Airsoft is a fun sport for kids and adults. Most people confuse it with paintball, but there’s a significant difference. Paintball guns shoot paint projectiles, and the rifles don’t have the look or feel of real firearms. Paintball is more about tactics, strategy, and CQC (Close Quarters combat).
Airsoft takes a different approach. In this sport, players take a more realistic and militarized approach to gameplay. Players will often use military gear like plate carriers and combat accessories, and the guns are more lifelike, based on real firearms like sniper rifles and AR’s.
Airsoft relies on the same rules and games like paintball, such as “capture the flag” and “last man standing.” However, the code of ethical gameplay is airsoft is essential, as there’s no official way to claim you hit someone. In paintball, the marker releases a projectile that “marks” the target with a successful shot.
With airsoft, you don’t have that luxury, and the players must be honest about being hit. Safety is a big issue on airsoft ranges, and if you want to play, you’ll need a minimum of eye-protection, like googles. Most players dress in combat gear designed for military applications.
Airsoft guns have a realistic look to them, with most of them feature design mimicking top-quality firearms. In this best airsoft rifle review, we’ll look at the leading bolt-action sniper rifle and automatic reloading combat replicas.
Our Top Picks
If you can’t wait to get to the range and join a skirmish game, we put together this list of our top picks to save you some time.
Best Pick: GameFace 52004 Sniper Carbine
- Another quality product
- Made of the highest quality materials
- Airsoft rifles spring
- 6mm Airsoft/upto 400 FPS
- Spring powered airsoft sniper rifle
The GameFace sniper carbine wins our award for the best overall airsoft rifle in this review. This model comes with a semi-automatic function and high-quality design and construction—the spring-powered action of this airsoft rifle powers projectiles up to 400-fps (feet per second). The mag holds up to 29-rounds, giving you plenty of ammo on the range, or in self-defense situations.
Premium Pick: Tippmann AR-15 Carbine Airsoft Rifle
- Key Changes from original Model
- Improved Hop Up Unit
- M Lok Rail System
- Tactical Gun Grip
Tippman built this model based on the AR-15 platform. This model has a realistic look, and if you paint the muzzle compensator, it will look strikingly like a real firearm. You get an adjustable stock, M-Lok rail system, authentic magazine-loading action, and flip-up sights included with this model. The tactical AR grip and takedown of the upper and lower are similar to those of a real AR experience.
Budget Pick: Daisy Official Boy Scouts of America BB Gun
- 350 FPS Velocity
- Crossbolt trigger block safety
- Includes, BB's, pellets, targets and Shooting glasses
- Blade and ramp front sight and notched rear adjustable sight
- Ideal for Shooting instruction
If you’re looking for the best entry-level airsoft rifle for training, then the Daisy is a classic. This model is the official airsoft weapon of the Boy Scouts of America. Featuring a 350-fps velocity, and accurate sights, this model has a smooth and light trigger, with a cross-bolt trigger block safety. It’s an affordable training rifle to prepare youngsters for the move to a larger weapon like a .22-caliber
Airsoft Rifle Reviews
Our top picks in this review have something for everyone. Whether your training or competing, there’s an airsoft gun in this review to suit your needs. Let’s unpack our top picks in further detail and look at some other top-quality airsoft rifles.
GameFace 52004 Sniper Carbine-Rifle – The Best Overall Airsoft Rifle
If you’re looking for the best overall airsoft gun for sports and sniper duty, the Gameface sniper carbine is a great choice. At a glance, this rifle has a tactical look and feel, with an attractive matte black finish. This single-shot, bolt-action, spring-loaded gun shoots 6mm BB’s, with the magazine holding 29-rounds.
The rifle comes in a complete set. You get ammunition and a sling that connects to the D-hooks on the frame. This model features Picatinny rails on the top for optics or scopes and another rail underneath for tactical grips and torches.
