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BB Gun Glossary


stands for Automatic Electric Gun, basically electric/battery powered guns that shoot automatically without manual cocking.

Airsoft Gun

airsoft guns and bb guns are the same things, but commonly in the UK two-tone guns will be known as bb guns and black guns airsoft guns. In the USA when someone says bb guns, they are referring to what in the UK is known as an air rifle.


AEP stands for Automatic Electric Pistol. These are a newer style developed by the popular airsoft gun manufacturer Tokyo Marui. These guns were the first airsoft handguns which provide fully automatic capabilities.


This is the continuous firing of a weapon without the need to manually re-cock.


Back Spin

see hop up


The tube that the projectile travels through The barrel is the long, strong tube running through all guns, whether or real-steel. It holds the projectile straight as it gains speed and ensures that it

BBs or bb pellets

The plastic 6 mm ammunition used in Airsoft guns/bb guns.


Blank Firing Grenade usually taking a blank nine millimetre or shot gun cartridge and causes a loud bang!

Blow Back

A system that provides a more realistic look and feels to a gun when fired. This feature is available in electric, Gas, and CO2 powered guns.


The handle that cocks/charges / reloads a gun The bolt is present on most rifles and SMGs, both real and When manipulated, it allows the user to pull back the slide hidden inside a gun and load a

Bolt Action

A type of reloading action (single shot, manual reload) A Bolt action is commonly found in accurate long-range real-steel rifles. It is desirable because the bullet is held securely inside the rifle while firing, providing a small but notable accuracy increase.


The immediate housing for a bullet / BB at the point of firing The Breech is usually a solid object with a hole cut out in line with the barrel to fit a bullet or BB inside. The projectile waits in the breech until the firing pin/piston causes the shot to be

Burst Fire

A firing mode in which the gun will fire a certain number of rounds, a burst, per one trigger pull. This is full-automatic fire at full cyclic speed, but the burst size is limited, usually to three rounds. This option is used in some firearms (e.g. M16A2, certain MP5 )


A part of a gun The butt of a gun can be two different things depending on the gun you are using. 1. Pistol: The butt is the base of the pistol-grip, where the magazine is inserted. 2. Rifle: The butt is the rear-most point on the gun. If the rifle has a ,


A measure of the diameter of a bullet, pellet or BB replicas typically uses 6mm Caliber BBs, although models are available that shoot BBs of 8mm Caliber. Calibers used by real firearms are typically


A Shortened version of a non-Carbine rifle Various different rifles are 'Carbines', meaning that they have a shorter (usually tougher) barrel than longer versions. The Carbine is useful as it weighs less and is shorter than most other rifles, making it tactically.



A device that measures projectile speed. Chronographs are used on most, if not all skirmish sites in order to check the speed at which the BB is shot from the gun. If the BB is travelling too fast,


This is another word for magazine. Clip is also the word most commonly used when referring to the magazine of a pistol.

Cocking Handle

The handle that cocks/charges / reloads a gun


Close Quarters Battle (aka Close Quarters Combat) As the name suggests, CQB is the name given to the tactics and methodologies used while fighting at close range. The tactics used are very different to those employed on open ground, and rely more on speed and to


Close Quarters Combat, see CQB.


Disruptive Pattern Material DPM is the official name given to the camouflage pattern used on British Army uniforms. Its purpose is to break up the shape of the human body, making the wearer less visible in wooded areas. DPM is also available in Desert (cream-yellow


A sniper rifle with a telescopic sight. The Dragunov is a Russian sniper rifle, more formally known as the Snaiperskaya Vintovka Dragunova, which translates into English as 'Dragunov Sniper Rifle', and is often abbreviated as SVD.


Electric blow-back is a type of Airsoft blow-back reloading mechanism. Known for its low powered shots and the rather clackety noise they tend to make while shooting, these type of guns are cheap and intended for a younger market. They are powered by standardised battery cells (4 x AA battery usually) and their entire reloading mechanism is powered by motor and gears. While the slide on an EBB usually will move forwards and backwards during shooting, this effect is not as realistic as the GBB mechanism.

Effective Range

The range at which the combination of the gun's capability and shooter's ability can deliver accurate shot placement.

Expansion Chamber

A feature of some gas-blowback guns, this chamber is located between the gas reservoir and the nozzle. The gas is first released here to expand and create high pressure that is then released to do its job when the trigger is pulled. This means less gas will escape in,

External Gas

Means that the gas reservoir is located outside the gun and connected to it by a hose. Quite rare a solution, it means that you can have more rounds in a clip and fire several clips between gas refills, but it also means there is an unsightly gas tank attached to your gun

Fire Selector Switch

A switch that allows the shooter to change between modes of fire The fire selector switch is only present on guns that allow multiple modes of fire. For example, on the H&K MP5, the selector switch provides a choice between Safe, Semi-Auto and Full-Auto fire.

Flash Hider

The tip of the Airsoft gun that is designed to look like the flash containment device found at the muzzle of many military issue assault rifles.


Feet Per Second (a measure of velocity) The speed of BBs during flight is often measured in feet per second. This speed is measured to obtain the energy output of the gun before most skirmishes. In the UK, you cannot generally skirmish with an


This is the main body of a gun whether real or replica. It can either consist of metal or plastic depending on type of gun, brand, and quality.

