Airsoft sniper rifles, along with pump-action airsoft shotguns, are widely considered the only legitimate, viable, spring-powered airsoft guns worthy of consideration for competition.
Spring-powered airsoft guns need to be manually cycled which puts them at a competitive disadvantage compared to most other gas blowback and electrically powered airsoft guns (AEGs).
But, it comes with some advantages. Spring airsoft sniper rifles are very powerful and very fast. Some models can reach nearly 400 FPS – which is blazing fast for an airsoft gun.
But, it comes at a cost. You need to make that speed and power count.
Making It Count with an Airsoft Sniper Rifle
Bolt-action spring sniper rifles may be very fast and powerful, but all that speed and power means nothing if your shots don’t fall at or very near the point of aim (POA). In other words, you need to be accurate.
First things first, you should be shooting airsoft ammo that is appropriate for your airsoft gun. Very powerful spring guns should not be shooting .20gs even if they were chrono’d with them. Those BBs will just go all over the place.
Instead, you should be shooting heavier BBs, like .30gs or even .40g BBs. They are much more stable in flight.
The other thing you need to keep in mind is the hop-up system, what it does and why this affects the accuracy, specifically in a platform like an airsoft sniper rifle.
What the Hop-Up System Does
Most if not all airsoft guns – and all sniper rifles – contain a system known as a hop-up system. The hop-up system consists of a champer that the BB must pass through before entering and exiting the barrel.
The hop-up system puts spin – backspin – on the BB before allowing it to leave the barrel. In some instances, this backpin can exceed 1,000 RPM.
When the BB spins in this manner, air pressure on the top side of the BB is decreased, which increases the pressure on the bottom. This is known as the Magnus effect allows the BB to travel farther downrange. It also provides the projectile with a certain amount of spin stability.
Hop-up systems are designed to be adjustable, so you can tailor the amount of backspin you put on a projectile. Differing ammo types and weights need the hop-up system to impart a specific amount of spin for the greatest range and accuracy.
This system is the most important piece of the “accuracy and range” puzzle. Without adjustable hop-up systems, all that speed and power would be wasted on an airsoft sniper rifle.
There’s one more piece you need to understand, though – the bucking.
The Bucking: What It Does [and Should You Replace It?]
The hop-up system contains a component known as bucking. This is the part that is actually in contact with the BB and which imparts spin to it.
Buckings, being in contact with airsoft BBs every time you pull the trigger, are prone to wearing down. The more they wear, the less effective they will become. Buckings are made from all different sorts of materials – commonly rubber and composites.
If, after a while, you notice that the accuracy and range of your shots are starting to become a little inconsistent, it may not be the case that there’s anything wrong with you, the airsoft gun, or your ammo. It just may be that the bucking has worn down.
If this is the case, try replacing and upgrading your bucking before you hit the airsoft field again. You might be pleased by the results.
Where Can You Find Airsoft Sniper Rifles and Parts
Looking for a new airsoft sniper rifle or an upgraded hop-up system or bucking? Check out MiR Tactical online at MiRTactical.com. They carry a wide range of airsoft guns, parts, and ammo and cover everything with a price match guarantee.