The most common question among airsoft beginners is which gun to pick because the number of airsoft guns available on the market, combined with their lack of experience in the sport, can be quite overwhelming.
Guaranteed, it can be pretty difficult to decide how much to spend on a starter airsoft gun, which brands to trust, and what model to pick, even for more experienced players. After all, most of us civilians know very little about military-grade weapons, so how are we supposed to know which of their replicas to pick?!
Well, we’ve done some digging on your behalf, and here’s everything you need to know about the best airsoft guns for beginners.
Our Top Choices
Cybergun SCAR-L AEG Rifle
Compatible with a huge amount of aftermarket accessories
Cybergun M4A1 Carbine AEG Rifle
Sleek design and formidable performance at a reasonable price
Cybergun P90 AEG Gearbox
Entry-level friendly price with performance decent enough to stay competitive
Cybergun Thompson M1A1 AEG Rifle
Hits hard and delivers sizeable felt recoil to the shooter
Umarex Elite Force 1911 Tactical CO2 Blowback Pistol
G&G Combat Machine CM16 SRXL Airsoft M4 AEG Rifle
Custom P90 Terminator AEG -
Umarex Elite Force MP5 A4/A5 SMG AEG Gun Kit
KWA M9 Tactical PTP Gas Blowback Pistol
Cybergun Kalashnikov AKS74U AEG
Now that we’ve seen an overall comparison between the top 10 models let’s take a more in-depth look at what makes them the best options currently on the market.
The 10 Best Airsoft Guns for Beginners
The best overall model on our list is the Cybergun SCAR-L AEG Rifle. This airsoft rifle is your go-to option if you’re looking for high quality and excellent accuracy on a medium-sized budget.
Developed for the United States Special Operations Command, the SCAR-L was originally manufactured as an upgrade replacing the M4A1 carbine. And having its airsoft rifle replica licensed by FN Herstal, the Belgian leading firearms manufacturer, gives enough testimonial to its high quality.
The SCAR-L stands out from the many plastic variants on the market. And even though this variant comes at a higher cost than its plastic counterparts, the sniper rifles all-metal receiver gives it more weight, which decreases the recoil you’ll feel upon firing a shot. So, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Additionally, the SCAR-L shoots 6-8mm rounds at a 330-350 FPS range, which makes for impressively high accuracy. The airsoft rifle also features a reversible charging handle, allowing you to easily adjust the rifle as you see fit.
Plus, it’d be hard to ignore SCAR-L’s lower polymer receiver, which gives the rifle a lightweight feeling while keeping hold of the system controls as well. Another point worth noting is the rifle’s flawless fit.
Not to mention, the plastic high-capacity magazine can hold up to nearly 300 rounds and has the added benefit of being compatible with a variety of other airsoft rifles.
The Cybergun SCAR-L AEG Rifle makes a case for itself with its excellent accuracy and high quality. If you’re an airsoft beginner looking for a reasonably-priced rifle with premium firepower, then the SCAR-L is definitely your best bet.
The SoftAir-licensed, Cybergun M4A1 Carbine AEG Rifle is considered by many as the crème de la crème of AEG rifles.
Even with its full metal build, the M4A1 is relatively lightweight, allowing for easy handling in the field, especially if you need to target opponents on the run.
This enhanced, Li-Po-ready-upgraded gearbox is incredible in terms of performance; it can shoot 400+ FPS smoothly and accurately thanks to its full metal design with a high-performance gear set and a high-torque motor to assist the gearbox.
An FPS of this range is more than enough firepower for a beginner. Also, the CQB designation can be quite deceptive. So, with an effective range of over 190 feet, this rifle can give you dominance in the field.
Even though the M4A1 has only two fire modes, fully automatic and semi-automatic, it compensates with a 300-round hi-cap magazine that may be used with different M4 rifle types.
The authentic licensed Colt trademark also provides you with the added realism of this airsoft rifle, substantially improving its appearance.
The Cybergun M4A1 Carbine AEG Rifle is the airsoft gun for you if you want an exceptionally realistic, fully licensed airsoft weapon. This AEG is made entirely of metal, so it’s incredibly tough and can withstand any rigorous airsoft combat. Therefore, it’s built to last.
The Cybergun P90 AEG Gearbox mostly stands out for its ergonomic, compact design.
This FN-Herstal-licensed gearbox sports a restructured bullpup layout with the magazine placed on the upper side, which gives it a compact, low-profile outlook. Even better, this structure utilizes gravity to smoothen the injection of rounds and cartridge ejection.
