What is hop up? – Airsoft
Hop Up stands for “High Operation Power Up.” A hop-up is an adjustment you can make to your airsoft rifle to increase its range.
Most airsoft rifles have a shooting range from 35 – 55 meters. This is when gravity and air pressure do their thing, and the projectile path gets curved towards the ground.
So, in reality, the maximum distance is not a reliable measurement because, by that range, the projectile might have fallen already and will not reach its target.
To increase the range of the rifle, you would have to increase its power to increase the projectile’s velocity. This can be done by upgrading the rifle, which can be very expensive and complicated. It is common to double the range of a replica with a hop-up.
Airsoft hop-ups were invented to go around this and take advantage of physics. Science!
How does the hop-up work?
Hop-up mechanisms cause the projectile to backspin, lowering the air pressure on its top side. This enables the plastic pellet to fall less over a given distance than it would without the spin, improving the weapon’s effective range without boosting velocity.
The more spin you give to your projectiles, the more they will counteract the effect of gravity, and you will get a projectile trajectory as you see on A. If you do not use Hop Up or do not give them enough spin, your projectiles will travel as you see on B.
But if you’re starting from hop-up “Off” and are increasing hop in small increments until you give them just enough spin, they will counteract the effect of gravity just enough to travel further using nothing else but science.
This is often accomplished in airsoft weapons as a protrusion (called bucking) onto the bullet’s path on the top of the barrel. Bucking temporarily obstructs the projectile’s top side, giving a backspin that can surpass 1,000 revolutions per minute.
This is frequently changeable so that the effect may be tailored to the weight or speed of the projectile as well as the preferences of each player.
The Magnus effect is the fundamental cause of the lift. On its surface lies a layer of non-moving air (the boundary layer). This layer is flung out at an angle like a spinning ball. According to Newton’s principles, the ball must move in the opposite direction for air to be thrown in one direction.
According to Magnus, the revolving ball would fling air downward and to the back, providing lift. The boundary layers on top and bottom separate unevenly, resulting in a wake lower than the canter of the ball, like a comet’s tail pointing down.
The Magnus Effect was named after Heinrich Gustav Magnus, a German scientist. He was the first to provide a detailed description of this occurrence. However, he was not the first to detect or describe the occurrence. Sir Isaac Newton was the first to describe the phenomena in 1672.
He noticed the spinning ball bend in a specific direction while watching a tennis match in Cambridge. He noticed that a topspin ball plummeted quicker than a spinless ball.
Inversely, striking the ball in a specific way might cause it to spin backward, giving it lift in the air and allowing it to travel a little further than usual.
But that’s not the end of it. Another individual correctly described this phenomenon. A British mathematician called Benjamin Robins described this natural phenomenon in 1742.
He also worked as a military engineer and ballistics researcher. During his studies, he found and explained the curved route of spinning musket balls blasted out of musket guns.
On the other hand, Heinrich was the first to thoroughly explore and explain this occurrence. As a result, he was credited with discovering and naming this effect after himself.
It is an amazing feeling when you can combine science to improve your battle prowess!
You will, however, still need to factor in pellet weight and wind speed if you want a straight shot.
Do you need a hop-up for your airsoft replica?
In the earlier days, seeing an airsoft gun with a hop-up was uncommon, but today, it is very rare to see one without it. It is simply that good. If you want to have a competitive edge in a competition, you cannot go without one.
It is also the perfect gateway into airsoft gun upgrades.
How to change hop with an adjustment wheel?
Find out how your hop-up works first
Shoot 10-20 BBs at a 50-foot (15-meter) target and observe their trajectory. Take your airsoft gun to a safe, open place where you may shoot it as you adjust the hop up. Choose a target and shoot your BBs at it to see if they fall straight down or curl crazily upwards.
For example, you may do this before a match in an airsoft field or in an unoccupied rural field.
Warming up your airsoft rifle with at least 10 shots will allow you to view the real trajectory of the BBs.
How to adjust your hop-up
On the side of your airsoft gun, remove the adjustment wheel cover. The adjustment wheel cover is a rectangular cover found on the right side of your airsoft rifle, exactly above the BB magazine. To reach the adjustment wheel, flip this cover down and hold it open.
An adjustment wheel is one of the most frequent adjustment methods on airsoft guns. Many M-4-type airsoft guns, for example, feature this system.
Too little hop-up
If your BBs are dropping too quickly, turn the adjustment wheel clockwise. Turning the wheel clockwise increases the hop up and allows your airsoft gun to blast BBs farther. Turn the adjustment wheel to the right by grasping one of the notches. Depending on how much hop you want to add, turn 1/4, 1/2, or 1 complete turn.
For example, if your BBs start bending down right away instead of traveling straight, try spinning the wheel one full turn.
Turning the wheel all the way to the right will set the hop all the way up, causing your BBs to curve up and move unpredictably. Make minor changes to the right to gradually raise the hop and discover the optimal hop setting.
To assist you to remember which way to spin the wheel, there may be arrows and labels that indicate “up” and “down” next to it. Some airsoft rifles may have a hop adjustment screw rather than a wheel. In this instance, the airsoft gun will normally come with a tool that may be inserted into the screw to spin it.
There are also drum-style wheels that spin up and down rather than left and right. Rotating them to make changes is similar to turning a normal adjustment wheel.
Too much hop-up
If your BBs are bending up, turn the adjustment wheel clockwise. This reduces hop and allows your BBs to travel more straight. Grab the adjustment wheel and spin it 1/4, 1/2, or 1 full turn to the left, depending on how much you want to reduce the hop. For example, if your BBs travel straight when you shoot them but then curve up before reaching your target, consider spinning the wheel counterclockwise by 1/4-1/2 turn.
If you crank the wheel to the left, your airsoft rifle will have no hop, and the BBs will just drop out of the barrel without traveling straight.
Adjust your airsoft gun till the BBs travel straight and far. After each modification, fire 2-3 bullets from your airsoft gun. Continue spinning the wheel 1/4 turn at a time, clockwise to add hop and counterclockwise to reduce hop, until your BBs shoot straight and far.
The perfect hop for your airsoft rifle will force your BBs to rise slightly along their trajectory but then fall back down before hitting your target, resulting in a straight, precise shot.
Remember that wind and BB weight may alter your BBs’ trajectory.
And there you go! Enjoy conquering the tournament!
A hop-up is a part of an airsoft replica that puts a backspin on the BB to increase the range and accuracy. BBs are light, so the backspin increases the range and accuracy by providing additional lift through what is known as the Magnum effect – it reduces the air pressure at the top of the BB and provides a lift coming from the spin of the BB.
By adjusting the hop-up, you control the amount of backspin for the BB. More backspin will cause the BB to go higher. Less backspin will make the BB go lower. If too much or too little backspin is set, then the BB will either go too high and wander off course or too low and drop to the ground too soon.
A bucking is part of the hop-up system. It is located in the barrel of the airsoft replica, usually made out of rubber. It is what causes the backspin of the BB – by slowing down or “catching” the upper side of the BB.