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Every airsoft lover wants to hit targets as quickly and accurately as possible, even from a distance.
Many think that if they use a gun with high FPS, they’ll do it better.
But here’s the thing…
Does FPS matter in Airsoft? Yes FPS matters in airsoft gaming, but other factors like barrel length, hop up system, BB weight, and overall power affect the range you’ll get, playing airsoft.
FPS is feet per second, the measure for describing how fast an airsoft gun projectile travels. This muzzle velocity or speed depends on the specific type of gun you’re handling. And the rate at which the BBs leave a gun barrel will determine how quickly the gun reaches your targets.
Some guns have higher FPS, while some come with lower FPS. There are those shooting as low as around 400 FPS, 350 FPS, and even 250 FPS, while some sniper rifles shoot as fast as 1250 FPS!
Q. When FPS does matter…
FPS is, without doubt, important in FPS gaming. Your gun’s muzzle velocity will affect how your BB penetrates through the barrel, the speed at which your shots hit targets, and the overall power of the gun.
Time To Target
FPS shows the amount of feet that your gun can cover within a second. This means that when you know how fast each BB can travel, you’ll aim at targets more appropriately.
If an opponent comes at you from a hundred feet away, and another stays at a corner just fifty feet away from you, you can easily calculate which of them to handle first.
You won’t need to bother about the one far from you. Instead, you’ll take cover from the one at the corner. After all, it will take you very little time to aim and shoot at that one faraway.
Energy or Punch
One of the effects of FPS on airsoft gaming is that gun replicas with higher velocity can handle heavier BBs, which are quite resistant to wind.
When you fire a gun, the FPS reduces. But a gun with higher muzzle velocity conveys more energy than one with lower FPS.
It is the FPS that enables BBs to travel faster and farther, making them effective.
Look at this…
The energy of a gun firing at 290 FPS is as fast as a vehicle moving 100 mph! That sure gives a punch to your shots.
One of the advantages of using an airsoft gun with higher muzzle velocity is that airsoft pistols and rifles with higher FPS handle heavier BBs better.
Heavy BBs often resist the wind and are thus more stable in the air. This stability will give you more accuracy even with a longer range.
Yet, there’s more…
FPS affects the speed of BBs. Airsoft guns with high FPS often outperform low FPS guns. That’s because expelled BBs hit targets sooner.
It’s only normal for a BB that travels fast to cover more range and distance. As the gun FPS affects the BB speed, you’ll hit things faster, and airsoft gaming becomes really enjoyable for you.
Related: Best Airsoft Sniper Rifles
Q. Does FPS affect Range in Airsoft?
A gun’s FPS is the speed of the energy produced when you shoot at a target. A BB won’t reach your target without this power.
But wait, there’s more…
As important as the FPS is, the range quality of each shot you take are determined by the FPS alongside features like the hop-up, BB weight, and barrel length.
So, even where a gun has the potential to hit your targets quickly, without these other criteria, you won’t be able to take accurate, satisfying shots.
Of course, a high FPS gun will make it easier to shoot your targets down. But make sure you consider the quality of the hop-up.
Look at this…
Hop-up, which stands for High Operation Power up, will increase your range and accuracy.
The hop-up device is on top of the gun replica’s inner barrel. The bucking works like a friction pad for the BBs you use.
As the BBs pass through the barrel, there’s a backspin effect on them. This mechanism involves a deflection of the air around your BB pellets, which increases range.
To hit targets at a distance and with top-notch accuracy, you’ll need to consider using heavier ammo with your gun. That’s because the wind affects them less.
Let’s be honest…
Airsoft guns with heavier ammo travel slower. So you would experience about 25-75 FPS drop if you switched from a .20g to 30g BB.
But then, your gun can now hit targets far from you. You’ll enjoy outdoor games more.
We recommend that if your engagements are between 100-200 feet, you use .25g weight, and .30g or more, as a sniper.
Some magazines and hop-up systems don’t feed well with heavy pellets. So make sure you try different BB weights during setup.
For close-up plays on indoor fields, we suggest .20g BBs. They are more suitable for close-quarter battles.
Quality Of The Barrel
Apart from an airsoft gun’s FPS, another thing requiring attention is the inner barrel length.
Longer inner barrels usually give more accuracy than the shorter ones.
Whether your replica gun is 350 FPS, 500 FPS, or even 1250, a barrel with a rough inner surface or bend will weaken your gun’s power and performance. You won’t get optimal range.
The barrel compresses air pressure. If the barrel has a tight bore, the pressure increases, improving the traveling power of BBs.
Even high FPS guns with wide bore barrels will travel less.
But the good thing is that you can upgrade your gun.
FPS / Overall power (Joules)
While it’s great to check your gun’s FPS or BB weight, it’s more important to measure your BB’s kinetic energy as it leaves the gun barrel.
Joules is the measure of energy required to propel specific BB weights.
Many airsoft fields feature a chart to help you calculate your gun’s FPS and BB weight.
Here’s a simple chart, using the formula– KE (joules) = 0.5 x the mass of BB (kg) x speed squared (Meters/Second)
This chart is relatively easy to read. For instance, using 0.25g BB in airsoft fields with 550 FPS limitation means that the BB force is 3.51 joules.
Using 0.20g BB on a field with a 400 FPS limitation will give you a force of 1.49 joules.
Calculating the joules will help you optimize your gun power, giving your more range.
Since airsoft laws vary between locations, make sure you check the field’s chart before playing.
Q. More FPS Means More Pain
While pain is subjective to different airsoft nuts, everyone will feel more pain from a higher FPS gun. The pain is even more when a shot is taken within a close range.
A shot from a 100-200 FPS gun often feels like a poke, while a 250-300 FPS will leave you a welt, especially when taken from less than 60 feet.
A gun with 350 FPS will give you a welt the size of a golf ball, while a 400 FPS gun can be quite brutal, as it can shred plastic.
Higher velocity guns from 500 FPS can penetrate the skin. That’s why many airsoft fields would not even allow you to use them on their field.
More FPS often means more pain, especially if you’re shooting or shot at from a close range or shooting with a heavier BB.
For instance, a 250 FPS gun with .20g pellets will hurt more when shot within 50 feet than if someone took it from a hundred feet.
To minimize pain while playing airsoft, wear protective gear, or follow the bang rule that restricts the range from which a shot can be fired.
Conclusion: Does FPS Matter In Airsoft?
When choosing a gun, consider the FPS, but don’t forget that that’s not the only thing to look out for in a gun.
Though FPS doesn’t entirely determine your range or level of accuracy, it affects them. Using a weak gun means that your opponents won’t feel when you shoot at them.
The more the FPS, the better it is for you. But always remember that a gun with more FPS doesn’t automatically translate to the best gun.
For the best airsoft gaming, consider other factors like the barrel quality, hop up, versatility, BB weight, and kinetic energy.