Airsoft guns are replica firearms that shoot plastic BBs and are used for target shooting and simulated combat games. They are powered by battery-operated electric motors or compressed gas and are designed to be non-lethal.
For safety reasons, airsoft guns are required to have an orange tip at the end of the barrel to distinguish them from real firearms. However, many airsoft enthusiasts prefer to remove the orange tip to make their airsoft guns look more realistic. Removing the orange tip requires care and the right tools to avoid damaging your airsoft gun.
In this guide, we will walk through the necessary steps and precautions for properly removing the orange tip from your airsoft gun.
Before beginning any modifications to your airsoft gun, follow these important safety guidelines:
- Make sure the airsoft gun is completely unloaded with the magazine removed and no BBs present.
- Remove the battery or disconnect the gas source to disable the gun.
- Use eye protection as BBs or parts can accidentally discharge during disassembly.
- Work in a clear area where parts won’t get lost.
- Go slowly and don’t force anything during disassembly. Damaging parts can ruin your airsoft gun.
- Consult your airsoft gun’s instruction manual for model-specific tips.
- Modifying airsoft guns may impact manufacturer warranties.
- Obey all local laws and regulations regarding airsoft gun modifications.
You will need the following basic tools:
- Small Phillips and flathead screwdrivers
- Needle nose pliers
- Allen wrenches or hex keys
- Electrical tape
- Paper towels or rags
- Optional: Dremel rotary tool with cutting wheel or razor saw
Avoid using power tools if not experienced with them as they can easily damage your airsoft gun. Manual disassembly is recommended for beginners.
Disassembling the Airsoft Gun
To access the orange tip, you will need to partially disassemble the outer barrel of your airsoft gun. The exact disassembly process varies by model but often includes these general steps:
Step 1 – Remove Body Screws
Use a screwdriver to remove any external screws securing the shell around the barrel. These are often found under the triggers, above the grip, and under barrel handguards.
Set the screws aside in a safe place for reassembly later.
Step 2 – Detach Outer Barrel
Slide off any body clips, brackets, or pins holding the outer barrel in place. The outer barrel is the front section around the inner barrel.
On rifles, you may need to detach front sights or gas blocks first by removing their screws. Use care not to lose any small parts.
Step 3 – Slide Off Outer Barrel
Once loose, slowly slide the outer barrel forward off the airsoft gun’s frame. On some models, you may also need to slide or twist it side-to-side to fully detach it.
Set the outer barrel aside safely.
Removing the Orange Tip
With the outer barrel removed, you can now access its orange tip. Here are some methods for properly removing it:
Plastic Tip Threads
If the orange tip screws on via plastic threads, use pliers to unscrew it counterclockwise. Apply even pressure to avoid cracking the threads.
Once removed, the inner barrel’s silvery muzzle should be exposed. Set aside the orange tip.
For tips glued in place, use a razor saw or Dremel cutting wheel to carefully slice through the glue seam between the tip and barrel.
Go slowly to avoid cutting too deep into the barrel metal. Be sure to wear eye protection.
Once cut free, pry or wiggle the tip-off. Use pliers if needed, but avoid scratching the barrel finish.
Pin Secured Tip
If your tip is held by a cross pin, push the pin out using a hammer and punch. Some pins are removable using pliers.
With the pin removed, the tip can be detached and pulled free.
For a tip permanently attached or threaded on, you will need to carefully cut or grind it away. Use a Dremel or razor saw to remove material down to the base.
Go slowly and make smooth, even cuts to avoid damaging the threads or outer barrel. Wear eye protection.
Cleaning and Finishing Touches
Once removed, use 100-grit sandpaper or a Dremel to smooth down the tip’s remaining stub on the barrel. Clean any glue residue using cotton swabs soaked in acetone nail polish remover.
Avoid sanding or scratching the barrel’s finish. Wipe clean using paper towels.
If needed, touch up the barrel finish using matte black enamel spray paint meant for metal use. Allow the paint to fully cure before reassembling your airsoft gun.
Reassembling the Airsoft Gun
To complete the modifications, reassemble your airsoft gun by reversing the disassembly steps:
- Replace the unmodified outer barrel over the inner barrel and attach any pins, clips, sights, handguards, etc.
- Ensure alignment is correct before tightening screws. Do not over-tighten.
- Replace the external screws to secure the barrel and body shell back together.
