Best Airsoft 1911 Currently on the Market – 2021 Buyer’s Guide

We’ve tested over fifty airsoft 1911 pistols in our time… and we liked only a handful of them.

The airsoft industry’s most popular pistol, by far, is the 1911. Built in (you guessed it, 1911) this all-American pistol was initially chambered in .45 and the design was heavily inspired by the Browning HP.

Well, in the world of airsoft, the Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa was one of the first 1911 style airsoft pistols to hit the market and boy did it leave an impact.

We have played well over 1,000 casual airsoft games and have put MANY airsoft pistols through the paces. It is with no exaggeration that we’ve test fired dozens and dozens of airsoft 1911’s. We’ve been able to handle Co2 powered blowback variants, spring variants, and green gas variants. 

Let us help you save a bunch of $$ and we’ll lay out the best airsoft 1911 in the current market below.

Click here to skip directly to the final breakdown.

best airsoft 1911 list buyer's guide heading image

Our Breakdown of the Top 5 Airsoft 1911’s:

We’ve handled a lot of pistols in our time, and we’re very confident in our ability to discern what makes a good 1911 versus one that is just “okay”. We’ve been in the industry long enough to see hundreds of pistols fail or perform poorly right out of the gate, and other airsoft guns that are just solid shooters the moment you take them out of the box. 

Keep in mind, as with everything in airsoft, you get what you pay for. You’ll be hard pressed to find cheap airsoft pistols in this list. If you’re looking for a cheap airsoft pistol for under $100 we do have a buying guide for that. 

So, only proceed if you’re looking for the best airsoft 1911 available on the airsoft market.

Factors to consider for what makes a great airsoft 1911

We took the below 1911’s and really put them through the paces. However, in order to really know what is best we’ve created some basic guidelines and components we inspect before assigning scores to the pistol. 

Shooting Performance

We want this airsoft 1911 to be able to do the following things:

  • Consistent Muzzle Velocity – the standards we want to hit are +/- 20 FPS variance in 3 rounds bursts. 
  • High accuracy at combat distances – we want to see a max 12 inch grouping at 60 feet.
  • Adjustable hop up & high quality bucking – this is key to a consistent flight path on the BB.

Reliability

When you pull the trigger, a good airsoft pistol should fire without fail.

  • Full metal construction – while not a requirement – a full metal gun has a tendency to be more resistant to drop damage than a plastic one.
  • It will work under tough circumstances – can this airsoft pistol function under high/low temperatures? How about a bit of sand or dirt, does that affect the function?
  • Precision internal construction – precisely built internal parts help ensure that the airsoft pistol will cycle properly.

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 highest 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 flawless.
  • Well designed air nozzle – the air nozzle should seal very well in the hop up unit.
  • Smooth trigger parts – sloppy trigger breaks will ruin any chance at combat accuracy.
  • Good gas efficiency – we should be able to get, at least, a full magazine’s worth of BB’s from a single fill. Ideally, we should be getting multiple magazines worth of BB’s. 
  • Large gas reservoir – related to the above, if a magazine has a large gas reservoir it’ll ensure you get plenty of shots before needing a refill.

External Build Quality

The externals should be made of top level metal or steel & the 1911 will get a plus for real deal features such as:

  • Cocking serrations – these are cuts made into the slide to increase friction on your fingers. This means you can rack the pistol more easily (although with airsoft, it’s quite easy to rack your slide).
  • Comfortable grip – the pistol grip itself should feel good in your hands. We expect excellent ergonomics, but luckily since these guns are replicas of the real deal, they’re going to be pretty good here.
  • Tactical rail – you’ll be able to attach accessories like lasers, flashlights, and more.
  • Iron sights – the front and rear sights should be easy to acquire and be rock solid during use. 

Value

What you buy should be worth the money being spent.

  • Performance to cost ratio – the high overall performance of the airsoft pistol, the better.
  • Features to cost ratio – we’re looking for more features for every dollar spent..
  • 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.

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.