Full Auto

A firing mode in a selective-fire automatic weapon that makes the gun spew fire (or BBs) as long as you hold the trigger down or the ammo runs out. To actually hit something, it is advisable to fire in short controlled bursts. See also semi-auto and burst-fire.

Gas Blowback

A mechanism that uses compressed gas not only to propel the BBs but also to cycle the gun's slide or bolt to produce a very authentic effect and even some recoil. While not as reliable as electric air guns, gas-blowbacks are as realistic as model guns can get without

Gas Guns

Gas gun requires the use of some kind of gas propellant (usually Green Gas). Both are driven by gas that is stored in the gas chamber. Sub-categories of gas-powered guns include "non-blowback" and "blowback

Gas Powered

A gun that uses compressed gas to propel the BBs, much like a CO2 powered air gun does but with lower velocity. Gas guns are semi-automatic. See also: green gas, gas-blowback, spring powered and electric.


Gas Blow Back.

Ghillie Suit

Camouflage is worn by snipers. The ghillie suit is a highly camouflaged suit worn by snipers for maximum concealment. The suit is made from a central binding layer and loose strips of material designed to break up the shape of the human body. Snipers typically customise

Green Gas

This is the propellant used in GBB-enabled guns to provide their simulated recoil. The propellant is typically a mixture of propane and silicone oil.

Hi-Cap or High Cap

High capacity. Used to describe airsoft magazines which contain anywhere from 300 - 5,000 pellets. These magazines may be controlled either manually or electrically using a battery. Since a large capacity is always an advantage in airsoft, these are by far the most common type of magazines used by airsoft players, since they are the type seen in most AEGs. However, these magazines are not permitted in most official competitive airsoft events; something players may want to take note of.


This is the airsoft world's term for the backspin created on a projectile by the rifling used in the barrels of real firearms. The lightness of plastic BBs and the differences between airsoft guns and genuine firearms, however, mean that Hop-Up doesn't provide the same accuracy as rifling, though the range is increased.

Laser Sight

A target acquisition device that is mounted on the accessory rail and projects a red or green laser light that is adjusted (sighted in) to match a certain point of aim at a given distance.


Low Capacity magazine, and typically hold anything from 50 to 100 BB’s. It feeds the AEG ammunition via springs rather than a winding mechanism found in Hi-Caps.


A removable or fixed compartment that holds a capacity of ammunition to be fed into the firing mechanism.


milliAmphours, general rule of thumb, the larger this number the longer the battery will last.

Mid-Cap or Mid-Cap Mags

Mid Capacity Magazines are those which can contain as you'd expect from the name, more than a low capacity magazine but less than a high capacity one. Generally containing 100-200 rounds, these magazines are favoured by some players for their quieter operation compared to that of high capacity magazines.


Non Blow-Back, referring to pistols generally. (The 'slide' does not move back and forth as the pistol fires)


Olive Drab, a colour often found for uniform or other military accessories such as webbing & pouches.


unofficial firing in the back garden or other private area at targets or tin cans.

Real Steel

Often used in airsoft, this refers to the real world counterpart to an airsoft weapon.

Rechargeable Battery

The reusable power source supplied with AEG Airsoft.


Replica Imitation Firearm. In the UK the purchaser must satisfy the terms of the 2007 VCRA bill in order to purchase.


Rail Integration Systems are a simple, standardized solution for accessorizing firearms (including airsoft guns) with the interchanging of accessories such as sights and scopes in the field.


Rate of Fire refers to the number of BBs that can be discharged within a given span of time (second/minute).


Rounds Per Minute.


Round Per Second.


An optical sight used in acquiring a target at extended ranges.

Semi Auto

A shot is discharged with each squeeze of the trigger. The firing cycle re-cocks the gun and feeds the next round into firing position awaiting the next trigger squeeze.


an organised airsoft match/game for hobbyists


Typically the moving section on top of an automatic pistol but can also be contained within a rifle mechanism which reloads the weapon.

Smooth Bore

The bore in Airsoft guns does not have rifling groves cut into the inner walls of the barrel. The BBs are perfectly round and would not benefit from the spiral effects of rifling. Rifling will deform the plastic BBs. The smooth bore walls allow the BBs to retain a backspin when imparted by the Hop-Up system.

Speed Loader

A device that makes loading BBs into the guns mag more efficient.


see hop up


A Spring-powered airsoft guns are exactly that. These guns are single-shot weapons, with the spring needing to be cocked in between shots. This may be in the form of a slide, a bolt, or a grip, depending on the style of gun. These guns are relatively inexpensive, but due to their design cannot fire automatically or semi-automatically.


The end of the weapon which is typically held into the shoulder and can be full, folding, or extendible. Also, can mean standard, as supplied, without customization.


The path of a projectile in fight.

Weaver Rail

A Weaver Rail is a type of standardized accessory mounting system for firearms, much like RIS though with different specifications regarding size.


United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association


The ability of an Airsoft gun to be modified to improve mechanical performance, as well as adding accessories to outfit (e.g. adding a laser sight, flashlight, optics, etc.) the gun for particular team-play scenarios.