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Top Fives: Best Beginner Airsoft Guns for Outdoor Airsoft Under $200

The market for airsoft guns has gotten so large and full of options that picking a starting airsoft gun can be very difficult. There are so many features and styles to choose from that it can be very difficult to know if the gun you’re buying is the best one for you.

Fear not young Airsofters! We’ve got your six with a brand new top five list full of great beginner airsoft guns (in no particular order) that would make a great starting point to your outdoor and MILSIM airsoft career and all for under $200!


The first gun on our list checks all the necessary boxes for a quality starter airsoft gun.


High FPS? Check. Reliable Parts? Check. A barrel long enough for shots at distance? Check.

It also packs a ton of features into a budget friendly bundle. The built in tight-bore barrel makes it accurate, while the high torque motor and quality full metal internals make it snappy and a breeze to shoot. The most unique piece of this gun is in the trigger though. It’s ECS trigger allows this gun to be programmed for different options on the fire selector. Whether you intend to run semi-automatic only, with three or five round burst, or want to let your fun switch do the talking, this trigger can be programmed to a whole world of settings to fit your play style, whatever it may be.

2. Lancer Tactical LT-04 Gen 2 – $133.99

The next gun on our list is the perfect item for those after a classic MILSPEC look, but don’t want to blow out the budget on a new BB blaster. The Lancer Tactical LT-04 maintains the classic M4A1 stylings that many players want when they shop for a first gun, and comes packed with high performance parts.

The LT-04 also includes a tight-bore barrel for increased accuracy. This makes it more than capable of taking on the higher end guns owned by many experienced players, and definitely levels the playing field for a beginner. It stacks the box with value as well, coming with some extra rail covers, and a foregrip to let you customize your rifle just a bit more. In fact, many of the Gen 2 Lancer rifles feature this level of value and performance, and we could have honestly stocked this list with nothing but rifles from the Gen 2 line up.

3. Elite Force MP5 Competition series – $154.95

For the middle point in our list, we’re stepping away from the AR15 style rifles and moving to something a bit more classic. The Elite Force MP5 Competition line, available in both an A4/A5 variant, and the SD6 variant with a built in mock suppressor, is another budget minded option that punches well above its weight class.

The MP5 Competition guns may feature lower FPS than some of the other guns on this list, but they are still more than capable of being a functional outdoor gun. The hopup included with these models is great at sending BB’s out far enough for most mid-range gun fights, and the light weight and smaller stature make them perfect for recon focused playstyles as well. These are very maneuverable and small guns perfect for outdoor fields that can transition very quickly to tight quarters inside of buildings or thick brush. The added inclusion of an extra magazine in the package is just icing on the cake!

4. Lancer Tactical Full Metal AK-74 KTR – $190

Number four on the list is the full metal option for our less NATO inclined players. This option still allows for a ton of customization, but in a very decidedly non AR15 fashion.

The AK KTR hits a little harder than the rest of the guns on this list, punching in at 410-420 FPS. This means it will drive very hard through brush and foliage. A 600 round magazine means that you’ll worry a lot less about running out of ammunition in long firefights, and the tri-railed handguard means you have plenty of room for lights and lasers to accompany the sight you’ll inevitably bolt onto the railed gas block! If you wanted to stand out from the crowd, this is the gun for you!

5. Elite Force Ares Amoeba Striker Sniper Rifle – $184.95

Our last option hits the wild card spot. It’s not an automatic rifle, it’s definitely not for everybody, but there is definitely a niche for people that want a budget friendly bolt-action.

The Striker fixes a lot of problems with sniping on a budget. Most sniper rifles under $200 require upgrade after upgrade to be field ready, but the Striker makes an amazing bolt action scout style rifle out of the box. It’s lightweight, has a larger capacity magazine than most bolt guns, and only really needs a scope attached to be effective in the field. Sure, there are better bolt guns out there, but not for this price. The other guns in this category can’t perform like the striker does under $200. It’s not going to hit the farthest shots, but it’s more than capable of out ranging most AEG’s as is. It’s what you want when you need the extra challenge to stay entertained on the field.

