FPS Does Not Equal Distance

Here is an article by The Crimson Falcons from Airsoft Retreat. A very interesting article and supports what many airsoft players belief. An FPS limit should not be a goal.

Hey all, it’s time for another one of Crimson’s hopefully well-reasoned rantsguidesannouncements about one of our old favorite new player misconceptions, namely, the idea that a gun is better simply because it has higher FPS. I’m posting this thread up to clear up this misconception (or to get some reasons why people think that FPS is more important than I give it credit for being), since I’ve seen so many people recommend one gun over another simply because it has higher FPS, or because people will try to get as much FPS out of their gun as possible, but will overlook other (more important) modifications or upgrades. So, without further ado, here’s what I think about FPS.

What does FPS get you? Many people believe that higher FPS will get you more range, and they’re somewhat correct in this because the bb WILL go farther. But a more powerful spring, or teflon modding your sniper rifle, etc, is not going to significantly increase your EFFECTIVE range, and in many cases it will DECREASE your effective range. So what do I mean by this?

Effective range is the range that your gun can get consistent hits on target. My personal standard for measuring effective range is 9/10 torso hits, or 8/10 if we factor in misses due to unexpected high gusts. Effective range is a factor of your gun’s accuracy, power, and the quality and weight of the ammunition that you’re using. Effective range is also inherently limited by the nature of airsoft projectiles, since they are very light. No matter how fast you’re firing, an airsoft gun will never have an effective range of more than 100 yards at the absolute max (for a sniper rifle firing .43g bb’s or heavier) or 200 feet for an AEG (firing .2’s or heavier). You may be able to get hits much farther out, but those hits will be largely a matter of luck, even with fully upgraded internals.

Okay, so lets take a look at what’s going to be most important here. I’m going to use ACM’s as an example, since they seem to be the most popular sort of gun for a new player to buy. Most ACM’s feature very wide inner barrels (usually 6.1mm or wider), and mid or low quality hopups and hopup buckings. I mention these two factors because they are a big influence on accuracy. So what happens if we were to increase FPS, but not do anything else? I’ll use the UTG M324 and the JG M16 as examples.

The UTG M324 (also the DE M50) has a stock 6.14mm aluminum inner barrel. This barrel is very low quality, and makes the M324 usually inaccurate past 100 feet. 80-120 feet seems to be the usual range that people will start to see their shots spiral off wildly. If you clean the barrel and hopup rubber, and tweak the hopup a bit, you can extend effective range to maybe 150-180 feet if you’re lucky and use heavier ammunition. But the barrel is so wide, and the hopup isn’t a v-hop, so it doesn’t have horizontal stability, which means that the shots are going to be pretty inaccurate.

So say we do the teflon mod to the M324, and, assuming it’s a v.1 or v.2, increase FPS by around 70 fps. We’re shooting at maybe 450 fps now, which means that it’s going to have a longer range, right? Wrong. Speeding up the FPS means that we’re actually making inaccuracies even worse. If the bb is deflecting around in the wide barrel to start out, increasing the FPS means it’s going to be deflecting with even more energy than it did initially, which means that any inaccuracies due to the hopup and barrel will get magnified by the higher FPS. In my personal tests with a v.2 M324, I noticed my effective range decreased by 20 feet after doing the teflon mod. My shots would go farther, but I had no idea where they were going.

Okay, so how about an AEG? The same story holds true. This test was done with a JG M16A4, v.2, which I borrowed from a friend. Effective range ran about 120 feet with .2’s, and I was getting nice torso shots, but even with the hopup set perfectly to float bb’s out as far as possible, they would still start to spin out unpredictably past 120 feet. So I downgraded the spring to an M100, and noticed, not surprisingly to me, that my effective range did not decrease at all. In fact, it increased to about 125-130 feet. Granted, my shots didn’t hit with as much force, but they still were getting out there. So next I popped in an M150, just for kicks. Obviously you’d want to upgrade everything else as well, but since I was only planning on leaving it in there for a few shots, I figured it would be okay. With .2’s, my shots were going all over the place at 100 feet. The much higher FPS hugely exacerbated problems with the wide inner barrel and hopup rubber, and basically ruined my effective range.

Okay, so by now it’s pretty obvious that increasing FPS isn’t going to allow you to put plastic on target reliably, and may in fact make it worse. If all you care about is being unsafe, and hurting your friends, then by all means, FPS upgrades are worth it. But if you want to make your gun more skirmish-worthy, I think it’s clear that putting in a higher power spring isn’t going to change things for you.

So, if you want to get better performance out of your gun, you’re going to need to do things that will affect the accuracy, not the power. Try putting a tightbore barrel in your gun for starters. Tightbores universally increase effective range, because it means your shots will stay straighter for longer distances. Replacing the hopup bucking or the entire hopup will also have a significant impact on your gun. You should also think about cleaning your barrel and hopup before you bother doing things like the teflon mod.

For those of you that have guns that only fire around 330 fps (like the A&K M-series guns, for instance), you’re much better off getting a TK twist tightbore than upgrading the spring. In general, you should get a tightbore for your gun first; not only will it increase your power, but it will also extend your effective range. If you want to upgrade your spring, you’re going to need to make sure your gun is as accurate as possible if you want the power upgrade to mean anything. FPS without accuracy is completely meaningless.

But that’s not the only problem that higher FPS can cause. If all other things are equal, it might seem better to get a gun that has more stock power than less. And this isn’t necessarily untrue. But higher stock power also means that the internals are going to be under more stress, and your gun is correspondingly not going to last as long. This is a big concern for guns like JG v.2’s, which come with a stock M120, but the internals are not reinforced enough to handle the spring for as long as they could handle an M100 or M110, for instance. Protecting your JG investment means that you should have reinforced parts on hand, although if you crack the gearbox, you’re basically out of luck. That doesn’t mean that JG guns aren’t a good buy; they are. But the higher FPS of v.2’s means that they’re going to be under more stress than, say, an A&K, and they don’t have stronger internals than the A&K.

