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AEG Electric Rifles

Electric Airsoft Rifles, commonly referred to as AEG rifles, are highly realistic replicas of real rifles.  Many are dimensionally accurate such that real gun grips and accessories will fit onto the AEG rifle.  They are generally used as a primary weapon for airsoft players participating in skirmishes and wargames.  AEG rifles offer reliability and hassle free operation so you can focus on playing the game, with a huge selection of models from many different brands.  Lots of upgrade parts are available for AEG rifles, which generally share the same internal design with compatible parts.  Most beginners in Airsoft will start with an AEG rifle.  If you plan to play indoors or in tight spaces, consider an AEG SMG, which is shorter than a rifle.  We classify SMGs as a different category than rifles.

Popular AEG airsoft rifles include the entire line of Tokyo Marui AEG rifles, with the brand credited as the inventor of the AEG.  Krytac Airsoft rifles are also renowned for their factory tuning and superior performance.  Cyma Airsoft Rifles are fantastic beginner guns that offer value for money, and are famous for the reliability of their Cyma AK Airsoft Rifles.  Moving a couple notches up in quality are the LCT AK Airsoft RiflesG&G Airsoft Rifles are also fantastic for beginners and intermediate players alike.  Sig Sauer’s Sig Air line offers the popular MCX Airsoft Rifle and MPX Airsoft SMG.

What is an AEG Rifle?

AEG rifles mechanically powered guns that run on a motor and rechargeable battery.  As the motor spins, it drives a series of gears to compress a spring, which then releases energy that is used create compress air that pushes a BB out of the barrel.  The spring does not directly push on the BB, but rather it pushes a piston into a cylinder like a syringe.  The spring’s sudden release and expansion creates an explosive force within the cylinder that creates a volume of compressed air, which is channeled into the BB that is sitting in the barrel of the gun.  The BB is then pushed through the inner barrel and out of the gun.  As the electric motor keeps spinning, this cycle is repeated 15-25 times per second, resulting in full auto fire.  

Most AEG Airsoft rifles can shoot in full auto, burst mode and semi auto.  Some AEG rifles have electronic control units (ECU) that can be programmed to achieve different behaviors when the trigger is pulled.  Essentially, pulling the trigger activates the computer in the ECU, which then digitally controls the motor and how the gun fires.

A special version of the AEG rifle made by Systema Engineering in Japan is called the Professional Training Weapon, or PTW for short.  PTWs are extremely high performance version electric airsoft rifles that sport a proprietary design, which is capable of generating very high power and accuracy.  PTWs also have empty magazine detection which stops the gun from firing when the magazine is empty, just like a real gun.  They are dimenssionally 100% identical to the real gun, unlike some regular AEG rifles which are a bit wider than their real steel counterpart because they need to accommodate the mechanical gearbox and motor.  PTWs are like thoroughbred sports cars that require intensive maintenance to keep running properly, so are more suited for experienced players.  If you are interested in PTW Airsoft Rifles, hop on over to that category since they are not technically classified as AEG rifles.

AEG airsoft rifles are the common choice for primary weapons in airsoft games since they are reliable, deliver a high rate of fire, offer high capacity magazines, and can shoot thousands of rounds between battery changes.  They make all day game play relatively hassle free as you only need to keep reloading BBs.

Pros and Cons of AEG Rifles?

AEG rifles are extremely easy to use and hassle free, but their internal design makes them more akin to radio controlled cars than to a real rifle.  On most AEG rifles, you can hear the motor turn as you squeeze the trigger, and the lack of any significant recoil makes for an unrealistic shooting experience.  Some manufacturers like Tokyo Marui released their Recoil Shock series which offers simulated blowback that creates a mild recoil impulse, but it still does not compare to a gas blowback rifle.  