You’ve most likely seen the P90 before, as it's a common sighting in modern movies and video games, owing to its unique aesthetic. And its size makes it an ultimate backup weapon and perfect for CQB fields as well.
Another feature that’s hard to ignore in the P90 is its 5.7 x 28mm cartridge, which outperformed 9x19mm rifles when tested for performance and handling.
In addition, its small caliber provided much greater velocity while only weighing half as much as regular 9x19mm rounds, which is an essential feature for you if you’re looking to carry more ammo into battle.
Furthermore, the cartridge fires at an exceedingly flat trajectory with around 30% less felt recoil due to its extremely high velocity, which considerably improves accuracy even when firing in a fully automatic mode.
Another really impressive thing about the P90 is that it’s the first of its kind to feature fully ambidextrous controls, making it suitable for both right and left-handed shooters without the need for any reconfiguration.
If you’re going for fast, light, and compact, you won’t find anything better than the Cybergun P90 AEG Gearbox. It offers an accurate PDW and has room for large ammunition at a very affordable price.
Best Value for Money
Licensed by Auto-Ordnance, the Cybergun Thompson M1A1 AEG Rifle is what you turn to when you’re looking for a solid airsoft gun with an excellent value for money.
The M1A1 was originally designed by John T. Thompson for the United States Navy during WWII. It was quite popular at the time, so you’ll find many names for it, including "TSMG," "Tommy Gun," "Trench Broom," "Trench Sweeper," "Chicago Piano," "Chicago Typewriter," and "Chopper."
This model was also widely seen in American media during the Prohibition Era and World War II, and it has since grown into a civilian model. So its airsoft gun replica is what you can call a “vintage” piece. And with such popularity, it’s no surprise to find this model in a lot of video games today.
As for firepower, this rifle fires 0.45 ACP ammunition and can fire semi-automatically or automatically, both great features for beginners to have. The Thompson M1A1 also comes with an 8.4V battery and a battery charger and has a 380-420 FPS range with 0.20g BBs, which is quite decent considering the price point it comes at.
The Cybergun Thompson M1A1 AEG Rifle is your best bet if you’re going old school; it features a good FPS range, has a high capacity while looking like a piece of history, and is particularly affordable.
If you fancy pistols as your sidearms, the Umarex Elite Force 1911 Tactical CO2 Blowback Pistol should have a place on your list.
Licensed by the renowned Taiwanese airsoft manufacturer, KWC, this airsoft gun is one of the most sought-after 1911-model handguns due to its constant accuracy, full-metal build, and tremendous recoil.
It’s a full metal, ultra-high performance pistol with features rarely found in other 1911 model guns. For one, it has the ideal weight, handles, and appearance, easily outperforming any other CO2 pistol.
In addition, the efficiency of this model is undeniable as it blends the reliable design of the original 1911 with the versatility and adaptability of modern tactical airsoft pistols, all while maintaining the high efficiency of a CO2-powered gas blowback.
Not to mention, the slide serrations are more aggressive and larger than those found on typical pistols, allowing for a more secure grip when cocking the airsoft gun. And the grip safety has a significantly larger beavertail to prevent your hand from becoming stuck in the slide.
Internally, the CO2 fueled operation makes the blowback crisp and gratifying while also giving it astonishing range for a handgun.
Also of note is the tactical rail on the pistol's front which is the ideal size for attaching lights and lasers to help you stay on target.
The Umarex Elite Force 1911 Tactical CO2 Blowback Pistol is the ideal sidearm for you if you want an efficient, robust, and accurate 1911-model airsoft gun. This top-of-the-line production from Umarex’s Elite Force line has excellent accuracy, range, and recoil. So you definitely won’t regret buying it.
The G&G Combat Machine CM16 SRXL Airsoft M4 AEG Rifle is the latest and most efficient of the CM series; G&G has improved on everything that makes the original Combat Machine series one of the greatest and most widely used rifles on the market and in the field.
The CM16 SRXL features a completely redesigned polymer receiver that borrows from the increasingly popular billet rifles seen in the guns arena. But what sets them apart from traditional rail-integration-system weapons (RIS) is their capacity to be tailored to the owner's exact specifications while maintaining a much smaller size.
Additionally, the rifle features a more rock-solid frame thanks to the additional structural strength of the upper and lower receiver magazines. It also features a Keymod modular rail system which allows you to mount a variety of add-ons.
The Combat Machine's internals outperforms and outlasts conventional rifles thanks to an in-line MOSFET in its system, which is a specially built circuit board that feeds electrical power directly to the motor.
