Airsoft Guns Vs Airguns – What Is the Difference?


When you think of airsoft guns, the first thing that may come to mind is the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” where Chevy Chase and his family are terrorized by a group of thugs armed with airsoft guns. Airsoft guns have certainly come a long way since then and are now used for recreational activities by many people. But what exactly is the difference between an airsoft gun and an airgun? Let’s take a closer look.

Overview of Airsoft Guns:

Airsoft guns are types of simulated firearms that are powered by batteries or compressed air. They fire spherical plastic BBs using a spring-fed mechanism called the “blowback” system.

ar1 Airsoft Guns Vs Airguns - What Is the Difference?

Unlike actual guns, they have been designed specifically for use as target practice and simulation training tools, especially for law enforcement officers and military personnel.

Airsoft guns come in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors to suit the needs of different users. Many models also feature tactical upgrades such as scopes, lasers, lights, grenade launchers, adjustable stocks, rails for mounting accessories like flashlights or bipods, etc.

Overview of Airguns:

Airguns are a type of shooting equipment that uses compressed air or spring pistons to propel projectiles. Unlike conventional firearms, which typically rely on combustible propellants such as gunpowder for their power source, airguns use pressurized air or springs instead.

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There are several different types of airguns, ranging from small handguns and rifles to powerful pellet guns and BB guns. Some models feature single-shot mechanisms while others have magazines capable of holding multiple rounds. Most airgun designs also feature mechanisms such as break barrels or underlever cocking systems that make them easier to reload and shoot.

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Airsoft Guns Vs Air Guns – Differences Between These Two Guns

Materials and Barrels:

– Airsoft Guns:

Airsoft guns are made of tough, lightweight plastic materials that can withstand high impact and provide good resistance to scratches and dings. They also feature precision barrels made from metal alloys such as steel or aluminum for enhanced accuracy and range.

– Air Guns:

Air guns are typically made of wood, metal, or other durable materials that can withstand repeated use. The stock can be made of wood or synthetic materials. The barrels may be constructed from steel, aluminum, or other robust materials to ensure precision performance at a range of distances.

Power Sources:

– Airsoft Guns:

Airsoft guns typically rely on gas pressure or spring-powered mechanisms to propel the projectiles they fire, although some models may incorporate electric motors instead. These power sources allow airsoft guns to deliver consistent muzzle velocities across different shooting conditions.

– Air Guns:

Air guns are typically powered by compressed air or springs, although some models may also incorporate gas piston systems or precharged pneumatics (PCPs) instead. This allows users to precisely adjust the firing velocity of their airgun based on shooting conditions, target type, and range.

Power and Range

– Airsoft Guns:

Airsoft guns are commonly designed to deliver muzzle velocities of between 300 and 600 feet per second, which is sufficient for short-range target practice and simulation training. Some models can reach much higher velocities, up to 800 or even 1000 FPS.

– Air Guns:

Air guns typically have a muzzle velocity ranging from 500 to 900 FPS, which is enough for both hunting and recreational shooting at targets or small game animals. Some .177 pellet guns can reach velocities of over 1200 FPS, the Gamo Magnum. Air guns have multiple calibers to choose from: .177, .22, .25, .30, .357, all the way up to .50. The bigger the caliber, the more powerful an air gun is, some can take down large games like deers or elks.

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– Airsoft Guns:

Airsoft guns are typically designed to provide good accuracy at close to medium ranges, with some models also capable of hitting targets at longer distances. Their barrels and sights are often precisely calibrated to ensure accurate shooting results.

– Air Guns:

Air guns can also deliver excellent accuracy over both short and long ranges, due to the precision construction of their barrels and sighting systems. These guns may be equipped with scopes or other types of optical sights that enhance the shooter’s ability to zero in on targets from a distance.


– Airsoft Guns: use BBs as their primary ammunition type, although some models may also use metal or plastic pellets. These projectiles are typically small in size and lightweight, allowing airsoft guns to deliver large volumes of fire for short periods of time.

– Air Guns:

Air guns rely on a variety of different types of ammunition that can range from wooden pellets to lead airgun bullets or arrows. Most air gun cartridges are sized to fit into the chamber of the gun without modification, while others require specific chambering adapters. The choice of the projectile will determine how powerful an air gun is, with heavier ammo delivering more recoil and greater impact force on targets.


– Airsoft Guns: for sport and target practice, airsoft guns are used by recreational shooters and enthusiasts to practice shooting skills. They can also be used in military and law enforcement training simulations as well.

– Air Guns:

Air guns are commonly used for hunting small/medium/large game animals, pest control, target practice, or competitive shooting. Many air gun enthusiasts also enjoy participating in air gun competitions such as field target shooting, bullseye target shooting, or plinking.

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(For more on the best air rifle for hunting medium games, see this post)


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