WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT REALISTIC AIRSOFT GUNS

One of the great attractions of airsoft to many players is the realism aspect of it, unlike videogames and movies, airsoft is a fully physical experience where players can see, hold and shoot a physical replica gun at targets and other players in a safe and fun environment. However unlike other skirmish sports like Nerf or paintball, many airsoft gun manufacturers go above and beyond to make their replicas look and function as close to their real steel counterparts as much as possible. Whether it is the most realistic airsoft pistol or rifle, we’ll show you the airsoft guns that look and function realistically like real steel and help you understand what makes them gain such a coveted title, so without further ado, here are our most realistic airsoft guns.

HOW WE CHOSE THE MOST REALISTIC AIRSOFT GUNS

There are a number of important factors we considered when compiling our list of Best Realistic Airsoft Guns, these include:

FUN FACTOR – Airsoft is a hobby so airsoft guns must be able to generate joy. We look at recoil, sound, design, optional accessories, and overall awesomeness that make the gun interesting. Non-shooting models can also be fun, like a beautiful revolver with realistic ammo that you can load into a rotating cylinder. We rate each of our picks on how much pleasure you can derive from ownership.

REALISM – What makes Airsoft guns attractive for so many is that they replicate real guns. While many manufacturers try their best to recreate the realistic details and feel of a real gun, some succeed while others fail horribly and end up with something more akin to a toy. We rate how real each of our top picks feels and looks.

PERFORMANCE – Power measured in feet-per-second (FPS), range and accuracy are the key metrics we use to determine the best airsoft gun. From there, we also prioritize airsoft guns with an adjustable hop-up and high-quality buckings to ensure that they give the consistency and accuracy you need. All FPS ratings are universally based on 0.2 gram BBs.

BUILD QUALITY – We look for good quality construction, materials and refinement not only in the external components but also internally. The fit tolerances, discernable wobbles and rattles, smoothness of operation, durability of components, etc are all considered.

VALUE – Affordable airsoft guns that rank highly in all the above categories are prioritized over more expensive airsoft guns that offer the same, as "bang for your buck" is an important consideration for most airsoft players.  These criteria rates if you are getting more for your money compared to similar guns in the same class, meaning is it a good deal. For more information on how to determine the value of an airsoft gun, check out this article on what goes into the cost of an airsoft gun.

COLLECTABILITY – Sometimes an Airsoft gun stands out simply because it is unique either because it’s not produced by anyone else or holds enough of a cultural or collectable value to make you want to have a piece of history regardless of its utility. This criteria in particular rates whether the gun is a must-have for collectors. Some rare or limited edition Airsoft guns even appreciate in value in the secondary market and we rate their investment value where applicable.

RWA NIGHTHAWK GRP RECON - CNC STEEL LIMITED EDITION


Specifications
PLATFORMGAS
BRANDRWA
COLORBlack
ORIGINATINGNIGHTHAWK
ARMORYCUSTOM
REPLICA TYPEPISTOL
MODEL1911
CAPACITY(RDS)26
POWER(FPS)340
POWER SOURCECO2
SHOOTING MODESemi Auto
BLOWBACKYes
HOP-UPADJUSTABLE
NET WEIGHT(KG)1.19
LENGTH(MM)225.0
MATERIALMetal
FUN★★★★★
REALISM★★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★★
VALUE★★
COLLECTABILITY★★★★★

The RWA Nighthawk Custom GRP is well known as one of the most realistic airsoft 1911s available.  Widely acclaimed by reviewers and opinion leaders, the GRP feels extremely real and delivers one of the most impressive recoil experiences in airsoft, with a kick that will ripple shock waves up your entire arm.  While buying a CNC Steel kit and fully upgrading a 1911 could be expensive. The RWA GRP is basically a pre-upgraded airsoft pistol out of the factory with guaranteed functionality and an excellent candidate for best Airsoft pistol 1911.

