2021’s Best Airsoft Pistol | Our Round Up of the Top Gas Blow Back Handguns

Was it six men with one gun, or one man with six?

John Wick (not really)

One of the first airsoft guns I owned was a scrappy spring M9 pistol. I remember being in love with how cool it looked and how realistic it felt in the my hands. This pistol was my gateway into the world of airsoft guns, really.

Since then, I’ve played in 1000+ airsoft games and been on dozens of MILSIM events,. I’ve never gone without a trusty sidearm. In fact, for a good chunk of indoor games, I’ve gone solely with a gas blowback airsoft pistol, few extra magazines, and a my favorite battle belt.

While I was working in the airsoft industry I got to test fire and run 50+ (no lie) various pistols and handguns (and I’ve got my fair share of the real steel too). We’re fired the crappy Combat Zone Enforcer Co2 pistol all the way up to the most upgraded TM Hi-Capa.

So, let me save you a ton of money by telling you which are the best airsoft pistols currently available so you can skip on the junk pieces.

Quick List:

KWA M9 PTP
KWA M9 PTP
Best Overall Airsoft Pistol
Umarex Glock Gen 3 G19
Umarex Glock Gen 3 G19
Editor's Favorite
KWA ATP Adaptive Training Pistol
KWA ATP Adaptive Training Pistol
Best Value
Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2
Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2
Best Co2 Pistol

Let’s find you the Best Airsoft Pistol:

If you go with any of the pistols on this list you’ll already be ahead of the game. However, we’re going to compare some of the top offerings and gauge their general performance, duraability, and value.

Remember, the writers at Airsoft Core easily have had thousands of hours playing airsoft with these pistols and we’ve really put them through the paces.

As a heads up as well, we did NOT include any spring airsoft pistols in this list. Unless you’re looking for a cool looking piece to just goof off with; there really isn’t a place for spring airsoft guns of any kind of competitive list.

1. KWA ATP-LE Adaptive Training Pistol

KWA ATP Trainer Pistol for our best airsoft pistol blog

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Airsoft Pistol Specs

Type:
Green Gas
Blowback:Yes
Construction:Metal Slide / Polymer Frame
FPS:350 FPS w/ 0.20g
Magazine Capacity:23 Rounds
Gas Consumption:Excellent

Did you know, that Glock airsoft guns were once.. illegal?

Well, not actually, but Glock was not at all friendly to airsoft products and would forward a cease & desist to any airsoft manufacturer who made a Glock airsoft pistol. Then came KWA, known for making some of the best airsoft pistols on the market at the time, and they made the ATP.

This is known as the Adaptive Training Pistol and it was meant to be a full scale alternative to a Glock 17. It was design to fit in Glock holsters and was meant to be a training tool alternative to those who wanted to use a Glock airsoft pistol.

We ran one for many years and after thousands of BB’s fired through it we can say with experience that it is easily one of the top airsoft handguns we’ve ever used. The nice thing is that it comes in at a much lower price tag when compared to a similar KWA blowback airsoft pistol ($125ish at the time of this writing – which is STEAL for a KWA).

We ran ours with a Blackhawk Serpa holster designed for a Glock 17 9mm and it fit perfectly. If you’re looking for a low cost semi automatic airsoft pistol option made from the venerable KWA, then the ATP is a solid choice in this department.

KWA ATP Adaptive Training Pistol
KWA ATP Adaptive Training Pistol
8.9Expert Score
KWA ATP Adaptive Training Pistol

Shooting Performance
8.5
Reliability
8.5
Build Quality
9.0
Value
9.5
PROS
  • KWA grade at a much lower cost.
  • Solid out of the box performance.
  • Simple 3 dot sights.
  • Fits perfectly in Glock Holsters.
  • Front accessory rail accommodates tactical attachments.
  • 5,000+ BB rounds through this and it is still going.
  • Solid NS2 gas piston / system allows for many shots per gas fill.
  • Top level customer service.
  • Smooth trigger pull.
CONS
  • Base plate on the magazine is annoying too thick, making green gas refills more of a pain than it needs to be.
  • Doesn't really match a real-life pistol in terms of looks.
  • Utilizes proprietary hop up and bucking.

2. Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2

Elite Force 1911 Co2 for our best airsoft pistol blog

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Airsoft Pistol Specs

Type:
Co2
Blowback Action:Yes
Construction:Metal Slide / Metal Frame
FPS:350 FPS w/ 0.20g
Magazine Capacity:14 Rounds
Gas Consumption:Good

Umarex / Elite Force realy knocked it out of the park with this 1911. OEMed by KWC (known for making good Co2 gas blowback pistols) this is a 1:1 replica of the famous M1911 Tactical. Why is it tactical? It features a front rail system for the attachment of tactical accessories as well as having front and rear serrations for easier slide racks.

