Do you have a passion for airsoft? Whether you’re new to the world of airsoft or an experienced pro, finding the right airsoft pistol for your needs can sometimes be a challenge. What type of airsoft pistol is the best? How can you find a great value?
Many airsoft enthusiasts prefer an electric airspistoloft pistol. Interested in learning more about the appeal of an electric gun, and what features you’ll want to consider before making a purchase? We have in-depth reviews of the following five best electric airsoft pistols:
- Umarex USA Beretta 92 FS
- H&K P30 Pistol
- Firepower .45 Metal Slide Airsoft Pistol
- Umarex 2276008 Combat Zone Enforcer
- HFC Mini MP5 AEG Automatic SMG Electric Airsoft Pistol – HB-102
The complete guide to finding and using the best electric airsoft pistol starts now:
An Introduction to Airsoft Pistols
Airsoft pistols originated in Eastern Asia. This area of the world has very tight gun control laws. Purchasing any type of firearm is often difficult if not impossible. There was a big market for realistic replica pistols.
Airsoft pistols grew in popularity. A non-lethal airsoft pistol can replicate a real firearm in look, feel and even sound. Military and police units used airsoft pistols for training. Other people then started to use airsoft guns for target shooting and other recreational activities.
Today airsoft guns are popular all over the world, including in every state in the U.S. People use airsoft guns for team-based competitions, animal control and as an educational tool for gun safety.
Types of Airsoft Activities
Team-based competitive games are the most popular use of airsoft guns. These games are similar to paintball competitions. Two teams attempt to tag or hit each other. The last person standing wins for their team.
Airsoft games can be played inside an arena or outdoors practically anywhere including in the woods, deserts, snow-covered landscapes and more.
There are a variety of different games you can choose from. Aside from the survivor type game, you can also play Capture the Flag, Zombies and other types of competitions.
Airsoft guns are non-lethal. But getting shot can still hurt! You’ll want to protect yourself from injury by wearing the right safety gear. This includes:
- Lightweight body armor for your chest and back
- Knee and elbow pads
- Sturdy boots
- A mask or thick cloth to cover your face
- Safety glasses or goggles
While all of the safety gear is important, eyewear is perhaps the most important. Eye injuries are the number one risk of using an airsoft gun. Whenever you use an airsoft gun, you should wear proper protective eyewear.
As long you’re safety-minded, however, airsoft games can be a lot of fun. You’ll work with your team to coordinate, strike and win. Each member of the team will have a specialized role and unique airsoft weapon. While the composition of each team is different, a typical team includes:
Team members use radios to call out enemy positions while coordinating attacks. While the action on the field can certainly be very intense, this sport is also a great way to bond with friends while getting some exercise and fresh air.
Airsoft Guns for Pest Control
But team-based competition isn’t the only airsoft activity. Many people also use airsoft pistols and rifles as a way to control unwanted wildlife. Coyotes, squirrels, raccoons, birds and other animals can invade homes and farms where they rummage through garbage, eat crops and cause other damage.
A quick shot from an airsoft gun can cause that animal to run away and likely never return. Most low-velocity airsoft guns are non-lethal to the animal, too. This isn’t just a humane solution, it’s also an easier one because you don’t have to deal with disposing of any animal carcasses.
Higher velocity airsoft guns can kill small animals. So an airsoft gun can be used for small game hunting. Of course, you’ll need to check your local laws before shooting at any small animals in your neighborhood.
Airsoft Guns for Training
As discussed above, many airsoft guns were originally used for training. That’s still true today, although mainly among civilians instead of police and military personnel.
Airsoft pistols are often a great training tool for younger people. Pre-teens and teens can learn how to safely handle and fire a firearm. This is especially true if they’re using an airsoft pistol which closely matches a real firearm in look and feel.
Plus, many airsoft pistols can be disassembled just like a real gun. This helps teach how a gun works. Also, disassembling a gun teaches children about proper gun maintenance.
Airsoft guns are typically only sold to people over the age of 18. But airsoft pistols aren’t legally considered a firearm. So people under the age of 18 are legally allowed to use them. Of course, you’ll want to check the local laws in your area first.
Types of Airsoft Guns
There are many different types of airsoft guns on the market.
On one end of the spectrum, you can find low cost, fairly low-powered pistols and rifles. These are available at toy and retail stores. Low-cost airsoft guns are usually safe enough for a young person to use.
On the other end of the airsoft spectrum, you can find incredibly sophisticated airsoft guns. These will look and feel remarkably similar to the real weapons. These replica types of airsoft guns can be extremely powerful and have high accuracy. They can also cost several hundred dollars.
Airsoft guns are categorized based on how they’re powered. The three types are spring, gas and electric.
Spring-powered airguns require a manual pump before each shot. Cocking the gun sets the spring. Pulling the trigger releases the spring which propels the plastic BB through the barrel.
