5 Best Airsoft Guns for Beginners (Buyer’s Guide)

Airsoft guns come in a massive range from those meant for beginners to expensive competition-level guns. Weapons at the entry-level will be cheaper but won’t offer all the high-end features. However, it’s possible to get a great gun on a budget for a beginner. 

The best airsoft gun for beginners is the Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine. It offers many features considering the low price, including a quick spring system, keymod rail, battery, charger, and outstanding reliability. 

The only instances in which I wouldn’t recommend the Lancer Tactical LT-19B are if…

In this article, I’ll take you through the major factors that go into balancing these guns and how each rates in their respective categories. I’ll also discuss why the Lancer Tactical LT-19B is the best choice for most beginners and discuss the alternatives if you value other aspects higher.

Factors To Consider

  • Value 
  • Reliability 

I’ll go through these factors in detail below: 

Value

Getting into a niche hobby generally requires getting all new equipment or obtaining secondhand versions. Not too many people are willing to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new purchase without being convinced they’re getting value for money. 

Surveys of potential buyers have shown that the average first-time buyer only expects to pay around $200 – $250 in total for a starter airsoft set, including the battery, charger, and a magazine. 

According to the same survey, consumers realize that they have to purchase the ammunition separately when getting into the sport. Large quantities of ammo are rarely offered when buying an airsoft weapon, so this point did not factor into value calculation. 

So, when considering the factor of value, consider several components, including the features and their performance, and whether your purchase will allow you to get right into the sport without extra outlays. 

Features and Performance 

Airsoft GunIncluded Features and PartsBattery and Charger included
Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 CarbineAdjustable rotary style one piece hop-up, polymer rail, quick spring change, 300-round high capacity magazineYes
Game Face GFSMG Submachine Gun Metal barrel and specific internals, electric mechanismYes
G&G M4 Carbine Combat MachineAdjustable one-piece TM gear hop-up, 450-round capacity magazine, polymer railOptional Add-on
KWA Full Metal KM4A1 Rifle Adjustable two-piece KWA 2G hop-upNo
JG M4A1 S-System Picatinny rail, 350-round high capacity magazine, two-piece adjustable hop-upYes

Winner: Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine

The combination of the accessories rail, standard magazine, reliable hop-up design, and gearbox allowing a quick spring change means Lancer Tactical G2 is an easily maintained and repairable rifle. You also can upgrade it with additional components easily. 

One of the most important factors related to features and performance is to have all basic features out of the box. As a beginner, you’re not going to have all the equipment needed for airsoft lying around your house. So, you want to make sure the airsoft gun that you purchase is ready to go with all needed pieces. 

It’s easy to get into a field you’re unfamiliar with, only to be confronted with hidden extra costs that delay your first game and require further unexpected investment. It’s commonly the lack of a charger or battery included with the weapon. 

This will make the weapon’s price cheaper, but you’re not going to have what you need to get on the field with everyone else to enjoy a game of airsoft. 

Reliability

Airsoft GunScore
Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine9/10
Game Face GFSMG Submachine Gun 8/10
G&G M4 Carbine Combat Machine8/10
KWA Full Metal KM4A1 Rifle 7/10
JG M4A1 S-System 7/10

Winner: Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine

Reliability is a fundamental quality that you can’t ignore when considering purchases for a beginner. That’s Because it’s probably the only airsoft rifle you have, and if it breaks down, you’re unable to participate. Plus, unreliable weapons are no fun out in the field. 

You can make sure of reliability by looking at the individual components of the hop-up, bucking, and pellet flight path. The pellet flight path determines accuracy, and an inaccurate airsoft weapon won’t do well when comparing performance. 

Bucking and Hop-Up

One of the aspects of reliability is to consider the hop-up or bucking nudging. The main concern with firing airsoft pellets regarding accuracy is that the pellets are light. 

This lack of mass means the pellets will lose their initial velocity very quickly. However, hop-ups use a protrusion called a bucking which is the main object touching your BB pellet, imparting a backspin upon firing. 

Adjusting this mechanism precisely allows for the optimal flight path and accuracy to be finely tuned. Different manufacturers and different airsoft weapons have radically different systems, which can be an issue when sourcing parts. 

Gearbox

Airsoft GunGearbox and Hop-UpScore
Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 CarbinePerfectly shimmed gearbox9/10
Game Face GFSMG Submachine Gun Plastic components for both gearbox and hop-up6/10
G&G M4 Carbine Combat MachineHard to access adjuster but quality material gearbox8/10
KWA Full Metal KM4A1 Rifle Version 2 gearbox7/10
JG M4A1 S-System Version 2 gearbox7/10

Winner: Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine

The other component of reliability that we will focus on is the gearbox. The gearbox is at the heart of a well-performing airsoft gun. 

