It can be a bit overwhelming, even frustrating when it comes to choosing the best Airsoft weapon. Believe me, there are so many companies all over the globe, making Airsoft guns for the sport. While it may just be easier to close your eyes and randomly draw a brand name from a hat, this would not be the best approach in finding a suitable gun brand. Not all brands are created equal.
Once you have figured what type of replica you want for your weapon loadout, you now have to choose a brand that will give you the best bang for your buck. Who can you trust? You could spend time combing through the internet researching information posted in forums, review sites, etc., but that could be time better spent being out on the battlefield. So you ask…
What are the best Airsoft gun brands? the simple answer is, there are many.
We would be hard-pressed to claim that there is one definitive “best brand”. Especially when there are many great companies cranking out great replicas. Also for consideration, is that there are some factors that vary from player to player which have an influence.
For example, if we were to make a recommendation, we would say that one of the best Airsoft gun brands is G&G Armament. Our recommendation is based on G&G’s ability to manufacture quality and affordable Airsoft guns. It’s our experience that the G&G’s Combat Machines series, is a solid and affordable choice. You certainly cannot go wrong with a G&G replica. As a matter of fact, in many ways, you could do much worse. This recommendation would be something we would make for anyone looking for a good replica at a good price, beginner, or other.
When looking for the best Airsoft gun brands, you may have noticed that there exist many brands to choose from. Choosing one boils down to a number of things you’ll have to take into consideration. First, you have to take into account that there are three main qualities that make up a great Airsoft gun brand. Those three things are quality, reliability, and detail.
Then there are influencing factors that while are not brand-related, they do figure into the equation. Typically these are the things that will usually vary from player to player. Factors such as personal likes/dislikes, wants/needs, affordability or expectations.
Finally, let’s not forget other influencing factors such as gameplay rules and the player’s role out on the field. Maybe there is a rule on a particular field or amongst a particular group that limits gameplay to a specific FPS or a particular type of replica (spring, electric or gas). Or maybe you fancy the role of Sniper over Rifleman. Now you have to take that in consideration as some gun brands will be a better fit.
Now that we have established that there are a lot of things to take into consideration, let’s dive in…
The Airsoft Companies
The companies below are considered by many active Airsofter’s to be some of the better-known brand Airsoft weapons today. Initially, we almost passed on some of these and were considering not having them “make the list”. After reviewing them further, we found that each one had some redeeming qualities. We’ve tried to pepper in a little something for everyone here. Everything from the best producers of budget weapons for the backyard enthusiasts, to performance weapons carried by some of the most die-hard players on the field. All we can say is that no one brand is absolutely perfect in all regards, but all are regarded as some of the best Airsoft gun brands available today.
Performance Focused Brands
The following brands are going to be some of the best performance-oriented brands around if you are looking for that Airsoft weapon that is going to give you the best look, feel and operation possible. Many of these brands sport all-metal bodies, high-end internals, and look as impressive just like the real deal.
This list is about the “Best Companies” and we felt that there was plenty of mixed sentiment going pretty far back about A&K weapons. So much, in fact, we nearly scratched the idea of adding them. However, we would have missed out on A&K’s line of all-metal machine guns which is how they redeemed themselves.
A&K has been regarded for its Light Machine Guns AEG weapons. What we found a bit confusing was that A&K is considered to be a simple entry-level manufacturer, yet we see that they tend to direct their focus more so on performance-based weapons.
Recommended A&K weapons include the M249, M60, and SVD. Aside from their light machine guns, many Airsofter’s have said that some of their rifles right out of the box were “Beasts“. On the other side of the coin, others have expressed their disdain for their M4’s claiming that they were “not worth the packaging they came in“.
A&K does make plastic weapons but, they seem to favor all-metal construction for many of the weapons they produce. The internals on some of their weapons was regarded as hit or miss. Our take, if you are looking for an affordable all-metal weapon or a light machine gun, then this may be an option worth taking a risk on. Otherwise, there are other companies producing affordable rifles & carbines.
