Want to know the best, most high-quality airsoft guns on the market?
Don’t have 1,000 hours to review dozens of guns in each category and compare numerous features?
That’s why we’ve done the work for you.
We’re big airsoft fans and we know how important it is to have good, quality gear.
The last thing you want is to buy a gun, get it shipped, load your buddies in the car, get on the ground and…
…the damn thing doesn’t work.
We know how much of a headache this can be, so we’ve studied the best airsoft guns on the market for 2018 in every category and made the information available to you.
Check it out:
- 1 The Top Airsoft Guns of 2018: In-Depth Reviews
- 2 Further reading:
- 3 Further Reading:
- 4 Further Reading:
- 5 Factors that Affect the Gun’s Function
- 6 It’s All About You
- 7 Things to Avoid: Cheap Airsoft Weapons
- 8 Time to Gear Up
The Top Airsoft Guns of 2018: In-Depth Reviews
Whether you’re a tried-and-true sniper or you prefer CQB, we’ve reviewed our top pick in every major gun type to fit your playstyle.
Already know your role in-and-out and prefer to get straight to the good stuff?
We’ve got you covered.
These are our top recommendations for airsoft guns in 2018:
- Best assault rifle: Get the G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider
- Best sub-machine gun: Get the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1
- Best machine gun: Get the A&K M249 Paratrooper
- Best sniper rifle: Get the JG 366a Bar-10
- Best automatic handgun: Get the KJW M9A1 Full Metal
- Best shotgun: Get the Classic Army CA870
Airsoft is a blast and has grown quickly as both a fun hobby and competitive sport over the past several years.
And with competition comes increasingly higher quality gear.
Whether you’re just looking for the best getting started gear or want to maximize your output, our in-depth reviews of the top airsoft guns of 2018 offers everything you need and more:
*Looking for a specific feature? Check out our quick-reference chart below:
|Product:|| || || || || ||
|Muzzle Velocity||370 - 400 FPS||~394 FPS||350 - 390 FPS||~420 FPS||300-330 FPS||400 FPS|
|Operating System||Automatic Electric||Automatic Electric||Automatic Electric||Spring||Green gas blowback||Spring|
|Fire Modes||Full/Semi Auto, Safety||Semi/3rd Burst/Full-Auto, Safety||Full-Auto, Safety||Single-shot, Safety||Semi-Automatic||Single Shot, Safety|
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Best Assault Rifle
G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider
The G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider is not only an excellent all-around assault rifle but also one of the best rifles for beginners.
If you’re just starting out with airsoft, a high-quality rifle is always where you should invest first. This fits that bill perfectly.
It offers a realistic M4 Platform with a quad rail for mounting accessories, a nice set of sights, and a collapsible stock.
The G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider also has a metal gearbox that will serve you well as is but is also easy to upgrade. It is an electric gun that uses a butterfly type battery. The hop-up is easily adjustable for distance.
Overall, it’s versatile and can be used in a wide variety of game and play types.
The 16 Raider is also compatible with all G&G and Tokyo Marui series AEGs, as well as M4/M16 magazines. It comes ready for an optic and the sights are easily adjustable.
In addition, it’s modular like the standard M4 and allows the user to customize it. The magazines fit in normal AR 15 magazine pouches and are compatible with standard AR slings as well.
● Muzzle velocity: 380-390 FPS
● Adjustable hop-up
● 6-position retractable crane stock
● Removable rear sight with weaver rail base for scope mounting
● 14mm negative threaded barrel
● High torque long type G&G motor
Fox Airsoft AEG Best-Sellers
Want more? Check out Fox Airsoft’s best-selling AEGs, based on in-store and online sales:
- ASG Arsenal SA M7 AK
- Echo1 Red Stak AK-47 RIS polymer
- Classic Army M4 Skirmish series
- Elite Force M4 CFR
- ICS TransforM4 UK1
Best Sub-Machine Gun
CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1
ASG made a great move when they grabbed the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1. The Scorpion has continuously gained in popularity since it’s debut– and it’s no surprise why.
