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Mastering the Game: Best Airsoft Pistols for Competitive Play

Updated: Oct 30, 2023


The Best Airsoft Pistol for Use in Competitions. The best airsoft pistols for beginners and advanced airsofters. Here is a detailed guide with the primary features of each gun.
The Best Airsoft Pistol for Use in Competitions


Introduction

The world of airsoft is growing at a rapid rate and with this rise in popularity comes the desire to be the best and come out on top, especially when there is so much at stake in competitions.


Yet, not all airsoft pistols were created the same, and any old airsoft pistol simply won’t cut it. We are going to break down the basics of airsoft pistols, explain the different types, review a few pistols we feel are the best on the market, and hopefully give you enough information to make the right choice in picking the best airsoft pistol.


The basics of the best airsoft pistol

The word “pistol” can be quite a broad term when it comes to firearms because, within the category of a pistol, there are many variations. So, before we delve into the good stuff of what it takes to be declared “The best airsoft pistol for use in competitions,” we need to start with the basics.


What is an airsoft pistol?


The most basic definition of an airsoft pistol is that it is a replica firearm that fires non-lethal plastic pellets. In reality, there is more to an airsoft pistol than simply shooting plastic pellets.

The biggest difference with an airsoft pistol is the actual design, and firing mechanism of an airsoft pistol are different from that of a conventional firearm, and with that it propels non-metallic spherical projectiles with a very low muzzle energy rating.

Each variation of airsoft pistol is unique with regards to how it performs, its construction, firing mechanism, and appearance. Below is a better explanation of the different firing options for an airsoft pistol and later we further explain the different types of airsoft pistols to choose from.


Gas Blowback Airsoft Pistol


Easily the closest type of airsoft pistol that resembles a real pistol. We will describe the actual specifications of a gas blowback airsoft pistol in the section. Primarily used as a sidearm in airsoft competitions, the gas blowback airsoft pistol has the action of a moving slide with each shot that makes it look identical to a firing pistol.


Full Metal Airsoft Pistol


Full metal airsoft pistols are not necessarily specific in the way they fire the projectiles but rather in the manner in which they are constructed. The majority of airsoft pistols are primarily plastic or some form of alloy, with a small portion having wooden components in them.

A full metal airsoft pistol is exactly that, constructed mostly from metal to closely resemble a real firearm. These forms of airsoft pistols generally cost more and are heavier in weight.


Full Auto Airsoft Pistol


Fully automatic firing airsoft pistols are similar to their firearm counterparts in that they are capable of firing continuous propellants one after the other while the trigger is pulled. There is also the more conventional and commonly used option of a semi-automatic airsoft pistol, which fires a single propellant while simultaneously reloading the pistol for the next shot.



Types of airsoft pistols


We briefly touched on the different firing actions for airsoft pistols and each of those actions can be implemented into various types of airsoft pistols.


There are 3 main types of airsoft pistols, electric airsoft pistols, gas airsoft pistols, and lastly spring-powered airsoft pistols.


Below we discuss each type further and the factors one needs to consider when choosing which type of airsoft pistol will best suit their style and goals during an airsoft competition.


Electric airsoft pistols


For those getting started in airsoft, an electric airsoft pistol will most likely be the first type you will use. Popularity amongst electric airsoft pistols is huge and for a good reason, not only are they easier to use, they come in cheaper than similar types, are surprisingly accurate, and reliable, and can switch between semi and fully-automatic on certain models.


So, how do electric airsoft pistols work?

Within the frame of the electric airsoft pistol lays a spring-loaded piston and cylinder. An internal electric motor, powered by a rechargeable battery, compresses the piston spring with a series of gears allowing a build-up of air behind the pellet. Once the trigger is pulled the piston forces the air through the barrel, which in turn propels the BB or pellet.


Electric airsoft pistols can be divided into Electric Blowback Airsoft Pistols and Automatic Electric Pistols, with the biggest difference between the two being the electric blowback airsoft pistol has a simulated blowback on the slide.


