Your airsoft replica needs maintenance to perform at its best. Imagine purchasing a car and never taking it to a mechanic. Similarly, your airsoft gun requires some care and attention, whether it’s an AEG, a Spring Rifle, a GBBR, or a HPA system. But it’s nothing crazy.
🎓 Airsoft guns should get basic maintenance roughly every 2-3 game days. Big maintenance roughly once per year.
Why Maintain Airsoft Guns?
Because maintenance is the best tool to prevent issues. This is actually encompassed in the 1-10-100 rule. This means that if you prevent issues with your airsoft gun by maintaining it, it might cost you a dollar. If you correct minor issues when they arise, it will already be 10x more expensive. If you let the thing fail, it might cost a hundred times more than just maintaining it.
- Prevents Gradual Degradation: Maintenance helps prevent the gradual degradation of the parts inside the gun.
- Avoids Jamming and Accuracy Issues: You can get to jamming or reduced accuracy if you don’t maintain your airsoft gun. That means you won’t hit the other guy when needed.
- Avoids Costly Repairs and Replacements: Neglecting maintenance can get expensive.
- Airsoft Skills: Maintaining yourself will help you gain more knowledge about airsoft. Then, should something happen to your replica in the field, you know how to fix it yourself and get back to the game asap.
Basic Maintenance (every 3 games)
Every single airsoft gun needs the following basic maintenance routine:
- Function check: Is everything as expected? Is there any part loose?
- Barrel cleaning: clean your barrel using rubbing alcohol, wipes and a cleaning rod. If you need, Josef made a great universal guide:
- Optional: Lubrication check: check if your gas pistol/rifle isn’t too dried up.
Barrel cleaning is the most important part. Dust, dirt, and residue can accumulate inside the barrel and other components, affecting performance. Clean your Barrel approximately every two to three games.
Lubrication is nice to have to keep moving parts functioning smoothly. Always check for loose screws and worn-out parts during routine maintenance, replacing them as necessary.
Yearly Maintenance for Airsoft Guns
Roughly once a year, you have to make a decision. Do you go bigger with your maintenance or hope for the best? In short, bigger maintenance means an almost full disassembly where you check and replace parts that are worn out. However, this has some risks to it – if you are not experienced, you could damage the gun by disassembling it incorrectly. This is especially true with AEGs.
⚠️ If you are not sure about a full disassembly, rather skip this step or ask an experienced tech to help you out.
AEGs are popular in the bread and butter of the airsoft community for their reliability and ease of use. However, when it comes to disassembly, they have the most parts out there, which also means the greatest risk of you doing something wrong and creating a problem. If you are a beginner, we would recommend asking someone to do it for you.
- Gearbox Maintenance: The gearbox is the heart of an AEG. Regularly check and maintain the gears, piston, spring, and cylinder. Clean and lubricate these parts with appropriate lubricants, and do not over-lubricate, as excess grease can attract dirt. Use a non-conductive grease for gears and a silicone-based lubricant for o-rings and seals.
- Motor Care: The motor should be checked for signs of wear or damage. Ensure that the motor height is correctly adjusted for optimal performance. Clean the motor pinion and check for any signs of stripping or unusual wear.
- Hop-Up and Barrel Cleaning: This is the same as for basic maintenance.
- Battery Maintenance: Use a LiPo Checker or a Multimeter to check if your batteries are still good and operational.
- External Inspection and Screws Tightening: Inspect the external parts of the AEG, including the stock, handguard, and rails, for any signs of looseness or damage. Tighten any loose screws and bolts, as vibrations from firing can cause them to loosen over time.
- Magazine Maintenance: Clean and maintain your magazines to ensure they feed properly. Disassemble the magazine to clean out dirt and debris.
- Seasonal Adjustments: Be aware of how different weather conditions can affect your AEG. Batteries can drain faster in colder weather, and plastic parts may become more brittle.
Maintaining an AEG involves attention to detail. If you decide to do it, make sure to be around someone who can help, at least in the first years.
Spring Rifle maintenance
Spring rifles have simpler mechanisms but still need care. Focus on cleaning the barrel and checking the spring tension. Avoid over-lubricating of the bolt to prevent attracting dirt and debris, which can hinder performance. Regularly inspect the bolt and trigger assembly for wear and tear.
Gas Blowback Rifles, known for their realistic recoil and shooting mechanics, may demand a bit more maintenance for optimal performance and longevity.
- Cleaning the Barrel and Gas Ports: Clean the barrel with a cleaning rod and a soft cloth or patch. Use a barrel-specific cleaning solution to remove any residue. Ensure the gas ports are free from obstructions. A clogged gas port can significantly reduce performance and can cause malfunctions.
- Maintaining the Gas System: The gas system is the heart of a GBBR. Use a high-quality silicone oil to lubricate the O-rings and seals within the gas system. This prevents them from drying out and cracking, which can cause gas leaks.
- Magazine Care: GBBR magazines are complex and can be a bit sensitive. Disassemble and clean the magazine, paying particular attention to the feed lips and gas router. Lubricate the moving parts lightly to ensure smooth operation. When storing magazines, leave a small amount of gas to keep the seals from drying out. However, avoid overfilling as it may put unnecessary stress on the seals.
- Bolt and Recoil Maintenance: The bolt and recoil spring in GBBRs simulate the action of a real firearm. Keep these parts clean and lightly lubricated. Inspect the recoil spring for any signs of wear or fatigue, as a worn spring can affect the cycling action of the rifle.
- Trigger Assembly and Hammer: The trigger assembly and hammer should be checked for dirt and grime build-up. Clean these components carefully and apply a light lubricant. A sticky or malfunctioning trigger can often be remedied with proper cleaning and lubrication.
- Gas Type: Make sure you run the right gas with your GBBR/Pistol. We made quite a video about that topic.
- Regular Inspection and Testing: Regularly inspect your GBBR before and after use. Check for loose components, leaks, or unusual sounds when firing.
Tips on storing your airsoft gun
How you store your guns also matters. Here are some tips:
- Cool and Dry Location: Store in a cool, dry place to prevent rust and material degradation.
- Battery and BB Removal: Unplug the battery and unload BBs from the magazine to reduce spring tension.
- GBB Gun Care: For GBBs, release most of the gas from the magazine to maintain seal integrity.
- Damage Prevention: Use a padded case, gun rack, or a universal gun stand to prevent physical damage and to display your gun stylishly.
Maintenance is nothing crazy in airsoft, but you have to know a thing or two. You should always know how to complete the basic maintenance. When it comes to the yearly check-up, make sure you know what to do or consult a professional. And remember the 1-10-100 rule…