Best Beginner Airsoft Guns – A Comprehensive Buying Guide to the Top Starter Airsoft Rifles

There are over 500 airsoft guns marketed toward beginners. Let us cut through the BS and showcase, what we think, are the best starter airsoft guns.

We’ve played 1000+ airsoft games and gone to multiple MILSIM events. One of our writers even worked in the industry in one of the leading Southern California airsoft specialty stores (he even has gotten hundreds of newer players into airsoft). 

So, we feel extra confident in our recommendations for anyone looking to get the best start in airsoft they can.

A common issue we find out on the airsoft field is that a new player will purchase an airsoft gun and regret picking it up for numerous reasons. Buyer’s regret is a real thing, and our main goal here is to ensure that you select the right starter airsoft gun.

Let us help you save a bunch of $$ and we’ll lay out the best beginner airsoft guns currently on the market.

Click here to skip directly to the final breakdown.

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As with anything, you get what you pay for in airsoft. However, that doesn’t mean that if it is expensive, it is good for your particular situation. Read on to see the factors we considered before making a decision if an airsoft AEG (automatic electric gun) belonged on this list. 

Main Factors to Consider for a Beginner Airsoft Gun:

We took the below beginner airsoft guns and really put them through the paces. We understand that the needs of a newbie in the airsoft world is going to be different from those who have played for a long time.

So, we got the opinions of newer players (those who have played fewer than 10 games and/or have only played for less than 1 year) and considered they’re thoughts in our assessments.

We also only included airsoft AEG’s, as they are easily the most beginner friendly airsoft gun type to purchase. They are the best balance between performance, reliability, and cost.

Value

This is incredibly important as the starting capital for most new players isn’t too much at all. So much so that we’ve placed value as the most important factor to consider

We surveyed over 50 new players and discovered that the most common starting dollar amount for their first airsoft gun was around $200 – $250 in total (this includes battery, charger, and first magazine).

So, we reviewed the following things:

Performance to Cost Ratio – we wanted to ensure that the cost of the beginner airsoft rifle was worth the few dollars available. 
Reliability to Cost Ratio – reliability is quite important as newer players simply don’t have the funds for a backup gun in case their primary breaks down.
Customer Service of the Manufacturer – The manufacturer’s warranty and customer service reputation should be good to ensure that IF you receive a lemon, it’ll be covered.
Battery & Charger should be included – and if it doesn’t, then we aimed for an beginner airsoft AEG that is below $200.

No one likes hidden extra costs, and most airsoft AEGs, especially those in the higher end, do not come with a battery or charger. These can tack on an extra $30 or so.

Shooting Performance

The beginner airsoft gun doesn’t need to perform like a beast, but it does need to be good enough to ensure that a new player doesn’t feel too held back by his/her equipment.

Consistent Muzzle Velocity – the standards we want to hit are +/- 15 FPS variance on .20g BB’s. Any more than that and it suggests something quite wrong with the air compression components of the gun.
Adjustable hop up & high quality bucking – these are key to a good BB flight path. Accuracy is the most common first concern, and we place this high on our list of performance indicators.
Performance with a 9.6V battery – most beginners start with a 9.6v or 8.4v NiMH battery. So, the starter airsoft gun should be able to cycle reliably and have a decent trigger response time.

Reliability

This is a very important component as most beginners will not have a spare airsoft gun in case their main weapon goes down.

It will work under tough circumstances – let’s face it, beginner airsoft players are usually very rough on their equipment. This is because they not only lack the experience of weapons handling, but they also don’t have the money for equipment that can help prevent damage to the airsoft gun.
Precision internal construction – well built and precisely installed internal parts help ensure longevity of the airsoft gun.

Internal Build Quality

The internals of a gun should be made of great materials and assembled in a precise way.

High quality bucking – the bucking is the main object touching your BB before you fire your gun, it is important that it is of the decent quality.
Solid hop up– the hop up unit should be adjustable and the adjustment shouldn’t move by itself while firing the gun.
Rubber seals are good – good gas efficiency is reliant on solid seals.
Smooth inner barrel – the inner barrel should be smooth and the crowning should be well made.
Solid trigger contacts – the most common failure on a starter airsoft AEG is an error with the trigger contacts. They can fuse or get misaligned. 
Well shimmed gearbox – a well oiled and shimmed gearbox keeps your gears, motor, and piston in good working order. You can hear a poorly shimmed gearbox as it will whine heavily under use.