The spring-loaded action of this airsoft rifle produces projectile speeds up to 400-FPS. You get an accurate shot every time thanks to the one-piece precision-bored steel barrel enhanced for long-range shots.
It’s important to note that the state of New York restricts shipment of this airsoft rifle.
- 26-round capacity with easy-loading mag
- Light trigger with a quick reset
- Synthetic stock pad for a tighter grip on the shooting position
- Picatinny rail for optics or lights
- Precision barrel for sniper shooting
- Comes with a speedloader and a cleaning rod
- Not the best choice for CQC
Tippmann AR-15 Carbine Airsoft Rifle – The Best Premium Airsoft Rifle
If you’re thinking about getting involved with airsoft sports, then you’ll need a tactical rifle.
Tippmann produces some of the best airsoft products in the world, and they stick to that reputation with this AR-15 replica model. This platform is about as close as it gets to an AR-style rifle in airsoft format.
From the butt of the stock through to the barrel, it has an authentic look and feel. The only ruining the look of the package is the bright orange muzzle compensator. With this model, you get a HOP-Up system, and M-Lock rails, with a tactical gun grip featuring raised stippling.
This model features full design and manufacture in the USA. The charging handle primes the weapon for semi-automatic fire, with the gas-powered operation from the 12-gram CO2 cartridge. You can stack 80-rounds in the magazine, with extra magazines available for purchase.
The Tippmann offers the most lifelike AR experience in airsoft, and it wins our top spot for the best premium model in the review. If you’re starting tactical airsoft, the Tippmann is a great choice – but we warn you, it comes with a stiff price tag.
- Lifelike AR-15 resemblance
- M-Lok rail system for tactical lights and scopes
- Flip-up sights included
- Magazine-feed action
- Tactical grip
- Adjustable stock
- Compensator muzzle
- AR takedown style for cleaning
- Orange compensator muzzle makes it look like a toy
- Sling not included
Daisy Official Boy Scouts of America BB Gun – The Best Budget Airsoft Rifle
If you’re looking for a first-time airsoft rifle to teach your kid how to shoot, the Daisy is a top choice. This model is affordable and functional, making it the best budget buy in this airsoft rifle review. The spring-loaded action of this rifle produces shot velocities of 350-FPS, with a high degree of accuracy, thanks to the adjustable sights.
You get a safe and accurate gun, with a light trigger and a cross-bolt trigger-block safety mechanism. The rifle comes with a starter pack that includes BB’s, pellets, shooting glasses, and targets. We recommend keeping the targets as a master copy, and photocopying targets from the master for your shooting sessions.
The low recoil of these rifles makes them ideal for training kids to the next stage of firearm ownership. They learn valuable safety skills and procedures using an entry-level gun before moving on.
The Daisy airsoft rifle comes with a wooden stock and an ergonomic design to suit kids’ hands. The craftsmanship on this rifle is outstanding, and it has a legacy of being the official model of the Boy Scouts of America.
The Daisy airsoft rifle is a great first-time gun for your kids to experiment with, and it’s basically indestructible. The kids will outgrow this rifle long before it ever malfunctions. You can out tens of thousands of rounds through the Daisy without ever experiencing any malfunctions.
- Excellent training rifle
- Suitable for practicing for a step-up to firearms like the .22-caliber for kids
- Quality design and components
- Trusted brand by the Boy Scouts of America
- A clean, accurate shooting experience
- Comes with BB’s, pellets, shooting glasses, and targets included
- 350-fps projectile velocity
- Adjustable rear sight
- No sling attachment
- No Picatinny rail
- Single-shot reload
Lancer Tactical 14.5″ AR-15 Airsoft CarbineThe Lancer is another AR-15-style platform suitable for use in the CQC airsoft competition. This model also has a lifelike look, with Picatinny rails and flip-up sights included in the package.
The front handguard has rails in all four positions for mounting scopes, torches, or other accessories to the rifle. You get a 30-round magazine with electric operation through a 9.6-volt battery. Unfortunately, there’s no battery included – we recommend that you look at a rechargeable model or spend a fortune in batteries.
This rifle produces maximum FPS readings of 370 to 390-FPS, using 0.2-gram BB’s. The platform fires 6mm BB’s, with a 14.5-inch barrel for superior accuracy, and a HOP-Up system to control backspin on firing.
We like the tactical look and feel of this model. If it weren’t for the annoying orange muzzle at the front of the weapon, it would have an authentic look. The performance of this model is fantastic, and you get semi-automatic and fully-automatic modes.
This rifle is an excellent choice for an affordable high-performance competition-model assault rifle. The mag-feed loading system allows for fast and effective shots, and the balance of the gun in your hands feels lightweight and ergonomic.
- AR-style replica design for an authentic look
- Mag-feed loading system
- Polymer Picatinny rail system for accessories
- Adjustable stock for ultimate control
- Flip-up sights
- 370 to 390-fps projectile velocity
- Sling loops included
- No sling included
DPMS Full-Auto SBRThe DPMS is another popular airsoft assault rifle designed on the AR platform. With the DPMS, you get a full-size gun, with an authentic look and feel of a high-performance firearm. The gun comes with a Picatinny rail and M-Lok system.
You get flip-up sights included with the package, or you can upgrade the platform to include a red-dot sight with your purchase. The rails also allow for the mounting of other accessories like torches and infrared spotlights for night-vision systems.
You get a 25-round drop-out magazine with the gun, powered by two 12-gram CO2 cartridges. This model is a powerful airsoft weapon, reaching maximum power ratings of 430-fps using a 4.5mm steel BB round. It’s a good choice for multi-use sniper and CQC games and target practice for new enthusiasts.
You get a blow-back simulation for added recoil authenticity, and a front hand rest to help you drive the gun effectively in combat situations. The fully-automatic mode on this model is tremendous.
However, we think you’ll need a few spare mags on hand to get the most from the full-auto. The accelerated shots-per-second will deplete you mag fast, and you’ll find yourself reloading soon. Unfortunately, there’s no adjustment for reducing the rate of shots fired during the full-auto mode.
This gun is an excellent choice for enthusiasts looking to get into the competitive side of airsoft sports.
- Realistic AR look for authenticity
- Long Picatinny rail including flip-up sights
- Front hand rest
- Tactical handgrip with stippling
- Adjustable stock for user comfort
- CO2 cartridges load in mag providing up to 430-fps
- Good for target practice
- Full auto mode available
- No sling included
UKArms M4 A1 M16This spring-powered model from UKArms has a tactical look, with plenty of functionality. It’s an excellent entry-level airsoft gun for kids learning the ropes with CQC airsoft competition. This rifle has design emulating the M4 assault rifle, one of the most successful American assault weapons.
You get an authentic design, but the plastic used in the weapon’s construction does look a bit cheap. The model comes with a scope included in the package – but that also has a toy-like look to it. Rounding off the overall look with the bright orange muzzle makes you want to second-guess your choice in this rifle.
However, the UKArms rifle features excellent performance, shooting 6-mm BB’s at up to 200-FPS. It’s one of the lower-powered models in this review, but it’s an excellent choice for kids starting in the junior leagues.
In case you have concerns about quality, UKArms offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on your purchase, with fast shipping. This model has a good balance in the hands, and its light enough for kids to handle easily.
- AR-style tactical design
- Comes with Picatinny rails
- Scope included with the gun
- Adjustable stock for user comfort
- Mag-feed loading action
- Suitable for kids
- Plastic Feels light in hand
Umarex Diana 460 Magnum RWS
Teens and adults looking for a professional-level airsoft rifle need look no further than the Umarex Diana.
This model features design and construction with a Monte Carlo beechwood stock that’s attractive and functional. The ergonomic design on the stock, and the butt of the rifle, improve accuracy and control during use.
The under-lever cocking system on this weapon reduces the time between shots compared to using a bolt-action or breakneck platform. The user-friendly top-side loading port allows for fast reloading, and the powerful action of the gun shoots 0.177-caliber pellets at a rate of 1,350-FPS. The firm butt of the gun comes with a shock-absorbent butt to manage recoil.
This model is an excellent choice for learning the art of marksmanship and would be a good step-up from the Daisy model we reviewed earlier.
- High-quality sniper rifle for marksmanship practice
- Accurate with adjustable sights
- High-quality Monte Carlo beechwood stock finish
- Light trigger with smooth action
- Ergonomic stock for a comfortable shooting position
- Comes with an optional 4×32-mm scope for sniper practice
- An excellent choice for kids rifle training
- Durable and easy to maintain
- Premium Price
Lancer Tactical LT-01B M16
The M16 is possibly the most renowned assault rifle of all time. Is was a staple issue weapon in the US military until the introduction of the AR. However, Lancer realizes the popularity of this gun, producing an airsoft version that’s a fantastic choice for CQC airsoft sports.
This replica has an authentic look, with the electronic operation firing 0.2-gram BB’s at rates of up to 370-FPS. The mag-fed loading is convenient, and spare mags are available for purchase.
With the Lancer M16, you get an affordable entry-level assault weapon for CQC competition.
- M16 replica for an authentic look
- Adjustable stock for user comfort
- Tactical handle with stippling
- Picatinny rail systems for torches and scopes
- Mag-fed loading
- Well-balanced feeling in the hands
- No automatic return on charging handle
Other Best Selling Options
- powerful spring: 300 FPS with 6 millimeter ammo
- Ready to play: Shoots 6 millimeter ammo in a single shot. Includes 100 starter BBs
- Replica: Made with high strength ABS polymer for a realistic feel. Weighs 4 pounds
- Easy to load: Magazine holds 50 rounds
- Features: Folding/collapsible stock and flip-up front and rear sights
- Spring powered, single shot air rifle
- Synthetic adjustable stock, smooth bore barrel
- Up to 350 fps
- High capacity, 400 round magazine
- Picatinny mounting rail
- Powerful electric: 350-380 FPS with .20 grams ammo via 9.6v small butterfly battery
- Ready to play: Shoots 6 millimeter ammo in full and semi-automatic
- Replica: Made with heavy duty polymer for a realistic feel. Weighs 8 pounds
- Easy to load: Magazine holds 350 rounds
- Adjustable hop-up: Creates a back-spin effect on ammo to provide longer shooting distance
- POWERFUL ELECTRIC: 390-430 FPS with .20g ammo via a 8.4v 1600mAh small stick type battery
- READY TO PLAY: Shoots 6mm ammo in full and semi-automatic. Features front rail system for tactical accessories, adjustable front and rear sights, tactical side-folding stock and vertical grip
- REPLICA: made with full metal for a realistic feel and features Kalashnikov 60th anniversary laser engraved trademarks. Weighs 6lbs
- EASY TO LOAD: Magazine holds 400 rounds. Works with Matrix, G&P, Tokyo Marui and other compatible AK Series Airsoft AEG Magazines
- ADJUSTABLE HOP-UP: creates a back-spin effect on ammo to provide longer shooting distance
- Bolt action infantry carbine
- Includes Sling mounts and Sling
- Single shot
- Package weight:5.1 lb
Airsoft Rifle Buyer’s Guide
What do you want out of an airsoft gun? What’s the best airsoft rifle for your type of gameplay? In this section, we’ll look at everything you need to know about buying your first airsoft gun.
What are the Types of Airsoft Rifles?
There are two types of airsoft rifles, based on the real weapons they replicate.
Military snipers and hunters use these weapons for long-range shots. In airsoft, you don’t have the same range as with a real sniper rifle. However, they still work for target practice and training up kids to shoot larger guns, such as a 0.22-caliber rifle.
Bolt action rifles typically don’t have a semi-automatic operation. The single-shot configuration makes them suitable for target practice and rifle competency training.
