AIRSOFT MACHINE GUNS
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Airsoft heavy machine gun
Those that are not familiar with machine guns will usually think that they are big bulky guns and may dread the thought of carrying one around in a game. During World War, I & II machine guns were for sustaining direct fire at the opposition and not usually carried around the field as it is a defense weapon. It’s not meant to be carried around on the field, more for defensive purposes. But we have this in airsoft for a more variety of roles to play and perfect for outdoor games!
What is an airsoft heavy machine gun?
Before even considering using a machine gun you have to think about the role and type of game you'll be participating in. It is not an assault weapon for the frontline compared to other smaller machine guns such as M4 or AK rifles. But that being said not all machine guns are bulky and heavy, there are some LMG (light machine guns) out there too. These types of machine guns can be used for assault and provide cover fire but this isn't a gun that can do it all. Just don't expect to snipe enemies at a distance or superior accuracy since those are sacrificed due to the high rate of fire.
If you're a strong guy and want to be like Rambo then who's stopping you from running around the field with a big machine gun! Whilst it may lack mobility it provides more than enough firepower to provide support for your team. At Redwolf Airsoft we have a wide variety of airsoft machine guns from entry-level ones to premium to suit your needs.
What to look for in an airsoft heavy machine gun?
There are many factors to look for when deciding which airsoft machine gun to use. Most important for many of us is mainly the cost and outlook of the machine gun, but we also have to consider how many BB’s it can hold, rate of fire, hop up, and battery type. If the machine gun lacks rate of fire or holds very few BB’s then it's not a very effective machine gun to provide support fire. Since machine guns can hold many rounds do keep in mind that you could easily go through a bag BB’s in a day.
Machine guns have a high rate of fire and it'll be difficult to control without a bipod or buttstock which is usually included on most machine guns. If it doesn't come with a bipod you can rest it on a sandbag, tripod, something stable, or even a foregrip!
How does an airsoft heavy machine gun work?
How they work depends on the platform they run on such as electric or HPA. Both systems run quite similar except one utilizes both electric and high pressurized gas!
Electric airsoft machine guns are powered by NiMh or LiPo batteries which makes them very cost-effective compared to gas. The battery powers up a piston inside the gun which propels the BB through a hop up inside the inner barrel. Do note that the voltage type of the battery (7.4V / 11.1V) will affect the rate of fire so do consider using an 11.1V if you want laser beams spewing out!
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.
No, your AEG will not fire electricity out of that muzzle, when we say electrical energy this means the energy is supplied by a battery. This energy is then delivered through an electrical circuit into the motor.
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. This doesn't apply only to electric airsoft machine guns, but to all airsoft electric guns (AEG) out there.
HPA which means “high-pressure air” is a type of system used to supply power to airsoft guns. The majority of the gas-powered airsoft guns use magazines that have gas stored inside, but with HPA the gun uses an external tank. It may look ugly but it does have insane performances!
The oxygen is usually stored in these canisters which are usually made out of aluminum, which can be heavy but durable. Lighter alternatives are the carbon fiber tanks, but they’ll cost you an arm and leg! Once the tank is ready there will be a line connecting the tank to the airsoft gun, so the power source is maintained.
Within the airsoft heavy machine gun, there’s a pneumatic motor connecting to the air tank. This is referred to as the “engine” of the gun, it's where the gearbox would be in a standard gas-powered airsoft weapon. This engine usually features a battery-powered FCU (fire control unit) which lets you adjust the rate of fire. You’re also able to control how much air you release for each shot, a dream come true for those who like to min-max the stats of their gun!
FPS is adjustable to comply with the fps limits in the local airsoft field.
The rate of fire is adjustable, trigger response can also become highly effective in battle.
Highly consistent FPS compared to other systems, as the fps can vary wildly.
Simple internal designs, fewer things can go wrong and easier to fix.
The same oxygen tank can support all HPA airsoft guns.
HPA guns are quieter, so you don’t reveal your position if you’re a sniper.
However, it may seem like HPA is the way to go but there are some disadvantages to it.
Probably the most expensive systems to invest in, the price of a single-engine could buy many AEG or GBBRs. Engines can cost from $250 to $500, and the tank and regulator can add another $100 (at least)!
It can be heavy if you’re not used to this platform as you’ll be lugging an oxygen tank around. Compared to AEG or GBB it is heavy.
The engine has to be properly aligned inside, if not then your HPA gun may not work reliably.
The system is very complicated compared to an AEG.
Not all airsoft fields allow HPA to be used as it can be easily adjusted.
This all depends on your personal preferences if an HPA airsoft gun is right for you. Unless your athletic like Captain America you’ll need to deal with the extra weight of the tank! Also, your local airsoft field may not let you enjoy the extra fps and rate of fire you’re getting in exchange. But that being said if your local airsoft guns allow for HPA airsoft guns (especially for sniper roles), then why not? The fps, range, and rate of fire is god-like, this can turn the tides of a battle!