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Author Topic: PSA: A guide to AEG velocity  (Read 2707 times)

Offline Redtail

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PSA: A guide to AEG velocity
« on: January 07, 2012, 10:59:36 am »
Hey, guys! Your friendly neighborhood Redtail here with another public service announcement on AEG velocity, followed by an instructional guide to selecting the right velocity for your job.

Many kids get sucked into buying an immensely overpowered gun and needing to spend their hard-earned (and now quite rare) money at their first game when they find out that their gun is too "hot" to play.

A lot of times, the older players will get angry at the Timmy for doing what is admittedly a very logical and admittedly rather intelligent thing:
Using the only quantifiable number to assign a "value" to a rifle.

I'm here to dispel that for you.

Velocity is nothing more than the speed at which a pellet leaves the barrel. The only thing this indicates is how heavy the mainspring is from the factory, not how nice and solid the body is, how precise the gearbox shell is, how gummy and accurate the hopup is, how consistent the barrel is.

Selecting a gun based solely on its velocity is something like buying a car at a dealership not based on the make or model, but whether or not the gas tank is full when you buy it, and will not determine how well the gun will work for you in the future.

For example:
A few years ago when the clone guns were just starting to really pick it up in terms of sales, incidentally when they were first starting to go for the high-velocity-equals-high-sales model, many players were drawn to the shoddy A&K M4  at an advertised 440FPS over the similarly priced (at the time) Echo-1 M4. Neither was a top-shelf model, but the Echo-1 was a good bit better built, shot at a reasonable 320-350 FPS, and just generally lasted a lot longer.
The A&K had motor trouble, tended to strip pistons, and suffered from an embarrassingly low rate of fire, and more often than not, a considerable degradation of velocity after a few weeks due to strain and quality of parts.


A more common modern example:
An ICS M4 shooting 340FPS will consistently outshoot a Dboys M4 shooting 410-420 FPS because of the consistency in air pressure between shots, the quality of the barrel, the quality of the hopup.

YES, it's safe to say most of these things can be upgraded. THe spring can be bought and installed for about $30-40, the barrel costs another $25 if you get a nice, cheap and reliable MadBull core, the hopup hard parts might cost $45 and the bucking another $15. WHen all is said and done, you've spent as much as the higher-priced gun would cost anyway, all based on a single number.


It goes without saying that in most cases, you're not allowed to field an AEG shooting over 400FPS, so anything over that is a drawback and not a selling point.

What most players might not realize, however, is that some times it's *better* to have a lower velocity.


As a general rule, you should match your velocity to the weight of ammo you prefer to use in your environment. Any higher velocity and you tend to get erratic shots and lots of wierd drift. Any lower velocity and you will lose a noticeable amount of your effective range.
THe object in airsoft is *not* to kill the other guy, so the power behind the BB isn't all that critical unless you're trying to reach out and touch someone.

Now, here's some math for you. Don't worry if you don't get it, I'll walk you through it.

For V= average muzzle velocity assessed with standard .20g pellets
M= ideal pellet mass in grams

M=(2V)/2800

Chavez gave me this handy formula. We're not sure how or why it works, and we're both pretty certain someone sold their soul to the devil to get it. It just does.

The mass of the pellet equals two times the velocity, divided by 2,800.
This gives you the optimum weight for a given muzzle velocity, helping you to match ammunition specially to your rifle. On the other hand, it can also be used to determine what velocity you should have for a weight of pellet you prefer to use; for example, you generally play in open fields and like to use .23's. One day you get an invite to a Vietnam themed game in a thickly wooded area full of dense vegetation and to punch through that, you decide you want to use .28's, but want to know how high of a velocity you'll need in order to keep your effective range up.

This is NOT ALWAYS THE CASE, however. A lot of times, if you expect to punch through shrubs and brush, you don't always need as much range, and simply upgrading to a heavier pellet without upgrading your velocity will be enough to give you an advantage because you may not need the extra range.

Another rule of thumb:
All other things being equal, lower velocities *always* mean higher rates of fire and better trigger response times. This is important to consider for urban, MOUT, CQB and thick "jungle" combat where most fighting is done at shorter range.

Most guys would much rather be hit with ten pellets at 280 FPS than one at 400, especially at close range. THey'll get the picture just as fast and you're much less likely to have words if the other guy happens to be an aggressive hothead.

For most woodland games, your average assault gunner should be using .23 or .25g pellets, and his velocity will be best suited to fall somewhere between 320 and 350FPS. THeir long-gunner might want to use .28's for better brush penetration and accuracy. His theoretical optimum velocity is right around 390-395 FPS. I hope for his sake he's using a version 3 gearbox. :D

The final word is that the higher your velocity is, the shorter your gearbox will last.

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Offline DrRockso94

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Re: PSA: A guide to AEG velocity
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 12:24:36 pm »
Did the mods give you permission to sticky your own threads yet Red? The V is in fps, not m/s right?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 01:11:20 pm by DrRockso94 »
7 Feelgood points

You might be an airsofter if you've got an entourage of friends to whom you would strongly consider entrusting your life in a gunfight, but you still don't know their actual names.

Offline ThatCrackRockSteadyBeat

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Re: PSA: A guide to AEG velocity
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 02:01:19 pm »
I <3 my 310 fps vfc. 260 fps with .25s.

Offline Redtail

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Re: PSA: A guide to AEG velocity
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 09:43:23 am »
No wonder you couldn't hit anything at Thunder, Bomb. :D

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Offline Feelgood

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Re: PSA: A guide to AEG velocity
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 04:50:58 pm »
He hit me while I was blind.
I've broken more bones, traveled more miles, thrown up more beer, lost more fights, and been rejected by more dudes who look like ladies than you have.

Offline rmichuda

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Re: PSA: A guide to AEG velocity
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 05:10:24 pm »
I understand the point of this article, don't get me wrong, but there is a very good reason to want a high bullet velocity. In my experience, I have found that at longer ranges, my enemies are often able to get behind cover before my bullets reach them. I understand that this happens a lot, but lowering your fps drastically will greatly increase this problem.

Offline Chavez [303]

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Re: PSA: A guide to AEG velocity
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 07:09:52 pm »
A good operator will not let terrain dictate his movement.  He will use it to his advantage.  If your opponent is dropping behind cover, then they're taking their eyes off of you.  Use that time to advance.
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Offline Redtail

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Re: PSA: A guide to AEG velocity
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 09:20:59 pm »
That's *most* of what live 5.56 does in combat. Don't think cheaper airsoft pellets are any better.

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.