Highly respected Airsoft community member, DumboRAT (Aka Allen Lee) was kind enough and interested enough to carry out the same Accuracy tests on his extensive collection of airsoft guns (ranging from sub-compact NBBs through to hand tuned Custom target specials).
I'd VERY much like to thank him for taking the time and for allowing me to host the results, which I think make interesting reading and dispel a few of the myths around airsoft pistols and what they can, and can't, achieve.
This article is submitted for my friend and fellow airsoft enthusiast, Snowman, of the UK.
The following are my results derived from a single dayís (all testing was done on 03/22/2003, between the span of approximately 3 hours) worth of target shooting and reflects the methodology and aims of the airsoft pistol replicas "accuracy test" that was proposed by Snowman, here:
General (including shooter preferences):
As stated within the criteria for this particular test, the replicas are all fired in an off-hand fashion with no supplemental support at a nominal set distance of 5 meters from muzzle to target.
I am right handed, and for the purpose of this test, used a consistent Weaver stance with my supporting hand bearing about 80 percent of the weight, as is favored by many competition sporting shooters as well as tactical firearms instructors. I consistently interlocked my support thumb over that of my shooting handís thumb, with the singular exception being the case of my BB-IPSC full-race GBB, for which I used the JP Control Lever for my left thumb, and locked my right thumb over the wide slide safety on the left side. My left index finger is simply interlaced over my left hand; I do not favor perching/hooking that finger at the front of the trigger guard. I used my normal "tactical" both-eyes-open aiming technique for all pieces tested. I am cross-dominant, however Ė right handed, but left eyed.
All shots were deliberately aimed and delivered to the best of my abilities.
Rest breaks were taken in-between each shot to rest used muscle groups to prevent fatigue.
All replicas used Taiwanese "Green Gas," which is akin in "power" output and observed pressure-temperature properties to both true HFC-22 (chlorodifluoromethane) as well as the popular "American Eagle" brand "Winter"-grade proprietary airsoft propellant gas that is widely available in Europe.
All magazines (or the replicas themselves, if the replica used an internal gas reservoir) were purged prior to testing, re-filled to maximum, and allowed to rest and reach room-temperature (approximately 64 deg. F.) before target shooting commenced.
The testing was done indoors under diffuse artificial incandescent lighting with no immediate shadows through the entire test range. Wind effects were nil, no HVAC vents were crossed in the path of the test range.
Genuine Tokyo Marui 0.20 gram BBs were used. All BBs were hand-loaded into the magazines/firing chambers.
Six (6) shots were taken from each replica.
Testing Parameter Restriction:
Each replica was only allowed one (1) chance through the test. No exceptions. I have made special notes where appropriate to allow the reader to understand the exact framework upon which the "performance" of the GBB can be assessed.
The target is a standard IPSCC target down-scaled according to Snowmanís requests. They were printed directly from the AmmoMan website at the following URL:
All targets were printed on standard 8 and Ĺ by 11 inch "Letter" sized paper, typical of the United States. Contrast settings on the printer were set to lightest possible ink setting with "draft" print quality in order to conserve both ink as well as to speed printing of targets. All targets were direct-printed with no photocopies used.
Measured across the center-of-mass "5" hit-ring, the diameter of the ring is approximately 2.55 inches. The height of the center-of-mass "4" hit-zone is approximately 6.05 inches, with a width of 4 inches, side to side. I have included a blank target with scale measure to assure you visual confirmation of the precise scale of the target.
All measurements for groupings are done center-to-center of each BB hit.
Again, before beginning, I would like to stress that this test is only empirical and subjective in its scope, and is greatly limited by both what little ability I have in terms of pistolcraft as well as is burdened by my own physical and psychological biases and preferences for the particular "setups" of these replicas. It is in no way an objective Ransom-rested or otherwise "benched" test of the GBBsí lone physical abilities and attributes.
In other words, your mileage will vary.
With that in mind, letís get on with the good stuff:
So, what does all of this mean?
Well, if youíll take a look at Snowmanís original accuracy test on the various spring-powered replicas, youíll strangely see that the performances between the springers and the GBBs are similar. In some cases better or worse, but all-in-all, about the same.
Whatís going on?
Why or how can a $30 springer pistol be "as good" as a $200 or even $2000 GBB?
Let me ask you this question:
How fast does an F1 car reach 100 km/h (62 mph)? Between 2.5 to 3 seconds sounds about right and is just about what all the various magazines have quoted, right?
How fast does, say, a TVR Speed 12 get there? What about a streetbike? Thatís not a figure out of their reach at all, is it?
Get my drift?
"Performance" on just this small, very restricted and very artificially framed test is only one aspect of the question. Sure, a springer can be very accurate at 5 meters, but is it more accurate than a skirmish-capable GBB at 20 meters? What about the comparison of an AEG and a GBB? Or even an AEG and a springer at those ranges?
Just as the spring powered replica has its limitations of low power and insufficient true long-range accuracy, the GBB has its troubles getting "pinpoint" precision at close-ranges due to recoil, and just as the AEG has such problems at short ranges due to the slightly varied positioning of the nozzle per cycle.
Just because your Speed 12 may beat a Formula 1 race car into turn one at the chicane doesnít mean that your road car will make it out of the other side ahead of the F1 racer.
Performance encompasses many different aspects. Just because your replica can punch pinpoints at 5 meters doesnít mean it will even reach out to 10, 15, or 20 meters with any semblance of accuracy or consistency.
Yes, a UHC M9 will eat up paper targets at 5 meters or even 10 meters, but will it carry out to 25 meters or even 20? Or what about the fact that it is a single-shot-only piece?
Yes, my BB-IPSC "race GBB" can punch the same holes repeatedly at 5 meters and easily maintain a 3 inch grouping at 10-12 meters, but put me on a skirmish field with that piece, and Iíll tell you right away that I canít hit targets over 20 meters away. Why? Sure, Iíve got the raw power, but I have no Hop in that system.
My Tanio Koba Ruger 10/22 GBB rifle? Sure, itís a tack-driver at up to 40 ft., where it will literally drill the same hole over and over Ė but it just doesnít have enough power to punt BBs over 30 meters.
For the former, Iíd gladly take a TM M9/TacMaster or an adjustable Hop WA 1911. For the latter, hook me up with a high-quality spring-powered "sniper rifle" replica or a TM AEG.
Get my drift?
Well, thatís it! I hope you had as much fun reading this as I had both writing it as well as, more so, doing the test!
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