The majority of electric airsoft pistols run off 4xAAA batteries, which means the power they produce is not significant enough to cause serious harm.


Accuracy is good within ranges of 40 to 60 yards, but anything further than that and the trajectory of the BB pellet is steep enough to drastically affect accuracy.


Gas airsoft pistols


Gas airsoft pistols are often looked upon as an upgrade from electric airsoft pistols. The feel and look of gas airsoft pistols are more realistic than the entry electric pistols, with a firing action that mimics lethal pistols.


A gas airsoft pistol works in the following way:


The gas reservoir within the pistol stores pressurized gas, which is referred to as green gas or other similar products. Once the trigger is pulled hammer is released that engages the valve on the reservoir, immediately releasing the gas which pushes up towards the barrel of the pistol forcing the BB pellet, while simultaneously a smaller portion of the released gas is used to work the slide which loads the follow-up pellet for the next shot.


The cycling slide and sound produced are a few of the reasons why the gas airsoft pistols are so popular amongst serious airsoft competitors.


Although there are many different types of gas airsoft pistols, there are only two variations. The gas blowback pistol and the non-blowback pistol. A blowback pistol will have a slide that cycles with each shot, while the non-blowback pistol has a fixed slide. There is not much difference in terms of performance, with both variations achieving around 400 fps.




Types of Gas-Powered Airsoft Pistols
Types of Gas-Powered Airsoft Pistols


Green gas airsoft pistol

The term “green gas” in airsoft refers to the specific type of gas used in the pressurized firing of the BB pellet. In this gas, green gas is propane with a small mixture of silicone oil added.


It is important to mention that green gas is injected into the magazine within the pistol, unlike other gas airsoft pistols such as CO2 which come in small cartridges.


Green gas airsoft pistols are available in full and semi-automatic as well as blowback and non-blowback.


CO2 airsoft pistols

CO2 airsoft pistols are almost identical to green gas pistols in the way they look, feel, and perform with two exceptions. The first is the lack of propane and the second is that the Co2 comes in small cartridges that are inserted into the pistol, whereas green gas pistols require the gas to be injected into an internal chamber within the pistol.


Spring-powered airsoft pistol


There is much debate among die-hard airsoft enthusiasts when it comes to spring-powered airsoft pistols, some stand by them while others may stand by the trash bin and throw them. Regardless of which side you are on, there is no denying that spring-powered airsoft pistols are here to stay.


The mechanism within a spring-powered airsoft pistol is fairly basic and simple, as you can tell by the name a spring is used to compressing air to propel the BBs


The pistol is cocked before the shot, which puts the spring under tension, when the trigger is pulled the tension is released, and the spring provides sufficient energy to propel the BB.


What is the best airsoft pistol?


The best airsoft pistol brands


Participants of airsoft are spoilt for choice when it comes to brands and manufacturers of airsoft equipment, and likewise, newcomers to airsoft may feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer range available.


Below is a list of some of the more trusted and recognizable brands that one would encounter when trying to decide on which airsoft pistol is best for them.

  • AIM Sports Inc.

  • ASG

  • Classic Army

  • CYMA

  • Elite Force / Umarex USA

  • G&G

  • ICS

  • Krytac

  • KWA

  • Lancer Tactical

  • Teneregy

  • Valken

  • VFC

  • WE

  • MARUI


We did mention there were a lot of companies and brands to work through, but if you are unsure of where to begin then don’t stress we are compiling an extensive article on what to look for in each brand and how they would benefit you.


Criteria for the best airsoft pistols


Not all airsoft pistols were created equal, and we wish it was that easy to simply pick up any pistol and have it perform incredibly well, with deadly accuracy. As you can see from the list above of various airsoft brands, there is a plethora of options to choose from. Using a framework, such as a list of criteria you would like your pistol to meet, will help to make the decision process go a lot smoother.


We put together a list of the most important factors that need to be considered before buying an airsoft pistol:


  • Performance

There is more to performance than just having a pistol that hits the target. Performance entails everything from how the airsoft pistol will perform under different circumstances, reloading ability, the firing action, and so on.