The Scorpion is a modular sub-machine gun that’s been carefully recreated by ASG in every way.
They faithfully recreated the platform and it offers users a compact, ergonomic design that allows you to excel in a variety of different roles.
The CZ Scorpion also lends a degree of realism when you’re in the field because it doesn’t fire when it’s empty, so you know exactly when to reload.
The interior parts are reinforced to accept high-end, high powered upgrades. The internals are all CNC machined parts, which have a long-standing reputation for being reliable.
● Muzzle velocity: ~394 FPS
● 4-position fire selector
● Battery monitor
● Folding / removable stock
● Fiber reinforced polymer that is lightweight and durable
● Functional bolt lock
Best Machine Gun
A&K M249 Paratrooper
The A&K M249 Paratrooper is a great all-around option for the Machine Gunner. It has a shorter barrel and a collapsible stock, which makes it lightweight and easier to handle in close quarters.
The M249 Paratrooper uses a butterfly battery along with an adjustable hop-up. It also comes with a bipod that serves as a stable platform for engaging targets with suppressive fire.
In addition, the box magazine contains 2,400 BBs, which guarantees a high volume of fire. At 2,400 BBs, the M249 Paratrooper is no laughing matter, and will certainly do the job when you’re trying to keep heads down.
The A&K M249 Paratrooper is compatible with Matrix, G&G, and Tokyo Marui M4/M16 box magazines. This allows the user to share ammo with M4/M16 users if needed in a pinch.
The receiver, barrel assembly, feed cover, and bipod are all made of metal, while the stock and hand guard are nylon fiber reinforced, so you know you’re getting a high-quality, realistic airsoft gun.
● Muzzle velocity: 350-390 FPS
● Retractable metal stock
● Railed feed cover perfect for optics
● 8mm full metal gearbox
● Adjustable front and rear sights
The JG 366a Bar-10 has a traditional bolt action rifle design, so you know it’s not only dependable but offers a realistic feel.
To add to that, it has a high quality exterior and classic rifle design, making the JG Bar-10 a dream for anyone looking for a realistic sniper rifle experience.
The JB Bar-10 holds a total of 30 rounds and boasts incredible accuracy even when using .20g BBs, so you get the maximum output and accuracy– perfect for beginner snipers who are just getting the hang of long-range shooting.
And if you’re looking to upgrade down the road? Then the Bar-10 is the perfect sniper rifle for you as it comes compatible with both Angel Custom VSR-10 and Marui VSR-10 upgrade parts.
Unless you’re going to put a bunch of money and time into A Sniper, don’t expect a laser gun. But if you do get a sniper then paint it something other than black, it’ll really help you stay hidden.
– Dayton from housegamers.ca ( Tokyo Marui VSR-10 )
Snipers are an expert class that requires accuracy, patience, and a high-quality airsoft sniper rifle. The JB 366a Bar-10 is the perfect companion for new and experienced snipers alike for its realistic look and feel, high-quality exteriors, incredible accuracy, and wide upgrade compatibility.
● 400 FPS output with 500+ FPS capability
● High quality, realistic exterior with rubberized coating and a classic sniper rifle design
● Illuminating 3-9×40 scope with great accuracy, perfect for beginners
● Great upgrade potential
Best Automatic Handgun
KJW M9A1 Full Metal
Our previous pick was Tokyo Marui M92F, but it has availability problems so we changed it.
Not everyone needs a sidearm. They are always nice to have but some classes need them more than others. Snipers and machine gunners have a real need for a good sidearm to defend themselves in close quarters pinches.
To those players I always suggest the KJW M9A1. Modeled after the legendary M9A1 military pistol, this gun is built to last.
- The first reason is going to be the popularity of the gun means it will be easy to find a wide variety of holsters. This includes shoulder rigs, drop leg rigs, chest rigs, belt rigs, and more. It’s a familiar platform with a lots of support.
- Second, the gun features a rail which allows the attachment of flashlights. Most sniper rifles won’t have a rail system to allow light mounting.
