For years now, the Airsoft marketplace has been accepting new products that can inspire innovation immediately after viewing the product. In the past few years, we’ve seen the rise of the GBB (Gas Blow Back) rifle, as well as the PolarStar Electro-pneumatic gearbox and rifle collection. As a sport, airsoft thrives and survives off new products and ideas, and these new items will always challenge the accepted principles that are in place today. As a result of this challenge, players are usually unwilling to accept these new innovations, and that can cause a stint in the product spread, as well as the innovative process that goes along with making these new items. So, are airsofters ready for GBB’s and PolarStars? Are we ready to accept that AEG’s are not only a dying breed, but are also holding us back from future accomplishments? Let’s investigate!
Before I write further, you should know that my personal airsoft weapon is a J.G. m4 B.A.M.F special edition, with a Leapers scope, Matrix Magnum 3000 motor, Systema m130 spring, G&P hop up unit coupled with the Systema hop bucking, and the Madbull Black Python tight bore barrel. So, I’m quite involved with the AEG that I own, and I don’t intend to let it go anytime soon. All bias aside, I’m also quite willing to accept new ideas into the market in hopes that it will spread the airsoft culture and sport. To do this, I got my hands on a G&G tan blow back m4 assault rifle. Although my B.A.M.F. is my child and the most magnificent object to ever touch my fingertips, the GBB blew my expectations away after the first two shots.
First off, the GBB has many things that an AEG does not. Feeling the recoil extend to my shoulder was something that immediately excited me, and inspired thoughts of righteous conquest and glorious battle. My opponents would tremble in their B.D.U.’s once their ears caught wind of the mighty roar that this machine can produce. When I’m in a firefight with uncertainty in mind, the second scariest sound that can be heard is the fully automatic assault of an AEG somewhere close by. The first is the heart pounding ‘thunk’ of a gas blowback mowing down your comrades just around the corner. So, when it comes to field looks and sound effects, the GBB takes the cake.
Next, we have manipulation and usage! The AEG operates through a gearbox which is by no means uncomplicated, and utilizes electricity from an 8.4v battery or stronger to send the gears turning. The GBB uses a much simpler design of major parts that can be easily dismantled and maintained. That would bring the score for GBB’s to 2, and the score for AEG’s to 0. Not only does a gas blowback operate much more smoothly than an airsoft electric gun, but it feels much better as well. The touch and feel of the GBB destroys the AEG at every turn, mostly because it’s more realistic, and much more comfortable.
Finally, we must consider costs and budget. It’s easy to assume that the AEG will ruin the GBB in this field, but that’s not entirely true. The G&G line of gas blowbacks costs about as much as an average AEG, which was $140.00. However, the cost of an extra magazine for a GBB averages a nightmarish $40.00. Consider this; a box set of ten Matrix metal 70 round magazines ran me $68.00, and they’ve lasted the last three years and continue to do so. If you own a GBB, filling just four magazine pouches on that chest rig of yours is going to charge you the horrid edict of $200.00, because cheaper versions are not available. Eventually, the loadout you create around the GBB will bankrupt you, and that is undoubtedly the Achilles heel of the Gas Blowback market today.
In conclusion, keep an open mind when it comes to GBB’s and EBB’s in the future, because eventually a set of cheaper magazines will emerge. Needless to say, once those particular magazines do arise, the GBB will probably take charge as the most efficient and most badass selection for airsofters everywhere.
– Raggunus, C.A.M.I.L.L.O. Squad Leader.
Photos by Youngsharky Photography