Pros

  • Licensed by Nighthawk Custom
  • Full CNC Steel Construction
  • Base on Marui system for reliability and accuracy
  • Weight almost 1:1 with the real counterpart
  • Will take Green Gas magazine (modification is required)
  • Extremely robust
  • Strongest blowback in any out of the box airsoft pistol thus far


Cons

  • Uses Co2, can only remove capsule after completely depleted
  • Very expensive for skirmishing
  • Not for beginners

APS CAM870 SERIES CO2 SHOTGUN


Specifications
PLATFORMCO2
BRANDAPS
COLORBlack
ORIGINATINGREMINGTON
REPLICA TYPESHOTGUN
MODELM870
CAPACITY(RDS)6+1
POWER(FPS)330
POWER SOURCECO2
SHOOTING MODEPump Action
BLOWBACKNo
HOP-UPNone
NET WEIGHT(KG)2.69
LENGTH(MM)1010.0
CONTENT INCLUDEDAPS CAM MK-III-M Magnum Airsoft Marker
MATERIALMetal
FUN★★★★★
REALISM★★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★★
VALUE★★
COLLECTABILITY★★★★★

The APS system (MKIII) is a CO2 powered system where the shells are loaded with the gas and up to 6x6mm BBs which are then fired all in one go down a smooth bore barrel like the real thing. The spent shell is then ejected when the shooter pumps the action and a new shell is loaded ready to fire. Shells are fed from the tubular magazine under the barrel.

Obviously this being a shell ejector means that you do have the concern of losing shells but this is probably the best shotgun to use for airsoft 3 gun or practical shooting competitions.

Pros

  • TM gas system offer great performance 
  • Very handy to use in close quarters
  • Modern bullpup design


Cons

  • Lack of aftermarket parts
  • Plastic body

GHK AK74MN GBB RIFLE


Specifications
PLATFORMGAS & CO2
BRANDGHK
COLORBlack
ORIGINATINGKALASHNIKOV
REPLICA TYPERIFLE
MODELAK SERIES
CAPACITY(RDS)40
POWER(FPS)360
POWER SOURCEGREEN GAS / CO2
SHOOTING MODESemi Auto / Full Auto
BLOWBACKYes
HOP-UPADJUSTABLE
NET WEIGHT(KG)3.30
LENGTH(MM)947.0
CONTENT INCLUDEDGHK AK74MN GBB Rifle
MATERIALMetal
FUN★★★★★
REALISM★★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★
VALUE★★★
COLLECTABILITY★★★★

The most realistic gas blowback AK based rifle in airsoft. The GHK AK series is the definitive GBB AKs on the market, having the best combination of realism, functionality and performance available. Coming in various models with many parts fully interchangeable with each other, the GHK AK series allows you to customise your AK into whatever version you want with the realistic shooting experience of firing an AK allowing you to dominate the field.

Pros

  • Arguably the best performing GBB AK around
  • Full metal
  • Good recoil and realistic operation
  • Wide variety of aftermarket parts


Cons

  • Half travel bolt
  • Difficult to mount accessories without purchasing aftermarket rails

UMAREX GLOCK 17 GEN 3 GAS AIRSOFT PISTOL (CNC STEEL SLIDE) (GHK)


Specifications
PLATFORMGAS & CO2
BRANDUMAREX
COLORBlack
ORIGINATING ARMORY GLOCK
REPLICA TYPEPISTOL
MODELG SERIES
CAPACITY(RDS)20
POWER(FPS)300
POWER SOURCEGREEN GAS / TOP GAS
SHOOTING MODESemi Auto
BLOWBACKYes
HOP-UPADJUSTABLE
NET WEIGHT(KG)0.67
LENGTH(MM)235.0
CONTENT INCLUDEDUmarex Glock 17 Gen 3 GBB (CNC Steel Slide) (by GHK)
MATERIALMetal
FUN★★★★★
REALISM★★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★
VALUE★★★
COLLECTABILITY★★★★

A crop above pedestrian models, this steel slide Umarex Gen 3 Glock from GHK is widely considered the best airsoft Glock that money can buy. The gun features some "firsts" for airsoft, including over-molding, a realistic 5 lb trigger pull and a blowback cylinder that is molded into the slide itself, producing a greater but realistic recoil impulse. Combined with the heavy trigger, the strong blowback of the Umarex Gen 3 Glock from GHK delivers a very realistic shooting experience, although it may pose challenges for newer shooters. In addition to accurate trademarks, the dimensions of this airsoft gun are exactly the same as the real Glock allowing it to fit real Glock holsters and equip accessories like flashlights and lasers, making it the perfect training weapon. 

