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Airsoft Guns Ammos, BB's & Gas Accessories Tactical Gear Clothing Parts & Upgrades Kids Zone
Airsoft Guns Ammos, BB's & Gas Accessories Airsoft Tactical Gear Clothing Parts & Upgrades Kids Zone

The Ultimate Guide to Airsoft Pistols

Let’s delve into the world of the compact powerhouses that are a favourite amongst airsoft enthusiasts, professionals and beginners!

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to airsoft pistols; a comprehensive overview of the weapon type from their origins to their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the various types available.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned player, this guide will help equip you with the knowledge and tips to maximise your airsoft pistol experience and find the perfect pistol for you.

The Origin of Airsoft Pistols

The history of airsoft as a whole and airsoft pistols go hand in hand. Airsoft pistols trace their roots back to Japan in the mid-1970s. At this time it was illegal for private individuals to own firearms, so residents began to develop replicas of real firearms in order to train.

The first airsoft pistols were air-driven, spring-powered pellet guns based on the semi-automatic pistols around at the time. They would fire 6mm plastic pellets, or BBs. They continued to grow in popularity and soon spread to China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines.

This movement is what lead to the birth of airsoft as the recreational sport we know and love today. Thanks to continued development and innovation, airsoft pistols are available today in a wide variety of models and styles, offering players an authentic and adrenaline-filled experience.

Benefits of Airsoft Pistols

With so many different types of airsoft guns available on the market today, why do people still go back to basics and play with pistols? Well, it’s because they provide their own unique advantages making them great for specific scenarios and different play styles! Let’s take a look at some of the advantages airsoft pistols provide.


Compared to larger airsoft guns, like rifles and shotguns, airsoft pistols are lightweight and compact, making them highly portable on the field. Their smaller size allows for quick and easy manoeuvrability in tight spaces and close-quarter combat situations. Making you faster in your skirmishes and giving you a tactical advantage over players with larger airsoft guns.


A pistol makes the perfect backup weapon for your airsoft loadout. They come in handy when your primary runs out of ammo or malfunctions. Having a reliable sidearm ensures that you can continue engaging with opponents without missing a beat – the last thing you want in the middle of a skirmish is to have no functioning weapon!


One of the main reasons for the popularity of airsoft pistols both in and out of the airsoft community is the realistic experience they provide. Originally designed as replicas of real firearms, airsoft pistols have the realistic appearance, weight and handling characteristics of live firearms – without the associated risks. They enable users to practice their firearm handling skills, improve accuracy and enhance their tactical-decision making and timings.

Disadvantages of Airsoft Pistols

Along with their numerous benefits, and like every other type of airsoft gun, airsoft pistols also have a couple of downsides…

Limited Range and Accuracy

Though their smaller size brings advantages, their shorter barrels and lower muzzle velocities compared to rifles mean that airsoft pistols generally have shorter effective ranges and lower accuracy. Therefore, engaging opponents at longer distances may prove challenging as it requires additional skill and precision.

Lower Magazine Capacity

Airsoft pistols, thanks to their smaller size, have far smaller magazine capacities than rifles, which means you’ll need to carry extra magazines and reload more frequently when playing with them. This can place you at a disadvantage on the field, especially during intense firefights, as it increases the likelihood of being caught off-guard during a skirmish.

Types of Airsoft Pistols

Airsoft pistols are typically organised into three different categories, Spring-Powered, Gas-Powered, and Electric.

Spring-Powered Pistols

These pistols rely on a manually cocked spring mechanism to compress and release air, propelling the BB forward. They are affordable, low-maintenance, and often recommended for beginners due to their simplicity.

Gas-Powered Pistols

Gas-powered pistols utilize compressed gas (typically green gas or CO2) to propel BBs. They offer semi-automatic or fully automatic firing modes and provide a realistic blowback action, simulating the recoil of real firearms. Gas pistols, offer excellent performance but require regular gas refills.