These guns aren’t the only possible options on the airsoft battlefield, but these are some great places to start if what you need is a quick, effective budget minded starter rifle. They cater to a wide range of airsofters, and are all built with performance first. Don’t get caught with a cheap gun and get blasted. Take one of these for a spin and make sure you’re ready to land the shots you take.


Please note THAT THESE are the opinions of GI Aaron and is being stated to help some of you who may be on the fence about a purchase or two!
All Airsoft Pistols will be linked to our website for you to take a look at for yourself! Thank you and enjoy! 

As an Airsofter I obviously have my preferences and my preference of weapon IS pistol!
Unsurprisingly it was very difficult to narrow it down to my top 5 but I’ll give it my best shot starting at the Number Five Spot –

5. Elite Force GLOCK 17 Gen 4 Co2 Gas Blowback Airsoft Pistol

I am a Glock fanatic. (1911 bois, sorry)
I have always been a HUGE fan of the Glock platform and when the Green gas version came out I was ECSTATIC .. but when the Co2 blowback version came out I INSTANTLY bought it.
The green gas version was fun and all but the extra kick and extended baseplate of this one, won me over in an instant. A common misconception with Co2 guns is since it is a high pressure gas compared to green gas, so it’s going to shoot hot right? Wrong! At least with this one it will STILL be shooting under 350 FPS, which means it is still usable indoors as a primary or sidearm! It is a very familiar platform with easy to use controls. Everyone knows what a Glock is. Give It a shot! No pun intended. Okay, all pun intended.

Manufacturer: Elite Force
Model: GLOCK 17 GEN4 Gas Pistol Airsoft Gun
Muzzle Velocity: 315-330 FPS
Magazine Capacity: 23+1 rds
Package Includes: Gun, Magazine


  • Officially Licensed
  • Realistic Blowback
  • Adjustable Hop-Up
  • Glock Accessory Rail
  • Glock Sights
  • Functional Glock Safety
  • Textured Grip
  • Polymer Frame
  • Aluminum Slide
  • Co2 Power


Preeeetty sure this thing won multiple players choice awards and for very good reason!
Highly durable, propellant choice, accuracy, color options, ramen noodle texturing?! This thing h as it all.
No but in all seriousness, I own one of these bad boys and after 3 years of use and abuse the only thing that has broke is my wallet from buying green gas to use it more.
It has the option to shoot below or over 350 FPS by using green gas or Co2 magazine respectively. Being 1:1 scale with the real deal makes it so it WILL fit into hard shell holster fitted for the real deal. It has a low picatinny tail mount for mounting of lasers, lights .. or .. or laser lights. It has a respectable trigger pull with little slack and sports a standard thumb safety. It also comes with threads ON the barrel? Would recommend against suppressors because .. well they’re pointless for Airsoft and weigh down your barrel BUT up to you. I think a comp would look better but that is just me. Also .. RAMEN. NOODLE. GRIP. TEXTURING. Just saying.

3. HK45CT Compact GBB Pistol Airsoft Pistol (Black/FDE)

So a new, not so new newer edition to the Gas Blowback pistol game is the EF HK45CT. Part of the HK gun line from elite force, it is my SECOND favorite. You’ll see my first favorite here in a bit for now we’re talking about this one. The compact, overly expensive handgun is niche in the real steel industry as many prefer the full size HK45, however in the Airsoft industry I prefer the compact. Full metal slide, polymer frame, thumb safety, extended trigger guard, extended baseplate, threaded barrel? It is a small gun but  it is packed with really convenient features! Shooting at around 350 FPS it is a perfect sidearm although I wouldn’t hold much light to it being a primary weapon. It looks clean, feels amazing, is lightweight, AND comes in FDE two tone. It is a fun, sexy looking tactical experience that everyone needs to shoot and hold at least once.

