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When looking for the best airsoft pistol on the market, things can get a little overwhelming. Nowadays, with the growing popularity of airsoft, there are innumerable makes and models to choose from.
There are many excellent options out there and a lot of factors that can make a difference in what airsoft pistol would be best for you and your needs. Many have metal construction or components, others have durable ABS plastic parts, and some shoot using different power sources or with varying pressure. There are models built with the look of a true pistol for better immersion in the game, and there are a whole host of other features to consider while looking.
Luckily we’re here to take the research and guesswork off your hands with this list of the top 6 best airsoft pistols on the market. Read on to see our top choice, and find the pistol best suited to you! Otherwise, check here if looking for the best paintball pistols.
Airsoft History and Gameplay
Airsoft can be played either indoors or outdoors in a predetermined field or area, usually with a relatively large amount of space. The objective is to hit, or “tag” your opponents, and it generally relies on an honor system for the players when hit, as there are no visible marks from impact like in paintball.
The sport was developed in Japan, where the guns were created as an alternative to owning and practicing with real firearms due to strict import rules and laws that forbid civilians to own firearms. Airsoft guns became popular for use in both recreational firearm training, target shooting, and even in police and military training and reenacting as they are a relatively safe alternative to practicing with real firearms. As the mechanics of airsoft guns improved and better, more realistic and more powerful models became available people all over the world fell in love with recreating and playing out military simulations, combat-based gameplay and the competitiveness of the sport.
The Top 6 Best Airsoft Pistols Currently on the Market
1. GAME FACE GFAP13 – Best For Beginners
- Excellent customer service
- Metal gearbox and barrel
- Great accuracy
- 6mm BB
- 250 FPS
- Battery life
A great pistol for beginners and advanced players alike, this pistol is lightweight, well made with a metal gearbox and barrel, and shoots with great accuracy and power. Its battery life can vary from 2 to 4 hours, so it is recommended to grab an extra battery when purchasing to allow for the most efficiency for use in matches and games. This model delivers dependable performance for the price and offers the convenience of not having to purchase CO2 for power. Overall, a great sidearm pistol with excellent value!
2. Walther P99 – Best CO2 Efficiency
- Metal slide creates realistic kickback
- Powered by C02 hidden in the grip
- Shoots 6mm BBs
- 320 FPS
- Fixed front and rear sights
- Heavy trigger pull
This pistol model is built with a metal slide that blows back, creating a very realistic kick when used. It is also easy to tell when you have run out of BBs, as the slide will lock back and stay in place once empty. It is easy to load and has a paddle release magazine.
This airsoft pistol comes with a 15 round drop-free magazine at purchase. The CO2 container is hidden in the handle and it does not leak or have any problems wasting gas. The Walther P99 is a convenient weight and size and can be fit in a vest or as a sidearm pistol if desired. This model has a lot of power and of course, it is advised not to be given to young children as a toy or first gun as it could cause injury if used improperly.
3. Elite Force 1911 – Best Durability
- Realistic all-metal construction
- 6mm BB
- 345 FPS
- CO2 airsoft pistol
- Outstanding durability
- Noted jamming issues for some users
This model has an incredibly realistic look making it more immersive for in-game use but also a very neat piece for airsoft players who are also firearm enthusiasts. The pistol shoots with good power and accuracy and uses CO2 canisters in the magazines for its power source. The hop up on this model is very intense at first, so it will need adjusting and some getting used to.
Due to the Elite Force 1911’s all-metal frame, it is incredibly durable, but also quite heavy, so it can be noticeable when running with this pistol in a hip holster or vest. It’s worth noting that the tension spring used while loading the magazine is very strong and will need a bit of care when reloading, which could be difficult for younger players.
4. WG 500 FPS AIRSOFT METAL M9 – Best Versatility
- CO2 airsoft pistol
- Shoots 6mm BBs
- 400 FPS
- Adjustable rear sight
- Integrated glow sights
- Plastic internals
This model features a rubberized grip and metal frame, so it feels nicely weighted when held. It is an ideal pistol to carry in a vest or hip holster, as it is not too bulky or overly heavy. You can expect a good accuracy rate from this pistol, however, it is not as accurate as some other models on this list. Therefore, it might be best used by someone who does not rely on it for more difficult or long-range shots. The WG 500 FPS can go through CO2 quite quickly while playing, but that is made up for by the power it delivers when shooting. This model features a tactical rail system so you can purchase additional items for the pistol such as a laser or flashlight if desired.
5. Umarex Combat Zone Enforcer – Best Value
- 6mm BB
- Up to 400 FPS
- CO2 powered
- Non blowback pistol
- Some users reported leaking of CO2 cartridges
Constructed with a sturdy plastic frame and metal barrel, this pistol is an excellent value and a great model for those still learning what they like in an airsoft pistol. The front sight features a white dot for easy aiming. The magazines hold 15 rounds, so it’s recommended to purchase extra magazines for matches.