Electric Pistols

Electric pistols, also referred to as AEPs, operate using rechargeable batteries, which power a motor that drives the piston to propel BBs. AEPs often have higher magazine capacities and offer semi-automatic or fully automatic firing modes. They are reliable and provide consistent performance throughout the game.

Are Pistols Suitable for Airsoft Beginners?

close up image of an airsoft gun on a white background

Yes, absolutely! Pistols can be a great choice for beginners looking to get into airsoft for a number of reasons…


Airsoft pistols are often more affordable than larger airsoft guns, such as rifles. This makes them a budget-friendly option for beginners who want to dip their toes into the sport without making a significant financial commitment upfront.


Pistols offer versatility on the field due to their compact size and manoeuvrability. They excel in close-quarters combat situations, which are common in many airsoft games. As a beginner, you’ll likely find yourself in such scenarios frequently, and having a reliable pistol as a backup or primary weapon can be advantageous.

Skill Development

Starting with a pistol allows beginners to focus on fundamental skills, such as accuracy, target acquisition, and movement. With a pistol’s shorter effective range, beginners are encouraged to develop their marksmanship skills, which can transfer over to other airsoft guns later on.


Airsoft pistols closely resemble their real firearm counterparts in terms of weight, handling, and controls. This similarity makes them useful tools for training purposes. Beginners can practice basic firearm handling, safety protocols, and tactical decision-making using an airsoft pistol, providing a valuable foundation for future gameplay.


Pistols are lightweight and easy to carry, allowing beginners to move swiftly on the field. This mobility helps new players adapt to the fast-paced nature of airsoft and enables them to navigate tight spaces more efficiently.

If you’re looking for the right airsoft pistol to add to your loadout, it’s worth considering your play style, the type of games you’ll participate in, and your long-term goals in airsoft when making your decision.

Here at Urban Airsoft, we can help you find the perfect Airsoft Pistol for you. Get in touch with our experts today or pop into our store – the largest Airsoft store in all of Yorkshire.

Top Tips for Airsoft Pistol Beginners

If you’re reading this guide because you want to get started with airsoft pistols, then you’re in the right place! We’ve put together some top tips for airsoft pistol beginners to help you get the most out of your new loadout.

  1. Practice Handling and Drawing – Familiarise yourself with your pistol’s weight, ergonomics and controls. Practice drawing and holstering your pistol swiftly and smoothly to gain an advantage in fast-paced scenarios.
  2. Focus on Accuracy – Given the limited range of airsoft pistols, accuracy becomes paramount. Take the time to refine your aim, control your trigger pulls, and practice shooting from different positions and distances.
  3. Carry Spare Magazines – Ensure you have enough spare magazines to sustain you through engagements and keep you in the fight. Practice reloading quickly to minimize downtime during intense battles and prevent getting caught out during a skirmish.
  4. Master Movement and Cover – Due to their close-quarter nature, airsoft pistol engagements often involve rapid movement and the use of cover. Develop agility, learn to move quickly between cover positions, and make effective use of concealment and protection to get the most out of your airsoft pistol.
  5. Communicate and Coordinate – Airsoft is a team-oriented sport. Communicate with your teammates, coordinate tactics, and work together to achieve objectives. As a pistol user, your speed and manoeuvrability can complement the firepower of your teammates.

Shop Airsoft Pistols at Urban Airsoft

Airsoft pistols offer a unique and exhilarating experience on the field. With their portability, versatility, and training benefits, they are essential tools for both beginners and seasoned players alike. By understanding their advantages and disadvantages, and mastering essential skills, you’ll become a formidable force on the airsoft battlefield.

Shop our wide range of airsoft pistols today or explore our airsoft accessories and airsoft parts to create your perfect loadout!

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We’d love to hear from you – whether you need help sourcing that specific product, or want some advice on the best products to suit your requirements, our expert team are on hand to help.

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