Airsoft Rifles: Your Primary Weapon

When you are just getting started in Airsoft, choosing the right “first weapon”, may seem challenging.  With so many different weapon options and styles available, you may find yourself struggling to choose the best weapon.  When I got into Airsoft, I knew that I wanted a reliable, quality built weapon that wouldn’t break the bank. It had to look the part as well as perform.  I wanted a cool looking tactical weapon that I could accessorize and upgrade when I could afford to do so.  With that in mind, I advise beginners to steer clear of the really expensive rifles.  The more expensive weapons are great in terms of quality and have many more options, but maybe out of a beginners budget once you factor in additional items like batteries, charger, magazines, safety gear, accessories, etc.  On the flip-side, try also to steer clear of the cheaper Chinese produced Airsoft weapons.  They are all to often poorly made.  These bargain weapons are made of plastic throughout giving a cheap toy-like feel and offering less durability.  Take a look at each of the following Airsoft replica platforms, as these are pretty common out on the battlefield…

The M4 Carbine

G&G M4 COMBAT MACHINE RAIDER
Pictured: G&G Combat Machine

For the beginner, any G&G M4 variant is a terrific and affordable starter replica.  Guay and Guay Armament in Tawain manufactures a variety of Airsoft replicas.  Their G&G Combat Machine series is fairly popular amongst beginners and seasoned Airsofter players alike. Whether this is your first Airsoft weapon or your trusted back-up, the Combat Machine series itself will serve you well.

My pick is the G&G M4 Combat Machine 16 Raider L 2.0 (Check Here for Current Pricing).Opens in a new tab. This updated design M4 carbine replica is perfect for skirmishing. Its durable polymer construction leaves it light in weight, and strong without the cheap plastic feel.  The improved combat machine replica features removable flip-up front and rear sights as well as other useful features.  There is plenty of rail space for accessories on this M4 which also features M-LOK rails. The CM16 L 2.0 also has a one-point configured sling attachment on the stock.

Features of the G&G CM16 L 2.0:

  • Lightweight polymer construction
  • Adjustable crane stock
  • High-quality, reliable, full metal gearbox
  • M-LOK Handguard
  • Ambidextrous magazine catch
  • Easy to upgrade or replace parts

Specifications:

Operation: Electric Automatic
Firing Modes: Semi-automatic, Full-automatic, w/ Functional Safety
Muzzle Velocity: 350 FPS (w/ 0.20g BBs)
Gearbox: Full Metal Version 2
Magazine: 450rd High Cap.
Battery: 7.4V Short (Not Included)
Inner Barrel: 230mm
Hop-Up: Adjustable
Weight: 6 lbs

 

LANCER TACTICAL M4 WARRIOR CQB
Pictured: LANCER TACTICAL M4 Warrior

Lancer Tactical in California produces a variety of M4 replicas.  So right off the bat, my pick is the Lancer Tactical Rapid Deployment Carbine (Check Here for Current Pricing).Opens in a new tab. This M4 is a CQB skirmish-ready rifle sporting a higher muzzle velocity over the G&G M4 Combat Machine Raider above.  This M4 is suitable for outdoor skirmishing and if downgraded, could be made for indoor battles.  This M4 is a Nylon Polymer constructed replica.  I like that rear sight can be flipped downward allowing for attachment of optics.  However, in my opinion, the sites would be more durable if constructed out of metal.

Features of the Rapid Deployment Carbine:

  • Nylon Polymer build
  • Retractable crane stock
  • Full metal Version 2 gearbox
  • Free-float 10 KeyMod rail system
  • Front and rear sights
  • Upgraded Motor grip with Extended Beavertail

 

Specifications:

Operation: Electric Automatic
Firing Modes: Fully Automatic, Semi-Automatic, w/ Functional Safety
Muzzle Velocity: 390 FPS (w/ 0.20 BBs)
Magazine: 120rd Midcap
Gearbox: Version 2 (Metal)
Battery: 9.6V Nunchuck (Sold Separately)
Hop-Up: Yes, Adjustable
Weight: 6 lbs

 

The AK-47

Pictured: JG AK-47

I am not a huge fan of the AK platform, but have included it for all the AK fans out there…  Jing Gong (JG Works) in China produces a decent AK-47.  A couple guys I know swear by them. The JG AK-47S (Check here for Current Pricing)Opens in a new tab., is a stamped steel, tactical AK-47 that sports a 440 fps muzzle velocity, making it suitable for outdoor skirmishing.  Overall, this Airsoft replica has both a great look and feel to it. Just around 8 pounds, this is definitely a bit heavier than the M4’s above.  The non-metal components on this weapon consist of a three-position crane stock and the hand grip. The stock and hand grip are both constructed of a light-weight polymer which while durable, does feel somewhat cheap when paired up with this all metal beast.  The electric blowback system in this AK imparts a little realism to the Airsoft experience by kicking back the bolt after each shot.  Overall this would be a solid choice for a beginner or great as a backup weapon.

Features:

  • Electronic Blowback system
  • Metal/Polymer construction
  • Steel skeleton folding stock
  • Full metal Version 3 gearbox
  • Rail sections for accessory mounting
  • Adjustable hop-up

Specifications:

Operation:  Electronic Automatic
Firing Modes:  Semi-automatic, Full-automatic, w/ Functional Safety
Muzzle Velocity:  440 FPS (w/ 0.20g BBs)
Gearbox:  Full Metal Version 3
Magazine:  600rd High Capacity (Metal Mag.)
Battery:  8.4V Stick & Wall Charger (included)
Hop-Up:  Adjustable
Weight:  7.25 lbs

 

The BAR-10

JG BAR 10
Pictured: JG BAR-10 WITH 3-9×40 SCOPE SNIPER RIFLE

I don’t play the sniper role and personally have never used the following, but have been told that the JG BAR 10 (Check Here for Current Pricing)Opens in a new tab., is a great, affordable option for a beginning sniper.  The JG BAR 10, is one durable and light rifle made of a light-weight polymer and has been said to have a great weight and feel to it.  It’s a spring powered rifle which means it has to be cocked before shooting.  It includes a 3-9X40 scope and has a 20mm accessory rail.  A couple of things that other players have felt were a plus was the bolt being constructed of metal unlike other sniper rifles and that the hop up adjustment was easily accessible.  They have indicated that pulling back the bolt was done with ease.

Features of the JG BAR 10:

  • Polymer, Metal Inner/Outer Barrel
  • High powered spring operation
  • 30 round magazine
  • Long barrel design for full range accuracy
  • Adjustable hop up
  • Includes scope

Specifications:

Operation: Spring
Firing Modes: Single-Shot (Low-Friction, Bolt Action), w/ Functional Safety
Muzzle Velocity: 470 FPS (w/ 0.2g BBs)
Magazine: 30 rds
Hop-Up: Adjustable
Weight: 6 lbs

Don’t forget the Ammo!

No matter which Airsoft replica you chose for your primary, don’t forget the BBs!
If you are unsure what BBs you should use, check out my post titled What Airsoft BB’s Should I Use?” by clicking this link.
If you are are ready for some BB recommendations, just click here.