Cheap Airsoft AEG Rifles and Guns
Bang for your buck10
Times are still hard for a lot of people; is paying that extra £100-£200 really worth your while?
I’m going to begin with a finisher – It’s all subjective and depends on what you need but more importantly it depends on what you know. I’m the resident noob here at AO; [at the time of writing] I started the sport around three months ago and have been to three skirmishes along with a few friends who are seasoned veterans. I fell in love with the idea before I started and was lucky enough to be gifted a great starter AEG – The G&G CM16 Raider.
I suppose this article will serve as a basic review as well as a subject of discussion but the reason I am here bashing away on my laptop in the glorious sunshine is because I continually see posts in airsoft forums by potential airsoft starters asking what they should go for. You’ve all read those posts yourselves so you should know that the chairsofters get right in there and discharge their ‘knowledge’ juice all over the thread. There are a few problems here. First of all Airsoft is one of many hobbies that are inundated by self-confessed experts and I should know because I work in an industry where it’s even more prevalent. Secondly, a bunch of blokes that have been in the hobby for years with high end gear may not be the best advisors for new starters but there are obviously many exceptions to my little supposition. On the flip side you can get some awesome advice so these posts by new starters shouldn’t be avoided but perhaps taken with the few grains of salt.
I’m going to skip a great deal and get to the point – more expensive does not always mean better when it comes to what you need. To better explain, I have had a fair amount of experience with firearms (clay pigeon shooting and rifle shooting) and where it might not be anywhere near people who do this every weekend it’s certainly more than most. If for examples sake we assume I can shoot well and so can the experienced airsofters, an expensive AEG or GBB isn’t going to put you on par.
There is little difference between a £120 and a £400 AEG in the hands of a starter – its overkill.
My G&G CM16 Raider/Carbine is a solid M4; the internals are of very good quality and it shoots great at stock with a little adjustment to the hop. Personally I do not see it as a downside but some people don’t like the fact that the upper and lower receiver is polycarbonate rather than metal. The way I see it is that it is light and still looks great. The whole ‘realistic’ metal and blowback becomes a little moot when you have had experience with the real deal so it’s not something I aspire to own.
The G&G CM16 shoots around 12rps at around 320-340fps using 0.2g BBs straight from the factory. If you were to upgrade the hob up rubber, hop up nub and a tight bore barrel which are all very easy upgrades, you would have an M4 that keeps up with the big boys who are running £300+ AEGs. I still haven’t got round to upgrading my CM16 much, even though I have a solid upgrade plan. It does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but as far as I can tell, with any AEG over the £200 mark you are simply paying for the realistic outer look and marginal increase in quality of other parts but will it perform better pound for pound? Unlikely.
What it all boils down to is what is right for you – not the most expensive gun you can afford. It’s not gospel but a decent starter gun should have an abundant, wide variety of parts and upgrades available; the best example of something that conforms to these recommendations is the M4. Take a look at our approved retailer list and check out the AEGs that are sub £200 or go to your local skirmishing site and see what they offer on rental.