What is a blowback airsoft gun?

22nd Apr 2022

What is a blowback airsoft gun?

Being one of the most common types of airsoft guns, gas blowback is a trusted and effective mechanism.

Using compressed gas to give an instant response when the trigger is pulled as well as requiring the slide of the gun to move, even remaining back when out of ammunition. These aspects make them some of the most realistic feeling weapons available and the first choice for many airsofter’s sidearms. 

Once the hammer has been pulled it will press against the release valve in the magazine/CO2 storage allowing a small burst of gas to escape into the chamber of the pistol moving the BB.

Gas blowback pistols can be powered by any common form of compressed gas used which includes our Abbey Gas (green gas) and CO2. Both have their positives and negatives for example, green gas has less power but also puts less stress on the internals of the pistol.


Pros of using a gas blowback gun


  • Recoil – As we previously mentioned the addition of recoil to the guns function gives a more realistic feel which players value when spending money on their equipment. The slide will retract just like on a real gun.


  • No gearbox – The use of gas means they can be made without the need for a gearbox or batteries which results in a quieter sound when compared to electric ones which produce a whining sound when powering up. Due to the nature of blowback guns, you can also make use of a suppressor which, just like a real gun, can disperse the gas and sound produced when firing.


  • Reliable – pulling on the trigger of a gas blowback gun puts pressure on a valve to release gas from either the CO2 container or green gas magazine. This gas is released and used to propel the BB and move the slide. This simple mechanism means there are very few things which can go wrong when compared to electric guns (Especially in the rain and outside grounds).


Cons of using a gas blowback gun


  • Gas cost – The issue with blowback is that they can burn through the gas quickly. Having to both propel the BB and move the slide back. This is an issue with both the CO” and green gas options you have. Which is why non-blowback gas guns are still used by some people as a cheaper alternative.


  • Efficiency – When playing in the field it is important to remember you will eventually need to re-fill your gun. With a battery-powered gun you can carry many hours’ worth of extra power with just 1-2 more batteries, gas however will require filling far more frequently. Whether that is replacing the CO2 canisters (which you will still have to carry when empty) or carrying a green gas bottle such as our Gun Gas 144a or Ultra, depending on the pressure required, which takes up some space on your rigging.


Conclusion on Gas blowback guns


There are many things to consider when choosing a sidearm but with such a large variety of options and prices to choose from it should not have that much of an impact on your choice. Unless you are a player intent on realistic equipment and experiences then a non-blowback gun should not be off the table.


Why not read our previous blog on HPA guns in airsoft and how they work...

How does HPA in airsoft work?

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