Best Airsoft Pistols: 2018 Review and Guide

In Airsoft Pistols by Jack StevensonLeave a Comment

What Makes a Great Airsoft Pistol?

I like to shoot pretend guns, and I come across this question occasionally: what is the best airsoft pistol?

In a nutshell, it combines some features to give you the best performance. It is accurate, reliable, dependable, balanced, and has the right weight to give you unrivaled mobility. Also, it feels good when you hold it; both in close quarter battles (CQBs) or long range shooting. However, how do you shop for such a pistol?

How to Shop For the Best Airsoft Pistol

Choosing the best airsoft pistol can be a daunting task because it involves factoring in several aspects of the gun, which can sometimes be ambiguous.

Overall, I have established an extensive checklist that guides me whenever I have to walk through the gun aisle at Walmart or any other airsoft mega-store. In this checklist, I have listed the most critical aspects based on my experience and the experience of other airsoft enthusiasts.

The Things to Consider When Choosing an Airsoft Pistol: 

  • FPS – FPS stands for “feet per second,” and it is simply how fast your projectile moves after you fire a shot – otherwise called velocity.  A higher FPS is always better because it increases accuracy, but it can cause injury.
  • Accuracy – It will determine whether you shoot your target or not. Accuracy is closely linked to the FPS of your gun. In most cases, if you have a higher FPS, your pistol will be more accurate. However, FPS is not the only determinant for accuracy; you have to incorporate things like windage, distance, inner barrel length, and ballistic drop.
  • Your experience – If you are a newbie, pick a design that is easy to use and ensure it is light enough to carry around. Pro shooters should look out for something that can nurture their skills.
  • Airsoft Field – outdoor shooting requires a gun with a higher velocity. Maybe 400-450 FPS. Usually larger guns are better since it will give better results. However, for indoor shooting, a lightweight gun is preferred for easy maneuverability around tight spots. The gun does not need to have a higher FPS. Something like 350 FPS will do the job right.
  • Application – The question is: Do you need more ammunition or do you need a pistol that fires rapidly? It all depends on your role in the airsoft. If you have a leading position, you are going to need something similar to an assault rifle; something that fires fast and with precision. On the other hand, if you have a support role, then you need to ‘cover’ your teammates using a pistol that is accurate and faster to engage.
  • Cost – Don’t go for a low price at the expense of performance. At the same time, if you are going to spend more money on a pistol, pay attention to the design and functionality. Most importantly, the gun should match your tastes and preferences. Go for a starter pistol – with great externals – if you are planning to upgrade in the future. Also, while evaluating the price, research on the reputation and history of the manufacturer.
  • Magazine – A bigger magazine has a larger capacity, and that means more ammunition. A bigger magazine is great if you have multiple targets and will compensate for poor accuracy. If you are in for a long fight, a pistol with 25 rounds, for example, will last you longer than one with 15 rounds.
  • Body – Most pistols are made out of metal or polymer. In some cases, you will find a mixture of the two; polymer grips and metal slides. Since you will be carrying your pistol in a holster, it will be subjected to different kinds of abuse; like bumping into objects during CQB or being drag on the ground when crawling. Therefore, you need a body that can resist this kind of abuse. While you may opt for hard polymer or metal the weight of your pistol may increase significantly.
  • Holster Compatibility – Can you quickly find a holster? While several holsters come in different styles and designs, some pistols are not compatible with the most available holsters. Conversely, other guns will give you an easy time with holsters even when you want to add accessories to the rail system.
  • Rail Systems and Accessories – A good pistol has a rail system that can enable you to attach all kinds of accessories (flashlights, foregrips, optics, etc.). Rail systems can make significantly improve your performance.
  •  Airsoft power – What is the source of energy for your pistol?
  • Automatic electronic – it is powered by rechargeable/replaceable batteries that control a motor, and it is great for beginners. Go for this gun if you want a shooting experience with fewer interruptions.
  • Spring powered – this pistol uses energy that is stored in a compressed spring. The spring pushes the air in a pump, which further pushes out the spherical projectile – better referred to as BB. The downfall is that you have to cock a spring-powered pistol after every shot and it can only shoot one BB at a time. A spring-powered pistol is all-weather and tends to be more accurate. This type of pistol is recommended if you are a learner because you get the chance to manually cock the gun after every shot.
  • Gas powered – it is the most popular, and it uses gas to propel the BB. Since electric guns require more space, most airsoft pistols are designed to be powered by gas. A gas-powered pistol can also produce blowback, which loads the subsequent BB after a shot. Making it powerful and fun because it gives the shooter the experience of a real gun. A typical gas-powered pistol has a gas container that needs to be refueled once in a while. Other pistols require that you replace the entire gas container. The major drawback for this type of pistol is that it is sensitive to cold temperatures and will affect your performance during cold temperatures. Generally, gas-powered pistols need extra care and attention.
  • If you go for gas power, you are going to decide which gas you want to use:
  • CO2 – Most people prefer CO2 because it works at high pressure and gives a higher velocity. However, it can cause wear and tear on the inside of your pistol
  • Green Gas – Green gas airsoft pistols are auto/semi auto and are capable of firing multiple BBs at once without the need to cock or reload your pistol. Compared to CO2 gas, Green gas pistols are faster and easier to load. Green gas can be substituted with propane, and you will still get the same results.

