Gas airsoft guns are, what can only politely be described as, awful during the winter months. When the temperature drops, so does their performance and reliability. It’s just a simple fact of how airsoft meets physics.
The reason gas guns are less efficient during the winter is to do with the “vapour pressure” of the gas.
Due to being under high pressure, the airsoft gas you put in a magazine is in a liquid state. When you fill the magazine you’re filling it with the liquid “gas” until the pressures in the bottle and the magazine become equal. Now, you have liquid in your magazine and the liquid evaporates to fill any space left in the magazine with gas. The pressure of this gas is determined by its temperature.
The lower the temperature, the lower the pressure of the vapour above the liquid.
What does this mean?
Well put simply, you need pressure to be able to operate the gas blow back and to propel the BBs. The effect is like turning down the pressure in an HPA gun. There’s simply not enough pressure to operate the whole action.
What can you do about it?
To combat the affects of the cold, there are a few different options, all of them revolve around simply increasing the pressure (or changing the vapour point) through choosing a different kind of propellant.
1.Higher Pressure Gas
The first and easiest method is to simply find a different gas. For instance, if your airsoft gun is struggling to operate in sub 10 degree climates whilst using Abbey’s Ultra Gas, you can try a higher pressure gas, like our Abbey Vertex Gas. This brings the pressure up in cold conditions to a more usable temperature.
Alternatively, you could swap to a much higher pressure gas like Co2. Co2 guns work just fine in the winter due to the incredibly high pressure that Co2 is stored under. However, it’s not as simple as saying “just use Co2”. The gas is much more powerful (due to the high pressure) and will increase your FPS, require different magazines and potentially damage your gun if not prepared properly. We’ve written a whole blog on “can you use Co2 instead of Green Gas”.
HPA is another alternative, but not a simple or cheap one. High Pressure Air requires an air tank and line to be plumbed into your gas gun. It’s not a simple fix for a seasonal problem but does come with the benefits of more consistent FPS.
Another Problem with the Cold
Cold doesn’t just affect the gas used in your airsoft guns, but affects the actual airsoft guns themselves. Metal shrinks in the cold, tightening up tolerances and causing more friction. Liquids become more viscous, meaning lubricants aren’t as effective and provide more resistance. Plastics become brittle and fragile.
Overall, your airsoft gun, if not prepared properly can be a bit of a time-bomb waiting to fail and disappoint when you need it.