With that said – let’s start:


1. Tokyo Marui 1911 MEU Airsoft Gas Blowback Pistol

Tokyo Marui airsoft pistol for best airsoft 1911 list

See Updated Prices

Airsoft Pistol Specs

SpecificationsValue
Gas Type:HFC134A or Green Gas
Muzzle Velocity:200 FPS
System:Gas Blowback
Construction:Plastic Slide / Plastic Frame
Length:223mm / 8.77 inches
Height:150mm / 5.9 inches
Weight: 1.75 lbs
Iron Sights:Novak Style Single Dot
Hop Up:Adjustable
Gas Efficiency:Great
Magazine Capacity:28 Rounds TM Spec Slim 1911 Magazine
Compatible Parts:Tokyo Marui Spec
Upgradability:Very High
Action:Semi Auto

8.4Expert Score
Tokyo Marui 1911 MEU Airsoft Gas Blowback Pistol

Shooting Performance
9.0
Reliability
8.5
Build Quality
9.0
Value
7.0
PROS
  • Japanese airsoft magic.
  • Very consistent shooting performance despite low FPS.
  • MEU / Kimber style features.
  • ABS slide keeps gas efficiency and cycle rates very high.
  • Smooth trigger pull and kickback.
  • Plethora of upgrade parts available.
  • Adjustable hopup unit stock performance is outstanding.
CONS
  • ABS plastic will turn off some people looking for a heavier gun.
  • ABS plastic frame and slide does mean it is not too durable.
  • Pricey.

We’re starting this list with one of the most venerable airsoft manufacturers available. Tokyo Marui, based out of Adachi Tokyo, was the pioneer of airsoft AEGs and gas pistols. 

The level of craftsmanship in this pistol is extremely hard to match. Shooting the gun we were able to place 12 inch groupings at targets out to 75 feet with 0.20g BB’s.

The hop up unit places a near perfect backspin on each BB that exits the muzzle and you can see, despite the low FPS, that the flight path is straight and true until the energy falls off.

In terms of externals, this 1911 has a lot of the features you’d come to expect with a high quality 1911 with the US Marine logo on the grip along with an extended beavertail safety plus an ambidextrous thumb safety.

The slide and frame is ABS plastic – which means that you’ll want to avoid banging this gun up (it’s probably not too drop proof). There does seem to be some advantages to the plastic slide, as the reduced weight will allow the pistol to cycle VERY quickly, especially when run with green gas.

Speaking of gasses, typically you’ll find that TM pistols are rated for use with HFC134a gas (also known as duster gas). This is effectively an automotive AC refrigerant that maintains a lower PSI than typical green gas. So, the airsoft pistol is rated for a lower pressure to maximize the durability of the plastic frame.

The magazine is sized like a single stack 1911 magazine, but is able to double stack BB’s. Check out this article for what is a double stack.

What this means is that, for each gas fill, you’re only going to get about 2 magazine’s worth of BBs out of it. However, this isn’t so bad since each magazine stack of BBs is higher than most other airsoft 1911’s on the market (for example, the KWC / WE-Tech 1911’s only have a magazine capacity of 16 rounds). 

When not upgraded, the manufacturer says HFC 134a gas should be used. Once you place upgraded parts in your TM you can start using Green Gas. However, we’ve been using green gas for over six hundred rounds and haven’t seen an issue yet. 

It is possible that we’ll see breakages early by using green gas, but so far we haven’t had issues after 6 months of use.

However, if you want to upgrade it before using green gas – consider the following upgrades first:

  • Enhanced Outer Barrel
  • Metal Slide
  • Lightweight Blowback Unit
  • Enhanced Recoil Spring (140%+)
  • Enhanced Nozzle

What is MEU exactly?

MEU 1911’s are modeled after the MEU SOC (Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable) M45’s. These are basically upgraded M1911 designed to be used by MARSOC (Marine Corps Special Forces). They usually include:

  • Rubberized grips
  • Stainless steel magazines
  • Front & rear cocking serrations
  • Front accessory rail
  • Extended beavertail safety
  • Ambidextrous thumb safety

Who is this gun for?

An airsoft player looking for an awesome, well respected airsoft 1911 that performs great out of the box and has the drive to tinker and upgrade. 

Oh, and cash, you’re going to need loads of cash.


2. Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2

kwc gas blow back pistol from right

See Updated Prices

Pistol Specs

SpecificationsValue
Gas Type:Co2
Muzzle Velocity:350 FPS
SystemGas Blowback
ConstructionMetal Slide / Metal Frame
Length:11 inches
Height:6 inches
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Iron Sights:3 Dot
HopupAdjustable
Gas Efficiency:Good
Magazine Capacity16 Rounds KWC Co2 Magazines
Compatible PartsKWC 1911
UpgradabilityLow
ActionSemi Auto

8.3Expert Score
Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2 Pistol

Shooting Performance
8.5
Reliability
8.0
Build Quality
8.0
Value
8.5
PROS
  • Solid out of the box performance.
  • Has all 1911 safety features like functional grip safety and ambidextrous controls.
  • Ambidextrous safety.
  • Co2 gives this airsoft pistol a lot of feedback for realistic blowback action.
  • Smooth skeleton trigger pull.
  • Front and rear slide serrations.
  • Adjustable hop up.
  • Front picatinny rail for mounting accessories.
CONS
  • Low pistol magazine capacity (all single stack 1911's are like this).
  • Co2 cartridges make the metal magazine especially not drop safe.
  • We had issues with a sticky magazine release (took time to break in).

Before we start, know that Elite Force / Umarex doesn’t actually make their own airsoft products.

This particular 1911 is actually manufactured by KWC (Kien Well Toy Company) and it’s one of their most popular airsoft handguns they make. 

What does Elite Force do exactly? They’ve provided the licensing, warranty, and packaging for this gun. Additionally, they run through their own QA process to ensure that each KWC 1911 matches the level of quality they need, and boy is that quality high for a Co2 blowback pistol.

The Elite Force 1911 Tac is a solid shooter that has very strong blowback due to the Co2. Co2 airsoft pistols have a reputation of being relatively low quality, but this particular 1911 is one of the big exceptions and we’d match this up against any similarly priced green gas 1911. 

You should really check out our full review here.

Who is this gun for?

A player looking for a snappy full size 1911 utilizing Co2. This is easily the best Co2 1911 available.


3. KWA Full Metal M1911 NS2 PTP Mark IV

kwa mark iv full metal airsoft 1911

See Updated Prices

Airsoft Gun Specs

SpecificationsValue
Type:Green Gas
Muzzle Velocity:340 – 350 FPS
System:Gas Blowback
Construction:Metal Slide / Metal Frame
Length:8.75 inches
Height:6 inches
Weight: 2.4 lbs
Iron Sights:3 Dot
Hop Up:Adjustable (KWA Proprietary)
Gas Efficiency:Great
Magazine Capacity:14 Rounds KWA 1911 PTP Magazines
Compatible Parts:KWA 1911 PTP Series
Upgradability:Low
Action:Semi Auto

8.3Expert Score
KWA Full Metal M1911 NS2 PTP Mark IV

Shooting Performance
8.5
Reliability
8.0
Build Quality
9.0
Value
7.5
PROS
  • Top quality construction with full metal slide and frame.
  • Solid out-of-the-box performance.
  • NS2 gas system is gas efficient.
  • 3 dot sight helps in target acquisition.
  • Functional 1911 style safeties.
CONS
  • Pricey - but you get what you pay for.
  • Utilizes proprietary adjustable hop up and bucking.

KWA is known for making top quality airsoft AEGs and airsoft pistols. Their PTP (Professional Training Pistol) line of airsoft gas blowback handguns have a good reputation overall for being solid performers. 

One of our writers has a MKIV PTP 1911 bought in 2013 and it easily has 3,000+ rounds shot through it.

It still performs well hitting man sized targets out to 75 feet fairly reliably (most of the inaccurate shots are user related). 

Shooting at a consistent 340 – 350 FPS, the gas efficiency is not bad at all. We are able to get around 55 BB’s per magazine fill – this is not bad considering the single stack 1911 magazines usually have a fairly small gas reservoir compared to other double stack pistol magazines. 

In terms of 1911’s, we would actually say that the KWA 1911 line maybe isn’t the best KWA has to offer. Their M9 is overall superior to their 1911 series (in our humble opinion).

