Friday, April 19, 2024

How Does an Airsoft Magazine Work?

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Being a responsible airsoft player means administering proper clean maintenance to your airsoft guns and gear, and that includes your airsoft magazines.

Doing that will require you to understand how your airsoft magazines work. There are two basic types of airsoft magazines: low/mid-cap magazines and hi-cap magazines, which are commonly used by AEGs.

Here’s how they (basically) work.

Low/Mid Capacity Magazines

Many gas blowback airsoft pistols use low or mid-cap airsoft magazines that hold anywhere from 15 to 30 rounds, either in a single or double-stack configuration.

Regardless of whether the mag is a single or double-stack model, the BBs are held in place in a channel below the mag’s feed lips.

They are held under pressure by a follower, either metal or plastic, that pushes them upward along the channel and is driven by a magazine spring, which rests beneath it.

These magazines are either held together by a floor plate or by screws that allow the two halves to come apart for cleaning, or to replace the springs when they wear out.

Mid-cap magazines are basically the same as low-cap magazines, except the channel that holds the BBs is longer and might accommodate around 60 to 100 or so BBs.

This channel makes a snaking loop through the magazine, often in an “S” configuration, and so the magazine spring must be longer, too.

Some magazines have a compartment that holds the CO2 or green gas canisters. Spring-powered airsoft guns, of course, lack this, but they must be cocked before each shot.

Hi-Cap Magazines

Many players that use AEGs, or automatic electric guns, prefer hi-cap, or high-capacity airsoft magazines that can hold anywhere from 150 to 1,000 BBs, and in some cases even more.

These magazines operate according to slightly different mechanics from the directly-spring-driven magazines mentioned above.

High-cap airsoft magazines have a hopper reservoir into which you pour loose airsoft ammo. The magazine contains a spring-driven feed mechanism that drives BBs from the hopper to the feed channel and up into the airsoft gun.

Most high-capacity airsoft magazines must be “wound-up”; that is, you need to wind the feed mechanism fully to store the energy that will be used to feed the BBs.

These magazines are great because they give the player the ability to fire longer without reloading, but they are also mechanically more complex and if the gears of the feed mechanism are made of plastic, they can strip with hard use. This makes it harder to maintain high-capacity airsoft magazines.

One potential drawback of high-capacity airsoft gun magazines is that once they become half-empty, the BBs inside will start to rattle around when you move.

But then again, maybe that’s half-beneficial because it is a tip-off that you’ll have to reload before long.

Basic Airsoft Magazine Maintenance

After every few matches, or any time your airsoft guns get dirty, drop the mag, remove the baseplate or the screws on the sides holding it together, remove the spring and follower, and clean them out.

Use a Q-tip or a paper towel to clean out the hopper or channel that feeds the BBs. If there’s sand or dust in there it can scratch the mag which will not allow it to feed smoothly after a while. Debris can also cause jams.

After you clean the channel, give the channel and the spring a shot of an airsoft silicone lubricant, then wipe away the excess. This will help protect the spring from corrosion while helping ensure smooth feeding.

Where Can You Find Replacement Airsoft Magazines for Sale?

Need a new airsoft magazine for your AEG or GBB airsoft pistol? Check out MiR Tactical online at They carry a huge range of airsoft magazines and they offer the best prices in the industry, guaranteed, with no coupon code necessary.

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