Airsoft is a popular sport which primarily involves the use of gun replicas which look, feel, and weigh just like their real counterparts. Airsoft guns are loaded with six millimeter-size biodegradable plastic pellets, though there are some models now that use eight millimeter pellets. These pellets are ejected through the barrel by the inner mechanical gears and springs found inside every airsoft gun. So how does the inner mechanism of airsoft guns really work?
There are basically three types of airsoft guns and these are the first generation spring powered guns, the gas powered, and the popular Automatic Electric Guns, or AEG, which is commonly seen in most airsoft games today. Although these models may have different gear and spring sets inside, the principle on how they eject pellets is basically the same.
Spring Powered Gun
The spring powered airsoft gun paved the way for the conceptualization of airsoft games where enthusiasts find the activity a great method to keep their body and mind healthy. Spring powered guns operate on a single shot and cock basis where the handler has to manually cock the weapon after each pull of the trigger. The inner mechanism uses a tension spring that generates enough force to propel the pellet out of the barrel. When the gun handler cocks the gun, the magazine clip pushes a single plastic pellet into firing position inside the back-end of the barrel where the force created by the tension spring ejects it out the airsoft gun muzzle with velocities of up to two hundred feet per second.
Gas Powered Gun
This particular airsoft gun works much like its early predecessor except for the fact that you do not have to manually cock it for the pellet to load. This airsoft weapon is powered by compressed green gas and, for a time, was favored by most enthusiasts of the game. However, because this type of airsoft gun is costly to operate, it was soon superseded by electric powered guns.
Automatic Electric Gun or AEG
Perhaps the most common airsoft gun utilized by participants today, Automatic Electric Guns, or AEG, they are powered by rechargeable batteries that make their inner electric motors, composed of gears, piston, and spring assemblies, launch pellets at velocities of up to seven hundred feet per second.
The main mechanism of this airsoft gun is a gearbox, consisting of three gears driven by the motor, which compresses the piston assembly against a powerful spring. As soon as the trigger is pressed, the piston will be released, driven forward by the spring through a cylinder and out the gun barrel. Simultaneously, another pellet is loaded to the firing chamber and the same process is repeated. This process happens in a rapid manner which enables the gun to eject multiple pellets at a press of a trigger. Primarily developed in Japan, these types of guns can fire between one hundred to six thousand rounds per minute depending on your weapon setting.