The full metal frame and slide are loads more durable than the TM plastics, so there’s that. 

Who is this gun for?

An airsoft player looking for a great out-of-the-box 1911 that is ruggedly constructed. 


4. WE Tech CQB Master Metal 1911 MEU GBB Pistol

we-tech 1911 meu airsoft pistol

See Updated Prices

Pistol Specs

SpecificationsValue
Type:Green Gas
Muzzle Velocity:300 – 330 FPS
SystemGas Blowback
ConstructionMetal Slide / Metal Frame
Length:8.66 inches
Height:5.5 inches
Weight: 2.4 lbs
Iron Sights:3 Dot
Hop Up:Adjustable (WE-Tech Proprietary)
Gas Efficiency:Average
Magazine Capacity:16 Rounds WE-Tech Style Magazine
Compatible Parts:WE-Tech 
Upgradability:Medium
Action:Semi Auto

7.6Expert Score
WE Tech CQB Master Metal 1911 MEU GBB Pistol

Shooting Performance
7.5
Reliability
7.0
Build Quality
8.0
Value
8.0
PROS
  • Full metal slide and frame makes this 1911 decently durable.
  • Decent out-of-the-box performance.
  • Features 2 out of 3 real life 1911 safety features.
  • 3 dot rear and front sights are solid for combat shooting.
  • One of the most common starter pistols.
CONS
  • Not TM specced so parts are less plentiful.
  • A bit of rattle between the slide and frame.
  • It is a bit of a gas hog.
  • Some reliability issues.
  • Hop up adjustment wheel moved on its own while shooting.
  • FPS variance is HIGH.

The WE-Tech line of green gas airsoft pistols has had a reputation of being a middle-of-the-road brand. You get what you pay for in airsoft and WE-Tech airsoft guns come in at a more affordable rate at the cost of a product that is somewhat lower in quality.

Nonetheless this MEU (Marine Expenditionary Unit) 1911 is still a workhorse of the airsoft world.

A large chunk of beginner players start off with a WE-Tech as their first major gas blowback pistol, and to be fair it is typically performs better than the majority of Co2 airsoft guns out there. 

With a full metal slide and frame the WE-Tech 1911 claims to be a heavy weight pistol (although if you look at the weight ratings for each 1911 on this list, they’re more or less the same.)

One of our writers actually started with a WE-Tech 1911 and it lasted a good 1 thousand rounds before seeing some minor failures. The main issue is that the included air nozzle spring gets loose and can jam up the pistol while discharging. We were seeing about 1 failure for every five or six magazines – which is a bit higher than we’d like. 

Additionally, the hop up unit adjustment wheel was adjusting itself while firing (once again this was after about 1,000 rounds or so of airsoft play).

As far as accuracy is concerned we found that the We-Tech 1911’s performed fairly average.

We were able to hit man-sized targets reliably at 60 feet (although we were seeing groupings larger than 12 inches beyond that). 

We eventually solved this by applying some loctite to a setting we liked.

Who is this gun for?

For the airsoft player looking for an affordable 1911 that can still perform for a decent chunk of the time. In general though, we usually recommend players aim higher than WE-Tech.


5. KJW KP07 M1911 Full Metal 

kjw kp07 full metal airsoft 1911

See Updated Prices

Pistol Specs

SpecificationsValue
Gas Type:Green Gas
Muzzle Velocity:310 FPS
SystemGas Blowback
ConstructionMetal Slide / Metal Frame
Length:8.66 inches
Height:5.5 inches
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Iron Sights:3 Dot
Hop Up:Adjustable (TM Spec)
Gas Efficiency:Average
Magazine Capacity:27 Rounds (TM Spec Thin 1911)
Compatible Parts:Tokyo Marui System
Upgradability:Very High
Action:Semi Auto

8.4Expert Score
KJW KP07 M1911 Full Metal

Shooting Performance
8.5
Reliability
8.5
Build Quality
8.0
Value
8.5
PROS
  • TM Spec parts so can take a huge number of upgrades.
  • Comfortable 1911 grip.
  • Tactical rail for installing accessories.
  • Well priced considering Tokyo Marui compatibility.
  • MEU 1911 features.
CONS
  • Slide rattle is high.
  • Gas efficiency could be better.