Manufacturer: VFC
Model: HK45CT
Muzzle Velocity: 330
Magazine Capacity: 28 rds
Color: Choose an Option
Overall Length: 7.95″
Overall Height: 5.51″
Inner Barrel Length: 105 mm
Inner Barrel Diameter: 6.05 mm
Weight: 1.92 lbs
Package Includes: Gun, Magazine, Spare Back Strap


  • 3-dot combat sights
  • Accessory rail
  • Aluminum alloy slide with polymer frame
  • Realistic construction & field stripping

2. Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa Gold Match

ALRIGHT if you know me at ALL you had to know this was going to be on the list. Surprisingly not at first however.
The TM Hi Capa has been the staple base gun for custom 2011s across the WORLD. Every Airsofter knows of this legendary gun and they either love it or hate it.
I fall on the loving side as I’ve owned and customized 4 total. All 4 being worth at LEAST $600 .. he says as he cries internally,
This gun CANNOT be too physically abused stock however. It is light weight and smooth shooting due to the high quality plastic it is made out of but in turn, it does make it more susceptible to breaking under high amounts of stress. Just be kind to it until you build it out. The 20+ rd magazine, the smoothness to the action, the reliability of the performance, and the fact that it is the most customizable pistol platform in BOTH real steel and Airsoft nets it the number 2 spot on my list.


Manufacturer: Tokyo Marui
System: Gas Blow Back
Hop Up: Adjustable
Gas Use: HFC 134A
Muzzle Velocity: ~280 fps
Magazine Capacity: 25+1
Package Includes: gun, gun magazine, and manual

Realistic Field Strip
Adjustable Rear Sight
Double Stack Magazine
Functional Slide Safety
Functional Slide Release
Removable Tactical Rail for Accessories
Functional Grip Safety w/ Beaver Tail

1. H&K VP9 TAC GBB Pistol Airsoft Pistol

This. Beautiful. Gun. LOOK AT IT! It is undoubtedly the most comfortable pistol I have ever held. I have larger hands and the ergonomics of the gun fit mine perfectly. The back end of the grip rides high allowing for a higher purchase on the gun. Getting your hand just THAT much more in line with the bore making your shots more precise. I love the black and FDE versions of this gun to death and for most other guns with color options, I usually choose one color to stick  with but for this one I got both. It fits some after market Glock parts, so if you would like to Guccify it you can. With that clean extended baseplate, trigger swap, steel ported slide, and RMR plate for your unnecessarily expensive RMR. It sports the paddle magazine release that all tactical people and lefties love. It has nice white dot sights that allow for easy target acquisition. AND it is les expensive than every other pistol on this list!  I love this thing to death and so far it has gone through hell and back with no issues whatsoever. I feel it is an underrated gun and you should get it into your hands without thinking twice about it.

Manufacturer: VFC
Model: VP9 TAC GBB Pistol Airsoft Pistol
Muzzle Velocity: 320-330 FPS
Magazine Capacity: 22 rds
Color: Choose an Option
Package Includes: Gun, Magazine
Warranty Length: 60 Days
Warranty Handler: Umarex (Warranty Policy)


  • Officially Licensed H&K Trademarks
  • Steel Ambidextrous Slide Catch Release Lever
  • Lower Extended Picatinny MIL-STD-1913 Rail
  • Actual Effect Loaded-Chamber Indicator
  • Realistic Color Tone Magazine
  • 1:1 Scale and Detail
  • Realistic Design
  • 2 Stage Trigger Safety
  • Blowback Slide
  • Metal Slide
  • Polymer Lower Frame
  • Ambidextrous Magazine Release
  • Green Gas / Propane Powered


Preparation is everything when it comes to having a good day of airsoft. Whether a small weekend game or a large event with hundreds of players, proper preparation is essential. If you show up to game day without all of the items you need, you’re gonna have a bad time.

What are the essentials you need for a BB Wars game with Airsoft GI, though? They are pretty similar to what you need for your standard weekend pick-up game, with a few alterations. To better understand the items you’ll need though, you first need to understand what BB Wars is!

BB Wars is our twist on larger organized play, pitting unique scenario driven gameplay and sci fi themes together on the airsoft field. One of our biggest design components is something we call progressive advantages. This means if your team can accomplish specific objectives over the course of the day, you’ll receive special benefits, or give your enemy crushing disadvantages to push the game in your favor. These games pit large teams of players against one another, pushing objectives, and forcing you to fight over inches, not yards. This means you’ll need to pack a little differently than you’re used to.

