How Do Gas Powered Airsoft Guns Work?

16th Feb 2016

How Do Gas Powered Airsoft Guns Work?

Airsoft guns are accurate replicas of real world firearms which allow players all over the world to engage in competitive battles without causing harm to one another, but how do they work?

The Basics

Unlike weapons used in military applications, Airsoft guns are not lethal. This is because they utilise BBs (spherical plastic pellets) instead of metal bullets as well as replacing gunpowder with either compressed gas or electronic solutions.

Much like their lethal variants, the majority of airsoft guns require players to reload their weapons by using magazines which contain both the plastic BBs and the gas. Magazines can be found in low cap, mid cap and high cap sizes, with the larger magazines able to store over 600 BBs.

Gas Guns

Gas blowback guns are some of the most common weapons found in any weekend skirmish and they make use of different propellant gases in order to fire accurate shots at the target.

“Green Gas” is one of the most frequently used in the sport, however, there are many other types available which offer varying levels of pressure based on the build quality of weapon as well as the player’s needs and playing style.

These types of weapons are far more powerful and accurate than spring-powered due the gas’s ability to achieve higher velocities and flatter trajectories.

The Firing Process

The vast majority of the magazine is actually dedicated to the storage of gas, with only a small volume used to house the BBs. This is because BB pellets are far smaller than conventional metal bullet cases and, also, because the gas needs to be in amply supply to last for an entire game.

As the gas is stored and locked within the magazine (until the firing cycle is initiated), the gas is pressurised, creating a higher density and allowing for more gas to be stored.

When the trigger is pulled, a hammer inside the gun will push against the valve in the magazine for a short period of time, causing gas to be released into the top portion of the weapon and propelling the BB out of the chamber.


Aside from the substantial power benefits related to the inclusion of a gas propellant system, air powered guns also benefit the user by removing the need to manually reset the firing mechanism and, consequently, the speed of which the gun can be fired increases.

Gas guns are almost always semi-automatic with some models even capable of firing in fully automatic mode.

In addition, due the variety of different gases available, these guns can be customised to meet the requirements of the user. Gases with varying power, lubricative qualities and cold weather capabilities are all available and can be used in a variety of gas guns.

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