  • Accuracy

At the end of the day, when it comes to airsoft competitions, accuracy matters. Take the time to fire a few BBs at different distances and get a result of how accurate the pistol is.


  • Reliability

Having an airsoft pistol that constantly has issues affecting your overall performance and enjoyment of airsoft then it may not be worth it. Cheaper pistols made from poor materials will likely fail after firing only a few shots.


  • Weight and Durability

Airsoft competitions matter every period of time. An overweight pistol not only slows down your movement and also retards the firing rate, which the following shot will be delayed. It pulls you away from the competitors.


  • Price

A big factor will always be price, and there are some very pricey airsoft pistols out there. if your budget is tight, then look at the best airsoft pistols within that price range.


  • Purpose

Will your pistol be your primary weapon or a sidearm? Are you going to enter competitions or just looking for something to enjoy, like backyard target shooting? Select the best airsoft pistol that meets your needs.


What is the best airsoft pistol to buy?


The best full auto airsoft pistol


Once you have sifted through the almost endless list of airsoft brands and applied your stringent criteria requirements to each, you should have a good shortlist of airsoft pistols to choose from, however, if one question remains in your head, to go full or semi-auto? We hope the following list we have compiled of the best full auto airsoft pistols will help.


KSC M93R


KSC M93R image
KSC M93R


The M93R II System-7 GBB Airsoft Pistol from KWA leads the way on our list. This sleek and realistic-looking pistol is a firm favorite amongst many airsoft veterans.


Features:

  • Semi-automatic, 3-round burst, and fully auto.

  • Features an integrated steel front flip-down handle

  • Field stripping ease

  • Powered by KWA’s trusted NS2 Gas System

  • Ergonomic design and feel with metal frame and slide

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 253mm x 175mm

  • Weight: 1060g

  • Muzzle Velocity: 340 to 350 fps

  • Inner Barrel: 125mm

  • Magazine: 32-round extended M93R magazine

  • Type: Green Gas

  • Semi-auto

  • BB Weight: 0.35 grams

Pros

Cons

• Three-round burst fire mode. • Adjustable Hop-Up system for improved accuracy. • Comfortable and ergonomic grip design.

​• May have gas efficiency issues, especially in colder temperatures. • The three-round burst fire mode can quickly drain the magazine. • The blowback action can be relatively strong, making follow-up shots difficult for some users. • Some users may find the trigger pull to be too heavy.

If you’re interested in getting a KSC M93R for yourself, check it out here!


WE G18C


WE G18C image
WE G18C

When you need your sidearm to work hard and never stop while still offering quality precision and accuracy, then the newly upgraded WE G18C Airsoft Pistol is certainly worth considering.


Features:

  • A solid, more robust internal makeup that is durable under automatic firing

  • The effective range over 50 meters

  • Pairs well with the Carbine Kit and AW drum magazine

  • Built on the excellent WE G18C system

Specifications:

  • Maple Leaf hop-up chamber

  • Maple Leaf hop-up adjustment wheel

  • VT INOX SS304 6.03mm Inner Barrel

  • VT NBR High Accuracy Hop-up

  • Bucking Internal Parts adjusted

  • Intensive function and parts checks

  • BB Weight: 0.3 grams

Pros

Cons

​• Good gas efficiency, allowing for many shots per magazine. • Full auto-firing mode for increased firepower. • Ergonomic grip design for improved handling and comfort. • Upgraded internal components for improved performance and reliability.

• May have accuracy and range issues due to its plastic construction. • Full auto firing mode can quickly drain the magazine. • Some users may find the blowback action to be too weak. • The trigger pull may be too light for some users, leading to accidental discharges. • The plastic construction may not hold up as well as metal-constructed airsoft pistols under heavy use.

If you’re interested in getting a WE G18C for yourself, check it out here!



The best Glock airsoft pistol


One cannot utter the word pistol, without having to mention Glock in the same sentence, and airsoft is no different. For the Glock fanatics, and there are many, many of us, there is a good selection of Glock airsoft pistols available that would easily hold their own in any airsoft competition.


