2021’s Best Airsoft Rifle: 7 of the Top AEG’s Reviewed. AK / M4 / G36 Options

At Airsoft Core we know that airsoft rifles are one of the more desired gun platform for both casual and competitive play. However it can be tough picking out a good gun for a player, especially when you want the best airsoft rifle, because no one wants to have something that’s going to put them at a disadvantage.

So what we’ve done is compiled a list of 7 of the top airsoft rifles for users to consider. These rifles were selected in terms of pricing and quality. Potential buyers can think of them as a starting point for their airsoft journey.

First we’re going to talk a little about the most common platforms of airsoft assault rifles there are, after this we will go into specific reviews for each of the options.

Different types of Airsoft Rifles

G36 Style Airsoft Riflepicture of a g36c used as an airsoft rifle

The airsoft G36 is built to model the 5.56mm battle rifle that was designed and made early in the 1990s by Heckler & Koch, who were German manufacturers. The gun comes in a multitude of different variations to full sized rifles to CQB rifles that aren’t as long. The G36 airsoft rifles comes with most of the features on the real deal such as a foldable stock, top picatinny rail, and an ambidextrous fire selector switch.

The most common version of the G36 in the airsoft gun world is the G36C – which is the smaller compact version of the larger battle rifle. The main difference you’ll see is that the barrel is much shorter and there are no integrated sights.

A high quality G36 airsoft rifle will do a good job of modeling the real version and will serve a user well for CQB and assault skirmishing. These rifles do include a rail system on top of the gun, which can be used to attach optics such as reflex sights.

Man looks down an airsoft M4 rifle M4 / AR-15 Style Airsoft Rifles

The M4 airsoft gun is modeled after the version that’s commonly used by different branches of the United States Armed Forces and U.S Military. It is a shortened version of the M16 battle rifle – maintaining most of the ergonomic features while having a shorter barrel & telescopic stock for easier handling & CQB.

M4 styles airsoft rifles, which include AEG (airsoft electric gun) and GBBR (gas blow back rifles) are amongst the most commonly used in the game. This is due to their capabilities being modular and the fact that upgrade parts/accessories that are incredibly easy to come by.

The M4’s most famous component is the rail accessory system which allows a user to add components like flashlights, lasers, optics, and forward grips to their M4. This creates a strong sense of personalization.

AEG AK47 Airsoft Rifle PicturesAK Style Airsoft Rifles

The AK is a gun that was created by a man named Mikhail Kalashnikov who lived in the Soviet Union during the period of 1947.

As far as production it is one of the most mass produced guns with there being over 75 million created as of this day. The rifle was created with two different formals of stock, one being a fixed wood stock and the second being a stock that’s foldable metal.  The AK is an airsoft gun that’s very versatile and is widely used around the world even to this day.

There are different versions of the AK airsoft rifle available (AKS, AK-74, RPK etc.) and some of the most well known manufacturers in the game produce them.  The AK version of airsoft rifles are a pretty solid option overall, providing superior accuracy and reliability.


Let’s find you the Best Airsoft Rifle:

Now let’s get into reviewing 7 AEG’s on the market (see our 2021’s 5 Best Airsoft Sniper Rifle guide here).

1. Lancer Tactical LT-24 Full-Metal CQB M4 AEG Airsoft Rifle

Lancer Tactical LT-24 Full-Metal CQB M4 AEG...

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The Lancer Tactical LT-24 Full-Metal CQB M4 AEG Airsoft Rifle is a solid choice for anyone looking for a reliable M4 platform. Some of the standout features include full metal upper & lower receivers along with a RIS systems built in.

This gun is fully upgradable utilizing the standard V2 gearbox. The performance out of the box is great and it leaves you room to add your own upgrade parts as needed. This AEG also features a MOSFET – which helps ensure the electronic components of the airsoft carbine don’t wear out too quickly.

Gun Specification

Fire Selector: Full Auto / Semi Auto
Power: AEG Electric
Material: Full Metal Receivers
FPS: 350 -370
Ammo: 6mm BB
Range: Medium – Long

The stock FPS is nothing to sneeze at 350 – 370 with 0.20g 6mm BB’s. This does mean that it may not be appropriate for some indoor fields. But, they thought ahead. There’s a quick spring change system included – so if you also purchase an M100 spring it’ll downgrade your FPS to acceptable levels at an indoor field.