Based on this checklist, and after performing due diligence, I found these airsoft pistols worthwhile:

Image

Name

Price

Umarex Elite Force 1911 tac Gen 3

Soft Air Colt 1911

H&K USP Pistol

KJW model-603m9ptp

Umarex Walther 2262020 15 Rounds P99 Blowback

Umarex 2276008 Combat Zone Enforcer

UTG Sport 1911

Crosman Stinger P311

Firepower .45 Metal Slide Pistol

KWA M9 PTP

1. Umarex Elite Force 1911 tac Gen 3

    Highlights

  • Ambidextrous safety
  • Slide has front cocking serrations
  • Full-metal body
  • 30’ range
  • Has threaded tip if you want to use a mock suppressor
  • Ability to overcome cold temperatures/cold seasons
  • Fast draw grips

The Elite Force 1911 is a bang for the buck. I found it the best pistol for anyone looking to upgrade from the standard 1911. Then it has a custom color configuration that makes it noticeable and unique.

It is light enough because of its aluminum construction, and it was easy to carry around in the woods. The manufacturers have made the blowback flawless because I never felt any recoil. Also, its 12-gram CO2 cartridge is easy to find.

Problem is it does not come with a C02 cartridge.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 11 x 6 x 2 inches
  • Velocity: 320-345 FPS
  • Airsoft Power: CO2 Powered
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Magazine Capacity: 14 Rounds

2. Soft Air Colt 1911

    Highlights

  • Semi-automatic
  • Textured handgrips
  • Uses .20 gram BBs but can also take 12g CO2 cartridge
  • Replicates the World War II Colt 1911A1
  • 6mm Blowback
  • 30 feet range
  • Has adjustable hop up
  • Body is full metal

The Soft Air Colt 1911 has features that make it look so realistic. For example, its light trigger, and its metal slide lock. Another feature that makes it stand out is the textured handgrip, which can be replaced with a different color if you wish.

I was able to fire 30 decent shots – at 15 yards – before I started experiencing drop-offs. But I didn’t mind because it uses BBs that are easy to find and can be bought in large quantities. After my testing session, I disassembled the 6mm barrel with much ease. In fact, I field stripped the entire weapon with no difficulty.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Velocity: 340 – 380 FPS
  • Airsoft Power: CO2 powered
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Magazine Capacity: 15 Rounds

3.H&K USP Pistol

    Highlights

  • Smooth Barrel
  • Semi-automatic
  • Easy slide operation
  • Has 6mm caliber .20g, .23g, .25g
  • Accuracy of approximately 120+ ft.
  • .12 or .20 BBs recommended
  • The BB feeder has metal lips for durability
  • Can come in clear or black frame
  • Single-Shot Spring
  • Hop-up, Accessory Rail
  • Has both safe and semi-automatic modes
  • Ambidextrous Magazine release
  • Can attain 100% accuracy at 35 feet
  • Quality drop-free magazine
  • Safety feature to lock trigger during transportation
  • Licensed Heckler & Koch replica

Apart from the stock, most of the components are full-metal, which gave me a real-weapon feel. On one side, there was a clear H&K trademark to serve as a reminder that you are holding pure craftsmanship.

