There are four types of airsoft snipers that you can buy:
- Spring-powered bolt action
- Gas-powered bolt action
- Gas-powered semi-automatic (HPA)
- Electric powered semi-automatic
The most common airsoft sniper rifle is spring powered bolt action sniper rifle. The main reasons why people choose this airsoft rifle type is that it is simple to use, easy to upgrade, it has better FPS out of the box, and is quieter than other airsoft sniper rifle types.
The major drawback of this rifle is that it has a slow firing rate. To fire a bolt action airsoft sniper rifle, you need to manually load each BB into the chamber by pulling back the spring lever (straining the spring which provides the necessary FPS for the BB).
But that is not the point for snipers – your aim is to deliver that one single, calculated shot right to the target, and that’s it. No spraying around loads of BB’s hoping that one of them will hit the target.
3 Best Bolt Action Airsoft Sniper Rifles
Despite its recent debut in the bolt-action sniper rifle realm, the Gen 2 Amoeba Striker has quickly risen to become a consumer favorite. This bolt gun is designed for users with little to no experience as well as for the pros. It comes complete with a reinforced polymer chassis that gives it a sleek appearance. This powerful sniper rifle is available in a wide array of colors.
By default, the rifle delivers 400 FPS with its .20 grams BBs. A 55-round mag feeds it. For improved performances, it features a dynamically adjustable stock. It has a short-pull bolt-action mechanism for customized personal experiences as well.
Upgrading the Gen 2 Amoeba Striker is akin to a walk in the park. That is because the market is awash with genuine accessories for this high-performance option. For instance, you can get AEG springs to enhance the BB’s velocities.
This is an iconic airsoft sniper rifle from one of the world’s leading manufacturers. The legendary Marui Tokyo sniper rifle remains a top-selling brand despite there being dozens of its clones in the market. Consumers clamor for the original, albeit slightly costlier, VSR-10 for its unmatched quality performance.
This replica option comes with durable built-in parts. Its sturdy base plus the standard Picatinny rails for the optics make it an effective choice of weapon for players of all levels. There is also a mock suppressor for effective sniping.
This airsoft sniper rifle stands out for its sharable parts. The rifle is easily upgraded using components from numerous other existing designs. Its compatibility allows the users to fine-tune this rifle to match their exact specifications. The efficient rifle ships with an all-metallic trigger box for easy pull and brake adjustments.
Its aluminum cylinder, complete with a brass cylinder and long nozzle, allows the users to make accurate repeat shots. Straight out of the box, you will find numerous scopes and optics for above and below. The powerful rifle releases BBs at an impressive velocity of well over 400 feet per second.
How to buy the best bolt action airsoft sniper rifle
Airsoft games have become wildly popular across the globe. The popularity of these military simulation games has effectively driven up the demand for airsoft rifles. Fortunately for airsoft lovers, these replicas are readily available in a lot of online shops and your local hobby stores. The explosion of the airsoft gaming revolution has one shortcoming, however.
Today, there are dozens of different bolt action airsoft sniper rifles at the market. The many rifle options have made it incredibly difficult for consumers to select the perfect airsoft sniper rifle replica from the vast lot.
Choosing between a Springpowered vs Gas (HPA) powered airsoft bolt action rifle
As I already mentioned earlier, spring-powered airsoft sniper rifles are the most common ones due to their increased FPS right out of the box, quieter operation, and other benefits.
Spring-powered bolt action sniper rifle pros and cons
Spring-powered rifles are easier to upgrade, take apart and maintain than gas-powered airsoft sniper rifles. And, since there are fewer mechanical and electrical parts – they will work better in almost any condition, than a gas-powered sniper rifle.
But it also has its drawbacks, like everything else in life. First of all – it has a low firing rate due to the BBs needed to be loaded individually. Then theres also the noise generated by the piston slamming against the body of the airsoft rifle for the spring airsoft rifles, it makes a bit of noise as well as generates vibrations and a blowback effect. Which, in turn, affects the accuracy.
Unlike the gas-powered bolt action sniper, the spring sniper rifles are much harder to cycle. You need to manually tension the spring by pulling back the bolt (hence bolt-action), this movement both tensions the spring and pulls your next BB into the chamber.
Gas-powered bolt action sniper rifle working principles
For a gas-powered airsoft sniper rifle, it’s different. The gas that is necessary for the rifle to propel the BB, is stored in the magazine. When you reload the rifle, the gas will move the BB in the chamber, and upon squeezing the trigger, a little bit of gas will be released, shooting the BB out of the barrel.
For one thing – this type of airsoft rifle is more expensive. And not only the gun itself, but the magazine, too. As it is way more complicated than a magazine for a spring action sniper.
To power a gas bolt action airsoft sniper rifle, you will have to go either run an HPA system, or a cartridge system on your gun. The main reason behind this decision is that magazines can be very inconsistent. In addition – the gas in them runs out very quickly and a sniper, well hidden and concealed, in a great spot, but with no gas to run his rifle, is a useless sniper.
HPA system for airsoft snipe rifles basically means that you will have a small backpack on your back, from which you will have a tube that provides the CO2 gas to your gun.