The sight is spot on in terms of accuracy and is adjustable for windage and elevation.

Players will like how easily adaptable it is because of the tactical rail that’s located at the top and handguard.

This does come with a 120 round midcap magazine – meaning that it requires no winding. The capacity for midcap magazines is less than a high-cap, but it also means it is quiet and doesn’t rattle.

Lancer Tactical LT-24 Full-Metal CQB M4 AEG...
  • Built-in Lancer Fast Trigger with MOSFET to regulate electric flow and protect trigger contacts
  • Full metal upper/lower receivers and CNC machined buffer tube
  • Quick-change spring system for rapidly adjusting muzzle velocity
7.7Expert Score
Lancer Tactical LT-24 Full-Metal CQB M4 AEG Airsoft Rifle

Shooting
8.5
Magazine Capacity
6
Build Quality
8.5
PROS
  • Full Metal Receivers for Max Durability &amp
  • Authenticity.
  • Replacements parts are easy to get.
  • Quick-change spring system allows you to make this AEG indoor or field ready in a matter of minutes.
  • Gun has lots of rails, which makes it easier for a user to mount accessories
  • Gun isn’t hard to get accustomed to at all and there’s an adjustable crane stock that makes for superior comfort.
CONS
  • We would have preferred it came with a high-cap magazine.
  • Battery is connected to the stock in such a way that it’s impacted by either collapsing or extending it.

2. Lancer Tactical Airsoft Full Metal AK-47 AEG Rifle

Lancer Tactical Airsoft Full Metal AK-47 AEG...

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The Lancer Tactical Airsoft Full Metal AK-47 AEG Rifle is a replica of one of the more well known weapons of the 20th century. This AK style airsoft rule features a handguard tactical rail system for the placement of optics such as red dots or reflex sights.

The nylon fiber telescopic stock makes this great for utilizing in close quarters or at longer ranges. This airsoft rifle’s black color, RIS system, and forward grip make it look like a special operations Russian weapon. It is capable of semi automatic or completely automatic fire and when used has the ability to fire as much as 12 BB’s per second while reaching velocities as high as 380 FPS.

Gun Specification

Action: Semi Auto / Fulll Automatic
Power: Electric
FPS: Around 380
Ammo: 0.20g 6MM BB
Range: Medium – Long

Shooting off a high amount of rounds each one after the next with great range and accuracy is possible with this AK replica. The upper and lower receiver are made fully of metal and the version 3 gearbox. In fact – we’ve found that they’re actually similar to the airsoft AK’s manufactured by CYMA (a company famous for quality airsoft AKs). Hop up feature can be easily adjusted and is capable of slinging BB’s to nearly 200 feet while hitting a man-sized target.  The tactical design of the gun makes it aesthetically more pleasing than the conventional Kalashnikov.

Lancer Tactical Airsoft Full Metal AK-47 AEG...
  • High quality durable metal construction. Integrated Version 3 performance gear box. Same internals and externals as CYMA AK47...
  • Rifle output capable of 380 FPS for full range. 550 round high capacity AK waffle magazine.
  • 12 slot top mounting rail for optical attachments. Tuck away front foregrip included for comfort.
8.5Expert Score
Kalishnikov AK47 Tactical Electric AEG

Shooting
8
Magazine Capacity
9
Build Quality
8.5
PROS
  • The integrated tactical rail system allows you to add on accessories with ease.
  • The stock FPS is perfect for the longer ranges of field play.
  • Is very accurate, assuming a user has a fair level of skill. Hope up system is easy to make adjustments to as well as lock in.
  • The included high capacity magazine holds 550 rounds - outstanding!.
  • Internal and external build quality is similar to CYMA - famous for their quality airsoft AK line.
CONS
  • Magazine can be a little loose at times, but users won’t have to be worried about it falling out during play or practice.
  • The battery installation can be a bit of a hassle.

3. HK Heckler & Koch HK416 AEG 6mm BB Rifle Airsoft Gun

HK Heckler & Koch HK416 AEG 6mm BB Rifle...

