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What are Spring Airsoft Guns?

Spring airsoft guns are manually cocked airsoft guns that compress an internal spring.  You need to cock them each time you want to shoot.  Spring guns are not capable of shooting in semi or full auto mode.  On some guns like pistols and rifles, one airsoft BB is fired each time you pull the trigger, while spring shotguns can shoot multiple BBs each time.  Spring airsoft guns are available in many shapes and sizes.  Popular spring guns include Tokyo Marui Spring Pistols,  Tokyo Marui VSR 10, Silverback Airsoft Sniper Rifles, Novritsch Snipers, and the Amoeba Striker series.  Pump action spring shotguns are a lot of fun and popular models include the M870 airsoft spring shotguns or the Tokyo Marui SPAS 12.

How Do Spring Airsoft Guns Work?

A spring powered gun works by a spring that is compressed manually by the shooter in preparation for each shot.  The spring is compressed by pulling back on a cocking lever or handguard of some form, and then it is held in place by a trigger sear.  When the shooter pulls the trigger, the spring is released and pushes a piston into a cylinder, creating high pressure air through a nozzle on the other end.  The pressurized air is used to shoot the BB out of the gun.

Spring powered airsoft guns are great fun because they are affordable, cost very little to maintain, and are always ready to shoot without the need for gas or batteries.  They make perfect beginner airsoft guns.  Check out our recommendations on the Best Spring Airsoft Pistols | Ultimate Guide.  

Pros and Cons of Spring Powered Guns

Generally more affordable than other kinds of airsoft guns   No semi or full-auto shooting modes
Reliable due to simpler design   Far fewer model options available compared to other types of airsoft guns
Always ready to shoot since you do not need gas or batteries   Less immersive shooting experience compared to gas or electric airsoft guns
Easy to learn and a great option for beginners just getting into airsoft    


Are Spring Guns Better Than Electric or Gas Guns?

Airsoft spring guns are better than other types of airsoft guns by virtue that they are generally more affordable and are always ready to shoot.  They have a simple design where you cock the gun manually to shoot, and this action adds to the realism when shooting an airsoft spring sniper rifle or an airsoft shotgun.  They are cheaper to operate because you do not need to buy batteries or gas to shoot them.  They are easy to shoot and grasp, making them perfect for beginners.

When it comes to sniper rifles, then spring guns are better due to their higher accuracy.  Fewer moving parts and less complexity means a much more stable shooting platform.  Experienced players usually progress to gas guns, co2 guns, and electric guns for their semi and full-auto shooting capabilities, which brings the experience to another level.

Spring Gun Laws : Are Spring Guns Legal?

Spring Airsoft guns are regulated by laws governing Airsoft guns in general, regardless of how they are powered.  Airsoft guns are legal in most countries including the United States, Europe, and selected countries in Asia.  Most notably, Airsoft is not legal in China, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia.  If you live in the United States, then read this article on Airsoft Gun Laws By State.

How Do Spring Airsoft Guns Work? | Spring Powered Guns Explained

Spring powered airsoft guns work on a very premise of spring being compressed manually by hand, whether it be through a cocking lever on a rifle or a sniper rifle, pumping the foregrip on a shotgun, or racking a slide on a pistol.  This manual motion compresses a spring that is inside the gun, and holds it in a compressed position by way of a piece called a trigger sear.  When you pull the trigger, the spring is released and the resulting kinetic energy is used to push a piston into a cylinder, which creates air pressure to push a BB out of the gun.  The concept is very simple and uses few moving parts, which is why spring airsoft guns are very reliable and affordable.  The main downside is you have to manually cock the spring before each shot.

Some spring airsoft sniper rifles allow you to change out the spring for a stiffer one, which increases the power of the gun.  But not all guns can have their springs upgraded since the internal components may not be able to tolerate the extra power and might break.  Usually changing to a stiffer spring will require you to upgrade many other components to ensure the gun remains durable.

Electric guns also compress a spring but instead of requiring the shooter to cock the gun by hand, an electric motor and gearbox do the heavy lifting.  The mechanism can compress and release the gun continuously 20-30 times per second, creating a semi or full-auto shooting experience.  Gas guns and CO2 guns do not use springs at all and use pre-charged compressed gas to shoot the BB out of the gun.