- Third, its 23-round capacity gives shooters plenty of ammo in a close quarters fight.
The final reason is the fact the gun feels so good in the hand. It’s an all metal design that uses green gas to give you realistic blowback action. It’s easy to use, ergonomic, and accessories like extra magazines are easy to come by.
- Feet Per Second: 300-330 FPS
- Operating System: Green Gas Semi automatic
- Adjustable Hop Up: Yes
- Fire Modes: Semi Automatic
Classic Army CA870
The Classic Army CA870 is modeled after the tactical Remington 870, a legendary shotgun used by police forces and military units worldwide. Like the Remington 870, it also uses a pump action.
The CA870 uses a spring based system that actuates the spring and loads a BB into the chamber. It allows the users to rapidly manipulate the pump and fire the weapon more quickly. This makes it one of the more effective spring powered weapons in the airsoft community.
The Classic Army CA870 has an all metal body, with a polymer pump and stock, just like the tactical Remington 870. It has a full stock that makes shooting at extended differences possible. And like an actual shotgun, you get a limited magazine capacity of 10 rounds.
Shotguns are an interesting weapon in the airsoft loadout. It’s designed for close quarters and is one of the few spring powered airsoft guns that can keep up with AEG (Automatic Electric Gun) or gas guns, so definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something different.
● Muzzle velocity: 400 FPS
● Durable metal receiver
● Synthetic stock and forearm
● Textured grip and pump
● 10-round magazine capacity
Top Picks: Experts and Popular Airsofters
Now that we’ve covered the best airsoft guns of 2018, what guns are most popular with well-known and experienced airsofters?
Check out a quick run down below:
|Kelly||Femme Fatale Airsoft||G&G CM16 SRL
|Mike||Templar Airsoft||ICS M4 AEG
|Dutch The Hooligan||Dutch The Hooligan - Youtube||Custom-built Warsport LVOA Polarstar
|Arwin||MilSimJunkie- Instagram||Currently I switch between an old CYMA AK74u, PTS ERG, and a PolarStar build I have. All great platforms and all perform great even after a number of years
|Novritsch SSG24 Airsoft Sniper Rifle
|My go to gun if I am trying to be most effective and useful to my team is the Krytac CRB/SPR hybrid Trident. If I am playing for fun and don't feel like grinding it out then the Silverback SRS.
If you’d like to have your name and gun listed here feel free to contact us.
Factors that Affect the Gun’s Function
Are you new to airsoft or just want to take you skills and knowledge to a new level?
No matter which, the next few sections will teach all about various important factors you should consider when purchasing an airsoft gun so that you can make a smart buying decision.
A spring provides the force to project the BB, which must be reset for every shot.
This essentially gives you a single shot weapon because spring powered guns require a manual action for every shot. They are often under gunned when facing electric or gas guns.
For shotguns, the pump makes a spring gun comparable to faster firing weapons, and snipers really don’t need a faster rate of fire.
Spring guns are very reliable and extremely simple. They are also often the cheapest route to take when buying an airsoft gun.
Automatic electric guns, aka AEGs, are battery powered airsoft weapons. They use an electric motor to propel the BBs.
AEGs are the most common type of airsoft gun and usually the most reliable. The internals of an AEG, like its motors, can be upgraded to be both more capable and powerful.
AEGs are the perfect weapon for a beginner because they’re great to start with and will last through as your experience grows.
The blowback from AEGs provides a more realistic airsoft experience by having a bolt or slide operate when the weapon is fired.
However, this is all about appearance and does not affect function. It’s also important to note that this feature makes the guns both more expensive and more likely to break.
Gas powered airsoft guns are very realistic because they mimic the real operation of a firearm, especially with handguns.
They utilize different gas sources to propel the BB forward and cause recoil, as well as the bolt of a slide to move rearward.
The main issue with gas powered is its failure to function in cold weather. Plus, the guns and their parts tend to be more expensive than AEGs.
High-pressure airsoft guns can be adjusted for different ROF (Rate of Fire) and FPS (Feet Per Second) ratings. They provide consistent function, are quite accurate, and very reliable.