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Users who are looking for an airsoft gun that’s going to enable them to be dominate as far as CQB airsoft skirmishes go will appreciate the HK Heckler & Koch HK416 AEG 6mm BB Rifle Airsoft Gun. The way the gun is designed comes from the AR15 platform and was thought of originally as a way to enhance the Colt M4 carbine. The body of the gun is mostly plastic and is able to be lugged around comfortable during intense airsoft wars.
Gun Specification

Action: Semi / Full-Auto
Power: AEG Electric
FPS: 335 AVG / 350 Max
Ammo: 0.20g 6mm BB
Range: Medium

It has as one of its features a quad weaver/picatinny rail system as well as a top rail for putting on scopes and red dot sights. It has a magazine capacity of 250 rounds and shot velocity of about 330-350 fps. The stock is telescopic allowing you to adjust it to for CQB or field play. Has 4 tactical rails that make for plenty of customization – allowing you to add on accessories like flashlights, forward grips, and lasers.

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HK Heckler & Koch HK416 AEG 6mm BB Rifle...
  • AEG powered airsoft rifle
  • Semi-auto and full-auto shooting
  • High capacity 250-round mag capacity
6.8Expert Score
HK Heckler & Koch HK416 AEG 6mm BB Rifle Airsoft Gun

Shooting
7
Magazine Capacity
6.5
Build Quality
7
PROS
  • This gun has all the features of a higher cost gun at a lower price.
  • Gun is very lightweight, but at the same time sturdy.
  • It’s very authentic looking and is properly licensed by HK.
  • There are lots of functional mock pieces such as the forward assist as well as the charging handle.
  • This is a replica of the gun most famously used by Navy SEALs
  • The stock fps is perfect for CQB play.
CONS
  • The upper and lower receivers are made of ABS plastic - which isn't the best on the market.
  • In the beginning the batteries can be a little tough to put in.
  • This is definitely a starter gun - you can feel it when compared to more expensive models.

4. Double Eagle AK-47S Metal Electric Airsoft Assault Rifle

Double Eagle AK-47S Metal Electric 425 FPS...

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The Double Eagle AK-47S  Metal Electric Airsoft Assault Rifle is a completely automatic AEG with internal parts that are well reinforced. This model retains the classic look of an AK47S (the S indicates that the stock is foldable). The base FPS is 330 feet per second – which means most fields will allow this gun in. Gun can be shot in full auto/semi auto mode. Hop up is adjustable. Users can expect to get a battery, BBs, instructions, chargers as well as a 400 round high capacity magazine.
Gun Specification

Action: Semi / Full- Auto
Power: AEG Electric
FPS: 330
Ammo: 0.20g 6mm BB
Range: Medium

It weighs about 6 pounds and the length of the gun is about 36 inches. It has a black and wood color that replicate the look of the classic cold war era AK seen in action movies.

It’s a very well detailed gun and features things such as a functional fire selector, a charging handle that can be pulled back on as well as a realistic magazine release paddle similar to the real thing. The upper and lower receivers are made entirely of metal – but the wood furnishings are actually made of ABS plastic.

Double Eagle AK-47S Metal Electric 425 FPS...
  • Beautifully finished and extremely reliable! - Best Assualt Rifle of its class!
  • 300-330 FPS for 0.2G BB, 410 FPS for 0.12G BB
  • High Capacity Magazine - 400 rounds
7.7Expert Score
Double Eagle AK-47S Metal Electric Airsoft Assault Rifle

Shooting
7.5
Magazine Capacity
8.5
Build Quality
7
PROS
  • Starting FPS allows you to play at indoor fields.
  • Huge 400 capacity magazine, perfect for Close Quarter Games.
  • This airsoft AK replicas the cold war era classic AK look.
  • The stock is fully foldable for some draco style shooting.
CONS
  • The battery quality is good, but you should look to buy a smart charger to maintain battery life.
  • The furnishing that look like wood are actually just plastic.

5. Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch G36 C AEG Automatic 6mm BB Rifle

Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch G36 C AEG...

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The Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch G36 C AEG Automatic 6mm BB Rifle i‘s is a great replica of the G36C designed by H&K. Featuring a top picatinny rail system as well as smaller rail segments on the sides and bottom, this AEG is going to turn heads at the field. The futuristic and compact design of the G36 line really make it stand out. Firing 6mm BBs at around 345 FPS, this gun is perfect for CQB and mid range field play. Players will be looking to use the folding stock when in really close – and the fire selector functions just like the real deal.
Gun Specification

Action: Semi-Automatic / Full Auto
Power: AEG
FPS: 345
Ammo: 0.20g
Range: Medium

The nice thing about the G36 line is that the externals usually replicate the real deal because the actual G36 has a polymer frame as well. The internals, however, are completely made of metal. The included high-capacity magazine will hold 400 rounds and comes with the great feature of being able to clip onto other magazines. 