This airsoft pistol has all the safety features of the real Colt 1911, with a functional grip safety, ambidextrous manual safety, and the “half-cock” notch.

Additionally, the two tone look makes this sidearm look just plain awesome. When bringing this out to the field we get a lot of compliments from other airsofters on the look of it.

Performance wise this 1911 stacks up with some of the best of them. One of our writers has several KWA 1911 PTP’s and he found his experience with this Co2 airsoft pistol a whole lot of fun. This is especially because the Co2 really gives this airsoft gun a whole lot of kick and power, more so than the green gas airsoft variants. So, that makes this 1911 a fun shoot.

We put down about 2,000 rounds and have only had a few failures (mostly due to Co2 cartridges running low).

Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2
Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2
8.3Expert Score
Elite Force 1911 TAC Co2 Airsoft 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.
  • Ambidextrous safety.
  • Co2 gives this gun a lot of feedback.
  • Smooth trigger pull.
  • Rugged slide and serrations.
  • Adjustable hop up.
  • Front accessory rail for tactical attachments.
CONS
  • Low pistol magazine capacity (all single stack 1911's are like this).
  • Co2 cartridges makes the magazine especially not drop safe.

3. KWA M9 PTP

KWA PTP M9 Airsoft Pistols for our best airsoft pistol blog

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Airsoft Gun Specs

Type:
Green Gas
Blowback Action:Yes
Construction:Metal Slide / Metal Grip Frame
FPS:350 FPS w/ 0.20g
Magazine Capacity:25 Rounds
Gas Consumption:Excellent

Wow.

This is the M9 that all other airsoft Beretta M9’s aspire to be. The KWA grade construction can be felt immediately from picking up the gun. The KWA M9 is made of great steel and you can FEEL it as you fire the pistol.

The full metal construction on this sidearm isn’t just outstanding, but the realistic is too. Exactly like its Beretta counterpart, the safety has a functioning decocker on the slide. This features really sets this green gas powered pistol apart from the other TM or KJW M9 airsoft pistols.

But, it isn’t just th exteriors that make this gun outstanding, the performance out of the box is just fantastic. The sights are well aligned and we were easily smashing targets out at 90 feet easily (the BB actually goes further, but we’re talking effective distance here).

Additionally, KWA’s NS2 system is really effective at maximizing gas efficiency. Firing most of our rounds at a consistent 350 FPS with minimal variance is quite a feat for gas airsoft blowback pistols. They’ve even modified the magazine a bit to better ensure a good seal during firing.

The fact is, if you’ve got the dough, just go with this pistol and don’t look back. One of our editors uses this gas airsoft handgun almost exclusively and it would not be an exaggeration to say he’s put over 5,000 rounds through it. It is still slinging airsoft BBs as well as the day he bought it. I’m a huge fan of this option.

9Expert Score
KWA M9

Shooting Performance
9.5
Reliability
9.0
Build Quality
10
Value
7.5
PROS
  • Excellent full metal construction.
  • Outstanding gas consumption due to NS2 system.
  • Functional safety decocker for maximum realism.
  • Excellent out of the box performance.
  • Fully adjustable hop up.
  • Solid Customer Service.
CONS
  • Pricey - but you get what you pay for with this airsoft handgun,
  • Utilizes proprietary hop up and bucking.

4. Umarex GLOCK Gen 3 G19

VFC Umarex G19 Glock for our best airsoft pistol blog

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Airsoft Pistol Specs

Type:
Green Gas
Blowback:Yes
Construction:Full Metal Slide / Polymer Frame
FPS:300 FPS w/ 0.20g
Magazine Capacity:20 Rounds
Gas Consumption:Great

So, I’ll be quite up front here: I’m biased for this option.

It absolutely has everything to do with the fact that I own and train with the real G19. So, when it comes to finding an airsoft replica that looks and feels like the real firearm I own, nothing comes close except the Umarex GLOCK 19.

I, in fact, run this airsoft pistol with the same grip tape modifications on the grip & slide like on my real steel (absolutely not needed for airsoft really).

This particular airsoft gun is OEMed by VFC, known for making some of the older Glock pistols in the past (back when Glock was absolutely not on friendly terms with the airsoft community). The VFC variant of the G19 is similar to the TM design, but with a lot of improvements to gas consumption and overall performance.