KJW (KJ Works) has been making TM specced 1911 pistols for a long time. They marketed themselves as making “pre-upgraded” Tokyo Marui pistols with full metal bodies, upgraded recoil springs, enhanced nozzles, and more. 

They are able to do this at a very affordable price as well – which is a huge draw for this particular airsoft 1911. 

In terms of how they actually perform against their Tokyo Marui cousins… well they don’t quite stack up, but they’re not far at all. Accuracy and general gun performance is quite good with this airsoft pistol and we are able to hit 12 inch groupings at a 65 feet distance fairly easily. 

Unfortunately, it seems that the full metal slide does decrease the gas efficiency of the TM designed magazine, which utilizes a double stack design inside of a slim single stack 1911 magazine.

This means that the gas reservoir is quite small compared to the number of BB’s the magazine holds. 

We’re lucky to get 2 full magazines out of a single green gas fill. Most of the time we get 1 and a half magazine’s worth of BB’s. This is about 40 or so shots. 

Additionally, the externals are quite nice and stack well against the WE-Tech competitors. In general, we’ve found that the KJW airsoft pistols have a more sturdy and somewhat glossy finish to them. This is different from the WE-Tech finish which scratches easily but is more matte. 

The fact that the KJW airsoft 1911’s are TM specced means that they are capable of taking multiple aftermarket parts from airsoft companies like Guarder, King Arms, Cow Cow, Nine ball, and more.

Who is this gun for?

An airsoft player looking for a quality TM specced airsoft 1911 without the Tokyo Marui price. It’s a great balance between out-of-the-box performance and cost. 


The Winner is:

So, we’ve gone through some of the higher contenders that manufacturer airsoft 1911’s. We’ve put at least 800+ rounds through each pistol in an airsoft skirmish situation. It’s pretty clear that the winner for best airsoft 1911 is the Tokyo Marui 1911 MEU Airsoft Gas Blowback Pistol. This is really not a HUGE surprise as the TM gas guns are some of the most precise airsoft machines on the market.

Now if they just didn’t fetch Tokyo Marui prices… but in airsoft you usually get what you pay for. 

However, we also realize that not everyone wants a plastic slide / plastic frame pistol. For those looking for a full metal option, then we really think the KJW KP07 is the next best airsoft 1911. In pure performance the KWA PTP MKIV is actually better, but it is also FAR more expensive. So, in terms of balancing between performance and cost, the KJW wins here. 


Conclusion: Final Breakdown on the Best Airsoft 1911’s:

Check out our article on the best airsoft pistols (it includes some 1911’s!)

If the pricing on these particular airsoft guns is a bit out of your budget, then look at our list of the best cheap airsoft pistols under $100.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What about other brands like RWA / AW Custom / SOCOM Gear / etc?

There actually aren’t too many airsoft manufacturer for gas blowback 1911’s. The main brands worth mentioning are:

  • WE-Tech
  • KWC
  • KJW
  • VFC
  • KWA
  • KSC
  • Tokyo Marui

Everyone else just OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) from these companies to place their own branding or licenses on them. The below companies don’t actually make their own airsoft pistols (we’ve even included the typical OEM for them). 

  • RWA – KWC
  • Elite Force / Umarex – KWC
  • Cybergun – WE-Tech
  • SOCOM Gear – WE-Tech
  • Echo 1 – KJW
  • AW Custom – WE-Tech
  • Dan Wesson – KWC

This isn’t an exhaustive list – and the OEM can ultimately change as time moves on. The main message to know is that you should really check to see if a company is using an OEM to make their pistols. From there you can determine the actual quality of the airsoft 1911. 

Co2 and Green Gas – which is better?

It depends really. We prefer green gas version of airsoft pistols, but there’s an argument to be made for Co2 as well. Check out our article on green gas vs co2 for more info, but we think most of the best airsoft pistols are green gas based.

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 to make their airsoft play more realistic. 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.

Timothy Hackett

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.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Airsoft Core
      Logo