However, they require an external air tank which makes them less realistic.
Internals and Externals
One important factor if you work with a dedicated team is the ability to share magazines.
Some models can swap magazines between platforms and some platforms can use a variety of different magazines.
It is essential when purchasing an airsoft gun that you know how to repair and upgrade its internals.
The downside of not being familiar with it? You may be forced to buy an entirely new platform to get the performance you desire.
A flat top rail on the top of the airsoft gun will allow you to utilize a scope.
And on handguns, a forward Picatinny rail will allow you to mount a flashlight or laser sighting system. However, you’ll need a proper holster to accommodate the flashlight mounted on a weapon.
Slings are a necessity, in my opinion, for a long gun. It will allow you to retain your airsoft rifle, shotgun, SMG, machine gun, sniper rifle, and whatever else you carry while your hands are occupied.
And when you run out of rifle ammo in a pinch? You can just let it go and draw your pistol.
Bipods often attach to different types of sling swivels as well. If you have sling swivels, there are different methods for slings to mount, including wrapping around the stock and forend.
If running a stock AK 47, you may never have to consider upgrades. However, most players will soon want to at least add a scope or red dot, especially after a few night time games.
There are two types of upgrades:
- Internal upgrades
- External upgrades
Internal upgrades are more common with AEGs. You can upgrade motors or completely replace them when they wear out.
You may decide to do external customization on the body of your gun as well. For example, I always want a beard friendly stock, not one that pulls my facial hair. So I swap stocks occasionally.
You may also want to add accessories like optics, flashlights, bipods, or vertical grips. If you like to customize you need to consider your ability to upgrade.
Most of these upgrades can be done if your weapon is fitted with a Picatinny rail system. These rails are often on the forend of a firearm and allow the mounting of accessories.
Start off with something generic (M4) tons of upgrades, every tech knows how to work on one and the most evolved system out there. Then as you advance get that unicorn gun but you will always have your M4 for backup.
– Mark from Youtube channel BrainExploder.
High Operation Power Up, or as it’s usually put, Hop-up, is the back spin of the BB as you fire it.
An adjustable hop-up allows the user to tailor their airsoft gun for the BB ( here is a guide on how to choose the best BBs ) to maximize its range.
In general, you want to adjust the hop-up until the projectile is flying straight, not at an up or down angle.
Feet Per Second
Feet per second, or FPS, is a common way of identifying the velocity of an airsoft gun and it’s calculated using the BB’s weight plus the weapon’s power.
However, you want to make sure your FPS isn’t too high.
“Why on Earth would I want to do that?”, you say?
There are two reasons:
1. Some ranges restrict the FPS your weapon can fire at.
This is a safety concern. Most closed quarter’s ranges are going to restrict you to 350 FPS. Most long range outdoors fields are restricted to around 400 FPS.
2. You’ll wear down your internals.
The second issue you run into with AEGs specifically when you jack the FPS to 500 or so is constantly fixing your worn out internals.
This is rough on an electric gun and will tend to beat the internals to pieces. It can be rough on gas guns, but not as bad.
Either way, even in a woodland game you’re probably not going to be allowed to use anything higher than 400 anyway, so try to keep it below that.
If you’re a beginner, leave your gun stock until you gain a bit more knowledge on how airsoft games are played. After that, don’t raise your FPS any higher than 350.
With a quality gun, the hop-up adjustment gets the range you desire more so than the FPS anyway, so focus more on that than FPS adjustments.
Always remember that a higher FPS does not mean a better gun. There’s more to maximizing your range than FPS and a 500 FPS gun may not even get you the same range as one with 350 FPS.
It’s All About You
If you’re a beginner, you might not yet have decided on (or discovered) your ideal playstyle and preferences.
However, it’s important to start thinking about these things now because there are several things to consider.
Ready for the fun part?
First, let’s talk about choosing your role…
Choose Your Role
There are several specific playstyle-oriented roles that you can choose from in airsoft.