Reshimming a gearbox commonly requires a technician, so the better shimmed it is out of the box, the better.

External Build Quality

While the externals of an starter airsoft gun is of lower concern than all the other items I’ve described above – there is still value here.

Full metal body – while a full metal body isn’t a requirement, it is a “nice to have” as metal bodies have a tendency to be more durable than polymer ones. 
Tactical rail – most new players end up installing optics, forward grips, and other accessories, so having a tactical rail that can accomodate these is good. 

Future Upgradeability

Many new players end up wanting to upgrade their guns. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers build to the same specs. So, we considered how easy a beginner airsoft gun is to upgrade. Not all new players consider this very important, however, so it is one of the items we consider with less weight than others.

Ease of upgrade – some airsoft AEG designs, by their very nature, are more difficult to do maintenance and work on.
Parts compatibility – the more aftermarket parts fit into this AEG without needing small modifications, the better. We hope for most parts to just simply be a “drop in” affair.
Availability of parts – some airsoft guns are of a more “rare” design and so there are fewer aftermarket parts for them.

Keep these 2 tips in mind when purchasing

  • What is the reputation of the manufacturer? Much like anything, you get what you pay for. I’d say that with airsoft is especially true, as the difference between even $20 can be stark. Good airsoft manufacturers will have more rigorous quality assurance processes to ensure that you’ve got a good product that will run when you need it to run.
  • Does it come with a warranty – Review the warranty policy to determine if it is provided by the manufacturer itself, or the store. One nice thing about airsoft specialty stores is that they typically provide some kind of warranty on top of what is currently available.

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Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine 10″ AEG Rifle

lancer tactical lt19 m4 airsoft aeg for beginners

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Airsoft Gun Specs

SpecsValue
Type:M4 / AR-15 Electric
Muzzle Velocity:375 – 390 FPS
Range:125 Feet
Receiver Construction:Polymer Upper / Polymer Lower
Length:31 inches / 34.5 inches (Retracted / Extended)
Weight: 4.3 lbs
Inner Barrel Type6.03mm Tightbore
Inner Barrel Length363 mm
Outer Barrel Length14.5” Metal
Hop Up1 Piece – Adjustable – Rotary Style
Includes RailYes – Polymer Keymod
Includes Battery & Charger?Yes
Battery TypeRear Wired – Small Tamiya – Nunchuck
Magazine Capacity300 Round High Capacity
Gearbox TypeVersion 2 – Quick spring change
UpgradabilityHigh
ActionSemi Auto / Full Auto

8Expert Score
Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine 10 Inch AEG Rifle

Shooting Performance
8.0
Reliability
7.5
Build Quality
8.0
Value
8.5
PROS
  • Quick spring change system allows you to make this airsoft gun indoor / outdoor ready in 5 minutes.
  • Lots of features considering the price: high value.
  • Keymod rail looks cool and functions well enough.
  • Includes battery and charger.
  • Generation 2 models have a much more durable receiver and rail.
  • 30 day warranty from Lancer Tactical.
CONS
  • We prefer full metal rails when possible.
  • Piston locked on us after 900 rounds. It was a quick fix, but annoying.

Lancer Tactical has always been known as a budget / beginner brand (check out our article on the best airsoft brands for our opinion) and this airsoft gun shows why. 

Externally, the LT19 line is an M4A1 style airsoft gun with polymer keymod rail & collapsible crane stock. The flip up sights are functional (although sometimes the rear sight doesn’t click all the way and needs a little coaxing with your thumb). The outer barrel is full metal and we brought this beginner airsoft gun out to several games and it ran just fine. 

Performance wise we’d say that this sets a great baseline for what a starter airsoft gun should be. It fired around 14 RPS (rounds per second) on a fully charged 9.6v (we later just threw in an 11.v LiPo for increased trigger response).

We were able to reliably hit man-sized targets out to 120 feet after adjusting the hop up (which is a standard TM style one piece hop up unit utilizing a rotary wheel). 

In terms of value we’re surprised at the sheer amount of “stuff” you get. Most of the time you get a handful of features, but the LT19B comes with a LOT. Some features you will find on this beginner airsoft gun that you might be hard pressed to find on other beginner AEG’s are:

  • Tightbore inner barrel
  • Quick spring change system
  • Rotary style adjustable hop up
  • Keymod RIS
  • Rear sling mount
  • Flip up sights
  • Packaging that includes: battery, charger, high capacity magazine

Who is this gun for?