Glock 17 Gen 5


Glock 17 Gen 5 image
Glock 17 Gen 5

Glock’s hugely popular and iconic Glock 17 Gen 5 is now available in airsoft. If you are a fan of Glocks, then this airsoft pistol has to form part of your arsenal.


Features:

  • Genuine looking replica

  • Fits most holsters

  • Precision barrel to match Glock’s reputation

  • Gas blowback

  • Ambidextrous feature

Specifications:

  • 6 mm BB caliber

  • 22-shot magazine capacity

  • The velocity of 90 meters per second

  • Energy less than 1.0 Joule

  • 200 mm length

  • Weight of 637 grams

Pros

Cons

• Good accuracy and range • High capacity magazine • Realistic design and weight similar to a real GLOCK 17 pistol • Durable construction •Easy to handle and operate

• Some users have reported issues with the magazine release mechanism • The blowback action, which adds realism, can also add recoil, making rapid fire more difficult for some users.

If you’re interested in getting a Glock 17 Gen 5 for yourself, check it out here!


WE Galaxy GBB


WE Galaxy GBB image
WE Galaxy GBB

For some, airsoft is all about the style and there are not many airsoft pistols out there in the style department that can hold their own against the WE Full-Auto Galaxy Series GBB airsoft pistol.


Features:

  • Full metal slide and barrel assembly

  • A high-strength polymer frame offering additional durability

  • Detachable upper and lower picatinny rail

  • Toggle between semi-auto and full-auto with a hidden switch

  • Pairs with the WE Glock Series Magazine

Specifications:

  • 220mm in length

  • 110 mm inner barrel length

  • Weight of 890 grams

  • Adjustable rear sight

  • Semi and fully automatic firing modes

  • Made from polymer and metal

  • Colors on offer are black, gold, and silver

  • 23-round magazine capacity

  • Gas powered

  • 330 feet per second

Pros

​Cons

• Full-auto capability provides a unique and exciting shooting experience • Good accuracy and range • Good build quality and durability

• May require more frequent maintenance• compared to other airsoft pistols • Higher cost of operation due to the use of gas to power the gun • Limited magazine capacity compared to some other airsoft pistols • Some users have reported issues with gas efficiency, leading to a decrease in performance over time.

If you’re interested in getting a WE Galaxy GBB for yourself, check it out here!


WE G17 Gen5 MOS GBB


WE G17 Gen5 MOS GBB image
WE G17 Gen5 MOS GBB

If you hear anyone bragging that Glock’s couldn’t get any better, then feel free to tell them about the WE G17 Gen5 MOS GBB, an upgraded version of the already impressive Glock 17 Gen 5.


Features:

  • Compatible with most of the micro reflex sight

  • Maintains Glock’s incredible accuracy

  • Green Gas powered

  • Semi-automatic gas blowback

  • Came with variable high iron sights and an adjustable hop-up system

Specifications:

  • 180 mm length

  • Weight of 668 grams with magazine inserted

  • Alloy and polymer material

  • 20-round magazine capacity

  • 6 mm BB

  • Gas: 8 KG (134A) and 12 KG (Green Gas)

  • Muzzle velocity of 300 feet per second

Upgrades:

  1. VT INOX SS304 6.03mm Inner Barrel

  2. VT NBR High Accuracy Hop-up Bucking

  3. Maple leaf adjustment wheel on hop-up

  4. Adjusted internal parts

  5. BB weight for optimal performance of 0.4mm

Pros

Cons

• Good accuracy and range • Upgraded features, such as a modular optic system (MOS), can improve performance • Realistic design and weight similar to a real GLOCK 17 pistol • Good build quality and durability • Easy to handle and operate

• The use of gas to power the gun can lead to a higher cost of operation compared to other types of airsoft pistols.

If you’re interested in getting a WE G17 Gen5 MOS GBB for yourself, check it out here!


