Airsoft: AEG or GBB ? Which is Better, and Why?


AEG or GBB Airsoft guns

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

Airsoft: AEG or GBB ? Which is Better, and Why? by
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  • Thomas Merikorpi

    I like GBB better than AEG but honestly I don`t relly cear. Why I prefer GBB is they are relly simple to dissasemble and I think they are more realistic. Beacuse I own an WE Scar GBB open chamber and that is a relly good gun but GBB:s are relly expensive. And I also have a GSG G36C and a Dboys/Kalashnikov
    AK-74MN and they werent that expansive butt not relly cheap.

  • Gas magazines defiantly won’t be getting cheaper in the near future. And once a cheap manufacture does produce a cheaper magazine for a non-WA system GBBR. They will leak and they will give you hell. GBB magazines are the engines of a gas gun. Having a good magazine in a GBBR will have good performance. A great magazine must have a great cool down effect(Otherwise your FPS, gas efficiency and RoF will dramatically decrease), it must be leak free, it should be gas efficient(kinda ties with the cool down), it must be able to hold lots of pressure/gas, it must fit properly with the bolt/magwell/bolt catch/and firing pin, it needs to withstand a some falls, the feeding lip must be strong and feed properly, and it needs to have good rubber to have an airtight seal and withstand freezing temperatures.

    I ran a WA system GBBR before and I though buying a cheap mag would save me a lot of money. But it was the worst mistake I could of done for my gun. It always leaked, it had tons of frictions on my bolt so it couldn’t cycle properly, the bolt catch barely worked, had the worst cool down, it couldn’t feed properly, and so many other problems. Buying a good mag is an investment and it will save you so much trouble.

  • Mmmm muffinz

    Well another thing to consider AEG’S have HUGE hi caps and batteries are reusable unlike a gas gun where gas is oh so expensive and SugarFreeTargets is right mags aren’t getting cheaper and they’re kind of like the brains of a GBBR. Another thing to consider money, AHHHHHHH cold hard cash, you can buy a very nice beginner m4 at a low price yet get a nice little gun to have fun with and beginners not much money, (the low price m4’s are more than likely to come with battery and charger.)will have a good time playing airsoft without breaking the bank which brings us to GBB’s quality in a GBB is very,very expensive especially for budget-minded people and including mag prices and gas prices gets pretty high at the end of course if mags DO become cheaper yet still quality and gas prices lower to, along with gun prices you’ll probably get a GBB But one more thing to consider…, AEG’S put gun away put mags and battery away put bbs away GBB’S put gun away put Gas away put mags away CLEAN GBB put bbs away any I’m missing?! And one last thing UPGRADEABILITY AEG’S can easily be upgraded as where a GBB will probably need a highly trained professional which AGAIN is more expensive. All I Have To Say Good Day -Muffinz

  • savvas soteriou

    i think the increase of ebbs with recoil will be bridges for people to get into gbbs in the future, Having said that i myself wanted a gbb but didnt like the idea that the fps is unstable depending on the temperature and in the uk, where i live, its pretty much winter all year. Im sure they will become more advanced and user friendly in the future.

  • Shawn Kaplan

    1. Gas guns need gas refills, which are not cheap, especially compared to recharging an AEG battery for free after buying a smart charger…
    2. Recoil might feel good, but that doesn’t make the gun better. Recoil = reduced accuracy.
    3. GBB’s have wonky projectile velocities that depend on the temperature of the playing field
    4. GBB’s are loud, that isn’t a good thing! You do NOT want to give up your position to the enemy team!
    5. AEG’s have the option of high-caps and their mid-caps hold WAY more magazines. A GBB mid-cap holds like 30-60 rounds? An AEG mid-cap holds 100-150.

    GBB’s are not superior and they are not taking over yet. There is a LOT of room for innovation to make them more useful on the airsoft battlefield, even if they are more realistic.

  • gnopi

    So GBBs for 1%-ers and AEG for the rest of us poor folks ;)
    Still, as one that never held or even saw a GBB gun in person, the most important aspect that I still want to know about, is how well does i preform compared to AEG.

    • Connor Hayden

      I currently own 4 gas rifles and they perform beautifully. 3 WE Tech and the KWA mp7. All 3 of my WE techs i bought boneyard and i got them working again. They will easily keep up with any AEG as long as you’re very ammo conscious. Like the article says the price of a magazine is awful but the fun factor is so worth it

  • simon marcellino

    AEG is electric GBB is gas. Gas usually has more parts may more intricate and usually harder to work on and maintain. I would not suggest GBB as a starter gun I’ve been playing for a while had one and it lasted a game before something broke