How to care for your Airsoft gun and components
Automatic Electric Guns (AEGs) are normally low maintenance, but like all precision equipment, you need to take care of them to maintain optimum performance levels.
Although they may look like a real gun, they are made from plastic and metal components and you should handle them with care. In particular avoid heavy impact to the barrels and stocks that could cause damage or breakage.
If possible use a sling when carrying your gun to avoid accidentally dropping it.
Cleaning your gun
Airsoft guns typically require minimum cleaning. But remember that you should never use petroleum based cleaners or strong solvents when cleaning as that could damage the plastic components.
We recommend that you use only a soft, damp cloth for the exterior parts of your gun and 100% silicone oil for the barrel.
Remember that your gun uses electricity, so don’t immerse it in water or other liquids – water and electricity don’t mix!
When cleaning your airsoft gun, check over the screws attaching external components to the gun body. These may become loose after some use and may need retightening. But remember not to over tighten, as you run the risk of stripping the screw threads.
If you notice any broken parts, contact us for replacements.
The most important component to consider cleaning is the barrel – the majority of gun jams are caused by dirt in the barrel. Follow these simple steps to ensure your barrel is properly cleaned:
- Turn off your hop up
If you leave your hop up turned on while cleaning the barrel of your gun, there is the strong risk of either getting your cleaning rod stuck or damaging the barrel – or both!
- Prepare your cleaning rod
Thread a 0.22 caliber patch – or a similar sized patch of cloth – into the slit in the cleaning rod. Spray the patch with a small amount of silicone spray.
- Carefully clean the barrel with the cleaning rod
Insert the cleaning rod into the barrel and carefully swab the barrel, using a back and forth movement. Remove the cleaning rod from the barrel, replace the cloth patch with a clean, dry one and repeat the process to remove any remaining residue from the barrel.
- Test fire the gun and reset the hop up
When finished cleaning, test fire your gun. Remember to reset the hop up!
We recommend that you leave the cleaning and relubricating the gearbox on your gun to a trained professional – depending on usage and how heavily your gun is lubricated, this should be done every 4 months or so.
The batteries used in your airsoft gun are classified by voltage and capacity. The voltage typically determines the power of the battery, while the capacity gives an indication as to how long the battery can be used between charging.
Battery voltage (V) is determined by the number of cells in the battery pack. Each battery cell operates at 1.2V, so a battery pack containing 7 cells will have an operating voltage of 8.4V (7 x 1.2) while one containing 8 cells will have a total voltage of 9.6V (8 x 1.2).
Battery capacity is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh) and is typically 1700 mAh. A good rule of thumb is to consider that each shot will use 1 mAh.
Your airsoft gun uses one of two types of rechargeable batteries – nickel cadmium (NiCad) or nickel metal hydride (Nimh). Both types have advantages and disadvantages.
A NiCad battery has high output, giving a high rate of fire. It has “battery memory”, which means that it must be fully discharged before being recharged. However, it can then be fast charged. Typically a NiCad battery has a lower capacity that a Nimh type.
Nimh batteries have typically higher capacity than NiCad batteries. Unlike the NiCad battery, a Nimh has no “battery memory” and so doesn’t need to be fully discharged before recharging. However, charging must be carried out at a rate of no more than 3 amps.
Caring for your battery
You should always unplug your battery from your gun when not in use. Store the battery in a cool, dry place when it’s not being used.
Never pull on your battery with the plug and take care not to damage the wiring insulation when removing or replacing them in your gun. Don’t connect your battery wires to another battery or metallic objects – you will almost certainly damage your battery and also cause a fire.
Don’t break open a battery pack or expose it to an open flame. Dispose of used batteries in a sensible manner.
Charging your battery
Before attempting to recharge your battery, read the battery charger manual thoroughly first.
Make sure the charger you will use is suitable for your battery type. Not all chargers are capable of charging both types of battery, so double check.
Use the connectors supplied with your charger to connect to your battery – they are designed for the job.
Don’t overcharge your battery – it may become hot, damaged or cause a fire.
Calculate how long you need to charge your battery by dividing the battery capacity by the rated output of your battery charger. For example, a fully drained battery with a capacity of 1500 mAh would take 6 hours to charge using a charger rated at 250 mAh output. But again, check your charger manual if you are unsure.
Remember that NiCad batteries need to be fully discharged before recharging. You can either wait until the battery is fully discharged through normal use in your gun, or you can buy a battery discharger at your local sporting goods store to achieve the desired result.
If you’re unsure of the amount of charge left in a Nimh battery, connect the battery charger and check the battery every 5 – 10 minutes or so. If the battery is warm to the touch after this period, you can assume it is fully charged. If it is hot, then remove it from the charger at once!