This is a great gun for a beginner looking for a solid package. There are a ton of features that come with this AEG at a very affordable price. At the time of writing, this airsoft gun will run you about $170. This means that you’ll have quite a bit left over for some better essentials. A few choice we’d recommend are:

  • Smart charger 
  • Safety gear like better eye protection
  • Optics (red dot)
  • Spare battery
  • Extra magazines

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G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider Airsoft AEG Rifle

combat machine cm16 G&G best airsoft gun for beginners

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Airsoft Gun Specs

SpecificationsValue
Type:M4 / AR-15 Electric
Muzzle Velocity:325 – 340 FPS
Range:150 Feet
Receiver Construction:Polymer Upper / Polymer Lower
Length:31 inches / 34.5 inches (Retracted / Extended)
Weight: 6.1 lbs
Inner Barrel Type6.08mm
Inner Barrel Length363 mm
Outer Barrel Length14.5” Metal
Hop Up1 Piece – Adjustable – TM Gear Style
Includes RailYes – Polymer
Includes Battery & Charger?Yes (If you select the battery package)
Battery TypeRear Wired – Small Tamiya – Nunchuck
Magazine Capacity450 Round High Capacity
Gearbox TypeVersion 2
UpgradabilityVery High
ActionSemi Auto / Full Auto

8.5Expert Score
G&G M4 Carbine Combat Machine Airsoft AEG Rifle

Shooting Performance
8.5
Reliability
9.0
Build Quality
8.5
Value
8.0
PROS
  • The golden standard for beginner airsoft rifles.
  • Reliable no-nonsense internals.
  • Quality out-of-the-box performance.
  • Larger high capacity magazine than most stock guns.
  • Polymer Rail for tactical accessories.
CONS
  • Dust cover doesn’t open on its own, requiring two hands to adjust hop up.
  • Crane stock can pull out rear wires if not careful.

The G&G combat machine, back in the early 2010’s, set the golden standard for beginner airsoft rifles. It came in at an affordable price, had decent performance metrics, and was reliable. It was the first to pioneer the high density, durable polymer receivers as an upgrade to the TM style ABS plastic receivers. 

In terms of performance, we’re able to hit targets out to 135 feet fairly easily with 0.25g BB’s. The shimming on our particular version was fairly spot on, all we had to do was adjust the motor height a bit for a near soundless pop for each trigger pull. 

This particular package provided by Evike.com gives you a smart charger to start with, which is far more safe than a standard wall charger. A smart charger will ensure that you do not accidentally overcharge and destroy your NiMH battery. Read more about the best airsoft battery & charger and how to take care of them here.

Our main complaint with this model (and the Combat Machine line in general) is that the dust cover’s spring is reversed, and the charging handle doesn’t actually open the dust cover. This means that you need to jam your nail in to open the cover and adjust the hop up. 

Most airsoft AEGs don’t have to worry about this at all, as most models just spring open after pulling the charging handle.

Who is this gun for?

A new player looking for a reliable, no nonsense choice for their first AEG. The upgrade potential for this gun is HUGE. 


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KWA Full Metal KM4A1 Airsoft AEG Rifle

kwa km4 top performing aeg for beginners

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Airsoft Gun Specs

SpecificationsValue
Type:M4 / AR-15 Electric
Muzzle Velocity:395 – 410 FPS
Range:175 Feet
Receiver Construction:Metal Upper and Lower Receiver
Length:30.5 inches / 34 inches (Retracted / Extended)
Weight: 6.7 lbs
Inner Barrel Type6.05mm
Inner Barrel Length395 mm
Outer Barrel Length14” Metal
Hop Up2 Piece – Adjustable – KWA 2G Hopup
Includes RailNo
Includes Battery & Charger?No
Battery TypeFront Wired – Small Tamiya – Butterfly
Magazine Capacity120 Round Midcap 
Gearbox TypeVersion 2
UpgradabilityVery High
ActionSemi Auto / Full Auto

9.1Expert Score
KWA Full Metal KM4A1 Airsoft AEG Rifle

Shooting Performance
9.5
Reliability
9.5
Build Quality
9.0
Value
8.5
PROS
  • Very high performance.
  • G2 bucking and nub gives great accuracy at range.
  • Full metal receiver.
  • Solid and precise construction.
  • Reinforced 2GX gearbox is well constructed.
  • Internals can be considered pre-upgraded and easily take an 11.1v LiPo battery.
CONS
  • No RIS system.
  • Front wiring means upgrading to a rail system is a pain.
  • KWA AEGs are known for not being friendly to many aftermarket parts.

