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A gas airsoft submachine gun (SMG) relies on pressurized gas (CO2 or green gas) to fire BBs at your opponents. The SMG component describes a compact airsoft gun known for its reliability and accuracy, especially in CQB scenarios. Players can choose from many gas airsoft SMGs, from historical variants to tactical models that resemble their real-steel versions. 

What Is a Gas Airsoft SMG?

Gas airsoft SMGs are a different animal than your typical airsoft pistol (such as an airsoft Glock or Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa) or sniper rifle. A gas airsoft SMG is quite a mouthful, so let’s break it down into separate parts. A gas airsoft gun requires green gas or CO2 to actuate the internals and fire BBs down the barrel. An airsoft submachine gun (SMG) is a type of airsoft gun that replicates well-known real-steel submachine guns for realistic play. 

Players often choose green gas over a spring-powered airsoft gun or an automatic electric gun (AEG) because it doesn’t require cocking the gun before every shot (as with a “springer” airsoft gun), and you don’t have to plug into a charger every time you want to play (as you would with an airsoft AEG). Gas airsoft guns also give players feedback in the form of gas blowback (GBB) models, which transmit semi-realistic recoil with the gas charge.

Focusing on the submachine gun (SMG) component reveals how players implement these airsoft platforms on the field. SMGs excel in training and close-quarters battle (CQB) scenarios. They are known for their accuracy, lightweight construction, power, and ease of use, and they also have high rates of fire and semi-auto, full-auto, and burst modes. 

Many historical SMGs (and their airsoft replica counterparts) exist, from those used in World War II (such as the German MP40, US Thompson, British Sterling SMG & Sten Gun, and Russian PPSh-41) to post-WWII variants like the Israeli UZI, mac10, mac11, Heckler & Koch MP5, UMP45, and FN Herstal P90. Suffice it to say the world of SMGs is large and worth exploring. 

How Does a Gas Airsoft SMG Work? 

A gas airsoft SMG works on either CO2 or green gas (you can also power it off red or black gas, per the manufacturer's recommendations). CO2 capsules provide the power necessary to propel the BBs down range. However, as they deplete, you’ll notice a corresponding drop in velocity (FPS), which means that recharging the CO2 is not far off. 

Green gas and its variants work from a similar concept. When you pull the trigger, the gas is released, firing the BB through the barrel and out the muzzle. Again, muzzle velocity will drop as the gas charge depletes, but you can easily change the magazine to load a fresh set of BBs in a fully charged magazine. 

The difference between the CO2 and green gas airsoft SMG variants lies in their reactions to temperature changes. Unfortunately, green gas is more susceptible to these changes and can affect accuracy and speed accordingly. CO2 variants are slightly less affected by temperature changes and tend to perform with a flatter curve. 

How To Choose a Gas Airsoft SMG

Like all decisions regarding which airsoft platform to invest in, it often comes down to your budget, what role you want to play, and what brands (if any) you prefer. There are plenty of gas airsoft SMG variants for only a few hundred dollars if you’re just getting into the sport but want something that’s specifically an SMG. 

In addition, you can also spend quite a pretty penny on this type of airsoft gun, like the KWA Kriss Vector GBB

If you have a preference between CO2 or green gas, that can help narrow down the list. Remember that CO2 bucks temperature changes better than green gas, but both offer that realistic blowback style of fire if you want input from the gun as you play. Familiarizing yourself with how each type of gas propellant works can also help you decide which is best for you. 

RedWolf also stocks various brands with their own take on the gas airsoft SMG platform. Popular brands include the following:

  • CYMA
  • Cybergun
  • G&G
  • Heckler & Koch (UMP and MP7A1)
  • ICS
  • King Arms
  • Krytac 
  • KSC
  • KTC
  • KWA
  • Lambda Defense 
  • LCT
  • Marksman
  • Maruyama
  • Maruzen 
  • Modify 
  • Northeast 
  • Umarex (Elite Force)
  • VFC
  • Vorsk 
  • WE-Tech

The aesthetics of these gas airsoft SMGs range from tactical and futuristic to historical, with a full range of color options like classic army black or tan. 

Because many of the available gas airsoft SMGs are replicas of real-steel versions, you can narrow your choices down to that particular platform. The ability to add accessories or adaptors and swap out parts for upgrades can also play a large role in which gas airsoft SMG you choose. 

How To Upgrade a Gas Airsoft SMG

Upgrades for a gas airsoft SMG typically fall into two categories: improving the gas system and internal components or customizing the SMG platform’s external components. 

Common gas blowback airsoft SMG upgrades include hop-up buckings, hammer springs, recoil springs, inner barrels, pistol grips, nozzles, outer barrels, and triggers. Upgrading the exterior of your gas airsoft SMG might include integrating a folding stock, swapping handguards, adding a flashlight, scope, or red dot, or installing a mock suppressor on the end. 

Popular Gas Airsoft SMG Models

If you check out RedWolf’s selection of gas airsoft SMG models, you’ll find several popular platforms represented. Here are a few of our favorites:

RedWolf is your go-to source for all things airsoft, from airsoft gear (pouches, vests, holsters, chest rigs, backpacks, and more) and ammo, lipo batteries, and gas to high-quality airsoft guns that make airsofting so much fun. We also carry a variety of airsoft pistols, airsoft rifles, grenade launchers, and carbines. Check out our gas airsoft SMG models and start adding a few to your wishlist.