Looking into the world of automatic electric guns?
AEGs are one of the most popular forms of airsoft guns, since their high rates of fire, versatility, and ease of use make them great for a variety of airsoft games.
But AEGs need power, which means you’re going to be buying batteries, and plenty of them.
Not sure which batteries to buy?
No worries! We’re going to talk about what types of batteries are out there, things you need to know, and make some recommendations, too.
Let’s jump in!
How Much Power Does a Battery Have?
So you may be thinking that a bigger battery equals a bigger charge, but that isn’t always true. Battery charges are measured in Milliamp Hours (mAH), which means that batteries with higher mAh ratings can hold a greater charge.
Batteries also are labeled with the voltage, or how fast the battery will allow power to flow. The higher the voltage, the stronger the battery may seem. A high voltage battery doesn’t mean that you’ll get a long runtime, though.
Make sure that your battery offers the voltage you need to power your gun, but also the mAh you need to make sure that your battery lasts through the whole game.
Another important factor to consider is the composition of your battery, since different materials operate and charge differently. There are a few common types of batteries used in airsoft, which we’ll look at in more detail below.
NiCad batteries charge very fast, but they do create heat while charging, and can blow up if charged faster than recommended.
If they’re not being used, NiCad batteries discharge at a rate of 10-20% per month, but you must fully discharge them before recharging– so don’t charge them up until you’re ready to use them.
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
While NiCad batteries have a little more memory than NiMH batteries, there are still some advantages to Nickel Metal Hydride. The first is that they can be topped off without ruining them. They also discharge at a slower rate when left unused.
NiMH batteries have a better voltage and capacity for their size than NiCad batteries of a similar size, so they do have a slight advantage there.
The downside is that they do tend to cost more than NiCad batteries, and are much slower to charge.
Lithium-ion Polymer (LiPo)
You may have noticed that the airsoft world seems to be moving away from NiCad and NiMH batteries and towards LiPo batteries in recent years. The reason why is because these batteries charge very fast and don’t tend to self-discharge when left alone. They’re also far more compact than other options, so it’s easier to fit them inside your gun.
They’re not nearly as durable as other options, though, and do tend to lose capacity with age. Regardless, LiPo batteries are pretty popular, and you’ll find plenty of guns that can support them.
Airsoft batteries aren’t just popped into a compartment like a TV remote–they use a special connector that is wired directly to the batteries.
This connection is used to connect the batteries to your gun, but also to connect your batteries to their charger when it’s time. You can find adapters for just about any combination of connectors, so it isn’t a huge deal–but it makes like much easier and your gun’s performance much better when everything matches.
Generally, you’re going to run into one of three types of connectors in the airsoft world: Tamiya, mini Tamiya, and Deans.
Let’s take a closer look at each kind.
These are the most common connectors and are used pretty widely by airsoft manufacturers. They’re 14mm wide and can handle 15 amps of flow, which is why they’re recommended for low-power or low rate of fire guns.
Tamiya connections frequently are on the cheaper side, so they can get warm as voltage is lost between the battery and the gearbox. This will affect the performance of your gun.
Essentially, these are the same as Tamiya connectors, they’re just a little bit smaller. Generally, these connectors measure 10mm across, and can handle up to 9 amps of continuous flow.
Deans connectors are a much newer design than either Tamiya style, which is why they’re pretty popular with airsofters looking for high-level performance.
The main upgrade is that Deans connectors have much less resistance than Tamiya connectors, which means that more voltage is making it from the battery to the motor–meaning you get better performance out of the same battery and motor.
They’re a bit smaller than Tamiya connectors, but are approved for up to 40 amps of continuous electrical flow.
Don’t forget, though, that this means your motor is under more strain and may require more frequent maintenance or upgrades.
Maintaining Your Batteries
Obviously, you want to get the most mileage you can out of your airsoft gun batteries–which means you need to know how to maintain them correctly.
Depending on the type of battery you use, this could mean that you always fully discharge them before recharging, you only charge them when you’re ready to use them, or you never let them become fully discharged.
Your batteries should come with directions on how to properly charge and store them to extend their lifespan.
One thing that is worth noting is that LiPo batteries should never be discharged below 3 volts–which is why there’s such a thing as a low voltage monitor and alarm for measuring the charge in your LiPo batteries quickly.
Never use a battery that is puffy or corroded–these are signs that your battery is dead and it’s time for a new one. Instead, safely dispose of your batteries according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Do I Need to Modify My Gun to Use LiPo Batteries?
You may have heard that you can’t use a LiPo battery unless you modify your gun to accept them. There’s a grain of truth in this, but really–it depends.
Most airsoft guns can handle a 7.4v LiPo battery without any problems. If you’re using an 11.1v LiPo battery, though, you’ll need to make sure that your gun can handle it.
Fitting your gun with a MOSFET system, which will help control the voltage and prevent the internals of your gun from getting worn out by excessive power. You can also look for a “LiPo Ready” gun, which just means that the manufacturer has installed a MOSFET already so you don’t need to worry about it.
Best Airsoft Batteries
Looking for the best bang for your buck when it comes to batteries?
We get it–after all, your batteries play a huge role in the performance of your gun.
Tenergy is Rory’s trusted brand, and I’m pretty fond of them too. We’ve found that they make high-quality batteries designed just for airsoft guns, so they’re usually a great fit for our guns.
Their Tenergy LiPo 7.4v battery pack uses a mini Tamiya connector and has a fantastic discharge rate, so you can play with a higher rate of fire and maximize your gun’s performance.
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Not only are they compact and lightweight, but they’re also protected by a built-in balancer so all cells will charge evenly. They also feature reverse polarity, short circuit, over-charge, and over-current protection.
We also recommend that you get the matching charger, so you know you’ll always get a safe charge.
There is a ton of information out there on specific types of batteries and how to work with them, but we wanted to give you an overview of what’s out there. Hopefully, you should have a pretty good idea about where to start when buying new batteries for your airsoft guns.
Have any questions about airsoft batteries? Are there any brands you recommend? Leave us a comment below! Since you’re here, don’t forget to give us a like on Orange Tip Tactical’s Facebook page!