Terms, Parts & Abbreviations

Check out for airsoft terms, parts and abbreviations.

6mm: The diameter/size in millimeter of a standard airsoft plastic bb. (See BB) Can also be a Bushing size (see Bushings)

8mm: Can refer to bushing size (see Bearing Bushings) or more rarer 8mm BB size. (See BB)

AEG: Automatic Electric Gun. The original automatic airsoft gun AEGs are commonly used as the primary rifle for any airsoft player, as they utilize a rechargeable battery as a power-source to operate the gun and generally have a semi only and full auto selector. Although the odd model maybe semi only or full auto only by design or malfunction.

AEP: Auto Electric Pistol. Usually with fixed slides and a stepping stone between the cheaper EBB pistols and GBB Pistols. But has a great reputation for be very stealthy on the battlefield, some upgrades available and still used by experienced players.

AK/AKM: Automatic Kalashnikov/”Kalashnikov modernized automatic rifle” . One of the most popular, commonly used rifles of the 20th century, the airsoft AK-series rifles (AK47, AK74, etc) are popular among airsoft players as an alternative to the AR platform and commonly used by Opfor.

Airgun: Is not an Airsoft gun and the two are never used together. Airguns fire metal projectiles and generally only used for target practice or lower forms of varmint hunting. Airsoft and Airguns NEVER mix.

AR: Originally “Armalite” the original manufacture of the AR-15 then followed the M16 and then M4. But now the term is more loosely used for the 1000’s of variants with similar Upper and Lower receivers design by many manufacturers.

BB: Ammunition for all airsoft guns. Mostly all airsoft bbs are 6mm in diameter and vary in weight (0.12 grams to 0.40grams) usually matched to which airsoft gun. Most common weights are 0.2g or 0.25g BB. There are also some 8mm BB’s available for special unique models.

BDU: Battle Dress Uniform a usual term for field uniform used by the military, more commonly US forces but not exclusively. (also see Uniform)

Bearing Bushings: Also called just “Bearings” are either 6mm,7mm, 8mm or 9mm in size, and generally larger for faster higher power models. Bearings Bushings are parts inside the gearbox that allow each gear to stay in the perfect positions within the gearbox.

Blowback: The action of the slide of a pistol (or bolt of a rifle) when it kicks backwards as a shot is being fired, then returns to original position. On airsoft guns, the blowback feature replicates the recoil/slide action of their real counterparts.

Bolt/cocking lever: The part on the GBB airsoft gun that allows for the gun to be loaded/charged with a BB or in AEG’s opens dust covers to adjust hop-ups. (Also see Slide)

Bolt Action /Aircocking: Are generally rifles that need to have the bolt /piston cocked back before firing each shot. Air-cocking can also refer to the cheaper Springer pistols (see Springers)

Bushings: Same as Bearing Bushings but without the bearings. Oil Bushings are also an option, but includes grooves to aid to lubrication.

Carbine: A shortened version of a full length rifle, often used by special forces due to lighter weight and reduced arc to bring weapon on target. Often they have reduced barrel or stock length.

CW/CCW: ClockWise / Counter ClockWise generally used in barrel threading and CCW is most common compared to CW. Can also be displayed as a “+” Positive (CW) and “-” Negative (CCW)

Chrono/Chronograph: A electronic device that accurately measures the velocity at which a BB travels; generally used for testing power in Joules or FPS (Feet Per Second) and ROF (Rate of fire).

CO2: Carbon Dioxide in a cartridge form are generally for higher power airsoft guns, hence restricted by many sites and groups. Also can be used in a Airsoft type sound grenades and mines for a very loud effect.

CQC: Close Quarters Combat, see CQB.

CQB: Acronym for Close Quarters Battle. A type of airsoft game (typically indoors or in a small area) where players must engage their targets at close ranges.

CYA: Cover Your Ass!!

DMR: Designated Marksman Rifle. USMC M-14 originally, now a general term for long rifles with scope and option to go full automatic.

Dust cover: The ejection port of a real rifle, the term dust cover is used to refer to the ejection port on airsoft rifles, some of which open to reveal the hop-up unit/mechanism/adjustment.

EBB: Electric BlowBack are guns that have moving slides, dust covers, or cocking handles. EBB Rifles are generally the same as AEG’s with a few extra parts. Although EBB Pistols run on AAA batteries and consider very basic plinkers / early beginers guns.

FPS: An acronym that stands for Feet Per Second, a measure of the velocity at which an airsoft gun shoots a BB. Most models are usually checked before each skirmish commences for safety reasons and each site or group has its own limits.

