8 oz green gas canister for about $15). Propane is cheaper, but compared with a rechargeable battery, they’re just not as budget-friendly.
And you will burn through gas cartridges like they’re going out of fashion. Aside from this, you will need to carry replacement canisters or cartridges with you in order to reload on the field.
With the higher pressure and inner workings of a gas-powered weapon, you’re going to get more broken parts. It’s not a matter of if a gas gun breaks down, it’s a matter of when.
They need a lot more maintenance than AEGs, and they should be taken apart at least once a season for a full tune up and inspection.
Gas is also impacted by the weather, and in very cold or hot conditions your weapon will likely malfunction, either by blowing the gun seals or with a significant drop in power due to freezing.
AEGs (Electric Airsoft Guns)
The most common and popular platform for airsoft guns are the battery-powered assault rifles, or AEGs. They utilize a rechargeable battery pack to fire BBs with an onboard electric motor.
Follow this link if you’re looking for some excellent examples of the best AEG airsoft rifles.
Let’s look at their pros and cons below.
Right off the bat, electric airsoft guns are overall much cheaper and more accessible than their gas counterparts. If you’re a beginner on the hunt for your first airsoft gun, then this is the recommended place to start.
No need to constantly replace cartridges.
Capable of rapid and semi-automatic fire, when you have to murder everyone in the room – an AEG is what you need. (Figuratively speaking, of course. It’s strange how I have to keep reminding people of that in this day and age).
They’re much quieter than gas guns, which is ideal if you prefer to use stealth in your gameplay.
AEGs hold so much more rounds in the magazine – which is a huge plus point for many players and one of the main reasons they use this platform in the first place.
They’re also more accepting of upgrades – which is an integral part of the hobby. Additionally, they need less maintenance and cleaning overall.
AEGs offer the most range of gun styles and types on the market, with both heavyweight and lightweight versions available, utilizing steel, or durable polymers. You’re sure to find something that suits the aesthetic you want.
Recharging is perhaps the number one downfall of an AEG. At some point, your weapon is going to give out, and you’ll need to stick the battery pack in the wall socket.
This is why many players have a backup AEG on the day – just in case one ends up losing power.
Anyone paying attention in school will also know that electricity and water don’t mix, so you might get a problem with some AEGs in wet weather. And it’s game over if you happen to accidentally submerge them completely.
Also, if you’re playing high humidity areas, the performance of an AEG has the potential to drop there.
It’s highly subjective when it comes to trying to decide an overall winner. Some players swear by gas power, others are die-hard AEG fans. So, overall, I declare the result to be…
It depends on what you prefer and the type of game you like to play, but I would suggest an AEG as your primary weapon, and a gas pistol as your sidearm.
At least until the airsoft bug has bitten, and you own several guns across all the different platforms anyway.
What is the best kind of airsoft gun?
It depends on what you’re using it for with regard to the role you want to play. There’s such a wealth of choice for the airsofter that narrowing down “the best” gun is a real challenge.
Some players love to use gas-powered guns (more common with pistols) particularly the blow-back variety that offers a realistic, satisfying recoil.
While others prefer the convenience of a battery-powered AEG (more common with assault rifles), which provides a higher rate of fire.
It’s up to you to try a combination of pistols, AEGs, shotguns, and sniper rifles – all powered by either gas, battery, or spring-action – to decide what the best airsoft gun is for you.
What’s better Co2 or green gas airsoft?
Ahhhh, the age-old debate. This deceptively simple question has the ability to start a fight in an empty room.
Watch the very informative and easily accessible video below for a no-nonsense, jargon-busting examination into this very topic.
Are spring or electric airsoft guns better?
Again, it depends on what you’re looking for and what role you want to play in the field.
Spring-powered guns make for outstanding airsoft sniper rifles, lending themselves to single shot firearms for range and realism, as well as not requiring any form of additional power pack.
They’re not susceptible to the weather either, and can operate in all conditions – unlike gas and electric.
Spring airsoft guns are also the most affordable and accessible platform – so they certainly have their place in the world.
Which is more accurate, gas or electric airsoft guns?
The jury is out on this one – it depends on so many factors that there is no clear winner. Both can be highly accurate if you have a nice setup, and some players feel that how the weapon is powered actually makes no difference to its accuracy at all.
Of course, range is a different matter entirely…
How far can a 400 fps airsoft gun shoot?
An airsoft gun firing 0.20 gram BBs in premium conditions at a rate of 400 fps should be able to reach a maximum range of about 150 feet.
At the very least you should be achieving 100 to 120 feet.
And with the addition of upgrades and improved components, expect that figure to increase to 200+ feet with the right gear.
Is airsoft green gas dangerous?
Propane and green gas are both non-toxic gas variants that aren’t harmful unless large quantities are breathed in.
Propane has a pungent odor, but it’s perfectly harmless, again, unless you’re sucking large quantities into your lungs.
However, you should never load green gas or propane into anything that’s meant for Co2 – and vice versa. This is where things do become dangerous and you’re running the risk of a canister or cartridge exploding.
Also, be careful of using gas in extreme temperatures. Watch the video below for more information if you’re still concerned.
Can airsoft guns kill?
No. They might cause some serious damage to a small rodent, but other than that, airsoft guns (at least the type you’re allowed to play with on commercial fields) don’t have enough velocity to kill.
Gas weapons are much more powerful than electric or spring action – but unless they’ve been specially modified in some way, they’re not lethal.
But they’re still capable of removing someone’s eye or a tooth – as well as breaking exposed skin at close range. So, make sure you’re protected at all times when you’re on the field of play.
Try these awesome airsoft masks to get you started.
There you have it folks, a full run-down of gas vs electric airsoft guns. Each with their clear advantages and disadvantages, and in the end it will probably come down to personal preference as to which one you choose.
Or, like most players, you could always just get both.
I hope this article has helped point you in the right direction for selecting the platform that will most suit your style. Let me know which one you prefer and why.