Airsoft Info: Terms, Definitions and Other Helpful Information

11/11/2010 12:53




ROF - Rate Of Fire

RPM - Rounds Per Minute

NOTE: Higher ROF/RPM means greater suppressive fire on full auto, but you also chew through ammo quickly


GEARBOX - The part of the airsoft gun where all the internals are housed. Click here for an animated diagram.


HOP-UP - The part of an airsoft gun which controls the vertical trajectory of a bb. Click here to see diagram (Scroll down until you come to the first diagram.)


MAGAZINE - The ammunition clip where the bbs are stored. Also reffered to as "mag"


HI CAP MAGAZINE - "High Capacity" magazine. A magazine which holds more than 150 bbs


MID CAP MAGAZINE - "Mid/Medium Capacity" magazine. A magazine which holds 50-150 bbs


LOW CAP MAGAZINE - "Low Capacity" magazine. A magazine which holds 50 or less bbs


TIGHTBORE - A barrel with an inside diameter of 6.05-6.00mm. Tightbore barrels give an increase in range, accuracy, and FPS. The tighter the barrel, the more increase in these areas. However, keep in mind that tightbores MUST be used only with high quality bbs (TSD Tactical, GoldenBall Proslick, or another acceptable brand. No Crossmans).


FPS - Feet Per Second; a measurement of velocity by which a bb moves

Higher FPS = higher velocity, lower FPS = lower velocity.

Advantages of higher FPS:

1. More punching power through undergrowth

2. Can provide greater accuracy since the bb is less affected by wind

3. Hurts more when someone gets hit (sometimes it is difficult for someone to know whether they have been hit or not. Greater impact makes it easier for someone to feel when they have been hit).

Disadvantages of Higher FPS:

1. To provide greater safety for the players there should be a set minimum engagement distance, or a rule which requires players to switch to semi-auto once they get within a certain distance of each other. 

2. While higher FPS can increase accuracy because of less interference from the wind, it can also make an inaccurate or short barreled gun even less accurate. The reason for this is that there is more "torque" behind the bbs. This additional torque, when combined with a short or large bore barrel, results in less controlled flight. The barrel is not long or tight enough to help counteract the additional torque given by the higher FPS .


Advantages of lower FPS (200-350FPS):

1. The possibility of injury at closer ranges is reduced. This is really the only advantage of lower FPS.

Disadvantages of lower FPS:

Basically you lack all the advantages that come with higher FPS guns.


Less than 200FPS = not even worth looking at

200-330 FPS = O.K for CQB/CQC (Close Quarter Battle/Close Quarter Combat)

330-350 FPS = Good for short to mid range battles, not the greatest for long range

350-450 FPS = Good for mid to long range battles

450 FPS or higher = Sniper. Good for long range battles. Guns with this much power should have a minimum shooting distance of at least 75ft.)


NOTE: This chart is only valid for FPS readings taken using .20g bbs. Also, if you are buying a pistol (as a sidearm, not a main weapon) 200-350 FPS is reasonable.



The "inner barrel" is the actual barrel that the bb passes through - the gun barrel itself is called the "outer" barrel.

Long(er) Barrels give greater range and accuracy. Range, because the air has more time to build up behind the bb, allowing the bb to have a greater velocity when it exits the barrel Accuracy, because the bb has more time for its flight path to be adjusted correctly. 

Note: A barrel that is to long can actually create drag on the bb resulting in decreased velocity. Make sure to do some research before purchasing a barrel that is longer than the one that came with your gun.

Short(er) Barrels provide greater maneuverability in tight situations, but offer less range and less accuracy at longer distances.



.12g = cheap, higher FPS (because of lighter weight),  way less accuracy than .20g or heavier bbs

.20g = good accuracy, average price

.23-.28g = even better accuracy, but decreases range and FPS some - more expensive than .20g

Anything heavier than .28 is really only for high powered sniper rifles. Also be aware that the heavier a BB is, the quicker it wears out your hop-up. [Not that heavier bbs will wear out the hop-up immediately, but over time they will wear out a hop-up more than if you used a lighter bb (i.e. .20-.23g)].



NOTICE: Always buy good quality bbs (TSD, Golden Ball Proslicks, G&G) for use in electric guns. It is also highly recommended that you use nothing lighter than .20g bbs.


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Article by Striker


Disclaimer: We will not be held responsible for any action(s) taken in regard to the information provided in this article. Any action(s) you take as a result of reading this article you take by your own choice and at your own risk.





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