Pros

  • Realistic trigger pull
  • Groundbreaking recoil impulse
  • Steel slide out of the box


Cons

  • Close to the price of a real Glock
  • Double taps will require practice
  • Gen 3 is not the most current version of the real Glock 17

VFC COLT M733 GBB Rifle (COLT Licensed)


Specifications
PLATFORMGAS
BRANDVFC
COLORBlack
ORIGINATING ARMORYCOLT
REPLICA TYPERIFLE
MODELAR / M4 SERIES
CAPACITY(RDS)30
POWER(FPS)330
POWER SOURCEGREEN GAS / TOP GAS
SHOOTING MODESemi Auto / Full Auto
BLOWBACKYes
HOP-UPADJUSTABLE
NET WEIGHT(KG)2.35
LENGTH(MM)690.0
CONTENT INCLUDEDUVFC COLT M733 GBB Rifle (COLT Licensed)
MATERIALMetal
FUN★★★★★
REALISM★★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★
VALUE★★★
COLLECTABILITY★★★★

The M733 is probably a rifle that is instantly recognizable my many movie buffs and firearms enthusiasts. The rifle is the precursor to the rifle that we now know today as the M4. However, its biggest claim to fame is its prominent featuring in the hit movie HEAT starring Robert De Niro and a variant being used by Delta Force in Black Hawk Down. The M733 is an excellently made rifle and comes with strong, snappy recoil with an ideal retro feel straight from the 80s and 90s.

Pros

  • Fully Licensed Product
  • Iconic Design
  • Strong recoil
  • Excellent gas efficiency
  • Compatible with VFC M4 magazines


Cons

  • Not Ideal for Long Range Engagements
  • Does Not Feature Picatinny Rail

UMAREX LEGENDS SADDLE AIRSOFT RIFLE (COWBOY M1894 TACTICAL, 6MM, BLACK) (BY WINGUN)


Specifications
PLATFORMCO2
BRANDUmarex
COLORBlack
ORIGINATING ARMORYWINCHESTER
REPLICA TYPERIFLE
MODELOTHER
CAPACITY(RDS)10
POWER(FPS)390
POWER SOURCECO2
SHOOTING MODELever Action
BLOWBACKNo
HOP-UPFIXED
NET WEIGHT(KG)3.0
LENGTH(MM)990.0
ValueCW
MATERIALPlastic
FUN★★★★★
REALISM★★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★★
VALUE★★
COLLECTABILITY★★★

This is the latest iteration of the Umarex Legends Saddle Airsoft Rifle, and it is also the most modern iteration of the lever gun. The Renegade unlike its original non-tactical older brother has a Picatinny top rail for scopes as it does not come with iron sights and a 16mm CW threaded outer barrel for mounting different muzzle devices. The cocking lever is enlarged compared to the older version and there is a paracord on it so you don't have to hurt your finger when trying to rapidly fire this gun.

This gun features all this modernity but it still essentially works the same as the older model, so you can still enjoy the shell ejecting, lever action, cowboy shooting awesomeness that the older model gives but with a modern twist.

Pros

  • Full metal construction
  • Unique shell ejecting lever action firing mechanism


Cons

  • Shell ejecting might disadvantage you against other players

MARUSHIN MAUSER KAR98K SPORTER BLACK HW WALNUT STOCK (6MM GAS VERSION)


Specifications
PLATFORMGAS
BRANDMarushin
COLORBlack
REPLICA TYPERIFLE
CAPACITY(RDS)5
POWER(FPS)300
POWER SOURCEGreen Gas / Top Gas
SHOOTING MODEBolt Action
BLOWBACKNo
HOP-UPADJUSTABLE
NET WEIGHT(KG)3.14
LENGTH(MM)1120.0
MATERIALWood
FUN★★★★★
REALISM★★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★★
VALUE★★
COLLECTABILITY★★★

The Marushin shell ejecting Kar98K features a highly realistic shell ejection system allowing for an unparalleled realism in its bolt action and reloading. Made of full metal and real wood and powered by HFC/Duster gas, there really is no equivalent when it comes to simulating the firing action of a genuine Kar98K.

Just like the real sporter rifle, the 5 shell capacity is complimented with a stripper clip to not only speed up loading the shells into the rifles internal magazine but also helps in carrying around the shells as well as adding to the realism of using the rifle.

