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What’s one of the most common questions when it comes to an airsoft gun?
Allow me to answer that…
How far will the BB travel?
Well, the answer depends on quite a few factors. If we consider a 200 fps airsoft gun, the actual range will depend on the type of the BB, gun design, and performance of the hop-up system.
Needless to say, to get the best out of your rifle, you also need to maintain it right.
So in this article, we will discuss the How far can a 200 fps airsoft gun shoot and the mechanisms behind it.
Hold on now…
We have some exciting stuff lined up for you.
Airsoft Gun Range and Accuracy
In general, most airsoft guns have a range from 100 feet to about 200 feet.
High-end guns can have an effective range as far as 300 feet on a gaming field.
Now, how far the BBs will travel depends on the type of gun. Pistols and shotguns have a lower range, whereas an airsoft sniper rifle has a much higher range. Most rifles and SMGs have a medium range.
Note, a high range doesn’t mean that you’ll fire at targets with higher accuracy.
The reason is, these guns don’t have a barrel design like an actual gun. Nor do the plastic BBs match the aerodynamic efficiency of a bullet in any way.
But only a few guns in airsoft history come with an actual rifle barrel. You’d have to say the reason is mostly related to manufacturing costs and production efficiency.
So how do they work?
These guns use a hop-up system for propelling the spherical BBs. The hop-up adds backspin to the BBs.
The result is, the BBs follow a curved trajectory, which enables them to cover a longer distance. If you look deeper, you’ll find this called the Magnus effect. This happens when a spherical object moves through a fluid, like air.
Most airsoft shooters come with an adjustable hop-up system. That allows you to compensate for the different weights of the BBs and change the curvature of their flight.
Frankly, you can’t expect pinpoint accuracy levels from airsoft guns at high ranges.
The good news is, you can improve the range by upgrading the internals or fine-tuning the power system.
Related: Best Airsoft Sniper Rifles
Range and Accuracy Depending on Power System
Airsoft guns come with three major types of power systems. Let’s take a closer look at them.
These airsoft guns shoot by using the power of a coiled mechanical spring. They are slightly old-fashioned and don’t have an auto-fire mechanism. But for buyers looking for a pocket-friendly gun, they are a fine choice.
Honestly, if you are a newbie and want to participate in casual backyard fights, springers are a good choice. Many intermediate and advanced players prefer to use a spring-powered sniper rifle.
In fact, when properly upgraded, they can be highly effective in the hands of a skilled player. On average, these airsoft guns can deliver a BB in between 170 to 350 fps range.
Here are some of the pros and cons of these airsoft rifles
- A budget-friendly option
- No external power source is needed
- Unlimited power supply
- Works well in adverse weather conditions
- Can be upgraded for a higher reach
- They are mostly entry-level guns
- Must be cocked before shooting
- Overall durability isn’t high
- The action can be noisy
These are some of the commonest airsoft pistols and rifles used by intermediate-level players. These airsoft guns shoot by using the power of compressed gas to propel the BBs.
As a result, they have a highly effective range and can fire at a faster rate. The gas used can be propane or CO2.
Now, these gas-based airsoft guns can be further classified into blowback or non-blowback types.
The blowback effect is also generated by the compressed gas. The design provides a means to enjoy the feel of recoil and realism. Non-blowback guns are mostly pistols and other handguns.
The other thing is, they are also available in automatic and semi-automatic versions. So they can be used for outdoor target shooting, training, and also for intense gaming.
- They have high power and range
- Capable of fast automatic fire
- It offers the blowback feature
- Costs less than electric airsoft rifles
- Gas canisters can be expensive
- Gas rifles can freeze in extreme weather
- Limited power supply
- Gas supply can run out during gaming
Electric guns are powered by a rechargeable battery that powers an electric motor. They are the most popular choice for experienced players due to their consistent capability to hit targets.
The best part is, they are extremely versatile. You can shift the firing mode between full auto, semi-automatic, and single fire. You also get better power delivery ranging between 250 to 500 feet per second.
In addition, they deliver a realistic feel and silent operation. The rechargeable batteries also ensure a longer supply of power.
