This section will explain a little about each of the well known airsoft brands on the market. Some of this will be my opinion, some will be fact, and some will be taken from other sources.
Click the brand names to check them out and get more specific info and order them if you are interested.
AEG means Automatic Electric Gun and is what your average airsoft gun is.
LPEG mean Low Powered Electric Gun and are crappy, cheap, low quality guns.
The airsoft gun. Tokyo Mauri was the first maker of the AEG and today is on of the best guns on the market. While only shooting sub-300 fps because of restriction that doesn't mean this gun doesn't perform well. These are known to have some of the best internal qualities of any gun. Their externals, however, fall short in my opinion. They are ABS plastic and feel cheap. Having owned a TM first hand (Sig 552) I can vouch that they are a little creaky and feel cheap. However, that doesn't take away from the fact of how these things perform. I like them, but personally wouldn't buy one because their are other companies making full metal guns shooting harder than their guns for a lower price. Overall, a great company and top of the line internals, but falls short in the externals department.
One of my favorites. Classic Army, based in Hong Kong, is known as one of the top AEG makers. They feature highly detailed, high quality externals. Their M4's, M16's, Mp5's, AK's, etc come with metal bodies and their G36's and AUG's come with nylon fiber bodies, just like the real guns do. Many of my friends own CA's as well and just the attention to detail is so amazing.
Internals are good, but not excellent. They come reinforced and able to withstand M120's stock as well as other upgrades. I own a CA M15A4 and love it (Check out in the “My Guns” section). The quality and feel is amazing and just puts the feel of real gun right at your finger tips. I personally didn't like how the gun performed stock, which is why I got it upgraded. Overall, one of the top external companies on the market. My second favorite brand on the market.
Another great company. All around good guns. Good externals and internals with most of their guns shooting 350 fps plus stock. One of the downfalls is that there are not 100% compatible with TM parts, both internally and externally, like most other brands.This can be a turn off for some people. However, I do love their MP5s. They are very reliable and perform great from my experience.
My favorite company. Their V2 gearbox guns come stock with pre-upgraded gearboxes, high quality metal bodies (much like CA) and tightbore barrels. I own a G&G M16 and I was just amazed with how it performed and looked right out of the box. Mine was accurate up to 135-140ft with .25g bb's; and that's stock! That is just amazing out of a stock gun. Their externals are very similar to Classic Army's and, in my opinion, are a close competitor. Only complaint was that coming from such a high quality company I would expect a good battery, but they send you a NiCad battery which aren't as easy to deal with compared to NiMh batteries. Not a big problem considering I usually upgrade that battery anyway, but I would at least expect a NiMh from them.
I don't know or hear much about this company except that they have good externals with full trades. Probably a good brand, just never seen much of them.
Makes mostly high quality, high detailed and high priced replicas and makes some of the rarer AEG's. Pretty expensive guns, but they look really cool, ha.
Another one of my favorites. Known for their very good, specially upgraded internals. Some of their guns shoot 400fps out of the box and is on of the very few companies whose guns are LiPo(Lithium-Polymer) ready and able to withstand the high speeds and stress of the battery. I have never owned or handled one but all I hear is good things and things I have seen in videos and other reviews have me wanting one. Only downfall is they don't make a wide variety of guns right now. Mostly the basic types (M4's, M16's, G36, etc). Overall, great brand! Definitely a good gun for someone looking for a high quality gun.
The Lamborghini of airsoft. Known for their high power and ridiculously high prices(over $1000 each). These guns are made mostly for military/law enforcement use and are built to be as close to the real gun as possible. They have a realistic 30rd mag and some come with different cylinders, each varying in FPS. They start at the M90 cylinder, putting out around 300fps, and go all the way up to the red cylinder, which puts out a whopping 500fps. With the different FPS cylinders, ridiculously high price, expensive aftermarket parts and 30rd magazine make this a pretty impractical gun for airsoft, but for sure would be a heck of a gun to own a brag to your friends about.
Although, I put this in the Mid Level brands, I still think these are the best bang for your buck when it comes to airsoft. Most of these guns are around $200 and shoot around 350-370 fps. Their normal series come with ABS plastic bodies, but are great quality and are quite durable. They are US company based in Los Angeles and contract companies like JG, CYMA, and AGM to create there guns. Then they beef them up a little, slap on a 30-day warranty, and put them in a cool box. Plus, they are American, so you don't find American based airsoft companies very often.
One of the main reasons I love Echo 1 is because I personally own one. It was one of the first series of Echo 1's to come out so most of them had many issues because they were still in the development stages. Mine, however, has never had a problem. I have owned this baby for around 3 years now, completely stock, and it has yet to give me any sort of problems. I maintenance every so often and it keeps it shooting straight and hard. Rarely do you find sub-$200 guns that last more than a year or two, especially stock. Just a good, honest company. Definitely the best gun for a beginner.
A relatively new series of guns from the awesome American retailer Airsoft GI. They took G&G's already excellent internals and externals and modified them some for the better. There are many different models, so not all will be the same, but some of the thing they change is adding Daniel Defense rail systems, full stock, crane stocks, etc. These are excellent guns for anybody, especially beginners for their lower prices and great quality, much like Echo 1. Both Echo 1 and G4 would be great choices for beginners.
Echo 1 contracts with this company to build their AEG's so they are pretty much similar to them. I have handle both E1's and JG and find that the E1 performs a little better than the JG. Good company as well, similar price to E1.
Evike.com's brand. They import their own AEG's and slap their own Matrix brand on the gun. Again, similar to JG and E1, but not as good quality.
Mostly known for cheap springers and LPEG's. However, they do make a fairly decent AK AEG series of guns. They don't really make any other good guns except for their AK's, but make the cheapest “good” gun: AK-47 for $95 on AirsoftGI.com
An OK brand. Another one of those brands that just makes clones. Externals are similar to other clones and have fairly bad internals compared to others in it's price range. Apparently more recent version are more reliable, but I don't like them. Not a brand I recommend.
In the same boat as A&K. Another clone contractor that makes sub-par guns. They are popular among newer players with their cheap sniper rifles. They also make scopes and gear which are pretty good.
Overall, crappy guns. Make some unique AEG's, but bad internals and externals overall. Not worth their price. Avoid.
Actually, a pretty good brand despite the criticism is takes. I own a Dboys Aks-74un and at the time was said to be the best Ak-74 on the market. I am pretty happy with it now. Good external build quality and good internals. Just a cool little gun to use for CQB.
Another company I am not to familiar with. Apparently makes good M14's, P90's and 416's. Always thought they were bad, but not sure.
Known for cheap electric blowback pistols (EBB). Apparently came out with a decent SCAR, but not as good as the CA. Don't know too much, but overall not a good company. Avoid.
Sadly, a attention grabber to beginners. Makes crappy and LPEG's and sniper rifles. They seem good because they are cheap and claim to have high fps which attracts many beginners. However, this brand is absolute crap and is the one brand I despise more than any other brand. Just not a good brand. Lots of bad quality issues. Avoid, please!
Again, much like Well, makes LPEG's and springers. Has joined in the AEG game but falls short of any kind of quality. Plus, lots of incompatibility issues and known for thin plastic bodies.
Most of this was based on what I know and my opinion. I used the below link for brands I didn't know much about.
Now that you have read about all the brands, search for the ones you are interested in here: