How Far Do BB Guns Shoot
When it comes to the airsoft battlefield, the range of your weapon can make or break your performance. Its range decides whether you can face off in open terrains, or pick off unsuspecting foes from afar. Not to mention, it determines how accurately your shots land.
So, you might be wondering, just how far can an airsoft gun shoot? Does the range differ among various airsoft guns? How do we differentiate between effective range and maximum range? What influences a shot’s range? In this piece, let’s unravel these questions and more!
WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT EFFECTIVE RANGE AND MAXIMUM RANGE?
Airsoft gun marketers love to boast about the maximum distance their guns’ BBs can cover. But let’s be honest, when I’m in the thick of an airsoft match, I couldn’t care less about how far a BB can go. What truly matters to me is how accurately I can hit my target.
This is where the effective range comes into play. It measures how far a BB can travel while still maintaining reasonable accuracy. When I’m deciding which airsoft gun to purchase or during a match, it’s the max effective range that holds the most weight.
WHAT AFFECTS THE MAX RANGE OF AN AIRSOFT GUN?
There’s a myriad of factors at play when it comes to the range of an airsoft gun. If you’re aiming to grasp both the advertised range of your weapon and your actual effective range during matches, you need to get acquainted with these factors. Let’s dive into them below.
#1 THE MUSCLE BEHIND THE GUN
Predictably, the prime factor dictating how far and accurately a BB will travel is your airsoft gun’s power, typically quantified in feet per second (FPS). The more powerful your gun, the further it can fling the BBs.
However, it’s not as simple as it seems – there are a couple of aspects to consider when deciding on the power of your gun:
Spring, gas, or electric: The power source of your gun, whether it’s spring, gas, or electric, will influence its FPS. Gas-powered guns tend to propel BBs over greater distances while spring-powered guns are usually the weakest. Therefore, if you’re on the hunt for airsoft guns with effective ranges exceeding a certain limit, your options could be restricted. Safety: BBs of a specific weight and FPS can pose a danger, and are not only banned in most tournaments and airsoft matches, but they’re also illegal in certain countries. When selecting airsoft guns or upgrading your current ones, always remember to abide by safety and legal guidelines.
#2 THE CALIBER OF THE BB
The quality of the BB significantly affects the effective range of airsoft guns, often more than many realize:
The weight of the BBs: This principle is simple – a heavier BB requires more force to propel it the same distance as a lighter one. If you opt for heavier BBs for your airsoft guns, be prepared for a diminished effective range. Conversely, if you’re looking to enhance the range of your airsoft sniper rifles, lighter BBs are the way to go. The shape of the BBs: The shape of the BBs not only dictates the speed of your airsoft gun’s shots, but it also impacts the accuracy of the shot. As mentioned earlier, the effective range is the distance a BB can cover while maintaining relative accuracy. So, using lower-quality BBs means your airsoft guns will have a reduced effective range. #3 THE WEATHER Unsurprisingly, the weather plays a significant role in the effective range of airsoft BBs. While it might be thrilling to engage in an airsoft match amidst rain or snow, keep in mind that this could result in a lower effective range for your airsoft guns. The weather’s impact is two-pronged:
Effect on the BB: Depending on the weather conditions, once a BB exits the gun barrel, it may encounter wind, rain, or snowflakes. These elements act as physical barriers, reducing the distance the BB can cover. Effect on the Gun: Both cold and hot weather can affect the airsoft gun’s gearbox to varying degrees, depending on the power source of your gun. It’s a well-known fact that gas-powered guns perform poorly in winter and may cease to function entirely beyond certain temperatures. However, the effect on spring-powered and electric-powered guns should be minimal. RANGE FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF AIRSOFT GUNS The shooting distance greatly differs among various types of guns. Some excel in close-range combat, while others are proficient at longer ranges. Below, we’ll discuss the effective range of the most common types of airsoft weapons.
#1 RANGE OF AIRSOFT PISTOLS
Given their shorter barrel length and smaller form, airsoft pistols typically aren’t fitted with powerful gearboxes. An airsoft pistol’s effective range could be as little as 70 feet, with higher-quality, more powerful ones reaching around 80 feet. The max range tops off around 120 feet.
Since airsoft pistols mainly serve as sidearms for close-quarters combat, their effective range isn’t typically a major consideration when buying one. However, do remember that they’re not suitable for long-range combat.
#2 RANGE OF ASSAULT RIFLES
Assault rifles are the most commonly used guns in airsoft matches. Designed for both close and medium-range combat, the weapon’s effective range will influence your performance on the battlefield.
Due to the diverse designs, barrel lengths, and gearboxes of assault rifles, their effective range can vary significantly. For instance, a compact, bullpup submachine gun like the FN P90 will have a drastically different range than an AK electric airsoft gun. Thus, the max effective range for assault rifles spans between 100 to 225 feet, and their max range can reach up to 260 feet.
#3 RANGE OF AIRSOFT SNIPER RIFLES
Airsoft sniper rifles are created for long-range combat, making the range incredibly crucial for these weapons. However, contrary to popular belief, due to safety considerations and the limitations of standard gearboxes, sniper rifles don’t have a max effective range that’s much different from AK AEGs. This means their effective range is approximately 150-200 feet.
But, you can tweak and upgrade your sniper rifle to make it more powerful, extending its effective range to as far as 350 feet. If you relish shooting from a long distance and want to experience the true thrill of using a sniper rifle, consider upgrading.
BOOSTING THE RANGE OF YOUR AIRSOFT GUN
If you already own an airsoft replica and don’t wish to spend extra on high-quality airsoft SMGs with high FPS, you’ll be somewhat limited in how much you can increase your gun’s FPS. But fret not, marginal upgrades are certainly feasible.
The method you choose to upgrade your gun heavily depends on its power source. For instance, installing a heavier spring with more coils in spring-powered guns can increase the FPS. However, this won’t work for a CO2 pistol.
One universally applicable method to extend your range is using lighter BBs. Though they have their downsides like being more affected by the weather and potentially less accurate, they can help increase your airsoft gun’s range, enabling you to shoot across greater distances.
AIRSOFT GUNS RANGE FAQ HOW ACCURATE IS AN AIRSOFT GUN?
The accuracy of a BB over distance depends on several factors. These include the FPS of the airsoft gun, the length of its barrel, the quality of the BB, and the prevailing weather conditions. Typically, airsoft guns can shoot BBs that remain accurate up to 100 to 200 feet. However, with the right upgrades, this range can be extended to 200 to 300 feet.
WHAT DETERMINES THE RANGE OF AN AIRSOFT GUN?
The main factor determining an airsoft gun’s range is its power, measured in feet per second (FPS). The more powerful a gun, the higher the FPS at which it can shoot BBs, and the greater its range. However, keep in mind that range alone can be a deceptive metric because BBs don’t maintain accuracy throughout their entire flight. Therefore, it’s also crucial to consider the effective range of airsoft guns, defined as the distance BBs can travel while remaining accurate.
HOW FAR DOES A 300 FPS AIRSOFT PISTOL SHOOT?
It’s challenging to provide a definitive answer, as FPS isn’t the only factor determining how far an airsoft pistol’s BB can travel. However, on average, a typical 300 FPS airsoft pistol can shoot BBs that travel around 125 to 175 feet. Electric pistols have a max range of 100 feet. However, their effective range is likely much lower.