- They are user-friendly and reliable
- They need less maintenance
- More resistant to lower temperatures
- The rifles can be upgraded easily
- There isn’t an authentic blowback effect
- Not ideal for wet weather
- Battery discharge can affect the rate of fire
Maximum Distance vs. Effective Distance
OK, I know what you’re thinking…
Is there a difference at all?
Let me tell you these two terms differ a lot.
Maximum distance is the length that a BB will travel once it moves out of the barrel. On the other hand, the effective distance is the distance at which the gun delivers a consistent level of accuracy.
In other words, effective range tells you the range at which a skilled shooter can pick targets consistently. Obviously, it’s the shorter distance between the two.
For example, an airsoft rifle may shoot BBs up to 200 feet. But it might hit the target only up to 100 feet. So maximum range might look attractive as a figure, but in reality, it’s the effective range that matters.
Factors to Consider
While a 200 fps gun may shoot beyond 80 feet, there are quite a few factors at play. Let’s take a look.
FPS is the measure of how fast the bullet travels. This is just the equivalent of the term “muzzle velocity” for real guns. As you can see, the fps ( feet per second) of the gun is not the measurement of its accuracy.
While higher fps results in a high maximum range, you need to consider the effective range too.
With the right modifications, you can make a gun shoot at speeds as fast as 550 fps. Also, with BBs of higher weight, the fps will come down.
However, the overall kinetic energy carried by a heavier bullet will be the same even though it travels slowly.
Want to check out the geeky stuff?
You can calculate the kinetic energy as follows:
KE ( in Joules) = 0.5 x the mass of the BB (in kg) x the velocity squared (in Meters/Second)
(1 FPS = .3048 MPS.)
Unlike the bullets of a real gun, the BBs are made of plastic and are much lighter in weight. As a result, they are affected by wind.
The solution is to use a BB of a higher weight. Higher BB weight can improve the reach of the gun by a lot.
But make sure that your gun has enough power to support that BB. Or else, you’ll never hit your target.
The most common BB weights are .20, .25, and .28 grams. They are by far the best choices.
We would advise against using .12g BBs as they are of poor quality and don’t travel much beyond 50 feet. They might even break apart inside the chamber and damage the gun.
Here’s a quick comparison between the BB types.
0.20g – Delivers good maximum range but lowest consistency
0.25g – Strikes a great balance between maximum range and consistency
0.32g – Offers high consistency but the range comes down.
The Quality of the Hop Up and the Internals
We have already spoken about the function of the hop-up system. It works through a bucking present inside the barrel of the gun.
The system has a rubber bucket placed inside the barrel that actually provides the hop on the BB. The quality of the rubber and the thickness determines the performance of the system by a lot. While softer rubber offers a good grip, it doesn’t last long.
Note, some brands also manufacture buckings of special materials for better cold-weather performance.
Next, there’s a hop-up nub that applies pressure on the bucking to generate the actual backspin. The quality of the nub is very important. Some users choose a specific shape for a better hop-up effect.
On the whole, for getting the best performance from the gun, pick the best hop-up system.
How an airsoft gun will shoot also depends on the quality of the maintenance. Moreover, it’s also vital for overall safety while using the gun.
The first thing is, make sure that you lubricate the gearbox and the hop-up system effectively. This will prevent jamming and misfires.
Periodic cleaning of the gun barrel is also a must. The process is quite simple. You just need a cleaning rod and some good quality paper towels.
In the case of spring and electric airsoft guns, make sure to empty the magazine after use. However, for gas-powered guns, leave the magazine pressurized.
Beyond that, make sure that debris or dirt doesn’t accumulate inside the gun. Also, remove any damaged or deformed parts asap.
Warning: Always turn on the safety before cleaning the gun or taking it apart.
CONCLUSION: How Far Can A 200 FPS Airsoft Gun Shoot?
The fact of the matter is…
How far a 200 fps gun can shoot will depend on multiple factors.
The choice of fps for your gun will depend on how you prefer playing airsoft. At the same time, think of your skill levels as a player.
Keep in mind that if you get hit by a BB from a 200fps gun at a close range, it can cause a welt on the skin. So wear protective clothing and gear.
For hitting targets consistently, it’s best to balance the range and accuracy. When you get a consistent performance while shooting, you’ll enjoy the games even more.