🏃 Playing casual airsoft? Go with AEG. Do you want to maximize realism, even if at the cost of a bit of your own comfort? You will love GBBRs!
That is the simplest way to explain it if you’re in a hurry, but it does not do justice to the topic. There is something worth your time with both, depending on the time, money and expectations you have from your airsoft game. Let us quickly walk you through the differences.
AEG vs GBBR – a different way of propelling BBs
In case you are unsure about the basic difference, let us quickly explain. AEGs or Airsoft Electric Guns use an electrically powered motor and gearbox to compress the air that is then released against the BB and propels it.
On the contrary, GBBR or Gas BlowBack Rifles have already compressed Airsoft Gas (mainly propane and silicone mixture) already in the magazine. When you pull the trigger, a bit of this compressed gas gets released against the BB to propel it. What differences does this mean in reality?
AEGs are generally a bit cheaper.
Unsurprisingly, airsoft guns have 2 types of costs: the cost to buy the gun and the cost to keep it running.
Price-wise, you can mostly get an AEG under the price level of a GBBR. This is mostly due to the popularity of electric rifles, which made them more efficient in manufacturing and, in turn, drove down costs. You can get a competitive AEG for around 200 – 250 bucks, while GBBR will rarely set you back less than 300.
When it comes to upkeep, AEG retakes the rein as the cheaper option. Unless something breaks, the only thing you need to put in the gun is electricity while charging your battery + BBs. On the contrary, GBBRs also require gas itself, which is considerably more expensive than electricity.
However, as we have mentioned in our blog post about GBBR Myths, people with gas rifles are often more conservative on the trigger, meaning they consume both gas and BBs in a very cost-effective way.
GBBRs give you a feeling like nothing else in airsoft
So far, it seems that AEG is the way to go. However, that completely omits one of the biggest selling points of Gas Blow Back Rifles. It is hard to convey the feeling you get when shooting, yet it’s one of the strongest areas when it comes to GBBRs.
The snappy feeling combined with the metallic sound of operation and shooting make these guns the closest to real steel you can get. If you struggle to just take our word for it, try checking out our GBBR gameplay:
Maintenance and knowing your gun
This is one of the valuable points, especially for GBBRs. With most platforms, you should know your gun. What does that mean? Well, not all rifles are created equal and some of them have less-than-ideal design solutions. For instance, one manufacturer is known for putting lower-quality Hop-Up buckings in the guns, the other for poor trigger boxes, etc.
If you decide to buy a GBBR, you should know these weak spots and ideally fix them before they do more damage. Sometimes, this also includes AEGs. However, in terms of maintenance, those have become way more reliable in recent years. Anyways, whatever you choose, make sure to google more information about it.
You have to keep in mind though, that the GBBR maintenance is mostly not as dramatic as seen in the picture. In often boils down to barrel cleaning or lubing.
If you want the casual experience of picking up a gun every weekend, not having to think about it too much, and maximizing your efficiency on the field, getting an AEG is an obvious choice. You get way more ammunition in each of the way cheaper magazines. And since everything is electric, it is also easier to reach consistent good accuracy, even with cheap AEGs.
However, if you’ve, for instance, shot a real steal firearm and want airsoft to be as close as possible to that experience, gas will be incomparably better at providing just that. The feeling, snappiness and way of operating you get from using a GBBR gives you an unmatched feel, even though it is not the most efficient way. This also means competing against others will be a bit more challenging.