There is a great divide between airsoft companies. The majority of quality manufacturers can be found on the internet, but have little or no street presence, except at specialty shops. However, small street airsoft stores can be found in many areas. Airsoft guns are also prevalent at swap meets, which usually carry Chinese-made non-branded airsoft guns. It is important to note that while the factories listed below manufacture the guns, consumers will have very little success in regards to support after the sale if they purchase items in a factory box. In the United States, Companies like Crosman, Cybergun, Daisy, and Palco Sports are considered manufacturers even though the product is actually made at one of the many factories listed below. Like most companies that have products made abroad, the actual factory is relevant only for their reputation of quality, while the "manufacturer" is considered by the consumer to be the company that brings the product to market. For example: Nike has most of it's products made outside of the USA, yet they do not own the factories. These factory names are irrelevant to the consumer. In the same case, Airsoft companies like the aforementioned pay the factories to produce products for them to their specifications. Because Airsoft was introduced as an import product first, the factories themselves gained reputations for quality. The advent of 'rebranding' in most cases allows the consumer a resource for service after the sale.
High-end Airsoft manufacturers
- Hudson - Hudson produces reenactment grade, shell-ejecting, gas-operated airsoft guns, mainly of WWII replicas.
- Sheriff -Sheriff who assemble full metal custom pistols using Western Arms based components, as well as building Maruzen based bolt action rifles. Sheriff also made gas airsoft rifles for a time, including the now discontinued Highlander Magnum.
- Sunproject - Sunproject Known for their M203s and CO2 driven Gas Blow Back M-16s.
- Gamma - Most notably known for their remote control airsoft claymore mine.
- G&G (Guay Guay Gunshop) - specializes in internal and external upgrades and accessories. G&G has recently released higher end guns such as the RK103, UMG, and M-14. They tend to cost much more than a similar Classic Army or Tokyo Marui model (thus are unpopular among mainstream airsoft) and have very complex internals, consequently discouraged for beginners at airsoft gearboxes.
- G&P- specializes in aftermarket upgrades and external accessories, also make a variety of high quality AR-15 series AEGs along with an M249.
- ICS (I Chih Shivan) - ICS is considered one of the "Big 3" manufacturers of airsoft guns (the others being Tokyo Marui, and Classic Army, respectively). Their guns usually come with metal bodies and original trademarks (both of which are highly sought after by players). They manufacture Olympic Arms, M4s, MP5s, and an AK-74M replica. In addition, they have also come out with the split gearbox design in which the upper gearbox (which includes the cylinder and spring assembly), disconnects from the lower gearbox (which the actual gear assembly) for easier repair and upgrades. Recent updates to their product line have lead to increased reliability and a slightly upgraded FPS. Upcoming projects include the SIG rifle series, G36, L85, and additional versions of the popular Kalashnikov.
- Inokatsu - famous for their full metal M60 Machine Guns and AK47/74. Known to be high quality, with a price tag to match.
- Deep Fire Airsoft - Founded by the chief engineers at Classic Army, Deep Fire is known for innovative and unique products like their Titanium pistons for AEG rifles, M72 Launcher, airsoft hand grenades and distraction devices.
- KSC - largely a pistol manufacturing company. Their gas blow back pistols are of high reliability and accuracy, having gained themselves a reputation for 'practical' skirmishing sidearm's. While mostly manufacturing pistols, endeavors to rifles have been made. KSC manufactures an HK33 AEG line that features manual cocking in the event of a dead battery.
- Mad Bull Airsoft - makers of many types of Airsoft grenades, grenade launchers, tight-bore barrels, triggers, mines, and various other parts. They are also own a lot of licensing from real firearms industry. They also work closely with HSS International, a famous training school in USA.
- Marushin - known for some of their guns to use an 8mm bb instead of a 6mm
- Maruzen - one of the first airsoft companies that came out, known for its P99 non-blowback
- Modify - specializes in internal upgrades.
- Olympic Arms Airsoft - These guns are basically ICS Armalites with licensed trademarks by TSD.
- STAR Airsoft - specializing in more expensive, highly realistic, easy-to-disassemble airsoft guns. There are doubts over the reliability of their AEGs, such as gearbox problems in their SA80 series.
- Systema Engineering - which specializes in high-end training weapons as well as also internal and external upgrades. Extremely accurate replicas of the real guns, sometimes indistinguishable until fired. Most expensive airsoft guns on the market with prices ranging from $1,199 to $1,499.
