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I've been playing airsoft for a little while now, and so, I am looking to purchase my own gear. I understand there are 3 main firing mechanisms; gas, electric and mechanical(spring). What I want to know is, what are the differences between the 3? I.e pros and cons.

Also, as I understand, the size of the gun affects the suitability of each specific mechanism, so I should mention, I am looking to get a pistol as I have been told smaller is better for close quaters(I play indoors only).

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  • There are good explanations and pros/cons here (I'm not related to them, just to say...)
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Feb 7 at 16:55

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Mechanical

  • Pro: The spring is a very powerful mechanism for shooting BBs.
  • Con: The spring has to be manually loaded each time. Ie, not a semi-automatic weapon.

Gas

  • Pro: Fires faster and more accurately as a semi-automatic weapon.
  • Con: Gas can cause malfunctions in cold conditions.

Electric

  • Pro: A lighter footprint while being more consistent in firing than gas.
  • Con: Performance drops in wet/damp conditions.

Recurring Costs

Another rule-of-thumb is the recurring cost after buying the weapon.

Mechanical guns have the least amount of recurring cost as it does not require gas/electric to power while going through BBs at a much slower rate.

Gas guns require CO2 cartridges while many electric guns use rechargeable batteries. CO2 cartridges are generally one-time use and disposable while rechargeable batteries can be reused. A second rechargeable battery is recommended for less downtime when the first battery needs recharged or dies.

Also, the gas/electric in both situations to power the weapon are a recurring cost to consider.

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