Really, the only thing that isn’t quite realistic on this Glock is that the orange tip takes up extra space and so the outer barrel shroud is actualyl a bit longer than what you see on the actual firearm. But, everything you love about the Gen 3 G19 like the trigger safety, tactical front rail, and sights (debatable) are on this airsoft gun.

My experience, overall, with this pistol is that is simply outstanding.

Umarex Glock Gen 3 G19
Umarex Glock Gen 3 G19
8Expert Score
Umarex GLOCK Gen 3 G19

Shooting Performance
8.5
Reliability
8,5
Build Quality
8.5
Value
7.0
PROS
  • High end construction.
  • Solid out of the box performance.
  • Authentic markings and features similar to the G19.
  • Front accessory rail for tactical attachments.
  • The BEST G19 replica currently available.
  • Adjustable hop up
CONS
  • Pricey.
  • FPS is lower than we'd like.
  • Extra magazines are a real pain to find.

5. Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1

tokyo marui hi-capa 5.1 1911

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Airsoft Pistol Specs

Type:
Green Gas
Blowback Action:Yes
Construction:Plastic Slide / Plastic Frame
FPS:300 FPS w/ 0.20g
Magazine Capacity:31 Rounds
Gas Consumption:Great

Tokyo Marui is an absolutely LEGENDARY airsoft manufacturer and they have a reputation for some of the highest performing guns on the market…. 20 years ago. It’s no secret that we think TM are still great, but they’re easily running up against great competitors in the airsoft manufacturering world.

There is one place, however, that many airsoft enthusiasts say they still reign supreme, and that is in the  airsoft pistol world.

Their Hi-Capa line is known to be the most upgradeable and customizable airsoft pistol platform to date. There are hundreds of aftermarket parts available to this semi automatic pistol and some airsoft players have build some absolutely great builds. Modeled after a double stack 1911, you’ll find the pistol grip to be a bit wider than the single stack replicas (this is to accommodate more BBs and a larger gas reservoir). For some with larger hands, this actually ends up being more comfortable to shoot.

With that said, the stock performance of a TM Hi-Capa is nothing to sneeze at. While we aren’t quite fans of the double stack complete polymer slide & frame design, a lot of other players have said that it is easily the smoothest sidearm they’ve ever shot.

We’ve fired our fair share of TM pistols, and we do agree they’re good shoots.

Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1
Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1
7.8Expert Score
Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1

Shooting Performance
8.5
Reliability
8.0
Build Quality
7.5
Value
7.0
PROS
  • It's a TM - it is indeed a great product.
  • Smoothest slide cycle we've felt.
  • Functional 1911 safety features.
  • No nonsense sights.
  • Large gas reservoir.
CONS
  • Pricey.
  • FPS is lower than we'd like.
  • Plastic Construction makes it less friendly to Green Gas.
  • Grip Texture is a bit too smooth for us.

6. CZ SP-01 Shadow

asg cz sp-01 shadow handgun for best airsoft pistol blog

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Airsoft Pistol Specs

Type:
Green Gas
Blowback:Yes
Construction:Metal Slide / Metal Frame
FPS:310 FPS w/ 0.20g
Magazine Capacity:30 Rounds
Gas Consumption:Good

Now this is a unique pistol.

Sourced from KJW, this CZ75 pistol is a recent full metal entry in the world of airsoft. This full metal pistol can punch with the big boys though as the overall performance of this semi automatic pistol surprised us. KJW are known as a “middle of the road’ type airsoft company in terms of the value of their airsoft guns, but they really knocked this one out of the park.

Included with this airsoft gun is a fiber optic front sight, which makes it easier to find as you’re tracking your target. A front rail system allows for the attachment of tactical accessories like flashlights and lasers.

Being 1:1 to the actual thing we tested it on a few hard shell gun holsters and it fit perfectly. It’s easily able to keep a 7.5 inch grouping at 60 feet away. I sense you won’t go wrong if you go with this airsoft gun.

CZ SP-01 Shadow Pistol
CZ SP-01 Shadow Pistol
8.3Expert Score
CZ SP-01 Shadow

Shooting Performance
8.5
Reliability
8.0
Build Quality
8.5
Value
8.0
PROS
  • Unique design makes it perfect for the airsoft snowflake.
  • Great out of the box performance.
  • Solid full metal construction.
  • Front fiber optic makes acquiring sights easy.
  • Front accessory rail for tactical attachments.
CONS
  • Spare magazines can be hard to find.
  • FPS is a bit lower than we'd like.