A CO2 cartridge is a small gas chamber cylinder that you insert in a designated spot in your gun. But this setup means less gas for your game as these cartridges are small and lasts for around 100-120 shots.
Gas-powered sniper rifles are also more prone to breaking or malfunction as they have more complicated insides and electronics. They can also work less efficiently in cold weather.
The reason to go with a gas-powered airsoft sniper rifle is that the bolt is much easier to cycle, providing for a faster firing rate. They can achieve higher FPS with the right setup, can be very quiet and accurate.
What to upgrade – consistency, durability, and power of your airsoft sniper rifle
Hardly any airsoft rifle will perform its best right out of the box. There are available some guns that have been custom-made available with all the upgrades you may need. But those will be way more expensive than what you can buy in an airsoft shop and then upgrade yourself. Sure, if money is no object and you know that you will be content with what you get from such a gun – buy it. For players who are not playing that regularly this can be a good choice.
For example, there is this Youtuber Novritsch who offers his gameplay videos on youtube as well as gun setups on his own shop. If you want to become a good sniper, there is a lot to learn on his Youtube channel, so make sure you check that out.
So, when it comes to upgrades for your airsoft rifle, there are only three aspects of the rifle that you want to upgrade – consistency, durability, and power. When choosing your sniper rifle, it is important that you pick a model, that can be upgraded later on.
The consistency, aka the accuracy of your sniper rifle
To reach better consistency, you will have to make sure you are using good quality BBs. If they are too heavy, too light, too small, or big in size – all that will affect the accuracy of your consistency and how close the next shot will be to the previous after reloading.
Apart from the BBs, you’re using, you can also invest in a better barrel group. A barrel group consists of a barrel, bucking, and chamber. These will increase the accuracy of your airsoft sniper rifle. Accuracy comes first as the FPS is already somewhat decent for most airsoft sniper rifles right out of the box. Sure, you want more FPS capabilities, but that can wait for a little.
A bucking in airsoft is what causes the backspin of the BB. When a backspin is applied to a projectile, it reduces the air pressure on the BB during its flight. With less pressure on the top side of the BB, it can travel further without needing more velocity. Bucking is a projection inside the barrel at the top and is located right before the end of the barrel – it spins the BB creating what’s called a Magnus effect.
Airsoft rifle inner barrel – how to choose your upgrade
The inner barrel is the next thing that you will want to upgrade. The inner barrel is concealed from the outside environment by the outer barrel. You can also upgrade the outer barrel, but we will talk about it when we turn to durability upgrades.
The inner barrel is connected to the hop-up mechanism feeding the BBs from the magazine to the inner barrel which then shoots out to hit the target.
Inner barrel plays quite an important role in both – the range and the accuracy. Does that mean that the longer the barrel, the better? Well – no. If the inner barrel is too long, you will lose velocity due to the friction and loss of CO2 that escapes through the gaps between the BB and the sides of the inner barrel.
A recommended inner barrel length for an airsoft rifle is somewhere between 430-500mm. Remember, the barrel only has to be long enough to provide good stability for the BB until it reaches the end of the barrel.
The recommended length is all you need, aa a longer barrel will do no good in stabilizing the BB more than it already was, but it will make the total length of your gun longer, resulting in you having to carry around a heavier, less practical gun.
This is another upgrade that can greatly increase your accuracy without costing a lot. Barrel spacers are attachments to your inner barrel that allows stabilizing the inner barrel. Upgrading to better barrel spacers will allow the inner barrel to sit more tightly in the outer barrel. This will prevent unwanted vibrations and movements, further stabilizing the BB in the inner barrel as even the smallest micromovements can impact the path of the BB flying out the barrel.
Airseal – to use all your energy efficiently
To avoid any unwanted energy loss when firing your airsoft sniper, you need to make sure that the airseal in the chamber and cylinder head is as good as it can get. There are many methods on how to improve the airseal for your gun.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple, good-for-all solution to this problem. What you can do is upgrade the nozzle. You can upgrade the inner barrel and use the right size BBs.
One DIY option is to install a Teflon tape on the cylinder head of your sniper. There are other workarounds, too.
But the first thing you will need to do – check if there is an air leak for your gun in the first place. To do that, remove any BB from the chamber, remove the magazine, place your finger on the muzzle, pull the trigger – if there is a pressure loss before you remove your finger from the muzzle – you need to seal your rifle better.
Airseal will also influence the FPS consistency of your sniper rifle. The goal here is to have the ideal consistency where the pressure for each next shot is the same as it was for the previous. This is impossible to reach as there will always be some energy loss in a real-life scenario, but we need to strive for the closest possible result. This can be achieved by upgrading the airseal and pressure system.
The durability upgrades for your airsoft sniper rifle
It can be a painful blow when any of the parts in your sniper rifle breaks or stops responding during a game. So you need to make sure that you upgrade the parts of your gun that are prone to breaking the most.
Since stock parts are mostly made out of plastic or cheap metal, they are more likely to break than high quality materials.
The outer barrel is one of the most important parts of your rifle to be upgraded first. If your stock airsoft sniper rifle is made out of plastic, you will want to upgrade the outer barrel to a higher quality plastic polymer material, or to metal or aluminum construction.
