How much do you know about gas blowback airsoft pistols?
They’re pretty cool, and you might have seen a couple of people using them in a recent game. You’ll know them when you see them because when they’re fired, the entire top of the gun physically moves backwards!
It’s the most popular type of airsoft weapon, because it provides the most life-like performance and experience.
Airsofting is a lot of fun and it relies on honor which is the most significant factor that sets it apart from paintball. That, and the fact that there’s no paint involved!
If you’re new to it, there are a few things you should know before you head out to shoot. Your gun is one of them.
While selecting gear is always fun and exciting, choosing a pistol comes with a few challenges. Still, it’s crucial that you know how your weapon works, especially if you opt for a gas blowback.
Though we know a thing or two about the sport and these guns, we also spent hours researching the matter anyway. Continue reading as we discuss all about gas blowback guns, how they work, what makes them different and how to use them.
What is a gas blowback pistol?
As you know, there are several different types of guns most commonly used in airsoft games. Gas is the most popular due to its blowback, and overall ease of use. However, the main difference between these types is the THING that powers them.
Some guns work on batteries, while others work on springs. There are also hybrids that combine certain types into one pistol. Still, GAS is the one that most advanced players recommend.
- It’s more realistic
- It’s more fun
- It CAN be more powerful (not always)
Of course, every type of weapon has its pros and cons, so do those powered by gas.
Though they offer quite a realistic experience, they require special maintenance, and of course, refills. Other types also have their advantages and setbacks as most of them have to be refilled, charger or otherwise maintained.
History of Gas Blowback airsoft pistols
The first gas blowback system can be traced back to an old man in Japan, called Tanio Kobayashi. He was working for MGC on designing these guns.
The first principle was simple and very much different than what we have today. Once Western Arms created their version, it was clear that many of the critical things were improved. WA protected their intellectual property, so all other manufacturers need a license to copy the design.
Kobayashi continued to develop his system, and Tokyo Marui still uses his design in all their pistols. More so, many KSC models have a principle that looks very similar.
Why choose a gas pistol with blowback?
Gas pistols use the pneumatic potential energy within compressed gas to operate the shooting mechanism. The principle is entirely different than electric or spring powered guns.
Those that work on gas have something that others don’t, and that’s blowback. Gas blowback pistols, or GBB, use an internal canister that releases prefilled bottled gas. In the process, the gun generates blowback or recoil and loads the next shot.
Another advantage is that these can be automatic or semi-automatic. Plus, you can choose anything from handguns and pistols to rifles and snipers depending on your preference and role in the game.
Biggest benefits of gas blowback
Apart from blowback (looking awesome!) and substantial power, gas guns have several other benefits to bring to the game. First and foremost, they remove the need to reset the firing mechanism manually. This makes the gun more convenient and easier to work with.
This little detail increases the overall firing speed of your weapon.
Plus, most advanced players like that they have a choice between semi-automatic and fully automatic modes. Though most pistols operate in a semi-automatic mode, many models fire in automatic equally as well.
There are also a few gas options to choose from which allows you to customize the gun to your preferences and needs. All those gases have different lubricities qualities, power, and resistance to cold weather which means you can use them in several different guns.
Who should use gas blowback?
Gas blowback pistols are easy to use so there’s no limit to who can use them. You can find pistols as well as snipers which means that you can use them regardless of the role you play in the game.
They are suitable for anyone who wants a more realist experience. Police, military, armed forces, and other professionals use GBB for its precision, accuracy, and blowback. However, the guns are equally as suitable for civilians and anyone looking to enjoy the game.
Most people don’t recommend them to children, at least not without any adult supervision due to the power of the blowback.
All the components of gas blowback pistols
Magazine – it’s loaded with gas and airsoft pellets that are essential for the operation.
Knock valve – otherwise known as gas or firing valve, it’s actuated by the pistol’s hammer. When it’s opened, the valve pushes air through the vent port and into the nozzle to activate the system. It then closes by the spring’s return tension.
Hammer – is mounted in the frame and held under spring tension by a sear. The sear is released when you pull the trigger. Once you do that, the hammer strikes the knock valve forcing it to start the firing process.
Loaded BBs – airsoft BBs are the ammunition used and loaded into the magazine.
Chambered BBs – once you fire a cycle, another round will be loaded into the hop up. It’s prepared and waiting for you to start another firing process.
Nozzle – the air nozzle is a polymer assembly that channels air. It loads BBs from the magazine and into the hop up. It goes back and forth in the slide.
Slide – it’s a plastic or metal housing that contains different components. It shifts during the firing process.
Pistol assembly – it’s usually made of metal and mounted into the slide. It remains in its place without moving.
Piston head – the head assembly is usually made of plastic and with an o-ring that seals the back end of the nozzle off from the atmosphere during the firing process. It creates compression.
Rocket valve – it’s usually made of plastic though you might find a metal one as well. It closes off the front of the nozzle creating compression and blowback.
Rocket valve spring – it’s made of metal and servers to provide backward tension to the valve preventing it from staying in the closed position.