To make sure you are properly prepared for BB Wars, you need to be prepared for heavy fighting, longer scenarios, and supporting yourself and your teammates on the field. Beyond the standard items you bring to a game, such as a gun, your vest, and a way to carry water; here’s a few things we think you’ll want to make sure to remember:

– Extra Ammo
– Boots
– Extra storage on your vest
– Back ups for EVERYTHING

Let’s get into why these things are important. First up, BB Wars is all about slinging plastic. You are definitely going to shoot more than normal, so make sure you have plenty of BB’s from your favorite manufacturer. We like These ones from Op Rubicon sponsor, Elite force, and These ones from Op Rubicon sponsor Classic Army.


You’re also going to be playing on uneven terrain, jumping over obstacles, and hauling game pieces across the field, so you’ll need some great foot support. A quality pair of boots, like these from Condor, should already be a part of your every day load out. If they are not, then BB Wars is the best time to make that upgrade. Nothing kills your good time like a rolled ankle, and you can’t help lead your team to a crushing victory if you can’t walk.

You’re going to need a place to carry stuff during any airsoft game, but during BB Wars, it’s EXTRA important. You’ll need to make sure you have places to keep all of these things, whether it’s the extra ammo we spoke about earlier, or game objectives and props, critical INTEL you had to recover, or a place to stow your guns and tools when you have to help carry that downed pilot or supply cache back to your base. You should take a look at your loadout, and make sure you have a spare dump pouch, general purpose pouch, or back pack like these from Condor, so you can maximize field effectiveness.

The last thing we think needs more consideration than a normal game is backup equipment. This point exists for two reasons. Firstly, with a game this heavy on the shooting side, your bound to strip a piston or burn up a motor or encounter some other game breaking issue. If you can’t fix it quickly, or safely at the field, sometimes it’s best just to switch to a new gun. Secondly, the scenarios can change quickly from a defensive scenario where an LMG (like this one from Classic Army) is king, to a more scout oriented game where you need to be light an nimble, maybe utilizing this Amoeba Striker sniper rifle from Elite Force. You’ll also want to vary your gear as you change guns, so back ups there are essential. You may have a versatile vest, but backups are definitely one of those “Better to have and not need, than need and not have” types of things.

Combined with your normal pre-game prep routine for your airsoft adventures, these extra considerations should keep you in the fight and successful as long as possible. Remember, prep ahead of time, go through your gear checks a few days early, and give yourself plenty of time to shore up any shortcomings in your kit. BB Wars is a very entry friendly game, but if you are pushing hard for victory, you can definitely strain the limits of your gear. Good luck Airsofters, and good hunting!

Why are Short Barreled Rifles so Popular? Pistol Caliber Rifles?

Why are Short Barreled Rifles So Popular? Pistol Caliber Rifles?

The craze of smol guns has taken the Airsoft and Real Steel Industry by storm. Staple guns like the G&G Arp-9 and 556, along with the Classic Army X9, PXG-9, and AR4 have left a mark in Airsoft. The start of the pistol caliber craze began with those models. Indoor play and the need for lighter, more compact guns has gone up non stop for the passed couple years and I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp on why. Hear me out.

The Airsoft world and firearms world has been in NEED of innovation. Pistol caliber carbines and SBR/PDW style firearms aren’t a NEW thing. However, in my opinion, they were overshadowed by larger, prettier, “compensatey” type firearms. Again, I’m not speaking about ONLY Airsoft guns or Real Steel. Both have had their fair share of expensive, large, and pretty looking guns … looking at you Warsport LVOA-C. Love that gun, in Airsoft at least. I don’t have an extra arm and leg to sacrifice to get a real steel one sadly. But back to short guns … I think that they are the next “wave” or craze. For a while it was the larger guns i.e MK18, Block 2, 416 and 17 builds. On Airsoft, it was to emulate our current military and what they use. In real steel, I believe the tactical application of such style guns look really nice on camera and are very effective in real combat scenarios. It just makes sense. Complex movements, mozambique drills, transition drills, all these flashy movements and or practical movements work nicely on camera and for training purposes. Why have a short barreled, smaller caliber firearm when you can have a full length MK18 build with a larger round and round count? For Airsoft, it was because v2 gearboxes and m4 parts are easily accessible, comparative to other styles. It just worked. But this has been the case for a long time and I think everyone wanted a new wave to ride. All the applications have been practiced. With “Operator” social media presences came a constant need for innovations in order to captivate the fans/viewers. Introducing the new “Craze” hidden in the shadows of full length firearms.