For an airsoft gun to operate correctly, the gearbox should be well-oiled and shimmed appropriately. It keeps your gears, motor, and piston working well even after hundreds of rounds are fired. 

We’ll consider gearbox type and condition straight out of the box, as properly shimming a gearbox isn’t the most accessible skill to have and generally comes with experience. This skill is, therefore, not going to be all too common in airsoft beginners. 

Best Overall: Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine 

Lancer Tactical G2 is an excellent choice for anyone looking to get a quality airsoft weapon suitable for beginners. 

The LT-19B has many great features at a low price considering the included functions and parts, such as a quick spring system, keymod rail, battery, and charger, as well as outstanding reliability. 

Bottom Line: I highly recommend the Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine if you’re looking for a powerful, high-quality airsoft gun at a reasonable price. It will enable you to excel at all the basics due to its reliability, high fire rate, modability, and it’s a complete package due to the inclusion of a battery and charger.

Video: Lancer Tactical Gen 2

Pros

  • Reliable. With an adjustable piece hop-up in rotary style and a quick spring change gearbox, this airsoft rifle will last due to these durable parts. 
  • Upgradeable. The Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine has a polymer key mod rail, meaning you can easily add modifications to customize it the way you want. 
  • Very compact. Coming in at 31 in (79 cm) retracted and 34.5 in (88 cm) extended, it’s easily handled by people from various body types, arm lengths, and physical strengths. 

Cons

  • Polymer Rail. Full metal rails are much more durable and sturdy, but it’s not a significant disadvantage considering the strength of modern polymers. 
  • Reported Issues With Piston Mechanism. Consumer reviews have pointed to a mechanical failure with the piston locking up, but you can repair it. 

Product Specifications

Muzzle Velocity375 – 390 FPS (114 – 118 MPS)
TypeElectric
Range125 ft (38 m)
Length31 in (79 cm)
Hop-UpOne-piece Adjustable, Rotary Style
Battery & ChargerYes
GearboxVersion 2 – Quick spring change

You Want a Reliable, Drum Magazine Style Gun: Game Face GFSMG Submachine Gun 

The Game Face offering is unique in that it’s styled after the submachine guns of decades past, with the distinctive drum magazine. It doesn’t require an autoloader, and you can pour the ammunition directly into the drum. 

Boasting an 800-round drum magazine that takes 0.2 in (5 mm) airsoft pellets with both full or semi-auto firing modes available, it’s a unique airsoft weapon that doesn’t need a mid-round reload. 

Bottom Line: If you prefer a more compact, high-capacity airsoft with classic 20th-century aesthetics, the Game Face GFSMG submachine gun is an excellent choice for beginners who won’t break the bank. 

Video: GFSMG Game Face Submachine Gun Shooting test

Pros

  • Sturdy Construction. With a durable synthetic stock and foregrip featuring a top-mounted Picatinny rail, this gun can take a range of standard airsoft accessories while still leaving you in an excellent firing position. 
  • High Capacity Drum Magazine. This airsoft offering has a unique wind-up-style reservoir within the drum-style magazine, allowing easy loading and a low possibility of jamming.
  • Very compact. Coming in at just 25.75 in (65 cm), it’s one of the most compact airsoft guns on the market, particularly when compared to the larger rifles considered in this review. 

Cons

  • Low Velocity. With just 320 FPS of muzzle velocity, this airsoft gun will struggle with long-range shots, mainly when there is wind. 
  • Restrictions on Use Due to Appearance. The Game Face GFSMG submachine gun cannot be shipped into New York. 

Product Specifications

Muzzle Velocity320 FPS (97 MPS)
TypeElectric
Range125 ft (38 m)
Length25.75 in (65 cm)
Hop-UpAdjustable one-piece
Battery & ChargerYes

Better Performance: G&G M4 Carbine Combat Machine 

The G&G M4 Carbine is the other top contender that only got pipped to the post by the Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine.  

Not only does the G&G airsoft offer reliability through its employment of no-nonsense internals, but it also is known for instant out-of-the-box accuracy and ease of use without the need for complicated maintenance or set up. 

Bottom Line: There isn’t much separating this from the Lancer Tactical G2. If you want a reliable, large-capacity airsoft rifle suited for beginners, the G&G M4 Carbine Combat Machine is an excellent choice.

