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Airsoft FAQs

What is an airsoft gun?

Airsoft is a team-based shooting sport that mimics realistic combat scenarios. Participants on each team fire small plastic pellets at their opponents using an airsoft gun.
Airsoft guns usually come in a magazine fed design, while some feature replaceable compressed gas canisters. Others are simply battery powered.
Simply put, something can only be defined as a BB gun if it’s designed to fire spherical plastic pellets - made wholly or partly from plastic and not exceeding 8mm in diameter - below the legal FPS velocity limits.

How does an airsoft gun work?

There are three types of airsoft guns, and below you’ll find out how each one works.

  • Gas-powered
  • Spring-powered
  • Automatic electric


134a green gas - a compressed form of propane - is loaded into the weapon before being released at high pressure toward the BB. The pressure then causes the pellet to fire from the gun.

Spring powered

Utilises a tension spring to fire the BB pellet. The spring is cocked manually, before the user pulls the trigger and the spring tension is released into the BB, causing it to fire at high velocity.
Due to the manual cocking mechanism, spring-powered weapons are limited to single fire shooting.

Automatic electric

AEGs run on motor-powered electric batteries. The battery powers a motor that accelerates the pellet. As the motor can run continuously, AEGs can come in single fire, semi-automatic and fully automatic models.

Where can I shoot a bb gun?

You’re entitled to shoot on private land, provided you have permission. However, keep in mind that it’s illegal to shoot within 15m of a road if it’s likely to cause a nuisance or danger.
Also, pellets must not leave the land where you’re permitted to shoot.

Can you reuse airsoft and bb pellets?

Airsoft pellets are designed to provide durable ammunition for airsoft guns.  They should never be reused as projectiles for use in a BB gun, as they can cause irreparable damage to your weapon. airsoft pellets are subjected to stress the moment they’re fired, therefore they’re more likely to crack or shatter when reused, which can cause serious damage to your magazine.

,br>An acceptable reuse method is using old pellets in airsoft mines or booby traps. For example, the M18A1 spring loaded mine is an ideal choice for airsoft pellet reuse as it launches pellets outwards when triggered.

What is hop up?

Most airsoft guns feature a hop up mechanism to assist with accuracy by putting backspin on the pellet as it’s fired. This reinforces the pellet’s in-air stability. Without a hop up, the pellet would likely fly erratically, making for a frustrating airsoft experience.
In high-end guns, the hop up mechanism is often adjustable, enabling you to experiment with several pellet types.

What is the difference between a BB gun and an airsoft gun?

Despite the terms often being used interchangeably, there are some significant differences between bb and airsoft guns. Please find the differences in the below tables.

BB Guns

Airsoft Guns


Small metal or lead BBs

Small plastic projectiles

How they’re used

Training; target practice

Tactical simulation scenarios (Airsoft skirmishes) and military training


Can look similar to firearms, however, performance takes priority over aesthetics

Extremely realistic replicas; focus on aesthetics


Metal BBs can penetrate targets

While powerful, Airsoft’s usage of plastic projectiles makes them safer for recreational use as they’re less likely to penetrate targets


Slightly more accurate as metal ammunition is less susceptible to adverse weather conditions

Excel in at close quarters; however, hop up system can improve long range accuracy


Varies (from as little as £10 to £3000+)

Varies (from around £10 - £3000+)


Outdoor firing range

Indoor; close quarters

What does FPS mean in airsoft?

FPS is an acronym for ‘feet per second’ and determines the speed of the pellet when shot out of your airsoft gun. It’s the most common way of determining the airsoft gun’s velocity.

What is an airsoft charging handle?

Pulling the charging handle opens the dust cover, providing access to the hop up adjustment mechanism. You’ll then need to manually close the dust cover.

What is an electric airsoft gun?

Airsoft Electric Guns (AEGs) run on motor-powered electric batteries. The battery powers a motor that fires the pellet. As the motor can run continuously, AEGs can come in single fire, semi-automatic and fully automatic models.

Can a child use a bb gun?

Under the VCRA Act 2006, the minimum age to purchase a BB or Airsoft gun is 18. However, under strict supervision by an adult, and at parents’ discretion, there is no legal limit on using a BB or airsoft gun.

What is blowback on an airsoft gun?

Blowback is an airsoft term used to describe enhanced recoil, or the gun’s ‘kick’ after a pellet is fired. For example, gas blowback airsoft guns work by utilising the propulsion gas to force back the slide on a pistol and the bolt on a rifle. Airsoft guns have this feature to provide the user with a realistic shooting experience.

What is a good FPS for an airsoft gun?

Most lower end airsoft guns fire around 200fps while high-end options clock around 400fps. To contextualise this, shooting a pellet at 145fps means it’ll be travelling around 100mph.
It’s worth noting, however, that high FPS doesn’t guarantee quality. When it comes to purchasing an airsoft gun, it’s better to prioritise performance and accuracy.

What BB pellets should I use?

Generally, light pellets travel further and faster when fired, however, they’re usually less accurate and prone to straying off target in windy conditions. Heavier pellets tend to have better power and accuracy, but the speed and range will decrease the heavier the pellet.
With this in mind, it might be best to strike a balance between power and accuracy, which you can establish through trial and error on the battlefield.

What is the best airsoft gun to buy?

The best airsoft gun for you is something you will discover by competing in regular skirmishes.
However, as a general rule of thumb, a gun that can handle pellets between 0.20-g and 0.25g should suffice when you’re starting out.

Also, high FPS isn’t important for a beginner - it’s better to equip yourself with an accurate gun. An adjustable hop up is a good option as the backspin they impart on your pellets improve their in-air stability, which sharpens your gun’s accuracy.