Umarex Glock 19x


Umarex Glock 19x image
Umarex Glock 19x

The Umarex Glock 19x has all the style and finesse you would expect from a Glock. From the stylish finish, and well-crafted components, to the deadly accuracy, it all comes together so well.



Features & Specifications:

  • Metal slide and polymer frame

  • Ambidextrous feature

  • Gas blowback Semi-automatic action

  • 22-round magazine with 6mm BBs

  • Length of 175mm

  • Weight of 630 grams

​Pros

Cons

• Good accuracy and range • Realistic design and weight similar to a real GLOCK 19X pistol • Durable construction • Easy to handle and operate • Good build quality and durability

• The use of gas to power the gun can lead to a higher cost of operation compared to other types of airsoft pistols.

If you’re interested in getting a Umarex Glock 19x for yourself, check it out here!



The best blowback airsoft pistol


Blowback is the buzzword when it comes to airsoft pistols, and those competitors that want to stand out will be packing a blowback airsoft pistol.


Let's have a look at some of the best blowback airsoft pistols we have tested and loved.


A.E.G OEM


A.E.G OEM image
A.E.G OEM

The recently upgraded A.E.G P320 F17 airsoft pistol by WE is an impressive piece of equipment that is worth the look by anyone considering a new side firearm or wanting to get their feet wet in the world of airsoft.


Features:

  • Accuracy up to 50 meters with a 0.4 gram BB pellet firing 300 feet per second

  • 134A/Green Gas powered

  • Semi-automatic gas blowback

  • Alloy slide

  • Polymer frame with 20mm lower rail

  • Alloy outer barrel with 9mm x 19 marking

  • Fixed front and rear sight

  • Anti-slip texture grip

  • Alloy trigger and magazine release

  • Alloy slide catch

  • Package includes Metal 25-round gas magazine

Specifications:

  • Length of 200mm

  • Weight of 820 grams with magazine inserted

  • Black color

  • Metal and polymer materials used

  • Adjustable Hop-up sight

  • Semi-automatic

  • 25-round magazine capacity

  • 6 mm BB bullet type

  • Gas: 8 KG (134A), 12 KG (Green Gas)

  • Muzzle velocity of 310 feet per second

Upgrades:

  1. VT INOX SS304 6.03mm Inner Barrel

  2. VT NBR High Accuracy Hop-up Bucking

  3. Maple Leaf Hop Up adjustment wheel

Pros

Cons

• Good accuracy and range • Upgraded features, such as a modular design, can improve performance • Good build quality and durability • Easy to handle and operate

• Upgraded components may not be compatible with all aftermarket parts.

If you’re interested in getting an A.E.G P320 F17 for yourself, check it out here!



AW TTI 2011 GBB PISTOL image
AW TTI 2011 GBB PISTOL

If it's used by John Wick, then you know it's a good gun, and now you can use it to strike fear into your airsoft opponents. The EMG TTI 2011 Combat Master airsoft pistol developed by Taran Tactical Innovations was used by John Wick in the movies and has incredible features to support it.


Features:

  • Precision CNC machined aluminum slide with unique lightening cuts

  • Authentic roll marks and laser engravings on slide and frame

  • CNC machined barrel with rose gold coating

  • Molded DVC stippling pattern pistol grip

  • Ergonomic extended magazine release

  • Tactical flared magwell for quick reloading

  • Parts and upgrade parts compatible with WE Hi Capa Series

  • Muzzle velocity of 330 feet per second

Specifications:

  • Dimensions of 230mm x 140mm

  • Green gas, red gas, and propane gas options are available

  • Semi-automatic

  • Gas blowback

  • Adjustable Hop-up sights

Upgrades:

  1. T-N.T. S+ Precision Barrel

  2. T-N.T.T hop up bucking

  3. Maple leaf hop-up adjustment wheel

​Pros

Cons

• High-quality construction and durability • Realistic weight and feel • High accuracy and range • A high level of customization options, including the ability to add aftermarket parts and accessories • Has a crisp trigger response, making it easy to rapidly fire and respond to changing situations in the field

• Difficult to disassemble and maintain Generally heavier than other airsoft pistols

If you’re interested in getting an AW TTI 2011 GBB Pistol for yourself, check it out here!