If all you’re concerned with is maximum performance at a low price then stop right here. KWA is known for making high quality AEGs and gas guns and the KM4A1 is a perfect example.

Running 18 RPS with a fully charged 9.6v and up to 20+ RPS with an 11.1v, this full metal airsoft gun can not only fire smoothly and reliably but also go quite the distance. The included 2G hopup and bucking actually makes contact with the BB at two points giving a more reliable backspin and thus a more consistent flight path.

We are easily able to hit targets out to 150 feet with a high degree of success with this gun. 

Additionally, the shim job on the gearbox is superb. Running a stock KM4A1 can almost feel like an upgraded variant of another more affordable or beginner airsoft rifle. 

The internals are solidly made, and the externals are just as good. There is almost no wiggle in the crane stock or in the handguard despite well over 3 dozen airsoft games. The receiver is rock solid and can take quite a bit of abuse.

We often keep a spare KM4A1 around in case one of the crew’s primary weapons goes down. We can confidently hand off this KWA airsoft rifle to a friend knowing that it’ll perform.

Who is this gun for?

A new airsoft player looking to get the best beginner airsoft gun focusing on maximum performance – all at a price that is less than $200.

Keep in mind that this airsoft rifle usually doesn’t come with a battery or charger, and so you’ll need to pick that up separately. 

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JG M4A1 S-System AEG Airsoft Gun

jg m4 budget airsoft gun for beginner

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Airsoft Gun Specs

SpecificationsValue
Type:M4 / AR-15 Electric
Muzzle Velocity:390 – 400 FPS
Range:125 Feet
Receiver Construction:ABS plastic upper and lower receiver
Length:30 inches / 33 inches (Retracted / Extended)
Weight: 7.7 lbs
Inner Barrel TypeBrass
Inner Barrel Length363 mm
Outer Barrel Length14.5” Metal
Hop Up2 Piece – Adjustable
Includes RailYes – S-System w/ Picatinny Rail Sections
Includes Battery & Charger?Yes
Battery TypeFront Wired – Small Tamiya – Butterfly
Magazine Capacity350 Round High Capacity Magazine
Gearbox TypeVersion 2
UpgradabilityVery High
ActionSemi Auto / Full Auto

8.1Expert Score
JG M4A1 S-System AEG Airsoft Gun

Shooting Performance
7.5
Reliability
8.5
Build Quality
8.0
Value
8.5
PROS
  • Rail system looks awesome.
  • JG Works has improved their gearbox design.
  • Great value.
  • Capable of taking all TM spec upgrades.
  • JG blue motors are pretty decent.
CONS
  • Battery compartment is small.
  • Two piece hop up unit isn’t as reliable as a single piece.
  • Gearbox shimming is a little too tight.

JG has a reputation for being a budget brand aimed directly at new players. This particular Tokyo Marui M4A1 clone is a perfect example of why. Clocking in at 400 FPS, this beginner airsoft gun is fairly well put together. 

The immediate thing that stands out is the S-System rail system, which provides a monolithic (meaning one piece) top rail system so you can place optics wherever you’d like. It can take tactical attachments like forward grips, red dots, flashlights, the works.

If you’re wondering where you might’ve seen this gun before, it is heavily featured in the first two Call of Duty Modern Warfare games.

Flip up sights and adjustable rail segments makes the gun look awesome. 

In terms of furniture this airsoft rifle has all the standard fixings including an A2 style grip and LE style collapsible stock.

We took this gun out to about a dozen games and had zero issues with reliability, however the two piece hop up unit isn’t as consistent as we’d like and it does affect the range somewhat (inconsistent backspins can widely affect the spread of the BBs at 100+ feet of range). We’re able to strike man sized targets at around 115 feet fairly reliably. For targets beyond that we actively chose to engage at closer distances. 

Our main issue with this budget airsoft rifle is the battery compartment. It is SMALL – and the included 8.4v brick battery barely fits. Considering the low price of the gun, we do recommend going with a buttery or nunchuck style 7.4v LiPo battery so you can be assured it fits in the gun (the battery compartment is inside of the S-System handguard). 