Video: G&G CM16 Raider Full Review and Test

Pros

  • Reliable. With an adjustable piece hop-up in the TM style and a version 2 gearbox, the G&G M4 Carbine utilizes the latest technology and proven internals to make sure your airsoft gun keeps firing reliably. 
  • Functionality. The polymer key mod rail is a must-have for making additions like night vision, scopes, and other accessories. 
  • Stock Large High Capacity Magazine. Coming in at 450 rounds, it’s 50% larger than the standard of 300 offered with most entry-level airsoft guns. 

Cons

  • Charger and Battery not included with the base package. When a battery and charger are not included, it can cause issues with beginners who don’t realize that you must purchase the entire package to do airsoft properly. 

Product Specifications

Muzzle Velocity325 – 340 FPS (99 – 103 MPS)
TypeElectric
Range125 ft (38 m)
Length25.75 in (65 cm)
Hop-UpAdjustable one-piece
Battery & ChargerYes
GearboxVersion 2

Want a Full Metal Body: KWA Full Metal KM4A1 Rifle

The KWA Full Metal KM4A1 Rifle is the only complete metal body airsoft rifle reviewed here. Metal tends to be more expensive than polymer, so the entry-level sphere for airsoft is mainly populated by polymer or plastic-based rifles. 

The KWA airsoft is among the most extensively-tested range for the reviewed rifles, also featuring a metal upper and lower receiver and only weighing 6.7 lbs (3 kg).

Bottom Line: It’s an excellent choice of airsoft that’s quite durable since it features many metal components. However, the lack of an included battery and charger and no rail for attachments means it’s not a complete package.

Video: High Quality Lower Price | KWA FULL METAL KM4 Series

Pros

  • Full Metal Body. Metal can take the forces produced by airsoft pellets and the inevitable bumps and hits that the average airsoft game will involve. 
  • High Muzzle Velocity. Coming in at a maximum of 410 FPS, the KWA Full Metal KM4A1 Rifle has one of the highest muzzle velocities out there, meaning you can get the advantage in a firefight. 

Cons

  • Charger and Battery Not Included With the Base Package. As explained earlier, the lack of a battery and charger makes this gun unsuitable for the total beginner to airsoft. 
  • Low Magazine Capacity. The KWA rifle only comes with a 120 round magazine, about 50% smaller than the standard. 

Product Specifications

Muzzle Velocity395 – 410 FPS (120 – 124 MPS)
TypeElectric
Range175 ft (53 m)
Length30.5 in (77 cm)
Hop-Up2 Piece Adjustable KWA 2G 
Battery & ChargerNo
GearboxVersion 2

Excellent Reliability and Internals: JG M4A1 S-System 

The JG M4A1 S-System is one of the most aesthetically pleasing rifles that also packs many features into the weapons system. While notorious for shoddy gearbox designs for previous models, this new gearbox version has proven to suffer from fewer mechanical issues and jams. 

Further, the gun’s ability to take all TM upgrades means it’s a versatile rifle that can take the gold standard of airsoft components from Tokyo Marui. The JG offering reviewed here is heavily based on the Tokyo Marui M4A1. 

Bottom Line: The JG M4A1 S-System is another excellent choice for the beginner looking to get into airsoft. The JG Blue motor powering the internals is one of the best out there at this price point and has a valuable rail system that can take all the attachments you need. 

Pros

  • Top-Notch Internals. JG Works has embarked on research and development, resulting in some of the best motors and gearboxes seen in airsoft rifles. 
  • Durable ABS Plastic. The upper and lower receiver are made from highly durable ABS plastic that will prevent jamming and lockups. 

Cons

  • Hop-Up Reliability. JG has gone with the two-piece rather than one-piece hop-up mechanism, which generally has more moving parts so tend to break down, mainly when used in less than ideal conditions. 
  • Gearbox Shimming Issues. Proper gearbox shimming is vital to ensure that you get maximum tooth contact of the gears while leaving enough space for them to operate. However, the JG airsoft weapon reviewed here errs too much on the former, making jams familiar. 

Product Specifications

Muzzle Velocity390 – 400 FPS (118 – 121 MPS)
TypeElectric
Range125 ft (38.1 m)
Length30 in (76 cm)
Hop-Up2 Piece Adjustable 
Battery & ChargerYes
GearboxVersion 2

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to separate some of these airsoft rifles, as entry-level or rifles suited to beginners are necessarily going to compromise on some aspects to get the price down. 

After considering value and reliability, the Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine combines all the best attributes, including quality internals, high fire rate, large magazine, and included battery and charger to ensure you can get right into the sport without issues. 
Check out the Lancer Tactical G2 Airsoft LT-19B M4 Carbine on Amazon now.

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