Hopefully this will answer most of the questions you may have. If you still have more questions fell free to contact me at the email at the end of the FAQ's or in the Contact tab.
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The hop up is a plastic or metal piece that lies right above the magwell of the gun and is what the bb's feed into. The bb's feed through the lip of the hop up and feed into the hop up chamber. Here a rubber bucking keeps the bb's from rolling out of the barrel. Underneath the bucking is a small plastic notch and when the hop up is increased, the notch pushes down on the bucking and also on the bb. This notch adds backspin to the bb which allows it to stay in flight longer and helps with range and accuracy. It is important to find the right amount of hop up for your gun so you can get the most range out of it. To much hop up will cause the bb to fly up when shot. Too little will cause it to drop unnaturally. Mess around with your hop up until the bb seems to go far and drop because of gravity and doesn't look like it is dropping faster than it should. The bb should seem to just float through the air until it drops around 50-150 feet depending on your gun. Around 100-150 is average for AEG's and high powered guns, while under 100 is average for weaker guns.
Using the right weight of bb's in your gun is very important to getting the most accuracy out if it. Let me start off by saying that you should NEVER, under any circumstances, use .12 gram bb's in your gun. .12g bb's are made up of cheap, lightweight plastic that can shatter inside your gun and pieces can rip, tear, and break pieces in your barrel. hop up and gearbox. They may provide higher FPS, but the accuracy will suffer dramatically.
The standard bb for guns is .2/.20 gram bb's. These provide an all around good performance of range, FPS, and accuracy. Most stock guns would use these. However, some players, like myself, use higher weight bb's to give us higher accuracy to when the FPS of our guns increase. Usually when guns start shooting over 380 fps, higher weight bb's are needed to give us the same amount of accuracy if we were using .2g with a gun shooting 330fps. The higher the FPS you guns gets, the heavier bb's you are going to need to hit accurate shots. For example, many snipers use .28 or .3g bb's in their sniper rifles shooting around 450 fps.
The amount of time you charge your battery depends both on the mAh (Milliamp Hour) and the rate of which your charger charges. To find out, first find out the amount of mAh's your battery holds. It should say on each individual cell or on the plastic casing surrounding the batteries. Most stock gun batteries are around 1100mAh to 1500mAh. After you have found the amount of mAh's, then find out the rate at which your charger charges them. Look on the charger and it should say something like "Output: 300mA". The 300 will be different depending on your charger. This is the amount of mA's your charger will charge every hour you have the battery plugged in. So to find the time it will take to charge a dead battery, divide the mAh's of your battery by the output mA's of your charger. It will give you a number somewhere between 4 and 6 normally and that is the number of hours to charge your battery.
E.x: 4.5 means charge it for 4 hours and 30 minutes. 5.25 means charge your battery for 5 hours and 15 minutes.
I highly recommend getting a smart charger as soon as possible. These do 3 things. One, they charge the battery at a much faster rate than normal chargers do, allowing you to have your battery ready for battle quicker. Two, on most smart chargers, they will completely stop charging or trickle charge the battery instead of continuing to charge at the normal rate, even when it it fully charged. Three, they will tell you when it is done charging via a light on the charger. A red or blinking light means it is charging and a solid, often green, light indicates it is fully charged. This is a great tool every serious airsofter should own and is pretty cheap (around $35). Here is the one I own : CLICK!
Be careful to not overcharge your battery! Overcharging your battery can damage it and cause it not hold it's charge or not be as strong as normal. Never leave a charging battery unattended and always check on it periodically to make sure it is ok. If you do not know how long to charge your battery because either you charger or battery does not have an mA reading a rule of thumb is that if the battery is warm, it is done charging. If it is hot to the touch, take it off the charger immediately. It should be warm and able to hold in your hand, but not hot.
A NiMh battery is the better battery for airsoft compared to the NiCd. NiCd or Nickel-Cadmium batteries must be discharged before every recharge. Failure to discharge a NiCd battery can cause the battery to lose it charge and not hold it for as long and sooner or later will become permanently dead.
