Why Does Your Airsoft Gun Not Shoot? 13 Solutions

Your airsoft gun has a lot of complex parts that work together to fire BBs, and sometimes one or more will fail or break. Luckily, most problems related to your gun not shooting are easy to fix.

Your airsoft gun may not shoot due to not cocking it, empty magazines, a jammed trigger switch, broken hop-up, and dead batteries. To fix your airsoft gun, you need to cock the gun, load the magazine, replace the trigger switch, replace the hop-up, and install new batteries.

In this article, I’ll describe some of the reasons your airsoft gun may fail to shoot. In addition, read on for details on the easy fixes to get your gun working properly.

Why Your Airsoft Gun Does Not Shoot

In general, several factors could jam your airsoft gun, preventing it from shooting. Here are some of the most common problems that could stop your gun from shooting:

The Gun Is Not Cocked

This is the most common reason why your airsoft gun doesn’t shoot. When you cock an airsoft gun, it compresses a spring to propel firing out of its barrel when you pull the trigger switch.

If you pull back on the slide or bolt, but nothing is released, then chances are there’s something wrong with your gun—and it’s most likely that your gun isn’t cocked.

Video: Gun makes shooting noise but no BBs come out

The Magazine Is Empty or Out of BBs

This causes no damage to your airsoft gun but can be very frustrating if you’re planning to do some skirmishing with friends and all of a sudden realize there are no more rounds left in your magazine.

An empty magazine can also cause your gun not to shoot even though it’s cocked. If you’re using an electric airsoft rifle, make sure that the motor has power. If you’re using a gas-powered gun, ensure there’s some gas left and follow instructions on how to charge it up or fill it with gas.

Is your motor getting hot? I have listed the 10 most common causes and fixes.

The Trigger Switch Is Jammed or Broken

A broken trigger switch will stop your airsoft gun from firing any rounds. This can be caused by dirt on moving parts but is more likely due to mistreatment such as dropping or bumping the weapon too often, causing loose wires inside the switch to knock into one another and break off.

Before attempting any repairs on your trigger switch, check if it can be simply unplugged and plugged back in again — this simple task might restore the switch’s function.

The Barrel Has a Kink in It

A kinked barrel will cause airsoft BBs first to hit a wall of resistance and then rebound off at an unpredictable angle with reduced velocity, making it difficult for you to aim accurately. This kinking may happen as a result of dropping your gun on its tip or laying it down too roughly; sometimes, even paintball markers such as Tippmann 98 can suffer from kinking as well.

The Hop-Up Is Broken or Incorrectly Adjusted

The hop-up is a mechanism that controls the flow of air around your BB as it leaves the gun’s barrel. This ensures that the BB follows a predictable trajectory to reach a longer maximum range or a flatter shooting path before falling back down to earth.

In the case of an incorrectly adjusted hop-up, your airsoft gun won’t shoot properly, whether cocked or not and no matter what you do. In other words, there’s no quick fix for this problem. You must adjust your hop-up correctly for the proper functioning of your airsoft guns.

The Barrel Is Obstructed or Bent

An obstructed barrel will cause a noticeable decrease in the range and accuracy of your airsoft gun.

Dirt, mud, snow, leaves, or any other debris can get stuck inside the barrel while cleaning or during skirmishes, so it’s important you learn how to maintain it properly.

A bent barrel may result from an obstructed one but not necessarily. Keep this in mind before trying to straighten out a kinked barrel because it may end up with a visible ‘bulge’ that’ll affect its range and accuracy yet again.

You’re Not Using High-Quality BBs

High-quality BBs generally have a smoother outer surface for better flight characteristics through the air, which results in more accurate and consistent shots. This is especially true when using high-quality hop-up buckings, which often won’t even spin properly if the BBs inside the barrel are low in quality.

On the other hand, using low-quality BBs is a sure-fire way to jam your Airsoft gun, which will prevent it from shooting.

Your Airsoft Gun’s Batteries Are Dead

Dead or undercharged batteries can cause your gun not to shoot when cocked or even when it’s uncocked. This can be caused by low or aging batteries and will degrade your gun’s performance for skirmishing purposes. 

If you need to replace your gun’s batteries, make sure you buy high-quality ones and read the instruction manuals before installing them.

If you’re unsure of which one to buy, I recommend this Tenergy 9.6V NiMH 1600mAh Butterfly Battery Pack from Amazon.com. It’s lightweight, charges quickly, and fits most airsoft guns perfectly.

You Blew the Fuse

If you blew your airsoft gun’s fuse, you’ll have to replace it before being able to use your gun again. Otherwise, a dead fuse will cause a consistent lack of power and result in no shot at all.

Tip: To ensure your gun’s fuse lasts as long as possible, follow proper gun care procedures to prevent the build-up of dirty internal parts which may cause a short circuit or extra strain on your airsoft gun’s electrical system.

The Motor Brush Springs Are Broken

Sometimes, your airsoft gun may not shoot due to broken motor brush springs responsible for grinding the gears correctly. Usually, the motor’s winding should be able to bend or compress these springs slightly to avoid contact with the internal gearbox components.

The Gears Are Jammed or Broken

A jammed or broken gear may cause your gun not to shoot even when it’s cocked and ready for action. Gears jam when they don’t function properly and eventually break, leading to broken internal axles. This can be an issue that would be difficult to fix on your own.

13 Solutions for Airsoft Gun Not Shooting

Your airsoft gun not shooting doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. There are several solutions to the problems identified above.