The pistol is well textured, and its grip felt amazing on my hands. I fired about 12 rounds, and I was impressed by the smooth trigger that responds quickly. The magazine release is effective and makes reloading easier.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.5 x 3.5 inches
  • Velocity: 350 – 400 FPS
  • Airsoft Power: CO2
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Magazine Capacity: 16 Rounds

4.KJW model-603m9ptp

    Highlights

  • Can use C02 or green gas magazines
  • Has a slide lock
  • 0.20g BBs
  • Has 100% accuracy at 30 feet
  • Rail is integrated into the frame
  • Remarkable blowback action
  • Full-metal body
  • Tanio Koba upgraded grip
  • Grips can be replaced
  • Comes with 26 round green gas magazine
  • Has adjustable hop up

The KJW  Beretta 92 look-alike can allow you to switch from Gas (green gas or propane) to CO2 with just a change in magazine – no need for an upgrade. The trigger was light and the blowback was smooth.

The metallic body gives it a realistic feeling and ensures durability. The weight was also great as I was able to carry it around while jumping over hurdles. When it was time to fill my magazine with gas, I noticed that this KJW model was silent, unlike most pistols. However, I did find it a bit noisy when firing.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13 x 7 x 3 inches
  • Velocity: 310- 330 FPS
  • Airsoft Power: Can be powered by different types of gases (C02, propane, green gas)
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Magazine Capacity: 26 Rounds

5. Umarex Walther 2262020 15 Rounds P99 Blowback

    Highlights

  • High-performance blowback
  • Double action
  • .20+g BBs
  • Barrel made of brass
  • Paddle style magazine release
  • The cartridge is in the pistol grip
  • Uses blowback technology
  • Metal Slide
  • Semi-automatic
  • Boasts of an accuracy of up to 120+ ft.
  • 15-round drop-free mag
  • 6 mm barrel

It looks like the real Walther P99 tactical pistol, and I was impressed that I only had to cock it once.

The recoil is like that of a real gun, and Umarex was kind enough to add a tactical rail in case you want to perform any customizations. The polymer and metal construction makes it durable.

I fired severally, and I noticed a sound coming from the metal slide during the blowback. Another challenge was that I could not shoot targets that were 20 feet away because my BBs kept heading for the ground after about 15 feet.


Specifications

  • Dimensions: 10.9 x 3.4 x 10.2"
  • Velocity: 345fps-360fps
  • Airsoft Power: CO2
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Magazine Capacity: 15 Rounds

6. Umarex 2276008 Combat Zone Enforcer

    Highlights

  • Lightweight
  • 6mm caliber
  • Semi-Auto action
  • Barrel is only 4.25 inches to reduce the kicking action and increase the firing action
  • Fixed Sights
  • 15-round drop-free magazine
  • Accessory rail
  • Non-blowback pistol
  • Double action trigger

Its performance was close to an Elite Force 1911. I loaded it with .12g BBs, and it performed decently though I was frustrated that the magazine can only hold 15 rounds. Therefore, I had to reload constantly.  

The Umarex Combat Zone Enforcer was easy to use, reliable, and provided hours of shooting power while achieving accuracy. It is compact in size and is a great sidearm for CQBs. In addition, it uses less C02 since it is a non-blowback pistol.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 2 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Velocity: 400 FPS
  • Airsoft Power: CO2
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Magazine Capacity: 15 rounds

7. UTG Sport 1911

    Highlights

  • Fixed hop-up
  • On frame magazine release
  • Manual and grip safety
  • Easy to find holster
  • Highly affordable
  • Matte black finish
  • Built on a 1:1 ration like the real 1911
  • Has a touch pinpoint to boost accuracy

All the great ergonomics of the real 1911 were translated into the UTG 1911, including the all-metal 1911 design and the comfortable grip.