7. SIG SAUER P229 Proforce Series

Sig Sauer P229 Proforce Series Green Gas Airsoft Pistol

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Airsoft Gun Specs

Type:
Green Gas / Co2 (Takes Both)
Blowback:Yes
Construction:Full Metal Slide / Polymer Frame
Muzzle Velocity:310 FPS w/ 0.20g
Magazine Size23 Rounds
Gas Consumption:Good

This is one solid airsoft gun. Proforce is the airsoft division of the SIG real steel firearms manufacturer. They built the Proforce line to help law enforcement agencies train with a weapon in a safer form. This is similar to the Krytac line of airsoft guns, which is the airsoft division of KRISS USA.

Now, much like Krytac, the Proforce line of airsoft guns are actually good. We got a chance to take this pistol out to several ops and were quite impressed.

Externally, this airsoft gun matches a real P229 near perfectly with one major difference: the frame of this airsoft pistol is polymer. However, the aluminum alloy slide is absolutely solid. This semi automatic pistol also features a functional decocker and all the trimmings that come with a great SIG product.

We ran this with both co2 and green gas airsoft magazines and did not notice a significant difference in performance other than additional power behind the blowback.

SIG P229 Proforce Series Airsoft Pistol
SIG P229 Proforce Series Airsoft Pistol
8.3Expert Score
SIG P229 Proforce Series

Shooting Performance
8.0
Reliability
8.0
Build Quality
9
Value
8
PROS
  • Near perfect 1:1 replica of the famous P229.
  • Functional decocker on metal slide.
  • Front picatinny rail for tactical attachments.
  • Takes both Co2 and green gas magazines.
  • Large gas reservoir.
CONS
  • Decocker location is where our thumb wants to press a slide release - requires more training to get used to.
  • FPS is a bit lower than we'd like.

8. SIG SAUER M17 Proforce Series Co2

SIG Sauer M17 airsoft pistol co2 powered blowback

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Airsoft Pistol Specs

Type:
Green Gas / Co2 (Takes both)
Blowback:Yes
Construction:Metal Slide / Polymer Frame
Muzzle Velocity:330 FPS w/ 0.20g
Magazine Size21 Rounds
Gas Consumption:Good

Now this is a sweet gun. Built by Proforce, the airsoft division of SIG SAUER, it is a 1:1 replica of the newest pistol selected by the US armed forces, the M17 (which is effectively a P320 with some modifications).

In regards to replicas of the M17 in the airsoft industry… well this is really the only choice. To be clear, it is a GOOD gas powered pistol despite being the only choice available.

This gas airsoft gun will take both green gas magazines and co2 magazines. The Co2 cartridge is installed in the magazine itself. When using those magazines; airsofters will notice that the blowback has a bit more power to it.

This airsoft gun is just awesome looking though. Front and rear serrations plus the front tactical rails keeps this gun nice and modern. While it is incapable of changing out to various BB calibers the way the real steel version does, it is still capable of slinging airsoft BBs into 5.5 inch groupings at 50 feet.

It is a good choice, no doubt about it.

SIG M17 Proforce Series CO2 Airsoft Pistol
SIG M17 Proforce Series CO2 Airsoft Pistol
8.1Expert Score
SIG M17 Proforce Series

Shooting Performance
8.0
Reliability
8.0
Build Quality
9.0
Value
7.5
PROS
  • Solid constructions.
  • Great out of the box performance.
  • The only good M17 / P320 airsoft replica available.
  • Authentic markings for max realism.
  • Uses both Co2 and green gas magazines.
  • Takedown matches real steel exactly.
CONS
  • Pricey.

9. VFC Glock 17 Gen 5 Co2

VFC Glock 17 G17 blow back airsoft pistol

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Airsoft Gun Specs

Type:
Co2 Powered
Gas Blowback:Yes
Construction:Metal Slide / Polymer Frame
Muzzle Velocity:300 FPS w/ 0.20g
Magazine Size20 Rounds
Gas Consumption:Good

This is the big daddy of airsoft pistols (by that I mean that it matches the most popular pistol on the market, the GLOCK 17 Gen 5).

This gas powered airsoft pistol comes with all the trimmings as the Glock 17 Gen 5 (you mostly see it in the pistol grip itself) including the functional trigger safety, enlarged magazine catch, and accessory rail.

This particular Glock 17 Gen 5 model comes Co2 powered, which isn’t 100% our cup of tea, but it is still a good shoot. Unfortunately, the low FPS does bring this model below the Elite Force pistol seen earlier on this list. Much like the other Co2 pistol entries, the Co2 cartridge fits in each individual magazine.

We took this airsoft gun out to several airsoft games and found the performance great. We were tagging airsofters at around 50 feet with no problems after adjusting the hop up. We do wish the magazine size was a bit larger as it is the exact same as the G19 model (which has a shorter mag – but holds the same number of BBs).