Licensed by Elite Force – it features the realistic H&K stampings on the receiver.

Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch G36 C AEG...
  • Full metal internal parts and gearbox; ABS polymer stock
  • Semi-auto and full-auto shooting
  • Integrated front and adjustable rear iron sights; Rubber butt pad for added comfort
8Expert Score
Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch G36 C AEG Automatic 6mm BB Rifle

Shooting
8
Magazine Capacity
8
Build Quality
8
PROS
  • Officially licensed H&amp
  • K stampings for max realism
  • Compact design makes this a CQB beast for players looking to rush
  • Polymer externals replicate the real deal accurately.
  • Quality full metal internals make this a rugged choice.
CONS
  • Folding stock has only two positions: folded or not. This means if your length of pull is inbetween, the gun might be a little uncomfortable
  • Battery compartment is limiting.

6. G&G Airsoft Combat Machine M4 Raider w/ Integrated RAS & Crane Stock

g&g airsoft combat machine m4 raider...

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The G&G Airsoft Combat Machine M4 Raider w/ Integrated RAS & Crane Stock was famous for being one of the top beginner airsoft rifles to hit the market. The integrated quad rail system allows you to attach tactical accessories like flashlights, lasers, optics, and forward grip.

The fiber polymer body keeps the gun lightweight while maintaining a solid level of durability. Firing in fully automatic & semi automatic at 370-390 fps with .20g 6mm BBs.

Gun Specification

Action: Semi / Full Automatic
Power: Electric AEG
FPS: 370 – 390
Ammo: 0.20g BBs
Range: Medium – Long

This airsoft assault rifle comes with most of the fixings you’d expect on a more expensive model. The interior is quite solid as G&G has done a great job maximizing value on their V2 full metal gearbox. The crane stock houses your batteries (buy nunchuck style ones) and is fully telescopic allowing you to keep it compact or extended for stability. 

g&g airsoft combat machine m4 raider...
  • Short Barrel Raider Model
  • Hi-Cap 450 Round Metal Magazine
  • G&G CM16 Raider Rifle Standard 6mm Airsoft Gun - Short Barrel Model
8.2Expert Score
G&G Airsoft Combat Machine M4 Raider w/ Integrated RAS & Crane Stock

Shooting
8.5
Magazine Capacity
8
Build Quality
8
PROS
  • Great budget entry level AEG Assault Rifle
  • Fiber nylon upper and lower receivers keep the gun light for younger players.
  • Stock FPS is perfect for field play.
  • Includes a rail accessory system to ensure you can add as many tactical toys as you want.
CONS
  • Polymer RIS can bend if you overtoque your attachments.
  • Crane stock is servicable, but when the nunchuck battery is in the design can pull on the wires a bit.
  • The dust cover doesn't actually open when pulling on the mock charging handle - so adjusting the hopup can be cumbersome.

7. JG M4A1 S-System AEG Electric Airsoft Gun

jg m4a1 s-system aeg electric airsoft gun -...

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The JG M4A1 S-System AEG Electric Airsoft Gun will really turn heads among airsoft M4 users out there. The reason is because of the S-system rails – which is a replica of another modular rail system. If you look closely this is the same M4A1 you’ll see in video games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare. 

The S-System allows you to place rails in specific locations along the handguard – meaning you can have rails where you want them for placement of a tactical accessories like a flashlight or forward grip. 

There are some other tactical options on this option too, like flip up front and rear sights. The reason you want flip up sights is so it doesn’t get in the way when you mount optics. Having a front or rear sight get in the way of your sight picture through a reflex sight can be distracting.

Gun Specification

Action: Full / Semi-Automatic
Power: AEG Electric
FPS: 400
Ammo: 0.20g BBs
Range: Medium

The JG brand of airsoft M4’s is famous for rugged internals that can take quite a beating. They are also specced to a standard V2 gearbox – meaning it’ll take upgrades like a champ. The stock performance is actually quite good – with the FPS hitting around 400 and the rate of fire on a 9.6v battery being quite solid. 

