If you’re anything like us, you probably grew up on a healthy diet of films and video games featuring the World War II as a primary motif.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s a relatively small but hardcore community of WWII airsofters and enthusiasts dedicated to BB-laden recreations of some of the most pivotal battles of the 20th century!
In fact, WWII-era airsoft pistols, rifles, SMGs, and support weapons have been around almost as long as airsoft itself.
OG Japanese brands like Tanaka, Marushin, Maruzen, and more produce high-quality replicas of WWII small arms that compliment airsoft’s latent tendency to lean into niche enthusiast nerdiness (and we say that as niche nerdiness enthusiasts).
Things have come a long way since the early days of WWII airsoft collecting, however. While some iconic models remain conspicuously absent in airsoft form, it’s now relatively easy to track down some of the coolest blasters from the era.
Whether you’re aiming to get into more hardcore WW2 milsim or just want to hit the local field with some Chicago Typewriter Tommy Gun drip 😎, we’ve whipped up a list of some of our favorite replicas.
Best WW2 Airsoft Guns
1. Matrix Kar98k Gas Bolt Action Rifle
The Kar98k was the standard-issue infantry weapon used by German riflemen throughout the duration of the Second World War. It tends to be overshadowed by a host of iconic submachine guns and arguably the world’s first assault rifle in the StG44.
But the fact that it was captured and used by a ton of different partisan groups fighting back against the Third Reich make it one the most prolific rifles of the period!
Matrix’s K98 replica runs on gas — either CO2 or green gas, depending on what kind of magazine you’ve got. It’s operated by manipulating the bolt after every shot, just like the real Kar98!
Featuring a full wood stock and metal components where accurate the Matrix K98 would make an ideal primary gun for period-accurate WWII events.
But you’ll be outgunned against the current smattering of high-ROF airsoft guns found at most pick-up fields.
However, if accuracy is your primary concern and you want the feeling of being a rifleman facing off against submachine guns in a historical setting, it’s an easy solution off-the-shelf solution. It’ll allow you to play a number of roles — from bad guy to partisan!
2. ICS M1 Garand
Conversely, the M1 Garand was what the average American infantryman found himself equipped with in WWII. It’s likely the gun that needs the least introduction if you’ve made it this far into the article!
Seeing service throughout a wide variety of theatres throughout the war, the M1 Garand is right at home for both the casual WWII fan and the nerdier reenactor type looking to put together an American infantry kit!
The ICS Garand is actually an AEG, which may seem odd at first considering the Garand’s semi-automatic nature. But we’ve actually come to be quite fond of it!
Hitting a bit over 400 FPS, the ICS Garand’s battery-operated internals mean you’ll have the consistency of a mechbox behind each piece of plastic you put downrange…rather than, say, a gas gun where your muzzle velocity might fluctuate with the weather.
With a 42-round magazine, you’ll be a little limited should you choose to take the ICS Garand to a pickup game. But for those looking to make every shot count, go for it!
3. EMG M1919 Gen 2 Support Weapon
The M1919 was America’s main medium machine gun throughout the entirety of WWII — and the EMG M1919 is a beast enough of a gun to live up to that reputation!
With almost entirely CNC’d externals and a Li-Po ready A&K M249 gearbox, the M1919 packs enough firepower to ensure the heads of opposing players stay down or get laid out 😎
With a muzzle velocity of 400 to 430 FPS, the EMG 1919 is going to be the staple support AEG in your American GI-themed team or squad.
It will provide much-needed firepower that’ll allow the rest of your fireteam to maneuver.
Although the Tripod and Box Magazine accessories will need to be purchased separately, you don’t necessarily need them. We’ve all seen the Carentan episode of Band of Brothers, right?
4. North East Airsoft Sten Mk.2 Gas Blowback Submachine Gun
Up against the ropes while under siege during the Battle of Britain, the Sten family of submachine guns was designed explicitly to replace the Thompson submachine guns the UK had been purchasing from America…but at a much cheaper cost.
As such, the Sten saw extensive use in the Second World War and beyond. North East Airsoft’s replica is about as close as you can get without snagging a real one!
Featuring an almost entirely steel construction, the NEA Sten Mk.2 uses gas stored in its magazines to both fire the chambered BB and cycle the bolt. This gives you a bit of recoil and realism that are pretty hard to match with an AEG!
With a muzzle velocity of about 370 FPS or so, the Sten Mk.2 is ideal for players portraying British units or any one of a number of partisan forces. And also those who aren’t afraid to get up close and dirty to overwhelm the enemy team!
5. Matrix ZB30 / ZB26 (It’s a Bren… Kinda) Squad Automatic Weapon
While the Bren is perhaps one of the most iconic weapons of the British military during WWII, you might be surprised to find out that the gun was actually Czech in origin!
Seeking to replace their aging Vickers machine guns in the years after WWI, the British eventually adopted the Zb26. They made a few small changes along the way (such as utilizing curved magazines to better feed British .303 cartridges).
