Airsoft submachine guns, or SMGs, are one of the most popular and practical choices for many in the airsoft community. However, there is a variety of options on the market, and not every gun is ideal for every shooter. If you are an airsoft enthusiast considering airsoft SMGs for close combat, it’s important to consider which brands and SMG types are best for you. And that is where we come in. We have done substantial research and tested a bunch of SMGs for Airsoft.
Elite Force’s UMP-9 is the best airsoft SMG, winning the edge over other airsoft SMGs for its high FPS, premium build quality, and lightweight polymer body. It also has minimal recoil, a conveniently placed hop-up, and effective iron sights, allowing more stable and accurate shots.
In this post, I’ll share some of the best airsoft submachine guns on the market based on price, build quality, overall performance, and more. I’ll also tell you why they’re my top choices and list the pros and cons of each gun for you to consider before making your decision. Keep reading to see which of these top-choice airsoft SMGs is ideal for you.
Best Airsoft SMG Overall: Elite Force HK Heckler & Koch UMP Automatic 6mm
If you are familiar with other firearm games, then you likely know that the UMP-9 is hands-down one of the most popular SMGs out there, outperforming even some of the more popular assault rifles in close combat. So, it’s not surprising that the airsoft versions also rank top-tier in performance and popularity.
This gun has one of the most effective iron sights you can find in any airsoft SMG combined with low recoil, making aiming and hitting the mark much more effortless. For this reason, both beginners and experienced players highly prefer using the UMP-9 for airsoft.
The build of H&K’s UMP-9 is compact and lightweight. The premium-quality plastic frame has an integrated shoulder rest or stock, which you can use to bring more stability to the gun while firing on auto.
The UMP-9 features three major firing modes:
- Single fire mode: Fires a single bullet at a time
- Burst fire (or semi-auto) mode: Fires 2 BB bullets at a time
- Auto fire: Keeps firing any bullets in the magazine as long as the trigger is pulled back.
Another example of the gun’s excellent design is the convenient location of its hop-up. Unlike most SMGs, the UMP-9’s hop-up is located towards the front of the gun and easily accessed, without any unnecessary complexities, via the use of an Allen key. This makes adjusting the hop-up super fast and easy.
The gun’s high accuracy and firing speed, combined with its ergonomic design and low recoil, make it the most well-rounded airsoft SMG you can find today, which is why I chose it as the best SMG overall.
Relatively lightweight at 4.65 pounds (2.11 kg)
Has a high 360 FPS firing speed meaning it shoots accurately for longer ranges
Integrated shoulder rest improves handling and stability while firing
The magazine has a low capacity of 30 BB bullets
- Weight: 4.65 pounds (2.11 kg)
- Build Material: Mostly polymer with some metal components
- Capacity: 30/ round
- FPS (feet per second): 360
- Handling: The gun is lightweight and easy to carry around. Plus, its frame’s design integrates a shoulder rest that can be used to keep the gun stable while firing.
Cheapest Airsoft SMG: Well Electric Airsoft Uzi Machine Gun
One the most compact airsoft SMG on the market is Well’s UZI. Similar to the real UZI it’s modeled after, this gun almost feels like a pistol-SMG hybrid that you can handle and shoot using only one arm.
The biggest benefit of a small and lightweight gun is that it’s effortless to carry around through longer game sessions. Yet, at the same time, it’s not incredibly satisfying to hold.
Regarding the gun’s recoil, it’s easy to keep stable while firing, even without a front grip to assist. Plus, if you ever need more stability, you can attach a stock to the gun to help keep it still.
Moreover, this is an automatic electric gun (AEG), meaning the motor used to shoot the bullets is powered by electricity. The gun’s battery (and charger) comes inside the box, which you’ll need to recharge after a complete session of use. But no need to worry because the battery charges back up in just 30 minutes, so you won’t have a lot of delay time after your battery drains.
Best of all, you get all these features–and more–for a fraction of the price of the average airsoft SMG. Overall, the spectacular value this gun offers at such a low price is why it ranks as the most economical option on my list.
But don’t expect miracles. For the price, the UZI is fine, but I would rather personally choose something of better quality.
One of the lightest SMGs, making it super easy to handle
Has a safety switch to keep the gun from firing even when the trigger isn’t pulled
One of the most pocket-friendly airsoft SMGs
250 FPS firing speed limits range
Low capacity combined with fast firing rate results in quick draining
- Weight: 2.6 pounds (1.18 kg)
- Build Material: Polymer and metallic
- FPS (feet per second): 250
- Handling: One of the easiest guns to handle–you can carry and shoot using only one arm
Airsoft SMG With Best Build Quality: Well MP7 Airsoft AEG
Best Build Quality
Well MP7 Airsoft AEG
Well’s MP7 Airsoft AEG holds an uncanny resemblance to the actual MP7 SMG that inspired its design. It has a sleek black metallic body and other parts made of premium plastic that all come together to provide a nice feel when you hold the gun.
It has a total weight of 4.05 pounds (1.84 kg) which is perfect for an airsoft SMG; it’s not so heavy that your arms ache from carrying it around, and it’s not so light that it moves around easily or feels cheap.