GBB: Gas Blow Back, a mechanism commonly found in airsoft Pistols but also found increasingly in rifles which causes the weapons bolt or slide to reciprocate and reload the weapon.

GBBR: Gas Blow Back Rifle, (See GBB)

Gearbox/GB: A case to hold all gears, cylinders, pistons, wires etc… in place and is the heart of any AEG. Comes in several versions for different models (see V1 / V2 / V3 / V4 / V5 / V6 / V7 / V8 ) and several over types such as a split gearbox.

GL: Grenade Launcher. Attached to a gun or a standalone, M203, Gp-25, M302, M79 etc etc.

Green Gas: The most common gas for airsoft guns and is also call Top Gas. Can contain the most useful silicone oil to help lube o-rings and moving parts in gas models.

HFC134a: is a low power gas similar to a duster gas and can contain the most useful silicone oil.

Hi-Cap Mag: High Capacity Magazines, or clips, that hold in excess of 150 BBs, where the BBs are loaded into a large storage chamber, and wound up typically through a gear mechanism found at the bottom of the magazine up into the feed nozzle. But not to be confused with Hi-capa. (See Hi-capa)

Hi-capa: A series of pistol models in several brands and it refers to the double stacked bb’s in the mag roughly doubling the quantity of bb’s the mag will hold. About 30rd in a hi-capa mag compared to 15 to 20 in a standard airsoft pistol mag.
Hi-capa’s are generally a upgrade version of a M1911 also known as a 2011 version.

Hop-up: The system in most airsoft guns that creates a back-spin on the BB as it exits the gun, to increase accuracy and range. Setting the Hop, Adjust your hop, My hop is Fked can be other common terms used in airsoft.

HPA: High Pressure Air, Heavy, Powerful, Accurate, Hell of a Pain in the Ass. A totally different system from an AEG, using external gas cylinders. Not liked by many players due to the high power and unrealistic rate of fire. Banned on many game sites.

Kit: The full attire of an airsofter including Uniform, Vests, Holsters and guns. One airsofter can have several kits for indoor, bush, urban, desert, etc etc. Or even a 7 piece suit with underarm holsters.

LiPo: Lithium Polymer battery, commonly used for higher battery power in small packages. Although they need alternative battery chargers and have added fire risks is miss-used, the cheaper price, no battery memory loss, faster charging, they have proven worthy to many airsofters and are commonly used.

Low-Cap: Low Capacity magazine, and typically hold anything from 10, 20, 30, or 50 BB’s. It feeds the AEG ammunition via springs rather than a winding mechanism found in Hi-Caps.

Lube / Silicone: Lubricate for airsoft is generally Silicone Oil and mostly in a spray form.
Some consider it “Magic Water” due to its ability to fix many issues. Do not Use WD40!!! as this can destroy rubbers which are the most important parts of the airsoft internals.

Mag: Magazine. The part of the gun that holds the bbs/ammunition. A “Clip” is a term also used by some and argued by others people as incorrectly referring to a magazine.

mAh: milliAmphours, refers to the size of the battery general rule of thumb, the larger this number the longer the battery will last. But most experience players will tell you 2 lower mAh batteries (one spare) are better than one larger mAh Battery.

Mechbox: Gearbox (See Gearbox)

Mid-Cap: Medium Capacity magazine, referring to the amount of BB’s an Airsoft magazine will hold and can from 70rd up to 160rd mags. No winding mechanism and the BB’s are fed by means of a spring.

Mil-Sim: Military simulation. Like a wargame with many objectives and scenarios usually played on a large area with many people.

MOLLE: MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment is a simple strapping you see on lots of vests, bags & belts etc for accessories to be attached to.

Moscart: Are 40mm dia shells containing many holes or one big hole to contain many bb’s and powered by gas to fire all at once, used in M79 grenade, M203 and rocket launchers etc etc. Basically like a giant shot gun, but limited in range and power.

NBB: Non Blow-Back, referring to pistols that the slide does not move back and forth as the pistol fires. This can be useful in some models for better gas efficiency and or a higher FPS.

Opfor: Opposing Forces, The other team, the enemy Etc.

QD: Quick Detach, usually refers to slings, sling mounts, scope/light mounts, and gearbox springs which can be quickly removed or install.

RAS: Rail Adapter System, (Also see RIS) for type of accessory interface system.

Real Steel: A term only used in airsoft, this refers to the real world counterpart to an airsoft gun. EG: The CA90 airsoft gun is an airsoft version, of the real steel P90 weapon.

Red Gas: A high power gas rarely used due to it’s high power.

RIF: Replica Imitation Firearm. A term from the UK as the purchaser must satisfy the terms of the 2007 VCRA bill in order to purchase.

