AIRSOFT SNIPERS: ELECTRIC VS SPRING
The Sniper realm in the airsoft world comes down to three different types of guns, gas, electric, and spring. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, and today we are going to talk about spring vs electric guns. We are going to stack them against each other in a head to head showdown to see just which one is better suited as a sniper rifle. I’m hoping to analyze both from a tactical and technical perspective.
I want you to walk away a little better informed about which gun is going to be the best option for snipers.
Spring guns are manual weapons that use the force of a piston and spring to shoot a BB down the barrel and towards an opponent. This simple and reliable system is only suitable for sniper rifles due to its slower rate of fire. However, spring sniper rifles are highly popular as sniper rifles. Electric airsoft sniper rifles, also called AEG rifles are battery powered systems. You fit a simple battery and gearbox into a rifle that propels the BBs at their intended target. AEG systems are simple and offer a much higher rate of fire.
The manual spring action of a spring based sniper rifle is very simple. Simplicity can be quite valuable when it comes to airsoft guns. Simple guns are less likely to fail and are often more durable than alternative options. They do not have electronics that can fail, and more resistant to water than the electronic option. Electronic guns have the potential to fail just because they have electronic systems that can fail. Electronics are far from perfect. However, if an airsoft player is a dedicated AEG user they can often learn the inside and outside of an AEG and make simple repairs pretty easily.
Consistency is the ability of a rifle to fire the same way over and over again. Consistency isn’t just the ability for the weapon to fire accurately over and over. That’s a big part of it, but not everything. Consistency is also the sniper rifle’s ability to maintain consistent feet per second and consistent hop up and range. A sniper rifle depends on consistency to be effective. Unlike other weapons, you are shooting dozens of bbs at a time from a far distance. The good thing about Spring guns is they are the most consistent airsoft sniper rifles. As long as it’s a quality weapon, it will be incredibly consistent. Electric guns are more consistent than gas guns, but not as consistent as spring guns. Not all, but some electric guns begin losing consistency as their batteries begin to die. It’s as simple as swapping a battery but bears mentioning.
Accuracy is a hard category to judge between guns for a variety of reasons. It’s almost impossible to say one style of gun is better than another accuracy wise. The reason being is every gun is different, and different guns work with different weight bbs, etc. As airsoft guns, their mechanical accuracy is hard to compare. The second reason it’s tough is that all shooters are different and some shooters simply suck at shooting. I would call this category a tie.
Rates of Fire
The spring sniper rifle is purely a one shot, manually cock the gun, one shot, rinse and repeat. It’s only as fast as the shooter can manually cock it. Most of these rifles are bolt action rifles, and that’s a solid method and authentic method to rack the weapon. However, it’s slow. More electronic weapons are semi-automatic weapons, and some have full auto options. The electronic nature allows you to rapidly fire the weapon over and over. This allows you to easily engage multiple targets, or to defend yourself if you’re made. Electronic sniper rifles have a much higher rate of fire; even the fastest firing spring guns are significantly slower that electric guns. Sniper rifles, in general, go for a quality shot over quantity of shots though.
So electronic guns run on motors and have internal gears, and all that stuff. It is great for amping up the rate of fire but sucks when it comes to noise. The motors make easily detectable sounds and consistently make that sound. That motor’s noise greatly reduces your ability to engage a target silently. The electronic rifles higher rate of fire would allow you to defend yourself better when found though. A spring gun has a very simple and quiet noise as it’s fired. The piston itself is only the noise it makes when fired. This makes you much harder to detect, especially in the midst of a combat situation. Firing that one accurate round is what matters, but doing so without being detected allows you to do it more than once.
Authenticity is more of a feeling that a viable objective reason to go with one or another. With that in mind, authenticity is what makes the game fun, and should be kept in mind. A bolt action spring powered sniper rifle is much more authentic than an electric airsoft gun. Sniper traditionally carried the more accurate bolt action sniper rifle, and typically still do. That being said the semi-automatic sniper rifle is a real and well-used concept.
The Designated Marksman
Before we wrap things up, we are going to discuss the Designated marksman’s rifle and the Designated Marksman’s role. If you are dead set on an electronic gun, you may want to consider a DMR rifle. A DMR rifle is an accurized weapon that is dedicated to taking accurate shots on a squad level. DMs are not hidden troops, but often take elevated positions to cover a moving squad. They are often employed as sniper hunters, and to take out important targets like snipers, grenadiers, etc.
Overall, in my opinion, the spring powered sniper rifle is the better choice for a dedicated sniper. They are slightly more consistent, more authentic, and quieter overall. Plus they feature a larger selection and offer a higher variety of upgrades.
Written by Almo Gregor
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