Part of the "cool" factor in airsoft is that airsoft weapons are replicas of real firearms. The sport allows us to play with guns from movies or video games that we love. A part of replicating those real firearms we love lies within the attachments.
Some, however, may opt for accessories for a purely practical standpoint. Regardless of your reasoning for wanting to put attachments on, you may find yourself asking what the best attachments are for airsoft guns.
The best attachments for Airsoft guns would be Optics and Foregrips. Foregrip attachments to help with control and aiming. Optics help with sighting our target but avoid scopes unless you have a gun adequately set up.
Most attachments are purely preferential. Needless to say, there are plenty of options for attachments. Some prefer to have backup iron sights with their optics.
Flashlights can be useful for playing indoors. Although lasers are an excellent tool for aiming, not all fields allow them due to safety reasons. For some, grenade launchers allow for a more diverse game.
Tracers can also help players by allowing them to easily trace their shots, making follow up shots quite easy. In this article, we will go over various attachments for airsoft guns and the advantages they have.
One beneficial attachment is a foregrip. Although some players may prefer using a standard handguard, others feel more comfortable with an angled grip or vertical grip. If you are someone who enjoys using the handguard but would like a better grip, hand stops are a great option. These allow you to secure a tight grip on the front of your gun without sliding.
Alternatively, angled grips are a comfortable option that may make it easier to hold and maneuver. Magpul’s angled foregrip design is the most popular design, but other options exist that offer different grips and angles.
Finally, there are vertical grips. These can vary in thickness, length, and use. Some foregrips have built-in bipods to give the user two practical applications without taking up extra space. Be sure to test different lengths and shapes to determine what fits best in your hand!
Optics vary wildly in price, style, and features. There are a few different types of optics that players can use.
Additionally, players will have to choose between cheaper reproduction optics meant for airsoft, more inexpensive optics intended for real firearms, or brand-name optics offering the best quality picture with a hefty price tag.
Red dots are particularly popular for CQB players. Many prefer the illuminated reticles compared to iron sights. When it comes to dot sights, players will find countless brands, each with various models.
Various airsoft stores, as well as online companies like S&I Tactical, offer reproduction dot sights. These replicate the looks of well-known optics for real firearms, but without some features and reliability. It is also possible to find lower-end sights meant for real guns. These sights will be able to perform exceptionally well for airsoft standards.
Finally, some may want to buy from recognized optics companies like Trijicon, Eotech, or Vortex. If you have any optics for your real firearms, using them on your airsoft guns is a great way to get a crisp picture while not spending any extra money.
Balancing cost, functionality, and style will impact which option you choose.
With red dot sights, there are three main styles: reflex, prismatic, and holographic. Reflex, sometimes referred to as "microdot," is the smallest in size. These are simple optics that use an LED to project an aiming point onto a lens.
This method is how reflex, or reflector, sights got their name. These sights can also come in a tube-style, appearing like a short scope.
Prismatic sights use a prism to flip the image correctly, as they use fewer lenses than scopes, hence the name. Most of these sights have an etched reticle that can be illuminated. Although ranging your shots with airsoft BBs is rarely needed, some prefer the look of these reticles that offer bullet drop markings.
The lower magnification most of these sights offer can be of use for airsoft, as BBs are not capable of reaching the same distance bullets are.
The last dot-style optic is holographic. Sadly, there are no cheap options for airsoft or real-steel. Because there are only a few manufacturers, and due to the cost of manufacturing this sophisticated optic, your options are minimal.
Holographic sights have the advantage over other dot sights because their reticle stays on target regardless of where your head is positioned. These reticles are projected on the same plane of the target, meaning focusing on the target brings the reticle into focus.
The last advantage of a holographic sight is the fact that using a magnifier does not magnify the reticle, allowing you to magnify your target without covering it with your reticle.
Finally, scopes are a popular choice for an attachment. Although magnified optics are excellent for firearms, they have limited use in airsoft. Due to the physical limitations of airsoft BBs, rounds are not hitting targets 500 yards away.