RIS: An acronym that stands for Rail Interface System. A RIS is a rail system that is installed on airsoft guns to give them the capability of attaching accessories to the airsoft gun by simply attaching them onto the “rail” that allows for laser, flashlight, scope, and grenade launcher upgrades.

RO: Range Officer, generally used for shooting competitions, but are also game site Marshalls.

ROF: Rate Of Fire which is a measurement of how many BBs an airsoft gun can fire in a given time. Usually ROF is measured in either Rounds Per Minute (RPM) or Rounds Per Second (RPS), which state how many BBs a gun can either fire in a minute (RPM) or in a single second (RPS).

Rubber: Hop up “rubber” is one of the most important pieces in and airsoft gun as it holds the bb in position to be fired and also can create spin on the BB for extra range.

SAW: Squad Automatic Weapon. The big ones… M249, M60, RPK, PKM, M240B Etc etc… and generally used as support and suppression.

Selector Switch: The switch on the airsoft gun that toggles between the modes of fire modes, generally SAFE, SEMI, and FULL automatic.

Shims: Slim are little washers to hold gears in a the perfect position inside the gearbox.

Skirmish: Organized airsoft battle, Wargame.

Slide: Typically the moving section on top of a pistol but can also be a Bolt contained within a rifle mechanism which reloads the Airsoft gun.

SPR: Special Purpose Rifle is a fancy name for a fancy sniper rifle made from the M16 platform.

Springer: Generally just a basic spring powered pistol that needs to be cocked every time before firing. But also can refer to Bolt Action rifles as they have a similar system of cocking each time they are fired.

Stock: The end of the weapon which is typically held into the shoulder and can be full, folding, or extensible.

Switch Set: The small parts and wires connecting the trigger to battery and motor.

Plinking: Generally done alone or with a few friends and is basically firing indoors or the back garden or other private area at targets or tin cans.

TIA: “This Is Airsoft” can refer to anything / anyone comparing real weapons with airsoft or not understanding airsoft.

Tight Bore: Upgraded Inner barrel 6.03, 6.02 or 6.01mm inside dimension to improve accuracy.

UKARA: United Kingdom Airsoft Retailers Association and a number required for importation of models in to the UK

Uniform: ACU – Army Combat Uniform. Digital modern pattern of uniform previously in service with US troops. It features a digital pattern of greys and generallyok for a mix of urban and desert settings. Also known as ICU (I See You) due to in uselessness in greenery and bush settings.
AOR1/AOR2 – Is the newest mas produced piece of Kit. AOR1 used for desert and urbans, and AOR2 in the greener bush to jungles.
ATAC – Camo is a new model to the battle field with ATAC-AU (Arid/Urban) and ATAC-FG has proven worthy in both fields of deployment. And also now a LE versions for Urbans.
CADPAT – Canadian Pattern. Digital spring greens, great for fresh grasses, bush and jungles.
CB – Coyote Brown, a common colour for US forces webbing & gear – used in service originally with the US Marines & Special Forces.
DPM – Disruptive Pattern Material, the commonly used name of the camouflage pattern previously used by British Armed forces.
Flecktarn – One of the best early camo’s from Germany and later copied by China.
MARPAT – Marine Pattern, Digital greens and browns for woodlands, jungle and bush.
MC – Multicam, a camo pattern developed for the US Military Future Soldier program by Crye Associates and is a modern multi-environment camouflage pattern.
OD – Olive Drab, a colour often found for uniform or other military accessories such as webbing & pouches.
UDC – Urban Digital Camo, Similar to ACU but made up of dark greys. Great for urban and indoors.
NWU – Navy Working Uniform, Digital dark blues and greys for dust and dawn operations.

V1 / V2 / V3 / V4 / V5 / V6 / V7 / V8 Gear Box: Common versions of gearbox.

Version 1 Gearbox: FA-MAS series
Version 2 Gearbox: All Armalite’s ie: CAR15, M16A1, M16VN, M16A2, M4A1, M4A1 RIS, SR-16, XM177e2, M733, M4-S. All G3/G33/CA33 series. ie: G3A3, G3A4, G3 SG-1, MC-51, G3 SAS. Most MP5 series. ie: MP5A4, MP5A5, MP5SD5, MP5SD6, MP5RAS, MP5-J
Version 3 Gearbox: G36 series, SIG 55x Series, AK series, AUG series, UMP, MP5K, MP5K-PDW
Version 4 Gearbox: PSG-1
Version 5 Gearbox: UZI
Version 6 Gearbox: M1A1, P90 Series
Version 7 Gearbox: M14
Version 8 Gearbox: Type 89