Since it’s automatic, it uses a battery and motor mechanism to fire its bullets. Specifically, the MP7 uses a specialized 7.2-volt battery, which is incredibly easy to take out or place back into the gun thanks to the gun’s sliding front mechanism. The front of the gun slides off at the push of a button and reveals the battery slot.
There are three firing modes in the MP7 SMG:
- Single fire: One bullet fires at a time
- Burst fire: Multiple bullets shoot at a time
- Auto-Fire: The gun keeps firing bullets as long as the trigger is pulled
Additionally, the gun comes with an adjustable hop-up that helps stabilize bullets in the air and keeps them from missing the aim. However, adjusting the hop-up is a bit tricky, so if you are a beginner, you might not appreciate the complexity.
This gun ranked as the best for build quality because of how premium it feels when holding it, how snugly its parts come together, and how stable it feels while firing.
Includes safety switch for safe handling
Includes three firing modes (single fire, burst, and automatic fire)
Perfect weight for proper handling
The iron sights make aiming easier
Front vertical grip must be constantly pushed forward to remain upright and will retract if pulled back
Limited max capacity per mag (yet, you can separately purchase a more extended mag with high capacity)
- Weight: 4.05 pounds (1.84 kg)
- Build Material: Metal and Plastic
- Capacity: 50 BB bullets
- FPS (feet per second): 250
- Handling: The gun comes with two grips and a retractable stock, making it really easy to handle
Best Airsoft SMG for Children: Well R2 Skorpion AEP Airsoft SMG
If you are trying to find a good airsoft SMG for your child, Well’s R2 Skorpion is an excellent choice. It is one of the smallest SMGs available and relatively lightweight at 3.9 pounds (1.77 kg), so it’s easier to handle–so easy that a child could easily and safely use it as a beginner’s SMG.
Still, R2 Skorpion isn’t made only for kids; anyone can appreciate and benefit from its size and weight. For instance, adults can carry it around using only one hand.
Considering its size, the gun range is fairly impressive at 80 meters (262 ft). However, SMGs with longer barrels and airsoft assault rifles can easily go well beyond this. For this reason, this gun is better for close combat but not the best choice for long-range accuracy. Still, the R2 Skorpion is on this list because its size and weight make it a practical choice for anyone.
- Weight: 3.9 pounds (1.77 kg)
- Build Material: Metal and Polymer
- Capacity: 30 BB bullets per magazine (you can purchase a longer magazine separately)
- FPS (feet per second):
- Handling: You can easily carry the gun and control its recoil using one hand
Powered using a special battery and charger that comes included with purchase
Small and lightweight–easier for children to handle
The hop-up is easily adjustable
Safety switch makes it safer for children to handle
The small size of the gun is not satisfying to hold
Small barrel and thus shorter range compared the average SMG
Most Beginner-Friendly Airsoft SMG: Evike FN Herstal Licensed P90 AEG
Best Beginner Friendly
Evike FN Herstal Licensed P90 AEG
Evike’s P90 AEG is one of the most beginner-friendly guns you can get today. Modeled after the FN P-90, this airsoft SMG has its grips integrated within the frame of the gun, which translates into a simple and compact design that makes it easy to handle.
The limited choices mean you no longer have to worry about what grip to use and can focus on other important things about the game, such as aiming and building arm strength for stability.
What’s more, this gun is an AEG, so you can easily prepare it for use simply by charging its battery after every game. The special 7.4V battery and charger required for use are included, so there is no need to make additional purchases before you can start using your gun.
Yet, make no mistake–the Evike’s P90 AEG may be beginner friendly, but it can keep up with the big guns, so to speak. It is a very popular choice in the airsoft community, even with the most experienced airsoft players.
That’s because the P90 has some of the best mag capacity and firing rate you can find in an SMG. The mag round has a 68-bullet capacity, and each bullet can be fired at a whopping 400 feet per second (FPS), which is a substantial amount of power for an airsoft SMG.
- Weight: 5.5 pounds (2.49 kg)
- Build Material: Polymer frame with some internal metallic components
- Capacity: 68 BB bullets per round
- FPS (feet per second): 400
- Handling: The gun’s compact design with its grips integrated into the frame makes it really easy to handle and hold still while shooting
Compact design makes it easy to handlendling
Well-designed iron sights make it easier for beginners to aim before shooting
Fires at an impressive 400 FPS
Each round contains 68 bullets, which is a lot for an SMG
Longer barrel (29 cm or 11 in) gives it an edge over other SMGs and helps the bullets in precisely hitting the aim
No retractable stock, so you can’t rest it on your shoulder for stability
Somewhat heavy at 5+ pounds (2.49 kg) and can get tiring to handle
Without question, if you are looking for the best airsoft SMG overall, the Elite Force’s UMP-9 is it. It has a premium build quality, effective iron sights, and a minimal recoil unmatched by other SMGs.
Still, Evike’s P90 AEG is another crowd-pleaser because it is easy to handle, making it a great option for experienced and amateur players alike.
And if you are new to airsoft, make sure to purchase protective gear if you haven’t already; while these guns may not use real bullets, they hit pretty hard and can seriously bruise or injure you or any person you shoot at.
Considering buying some other brand? Then my article on the worst Airsoft brands in 2023 is a must-read.