Classic Army is a very well-revered, quality manufacturer of Airsoft rifles, handguns, and light machine guns. This Airsoft company is known for its high-quality internals that won’t let you down when you are out on the battlefield. Classic Army lends itself well to the close quarter battle (CQB) players and produces weapons that are easy to maneuver in tighter quarters. CA produces its line of durable weapons constructed of both ABS and/or Metal. Even for ABS, we found the bodies to be solid and durable enough to hold up to the rigors of gameplay.
CA gets high marks for their metal AEG’s and for good reason. Their metal AEG’s are not only durable, but highly detailed which lends to their realism. In fact, CA weapons are ultra-realistic, when compared to similar models manufactured by rival companies. We’ve heard a lot of good things about the all-metal, Classic Army X9.
The only drawback that we found to Classic Army replicas, was that some of their weapons were a little pricier than most. So, if you have the money to spend, this is a brand that is up there with the likes of Tokyo Marui. It’s one of the “Big 3” (Tokyo Marui, ICS and Classic Army).
Guay & Guay is a Taiwanese company manufactures some of the best Airsoft weapons that you can pick up. Great for the beginner or pro alike, G&G Armament replicas are affordable, durable and many models feature compact designs that are ideal for CQB battles. With G&G replicas being powerful and accurate straight out of the box, you’ll be ready for the battlefield without having to make many mods. This is where beginners really can save some coin and get some decent field time.
G&G also takes it home with its popular Combat Machine line. This is one rifle that can be found readily out on most battlefields. The Combat Machine is a great choice for those breaking into Airsoft due to their affordability and quality. We wholeheartedly recommend the G&G M4 Combat Machine Raider (More on this Awesome M4 Here). While we really cannot complain about G&G weapons themselves, we feel that some of their accessories are just not manufactured to the same level of quality as their rifles. Our opinion, G&G is known for its weapons, so buy their gun and someone else’s accessories!
Straight out of Hong Kong, G&P manufactures some of the best in terms of realism. Historically, this company has produced designs that lend themselves to being the perfect replica for the Milsim community and as tactical training weapons. World Military’s, as well as law enforcement, still use G&P replicas for training or simulation. This company makes the list because it’s quality, design and realism are at a level superior to many airsoft manufacturers. If you are looking for close or medium range models, then G&P would be a good fit (but an expensive fit). Our only real gripe is that their selection of long-range options like sniper rifles are practically non-existent when compared to other brands.
One of the “Big 3”, I Chih Shivan (ICS), is another Taiwanese company kicking out quality weapon replicas for the Airsoft community. We’ve found that most ICS replica weapons are metal construction. ICS, is also known for its gearbox designs. Better-known for the “split design”, their gearbox allows for upgrades and maintenance to be performed with ease. ICS is equally well-known for producing high-end AEG’s. However, one of the downsides of owning an ICS replica is that parts are not universally compatible with other brands, making it difficult to mix and match parts for repair or upgrades.
KWA is a serious brand leading the pack when it comes to training weapons for law enforcement and military personnel. As an innovative brand, KWA produces Airsoft replicas with metal or ABS bodies, state of the art internals and high-end gearboxes making this a very good choice for those looking for a reliability replica. One advantage of KWA replicas is that this brand leans towards LiPo batteries as opposed to NiMh or NiCad, making for powerful and fast action during use.
California based Krytac is a fairly newer Airsoft brand whose focus is on innovation and excellence in the manufacture of premium Airsoft replicas. The Krytac Vector series sports a unique look that separates them from traditional weapon replicas seen on the battlefield. Krytac replicas can be pricier and are typically enjoyed by more seasoned Airsofter’s.
One of the oldest and most revered Airsoft brands around. Japanese based company, Tokyo Marui, was the first company to bring AEG’s (automatic electric guns) to market. The AEG gearbox is still used today and has been copied y other companies. Tokyo Marui is one of the “Big 3” and manufactures some of the best performance replicas available today. When it comes to the best, this is one brand that comes in first. So much so, that other brands produce clones of their weapons. Other brands have also taken their designs to make their weapons compatible.