Pros

  • Authentic metal and wood construction
  • Realistic shell ejection system
  • Smooth bolt action


Cons

  • Expensive
  • Shell ejecting might disadvantage you against other players

FARSAN 0521 REAL WOOD 1000MM DOUBLE BARREL GAS SHOTGUN


Specifications
PLATFORMGAS
BRANDFarsan
COLORBlack
ORIGINATING ARMORYREMINGTON
REPLICA TYPESHOTGUN
MODELBREAK ACTION
CAPACITY(RDS)2
POWER(FPS)200
POWER SOURCEGreen Gas / Top Gas
SHOOTING MODELever Action
BLOWBACKNo
HOP-UPNONE
NET WEIGHT(KG)2.80
LENGTH(MM)1000.0
CONTENT INCLUDEDFarsan 0521 Real Wood 1000mm Double Barrel Gas Shotgun
MATERIALMetal
FUN★★★★★
REALISM★★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★★
VALUE★★
COLLECTABILITY★★★

The Farsan real wood double-barrel shotgun is an awesome, classic-style shotgun. Being a staple of the old west and commonly featured in movies and videogames, the double barrel shotgun one of those airsoft guns that inspires a lot of emotion. As its name would suggest, the furniture is real wood which adds to its overall realism making it an excellent wall hanger.

This airsoft gun is a realistic functioning break open shotgun that is shell loaded. Each shell features 5 round capacity and can be fired individually for each barrel with independent triggers, giving it an exceeding amount of authenticity.

Pros

  • Authentic metal and wood construction
  • Realistic shell firing system


Cons

  • Frequent reloads require large staple of shells ingame
  • Propriety shells from Farsan

CYBERGUN AIRSOFT DESERT EAGLE .50AE GBB AIRSOFT PISTOL (BY WE)


Specifications
PLATFORMGAS
BRANDCybergun
COLORSilver
ORIGINATING ARMORYIMI
REPLICA TYPEPISTOL
MODELDESERT EAGLE
CAPACITY(RDS)27
POWER(FPS)380
POWER SOURCEGreen Gas / Top Gas
SHOOTING MODESemi Auto
BLOWBACKYes
HOP-UPADJUSTABLE
NET WEIGHT(KG)1.34
LENGTH(MM)274.0
MATERIALMetal
FUN★★★★★
REALISM★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★
VALUE★★★★
COLLECTABILITY★★★

The Cybergun Desert Eagle by WE is undoubtedly the biggest and one of the hardest kicking handguns on the airsoft market today. In addition to being full metal, this Desert Eagle airsoft gun is fully licensed by Cybergun so you can expect it to have all the correct IMI and Magnum Research markings making it the most aesthetically realistic Desert Eagle airsoft gun in existence.

Being one of the hardest kicking Green gas pistols in airsoft, it is naturally not designed for small hands as its strong recoil spring means that the slide locks back into place with a very loud and solid slap with an attractive blowback sound being music to your ears. One of the most gratifying pistols to shoot in airsoft to this day!

Pros

  • Full metal externals
  • Fully licensed with IMI and Magnus Research markings
  • Possibly the biggest and hardest kicking airsoft handgun in the industry
  • Comes in variety of models and colors


Cons

  • Heavy weight
  • Hard to find a holster

NORTHEAST UZI GBB MASCHINENPISTOLE MP2A1 SMG (NEWEST VERSION)


Specifications
PLATFORMGAS
BRANDNortheast
COLORBlack
ORIGINATING ARMORYIMI
REPLICA TYPESMG
MODELUZI
CAPACITY(RDS)22
POWER(FPS)325
POWER SOURCEGreen Gas / Top Gas
SHOOTING MODESemi Auto / Full Auto
BLOWBACKYes
HOP-UPADJUSTABLE
NET WEIGHT(KG)3.23
LENGTH(MM)470.0
CONTENT INCLUDEDNortheast UZI GBB Maschinenpistole MP2A1 SMG
MATERIALMetal
FUN★★★★★
REALISM★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★
VALUE★★★★
COLLECTABILITY★★★

The Northeast UZI Maschinenpistole MP2A1 Gas Airsoft SMG is a faithful replica of the West German military variant of the famous Uzi, most of the gun is made of steel and has a parkerized finish, while the grips are of high quality polymers, just like the real gun.

Marking wise, the gun features the correct German markings and fire control markings are marked with D,E and S; D stands for Dauerfeuer which means continuous fire, E stands for Einzelfeuer which stands for single fire and S, Sicher which stands for Safe.

Lastly, the gun has recoil but the impulse at least for us is not as strong as the Umarex (VFC) H&K MP5A5 gas airsoft SMG in our humble opinion, but the gun is quite snappy on semi and has similar automatic rate as the real UZI. However it does not matter in the end because, this is the first ever full metal, full size gas blowback airsoft UZI and it is definitely going to be a great piece to own and collect.

Pros

  • Steel externals
  • Period correct German markings
  • The only full metal airsoft gbb Uzi on the market


Cons

  • Heavy weight
  • Expensive