I used it with .20’s, and my BBs were not curving in any direction. Surprisingly, I was able to hit targets that were as far as 100 feet away because this pistol has a good range. The power is enough to send a BB through a cardboards or leave a dent in a metallic can.

I learned that if you want to avoid jamming the UTG Sport 1911, do not fill your clip to capacity. Otherwise, you may have to dislodge your BB’s, and it’s not fun.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 7 x 2 inches
  • Velocity: 1.25 pounds
  • Airsoft Power: Spring-operated mechanism
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds
  • Magazine Capacity: 22 rounds

8. Crosman Stinger P311

    Highlights

  • 6 mm caliber
  • Highly affordable
  • Easy to load (12 rounds) magazine
  • Closely resembles military pistols that were used in the U.S. in the past
  • 9” in length, which makes it great for longer range and accuracy

I found it easy to cock and light to carry. Its design is awesome, and it has a remarkable shooting power even though its magazine can only carry 12 rounds. It made my shooting fun because it is easier to aim.

It felt comfortable on my hands and looked real and very sturdy. However, loading and handling may take some time to get used to if you do not want to shoot plastic pellets all over the place. I also found that it was compatible with several holsters that were available.

A beginner will find it great because it cannot break easily and it is easily affordable.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 10 x 7.8 x 3.5 inches
  • Velocity: 325 FPS
  • Airsoft Power: Spring powered
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Magazine Capacity: 12 rounds

9.Firepower .45 Metal Slide Pistol

    Highlights

  • 6 mm caliber
  • Has safety mechanism
  • Lightweight and easier to carry

Apart from having amazing features, it has a nice appearance and is made using durable materials.

It is the kind of pistol that you’d be tempted to use to intimidate pesky squirrels. I used it outdoors to aim at cardboards that were 20 feet away, and I could easily hit them. The shots were powerful enough to leave dents on the cardboards.

The weight was evenly distributed, but I noticed the BBs can fall out of the clip if you do not take extra care, especially when cocking the pistol.

It has a strong impact on targets, and I’d recommend it to someone looking for a less expensive airsoft pistol that provides accuracy and exceptional power.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 2 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Velocity: 328 FPS
  • Airsoft Power: Spring powered
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Magazine Capacity: 12 rounds

10.KWA M9 PTP

    Highlights

  • Adjustable Hop-up
  • Metal Slide
  • Semi-automatic
  • Lightweight piston for faster blowback action
  • Replicates the feel and look of a real Beretta M9 pistol
  • Comes with sample BB’s and tools that can be used to make adjustments
  • The slide lock resembles that of an actual M9
  • Fits most M9 holsters
  • Range is approximately 75 feet
  • You have a wide variety of grips, holsters, and other accessories
  • Full-metal body
  • Comes with 24-round magazine
  • Alloy frame

It works and feels exactly like the real Beretta M9 military pistol. In fact, it is the closest thing you can get to an M9 if you are a civilian who loves military grade weapons.

I fire several shots, and I noticed it had enough firepower to topple metallic cans. I did miss a few shots, and I was disappointed when I discovered that this pistol lacks a tactical rail. Therefore, forget about adding scopes or sites to this baby.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 3 inches
  • Velocity: 340-350 FPS
  • Airsoft Power: Green gas powered
  • Weight: 1 Kg
  • Magazine Capacity: 24 rounds

Conclusion

My intention was to help you pick the best airsoft pistol, and I hope you will find this review helpful before you head out for your peek-and-shoot duels. But keep in mind that a good pistol – while meeting your taste and preferences – should be easy to use and should complement your skills.

With these choices, you are assured of great mobility, and you will get the best performance. Hopefully, the only thing left is some training.

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