The fuse in your airsoft gun is designed to stop a sudden unexpected discharge of electricity into your gun that could damage your motor or other electrical components.
If your gun stops firing unexpectedly, check the fuse first. Examine the metal strip in the fuse – if it is no longer intact the fuse has blown and needs replacing – new fuses are readily available at your local hardware store and can be rated up to 30 amps.
A common cause of a blown fuse is low battery charge. The battery has not sufficient power to turn the motor, but retains enough power to heat up the wiring and blow the fuse. Recharge the battery and replace the fuse, then try your gun again. If the gun is still “locked up” after this, it is possible that the gearbox has been damaged. You should have this checked by a trained professional.
Your airsoft gun has been designed to be of competition quality, so you should use BBs of equally high quality. Cheaper BBs may contain irregularities such as seams or burrs that can damage your gun.
Your gun has also been designed to use 0.20 gram weight BBs, so the use of lighter weight BBs is not recommended and may cause jams or possible damage.
Never ever attempt to reuse BBs in your gun – they may be deformed and again cause jamming or breakage.
Make sure you use new and clean BBs in your magazine. Keep all dirt and debris away from your magazine. A common cause of jamming is the staple from a bag of BBs, so always remove this and discard it before loading your magazine.
A high quality magazine needs at least 50 BBs to be loaded for it to function correctly and there will always be around 20 BBs left in a magazine.
When fully wound, your magazine will typically shoot between 50% – 75% of full capacity before rewinding is required, but be careful you don’t over wind – if the winding wheel is clicking, then the magazine is over wound.
It’s a good idea to occasionally spray a 100% silicone lubricant into your magazine.
Unjamming an airsoft gun
While airsoft guns are usually pretty reliable, you will occasionally encounter a problem with jamming.
The most important to remember is to stop firing as soon as your gun jams – if you continue firing you run the risk of damage to the gearbox or piston in your gun.
Jamming can be the result of using cheap, deformed or dirty BBs, excessive dirt in the barrel, an over tight hop up or foreign objects entering the magazine or barrel. In extreme cases damage to the hop up bucking, tappet plate or nozzle can also cause jamming.
Your barrel cleaning rod has a slanted tip at one end, which you can use to clear a jammed BB. Turn off the hop up, and then insert the slanted tip end of the cleaning rod in the barrel. Turn the gun upside down so you can see the magazine, then use the cleaning rod to gently force the jammed BB back into the magazine well.
When the BB has been cleared, test fire your gun without BBs. If the gun sounds fine, reload your BBs and test fire again. Normally this will fix the problem, but if the gun jams again there may be a problem that a trained professional should investigate.
Adjusting your airsoft gun
There are two main areas of adjustment on your airsoft gun – the hop up and the motor height.
- Adjusting the hop up
Check your manual for specific methods for adjusting the hop up on your gun. You will need around 30 yards of range to check the hop up adjustment, depending on the velocity of your particular gun.
The aim of hop up adjustment is to achieve as flat a trajectory as possible for the BB. Hop up adjustments on most guns are very sensitive – a very small movement of the adjustment wheel or lever can cause large variations in trajectory.
Simply using your gun can cause the hop up mechanism to alter slightly, so you should expect to adjust the hop up fairly regularly.
There are many factors that can affect the trajectory of your BB apart from hop up adjustment – the brand of BB used, the weight of the BB used, cleanliness of the barrel, wind speed, humidity levels and even air density. Don’t assume that your gun will perform exactly the same way every time.
- Adjusting motor height
Motor height is a key adjustment for proper gun functioning. Adjusting the motor height affects the way the motor pinion gear meshes with the bevel gear in the gearbox. So it is essential that this be set correctly.
Normally the motor height is controlled by a small (around 1.5mm wide) set screw located at the end of the motor housing, typically in the grip of the gun. Incorrect adjustment may result in a loud or soft whine from the gearbox and in extreme cases an incorrect adjustment can cause gearbox failure, jamming or stripping of the pinion and/or bevel gears.
Your new gun will be delivered with the motor height set in the factory, but heavy use will cause the spinning motion of the motor to move the motor height out of the correct adjustment.
If you notice a high pitched whining noise from your gearbox, this is an indication that the motor height may be too low. Turn the motor height adjustment screw clockwise to raise the motor height. Turn the adjustment screw slowly while firing the gun in semi automatic mode. You should aim for a flat, consistent sound from the gearbox.
A high pitched grinding sound indicates your motor height is set too high. To correct this, turn the adjustment screw counterclockwise slowly while firing in semi automatic mode to get that flat, consistent sound.
The aim in motor height adjustment is to minimize the sounds coming from your motor and gearbox.