Spring-powered guns are usually the least powerful and slowest way to shoot. These are a good choice for younger shooters and others who are just learning the basics. They’re usually not the preferred choice for anyone participating in tournament type play.
Gas-powered guns use special cartridges. Pulling the trigger releases a blast of gas which pushes the BB out of the gun barrel. The exact lifespan of the gas cartridge depends on the specifics of the gun. Generally, if you’re going to be shooting all day long, you’ll go through about two or even three gas cartridge.
There are a few different types of gasses used in a gas-powered gun. Propane is one type of gas; it’s easy to find and relatively cheap. C02 is another type of gas used. These types of cartridges are a bit more expensive. Finally, Green Gas is the third option. Green Gas is a combination of propane and silicone.
There’s no one type of gas that’s best. C02 is probably the most common. Gas isn’t interchangeable. For instance, if you buy a propane-powered rifle, you won’t be able to fill it with Green Gas.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric-Powered Airsoft Guns
Finally, there are electric-powered airsoft rifles. This is often the preferred type of rifle for competitive play and target shooting. Electric powered rifles are usually the strongest type of airsoft rifle. They also typically have a high rate of fire.
Electric airsoft guns have a similar structure to spring rifles. Only instead of requiring a manual pump, the piston is powered by an electric motor.
These guns are often called AEG, which stands for Automatic Electric Gun. The battery powers a motor, which interacts with a gear box and circuit board.
There are two types of batteries. Some guns only need AA batteries, which are available practically everywhere. Other types of guns use a battery pack. These will be unique for each make and model of gun.
There are two types of rechargeable battery packs.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) can be charged quickly. They also have a high discharge rate. On the downside, NiCd batteries have limited capacity and can be affected by battery memory.
Battery memory is when a battery won’t charge beyond a certain point. This is a problem for laptops and cell phones, too. The solution to this issue is to let your battery drain completely before recharging. A battery with a high capacity and high discharge rate is called a Perfect Battery.
Nickel Metal Hydrive batteries (NiMh) behave a bit differently. They don’t develop memory issues as easily. Instead, they provide a more consistent rate of fire, even as they lose their charge. NiMh batteries need an appropriate charger. They also take a fairly long time to charge.
The downside of electric-powered guns is the relatively high cost of the batteries. While most battery packs are rechargeable, actually recharging a pack can take anywhere from five to eight hours. So if you’re going to be using your gun all day, such as in a survival game, you’ll need extra, fully charged battery packs ready to go.
On the plus side, battery packs are very easy to use. You don’t have to deal with gas canisters, which can leak. You also won’t likely encounter any jammed springs, which can be an annoying problem with spring-powered guns.
Top 5 Airsoft Electric Guns Reviewed
Here are the five most-popular electric-powered airsoft guns you might be interested in. Check out our complete reviews below:
- 16 round drop-free magazine
- Uses 4 AA batteries
- Metal barrel and firing mechanism
- Weighted grip adds realistic feel
- Velocity of 250 to 300 feet per second with 20 gram BBs
- Batteries not included
- Aside from barrel and firing mechanism, gun is plastic
- No safety
- Velocity of 180 feet per second
- One year limited warranty
- Slide kicks back realistically when firing
- Full-auto mode
- Two triggers must be pulled to fire. Second trigger is underneath hand guard
- Real version of firearm doesn’t have full auto, so airsoft gun isn’t a complete replica
- No safety
- Metal slide with realistic weight and feel
- Velocity of 328 feet per second
- Safety switch
- 12 round magazine
- BAXS hop up system improves accuracy
- Customization is limited due to a lack of rail
- Grip can become uncomfortable to handle after an hour or so of use
- Magazine can be awkward to load
- Velocity is an impressive 400 feet per second
- 15 round drop-free metal magazine
- Fixed sights
- Shoots as fast as you can pull trigger
- Integrated accessory rail
- No adjustable hop up
- Velocity of 125 feet per second with .12g BBs
- ABS construction
- Fully automatic
- Powered by four AA batteries
- Not available for New York residents
- BBs sometimes have difficulty entering chamber
- Gun construction isn’t very strong
Our top choice is the Umarex USA Beretta 92 FS.
There’s a lot to like about this gun. Unlike the HFC Mini MP5, the Umarex Beretta has a metal barrel and firing mechanism. This gives the gun a heavy, realistic feel.
While some of the airsoft guns mentioned above have custom battery packs, the Umarex Beretta uses four AA batteries. These are easier to find in stores than rechargeable packs. If you use rechargeable AA batteries, you can also save money over time.
The Umarex is an accurate replica weapon. The weighted grip adds a realistic heft to the gun. The metal barrel and firing mechanism also adds to the overall realism.
This is a powerful airsoft pistol with a velocity of 300 feet per second with 20 gram BBs. The drop-free magazine holds 16 BB, which is slightly higher than average.
We picked the Umarex Beretta due to its realistic feel, high power, low price and all-around easy operation.