VFC Glock 17 Gen 5
VFC Glock 17 Gen 5
8Expert Score
VFC Glock 17 Gen 5

Shooting Performance
8.0
Reliability
8.0
Build Quality
8.0
Value
8.0
PROS
  • Great replica of one of the most popular sidearm.
  • Functional trigger safety.
  • GEN 5 features include adjustable pistol grip, enlarged magazine catch, and smooth grip texture.
  • Full metal slide.
CONS
  • FPS is a bit lower than we'd like.
  • Magazine capacity is the same as the G19's.

What is the Best Airsoft Pistol?

Well, after firing tons of pistols and going out to multiple airsoft games to stress test them, we really think the top choice for best airsoft pistols is the KWA M9. The rugged construction really sets this gun apart from even the other choices on this list – the moment you pick it up it FEELS right. Now if it just didn’t fetch for high prices….

KWA M9 PTP
KWA M9 PTP
Best Overall Airsoft Pistol

So, we wanted to give a shoutout to the KWA ATP. The Adaptive Training Pistol is just absolutely GREAT for the value players receive. They  than the M9 PTP and provides nearly the same performance and excellence of build.

KWA ATP Adaptive Training Pistol
KWA ATP Adaptive Training Pistol
Best Value

However, as mentioned earlier, if you choose ANY of the pistols on this product list you’re in for a real treat. The quality of these airsoft pistols is placed at the top 25% of any airsoft gun we’ve ever shot.

Perhaps one day we will end up making a list of cheaper airsoft pistol products with lower prices, but until then you can enjoy our list of the best airsoft revolvers.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the best brands for airsoft pistols?

We will bucket the main brands into 4 main categories. There are several airsoft manufacturer’s that fall into each, all fetching different prices.

Entry Level Brands

These airsoft guns usually have prices around $100, and they’re the bare minimum we’d even consider recommending. At this price range you can at least expect them to be gas blowback pistols vs non blowback (like a combat zone enforcer co2).

WE-Tech guns have gotten better, but we’d need more time on them to determine if they get upgraded into the intermediate brand section.

  • HFC
  • WinGun (WG)
  • WE-Tech / WE-USA

Intermediate Brands

These airsoft products are actually fairly decent and we’d feel confident with any guns from here. You can except the prices here to be around $120 – $140.

  • KJW
  • KWC
  • VFC

High Class Brands

These are about as good as it gets. The best airsoft pistols are in this category. Prices here will end up running $130+.

  • KWA
  • KSC
  • TM

Wild Card Brands

These brands don’t actually make their airsoft products. Instead, they’re usually rebrands (OEM) from one of the manufacturers listed above, or sourced from a place with zero reputation. Sometimes their airsoft guns are great, and sometimes they’re not – it depends on each individual product line. The main thing you get here is usually better warranties and officially licensed branding of the real sidearms.

  • Elite Force / Umarex
  • APS
  • ASG
  • Cybergun

If you want a more indepth breakdown, we have a guide on the best airsoft brands here.

Does FPS matter in these airsoft guns?

Airsoft pistols are no different than other airsoft guns in this regard meaning that their ability so shoot a certain distance will depend on the gun. The higher the FPS, though, the more able they can take advantage of the hop up system. Co2 airsoft pistols really aren’t any different from a green gas blow back airsoft handgun.

The main issue you’ll see with gas blowback pistols is that the variance of FPS will change as the gas pressure drops. This especially happens when you discharge your handgun rapidly.

Are there good gas pistols under $100?

There are some… decent guns, but nothing we’d actually immediately recommend when asked on the field. If you feel that the above guns are too pricey, then take a look at our list of the best cheap airsoft pistols for under $100.

What are some tactical accessories I should consider?

For starters, your pistol will only have a single accessory rail attachment point (if it even has one). So, one of the most important products you’ll want to consider is a flashlight. Flashlights are great in being able to not only light up dark corners and blind your opponents, but you can actually track your BB flight path and confirm hits on your target.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave room for other accessories like a red dot or tactical laser.

What’s the difference between the Glock 17 Gen 4 & Gen 5?

Internally, the airsoft guns are exactly the same despite the real life Glock 17 Gen 4 having an inferior trigger. Unfortunately, airsoft products are designed to only look like the real weapons, but internally they are don’t match at all their real steel counterparts.

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 would be able to tell the difference between an airsoft gun and a real weapon, but it is not really reasonable for them to assume. This is why the orange tip is essential and removing them can create a problem.

With that said, you’ll find a lot of players 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 as well.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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