Airsoft AND REAL Steel?

SBRs and PDWs have taken this market by storm, but has not yet over saturated it yet. The Krytac PDW and SDP were very popular when they came out but have always been overshadowed by the LVOA and the CRB. With the popularity of these “longer guns” dying down and the popularity of high speed, CQB play rising … the SDP and PDW lok a lot more promising. Guns like the G&G ARP9 and the Classic Army X9 began to emerge to offer a different approach to the CQB gun game. Instead of an M4 … here’s an, uhh .. M4! But with a stick, 9mm magazine! All jokes aside it was actually a really cool design and concept. Seemingly, around the same time, real steel and Airsoft began to adopt the pistol caliber and pdw persona over the more recent, long style guns.

Being an advocate of indoor game play, these guns suit my play style very well. I like being very hyper aggressive and it is boatloads easier to do so without 16 Inches of metal rails slowing me down that is for sure. The Classic Army PXG9 and X9 sport super compact 3-4 inch rail systems, with the PXG9 being full polymer and lightweight. The X9 not being much heavier and, just like the PXG9, uses stick type pistol caliber type magazines. Others like the Ares M45 and the ARP 9 are also very solid options as well!

On the Real Steel side, the only Pistol Carbine I’ve ever fired is the CMMG Banshee and oh my GOODNESS if it wasn’t the smoothest shooting thing I have ever experienced. It was like I was firing a Gas Blowback Rifle in an Airsoft game. The gun was light, the recoil was minimal, and it wasn’t too loud, albeit being a 45. ACP chambered baby gat. Can’t even imagine what the 9mm version is like!

Both industries are heading into the right direction. I like the change and prefer it too. Both in Airsoft and in real steel. God I hope I get my hands on an EVO …





You SHOULD try Airsoft! Airsoft Vs The World!

To start off with, I’d like to address how people look at Airsoft as I am NOT oblivious to it. Many people, paintballers, real steel firearms enthusiasts, and anti-gun advocates view Airsofters or Airsoft in a pretty demeaning way. Social media depicts it as either a bunch of fake pretend “military people” with stolen valor, a gateway to being a school shooter, or it being the poor people’s paintball. These are all things I’ve heard from REAL people and most of that isn’t true. Honestly, a lot of us tend not to care, but I do, because it’s stopping our sport from growing. Hear me out will ya?


(Photo of Airsoft GI Tech Taylor at an Airsoft Event. Taken by Airsoft Obsessed Dave

This next segment is more like a disclaimer. Yes, I see that the main issues revolve around the fact the the weapons we use look like the real thing. In turn, it requires more responsibility. The guns look real even with the orange tip off. An orange tip will not stop a jumpy, trigger happy bystander or officer. Even the term we use is Airsoft GUN, as opposed to paintball that uses the term marker instead of gun. The word gun tends to scare people with good reason. None of the weapons used in Airsoft are LETHAL. Yeah they hurt, but so does paintball. Before you buck up and decide you want to get into Airsoft, know that owning the gun is comparable to owning the real deal! It. Looks. Real. PLEASE, do not bring them out to the public and do not flaunt them around like a pair of new shoes.

COST. That is also a big difference between the main rival of Airsoft .. Paintball. Paintballs are double, sometimes even TRIPLE the cost of BBs. 500 Paintballs is about $50 USD. 5,000 BBs can run you maybe $13.50 USD. Guns vary in both sports as there are low, mid, and high end guns but I feel as though that there are more options for personality and customization in Airsoft! Since the “guns” all replicate real steel guns, people can easily make theirs mirror those or go off and do something whacky like a brightly cerakoted ipsc style pistol!

( TheDeeMoe’s Battlecat TM Hi Capa )

Clean factor is also a thing. YES, the paint is washable but if you play outdoors … chances are you’ll get a little more than just paint on your gear. Paint is a liquid and you know what dirt does with liquids? Not sure about you but I don’t really like mud cake on my expensive gear. Or in my car and on my seats. Call me a princess but I like my stuff to be relatively clean. I am not a fan of taking a couple hours out of my day to clean gear that is going to get dirty and paint caked again on my next trip!


– Aaron F.