AW VX9 GBB PISTOL


AW VX9 GBB PISTOL image
AW VX9 GBB PISTOL

AW Customs followed the flow of many airsoft brands and went with an upgrade on their already impressive line of airsoft pistols. We take a look at the AW VX9 GBB Pistol.


Features

  • Innovative lightweight compact polymer frame with stippling texture and trigger guard groove

  • Integrated 20mm Picatinny accessory rail for mounting flashlight and laser

  • Ultra-light recoil, and crisp, agile blowback cycling

  • Threaded outer barrel ready for mounting compensators or suppressors

  • Redesigned nozzle, blowback unit, and magazine release gasket for better air-seal performance

  • Muzzle velocity range of 330 to 350 feet per second

Specifications:

  • Flat Dark Earth color

  • 180mm x 120mm dimensions

  • 20 round magazine

  • CO2 and Green gas types available

  • Semi-automatic

Pros

Cons

• Upgraded internal components provide improved performance and reliability. • Lightweight construction makes it easier to handle and carry. • Multiple safety features for added protection during use. • Good value for the price.

• Plastic construction may not be as durable as full metal models. • Upgraded components may not be compatible with all aftermarket parts.

If you’re interested in getting an AW VX9 GBB Pistol for yourself, check it out here!


WE M712 GBB PISTOL

WE M712 GBB PISTOL image
WE M712 GBB PISTOL

At the end of the day, airsoft is all about fun and appreciating firearms. The WE-Tech Full Metal M712 GBB airsoft pistol is a testament to that statement and makes for a great piece for those who appreciate the history and vintage differences of firearms.


Features:

  • Optional wooden stock

  • Full metal construction imitation wood pistol grips

  • Adjustable rear leaf sight

  • Single shot and fully automatic select fire design

  • Drop free magazine

  • Ribbed charging handle provides a sure grip

  • Functioning thumb safety

  • Bolt locks open after the last shot is fired

  • Mauser-style detachable stock included

  • Stock is built from realistic imitation wood

  • Stock doubles as the iconic Mauser holster

  • Blowback action

  • Additional long magazine

Specifications:

  • Dimensions of 300mm x 150mm

  • Muzzle velocity of 300-330 feet per second

  • 26 round magazine

  • Compatible with WE-Tech WE712 long or short Airsoft magazines

  • Green gas, Red gas, and Propane options are available

  • Semi-automatic, fully automatic

  • Gas blowback system

Pros

​Cons

• Full metal construction provides durability and realistic weight. • Gas blowback (GBB) system provides a realistic shooting experience. • High-capacity magazine for extended play time. • Available in a variety of finishes for customization.

• GBB system requires regular maintenance and can be prone to leakage. • High cost compared to other airsoft pistols. • Magazine capacity may not be sufficient for some players. • Higher recoil compared to other airsoft pistols, making it harder to control for inexperienced players.

If you’re interested in getting an WE M712 GBB Pistol for yourself, check it out here!


Where to buy airsoft pistols


With all the information, tips, advice, and guidance generously laid out above on how to choose the best airsoft pistol, the final step in the process is to purchase the best airsoft pistol for your competition. One of the many positives about airsoft equipment is its broad availability and the many online stores that stock them.


Below is a list of the trusted websites that sell airsoft pistols:


A notable mention must go out to Swit Airsoft as possibly the best airsoft supplier we have come across. Their wide range of airsoft firearms on offer, high stocks of quality brands, upgrade options, and vintage collection, plus the informative blog and video section, makes choosing any airsoft-related piece of equipment a joy.


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1 Comment


Guest
Mar 31, 2023

All Glocks it seems, and where is the AAP01? (cant believe you think the galaxy is a good pistol) Missing USP, TM Hi-Cappa and gold match, FN-57, Mk23 and all the accepted best pistols

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