Automatic Reload Rifles (AR)
Rifles that feature a charging handle and automatic reload bolt don’t require and reload after the shot. These weapons are for military use and CQC tactical training at the range. They are the most popular design in airsoft sports, and they have a realistic design that looks authentic at a distance.
What are the Different Airsoft Rifle Platforms?
A spring-loaded model relies on the spring to produce the force of the shot. It’s like the bolt-action rifle of the airsoft world. Most of these models require charging using a breakneck system that loads the spring.
Spring-loaded platforms provide more power for long-range shooting, and they can fire metal pellets like mushroom-heads as well. Spring-loaded airsoft rifles are only suitable for long-gun applications like hunting, target practice, and sniping. Spring-loaded platforms can be affordable or expensive, depending on the quality of the rifle.
The Automatic electric gun, also known as the “AEG,” is a battery-powered airsoft weapon. This model requires the use of electric motor operation to fire the projectiles.
The AEG is the popular type of airsoft rifle, thanks to its reliability. You can upgrade the internals of electric guns to increase power and FPS. This model is the ideal choice for beginners, as they can upgrade the rifle as they learn more about the weapon, keeping their interest growing with the sport.
These airsoft rifles mimic the look and use of real firearms. The weapons rely on a gas-charging system to power the projectile out of the barrel of the gun. As a result, they get the highest FPS ratings, improved accuracy, and more power.
Gas-powered models are more costly to operate, and they provide inconsistent performance in colder weather. You can also opt for a pressurized air system to improve consistency – but you’ll have to carry an external air tank, ruining the realistic effect.
High-pressure airsoft guns are typically more expensive than other models. However, they offer improved performance and are the top choice of professional airsoft players. High-pressure platforms can adjust FPS and ROF (Rate of Fire). ROF describes the rifle’s ability to move between semi-automatic and fully-automatic firing systems.
The gas blow-back from airsoft AEGs provides the user with a realistic firearms-like experience. The bolt and slide operate when the weapon fires, simulating real rifle action.
The blow-back from AEGs provides a more realistic airsoft experience by having a bolt or slide operate when the weapon fires.
The Importance of Buying Extra Magazines
When purchasing your new airsoft rifle, look for models that offer accessory parts. Extra magazines are a useful accessory on the battlefield in CQC. A quick mag-reload, and you’re back in action instead of replacing BB’s or gas canisters.
What are the Common Upgrades for Airsoft Rifles?
Internal upgrades for AEGs include motor replacements for when the parts wear out.
External upgrades for your rifle include scopes, tactical torches, optics, and rail grips. If you want to upgrade your gun with accessories, make sure it comes with a Picatinny rail to hold everything in position. Slings come in handy for reducing operator fatigue during use.
Adjustable High Operation Power-Up
Different weight BB’s fly at different velocities. As a result, you’ll need a HOP system included in your rifle. The High-Operation-Power Up function allows you to adjust the BB’s backspin, enabling you to shoot straight, instead of in an arch. With the HOP-Up system, you get improved range and accuracy.
Projectile Feet Per Second (FPS)
All airsoft guns come with a “feet-per-second” rating (FPS). The FPS is a measurement of the projectile’s speed as it leaves the muzzle of the weapon. It’s not a measure of lethality, a standard known as “Joules,” measuring shot speed and projectile weight to determine the force of the impact.
The FPS does determine the shot rate of the airsoft weapon, and it’s an essential setting for the airsoft rifle’s safety and function. Most new airsoft owners assume that they should crank up the FPS rating to the max before their first session at the range.
However, the reality is that you don’t want to dial the FPS up to the limit – but why?
We have two reasons for this logic.
Some firing ranges restrict FPS to a specific limit
If you’re heading to the range, you’ll have to adhere to the range safety rules. Safety is always the greatest concern on any range. A high-velocity BB can hurt you, and potentially injure you if it lands on an unprotected part of your body.