- Check that all moving parts function smoothly and no parts are misaligned or rubbing.
- Confirm the gun has an empty magazine inserted and test fire on safe mode before use.
Proper reassembly is important for your airsoft gun to function safely and correctly. Go slowly and double-check everything before use.
While removing the orange tip can provide a more realistic airsoft gun, it also increases the risk that it may be mistaken for a real firearm. Take precautions, including:
- Only use your modified airsoft gun at legal game fields or private property.
- Comply with all airsoft field safety rules and identify yourself as a player.
- Transport your airsoft gun in a discreet case and only reveal it when actively on a field and approved by staff.
- Never brandish your modified airsoft gun in public, at someone, or around minors.
- Attach brightly colored muzzle brakes, barrel plugs, or other markings when not in use to help identify it.
- Know and obey all local laws concerning modified airsoft guns. Removal of the orange tip can be prohibited in certain areas.
Improper use or display of a modified airsoft gun risks serious legal penalties. Act responsibly so that airsoft games remain safe and enjoyable.
Additional Safety Tips
Beyond the basics already covered, here are some other safety tips to keep in mind when modifying your airsoft gun:
- Work slowly and avoid rushing. Trying to remove the orange tip quickly risks damaging parts. Take your time.
- Wear work gloves to protect your hands, especially when using power tools. Airsoft parts can have sharp edges.
- Use a vise or clamp if possible to securely hold the barrel when cutting or grinding. Don’t rely solely on your hands.
- Apply painter’s tape around the tip seam before cutting to help protect the finish of the outer barrel.
- When using a cutting wheel or Dremel, let it do the work. Don’t force it or press too hard against the barrel.
- Keep your work area well-lit so you can see all the small parts and details.
- Place a mat down to avoid losing small parts that may drop. A parts tray can also help organize them.
- If you run into difficulty removing a stuck tip or parts, stop and reassess. Don’t damage your airsoft gun by forcing something.
- Apply thread locker to the orange tip’s threads if reattaching later. This will help prevent it from loosening over time.
- Consider having a professional do the modifications if you lack experience working on airsoft guns. Paying for expert work now can avoid expensive mistakes.
Taking it slow and exercising caution at every step will help ensure you successfully modify your airsoft gun without causing any damage. Rushing leads to mistakes and accidents.
Maintaining Your Modified Airsoft Gun
Once you have removed the orange tip, regular maintenance becomes even more important to keep your airsoft gun shooting safely and accurately over the long term:
- Keep your airsoft gun in a secure case or safe when not in use to prevent unauthorized handling. Ensure it cannot fall and strike a hard surface which can damage parts over time.
- Avoid exposing it to rapid changes in temperature or humidity which can cause condensation build up leading to rust or mold growth internally.
- Use desiccant packs in the storage case to actively absorb moisture and prevent fogging or corrosion issues during storage.
Cleaning After Use
- Wipe down all external surfaces with a dry microfiber cloth after each use to remove dirt, dust, BB residue, and other debris.
- Clean the barrel using a cotton bore-snake soaked in silicone oil to prevent the buildup of BB grime inside the barrel which can impact accuracy.
- Inspect moving parts and re-lubricate as needed with quality airsoft silicone oil. Lubrication prevents wear and tear of important components.
- Periodically field strips your airsoft gun to deeply clean and inspect internal parts. Look for any cracks, warping, or excessive wear needing repair or replacement.
- Check the inner barrel for dents or bulges which can affect the trajectory of BBs. A bent barrel may need replacement.
- Confirm all screws remain tightly in place. Loose screws can cause parts to shift and fail.
- Test fire after reassembly to ensure proper functioning. Regular maintenance helps identify issues before they become major failures.
Replacing Consumable Parts
- Expect to periodically replace certain parts which naturally wear out over time. This includes inner barrels, hop-up buckings, batteries, and air seals.
- Stock up on common replacement parts ahead of time so they are ready to install when needed. Minimal downtime keeps you in the game.
Proper care for your modified airsoft gun ensures it remains accurate, reliable, and safe to use over many seasons of play. Don’t let an ounce of prevention lead to a pound of costly problems down the road.
Removing the orange tip from your airsoft gun allows for more realistic aesthetics but requires proper tools, care, and responsibility when done. Follow the disassembly steps, remove the tip carefully, reassemble properly, and use good judgment when displaying your modified airsoft gun. Responsible use will allow everyone to enjoy the sport.