Having said this, the benefits of an AEG Rifle far outweight the shortcomings.  For one, AEG rifles are highly tunable and upgradeable.  Most of them adhere to a standard internal design that was invented by Tokyo Marui in the 1980s, making many parts cross compatible between models and brands.  This has fostered a very large aftermarket upgrade parts library from many manufacturers, allowing an infinite number of upgrades to most AEG rifles.  Some examples include AEG springs, AEG inner barrels, AEG motors, AEG ECUs, Hop-Up buckings, and a huge assortment of AEG Gearbox and parts.  Of course, the laws of physics still dictates that there is a limit on how powerful you can make an AEG rifle, but the upper limits are well beyond what most people would need for friendly wargames with friends.

Another major benefit of AEG rifle is they can generally be fitted with high capacity magazines ranging from 20 rounds to 600 rounds, and even more for drum or box magazines.  AEG rifle magazines are also affordable and lightweight, which means you can carry a lot of them into battle.  Consider that a fully charged airsoft battery can power an AEG rifle for several thousand rounds, you can quickly see why an electric full auto airsoft rifle is a staple of any airsoft player’s collection.

Are Electric Rifles Better Than Gas or Spring Rifles?

AEG rifles are considered more reliable and hassle free to operate than gas rifles, which require more experience to use.  AEG rifles are really just automatic versions of spring rifles, which require manual cocking for each shot.  An AEG rifle simply adds a motor and a gearbox to mechanically cock the spring to create semi auto or full auto fire.  

When we refer to an Airsoft rifle, we are not including Airsoft Snipers, which is another category or airsoft gun.  Our term Airsoft Rifle refers to assault rifles and classic rifles.  Spring powered assault rifles are generally for beginners on a budget since cocking the rifle before each shot does not deliver much realism or practicality in wargames.  However, some classic rifles like the KTW airsoft rifles are aptly designed as spring rifles since their real steel counterparts are single action as well.  Spring powered rifles offer the advantage of simplicty and removes the need for charging batteries or maintaining a complicated mechanical gearbox.  That means they have drastically lower running costs, and require very little maintenance.  Best of all, you can pick them up and start shooting anytime.

Comparing AEG rifles to gas rifles is a bit more complicated.  Gas blowback rifles offer a more engaging shooting experience with a much more realistic design and greater recoil impulse.  Most gas blowback rifles even fieldstrip like the real gun.  But gas is very sensitive to cold tempertures, and the pressure drops quickly as the degrees drop.  Most gas blowback rifles become extremely sluggish when operating in temperatures below 10 degrees Celcius, or 50 degrees fahrenheit.  A CO2 blowback rifle will perform slightly better than a gas blowback rifle, but neither can compare to the cold weather reliability of an AEG rifle.  Gas also cools when expanding rapidly, and holding down the trigger on a full auto gas blowback gun will do exactly just that, leading to very fast pressure drop within the internal gas reservoir.  That means you need much better trigger discipline to avoid over-cooling your gas reservoir that leads to power drops.  What you gain in realism, you lose in being able to just spray and pray.

It would not be fair to say whether AEG rifles are better than gas blowback rifles or spring rifles.  Ultimately it depends on the model that you’re after, and what aspect of airsoft is more important for you.

What Models of AEG Rifles Are Available?

Almost all notable models of real steel rifles are represented by an AEG airsoft rifle at some point.  Some models are evergreen models that are always available, such as the AR 15 airsoft rifle, typically referred to by it’s US military designation of “M4”.  Some less popular models may come and go out of production over the years, and become collector items if they end up becoming discontinued.  To see all the models available in our AEG Rifle collection, simply use the Shopping Options and filter by Model.

To give you a very quick rundown, the AR 15 AEG rifle is by far the most popular model with several hundred variations offered by most brands.  The second most popular model is the AK series, with a smaller crop of manufacturers who dedicate their line to making the most faithful replicas of the many variations on the original Kalashnikov.  The MP5 AEG airsoft rifle, although technically a submachine gun, is also highly popular.  And like the AK series, the G3 Series is favored for their high capacity magazines that minimizes reloads.

Useful AEG Rifle Resources

If you’re considering buying an AEG rifle, use these Redwolf Resources for more information

 - Best AEG Rifles


 - Are Electric Airsoft Rifles Accurate?


 - Airsoft Battery Guide