If you have an airsoft rifle properly set up for sniping, a scope may come in handy. Suppose you are planning on using scopes for any other role. In that case, it is best to get scopes that have various levels of magnification.
Getting an adjustable scope with the option to go down to 1x to 3x magnification allows you to use the scope for general play while allowing the scope's higher levels of magnification to be used as a spotting tool.
If you are attaching an optic with magnification, it may be worth looking into having backup iron sights. Some optics offer these built-in, while others simply allow you to change the magnification.
Offset, or "canted" iron sights are quite useful with real firearms. However, note that if you have hop applied, tilting your gun to use these sights will mean your hop will cause your BB to spin to the side.
(Read this article that explains this in more detail: What is the Hop Up on an Airsoft gun?)
If you use canted iron sights, make sure to use them in close enough range so that the effect of your hop up does not take effect.
Flashlights can be useful for illuminating the area as well as disorienting your enemies. This disorientation is why some lights have a built-in strobe function.
Although flashlights are popularly used indoors, they can be useful for outdoor night ops. If you are playing at a night event, try to read info about the event to see if anyone is using night vision. Some games allow the use of night vision, so using flashlights puts you at a disadvantage.
Lasers are a superb tool to help players with aiming.
In CQB fields, using your laser can be quicker and much more helpful than using sights. However, please check with your field before purchasing a laser. Most lasers currently sold are not safe for eyes.
It is recommended to get not only a laser with low power lasers output but one with IR filtering. If you are unsure if your laser is safe to use, it is better just not to use it.
Do not be afraid to ask other players about lasers they may be using either. Powerful lasers, and even low-power lasers without IR filtering, can cause damage to your cornea.
During games where IR lasers are used, this is particularly dangerous since the laser is invisible to the naked eye. Due to this, the person on the receiving end of the laser won't blink to avoid damage. Short exposure can lead to spotty vision, but prolonged exposure can lead to blindness.
You can easily find both tools in a single unit, such as PEQ-12 or PEQ-15 units. These are great choices as a single unit can control both a light and laser, giving your gun a cool look and great functional versatility.
Suppressors are excellent attachments as they can help muffle the sound from your airsoft gun. These are beneficial both in outdoor and indoor fields.
Since it extends your weapon's length, be sure to practice moving your weapon in close-quarters. These suppressors are often sold as hollow units, so when purchasing, be sure to get some foam to fill it.
For HPA users, this will help in making your airsoft gun almost completely quiet. These suppressors come in various widths and lengths, allowing users to accurately replicate real suppressors, or focus on being as compact as possible.
Tracers are a fun and helpful attachment for airsoft guns. Paired with tracer BBs, these units flash the BB with light as it is exiting the barrel, illuminating it.
The most popular and effective color is green, due to the phosphor coating on the BBs. With illuminated BBs, following where you are shooting becomes much easier, making follow-up shots and adjustments a breeze.
In recent years, more companies have started offering a greater variety of tracer housings. These can range from suppressors that have tracers built in to "blast shield" muzzle devices.
The last attachment we will discuss is the grenade launcher. These devices can add a great look to your rifle, but it can also add cool functionality.
Most grenade launcher attachments use standard 40mm airsoft shells. Most of these are reusable, filled with BBs and green gas. Upon firing, the gas is used to propel the BBs, some acting as a stream, others utilizing a wider spread.
The other options are actual launchable projectiles. These can be simple foam dummy-rounds or pyrotechnical rounds.
The use of grenade launchers can easily allow for different gameplay, especially for MilSim events where vehicles are being used.
There are countless options available when choosing attachments. These various attachments can be just for looks, or they can provide you with great functionality.
Although adding multiple accessories can add some weight, they often allow players to cater to their playstyle.
An optic, foregrip, light, and suppressor is a popular combo that enables an airsoft gun to be set up for plenty of scenarios.
Don’t be afraid to try out different types and test how they impact your play style. Regardless of what you choose, remember to have fun, and be safe!