how does an airsoft gun work

How Does an Airsoft Gun Work?

Airsoft guns are awesome, and there are many different reasons why people enjoy them. Whether you’re looking for a great hobby or just want to shoot stuff without hurting anyone, buying the best airsoft gun is the way to go. The problem is that they’re not all created equal, which is why you need to know how does an airsoft gun work to pick the right one for you.

So, how does an airsoft gun work? In general, all kinds of airsoft guns are designed to be air-powered and to shoot through a 6mm projectile. There are many different types of airsoft guns today, and each type has a unique working mechanism. Here are the 3 most common:

  1. Electric spring powered airsoft guns
  2. Manual action spring airsoft guns
  3. Gas powered airsoft guns

Airsoft guns are replicas of real guns and are typically used for playing airsoft, target shooting, or military simulation. Whatever you are using your airsoft gun for, it’s only right that you understand the basic working mechanism.

These guns are designed to use compressions to fire plastic BB pellets at ranges of 40 feet and above. The compression used to fire the BB pallets differ depending on the gun type.

Before we discuss the different compressions, let’s talk a bit about the different airsoft gun modes and how they can affect the gun’s mechanism.

Airsoft Gun Modes and How They Affect Shooting Mechanism

how does an airsoft gun work

It’s important to note that each gun mode comes with unique features that define its operation mechanism. A proper understanding of the different firing modes will help you know how your gun operates. Some of the most popular shooting modes for airsoft guns include:

1. Full and Semi-Automatic Mode 

As the name signifies, fully automatic airsoft guns will continue to shoot as long as your hands remain on the trigger. On the other hand, semi-automatic guns only shoot one BB pallet per trigger pull.

The above explanation signifies that guns’ contacts are prevented from engaging with the motor after each trigger pull when the gun is in semi-automatic mode. But in full automation, the contacts continually engage with the motor as long as you have your finger on the trigger. This mode can only be used in airsoft guns that are powered by electricity or gas. 

2. Single and Double-Action Mode

When airsoft guns are left in single-action mode, the hammer drops after each shoot. You’ll generally need to cock the hammer again after every pull of the trigger.

The reverse is the case when you activate the double-action mode. Here, you’ll only need to cock the hammer once. The hammer stays automatically cocked after each pull of the trigger so that you can pull it again without needing to cock.

The above explanation reveals why guns tend to perform faster when in the double-action mode. 

3. Blowback and Non-Blowback Mode 

The main difference between these two modes is the gun’s ability to recoil instantly in the blowback mode. The operation of blowback guns is more complex because of the availability of more moving parts. However, this does not make it more effective than their non-blowback counterparts.

The Mechanism of Different Types of Airsoft Guns 

As explained earlier, each type of airsoft gun has its unique operation mechanism. Here, let’s review the mechanisms powering the three most common types of airsoft guns.

1. Electric Spring Powered Guns 

From the name, you can tell that this type of gun works on electricity. It comes with batteries that are designed to power a built-in motor. The motor will provide enough turns for the gear to pull the piston back on the spring.

The pulling of the piston creates a degree of tension in the spring. The degree of tension created on the spring typically determines how hard the gun will shoot.

Each release of tension on the spring causes the piston to shoot forward, compressing the air and propelling the BB down the barrel. 

2. Manual Action Spring Guns

Typically known as springers, the operation of this kind of gun is technologically behind the operation of electric-powered airsoft guns.

Springers operate using the spring compression propulsion system. Here, you’ll need to manually draw the spring into compression. Manually drawing the spring puts you in control of how much tension gets stored in it. Pulling the trigger would release the spring tension, therefore pushing the piston forward and creating adequate compression to propel the BB projectile down the barrel.

3. Gas-Powered Guns 

Most gas guns operate similarly to paintball guns. This operation technique means that they are attached to a storage tank that houses pressurized gas. The gas can be propane, green gas, CO2, or HFC-134a.

Pulling the trigger opens the tank valve so that the pressurized gas gets released into the gun and propels the projectile down the barrel.