Airsoft has become quite an interesting method of training and play since its development in the 1970s. To civilians, it’s a fun game that teaches the fundamentals of gunplay; to institutions like the United States Coast Guard, it’s a costly and effective means to keep their personnel trained. Still, accuracy has been a problem for many.
Fortunately, increasing accuracy is as easy as making these three changes:
- Upgrade the inner barrel.
- Upgrade the gun’s bucking.
- Improve your hop-up unit.
In the rest of this article, I will explain why each of these upgrades will help increase your accuracy and provide some high-quality product recommendations to make the process that much easier for you.
1. Upgrade the Inner Barrel
The inner barrel of your airsoft gun plays a huge role in the effectiveness, range, and accuracy of your shots. If the barrel is too wide, then your BBs will bounce around more, causing a reduction in range and accuracy. If it’s too narrow, then you’ll wind up with more BBs getting jammed, which will put you out of the fight more often.
Typically, airsoft guns come from the factory with an inner barrel of 6.06mm (0.238 in). Upgrading that inner barrel to 6.03mm (0.237 in) will give you a barrel that allows for less BB bounce. This means that your BBs will go further and be far more likely to hit your target at a longer range.
Beyond that, many stock inner barrels are made of brass. This material is more pliant than some other metals and will vibrate more, reducing range and accuracy. Steel inner barrels, however, are stronger and won’t vibrate as much.
So, I recommend going with a steel inner barrel of 6.03mm (0.237 in). You can always go for an even tighter inner barrel later on if you find this one, not to your liking, but it’s a great place to start.
If you’re looking for one now, I recommend checking this Evike – Matrix 6.03mm Inner Barrel, from Amazon.com. It comes in several different sizes, is heavy duty, and reduces vibrations.
Be sure to measure your current inner barrel length in millimeters before ordering so that you know you’re ordering the correct length.
2. Upgrade the Gun’s Bucking
The bucking, a small piece of rubber on the top inside your inner barrel, is essential in increasing your airsoft gun’s range and accuracy. Your bucking is responsible for how much backspin the BB has, and therefore how much distance it will travel once it leaves the barrel.
That lift is due to something called the Magnus Effect. The Magnus Effect is what gives spinning objects lift. When you fire your airsoft gun, the BB passes through the barrel, and on its way, it comes into contact with the bucking. Friction is created between the bucking and the BB as the BB hits it, and the BB is then given backspin as a result.
As the BB leaves the barrel of the airsoft gun, that backspin causes air to be pulled over the top and down the backside of the BB, where it pushes the air current under the BB down. This process gives the BB lift, which lets the BB travel much further than without that backspin. More range means you can more accurately strike your targets from a further distance, putting you in a safer position.
The important part to remember here is that you can increase the backspin your BBs get and thereby give the BBs more lift by upgrading to a larger bucking. There are two types of buckings you can upgrade to that have been tried and proved to increase backspin: the flat hop and the R hop.
A flat hop is exactly what it sounds like: a flat piece of rubber that provides more contact with the BB and, therefore, more backspin. The R hop is like it but curved, covering more of the circumference of the barrel. With the flat hop, your BBs will get more contact along their top. With the R hop, the BBs are making contact with the bucking along much more of their circumferences. More contact means more friction, and more friction means more backspin.
If you’re going to upgrade your inner barrel and your bucking, check out this already r-hopped tight bore barrel from Amazon.com: Elvish Tac R-Hopped Tightbore Barrel. It’s a great option because it allows you to check your barrel’s alignment without taking the hop-up apart.
3. Improve Your Hop-Up Unit
The main concern when it comes to your hop-up unit is consistency. You want a hop-up that fits well with your gun and your other upgraded parts. The hop-up is responsible for several things on your airsoft gun, namely the following:
- It holds your airsoft gun’s barrel in place.
- It allows for BBs to be fed into the chamber from the magazine.
- The hop-up unit is what the air nozzle attaches to.
- It has an arm that controls the bucking.
With even a little bit of play, these processes can be thrown off and can ruin your training or gameplay.
Does a Longer Airsoft Barrel Increase Accuracy?
To increase airsoft accuracy, people have tried just about everything that can be tried. It is often thought that longer barrels will help increase accuracy, but this has been proven not to be the case.
A longer barrel does not increase accuracy. The longer the barrel on your airsoft gun is, the more the BB will bounce around. Also, even though the bucking gives the BB backspin, the Magnus Effect won’t give it lift until it has left the barrel and is in the open air.
In the end, a longer barrel looks cool to some people, but its real benefit is only aesthetic when it comes to airsoft guns.
It may take some trial and error to get the airsoft gun you want. But with a little investment, you can get well on your way rather quickly. There are two important things that you should remember when upgrading your airsoft gun, though:
- If you don’t know, ask for help.
- Don’t void your warranty.
I recommend doing all the research you can and asking questions of the experts in your area. Also, if you’re worried about voiding your warranty, make sure you call the manufacturer and verify if the upgrades you intend to make will void it!