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A Guide to Airsoft Brands – Part Two

Person wearing a full face mask for airsoft

Welcome to part two of our guide to airsoft brands. If you’ve not seen our part one article, click here to access it. Following on from the first instalment, we shall be looking at a variety of airsoft brands and hoping to uncover a little more about them. To aid your gear buying decisions, we shall also be grouping them into two different categories, these are ‘performance’ and ‘budget’. Sometimes these two will overlap so we’ll do our best to keep the distinction as black and white as possible.

ICS - Performance

Known as ICS, the company of I Chih Shivan Co. is a company and manufacturer based in Taiwan. Typically, the products they produce have a focus on innovation. Known in the airsoft community as being durable, their products will, for the most part, feature a split gearbox design which makes gun maintenance a doddle! Accessories for these items are super easy to pick up so you’ll have no trouble finding the ideal mod to get the gun performing how you would like it to.

We’d suggest not mixing products from this manufacturer with other guns as they typically don’t work too well with others. This can make it hard to mix and match for fuller customisation, however, if you prefer to stick to one manufacturer, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.

CYMA – Budget

CYMA is a company known for producing replicas of some of the big boys’ guns, such as Tokyo Marui. One thing that sets CYMA apart from other budget and replica manufacturers is that fact that they usually use a mix of metal and plastic in their products giving them added durability and strength. This also adds a bit of weight to the design so bear this in mind.

Having recently started producing a top notch AK range that makes use of a great motor, metal receivers and has a design that’s easy to upgrade, the company are moving from strength to strength. Although we’d recommend these for people new to airsoft, they perhaps aren’t for the more experienced players who play on a regular basis. Check out our stock of CYMA products here.

WE Airsoft – Performance

Initially, the manufacturer started by producing steel moulds for other airsoft companies. During the 80s, they developed techniques to produce high-quality items for airsoft which laid the foundations for their inevitable move into the market with their own WE Airsoft branded products. Their reputation for producing quality products stuck with them and they have become one of the top producers in the community.

Initially WE were seen as a budget clone manufacturer copying other people’s designs and having quality control issues. But they’ve come on in leaps and bounds, the quality control is in place and their new designs (anything from the last few years) have really set the bar for quality metal pistols.

In addition, 2008 saw the company launch their Advanced Weaponry Simulator System (AWSS) with the intention of re-defining both the airsoft markets and training product market for professionals such as military and law enforcement.

ARES – Performance

A relatively new company compared to others on the list, ARES began operations in 2010 and has since produced a fantastic range of airsoft products. We would specifically suggest checking out their automatic electric guns (AEGs) as they are of a very high standard.

Their guns aim to provide users with innovation, with their products being both designed and tested in-house by their R&D team. You can find our range of ARES guns by clicking here.

Umarex – Budget & Performance

Perhaps the one company on the list that best spans the chasm between budget and performance with its range of products. The company’s full name is Umarex Sportwaffen GmbH & Co. and is a German-based company with a US-based subsidiary called Umarex US. They are most commonly known for its range of licensed weapons that are designed to resemble popular real steel manufacturers such as Beretta, Smith and Wesson, Colt and many others. This means that the products not only look good on the battlefield but appeal to collectors who have little intention to using them.

Because of the sheer range of products they produce and sell, their guns can go from mid-double figures for smaller pistols and uzis, up to the high hundreds for larger and more substantial rifles such as the HK416 and 417 line.

Armorer Works – Performance

Founded only four years ago in 2015 (and initially showing a remarkable similarity to WE’s latest Hi-Capa designs *cough* *cough*), the company offers both air and airsoft products. Their airsoft products are typically pistols, but these are not just any pistols. The pistols are designed with the utmost care and attention, and each one could be declared a piece of art in its own right. They draw inspiration from real steel with their designs and their production methods, which results in a beautiful finished product. If you’re looking to upgrade your secondary, we’d recommend looking towards our selection of Armorer Works pistols.

Hopefully, this article has helped to inform your future airsoft buying decisions. If you have any questions about getting the best performance from your airsoft rifles, or which would best suit your requirements, don't hesitate to get in touch!

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