The MOSFET also enhances battery efficiency and power flow, resulting in faster trigger response, more rounds between battery recharges, a higher rate of fire, and almost no burned-out trigger contacts.
This airsoft gun has sturdy and lightweight parts, as well as enough solidity to brace you during long skirmishes.
The G&G Combat Machine CM16 SRXL Airsoft M4 AEG Rifle is a long-lasting airsoft gun with a MOSFET and an Electronic Trigger Unit (ETU). It's an excellent rifle for outdoor areas and is one of the best customizable rifles on the market if you're searching for a rock-solid air-soft gun at an affordable price.
Highest Magazine Capacity
This Evike.com Custom P90 Terminator AEG is a popular arrangement among beginners. It’s a unique rifle featuring a high-capacity magazine of 1800 BBs that can be refilled in less than 5 seconds. So it’s your best bet if you’re not a fan of carrying spare magazines during battle.
The P90 features a version-6 hybrid gearbox that’s fully upgradeable. It also has an adjustable hop-up and allows you two fire-mode options: full-automatic and semi-automatic. Additionally, this rifle gives you tremendous battery life with its 9.6v P90 type NiMH or 7.4v 1500mAh PEQ type LiPo.
One major downside is that building using Laylax components comes at a very steep price tag that most beginners would hesitate to pay. But if you have the cash to spare on such a high magazine capacity, you’ll find it fairly easy to attach the custom magazine to your rifle.
Also, keep in mind that it might take a while to get your order since the rifles are made to order, but the wait isn’t too long, and it’s definitely worth the wait.
The Evike.com Custom P90 Terminator AEG is an excellent gun right out of the box, and it features one of the highest magazine capacities on the market. So, if you’re looking for a compact and highly accurate rifle that you don’t need to refill the magazine for during battle, the P90 Terminator won’t let you down.
Best for CQBs
The next hotshot we’re looking at is the Umarex Elite Force MP5 A4/A5 SMG AEG Gun Kit. This H&K-licensed MP5 is a terrific SMG to get your hands on because it's the replica of one of the most extensively used submachine guns in close-quarter-combat situations (CQB).
Plus, the kit includes everything you'll need to convert your MP5 to an A4 or A5 model, depending on your preferences. This gun also ticks the box when it comes to design and aesthetics; it sports a metal alloy outer barrel and an injection-molded polymer receiver and stock.
Additionally, it has a nice-looking handguard that provides a good grip and makes shooting simple. And because of the unique design of its handguard, the gun isn’t overly hefty and is within a good weight limit. So it doesn’t only look good, but it also feels solid in your grip with an added sense of realism.
This MP5 isn’t just an aesthetic prop either; it outperforms its predecessor by a wide margin as it has a consistent and precise firing speed. Its design also makes it ideal for close-quarter-combat situations where you must race to your opponents, jump through windows, and fire quickly and accurately.
In addition, the MP5 sports a full metal version 2 gearbox with an open charging handle for convenient hop-up adjustment. However, one downside is that you’ll need to upgrade this gun in order to improve its range capabilities.
If you’re looking for an efficient and top-notch kit to conquer your CQBs, this Umarex Elite Force MP5 A4/A5 SMG AEG Gun Kit is your best bet. In addition, the versatile kit comes at a very affordable price tag, so it’s an absolute steal.
Best Training Gun
KWA M9 Tactical PTP Gas Blowback Pistol is specifically made for training purposes, so it’s the best bet for those with zero airsoft knowledge or experience.
And instead of just being licensed by KWA, the well-known airsoft manufacturer actually manufactured the gun. So if that doesn’t tell you how high-quality this gun is, we don’t know what would!
The M9 Tactical PTP is twice as good as its predecessor in terms of appearance, feel, and performance; the entire gun is made of a more durable steel alloy, resulting in a solid lower receiver and a lightweight slide that moves quickly.
In addition, the cycle rate on this handgun is fast enough for people to mistake it for a full-auto pistol if you have a fast enough trigger. The gun also has an enhanced target acquisition with easily visible white dots on the iron sights.
The M9 also utilizes KWA's revolutionary NS2 gas system, which makes for high overall efficiency and a more consistent shooting experience.
However, one downside here is having a short FPS range of 300-330, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue in the “training” stage of your airsoft experience.
If you’re looking for an airsoft training gun, look no further than the KWA M9 Tactical PTP Gas Blowback Pistol is perfect. Unlike lower-quality pistols, the barrel in the M9 Tactical PTP stays in place while the slide moves, making the gun much more accurate in performance and realism.
