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What is an Airsoft Gearbox?

An airsoft gearbox is a case in which all AEG internal parts are in. This gearbox usually split into two halves and varies depending on the make and model of the gun. The most common gearbox shells are Version 2 (V2) and Version 3 (V3), other common versions are Version 6(V6) and Version 7(V7). There are less relevant versions which are V1, V4, V5, V8, and V9. As these less common versions are tailored to specific guns, such as V1 only works on the FAMAS, V4 in the TM PSG-1, etc. The more common shells specifically 2 and 3, come with different sized holes for bushings or bearings. They come in a variety of sizes from 6mm, 7mm, 8mm, up to 9mm.

The modern airsoft gearbox is comprised of gears and a motor to transfer electrical into mechanical energy to fire the airsoft gun. The air system turns this mechanical energy into pneumatic energy that shoots the tiny bb out of the gun. 

But in order to understand how these various internal parts affect each other's performance, we have to understand how it actually operates. There are 3 types of energy in action every time that trigger is pulled, which are electrical, mechanical, and pneumatic. 

Mechanical energy is an energy that's associated with the position and motion of an object. This is responsible for the motor moving parts inside the gearbox such as gears and the piston.

You may wonder what do we mean by pneumatic energy? Well, this energy relates to the power-related by the pressurized air pushing the BB out. In order for that BB to come flying out, the piston is launched through a cylinder to squeeze the air out of the nozzle.

Nowadays all contemporary electric airsoft machine guns use a mechanical system inside, it's the gearbox that contains three gears and a motor that allows the transfer of electrical energy into mechanical energy. It's a simple process that begins with a trigger pull, then the trigger contacts close thus completing the electric circuit from battery to motor. After the motor draws enough energy it will begin spinning and engage the first (bevel) gear. For the gears to not reverse under operation, the bevel gear is blocked by an anti-reversal latch. This bevel gear then engages with the second (spur) gear, which subsequently engages the third (sector) gear.

Once the sector gear makes contact with the piston, it pulls it back in order to compress the spring. At the same time, a tiny nub on the sector gear drags what's known as a tappet plate back which consequently also retracts the air nozzle towards the cylinder. With this motion set, it allows the next BB to feed up into the hop-up chamber. The tappet plate will return to its original position which then chambers the BB. When that piston is released by the sector gear, the spring shoots back and launches the piston through a cylinder to force pressured air out of the nozzle. What should happen by now is a BB flying out at the end of the barrel, leaving a smile on your face. At this point, the mechanical energy is then transferred into pneumatic energy. 

What type of Airsoft Gearbox is right for me?

It depends on what airsoft replica your running, as each and every airsoft gearbox are different based on the model and brand of the replica.