Overall, this is a pretty decent shooter at a very affordable price. At the time of writing, this airsoft gun will run you about $180. This means that you’ll have quite a bit left over for some better essentials. A few choice we’d recommend are:

  • LiPo battery & LiPo charger
  • Vertical Grip
  • Optic

Who is this gun for?

For the airsoft player looking for an awesome looking rail system with decent performance. Just remember that the battery compartment is very small and you’d be advised to pick up a 7.4v LiPo battery & LiPo charger. Remember that you cannot mix and match the battery chargers for NiMH and LiPo batteries.


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King Arms TWS M4 Striker Ultra Grade II Airsoft AEG Rifle

best airsoft gun for beginners king arms tws m4 aeg

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Airsoft Gun Specs

SpecsValue
Type:M4 / AR-15 Electric
Muzzle Velocity:400 FPS
Range:150 Feet
Receiver Construction:Polymer upper & lower receiver
Length:31 inches / 34.5 inches (Retracted / Extended)
Weight: 4.2 lbs
Inner Barrel TypeBrass 6.05mm
Inner Barrel Length363 mm
Outer Barrel Length14.5” Metal
Hop Up1 Piece – Adjustable
Includes RailYes – Polymer M-Lok Modular Rail w/ 3 Rail segments
Includes Battery & Charger?No
Battery TypeRear Wired – Buffer Tube – Small 7.4v LiPo
Magazine Capacity140 Round Midcap Magazine
Gearbox TypeVersion 2 w/ Quick Spring Change 
UpgradabilityVery High
ActionSemi Auto / Full Auto

8.5Expert Score
King Arms TWS M4 Striker Ultra Grade II Airsoft AEG Rifle

Shooting Performance
8.0
Reliability
9.0
Build Quality
8.5
Value
8.5
PROS
  • Includes inline MOSFET to protect electrical system.
  • 8mm full metal gearbox w/ quick spring change system.
  • Polymer MLOK rail keeps gun light.
  • 7 position collapsible PDW-style stock is cool looking and rugged.
  • Ergonomic pistol grip &amp
  • receiver.
  • Includes forward vertical grip.
CONS
  • Battery compartment is very small.
  • King Arms motors are of questionable quality.


King Arms has been making decent quality airsoft guns for a while now. We’ve always considered them a B grade airsoft manufacturer as they make quality products at a relatively reasonable price. Their airsoft guns don’t scream “amazing,” but are functional and no-nonsense.

TWS M4 Striker has a lot of the awesome features we’d expect out of a gun in the 300 dollar range and the performance proves it. Accuracy-wise we can hit 12 inch groupings at 130 – 140 feet fairly easily and with an 11.1v LiPo it runs at 18-19 RPS.

Additionally, the gearbox features a quick spring change system, so in a matter of minutes you can have a CQB or field ready gun quickly. The out-of-the-box shimming is very well done; as good as the G&G combat machine we reviewed earlier.

This particular model even includes a MOSFET, which should help protect your trigger contacts (the most common failure we see in other airsoft guns). 

The polymer rail system, while not as durable or realistic as a full metal RIS, gets the job done and features MLOK modular holes (there’s even a KeyMod variant) so you can place your tactical accesories exactly where you need them.

This particular package comes with 3 rail segments, which is about all you need. 

The PDW style stock is extra durable and has 7 positions ensuring you can find a good length of pull for your shooting stance. We especially like how comfortable the PDW stock is, we prefer it over the more common LE stocks found on M4 models.

We’ve taken this particular gun out to the field about a dozen times and after 2,000 rounds (approximately 15 mid-cap magazines) we haven’t had a failure yet. However, we’ve used other King Arms motors before and we’ve noticed a higher rate of failure than other models (even the JG blue motor outperforms the King Arms motor). 

Who is this gun for?

An airsoft player who wants an above-average performing airsoft rifle at a cost that reasonable. The included PDW stock, preinstalled MOSFET, and quick spring change system really make this gun stand out among its peers.