Here are some of the ways to get your airsoft gun working correctly:

1. Ensure Your Gun Is Cocked

Before you do anything else, make sure your gun is cocked and ready to fire. You can tell when an airsoft gun is cocked by looking at the slide or bolt; if it’s pulled back and sticking out, then you’re good to go.

If not, you can pull the bolt back and check if there’s a BB in the chamber by tipping the barrel towards the ground. If no BB comes out, then it’s time to put some rounds into your magazine!

2. Reload Your Magazine

If you know that an airsoft gun is cocked and ready to go but still not shooting, then it could be that you’re using an empty magazine or low on ammo. Simply reload your mag and shoot again — it should work like a charm.

Tip: Empty magazines cause many problems, such as not firing even when your gun is cocked, so always keep extra rounds on hand.

3. Make Sure There Are No Obstructions on the Trigger Switch

This includes dirt, BBs, paintballs, or any other debris that may have gotten stuck on the trigger switch. Use a Q-Tip dipped in alcohol to remove most of it and follow up by wiping out all excess with a dry cloth.

Alternatively, you can use compressed air to blow out whatever is left of the obstructions.

4. Ensure That Your Barrel Isn’t Bent

A bent barrel will create lots of problems for an airsoft gun, even when cocked. It may initially shoot straight, but that accuracy will quickly diminish with distance.

You can tell if your barrel is bent by looking down its tip while holding it in a position where the light will shine through. This should reveal any unwanted deformities caused by dropping or mishandling your weapon.

If you determine that your barrel is kinked, you can either correct it (by bending it the other way) or replace it completely, depending on its severity.

5. Place the Loader Spring Back Into Position

It’s possible for the loader spring to pop off of its position inside your magazine, preventing it from propelling BBs into the loading nozzle.

To fix this issue, you’ll need to slide a thin metal rod through your magazine’s center hole and then guide it back into its slot on top of the feeder wheel.

If that doesn’t work, try using a Q-Tip dipped in alcohol to gently massage oil towards the hole. This should help push the loader spring back into place.

6. Use Proper Cleaning and Lubrication Procedures

When not used or maintained properly, airsoft guns become dirty after several skirmishes, affecting their range, accuracy, and overall performance.

Clean and lubricate all parts as per the manufacturer’s instructions (don’t overdo it, though, as that can end up damaging certain materials) to ensure they’re in proper working order.

Additionally, you need to ensure the gun is in the best shape by following the basic maintenance guidelines, which include:

  • Cleaning the barrel frequently.
  • Replacing worn-out parts (such as buckings, switches, and pins).
  • Checking the gun’s nozzle for blockages after each skirmish.
  • Replacing old batteries regularly.
  • Lubricating gears and other moving parts with high-quality airsoft lube.

Here’s a 2-minute video that shows how to oil your airsoft pistol:

7. Replace the Hop-Up Unit

If you’ve tried all five solutions above but still can’t get your gun to shoot, then it might be time to replace the hop-up unit.

Take apart the barrel and receiver assembly by unscrewing them from each other, then remove both halves of the hop-up along with its rubber sleeve.

After that, remove the bucking chamber by pulling it off its nozzle and replacing it with your new hop-up unit.

8. Unscrew the Barrel and Clear It of Debris

It’s possible that your airsoft gun simply needs a good cleaning, which will help eliminate the cause of most problems.

To do this, remove the barrel and receiver by unscrewing them (gently) from each other. Make sure you remember where they go when putting everything back together again.

Next, gently wipe out any debris using an old toothbrush or Q-Tip dipped in alcohol. This should help get rid of anything stuck inside the nozzle or outside it.

9. Use High-Quality Airsoft BBs

As a rule of thumb, you should use BBs that are at least 0.20 g (0.007 oz) on your airsoft gun.

High-quality BBs are more durable than cheaper alternatives which means they’ll remain intact longer when traveling down your barrel.

If you’re in the market for quality BBs, I recommend this Game Face Match Grade .20-Gram Airsoft BBs from Amazon.com. They’re double polished, smooth, and can hit the mark consistently.

10. Replace Dead Batteries

Even when not used, old batteries gradually lose their charge over time which may adversely affect how well your airsoft gun shoots or operates in general.

Regardless of its type, make sure you regularly replace old batteries with new ones to keep your airsoft gun in the best condition.

11. Replace Your Gun’s Fuse

When your airsoft gun’s fuse fails, it sends an electrical surge from the battery to the motor, which causes it to function erratically.

Since this problem directly affects how well your gun functions in general, you’ll need to replace the fuse with one specifically designed for your gun’s battery type.

Note: Fuses have different ratings, so using the wrong one will likely damage your gun further.

12. Replace the Bush Motor Springs

If your gun’s gears aren’t engaging teeth on the piston properly, it could be caused by a faulty bush motor spring.

After removing the gearbox from your gun, press down on the spring with a screwdriver to compress it and remove it from its chamber.

Align your new spring correctly (by matching it with existing slots), then press it into place until you hear it click.

13. Replace Your Gun’s Gears

If your gun’s gears are worn, replace them with brand new ones to optimize its performance. Make sure you align all teeth on new gears properly before installation, or they may not engage properly when installed.

For the best results, I recommend hiring a professional to perform this task as it requires a very steady hand and technical knowledge.

Final Thoughts

If you can’t find the cause of your gun’s problem and want to avoid sending it off for repairs, try these quick fixes first before considering other options. At the same time, make sure you avoid letting dirt and debris accumulate inside your gun since this can lead to many problems down the road. 

In addition, never take apart your gearbox or try to fix it yourself unless you know what you’re doing — otherwise, you risk damaging your airsoft gun further. Also, ensure you follow all basic maintenance guidelines to keep your gun working.