What Does FPS Mean in Airsoft?

What Does FPS Mean in Airsoft?

Are you planning to be an Airsofter? Whether you’re just planning to go to an airsoft field or buy a gun for the game, one crucial thing you should know is what FPS is. It is a term that defines how you’re going to play the game.

Airsoft is a sport that attempts to mimic a situation you would typically experience in gun battles involving two opposing enemies. Each participant in the game carries and utilizes equipment and gear that nearly resembles what the police and military use. However, these are not lethal. Moreover, the game goes on under the supervision of qualified officials.  

What Does FPS Stand For?

FPS stands for feet per second. It is the speed at which a BB travels once you fire the gun. The quintessential BBs in Airsoft guns have diameters of 6mm. FPS is, therefore, a classic term that measures your gun’s ability to drive its ammo toward a particular target. It is the commonest way of determining an Airsoft gun’s velocity.

How FPS Affect Your BBs

FPS decreases the moment your BBs leave the gun’s muzzle. The more the FPS, the more the energy your BB carries. This makes it travel faster and farther through the air. Evidently, there’s a direct relationship between FPS and the performance of your BBs.

Most low-end Airsoft guns fire at about 200 FPS while the more fancy options clock at around 400. To give an idea of how fast a BB travels after leaving the muzzle, shooting it at 145 FPS means its traveling speed is equivalent to a car that’s moving at about 100mph.

FPS and Weight

FPS depends on the Airsoft gun’s power and the BB’s weight. The commonest weights of BBs that players use are 0.20, 0.23, and 0.25 grams. However, the standard is 0.20. Hobbytron uses this to determine the FPS of the majority of Airsoft guns.

Note that although 0.12g BBs are great for expensive spring Airsoft guns, serious players don’t use them. This is mostly because they’re typical of lower quality. The light BB can also break inside your rifle and damage it. It’s wise to always use standard BBS as not only because of legal limits but also for their high performance.

Heavier BBs reduce the FPS. Similarly, lighter ones increase FPS. Heavier BBs are better since they can add accuracy and range and are less vulnerable to the wind (which may affect the trajectory). For the best results, increase your BB’s weight as the FPS increases. Using weightier BBs doesn’t change the amount of energy they carry.

How to Measure the Gun’s FPS

You can measure the FPS of any particular Airsoft rifle accurately with a chronograph. This device is similar to the radar gun that the police use to determine the speed of cars on highways. You can buy a chronograph online. Most Airsoft fields and some specialty stores also have it.

Here’s also an idea:

The Importance of FPS in Airsoft Gun Battles

Airsoft Gun BattleBefore playing any Airsoft game, the officials measure your gun’s muzzle velocity using a chronograph. This is because different games have different rules. Each game, therefore, requires its own FPS measurement.

Moreover, FPS requirements vary from country to country. All countries usually disallow Airsoft guns that fire more than the set standards. They can even confiscate the offending gun. For instance, Airsoft sniper rifles typically have higher FPS as compared to submachine guns. You can’t use them for close quarter battles.

Specifically, most Airsoft fields prevent needless injuries by putting an FPS limit on the guns they allow into their games. In case you have an Airsoft rifle that has an insane FPS, the trick is to use heavier BBs while on the field so as to get a legal measurement.

Needless to say, you shouldn’t purchase an Airsoft gun just because of its high FPS. There are definitely better things to consider such as accuracy, performance, and quality. However, you can choose a higher FPS if you’re going to use heavier BBs. This can achieve accurate results and better stopping power that’s perfect for snipers.

Types of Airsoft Guns

There are three types of Airsoft guns. They include spring-based, gas-powered, and electric rifles. Each of them has its own FPS rating:

Spring Airsoft guns

Spring-based pistols that use 0.12g BBs can have an FPS that is as low as 100. Normally, they don’t go over 328. Spring-based guns with 0.20g BBs, on the other hand, rarely go beyond 270 FPS. However, spring Airsoft guns typically have higher FPSs. You can upgrade yours to 450 FPS or more. Many Airsoft players feel spring-based pistols are not good at low speeds.

As a result, they upgrade them to higher speeds. It’s easy to adjust the speed. Just change the spring. However, you need to do some calculations. This is because the measure of spring power is in meters and you need to convert them into feet.

If you’re using a standard 0.20 BB, then an M100 spring is equivalent to 300 FPS while an M200 is the same as 400FPS.

Here’s the review of M16 A2:

Gas Airsoft guns

The FPS of these guns vary. It also depends on the field temperature. CO2 rifles typically have higher FPSs as compared to their propane or green gas brothers. However, there are some green gas-powered Airsoft guns whose FPS is as high as 500 and beyond.

However, the typical FPS for these rifles never exceeds 350. That’s why most gamers playing close-quarter battles favor green gas pistols.

Electric Airsoft Rifles (AEGs)

The FPSs of AEGs include all those of spring-based Airsoft rifles and even go beyond their limits. For example, when an AEG uses 0.20g BBs, the ammo speed can span from 100 to 430 FPs. For a 0.12g BB, the velocity could go from 150 to 500 FPS.

You can also adjust and increase the FPS of your AEG by changing your gun’s spring. However, it is rare to see a speed beyond 400 since this is illegal in many fields.

Review of one electric airsoft riffle:


Before you consider buying an Airsoft gun, do some research about FPS. See if the rifle you’re eyeing can fire the standard weight of BBs and hit your target accurately. Also, look at the legal limits within your country and the fields around. Don’t just go for higher FPS.

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