What is GBB Airsoft?
June 20, 2018
Scrolling through the inter-webs, scanning through everything Airsoft related on YouTube, and you catch something consistently recurring. GBB Pistol, GBB Rifle, GBB only game, GBB this, GBB that. “WHAT IS GBB!??!?!” Well that’s what we’re here to find out! GBB is short for Gas Blow Back and in Airsoft terms that can be a pistol, rifle, sub machine gun, or even a light machine gun depending on how you look at it. Today we’re going to tell you all about GBB Airsoft. Prepare yourself for the journey into the GBB Master Race!
GBB Pistols are the most common form of Gas Blow Back you’ll find in Airsoft. At an affordable price and a lot of reliable options, pistols are the easiest way to get into GBB Airsoft. They make a great back up to your primary and are a lot of fun to operate. GBB Pistols also come in several different shapes and sizes. You have 1911’s, M9’s, 226’s, Glocks, M&P’s, revolvers. The majority of pistols that are available in the real firearm world have an Airsoft counterpart.
GBB Rifles had a big surge in popularity a couple of years ago. You’d walk into most SoCal local fields and find a lot of gas rifles being used. Outside of that, they come out of the woodwork during the Summer. With the advantage of weather on their side, you’ll achieve optimal performance and efficiency. Users typically get a lot of respect due to the ammo restrictions inherent to the platform. Gas rifles in the past were unicorns and would require a lot of money to be able to have a playable set up. Now-a-days you can get an entire rifle set up for a much more affordable price. Use Affirm on our website for easy monthly payments!
GBB LMG’s are the real unicorns of recoil guns. Only a handful of systems have ever existed. They are all powered by an external air tank. It’s still a gas-powered mechanism so I’m throwing it in. In the past nine years that I have been playing, I have only come across this style of gun once. It was a Classic Army M249 that had been modified with a Daytona Engine kit. It featured a full travel bolt and recoil. The gentleman who owned it was nice enough to let me shoot it. It was a truly memorable experience. Even with the weight of the gun, it still had more recoil than any other gas rifle I have fired to this day. It was incredibly loud and got everyone’s attention, and the performance was fantastic. At 200 ft, I could still easily hit a man-sized target.
- The gun shown is not the Daytona 249 mentioned in the blog but it was built exactly the same way
The primary drawbacks of GBB’s are weight, rate of fire, and cooldown. The majority of gas rifle mags weigh more than a real, fully loaded 30rd magazine. Having to carry multiple mags, which do not lose weight as you use them, is a big turn off for many users. Rate of fire isn’t of huge concern for a lot of players, because fields are switching to Semi-Auto rules anyways. The handful of people that have to have full auto may look elsewhere. Having a bolt carrier which must move back and forth will limit rate of fire. Using full auto also brings about the next issue with GBB Airsoft guns: cooldown. Propellants like Propane and CO2 are liquid inside of the magazine. When the gun fires, the liquid expands rapidly into gas. As the gas within the magazine expands, it cools. As the gas becomes cooler, more gas remains liquid, producing no energy, leaving insufficient amount of pressure to cycle your gun. This is the reason that GBB Airsoft Guns are much more prominent in the Summer. When it is hotter outside, more propellant expands and you’re less likely to run into cool down issues.
GBB Airsoft is a ton of fun and something that the majority of Airsofters will get into at one point or another. Whether you want to go all out and get that Daytona 249, become a GBB Rifleman, or you have a reliable GBB pistol. GBB’s add an amazing degree of realism to the hobby.