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CYMA Standard AK74 RIS Tactical CM048A Airsoft AEG Rifle

cyma cm048a best airsoft ak for budget user

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Airsoft Gun Specs

SpecsValue
Type:AK74M Electric (CM048A)
Muzzle Velocity:400 – 410 FPS
Range:150 Feet
Receiver Construction:Full metal upper and lower receiver
Length:37.5 inches
Weight: 6.5 lbs
Inner Barrel TypeBrass 6.07mm
Inner Barrel Length455 mm
Outer Barrel Length14.5” Metal
Hop Up1 Piece – Adjustable – AK Style
Includes RailYes
Includes Battery & Charger?Yes (With battery package)
Battery TypeRear Wired – Stock – Small Tamiya
Magazine Capacity400 Round Hi-Cap Magazine
Gearbox TypeVersion 3
UpgradabilityHigh
ActionSemi Auto / Full Auto

8.1Expert Score
CYMA Standard AK74 RIS Tactical Airsoft AEG Rifle

Shooting Performance
8.0
Reliability
8.5
Build Quality
8.0
Value
8.0
PROS
  • CYMA full metal receivers are known for ruggedness and durability.
  • AK Version 3 gearboxes are overall superior to the V2 gearboxes.
  • Battery compartment in the stock is very large and can accommodate large batteries.
  • Handguard RIS is solid and doesn’t wiggle.
  • Includes side rail mount for receiver rails.
CONS
  • Long length of pull makes this harder for younger players to handle.
  • Full metal construction also makes it heavier.
  • Does not include side rail (but can take aftermarket side rails).


This is the first AK on our list and it’s quite a good one. CYMA is famous for their high quality AK externals and affordability (see our article on the best airsoft brands for more info). Their internals are usually fairly budget level, but they still perform well and have rugged gears for high overall reliability. 

This particular beginner gun is well suited for newer players because it has all the foundations needed for a high performance highly upgradable airsoft AEG.

Everything is in place from the large battery compartment to the handguard RIS to the dovetail side plate for aftermarket AK rails to the Version 3 gearbox to allow a new player to scale this AK into quite a beast.

In fact, a number of airsoft technicians we know have taken this exact airsoft AK and turned it into a monster on the field with very high accuracy, reliability, and rounds per second. 

From all the AK’s we’ve reviewed, this one clearly creates a solid foundation for any new player. 

Who is this gun for?

An airsoft player looking for a beginner AK airsoft gun that has good out-of-the-box performance while also being completely upgradable. 


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Softair Licensed Kalashnikov Full Metal AKS74U Airsoft AEG with Real Wood Furniture

best budget airsoft gun for beginner list cybergun aks74u

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Airsoft Gun Specs

SpecificationValue
Type:AKS74U Electric
Muzzle Velocity:395 FPS
Range:120 Feet
Receiver Construction:Full metal upper and lower receiver
Length:19.5 Inches / 29 Inches (Folded / Extended)
Inner Barrel TypeBrass 6.07mm
Inner Barrel Length260 mm
Hop Up1 Piece – Adjustable – AK Style
Includes RailNo
Includes Battery & Charger?No
Battery TypeTop Wired – Small Tamiya Connector – Stick Type
Magazine Capacity600 Round Hi-Cap Magazine
Gearbox TypeVersion 3
UpgradabilityHigh
ActionSemi Auto / Full Auto

8.1Expert Score
Softair Licensed Kalashnikov Full Metal AKS74U Airsoft AEG with Real Wood Furniture

Shooting Performance
7.5
Reliability
8.5
Build Quality
8.5
Value
8.0
PROS
  • Compact design makes this a fun AEG.
  • Real wood furniture feels authentic.
  • CYMA OEM means this is a fairly decent gearbox with great external construction.
  • Included high cap magazine holds a LOT of BB’s.
  • Includes side dovetail mount for AK style rail installation.
CONS
  • Top wiring leaves you a small battery compartment.
  • Gun is fairly heavy considering the size.
  • Short barrel means general accuracy and range leaves a bit to be desired.

This Softair AKS-74U is a compact variant of the tried and true AK design. OEMed by Cyma (famous for their AK line), you know you’re getting a fairly decent product at a very reasonable cost.

The wood furniture and full metal construction makes this quite a beautiful AKS74U and the internals aren’t half bad either.

The full metal folding stock allows you to use the gun like a classic insurgent and this beginner airsoft AEG just feels great while handling. We find ourselves repeatedly going back to this airsoft gun for casual games. We throw in an 11.1v LiPo battery (this does increase wear and tear by a significant margin) and this gun just sings. 

The included bakelite magazine holds 600 rounds, which means you don’t need too many to carry on you as you play. 

The short barrel does mean that the overall accuracy and range of this gun will suffer.

It doesn’t actually hurt that much, however, as we are able to make 12 inch groupings at 100 feet fairly easily with 0.25g BBs. The included adjustable hopup unit is decent and holds a backspin fairly well.

