Spring Airsoft rifles, like other spring piston guns, feature a single shot cocking mechanism. They are almost always modeled after military grade firearms, the two most popular being the M16 and the AK-47. Often made with ABS plastic and aluminum, these spring Airsoft rifles are heavy in weight with full sized scale frames.
They fire with elastic potential energy; a spring is pulled back as the operator cocks the gun and latches onto the rear side of the rifle. When the trigger is pulled, the spring is released which pushes a piston forward causing a large amount of compressed air to thrust the BB down the barrel and out of the gun.
Spring rifles are great if you plan to knock down a couple cans in your backyard or your basement because they can pack quite a wallop at velocities ranging from 300-500 feet per second. If you get hit by a BB flying out of a spring rifle, it’s bound to leave a bruise. With a recommended ammunition weight of .20g, .23g, or .25g BBs, spring Airsoft rifles will easily penetrate a soda can when fired, often leaving a large and nasty looking hole as the BB enters the front of the can and exits out the back.
They are very cost effective since they do not require any external forms of power (AEGs require a battery which often need to be replaced and gas rifles need to be refueled every couple shots), all you need to do is cock back the gun and shoot. If you are looking for something that shoots harder than a spring pistol but won’t cost you a fortune, a spring rifle is going to your best bet.