This means the Matrix ZB30 is technically not a completely correct Bren but that likely won’t matter to most. (But if you’re really into the details, you can always turn it into a modification project!)
Hitting right at 430 FPS out of the box, the ZB30 offers the perfect solution for players doing Allied forces kit!
Be warned, though…the ZB30 isn’t quite the hulk that the M1919 is. But it’s still quite a hefty gun!
However, if you’re comfortable with hauling it around, its long barrel and foldable bipod will give you brutal accuracy that’ll punch out at range — with a 600 round hicap to boot!
Prices accurate at time of writing
6. SRC TT-33 Tokarev Gas Blowback Pistol
Designed as the replacement for the Soviet Union’s aging Nagant revolvers, the SRC TT-33 Tokarev is the go-to choice for airsofters getting their Red Army on!
Utilizing gas to both cycle the action and put your rounds on target, the SRC Tokarev clocks in right around 330-FPS or so. This might not sound like a ton, but that just means you’ll have to storm those BB trenches a little harder. 😉
While generally only Soviet Officers were issued sidearms, the TT-33 shows up plenty alongside specialty role infantry — such as machine gunners and snipers!
If you’re putting together an Eastern Bloc WWII kit and need a bit more quick firepower than, let’s say a bolt-action Mosin Nagant, the SRC Tokarev has your back, comrade.
7. Elite Force 1911 CO2
Elite Force’s venerable 1911 is perhaps one of the most common airsoft handguns found across all types of fields and gameplay styles, and for good reason!
Its incredibly simplistic design means that it’s got near unrivaled reliability. And the CO2 magazines mean this budget-priced 1911 has got some measurable oomph to its performance.
Not to mention, sizeable recoil via the gas blowback action and a relatively high muzzle velocity compared to other, comparable gas blowback pistols.
While the Elite Force 1911 isn’t technically period correct, in our opinion it’s easily the most skirmishable option for American infantry kits. It’s actually quite easy to get done up for the part if you’re the crafty type!
Note: indoor players might want to be aware of whatever FPS or joule limits their particular field might have. That said, the EF 1911 deserves its place as the regular player’s sidearm of choice.
8. Ares PPsH41 AEG (with drum mag!)
The PPsH41 (or pa pa sha, as it’s sometimes phonetically called) was one beast of a Soviet submachine gun.
It was created in the aftermath of Russia’s winter war against Finland. The Finns used Suomi submachine guns with drum magazines to great effect in close quarters.
And the PPsH41’s legendary rate of fire makes it an icon in both videogame and film adaptations of WWII as well.
Ares’ AEG adaptation is nothing to sneeze at either!
Featuring a stamped steel receiver and 2,000 round drum magazine (!), the Ares PPsH is easily going to be one of the nastiest AEGs on the field. But we’d say it might even give modern guns a run for their money!
Hitting right at 370 FPS or so, the Ares PPsH is primed for close-quarters fighting. Although you might be surprised at how large the plucky little SMG is compared to modern, much more compact offerings.
The gun’s mechbox is designed with a quick swap in mind. So it, allows you to carry extras if you’re the type of player that likes to push their equipment to the limit!
9. SRC Steel MP40 AEG
The iconic ‘bad guy’ submachine gun comes to life!
The MP40 was the primary SMG for much of the Wehrmacht during WWII. It was also captured by many partisan units that operated clandestinely behind German lines.
SRC’s version of this subgun is damn hefty. It features steel externals where appropriate and a mock Bakelite lower receiver for authenticity!
Looking for that extra bit of realism?
The SRC MP40 also offers electric blowback with a mock bolt. This gives the gun the look and feel (somewhat) of firing a real submachine gun!
It’s fully automatic only for realism purposes. Ultimately, the SRC MP40 is the perfect way for many types of players to snag an AEG with the looks and performance to back it up.
10. Matrix Browning M1918 BAR
The BAR sits right in that niche between squad support weapon and full-on dedicated medium machine gun.
And it served as America’s attempt to bridge the gap left between the older Chauchat machine guns it previously used.
An absolute monster in terms of weight (with a noted penchant for trying to drown its users in the English channel), Matrix’s recreation of the American support gun spares no details!
At just about 11-pounds total, you might need to get yourself to the GI Gym before picking up one of these bad boys for yourself. But the gun’s utility in Milsim events where firepower counts shouldn’t be understated!
A full-steel bipod, 400 FPS muzzle velocity, and 200-round magazine mean you’ll hit hard. Although we wouldn’t necessarily try to run the BAR in a modern setting unless you’re a glutton for punishment!
While the WWII airsoft scene remains a pretty niche interest, it does indeed exist. And crossover blankfire/airsoft events deliver the maximum amount of immersion from both worlds.
What’s your go-to WWII model? Let us know in the comments below. For more on milsim events, check out our article here!