Best Beginner Airsoft Rifles – Reviews & Buyers Guide (2019 Budget Edition)
For our criteria for beginner and budget-friendly airsoft rifles, we are taking several factors into consideration. The first is the value: as a beginner, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck (literally) as possible. But where some other “best beginner airsoft guns” lists detract from ours is durability. As an entry level player, you want a cheaper gun, but not one that is going to break or malfunction in your first few plays when you don’t even know anything about fixing them. There is no easier way to get frustrated with this sport than to buy cheap guns and gear and have to worry about your gear breaking in the middle of a match.
Check Out Our Recommended Guns Below, Or Scroll Down To Learn More About Choosing The Right Gun.
1. G&G Combat Machine Raider 16 M4 AEG
No surprise here. The G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider is on everyone’s beginner recommendations list, and for good reason. This AEG M4 model is one of the best-value rifles on the market, and for $150, you can compete with players that have spent hundreds of dollars more on their rifle. It’s a light rifle yet very durable, made with hard plastic, and will take the inevitable beating that a beginner will give it when figuring out how to use and maintain an airsoft gun. Those two qualities – light and durable – are extremely important for beginners, who are still learning how to handle their gun.
The internals are great for the price, and it features a 450-round magazine for those new players that tend to “spray and pray” when they are first getting into the game. The CQB version of the gun (close-quarters battle) is even lighter and more agile, and is perfect for indoor play, where a player can really learn the fundamentals of the game and marksmanship.
The CM16 is very upgradable and is Tokyo Marui compatible, so as you put more time and money into the sport, and learn what kind of mods you like, this rifle is ready and willing to upgrade to your playstyle.
One of the few downsides to this rifle is that it tends to fly off the shelves. It is one of if not the highest selling rifle on the market, even in 2019.Read Our Full CM16 Review
Check Price on Airsoft Station
2. ICS M4A1 AEG
The ICS M4 is a real steel, innovative airsoft rifle that was made in partnership with Olympic Arms (OA), one of the top manufacturers of the American AR-15 rifle. Before the ICS M4, ICS was known for some pretty mediocre AEG rifles. They decided to break that stereotype with their new M4, and boy did they break it. The ICS M4 was the first airsoft rifle to have a split gearbox, which means the gearbox basically splits in two upon disassembly, allowing for quick and easy access to the gearbox springs and mechanisms. When I first held and fired my teammate’s ICS full-metal M4, I was sold. The gun just looks great – it is indistinguishable from the real M4.
The rifle’s externals are all completely real steel except for the foregrip. When it first came out, players started to buy the ICS M4 AEG over the Classic Army and even the Tokyo Marui M4 AEG models, which before then, as any airsoft player can tell you, was unheard of. Think about that for a second – ICS over Tokyo Marui, the inventor of the AEG airsoft gun.
It doesn’t just look real, it feels real, and fires real. It is as accurate, if not more so, than Tokyo Marui’s M4 AEG’s. It even fires faster, with a stock 370 FPS. It is extremely beginner-friendly with the split gearbox, 400-round magazine capacity, and the fact that no dry firing is required with the ICS M4’s bolt assist.
The rifle comes in a few versions. The ABS plastic version without split gearbox can be had for as low as $125. The CXP-15 KeyMod RIS version with plastic build and split gearbox can be found here for $180. The metal, split gearbox version is around $229. Finally, the all-metal, split gearbox Commando Sportsline version is around $290. If you’re a beginner, this rifle is a durable, powerful, and strong candidate for one of the most beginner-friendly airsoft guns ever made. You can check out all the different versions at Airsoft Station.Check Price on Airsoft Station
3. CYMA AK-47 CM040C Full Metal AEG
Finally, we have a rifle that isn’t an M4! If there is one thing that you’ll hear about the CYMA CM series AK, it’s that it’s a tank. It’s easily one of the most durable guns for under $300 that I’ve ever seen. When you’re a new player, this is probably the #1 factor in a gun. This AK can take a beating, with both its externals (rough handling and bashing), and internals (“newbie maintenance”), that are rock-solid, just like the real AK. Every player I have talked to with a CYMA AK says that their gun has lasted for years. It’s not uncommon for this rifle to perform for you for 3+ years without issue.
The CYMA is known for their awesome and affordable AK-47 and AK-74 rifles that are VFC or Tokyo Marui clones – this means that they are basically copies of higher-tier guns; clones allow newer players with lower budgets to have good guns for an affordable price.
For under $200, the CYMA AK comes with real AK build materials (full-metal receiver and rails, real wood furniture), a very high capacity magazine (usually between 400-600, depending on the model) which is great for players just starting out who tend to “spray and pray”, Tokyo Marui compatibility, and it’s fully upgradeable.
The internals are really decent for a budget rifle. I have heard from a few players that the rifle might need some lubrication out of the box to perform its best, but others have said that their AK fired like a beast right out of the box. If you’re just starting out, you can’t go wrong with CYMA’s CM-series AK.Check Price on Amazon