Hop up rubber – it’s contained in a pistol hop up unit and provides resistance keeping the chambered round in place. It applies hop to the round when you fire for the desired backspin.
Inner barrel – it’s in a pistol hop up unit and channels the air from the firing process to fire the BB out.
Nozzle return spring – it provides backward tension to the air nozzle allowing it to reset once compression is lost.
Slide catch – it’s a spring-loaded bar pushed up to catch the slide when there’s no ammo remaining in the magazine.
How do gas blowback airsoft pistols work
This is what you’ve been waiting for.
It’s well-known that in order to operate the gun you should know how it works first. You can only use it well enough once you’re familiar with the firing process and you’re aware of everything that goes one within the weapon.
For this reason, you should know how your gas blowback pistol works before you go out in the field. This will help you develop your strategy and achieve better accuracy. Plus, knowing some of the basics enables you to understand how to maintain the gun in order to prolong its longevity.
You may like: Our post about the most common airsoft MISTAKES that loads of people keep making!
Gas-powered guns, much like any other, have a mechanism that triggers and hits the target. The difference here is that most of the magazine storage is actually dedicated to the gas. A very little portion of the magazine is for BBs.
In order to fire the pistol, you have to pull the trigger (of course). There’s a hammer inside the gun that pushes the valve in the magazine and releases the gas. The gas then propels BBs and they leave the barrel.
Blowback or recoil is often the reason why people use gas guns in the first place. It offers a life-like experience that’s closest to firing a real weapon.
It happens when the rocket valve moves forward, and the remaining pressure in the nozzle pushes the assembly away from the nozzle and to the BACK of the gun.
The slide assembly moves into the rearward position, so the piston head loses its seal against the nozzle allowing all trapped air to vent out.
Once compression is lost, the nozzle spring resets the nozzle by pushing it to the back of the piston. This allows you to load the next round of BBs into the front of the nozzle. The entire process happens quickly, and although you might not be able to see it, you’ll definitely feel it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a blowback pistol?
If you don’t have much experience with airsoft pistols or airsoft weapons in general, it might be a bit tricky for you to understand what blowback is. We’ve discussed the term earlier in this article, but to put it in simpler words, it’s a reaction to the BB firing out of the gun.
Once the BB is fired out the barrel, the remaining pressure creates blowback when returning the components in the starting position where they are ready to fire again.
It all happens so quickly, and although many guns that don’t have it still work very well, it’s a crucial part of your experience. If you were to compare the different types of weapons, you’d notice a clear difference between how gas-operated firearm feels. It’s all thanks to that recoil!
Are electric airsoft guns better than gas?
Well, this is a tricky question but it really depends on what style you have when in game. Lots of people stick to electric because it’s easier to just recharge a battery than to buy a new gas canister. You can’t always get gas canisters on site, and you might have to wait for them to arrive from an online store. As far as accuracy and power goes, they’re fairly similar.
Are co2 BB gun pistols accurate?
When you think about it, blowback always moves your hand and the firearm at least a millimeter. So, it’s only logical people wonder whether that can affect your precision and accuracy.
The answer is no. Although the movement happens, it happens very quickly. People conducted experiments to see and prove what exactly goes on during recoil. Using high-tech cameras that can record high-speed, it was confirmed that the BB is already well out of the gun when the blowback happens, so it’s not any less accurate.
Does temperature affect how the gas performs?
The colder it is, the less effective your gas blowback gun will be because the pressure is lower. This isn’t the end of the world though, and for MOST people playing airsoft, you won’t notice a HUGE difference. Of course if you’re playing somewhere really cold like Russia, you might notice it and want to think about electric guns instead.
Can a blowback pistol be upgraded?
Much like any mechanical system, these can also be upgraded. All of its parts and components can be replaced at any time if you wish to upgrade to something more durable and efficient. However, this is a tricky part, and you have to know the gun, and it’s ways very well.
Disassembling the weapon is a complex process, but putting the pieces back together might be even more complicated. For this reason, you should have a pro do it, or at least someone who’s well-familiar with how gas guns work.
There aren’t many variables, but the entire adventure requires experience, time and lots of patience for testing all the new parts. If you’re ready to do that, change one component at the time and stick with what you’re happy with.
Make sure to test the gun each time you upgrade a specific part just to see the kind of velocity, realism, blowback, and accuracy you got from the new component.
What gas can I use in the pistol?
One thing you have to keep in mind is that you cannot use just about ANY gas. These guns use either green gas or propane, for which you’d need an adapter.
Another option is HFC-134a especially if your gun has plastic sliders. A few others that are less commonly used are red gas and nitrogen.
Still, it’s against the law to use HCFC-22 or “red gas” in the USA because it’s a Class II ozone-depleting substance. It’s been banned since January 1994 under section 610(d) of the Clean Air Act.
Not only it unlawful to use it, but it’s also quite dangerous. Red gas has relatively high critical pressure that can damage the gun breaking its bolt or slide.