Here is an element that is not often talked about but which has a great importance in electric ASGs, both pistols and airsoft rifles. Let’s see for a moment what it is for (although we have already explained it to you in some articles from last year) and what we can do to improve it, also in this case we will talk about what we call airsoft-tuning!

Airsoft gun air group: what is it for?

Our loyal readers will know by now but it is always better to review some technical concepts. The air group it is used to convert the linear movement coming from the gear-box into atmospheric air pressure. The air group has a piston which has a rack in its lower part in which the last gear of the gear-box is hooked. This piston compresses a spring which is precisely what determines the power in Joule (or fractions of a Joule more often) than the pistol or electric gun.

What are the main components of the air unit?

This “group” is composed of a cylinder in which the piston we have just talked about slides, the cylinder also contains the load spring which – when released – pushes the piston forcefully along the entire stroke, which compresses the air towards the entrance of the barrel (or towards the entrance of the hop-up system if present). The compressed air pushes the pellet out of the barrel. The piston head, gaskets and other elements are also part of the air group, in addition to the aforementioned (and fundamental) spring.

What can be improved in the air group?

The first thing you can do if you are looking for an increase in power is to replace the spring with one that has a greater load. Often the springs are supplied with a specification which consequently determines their power, this data is expressed in meters per second (m/s) and determines the speed with which a standard BBs pellet of 6 mm in diameter and 0.20 grams mass is fired out of the pistol or rifle.

The piston we have just talked about is also very important, its sturdiness determines its duration and reliability, its lightness determines its ability to work in the presence of ASG in rapid bursts, its precision allows you to optimize performance. To make you understand how accurate the construction of a piston for airsoft units can be, we want to take up a part of the description of an FPS brand piston, specifically the model “Zero-Shock piston lightened in carbon fiber loaded technopolymer and with 14 metal teeth”, here is an excerpt from the description:

“A technopolymer loaded with the addition of a small percentage of elastomer was studied for the material of the body, which gives high mechanical performances and a very low coefficient of friction. The rack was manufactured using MIM (Metal Injection Molding) technology since this production process guarantees dimensional precision and sturdiness practically equal to those of machining from solid.

The rack has the second tooth missing and the third already lowered by 3 tenths of a millimetre, as this configuration prepares the piston itself for a correct angle of engagement (AOE) and makes it suitable for high speed bursts. The type of metal injected is the SAE 4650 surface treated with hardening HRC38-42° which is currently considered the best material on the market for this type of use.

The slideways are designed to minimize friction and retain the lubricant for a long period of time. The rack seat is off-centre to favor the coupling between the piston teeth and those of the sector gear. The longitudinal reinforcements on the sides of the teeth increase the sturdiness of the piston and avoid the contact of the rack with the internal wall of the cylinder. Specific ribs decrease the contact surface between the spring and the internal part of the piston body and consequently the friction between metal and technopolymer is also decreased during contraction and elongation due to the firing cycle.”

This shows how important this component is and how it is possible to use very high quality ones compared to some components present as original equipment! This implementation is even more important when the spring is replaced with one with a greater load, this in order not to risk premature wear or breakage of the rack or of the piston structure itself.

We could still talk a lot about air groups and its components but in order not to get confused, let’s get to the point by providing you with some links that allow you to buy online complete reinforced air units, reinforced springs, improved pistons and other technical components that are part of the air unit (and not only) .

Air units, pistons, piston heads

Springs for airsoft guns and rifles

In the technical section of you will find many other articles that explain the functioning of internal parts of ASG and articles that explain how to elaborate a ASG, keep following us and tell your friends about this blog!

By airsoft