How Long do Airsoft Batteries Last: Airsoft Battery Life-Cycle and Charging Guide
Automatic electric airsoft guns (AEGs) offer a lot of advantages - namely, a fast rate of fire and the ability to avoid having to purchase green gas or C02. However, AEGs are all powered by batteries, and the one constant factor with batteries is the fact that they eventually go dead.
When considering how long do airsoft batteries last, there are several important factors to take into account. The first is whether you are considering the single-charge usage of the battery or its entire life cycle. Quality airsoft batteries can provide several hours of use before they need to be recharged, but they will eventually need to be put on the charger. After years of use, meanwhile, an airsoft battery may need to be replaced entirely.
To help answer the question of how long do airsoft batteries last in the most comprehensive way possible, we'll cover how much use you can expect to get out of a battery on a single charge as well as how much use you can expect over the battery's entire life-cycle. We'll also explore the various airsoft battery types and what to look for in a high-quality battery in order to help you find the best airsoft battery for your needs.
Capacity (mAH) and Voltage Rating
When shopping for airsoft batteries, the two most important pieces of information to consider are the battery's capacity and voltage rating. Capacity - which is typically displayed in units of mAH - is the factor that determines how long an airsoft battery can last before it needs to be recharged. The larger a battery's capacity, the more charge it is going to be able to hold and the more usage it is going to be able to provide before it goes dead.
Voltage, meanwhile, is a measure of how much power a battery outputs. If capacity in a battery is equivalent to the size of the fuel tank in an engine, then voltage in a battery is equivalent to how much horsepower that engine is able to produce. Higher voltage batteries will lead to a faster rate of fire in your airsoft gun. However, some airsoft guns are not capable of using these higher voltage batteries. This is very important to note as using the wrong battery can at times lead to increased wear and tear or even breakage!
On the low end, airsoft batteries offer a capacity of 600 mAH. On the high end, airsoft batteries can offer up to 6,500 mAH. In terms of voltage, meanwhile, there are two main types of airsoft batteries to choose from: 8.4-volt and 9.6-volt for Nickel based cells and 7.4-volt and 11.1v for Lithium based cells. Some airsoft guns are designed to only function with one or the other, so it's important to consider the specifications of the gun you will be using before you decide which battery to purchase.
Shots Per Battery
On average, firing one BB out of AEG costs about one mAH of electricity. This makes the math for calculating how many shots you can expect to get out of a single charge quite simple. If you are using a 1,400 mAH battery, for example, you can expect to fire about 1,400 rounds before your battery goes dead.
That may sound like quite a lot, but keep in mind that many airsoft battles often last several hours. When you combine this with the fact that many AEGs are capable of firing hundreds of BBs per minute in full auto, the importance of choosing a battery with a high capacity becomes abundantly clear.
Do Battery Types Impact Charge?
In addition to mAH and voltage, another important factor to take into account when addressing the question of how long do airsoft batteries last is the exact type of battery that you are using. Airsoft batteries come in three different types: Ni-MH, Li-Po, and Ni-Cad. Each different type comes with its own unique set of pros and cons, so let's dive deeper into the benefits and drawbacks of each type of airsoft battery.
How Long do Ni-MH Batteries Last?
Ni-MH batteries tend to offer a high capacity and decent voltage. Over the years, though, many in the airsoft community have moved away from this battery type due to its drawbacks. One drawback of Ni-MH batteries is the fact that they will self-discharge when not in use. This means that you really need to charge a Ni-MH battery right before you plan to use it in order to start out with as much charge as possible. Another drawback of Ni-MH batteries is the fact that they cannot be fast-charged and thus tend to have much longer charging times than other battery types.
How Long do Li-Po Batteries Last?
Li-Po batteries are becoming the go-to battery choice among most airsoft players. Compared to Ni-MH batteries, Li-Po batteries hold more charge and last longer. They also won't self-discharge over time and can be fast-charged without having to worry about damaging the battery. Perhaps the biggest benefit of Li-Po batteries, though, is the fact that they are able to store a lot of charge in a small, lightweight package. This makes them especially ideal for more compact airsoft guns. However, one drawback of Li-Po batteries is that they tend to lose capacity as they age and therefore won't last quite as long in terms of overall life-cycle as other battery types.
How Long do Ni-Cad Batteries Last?
Ni-Cad batteries offer many of the same benefits as Li-Po batteries. They tend to have high capacities, and they can be charged even more quickly and safely than Li-Po batteries. The only real drawback of N-Cad batteries is that they do self-discharge. In fact, Ni-Cad batteries will typically self-discharge at an even faster rate than Ni-MH batteries.
How Long do Li-On Batteries Last
A new burgeoning battery type used in airsoft is the Lithium Ion battery as seen in modern day smartphones. The benefit of using Li-On batteries is their ability to hold a large volume of charge and their ability to retain that charge without discharging over time. In addition to this, Li-On batteries are overall safer than some of the previous battery types as they are not as susceptible to overcharging and puffing which can cause fires or other potential damage.
How to Charge an Airsoft Battery
When charging an airsoft battery, it is essential to start by selecting the right charger. Some battery types are only able to be charged with specific types of chargers and may even blow up or catch fire if the wrong charger is used. In addition to matching your battery with the appropriate charger, it's also important to invest in a high-quality charger. Compared to cheaper, low-quality options, a high-quality charger will both charge your battery more quickly as well as help preserve the life of the battery. At the very least, you will want to purchase a peak detection charger that offers a variable charge rate. If you are recharging Li-Po batteries, you will also need to purchase a charger with a built-in balancer and a variable current setting.
So what is the average AEG battery charge time? Aside from asking how long do airsoft batteries last, this is the most common question we hear regarding airsoft batteries. Once again, though, the answer to this question will depend both on the type of battery you are using and the charger that you pair it with. The simplest way to determine how long it will take to charge your airsoft battery is to do a calculation using the battery's capacity and the output of your charger. For example, if your battery has a capacity of 2,000 mAH and you are using a charger with 200 mA charger, you can determine how long it will take to charge the battery by dividing its capacity by the charger's output. In this case, it will take ten hours (2,000/200) to fully charge the battery if it is completely dead.
As we have laid out, there are different types of batteries, and knowing which one is best for you is key to having more fun while worrying less about the small things. We hope this extensive guide has been helpful!