These are also termed as classes and often represent what the player does in the game. It also affects their loadout.
Aside from having a good weapon, you should also know every rule and effective tactic that go with your chosen role.
Here are the basic roles along with information on playstyle, strategic tips, and suggested gear:
Rifleman – Grunt – Soldier
This is the basic player in the game. It’s an excellent role to start out in as a new player because it is the most versatile.
The game is won and lost by the Rifleman in a team.
Being a Rifleman allows a new player to learn the basic but important strategies. These strategies include flanking, fire and movement, and completing objectives.
Every role in the airsoft teams exist to support the Rifleman and the jobs they have to accomplish.
If this sounds like you, check out a short list of suggested gear:
- G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider
- Cyma AK
- JG AUG A3
The Grenadier is either a Rifleman with an attached grenade launcher or a standalone unit.
They often serve the same role as a Rifleman and exercise the same strategy but are capable of laying down some extra fire with either a large rubber plug or a mass of BBs.
Check out some suggested weapons:
- Matrix Speed M203
- 6mm Proshop Pocket Cannon
Assaulter – Breacher – CQB Specialist
No matter what name you call it by, this is the close quarter’s combat specialist that’s involved in, you guessed it…close quarters games.
They can be interchanged or even be a Rifleman. What’s important is that their weapons are smaller, lighter and more movable in closed quarters.
The Assaulter(s) are often the first in the building or room and lead the charge.
They’re typically more experienced Rifleman who have a solid grasp of CQB (“close quarters battle”). Their smaller weapons make it easier to do tasks like capture the flag or maneuver through tight areas.
If being a close quarters specialist sounds interesting to you (and you can take the heat), check out these suggested weapons:
- Tokyo Marui Scorpion VZ61
- Classic Army CA870
- JG AUG CIV
The biggest advice I can give when choosing the right system for close quarters is to simply be prepared to use it. Meaning that whether its a short system, medium, or a full length you better know how to make the best of it in a tight environment. I have always advocated constant learning and always taking action to learn more.
– Arwin from MilsimJunkie1 Youtube channel.
Recon – Scout
Recon men, or Scouts, tend to avoid combat. Their goal is to slip through the field unnoticed.
They are to provide reconnaissance and information back to the rifleman. They also give intelligence back to the main units and allow planning to occur.
This also lets certain support roles like Machine Gunners and Snipers to take advantageous positions. They tend to move light and in small teams.
These teams often combine long range weapons with medium to short range weapons.
If recon sounds like fun, give these weapons a try:
- VFC SCAR-L
- ASG CZ Scorpion EVO 3 A1
The Sniper is a role that a lot of people want to dive into in the beginning.
But what they fail to realize is the Sniper often has a low kill count and can have a rather boring job. They are often in the same place for an extended period, wearing a ghillie suit, and…sweating their butts off.
A sniper’s goal is to take accurate shots and pick off valuable members of the opposite team.
This is not a good role for beginners looking for that ultimate rush. If you’re a beginner, I suggest you shadow a Sniper before making up your mind about taking the role.
If you’re ready for the ghillie suit, try these suggested sniper rifles:
- JG Bar-10
- G&G Top Tech GR25
- Tokyo Marui PSG-1
- ARES MSR-009
Machine Gunner – Support Gunner
The Machine Gunner provides support for the Rifleman by laying down cover fire.
It’s another role rarely suited for beginners. It requires a heavy weapon that most will hate carrying after a few long games.
If you’re a Machine Gunner, it’s important that you act as Support Gunners and not as Rifleman with big guns. You should learn what avenues of approach are as well as how to cover large open areas and support the Rifleman as necessary.
If you’re ready for the big guns, try these:
- Classic Army M249
- A&K M249 Para Trooper
A Note on Sidearms
It’s a common misconception that sidearms are only limited to pistols. There are actually a wide range of sidearms to choose from depending on your role and preference.
For example, a Sniper may wish to have a machine pistol or small SMG if the game rules allow it. Or depending on the size of a Support Gunner’s weapon, they may wish to have a sidearm for close quarter’s encounters.