The Cybergun Kalashnikov AKS74U AEG is manufactured by CYMA on behalf of Cybergun, and it’s noted for its dependability, accuracy, high rate of fire, and ease of use. It's also a pretty accurate airsoft replica of the actual Kalashnikov AKS-74U, so it’ll highly appeal to AK lovers.
The original AKS-74U was initially designed for vehicle crews, artillery teams, and Special Forces. It's now used by police personnel, private security guards, and military units.
So, needless to say, the AKS-74U airsoft replica is an excellent rifle; its internals are fully made of metal, and it includes a high-capacity magazine of about 430 rounds. It also has a good 360-420 FPS range that translates to an effective range of 100-120 feet, which is great even for non-beginners.
What’s more, this rifle has a version 3 gearbox, which ensures that replacement or upgrade parts are readily available. It also features fully configurable mechanisms, a barrel encased in precious wood, and a hop-up system that can be adjusted.
However, being that it’s a full-metal rifle with real wood accents, this sturdy rifle isn’t the lightest model on the market. It isn’t necessarily heavy, but you’ll probably need to keep its weight in mind if you’re planning on using it for long battles.
Overall, the Cybergun Kalashnikov AKS74U AEG has a solid feel to it and is definitely worth checking out for AK aficionados. It’s a solid mode that’ll last you a long time. Plus, it has a good range and a high-capacity magazine, so we’d definitely recommend checking it out.
Should You Get an Airsoft Gun?
Yes, it’s a good idea to get an Airsoft gun if you’re looking to enjoy the sport. Not to mention, investing in a good airsoft gun is arguably one of the most crucial aspects of making it in the airsoft world.
However, if you have to ask the question above, then it’s safe to assume you’re not ready to spend thousands on these weapons. Luckily, you can get your hands on guns that are both affordable and efficient for the job.
How to Choose the Right Airsoft Gun For You
You want a rifle that not only fits your budget but also gives you the feeling that you're well-equipped and ready to take on your foes. Of course, your objective is to hit the opponent, which might necessitate long-range shooting.
When you're first starting, a gun capable of firing BBs weighing between 0.20 and 0.25 grams should suffice, so a gun with 400 frames per second isn't really necessary.
While it'd be fantastic to hit an adversary from 100 yards away, the chances of a beginner needing that are exceedingly slim, so there’s no need to worry about power upgrades until you gain more experience in the game.
As a beginner, you need to be mindful of your skill level and how it can affect your weapon needs. For example, beginners often need a gun with a high-capacity magazine to last them the entire battle.
So they might struggle to hold on to 300-BB magazine, whereas a seasoned player will most likely be able to make do with it. So keep that in mind when making the final purchasing decision.
During maneuvers, scopes might loosen, and putting them back on aim can take some time. So instead, choose a red dot sight, which is faster on target and less expensive than a scope.
Also, to shorten target acquisition time, choose a dot sight with the greatest optical diameter you can buy. Alternatively, keep an eye out for open sights.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I Remove the Orange Tip on My Gun?
The US government has mandated that all airsoft products must be sold with an orange tip to help identify them as “fake” weapons. This is primarily for your own safety, as you do not want law enforcement personnel to believe you are in possession of a real firearm.
What Should I Wear to an Airsoft Battle?
Most players dress in old jeans, sweat trousers, or BDUs with long sleeve t-shirts, jackets, or hoodies for their upper bodies.
For shoes, old tennis shoes, boots, or cleats are best for battle, and many players like to shield their heads with a beanie or hat.
It's important to protect your eyes, but it's up to you whether you use goggles or a face mask. (1)
What Happens if I Shoot Someone Not Wearing Eye-Protection?
Assuming you unintentionally shot the other person who wasn’t wearing eye protection absolves you of any culpability because they were the ones who disobeyed the most important airsoft safety regulation.
To sum up, searching for the best airsoft guns for beginners doesn’t need to be an overwhelming experience; you just need to keep in mind that the most important thing when picking your gun is examining what you'll be using it for.
So if you’re looking for a high-quality gun that comes at a fairly affordable price, we highly recommend Cybergun’s SCAR-L and M4A1 as the best overall picks.
Alternatively, if you’d like a cool-looking, efficient gun, the Cybergun P90 has one of the best designs while also featuring ambidextrous controls, so you can’t go wrong with it.
And if you’re mainly concerned with high magazine capacity, the Evike.com Custom P90 Terminator will never let you down with its1800-BBs magazine.
Lastly, and most importantly, always be careful when working with your new airsoft gun!