Systema manufactures PTW’s (performance training weapons). Weapons made by this brand are made to be exactly like their real-steel counterparts and feel like the real deal. Manufacturing their replicas to exact dimensions allow their replicas to accept accessories made for real weapons. Changeable power cylinders are also available for weapons from this brand. Interchangeable power cylinders make upgrading to a more powerful output possible in the field without any tools necessary.
The following brands are going to be some of the best brands to consider if you are looking for that Airsoft weapon that is affordable and reliable. These brands offer replicas that are, generally speaking, a great starter Airsoft weapon for beginners or a decent back-up. While these brands may not have all the bells and whistles of the performance brands, they certainly offer bang for your buck.
AGM teeters somewhere between being a budget brand and a performance brand. With AGM it is one or the other. Despite manufacturing some metal with real wood models, we consider them to be closer to the budget-minded player that the all-out pro-player.
Again we have taken into consideration the many player reviews of AGM’s weapons. Many of their more “modern weapons” have been regarded as just not being up to par. Also noted was that some of their weapons could be had on the cheap, which raises a red flag that they are a cheap-o weapons manufacturer.
The cheaper models are probably better suited for the backyard warrior or target plinker. We did find that AGM manufactures some unique weapons that are harder to find elsewhere. Some are beastly weapon choices (the Sturmgewehr 44 for example). Their WWII classics like the Sten MKII submachine gun, the StG44, and the MP40 are some great guns for those Airsofter’s into vintage arms or battle reenactment.
CYMA is a budget brand from China. This manufacturer produces affordable clones of high-end Airsoft replicas. CYMA’s mix of metal and plastic makes for a more durable replica without a lot of extra weight. Their AK line, while not high-end, still makes for a great budget-beginner replica weapon. You’ll have to surf the web a little for CYMA replicas as they do not have their own website or online presence.
Jing Gong (JG) is a Hong Kong Airsoft manufacturer specializing in low to mid-priced replicas. They are known for their rifles and SMG’s. Much like CYMA, JG weapons are also clones of high-end replicas like those produced by Tokyo Marui. We found it surprising that JG replicas were made as well as they were for being a budget level brand. This would be an extremely reliable choice for a beginner on a budget.
Lancer Tactical is another fairly new California based Airsoft manufacturer. Founded in 2012, Lancer Tactical focus was to bring affordable replicas to the Airsoft public. Many weapons produced by LT are polymer constructed. Lancer Tactical does also produce all-metal replicas suitable for military or law enforcement training. Our recommendation, the LANCER TACTICAL M4 WARRIOR CQB (More on this M4 Here).
UK Arms is a budget manufacturer that we consider to be the backyard plinkers best friend. These are extremely budget-friendly Airsoft weapons that we would not recommend for serious battles. However, they are well suited for newbies who are not sure about dumping a wad of cash into the sport straight away. UK Arms is best-know for producing its line of Airsoft pistols. Despite being constructed of plastics, UK Arms weapons are durable. This is attributed to them also being spring powered weapons. Not many moving parts mean they can keep prices low and still have a pretty durable weapon.
Umarex is a German manufacturer producing Airsoft weapons that feature real-steel logos and markings. Their replicas are regarded as some of the best looking and most realistic around making them sought after by gun collectors who want to add to their collection. Umarex rifles tend to be a little pricier than comparable rifle brands. However, their pistols are in the affordable range.
Not all Airsoft gun companies are created equal. While there are many more brands we could have thrown onto the list above, we feel the information provided here represents some of the best Airsoft gun brands for both performance and budget. If you are not sure if this sport is for you, our recommendation would be to get out on the field and trying out the sport with an affordable weapon. Once you have gotten your feet wet, you can always upgrade to a performance replica.
See you out on the battlefield!