Airsoft guns that use green gas are a popular choice for airsoft players looking for realistic blowback action. Green gas airsoft guns have many advantages over their electric and spring-powered counterparts but do require some maintenance and care to keep them performing at their best. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about green gas airsoft, how green gas airsoft guns work, types of green gas airsoft guns, green gas magazine capacities, power and range of green gas guns, how to maintain your green gas airsoft gun properly, and much more. We’ll even give some tips and recommendations if you are considering purchasing a gas-powered blowback airsoft gun.
What Is Green Gas Airsoft?
Green gas airsoft refers to airsoft guns and magazines that are powered by green gas rather than electricity, spring, or CO2. The green gas used is typically 134a refrigerant which comes in either liquid duster spray canisters or larger reservoirs and canisters.
When injected into an airsoft magazine or gun reservoir, the compressed liquid 134a gas rapidly expands into a gas that provides the pressure and force necessary to propel the BB projectiles out of your airsoft gun. The “blowback” effect which partially chambers or ejects a slide or bolt is powered by this same blast of Green Gas every time you pull the trigger.
Compared to other airsoft propulsion systems, the main advantages of green gas include:
- More realistic and snappy blowback action
- No battery or charger required
- Can perform well in cold temperatures where electric guns may slow down
- Gas magazines tend to be more compact than electric magazines
The main drawbacks can include efficiency due to gas cool down with rapid firing, higher operating costs due to gas use and maintenance, and performance degradation over time if not properly maintained.
How Do Green Gas Airsoft Guns Work?
Green gas airsoft guns operate using a self-contained gas reservoir usually located in the magazine. When the magazine is loaded into your gun, valves in the top of the reservoir are depressed, allowing the compressed gas to travel into the magazine itself or the gun’s internal reservoir depending on the model.
The key functional components involved in green gas-powered blowback action include:
Gas Reservoir and Release Valves – Usually in the magazine itself that contain the liquefied gas as it expands into a vapor and propels the BBs
Bolt and Nozzle Assembly – Slides backward unlocking the barrel and loading the next BB when you pull the trigger
Recoil Spring – Returns the bolt forward feeding the next BB into the barrel
Hammer and Valves – Releases a short burst of gas with each trigger pull to launch the BB
Blowback Piston and Spring – Forces the slide backward against spring tension mimicking real firearm recoil
When you pull the trigger, the release valves open momentarily and a burst of expanding green gas pressure fires the BB down the barrel and also forces the blowback piston and bolt backward against spring pressure. The recoil and bolt springs then slam everything closed and forward again for the next shot. This process repeats for each trigger pull for a very satisfying recoil and cycling action.
Types of Green Gas Airsoft Guns
Green gas blowback guns come in many popular airsoft gun types including:
Pistols – The most common type of green gas guns as the compact magazines store enough gas for blowback action. Hi-Capa, M1911, Glock, Sig Sauer, and Beretta-style pistols are very common. Lightweight polymer or full metal bodies.
Shotguns (Tri-Shot) – A no-frills spring-powered multi-shot shotgun loaded via shell tube with a secondary gas reservoir to power blowback for an extra kick.
Submachine Guns or SMGs – Compact like their firearm equivalents. Blowback action in popular models like MP5, MP7, P90, MAC 10/11, and Uzi styles. Rugged and good for close quarters.
Rifles (Gas Blowback Rifles or GBRs) – AR-15 and AK-47 rifles experience realistic blowback thanks to green gas power rather than electricity. Reliable solid performers despite their heft.
How Much Ammo Do Green Gas Airsoft Gun Magazines Hold?
Green gas-powered airsoft pistols and SMG magazines tend to hold between 25 to 50 BBs in compact sizes enabling efficient blowback action. The liquid gas takes up some space meaning capacities need to remain reasonable. Rifle magazines may approach 100 rounds for fewer reloads. Shotgun-style tri-shots hold between 30 to 100 BBs in their tubes.
For pistol magazines, common capacities include:
- Standard 25-round magazines
- Extended magazines around 40 rounds
SMG Mag Capacities:
- MP5 – 30 to 120 round mid-cap magazines
- MP7 – 40 rounds standard
- P90 – 50 rounds standard
Rifle Mag Capacities:
- M4/AR-15 Style – 60 to 190 rounds in hi-cap mags
- AK-47 Style Rifles – 75 to 150 rounds typical
One advantage green gas magazines have over electric is that you can carry more total BBs taking up less space thanks to their compact designs. A pistol player can reasonably carry 5 gas magazines (100 to 200 shots) taking up less room than 1-2 mid-cap electric m4 magazines holding the same number of BBs.
Green Gas Airsoft Power and Range Capabilities
Out of the box with a 0.2 gram BB, expect 290 to 420+ FPS velocities for well-made green gas airsoft guns shooting in ideal temperatures. Lower velocity pistols and SMGs may have field limits allowing full auto while GBRs approach sniper velocities requiring semi-auto only at most fields due to increased impact energy.
Green gas works reasonably well in temperatures down to around 50°F/10°C. In colder weather, the expanding gas pressure drops faster slowing cyclic rates and reducing the power of gas guns. Most are designed to function to around freezing with slight velocity reductions before ceasing to function altogether if the O-rings and seals get too stiff. We’ll go over some cold weather improvement options a little later.
