Airsoft guns are typically used at target practice and military-style games and are a hobby many people take part in worldwide. These guns use airsoft batteries for power. So, it’s imperative to make sure you know how long to charge your airsoft battery to get the most out of your gun.
You should charge your airsoft batteries for around 5 hours for a full charge if they’re flat. Simply divide your battery’s number of milliamps (mA) by your battery charger’s number of milliamps (mA) to determine how many hours your battery needs to charge fully.
Although this may sound confusing, it’s easy to understand and can come in handy if you change your battery or charger. Keep reading to learn how to prevent overcharging and the different types of airsoft batteries.
How Long Should I Charge My Airsoft Batteries?
You should charge your airsoft batteries for about 5 hours if they’re completely flat. Low-voltage batteries, such as 8.4V or 10.8V, are commonly used since they charge quicker, around 1.5–3.5 hours, but only if your charger has a high number of milliamps.
For example, if your battery has 1,500mA and your battery charger has 300mA, all you have to do is:
1500 / 300 = 5
The equation shows that a battery with a 1500mA voltage, using a 300mA charger, will take 5 hours to reach a complete charge.
The most common battery voltages used in airsoft guns are 8.4V, 9.6V, and 10.8V. Higher voltages are also available, up to 12V. However, higher voltages are mainly recommended for extremely modified guns with strong gearboxes.
When Will I Know My Battery Has Finished Charging?
You’ll know your battery has finished charging if it feels warm but not lukewarm when you touch it. However, if your battery is too hot to touch, you’ve most likely damaged the battery by overcharging it.
It’s not enough to rely solely on touching to see if your battery has finished charging, though.
A safer way to ensure that your battery has finished charging is using a smart charger. Smart chargers will show a green light when the battery has reached full charge and a red light if it’s charging.
Can My Battery Voltage Impact Its Charging Speed?
Your battery voltage can impact your battery’s charging speed. However, it’s not the only factor involved in determining your charging speed. Charging speed is determined by both your battery voltage and your charger’s voltage.
If you have a high battery voltage such as 5,200mA and a high charger voltage such as 1,000mA, it should only take 6.24 hours to charge your battery fully.
However, if your battery voltage is still 5,200mA, but your charger voltage is only 500mA, it’ll take 10.4 hours to charge.
This example was taken from Airsoftschool.com and shows that while the voltage of your battery does affect charging speed, it mostly depends on the charger’s voltage.
How Long Does a Charge Last on My Battery?
A charge can last for a few hours on your battery. In the airsoft world, the amount of time a charge lasts on a battery highly depends on the shooting frequency. The battery will drain quicker the more shots you take, as each shot uses approximately 1mA of power.
Patrol Base recommends that you have 2 fully charged batteries with you in case one runs out.
What Happens if I Overcharge My Battery?
If you overcharge your battery, you may have caused permanent damage to the battery and rendered it unusable. You know you’ve overcharged your battery if you notice these signs:
- Your battery starts swelling or looks like a “fat battery.”
- Your battery has a hole or burns marks.
These are signs that your battery is damaged or faulty from overcharging. To prevent your battery from getting overcharged and damaged, remove the battery from the charging point and dispose of it at your local recycling center.
If you don’t have a recycling center nearby or are unsure that your local recycling center accepts batteries, this article can point you in the right direction.
However, if your battery only feels warm to touch (but not boiling), there has likely been no permanent harm caused to the battery.
How Many Types of Airsoft Batteries Are There?
There are 4 main types of airsoft batteries:
- Ni-Mh Batteries
- Li-Po Batteries
- Ni-Cad Batteries
- Alkaline Batteries
While there are some differences between them, ensuring you have the best battery for your gun is essential.
Below are some important details you should know about these batteries.
Ni-Mh Batteries Are the Most Common in Airsoft Guns
Ni-Mh stands for Nickel Metal Hydride batteries.
These batteries are the most used for airsoft guns, and they usually come with most packaged guns.
Ni-Mh batteries are also safer in comparison to the Li-Po batteries, claims battery universe. They’re also smaller in size than the Ni-Cad batteries.
The main downside to Ni-Mh batteries is that they tend to lose charge very quickly, even when the gun is idle.
Here’s a video explaining the main differences between the Ni-Mh batteries and the Li-Po batteries:
Made from Lithium Polymer, Li-Po batteries have become more prevalent in recent years because they have higher capacities than the standard Ni-Mh batteries.
Despite becoming more popular, Li-Po batteries require special care for storing, charging, and discharging. Li-Po batteries also pose more of a fire hazard than Ni-Mh and Ni-Cad batteries.
Ni-Cad Batteries Are Vulnerable to Extreme Temperatures
Ni-Cad stands for Nickel-Cadmium batteries, which use nickel-oxide hydroxide and cadmium.
Ni-Cad batteries are very similar to Ni-Mh batteries; however, Ni-Cad is heavier and doesn’t handle extreme temperatures very well.
It’s essential to monitor these batteries while charging, as Ni-Cad batteries are prone to leaking and causing fires.
More so, Ni-Cad batteries are more of an expert battery.
Alkaline Batteries Aren’t As Efficient as Other Batteries
Alkaline batteries aren’t being used as much in Airsoft Guns these days, and it’s down to the fact that they can’t handle the same amount of pressure as a Ni-Mh or Li-Po battery.
Despite this, alkaline batteries can last for years as long as they’re kept at room temperature or even cooler, and they’re cheap to buy.
Sadly, these batteries are slowly dying off in the airsoft community due to not being able to keep up with some high voltages that the airsoft guns create and having fewer milliamps than other batteries giving the user considerably less shooting time.
When charging your airsoft battery, dividing its voltage by the charger’s voltage is crucial to determine how long your battery will need to charge fully.
Knowing what type of battery you have is also vital, as different batteries have different voltages and react to being over-charged in different ways.
A smart charger can help stop your battery from overcharging and help to prevent a fire hazard, as touching the battery is not as accurate and could potentially burn you.