We weren’t too big a fan of the two piece hop up system however, and we do think it can impact the range a bit more than we would like.

jg m4a1 s-system aeg electric airsoft gun -...
  • 4 rail RIS S-System
  • FPS: ~380-420 fps with .20g BB
  • Adjustable Hop Up
7.8Expert Score
JG M4A1 S-System AEG Electric Airsoft Gun

Shooting
8
Magazine Capacity
8
Build Quality
7.5
PROS
  • The S-System rail system will turn heads. It is the same M4A1 you would find in COD.
  • Flip up front and rear sights means unobstructed view down your optic.
  • JG internal parts are VERY rugged and fully upgradeable.
CONS
  • This gun can shoot a bit hot, meaning the FPS might exceed 400 FPS - which is a limit in many fields.
  • Battery compartment is small.
  • Two piece hop up system isn't as solid as one piece hop up system - this can affect max effective range.

So which is the best option currently?

Automatic / Semi AEG Airsoft Assault Rifle being shot at rangeAt Airsoft Core we want you to make the most informed decision on all your airsoft needs. Here’s our summary and rankings of the rifles mentioned above.

7We feel the HK Heckler & Koch HK416 AEG 6mm BB Rifle Airsoft Gun is a great option for users who just getting started. Overall it’s not the top airsoft 416 replica out there, but it does work well for those who are just getting into airsoft. This weapon platform is very simple to maintain, the sights are good in terms of accuracy and overall operating it can be quickly learned by anyone.
6Overall the Double Eagle AK-47S Metal Electric Airsoft Assault Rifle Gun is a nice gun that’s on the affordable side. This gun just nails the classic AK47 look and has a very functional folding stock. The stock FPS is good for indoor and outdoor fields. This is a very good starter gun for those looking to replica a classic Russian soldier loadout..
5The JG M4A1 S-System AEG Electric Airsoft Gun has a unique rail system along with very rugged internal parts. The look and feel of it is still good and although we aren’t fully onboard with the ABS plastic body – it does keep the gun nice and light relative to full metal options. The last ding here is that the FPS on this option can shoot a bit too hot (over 400 FPs). This means that it might bar you from playing on your field of choice. Despite that – we do feel that the internla parts check out from an stock performance & upgradability standpoint.
4Lancer Tactical LT-24 Full-Metal CQB M4 AEG seems to be a gun that has all that’s needed for upgrades and makes for a very good starter rifle. The main standout here is that the gun can be made field or indoor ready in a matter of minutes with its quick-change spring system. The full metal construction does add durability – but might come off as a heavy for younger players.
3The Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch G36 C AEG Automatic 6mm BB Rifle both feels and looks like a modern airsoft rifle. This is a solid choice for players looking to really rush their opponent in close quarters because when the stock if folded the this airsoft gun is VERY compact. The polymer body also allows this gun to stay light with the V2 gearbox being fully upgradable. This is a great choice rifle overall.
2With the Lancer Tactical Airsoft Full Metal AK-47 AEG Rifle it becomes easy to see that a lot of attention was paid to detail when putting it together, because it looks really authentic. It can be a little heavier than what some users might want, but for others this will be right up their alley. There are options out there that cost far more and are made from primarily plastic. Not the case with this gun as it’s mostly metal and even the parts that are plastic are high grade.
1The G&G Airsoft Combat Machine M4 Raider w/ Integrated RAS & Crane Stock is actually the main standard we use when determining whether an AEG is great for new players. It really does have all the features you would normally see on a more expensive model while staying friendly to the wallet.

So what’s the AirsoftCore’s Assault Airsoft Rifle of Choice?

The G&G Raider Combat Machine continues to be one of the best choices for newer players.

  • The version 2 gearbox has solid out of the box performance while being wild friendly to taking upgrades such as better compression parts, stronger motors, and better triggers.
  • The external body can take quite a beating and and is preconfigured to allow you to make adjustments to a metal RIS if you really wanted to.
  • It is an M4 platform with a standardized rail system means it is a great platform for external accessories.

G&G continues to lead in the department of great AEG’s and we highly recommend it as your starter airsoft platform.

Where to buy?

See the below link(s) to view all the buying options:

g&g airsoft combat machine m4 raider...
  • Short Barrel Raider Model
  • Hi-Cap 450 Round Metal Magazine
  • G&G CM16 Raider Rifle Standard 6mm Airsoft Gun - Short Barrel Model

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