The internet is full of talk about the GBBR being the best when compared to the AEG rifle but what determines “best”? The find out the best don’t you have to take account of several factors such as “cost” and “availability” to get your result? This will just take a look at the magazines and the real “playability” of each rifle and cost.
1. Cost of the AEG and GBBR Magazine?
The cost of the AEG magazine varies since there are about 20 different brands of midcaps and hicap options.
-Average cost of a midcap is $8 and around 150 BBs.
-Average cost of a hicap is $20 and 300 BBs.
The GBBR magazine only has a few options and most do not swap over for other GBBR rifles which limits, overall use.
-Average cost of GBBR mag is $50 for around 50 BBs.
2. Weight difference?
Yes, there is a huge difference for the weight of the magazines when you compare the two kinds. The GBBR mags will be the heavyweight fighter in this round due to their realism and gas sealing capabilities. The GBBR mag will weigh a little over 1 pound per mag and image a full battle load for a game which is 6 mags. The weight alone in from the magazine will be and just like a real combat load which most Airsoft players claim they want to do but later complain about the weight of the rifle and gear. You can’t really have both in most cases.
The AEG midcaps would be the lightest of the magazines for the AEG rifles and they range in the featherweight to decent weight around 6 ozs. Some are ABS plastic, Metal shells, combo but you have the luxury to pick and choose which mag you like more and it will work in your AEG rifle. Having a combat load of 6 midcaps is not noticeable in most cases.
3. Drop Test?
No, don’t do that since the pricey GBBR will be toast in a single drop. That means no more Chris Costa Mag Operations with your Blow Back M4.
With the AEG and Midcap or Hicap you can drop the mags and some even run them over with a car and they will be fine. Cleaning and fixing both magazines are totally different. The AEG mags only need to be taken apart and cleaned; check out this related blog on M4 Midcaps. The GBBR mags will need special parts and require much more time to clean and make sure they are correctly sealed.
4. Availability of the Magazines?
That is a tough question and requires a lot of searching to find the needed magazines. What does that mean? Well, most walk-in stores will have a decent amount of Midcaps and Hicaps on hand since there is always a demand but what if you are looking for a certain brand of magazine that the store does not have in stock or even stock? You will be out of luck if that is the case. Sometimes the manufacturer will not keep up with the demand; for example, the KWA LM4 mags are great but only a handful is stocked and sold the day of arrival. If you do not get your LM4 mags you will have to wait sometimes a month or more. With this issue, it will affect the AEG and GBBR players but since the GBBR player group is smaller there will always be a smaller amount of gas mags in the local stores. Don’t let that discourage you since you can contact the store and have them special order the needed mags.
5. Overall Cost Months Later
Ok so you have your rifles and have used them at several games and the rifles both have worked fine but let’s take a look at the costs to run and use the rifles.
The AEG player did the following:
-bought extra mags for a total of 6 midcap now $48
-lost one and bought another, back to 6 mags $8
-bought a total of 15,000 bbs(3 bags/bottles) $72
-oil borrowed from a friend for a brief oil job; 3 drops and no cost
Total cost of using the AEG and the midcaps=$128(cost will vary for tax and shipping costs)
The GBBR player did the following:
-bought extra mags for a total of 5 for $230
-exploded mag and needs replacement $45
-broken mag needs feed lip and orings $20
-bought only 10,000 bbs since Semi Auto shooting only $48
-bottle of oil for regular cleaning and care $5
-20 cans for Green Gas (80z) $160
Total cost of using the GBBR and mags= $508(cost will vary for tax and shipping costs)
Each player will vary but this is a rough idea of what you might expect using each platform.
Each Airsoft player will have to look into what kind of rifle they want to use and how much they want to spend to fully enjoy their Airsofting experience. The main rule of Airsoft is to have fun first and the Airsoft Rifle you are using is just a tool to do that on the field.
Written by Brian Holt