The Umarex Combat Zone pistol has good accuracy and decent power for being such a budget-friendly option and holds up well through use in all seasons. This model also features rails under the muzzle to allow for the addition of attachments such as lasers, flashlights, etc. which is another great thing for newer users to be able to experiment with.
6. UMAREX GLOCK 19X – Best Replica Pistol
- Shoots 6mm BBs
- 300 FPS
- Detailed replica design
- Full metal slide with polymer body construction
- Some users reported magazine spring coming out
- Poor customer service
This airsoft pistol is a fantastically detailed licensed replica model that looks and feels almost identical to its counterpart. This airsoft GLOCK has half blowback action, so it does have some recoil to it but not a large amount. This could be ideal for an airsoft player who prefers less kick when shooting or for younger users. The body and handle of the Umarex GLOCK are ergonomically designed and lightweight, making this an excellent sidearm and very easy to carry and wield in matches.
The Legality of Airsoft Pistols
Since airsoft guns and pistols are designed to look similar, if not identical to a real gun, it is crucial to practice safe use. Be sure to check the laws of your state before purchasing and always transport your airsoft pistols in ways that ensure the safety of yourself and everyone around you.
This includes ensuring the safety is locked on the airsoft pistol (not in fire mode), that you are transporting it in an appropriate case or bag, and that you do not alter the orange plastic tip on the pistol. In the USA, it is legally required that all airsoft pistols are sold equipped with a bright orange tip to help distinguish them from a real weapon. Post-sale, the tip may be removed or altered, but the safest practice is to leave the orange tip intact. In most states, airsoft pistols are not classified as firearms and are legal for use by people of all ages.
How to Practice Safe Use of an Airsoft Pistol
It is highly recommended that eye protection be used any time you are using an airsoft pistol. There are many different goggles or masks available for purchase to help keep users safe. During matches and gameplay, most establishments will require a certain amount of protective airsoft gear but the basics that come recommended by most players to reduce the amount of pain experienced when hit would be goggles and a mask, a vest, knee pads, gloves, and boots. Long sleeve shirts, pants, scarves, etc. are also helpful in avoiding unnecessary pain and injuries.
Airsoft Guns vs BB Guns
Although airsoft pistols, and in fact all airsoft guns, are made to look like the real thing, they are not the same as traditional BB guns that you can buy to shoot metal pellets or BBs. A traditional BB gun shoots with much more power, and as mentioned, uses metal BBs, so it can be used for hunting or target shooting.
An airsoft handgun is absolutely not acceptable to use indoors or for any sort of matches or gameplay, as it can cause very serious bodily harm. An airsoft gun is designed to shoot plastic BBs at a much slower rate of power, so while they may hurt or sting on impact, they are not designed to cause the same harm as metal BBs. They do not travel as far and are designed to be used to “tag” or “hit” opponents with no real bodily harm.
What Should I Look For When Purchasing an Airsoft Pistol?
Wondering what you should be on the lookout for when purchasing an airsoft pistol? Let us break some of the most common factors down for you:
When you are choosing an airsoft pistol (or any airsoft gun for that matter), it is important to check out the weight of the model. A heavier pistol may mean more durability or a more realistic feel, but it also means carrying more weight through your matches, putting you at a disadvantage against an opponent with a lighter weight model. Children or new players may prefer to start with a lighter pistol to allow for easier carrying and maneuverability while they learn the game and build strength and skill.
Gas vs Electric
Airsoft pistols can be powered by gas, or by electricity via battery packs. Gas-powered models have a faster shot rate and can offer more power, but the range and FPS does reduce as the CO2 cartridge runs out. This means you will have to reload the CO2 on the battlefield to keep power to your shots when needed. Electric pistols do not require CO2, which can help reduce overall cost as they are rechargeable instead of having to be replaced. Electric models often require less maintenance which is a nice bonus. However, they often don’t measure up to gas-powered guns in FPS so it will come down to personal preference as to which type you prefer.
You can purchase all sorts of accessories for your airsoft pistols that can be installed on rails attached to the muzzle of the gun. The most commonly used are lasers for helping target opponents and flashlights for helping with visibility. Both of these types of accessories are a great way to improve your overall accuracy in a match. If you do not want to add accessories to your pistol you can also purchase rail covers that will protect the unused rails on your gun. These covers also sometimes offer additional functions such as improved grip or aesthetics of the unit.
Our Top Choice for Best Airsoft Pistol
Our number one pick for the best airsoft gun is the Elite Force 1911. This pistol has a durable, high-quality metal frame, holds up well to use in all conditions, and can survive the occasional drop should it slip during a match. This model is super fun to shoot, features a realistic blowback action with shots and has an adjustable hop-up for a customizable shot. Its design is simple and well thought out with a balanced weight so it can be used by players of any level and any age.
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Alwayne is a Pro Paintball Coach in profession. He has a long experience as a Paintball Coach. Now, Alwayne is sharing over 10 years of experience of all tips and tricks about paintballs. The reviews and guide are elaborate at its best!