As a result, ranges will limit rifle shot rates to 350FPS for CQC games. Long-range target practice situations will allow up to 45-FPS in outdoor ranges.
High FPS shooting wears your rifles internal components faster
Many people like boosting sot rates to the maximum on their gun. Shooting faster gives you a competitive edge. If you aim correctly, you shouldn’t hurt the other person. However, the reality is that the rifle takes the brunt of the punishment when you shoot at high FPS rates.
Most electric guns will experience damage to the internals within a few months, causing a malfunction and a costly repair. Most manufacturers won’t replace or repair the damage under warranty if they realize you were running the gun at max capacity.
Gas guns will also take damage at high FPS settings, but not as bad as electric models. Most clubs restrict FPS settings to 400-FPS, and they run spot checks on rifle power. If they catch you intentionally increasing your gun’s power, they may ask you to leave the range.
Airsoft Rifle FAQs
Do you want a rifle for target practice or CQC?
What do you want out of your airsoft gun? Are you looking to start tactical games, or practice your long-distance shooting? Choose the rifle that matches your needs.
What does the “AR” in AR-15 mean?
Many people think that the “AR” in AR-15 stands for “Assault Rifle.” However, that’s not the case. AR stands for the name of the first company to design and build the platform – Arma-Lite. Thus, Arma-Lite Rifle would be the correct terminology.
What is the maximum FPS of an airsoft rifle?
That’s a challenging question to answer. The FPS of the projectile depends on the size and weight of the BB. The BB’s material and the power rating of the rifle also make a difference in the shot. Top airsoft models feature FPS ratings of up to 430-FPS with lighter 0.28-gram, 6mm BBs, and a 6.08mm barrel. The heavier projectiles might only achieve FPS readings of 350-FPS on the same model.
What’s the best scope to use for my airsoft rifle?
If you want to upgrade your rifle with a scope, consider one that fits the gun model. There’s a difference between tactical and sniper scopes, and buying the wrong can be a costly mistake. For tactical CQC gaming, we recommend a red-dot sight or fiber-optic sights for a reasonably affordable upgrade.
With sniper scopes, look for a balance of functionality and affordability. Some scopes can cost more than your gun.
What are the types of ammunition fired by airsoft guns?
Airsoft guns work with “BB’s.” Airsoft BBs are available in standard sizes and weights, with 0.12 gram and 0.20 gram BB’s being favorites on the range and tactical course. Other standard BB weights are the following.
- 0.25 gram
- 0.28 gram
- 0.30 gram
- 0.40 gram
The BB weight affects the required force to propel the BB through the barrel to the target after firing. The heavier and larger the BB, the slower the FPS, but the heavier the hit. Heavier, BB’s also have more accuracy.
Why do airsoft rifles come with this orange muzzle compensator?
To help people determine that it’s not a real firearm. Some models are so realistic; people may mistake them for genuine guns at a distance. If they are armed, they may feel threatened by you and attempt a self-defense shooting. The orange muzzle ensures they don’t confuse your imitation firearm for the real deal.
Gearing up for your first airsoft game is plenty of fun, and by now, you should have a good idea of the type of airsoft gun you want to buy. If you’re still hesitating with your decision, why not rely on our top picks for your rifle?
The GameFace 52004 Sniper Carbine is an excellent choice for medium to long-range sniper work. It also has a tactical shotgun feel to it at close range, making it a diverse weapon that’s great for fun with target practice or tactical courses.
If you want to get up-close-and-personal on the tactical range, take down your targets with the Tippmann AR-15 Carbine Airsoft Rifle. This model has the look and feel of a real AR-style rifle, with accurate high-power shooting that’s ideal for CQC situations. This model is a good choice for sport or home defense.
For those parents looking for a budget first-time-shooter model, the Daisy Official Boy Scouts of America BB Gun is a top choice. It’s an affordable rifle, and the ideal way to teach kids how to shoot. The quality is fantastic, and it shoots a different variety of BB’s.