Understanding and Upgrading an AEG Airsoft Gun
AEG airsoft guns are one of the easiest types of gun to find available upgrades due to a huge aftermarket following. In this article we want to examine different parts 38 special ammo of the airsoft gun and the available ways to upgrade them. We will examine why to upgrade a barrel, the spring system, the hop up system, and the compression system… well pretty much everything.
When it comes to upgrading the barrel, the objective is simple. Improving accuracy. The typical upgrades are going to be longer and a smaller bore size, aka tighter. Tighter equals more compression, more compression equals better use of your guns power. Upgrading a barrel should be done before any spring upgrades or you will not be able to utilize the extra power that you are getting. Most AEGs come stock with 6.08mm diameter barrels. A precision barrel usually runs 6.00mm to 6.04mm. With an upgraded barrel size being smaller it is even more essential that you are using quality bbs. See our article on selecting quality bbs for more information. Along with the barrel most airsoft guns will allow for the replacement of the stock, generally a more tactical look and feel will be the only benefits.
The next topic is going to be the spring, and again, it is a simple one. The stronger the spring, the faster it pushes your piston, and the higher velocity your bb leaves the barrel. When choosing a spring the velocity is rated in MPS (meters per second). To get feet per second from an MSP rating simply multiply by 3.28. One important thing to remember is when upgrading your spring is you are also going to need to upgrade your gears or they will be under too much pressure and give out, it is also recommended to upgrade your spring guide as well. The spring guide stops the spring from expanding into your gears. A more powerful spring usually will need a higher quality guide to stop it. The spring guides also come in different spacings allowing for different compressions and that in turn gives the potential for increased velocity.
The hop up bucking is the part that creates backpin on the bb. Upgrading the bucking will give you better spin on the bb and creating more accuracy. One thing to look at is a bucking with 2-3 nubs when upgrading. The hop up chamber is the device that feeds bbs, so sensibly upgrading the hop up will be more durable and accurate in feeding BBs, this is going to improve consistency with firing as well. The air nozzle is the part that forces the bb into the hop up chamber. It is also a critical aspect in sealing the airflow between the cylinder head to the BB, this is a part that isn’t going to yield worthwhile performance increases and only needs to be upgraded when, and if, it needs replaced. The last factor to the feeding system is the tappet plate. The tappet plate pulls the air nozzle back to let the BB in and if it isn’t working you gun will not feed. Usually this is another aspect that doesn’t need upgraded, just eventually replaced. In general upgrading the hop up system should be your first priority. You will gain a lot in consistency and like a wise man once said: If your gun ain’t shooting, you probably ain’t hittin’ nothin’.
In an AEG airsoft gun compression is king. It is what forces out the projectile, so it has to be important… right? Right. The cylinder is the area in which the air is compressed before being forced down the barrel. Bigger cylinders let you use a longer barrel. Cylinders tend to be overbuilt and do not usually need to be upgraded on higher quality guns. If you have a cheaper gun you may find that you loose power when you upgrade your barrel. If this is the case you may want to look into upgrading your cylinder. The piston compresses the air in the cylinder by forcing the air in front of it into the cylinder when forced forward by the release of the spring. It is essentially a flat-toothed gear. It is wound back by the motor and then forced forward at by the spring. The piston is subject to incredible amounts of pressure. When selecting a piston you will want to find one that can stand the pressure, but not be too dense to strip the other gears. The front of the piston is called the piston head and seals the air into the cylinder. Compression and stealth are the benefits of an upgrade here. A high quality piston head will help ensure you are getting all of the pressure you should and usually is able to reduce noise as well.
When it comes to upgrading gears it will most always be the sector, bevel and spur gears that are being discussed as they are the main gears across the board. The anti-reversal latch can also be discussed as it keeps the gears from rotating backwards and destroying themselves, however it isn’t usually sold in most gear sets and is not nearly as important to upgrade. The gears are one of the most crucial and expensive parts of an AEG airsoft gun. Don’t be tempted to buy cheap gears, as more often than not, you are going to end up destroying your whole gearbox. If you are upgrading to higher powered springs and high torque motors upgrading your gears is an absolute must. Steel gears are your best choice and you can usually get them in either high speed or high torque.