For the green gas airsoft range, in the 1.0 to 1.5-joule energy range, you can achieve 100 to 200+ foot effective distances. Enough for almost any airsoft gaming scenario. Accuracy is more dependent on the hop-up applying backspin and the gun barrel quality itself rather than power. With heavy ammo, gas guns can reach out past 250+ feet when tuned correctly.
One other advantage is that gas gun power is somewhat consistent from shot to shot until the gas charge starts running very low. No slowly draining batteries that lose power through the day. Just be aware of conditions like rapid sustained firing that can lead to cool down as the green gas expands. Pacing shots leads to better consistency.
Caring for Your Green Gas Airsoft Gun Properly
While simpler in most ways than electric airsoft guns, gas blowback airsoft guns still require some regular care and maintenance to keep performing their best for years of play. Here are the top ways to care for your green gas airsoft gun:
- Use Only High Grade Green Gas – For maximum consistency, and longevity of components and to avoid damage only use 100% 134a gas like Abbey Predator Ultra or KJ Works Extreme fair quality green gas. Other generics may contain lubricants that gunk up internals over time.
- Lubricate O-rings and Seals – About once per 1,000 rounds fired or anytime changing gas magazines, add a drop of quality silicone oil to all the O-rings and seals to keep them supple. This prevents leaks or damage from dry cracking.
- Clean and Lube Major Components – Every 2,000 to 5,000 rounds do a basic field strip cleaning using a silicone spray on internal components like blowback pistons and bolt carrier groups. Keeps action smooth.
- Tip Up When Storing – Always keep your gas magazines and gun stored upright and topped off with gas to ensure O-rings stay lubricated. Storing parts dry can lead to faster wear.
- Check for Leaks – Before game days, always test your magazines and gun for any audible hissing leaks around the base of magazines or recoil components, and re-lubricate as needed to stop leaks.
- Protect Valves and Nozzles – Install an NPAS system or use heavier ammo to keep bolt velocities controlled preventing cracking of fragile internal nozzle components releasing gas.
Follow those basics learned over thousands of rounds fired using green gas airsoft guns regularly and your blowback firearm replica should provide years of consistent shooting fun!
Green Gas Airsoft Gun Upgrades For Better Performance
While green gas guns work great out of the box, one advantage is that many affordable upgrades allow you to boost consistency, power, and durability to match your priorities:
- Tighter Bore Steel Inner Barrels – Drop-in 6.01 or 6.03mm inner barrels allow more consistent shooting improving range and accuracy since BBs have less slop. Great basic upgrade compatible with most other parts.
- Polymer or Aluminum Slides – Heavier and more rigid slides than base model pot metal slides reduce slide wobble and deliver crisper blowback action. Easier to manipulate slides as well.
- Steel Hammer and Trigger Sets – Crisper trigger pull and hammer strike delivers better gas efficiency, consistent velocity, and positive valve actuation. Great for precision shooting.
- Enhanced Recoil Springs – Stronger hammer and recoil springs in slide assemblies allow snappier blowback and cycle rates for quicker follow-up shots before cool-down becomes an issue.
- NPAS Systems – Adjustable nozzles regulate gas volume per shot bringing FPS velocities down to field limits while optimizing gas efficiency and reducing strain for greater durability. Must have for high-power rifles!
There are many other options like magwell grips, threaded outer barrels, optics mounts, and tightened hop-ups to drive BB spin rates for further tuning. Start with barrels and basic components then customize as desired!
Best Beginner Green Gas Airsoft Gun Recommendations
Here are some top picks if looking to buy your first green gas blowback airsoft gun:
- Elite Force Glock 19 Gen 3 – 1:1 fit compact Glock with realistic features and solid blowback feel in CO2 or GG at a great price. Rugged, customizable, and accurate. Perfect starter option!
- Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa 5.1 Airsoft Handgun – The gold standard gas blowback pistol with a crisp slide and immense levels of customization to suit any style or purpose. Amazing performance is possible out of the box with upgrades.
- ASG CZ P-09 Duty CO2/GG Pistol – Full-size pistol with stellar heavy-weight full metal slide in CO2 or green gas configurations. Affordable, reliable, accurate, great blowback, and easy upgrades in a robust package.
- KWA MP9 SMG – Class-leading blowback action in a compact and sturdy open bolt SMG platform ready for CQB games right away. Fun has solid internals, and takes TM spec MP5 upgrades down the road.
If you maintain proper care and cleaning procedures, and quality green gas-powered airsoft guns like those will provide years of excellent service for recreational backyard plinking, intense CQB battles, target practice, and everything in between!
We have just covered everything you could want to know about understanding and using green gas-powered blowback airsoft guns. Compared to spring and electric airsoft guns, gas blowbacks trade off some convenience and climate flexibility for unmatched realism in their operation. Crisp and snappy blowback recoil with every shot immerses you into the action for an addictive trigger-pulling experience with accurate flight characteristics to reach distant targets.
While the internals may be a bit more prone to wear from sustained rapid fire requiring lubrication and part replacements eventually, gas airsoft is a supremely fun recreational sport. Affordable upfront costs with huge aftermarket parts selections for deep customization keep things fresh and performing exactly how you prefer. Just run quality gas, clean, and lube components every few thousand shots, avoid leaks, and learn which upgrades complement your priorities. Safety gear like face protection is still a must as well to prevent nasty welts from close encounters!
Now that you know all about what is green gas airsoft along with tips for ideal realism, durability, and performance – will your next airsoft gun run off batteries or gas power? Get out there on the field or course to try one out for yourself to fully appreciate their impressive capabilities delivering smiles per magazine reloaded!