Although the stock cylinder on your airsoft sniper rifle works fine as it is, it is advised to upgrade from the stock plastic cylinder to a metal one. This in no way affects or influences the accuracy or performance of the rifle. But a stock cylinder is made of plastic and is more prone to breaking. If it breaks during a game – you will need tools to change it (and the part itself), and most likely your game day will end there.
The stock cylinder will work fine for a couple of years if you’re shooting at no more than 500FPS, but don’t take my word for it as there are many aspects that can influence this time.
This is a clear durability upgrade that I would suggest you make as soon as possible.
Things to consider when choosing your airsoft sniper rifle
The buttstock of your sniper rifle
The basic stuff here is that you need to make sure you buy the correct-hand stock for you. Meaning – there are only two options – right or left-hand stock. Then – you have to look for a stock that fits all your needs regarding what can be or can not be attached to the stock you choose. Stuff like slings and bipods that you might want to attach to your rifle stock.
If you choose the stock for your sniper rifle correctly, it will also improve the accuracy and stability, and control of your rifle.
Ideally, you are looking to purchase a sniper rifle that has a full metal-polymer stock. The best bolt-action rifles have an ABS polymer for enhanced durability.
Some models come with a retractable stock to adjust your rifle sizes. Foldable stocks allow for easier transportation of guns. Polymerized stocks can withstand tear and wear, giving you incredible value on your spending.
Airsoft Sniper Rifle Barrel, Trigger, and Bolts
The leading rifles have all-metal bolts, triggers, and barrels. Metallic parts ensure low recoil and improved reliability for users.
When it comes to airsoft sniper rifles – barrels do matter and play a role in both – the accuracy and velocity of your shot. When you are ready to upgrade your sniper rifle barrel, the most important thing you need to know first is the barrel to cylinder ratio.
If you get this wrong, you will have an inefficient setup resulting in loss of power, accuracy, and consistency, as well as possibly damaging some parts of your airsoft sniper rifle.
An airsoft trigger upgrade will allow you to install a stronger spring for a spring powered bolt action sniper rifle. A 90-degree trigger box is one of the most common trigger box setups to sun on most VS10 platform setups and is a good choice to go with.
Muzzle Velocity of an Airsoft Sniper Rifle
Muzzle velocity is denoted by the acronym FPS. Ideally, you are aiming for an option with velocities of not less than 300 to 500 FPS. FPS stands for Feet Per Second. A good shooting distance is considered to be around 100 meters in good condition. The muzzle velocity can be upgraded and increased with internal and external parts upgrades that I was writing about earlier in the article.
Airsoft rifles can be powered by springs, CO2, or by electricity. Gas-powered models are the most powerful. Springed rifles, on the other hand, provide a more solid sniping performance.
The Pros and cons of airsoft bolt action sniper rifles
The bolt-action airsoft sniper rifle is one of the most popular types of airsoft sniper rifles. These replicas function using a recocking mechanism, just like real guns. Bolt action rifles have many pros and a few downsides.
These airsoft replicas come with long barrels to allow for accurate precision shots. The weapons feature handy enhancements like telescopic sites to enable shooters to pick out targets at a distance. These guns are designed to propel the bullets to speeds ranging between 300 to 500 FPS. The gas-powered rifles, however, are capable of propelling the BBs at faster velocities.
To become the best sniper, you will need the perfect sniper rifle. Your shooting accuracy and overall gaming performance are determined by the sniper rifles you select. Bolt-action airsoft snipers are the automatic first-choice of weapons for many newbies. Beginners are drawn to these rifles for their raw power. The damage inflicted by a bolt-action sniper gun is devastating, to say the very least. The gun will obliterate its distant target, just like in the movies. One shot, one kill.
The bolt-action guns also have an unmatched aesthetic appeal. One cannot help admiring the rifle’s characteristic long muzzle, bold looks, complete with a telescopic vision. What is more, these weapons come with a remarkable FPS capable of accelerating bullets for massive distances.
However, on the downside, it takes a while for one to get used to the manual recocking process. Some airsoft experts, however, like to discourage newbies from taking on the powerful bolt-action sniper rifles. The professionals argue that the manual firing mechanism can be tricky to master in real-life gaming situations. And, that could take away some of the fun from your gaming experiences.
If you are patient and passionate enough, you will not mind the slight learning curve when using bolt-action sniper rifles.
Airsoft games have made it possible for us, as civilians, to partake in the adrenaline-pumping military games. How so? Well, these simulation games allow us to relieve our favorite Hollywood war movies using military-grade sniper rifles. With these rifles, we transform into snipers but minus the real risks of being on battlefields. Airsoft players use protective gear to cushion the impacts of the BBs. The protective gear includes helmets, goggles, and vests.
There are a handful of essential considerations to think about before ordering any bolt-action sniper rifle as a savvy shopper. You are interested in acquiring a rifle that is designed for your height. Also, you want a replica that matches your ambidextrous capabilities. Other important factors include the ease at which the replica can be taken apart and assembled, cost, upgradability, design, and performance.