Person playing airsoft

If you’re new to airsoft, you may be slightly confused by the different types of airsoft guns. And it’s not just beginners, people who have played for years may also not know the differences. With that said, it’s important to know what’s what when it comes to the different types of airsoft guns, as you may be missing out. Read on to learn about the main types - AEGs and GBBRs - to help you decide which is best suited to you.

What Does AEG & GBBR Mean?

AEG stands for Automatic Electric Gun, using batteries to power gears and pistons in order to fire BBs . GBBR stands for Gas Blow Back Rifle, requiring a compressed gas power source - commonly using what’s known as Green Gas - to shoot BBs. Both are great; however, they both have key differences which may sway you towards one over the other.

Airsoft gun with additional accessories

What are the Advantages to AEGs?

Automatic Electric Guns are typically cheaper in comparison to GBBRs, of course with exceptions. Some AEGs are pricey, such as the GBLS DAS GDR15 airsoft rifle featuring realistic blowback; an uncommon feature in AEGs. AEGs are arguably more accessible out of the two types as they are easy to learn how to use, meaning you can play with little guidance, and also are simple to upgrade, with a wide variety of affordable accessories to add to your airsoft gun. Furthermore, maintenance is relatively straightforward, owing to the simple nature of this type of airsoft firearm, making them even more accessible. More AEGs advantages include a large magazine capacity and the fact that they are winter friendly; the same can’t usually be said for their counterparts.

What are the Disadvantages to AEGs?

Although AEGs are fantastic, there are some disadvantages in comparison to GBBRs. For example, they do not typically feature any recoil, which to some spoils the immersion of airsoft, wanting their gun to provide a little kick when firing for a sense of realism. However, as previously mentioned, the GBLS DAS GDR15 features a realistic blowback, but at a premium. As well as this, some Automatic Electric Guns at the start of the range can be much more cheaply built ultimately hindering accuracy.

People playing airsoft

What are the Advantages to GBBRs?

Gas Blow Back Rifles are usually more realistic, featuring a recoil similar to what you may find in real firearms and arguably a more fulfilling noise when you fire in comparison to AEGs. Additional realistic elements include the weight of GBBRs, typically weighing more to their counterparts for a more satisfying feel in hand. For example, Tokyo Marui GBBR air guns look and feel very realistic, creating a more immersive airsoft experience. Not only do they look and feel amazing, but they are also very durable, using high-quality materials to endure blowback, making them more robust overall.

What are the Disadvantages to GBBRs?

However, while all the advantages listed above may sound appealing, they do come at a higher price in comparison to most AEGs. Additionally, all of these added features make maintenance more complicated, which can be daunting to any airsofter. Although the mechanisms involved in the GBBRs are simpler, the forces exerting firing are greater. It’s not just the guns that are more expensive; magazines are more costly, yet for less ammo. GBBR air rifles usually hold around 30-40 rounds, in comparison to AEG airsoft rifle magazines containing hundreds of rounds. Accessories are typically pricier as well, owing to features such as the recoil. While it helps towards realism, it creates problems for accessories, particularly scopes, requiring more durability to withstand the blowback when fired. Finally, one of the most significant issues with Gas Blow Back Rifles has to be limited use when playing in cold conditions. Cold weather affects the gas used to fire the BBs, making it more ineffective the colder it gets. There are ways you can prevent this, using different types of gas or insulating the canister; however, this again requires more investment.

Person holding an airsoft gun with a spare magazine on the ground

Which Should You Choose?

A few factors contribute to which is the best option when it comes to these different types of airsoft guns. However, budget plays a massive part when it comes to picking between the two. If you’re a beginner, the best option is probably an AEG, owing to the lower price point, affordable parts and easy to use nature. Nonetheless, if you’re willing to invest more time and money in a GBBR, the rewards are considerable, providing a more realistic experience owing to features such as recoil, weight and feel.

We never recommend a GBBR as a first Airsoft Gun, the learning curve can be very steep, but once you’ve caught the Airsoft ‘bug’ it can be a great next step!
Ultimately, what you choose is up to you and if you’d like some more assistance when deciding, be sure to visit us in store.

We hope that you have found this article useful with deciding which type of airsoft gun you should go for. Once you have decided, make sure you choose the right optic to go with it - it’s one of the easiest ways you can improve your game!