The biggest drawback to this beginner airsoft gun is the very small battery compartment. If you go with a NiMH battery you’re stuck with a stick design in the 8.4v range. 8.4v NiMH batteries just don’t let this gun run very well as RPS is low and trigger response is sluggish. If you do pick up this AK be sure to get, at minimum, a 7.4v LiPo. 

Who is this gun for?

An airsoft player looking to play insurgent and use a classic designed AK style airsoft gun.


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The Winner is:

So, there are quite a few AEG’s here on this list. Each come in a varying costs (all under $250 after considering batteries and charger) and have different levels of performance and features. 

Your needs as a beginner will vary, and so we’ll break down our best airsoft beginner gun list into a couple of categories.

In terms of pure on-field and practical performance – we think the best beginner airsoft gun is the KWA Full Metal KM4A1 Airsoft AEG Rifle. None of the other guns matches the KM4A1’s pure performance in accuracy, reliability, trigger response, and RPS. 

In terms of overall value and versatility – the best beginner airsoft gun is the King Arms TWS M4 Striker Ultra Grade II Airsoft AEG Rifle. This choice barely beats the G&G Combat Machine Raider simply due to the fact that the King Arms TWS M4, overall, has more higher end features. In terms of shooting performance the difference is negligible. 

If you’re interesting in purchasing any airsoft gun in this list, you can check out the links provided above, or scroll further down for our final breakdowns. 


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Conclusion: Final Breakdown on the Best Airsoft Beginner Airsoft Guns:

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Why does this list only feature M4 / AR-15 or AK style airsoft guns?

The M4 and AK style airsoft guns are the most popular and prolific types currently available. There’s numerous aftermarket parts, both external and internal, and due to the competition this means that many companies are neck in neck trying to build the best budget airsoft gun for new players.

Some of the common attributes for M4 and AK style airsoft guns that make them friendly to beginners are:

  • Ergonomic / tired and true designs that fit a large number of individuals
  • Plethora of aftermarket internal parts for both repairs and upgrades
  • Large number of aftermarket external parts that are cross compatible
  • Resale value remains high
  • No licensing issues that prohibit manufacturing

The other models are typically not beginner friendly in some way or another. We’ll list out some of the reasons below. 

  • MP5 – the number of actual manufacturers is very small due to the licensing requirements. You’re basically stuck with VFC (expensive but quality) or CYMA for their budget line. Additionally the TM style hop up units for MP5’s are known for breaking upon disassembly.
  • P90 – The top loading magazine design is terrible and often misfeeds. Most prolific users of the P90 end up modifying it to take M4 / STANAG magazines.
  • F2000 – like the MP5, licensings laws mean that only a small number of airsoft manufacturers make this gun. A small manufacturer pool isn’t too healthy for innovation & quality assurance.
  • G36 – Same situation as the Mp5 and F2000.
  • M14 – The version 7 gearbox is incredibly hard to get into. Most airsoft technicians loathe working on M14’s for this reason.
  • AUG / G3 / M1A1 Thompson – Aftermarket parts far and few and so upgrades and repairs are more of a hassle than they should be. These models, too, have few manufacturers.

For these reasons we didn’t include the above models of airsoft gun. This doesn’t mean that they’re bad overall, just not ideal for starter airsoft guns.

Can I remove the orange tip?

United States has federally mandated that all airsoft products are to be sold with the orange tip. This is really for your own safety as you don’t want any police agencies believing you have a real weapon (which the orange tip helps ID it as an airsoft product). You’d hope that United States law enforcement agencies would be able to tell the difference between a replica and real firearms, but it is not really reasonable for them to assume. This is why the orange tip is essential due to local laws and removing them can create a problem.

With that said, you’ll find a lot of players violating local laws and end up removing their orange tip. Hopefully they know the risks involved. Ultimately, we want you to be safe, and the airsoft hobby / sport truly does NOT need any tragedies and you want to reduce dangerous situations as much as you can.

By removing the orange tip you can create other legal concerns with local law as well.

Related Article: Best Airsoft Rifle Buyer’s Guide

Tim has been playing airsoft since 1994. With over a thousand (no lie) airsoft games under his belt he has spent countless hours testing various airsoft guns and tactical gear. He's gotten hundreds (still no lie) of people into the airsoft hobby and is more than willing to spread the love of slinging 6mm plastic to any new player.

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