NiMh or Nickel-metal hydride batteries, on the other hand, can be charged at any state of it charge without having to discharge the battery. This is much easier because you can just plug in the battery whenever instead of having to either use it up or buying a discharger or something that will discharge it.
Not necessarily. Many beginners like the think that the higher the FPS your gun has the "better" of a gun it is. This isn't always true. While it may shoot harder, it will also have more problems down the road. As you increase the FPS of your gun you add more stress on all the parts in the gearbox. The more stress, the more vulnerable your gun is to breaking, the more often you will have to maintenance your gun, and the more money you will spend on broken pieces. Also, as the FPS increases, the more inaccurate the gun gets with normal bb's. As you increase the FPS you also need to buy heavier bb's, stronger motors, higher voltage batteries, and tighter-bored barrels which are very expensive.
Also, many fields don't allow AEG that shoot over 400 fps with .2g bbs to play on their field because it can be dangerous. High velocity guns can break skin, shatter goggles, and overall just plain hurt. Sure, you may think 450 fps fully automatic is cool, but wait till you get hit, then we will see who is having the fun time.
Please, take my advice and don't get a high powered gun, especially as a beginner, until you are very experienced. I do not own any guns that shoot over 400 fps because it isn't necessary. I get plenty of kills with my 375fps CA M4 using .25g bb's. If you are wanting to get a high powered gun, upgrade it to just under 400 fps and use .25g bb's. It will give your gun excellent range and accuracy.
The only guns that I think need to be over 400 fps are sniper rifles and DMR's. These are made for high velocity and staying back and laying support fire. Not running around shooting people at 50 feet. Be wise and be careful and please take my advice.
Awesome, glad you have decided to get into the sport. Before I start, I just want to let you know that if you want to get any kind of decent airsoft gun you will need to spend a minimum of $100. Airsoft is not a cheap sport so if you are looking for one, this isn't it. I have spent over $2,000 in airsoft and the price will only get bigger.
In airsoft there are many great brands of guns. Some are more expensive than other, but that doesn't mean they are any better. The two brands that I would recommend to a beginner would be Echo 1 and ASGI's G4 Series.Here is a brief overview of each. Check out the Airsoft Brands section for more info.
Echo 1's are great beginner guns. They are relatively cheap (around $200) and perform just fine for any average airsofter.
ASGI's G4 series is a relatively new "brand" to the airsoft world. They take G&G guns and beef them up a little. Haven't personally owned one, but have heard excellent things about them. Definitely give them a look.
Honestly, in the end, it comes down to the person holding the gun. You could have the best gun in the world, but if you don't know how to use it to it's full potential, then holding that gun is useless.
If you want to buy one, head over to the "Links" section and check out my favorite airsoft sites.
No, no, no! Again, many beginners want to think that a sniper rifle will be the best weapon because it shoots hard and straight, just like in CoD4! Wrong! Sniper rifles, especially ones under $200, in reality, aren't that great. They shoot about 400-450 fps with .2g and are effective to about 100 feet, which is good, but not logical for the way many beginners play. Most play with a few of their friends (maybe 6-8 if their lucky) in their back yards. Snipers are made for long, precise shots and not for running around 50 feet from each other. What players fail to realize is that if you want to have a good, effective sniper rifle, you have to dish out big bucks which is usually $400-500 at least. You would have to get a good base sniper (CA, TM, Maruzen or Tanka) and then spend around $150-200 in upgrades. Also many seem to think that 450 fps with .2g is great and their wrong. In order to make accurate shots, you need to use at least .28g bb's and that would cause your gun to shoot around 375 and not 450 fps like you thought. Again, it's just not feasible for the majority of players. Unless you play with a lot of people (over 20), have lots of money, and are experienced enough to use one, they just have no place in a beginners hands. Stick to an AEG, it will serve you better.
This picture explains why in another way:
Yes, quite a few actually. I will list them here, but for a more in-depth reason, head over to the "Airsoft Brands" section and read up.
- DE (Double-Eagle)
- BE (Both Elephant)
There could be quite a few problems. I suggest reading my guide in the "Guide" section which deals with many of the common problems.