How to increase the range of an AEG airsoft gun?
Greater range of the airsoft gun
Few people are satisfied with the performance of the airsoft guns straight from the box. We can talk about whether this is a healthy situation on another occasion. It is worth emphasizing, however, that this is only one of many components of our effectiveness on the airsoft battlefield. However, when we are determined that it is the replica's performance that stands in our way to victory, we have a few places where we can look for valuable meters of range.
However, before we get down to specifics, it is worth mentioning a few organizational issues. Firstly, it is very difficult to give specific advice for every situation here. We have different airsoft guns, different power limits and different conditions. Even parts from recognized manufacturers from different batches may differ in the performance offered. Therefore, in this text I will rather generally point out where you can direct your attention when planning the tuning of your replica instead of providing ready-made recipes. Moreover, I would like to point out that especially beginners, but also players with longer experience, will greatly benefit from taking their replica to a proven service technician. And while such an article will help in a conversation with a specialist, because we will know what he is talking about, it will not replace years of experience and knowledge of the current market offer of stores.
Range and airsoft gearbox
It may seem that the power of our airsoft gun determines how far it shoots. And this is partly true. At least at first glance. A more powerful replica will usually send the bullet further than the same one with less power. Hence the idea for the simplest tuning possible in replicas with an easy spring replacement system. Just buy a strong spring, put it in the airsoft gun and you're good to go. Suddenly we get several meters of valuable range for the price of a spring.
When planning to tune an airsoft gun for range, our primary concern should be the repeatability of shots, not their power itself. This is also important, but it won't do much if the shots don't produce repeatable power. Therefore, the basis is the sealing of the pneumatic assembly. Choosing power is then a matter of the power limits of the games we want to meet.
Sometimes players consider changing the barrel to improve the range of the replica. This is a good line of reasoning, but not without some minor pitfalls. It seems that a longer barrel will give us better range. That's not necessarily true. The length of the barrel and its diameter should be matched to the cylinder so that the volume of air it can hold corresponds to the volume of the cylinder. This is a topic for a separate article, so we will leave it for now.
In the context of the topic of this article, what is important is the barrel, not its length. Unlike those usually used in factory airsoft guns, precision barrels are usually made with greater care. They have better quality surfaces, maintain their diameter along the entire length and have a better finished crown. These elements minimize the negative effects on our bullet, which adds a few valuable meters of range to the shots.
The hop-up system used in it has a very large impact on the range of our airsoft gun. Even simple modifications such as changing the hop-up rubber can do a lot to improve the performance of our toy. The truth is that few replicas have very good hop-up systems by default. Or otherwise. The spare parts market has such interesting alternatives for us that manufacturers probably can't keep up with them or they simply assume that anyone who wants to can find a better rubber band or hop-up chamber if they need it.
My experience shows that the hop-up rubbers used in factory replicas are often quite hard. Thanks to this, they do not spin the BBs as effectively as their counterparts from better-selected mixtures. They are probably selected for durability rather than performance. Therefore, replacing the rubber band without any further interference can positively affect the range of our toy. By curling the BBs more effectively, we can either send the current ammunition further or try to use heavier BBs, which may have a positive impact on both the range and accuracy.
But what if just replacing the rubber band is not enough? We have a few more options. The first one is a change in the way the BB is curled. By choosing solutions such as Flat-hop or R-hop, we increase the contact area between the rubber band and the BB, which leads to the benefits described above. More effective curling and the ability to use heavier BBs. Changing the hop-up chamber itself affects the accuracy of shots more, but a more precisely made part minimizes losses, which may also affect the range.
Do airsoft BBs matter?
People who say that good BBs are the cheapest way to tune an airsoft gun know what they are talking about. However, as with the previously described modifications, there is a fine line between improving the range and improving the accuracy of our airsoft toy. These two parameters often go hand in hand. First of all, good quality BBs are more repeatable. This is the basis if we want to talk about measuring the performance of replicas at all.
Better quality BBs are often simply made with greater accuracy. What do we mean by this? They have a smoother surface. They more closely approximate a perfect spherical shape. This makes them more susceptible to the hop-up system. And as above. More effective overclocking has a positive effect on the range.
It is also worth mentioning something that was already mentioned above, namely the weight of the BBs. There is a positive correlation between the greater weight of the BBs and the performance of the airsoft gun. Of course, this has its limits, because at some point the BBs are too heavy and will not fly any further. However, when shooting with lighter ammunition, we expose it more to the influence of wind and loss of energy. Which translates into deterioration of performance.
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