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Understanding Airsoft Gearbox its Key Components

by JVAN PRECISION 21 Feb 2024
Understanding Airsoft Gearbox its Key Components

Like any other mechanical product, the gearbox of an air gun may initially seem somewhat complex. If one of its components is improperly installed, it could lead to serious issues. In such cases, you might find yourself having to disassemble your beloved air gun into parts and take them to a local store because you may not be able to pinpoint the problem.

The gearbox of an air gun might seem complex, but with some basic knowledge, it becomes more manageable. We'll explore its components and functions in the coming months. If you're uncomfortable handling an air gun, it's safer to seek professional assistance.

So, what components are included in the air gun gearbox? Let's take a look together.


The gear set in an airsoft gun transfers power from the motor to the piston, enabling firing. It includes three gears: bevel, spur, and sector. Each gear has its ratio, affecting speed and torque. Lower ratios provide higher speeds, sacrificing trigger response and rate of fire. Higher ratios offer more torque but require more power. Balancing ratios is crucial for optimal performance. For more details, visit our shop.


The piston is like the powerhouse of an airsoft gun, responsible for compressing the main spring that propels BB pellets. It's typically made of durable plastics like POM, Nylon, or Poly Carbonate and features 16 teeth. When the sector gear spins, it pulls the piston back, compressing the spring inside. As the sector gear completes its cycle, the spring releases, pushing the piston forward to shoot BB pellets.

Given its critical role, the piston undergoes significant stress, similar to how car tires wear out with use. Upgrading or replacing the piston may be necessary, especially with frequent use or upgrades to the airsoft gun. Just as you monitor your car's tires, keeping an eye on the piston's condition is essential for maintaining optimal performance.


The O-ring is a vital component within the piston assembly of an airsoft gearbox. It rests in a slot on the piston head and helps seal the existing air in the cylinder as the piston moves forward. This sealed air is then pushed along the cylinder, contributing to the propulsion of BB pellets. Some piston heads feature ports that supposedly enhance sealing by expanding the O-ring when air passes through, although this is not conclusively proven.


The motor is like the heart of an electric airsoft gun, composed of key components including the armature, can (with magnets), end bell, and brushes. In TM-style AEGs, motors come in three sizes—short, medium, and long—determined by their armature size, with no impact on performance. Swapping out a stock motor with ferrite magnets for one featuring neodymium magnets is advisable for enhanced efficiency and power, commonly found in aftermarket options.


The spring drives the piston assembly forward to compress the air in the cylinder. Aftermarket springs are rated based on stiffness, which affects the gun's FPS (feet per second). Stiffer springs compress air more quickly, resulting in higher FPS. It's preferable for the spring guide to have ball bearings or washers, allowing the spring to rotate when compressed. Spring ratings typically range from 85 to 210 meters per second


The cylinder is where existing air is utilized to propel the BB, with the piston head pushing the air through. The cylinder's volume requirement depends on the barrel and BB weight. Porting is common in cylinders to optimize performance. TM-style airsoft cylinders are often categorized for specific guns and barrel lengths, but the choice ultimately depends on the BB weight the user intends to use.


The air nozzle covers the cylinder head tube and moves back and forth over it. It allows air from the cylinder head to flow into the hop-up unit and barrel by releasing the air through the bucking lips, sealing the air between the hop-up and the barrel


Bushings and bearings may not sound exciting, but they are essential components in an airsoft gun's gearbox, ensuring smooth gear rotation. Bushings are solid and reliable, while bearings reduce friction for smoother gear rotation. Larger bearings are less likely to break. There are typically 6 bushings (or bearings) in an airsoft gun's gearbox, positioned at the ends of gear axles to keep them in place. The size varies based on the gearbox shell, ranging from 6mm to 9mm. Ceramic ball bearings are exceptionally durable and stronger than regular metal ones.


A standard trigger switch is the on/off switch for the motor in an airsoft gun. It consists of a sliding contact that makes contact when the trigger is pulled, initiating the motor and allowing the gun to fire. The sliding contact connects with female contacts, one soldered to the positive motor wire and the other to the positive battery wire. When the trigger is pulled, the motor spins, causing the gun to fire.

Understanding the various components of an airsoft gearbox is crucial for players. While maintaining the performance and functionality of the gun, it is essential to maintain and upgrade it accordingly. If you are unsure about operating an airsoft gun, it is best to seek professional assistance. We provide you with basic information, but you assume the risk of operation. Enjoy the thrill of airsoft! We are professional manufacturers of airsoft gear sets. Feel free to contact us if needed.

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