So you should also be asking yourself not only how hard the gun will hit, but also how long it’s going to be able to last, and whether the extra 60 fps, or whatever is going to be worth the shorter lifespan and marginal range increase (if there is one).

If you are planning on getting a spring upgrade, you should also think about getting reinforced internals. So, my suggestion for upgrades, in order of practical importance, are as follows:

1. Tightbore–this is the single most effective and important upgrade you can get for your gun.
2. Durability upgrades (reinforced internals, metal bushings, shims, and other upgrades of that ilk)
3. Hopup upgrades.
4. Power upgrades/new battery
5. Aesthetic upgrades (more durable externals may go here, or in 2).

The order of 2-5 may vary from person to person, but I think that a tightbore is clearly the most effective upgrade you can get for any gun, unless perhaps it’s a sidearm or a CQB weapon, in which case accuracy is less important than trigger response time or durability.

New Rules for F.R.A.G. Games

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New Game Site Rules for F.R.A.G.: (Camp Lauriel)

1. All guns must pass through the chono test for classification.

2. Guns with a chrono reading above 410 fps will be tagged with a yellow tape on the barrel.

3. Guns tagged as yellow cannot go beyond or into designated areas with yellow flags or marks.

4. Violators will automatically be DISQUALIFIED for that game.

5. All other guns with chrono reading below 410 fps will have no tags and can move anywhere.

6. Guns with the fps below 410 are the only ones allowed to enter the kill house.

These rules were formulated to avoid unnecessary injuries to players. These rules will only apply to Camp Lauriel. With our new game site structures, we have to be strict in implementing them. Lets all have fun and enjoy the hobby we love.

President Bobby

AEG Springs (Comparison Chart)

This airsoft spring guide is better used as a reference guide to compare relative performance between spring types and manufacturer than an ACTUAL speed/performance chart. The peformance numbers in this article are based on data compiled by Brian at Airsoftcanada.com.

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Less than 400 FPS Chart

This chart illustrates the springs made by a variety of manufacturers that typically produce velocities below 350 feet per second.

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Upgrading the mechbox with springs that create between 350 FPS and 400 FPS will increase stresses on most AEG stock components. In most cases it is not required to upgrade more than the bushings. It is still a good idea to reshim your gears while adding bushings or confirm you have metal bushings.

Suggested improvements

  • Reinforced gears (especially for Tokyo Marui owners)
  • Metal bushings

Over 400 FPS Chart

This chart illustrates the springs made by a variety of manufacturers that typically produce velocities over 400 feet per second.

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Upgrading the mechbox with springs that create more than 400 feet per second results can create very high pressures and stresses on most AEG stock components. It’s highly recommended that the following items also be upgraded when considering an upgraded spring at this level.

Recommended improvements

  • Reinforced gearbox (the actual metal case)
  • Reinforced gears (especially for Tokyo Marui owners)
  • Metal bushings
  • Torque Up gears (recommended)
  • Higher mAh and/or voltage battery

alert CAUTION

It’s worth noting that any time you are upgrading AEGs to these levels, you significantly increase the chances for future failures and reduced reliability. AEGs can be upgraded to levels beyond 400 FPS with reliability, but great care and expense often comes along with upgrades in the territory of 450 FPS or higher.

Article based from Mechbox.com 

The Right Airsoft Gun For You

Choosing an airsoft gun that will fit your needs and budget can be difficult. Usually, the more expensive a gun is, the more powerful it is. Also, guns of a higher caliber have more capabilities, but you may not need lots of options; it all depends on what you want to do with your gun. Perhaps you just want to shoot cans; something like would not require much, a nice spring rifle, or perhaps a cheap electric pistol. On the other end of the spectrum, if you want to participate in airsoft games, a gas or electric rifle is your best choice (although electric pistols would be good sidearms).

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People usually make the decision on what gun to buy based on price, and not so much on purpose. Price is crucial, and that is why it’s important to look beyond the upfront cost and see ongoing costs as well. For example, guns with high RPMs (rounds per minute) will exhaust BBs fast, meaning you will have to continually buy BBs to replace the ones you are using. Therefore, if you really just want to shoot cans or other targets, an expensive gas rifle would not be right for you. Likewise, if you buy a small gas pistol that can only hold a small gas canister, you will need to keep refilling the canisters frequently. If you do choose to get a gas pistol, a smart thing to do is buy a lot of gas canisters, so you reduce the need to constantly purchase more.

Gas pistols can be used really for anything, as you can usually select between automatic and semi-automatic functionality. While they can be used for airsoft games, it is not wise, as their magazines do not hold as many rounds as a rifle and the FPS (feet per second) is lower as well. However, gas pistols do have a power advantage (in FPS) over electric pistols, although electric pistols are easier to operate (batteries instead of gas). In a game, airsoft guns that have a higher FPS generally go further than guns with a low FPS, and that is why rifles are the best for games (and their high rate of fire).

In a wrap-up, here is what you will need to consider when purchasing an airsoft gun:

1. Cost
2. Upkeep
3. Functionality
4. Capabilities

5. FPS
6. RPM
7. Purpose for Purchasing

An Article from MrAirsoft Blog.

What If Your AEG shoots at 400+ FPS?

Answer: Your airsoft buds stops calling you after the 3rd or 4th game. Pretty soon you call them and they say they’ve given up airsoft and that they’re not playing anymore, only to find out that they are playing quite frequently and just are being pussies cause they’re afraid to get hit by your gun cause it actually makes them start bleeding.

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“Aww… I’m Hit!!”