And there’s a constant discussion as to whether or not you really need one, considering that you have to master your sidearm’s capabilities plus your main airsoft gun if you want to carry one. So, keep that in mind.
If you’re on a tight budget, it’s better to pour more money into a high-quality long gun than worrying about an average handgun and long gun.
What kind of games are you going to be playing?
Keep in mind that game type affects the kind of weapon you’ll use.
We briefly mentioned woodland and CQB (Close Quarters Battle), and how FPS affects them. Your gun type also changes for either of these. If you are joining a group, consider looking into what type they most commonly play.
CQB is often mock urban areas or even inside buildings. In tight quarters, a smaller weapon is always better. Smaller, lighter weapons are more maneuverable and easier to use in doors.
The extreme CQB nature of an indoor game can reduce everyone to a Rifleman or a CQB Specialist. A CQB Sniper then is more or less a designated marksman who provides over watch in an urban environment game.
However, a woodland or blended woodland/urban game makes range a much more important factor.
In these game types Snipers, Support Gunners, and Grenadiers can really stretch their legs. A Rifleman can use full sized rifles and Grenadiers have an excellent advantage. Larger, heavier, and longer weapons are more welcomed here than in an urban environment.
No matter what game type you’re playing, keep in mind how this can change the kind of weapon you should bring and make sure you’re prepared.
High-end airsoft guns can be quite expensive, running easily into the $300 and up range.
They often feature nicely crafted bodies, all metal construction, and high-quality internals. These models are often upgradeable but can be more complicated to upgrade and work on.
A high-end weapon should have an excellent body, look, and feel realistic.
Here’s a quick list of high-end airsoft weapon brands along with some typical pros and cons of each:
- Awesome externals, very realistic
- Extremely durable and reliable
- Ready to go out of the box with top notch performance
- Limited mostly to Soviet and Chinese style small arms
- Excellent quality
- Well-made internals
- Great warranty
- Very modern furniture for accessorizing
- Difficult to work on
- Constantly innovating
- Extremely well-made
- Wide variety of modern designs
- Easy to work on and upgrade
- Stock power can be low
- Well-made externals and internals
- Compatible with a variety of upgrades
- Modern platforms
- Large selection of guns
- Tends to have poor stock motors
Mid-tier guns are the perfect starting point for most new players.
They often ranges from $150 to $350-400. These weapons are usually easier to upgrade but cannot mimic the performance of high-end models.
You’ll also find more polymers in use, but the important parts are often still metal.
Brands to consider here include:
- Affordable for entry level players
- Well-made internals
- Maintenance is easy
- Lacks bodywork
- Produces the best entry level guns
- Excellent out of the box performance
- Lots of models available
- Good external bodywork
- Weak gearboxes
- Upgrades can be difficult
- Sits firmly between mid-tier and high-end
- Wide range of modern guns
- Well-made internals
- Easy to upgrade
- Bodies can be weak
Things to Avoid: Cheap Airsoft Weapons
Avoid cheap airsoft weapons of every kind like the plague.
These are cheap. And I mean really cheap.
They often fall apart very quickly, don’t function properly to begin with, and should be avoided at all costs.
The likelihood is, if it’s $50 or less and you can get it from Walmart or a Flea Market– it is not for serious use.
Airsoft weapons are often a get-what-you-pay-for kind of sport. The big box brand guns may be good for occasional target practice but will break with real use.
Whatever you do, even if it takes you a bit more time to save up, do yourself a favor and invest in a quality airsoft weapon.
You won’t regret it.
Time to Gear Up
We’ve laid the best gear out for you to choose from and given you all the information you need to make a smart decision based on your playstyle and preferences.
Take some time to decide what the ideal airsoft gun is for you, gear up, and get out there.
What airsoft role do you play? Rifleman? Sniper? Tell us in the comments below.
Check out some of our other resources:
Airsoft C3: Find airsoft fields, events, and shops in your local area.
The Airsoft Trajectory Project: A study of the BB trajectories.