Choosing the right battery for your Airsoft Guns might seem confusing as there are many options available, but really it’s important to keep only a couple key things in mind when making the final decision. A battery is only required for your Airsoft Gun if it is electric-powered also called an AEG (Electric Airsoft Guns or Electric Airsoft Rifles) – gas and spring guns don’t need a battery or charger. The type of battery you choose will be heavily influenced by the model/style of the weapon you have. When it comes to choosing a battery, one of the most important things to keep in mind is space. Essentially, you need to think about whether your rifle is rear wired and takes the battery in the stock or wired to the front and takes the battery in the front handguard.
The biggest question we are asked, especially by more serious airsoft skirmishers, is simply the difference between standard rechargeable batteries called Ni-MH and Li-Po batteries. Particularly, what airsoft guns are compatible with either Ni-MH and Li-Po batteries? So, let’s look at this first.
If you are starting out in airsoft we always recommend Bulldog Airsoft Power Batteries and Chargers for both reliability and value for money. You can see our full range of Airsoft Batteries & Chargers on our website at www.just-airsoftguns.com!
What are Ni-MH airsoft batteries?
NiMH batteries are the most common in hobby airsoft guns and are perfectly suited for typical Airsoft use. Specially designed to keep high voltage even during high current demands, most are commonly sold in 8.4 and 9.6-volt options. One of the advantages of NiMh batteries is that they can be topped up with a charge without risking the overall storage capacity. We recommend always charging with a smart charger that will stop the charge automatically when full to avoid overheating and damaging the battery life.
What are Li-Po airsoft batteries?
LiPo batteries may be the most popular among airsoft enthusiasts and skirmishers as the battery style is lightweight and available in many shapes, and are most commonly sold in 7.4-volt and 11.1-volt options. Li-Po batteries distribute high energy density and produce high power in a compact package. It is important to purchase a Li-po charger with your Li-Po batteries as they will not work with a standard airsoft charger designed for NiMH batteries. Most airsoft guns today are compatible with lipo batteries but it is always worth reading the instructions to see if the gun is Li-Po ready!
Our Airsoft Battery Guide
If you are new to airsoft and have just purchased an AEG that did not come with a battery, there is a basic way to choose a battery without getting too technical about performance and logistics. For the most part, each model of AEG has a battery type most common for that style.
For M4/M16 variants, a regular Nunchuck (split) style battery will do the trick. The size will depend on if the battery is housed in the front handguard or rear stock. Brick-style batteries are usually housed in the front handguard, and Nunchuck (split) batteries are usually housed in the fixed stock, but keep in mind that this is not the case for every single airsoft gun on the market!
For AK47 variants, a Stick battery is most common due to the fact most of these style rifles are wired to the front handguard or under the top receiver; but if your AK47 variant rifle has a solid stock and is rear wired you can use a Brick or Nunchuck style battery.
Some AEGs only have room for one specific shape of battery so it is important to know which your gun needs. Different battery shapes include options such as Brick, Nunchuck, and Stick which in turn can come in various sizes and voltages making some more suited for your rifle than others.
Battery Power and Chargers
It is a common misconception that the physical size of your battery affects the amount of power your Airsoft Gun has, but the power level varies greatly between batteries and it is more important to look at the Milliamp Hours (MaH) and Voltage to accurately gauge the power you wish to achieve.
The MaH level on the battery indicates how much “fuel” the battery has when fully charged, and gives you an accurate representation of the run time on a fully charged battery. Since your AEG uses electricity at a constant rate, the higher the MaH level, the longer you can operate your AEG between charge cycles. However, a higher MaH level means a higher cost and a larger overall battery which is important to keep in mind due to your AEGs size constraints. The MaH levels within the battery can range from 600 MaH to a very high 3000 MaH, to give you an idea of the options available.
The voltage level shows the rate of fire the battery can produce, thus determining the rate at which power leaves the battery. Voltage is the “horsepower” of the battery. For example, an 8.4-volt battery will run a certain motor at a given speed, whereas a 9.6-volt battery will run the same motor faster. This may seem confusing but think of it like this; if you are using an M4 AEG with a full-auto firing Rounds Per Minute (RPM) of 750 rounds on an 8.6-volt battery, the RPM can be boosted up to 850 or even 900 rounds when upgrading to a 9.4-volt battery… but that doesn’t mean you can just throw a bigger battery into any AEG to achieve a faster rate of fire safely. If your guns’ gearbox is not built to function sustainably above 800 RPM, running that large of a battery can completely break your gearbox within minutes of use.
High voltage batteries are specifically designed for Airsoft Guns that have been upgraded with a stronger gearbox and more powerful mainspring. Although your rifle may still function when using a larger voltage battery without modifications, you are greatly risking the integrity of your AEG. The most common voltage options for Airsoft batteries are 8.4, 9.6, and 10.8. There are also other voltages available up to 12 volts, but are less common and only advised for super-modified guns with very strong gearboxes. Some smaller Airsoft guns have proprietary 7.2-volt batteries.
Take a look at our full range of batteries and chargers for your airsoft guns at Just Airsoft Guns and make sure you choose the right battery.