- Tanaka Works - which specializes in high-powered gas gun revolvers and rifles.
- Tokyo Marui Airsoft - Most commonly renowned as possibly the very pinnacle of airsoft technology , reliability, and durability (while kept stock). Tokyo Marui created the first automatic electric gun (AEG) - the FAMAS F1 - and was responsible for the invention of the 'HopUp' System (which, by means of an adjustable rubber pad in the barrel, imparts a spin to the fired BB, greatly increasing range). Tokyo Marui (known as 'TM' in shorthand) has manufactured a wide variety of AEG's, smaller AEP's (Automatic Electric Pistols), along with gas and spring powered weapons. They have also been responsible for other great advancements in airsoft. However, due to Japanese law, Marui is limited to using ABS plastic receivers, which has put them in tight competition with CA and ICS - companies who are under no such restriction (they are therefore able to offer "full metal" guns, which some see as high quality, more aethetically pleasing). As an investment, Tokyo Marui's guns last for many more years than other competitors - reliability has made them arguably one of the best platforms for upgrading. Tokyo Marui is the largest airsoft manufacturer woldwide, and is seen as the Airsoft "standard" for which nearly all after market products are tailored.
- Classic Army Airsoft - A Hong Kong company that is often seen to rival Tokyo Marui. CA products - released in 2003 - were popular because their metal bodies. However, their products are often criticised for lack of quality control or reliability.
- RealSword - a Hong Kong-based company manufacturing replicas of Chinese assault rifles - Type 56, QBZ-95 and QBZ-97. RealSword boasts about high quality of those replicas. According to internal news, RealSword 's supplier is "Norinco" which is the biggest defense contractor in China. (http://www.norinco.com) We can expect that their products will be as real as it is.
- TOP - specializes with manufacturing light and heavy machine gun airsoft replicas.
- Western Arms - largely specializing on the 1911 .45 and its derivatives as well as Beretta, S&W and SV.
- VFC/GB TECH (Vega Force Company) - Recently began production of Rare and Unique AEGs. One of their popular models is an HK-416, which is prized for being the only completely stock AEG of the HK-416 on the market.
- King Arms - Though this Hong Kong company has only released their only series of FAL carbines, K.A is well know for their accessories and optics. K.A has a variety of red/green dot scopes and is the only company so far to release a red/green dot multi-reticle scope.
Middle-range Airsoft Manufacturers Produce lower budget alternatives to higher priced guns. Usually fire at a lower power, use cheaper materials and have less detail.
- KWC (Kien Well Corporation) - Taiwanese manufacturer known for its CO2 powered Mini UZI, classic M16 gas rifles and spring-power guns retaining fully licenced trademarks.
- KJW (Kuan Ju Works) - Taiwanese manufacturer of high powered metal-constructed replicas. (Takes 'top' green gas right out of box) Most KJW guns do not carry replicated trademarks, so the accuracy of the replicas is limited. Some of KJW products are sold under the brand "Y&P" in the United States. Their most popular model is the Beretta 92 FS, most commonly referred to as the M9.
- HFC Airsoft (Ho Feng Corporation) - Taiwanese manufacturer of spring- and gas-powered guns, mainly KSC and Tokyo Marui copies. The company was made famous for their HFC M190 gas blowback model. The gas pistol was a replica of a Beretta 92FS but included a tactical mounting rail. The pistol was released in an ABS or full metal version (excluding grips). The pistol could also be purchased in full automatic, semi automatic, or both.
- WE Taiwan (Wei-E Tech) - brand belonging to HFC, known for their range of metal Colt M1911 and Hi-Capa pistols (based on tactical STI 1911 .45 series)
- AIM - AEG series manufactured by ICS but lacking the full metal bodies.
- Modify - Taiwanese manufacturer, specializes in designing and manufacturing internal airsoft upgrade parts.
- TECHPRO - A Japanese owned company in Taiwan, specializes in manufacturing innovative parts to give your AEGs more power. very limited parts produced so far. Most popular products is the double O-ring piston head.
- SRC (Star Rainbow Company) /STTI - Taiwanese company manufacturing M4/M16 and AK47 replicas, copied from Tokyo Marui designs. They now release full metal versions in addition ABS plastic versions that fires around 300-330 fps out of the box. Their first gun, an M4A1, had reliability issues and broke after a few thousand shots. Their newer guns are said to be far better, and they currently produce the only RPK on the market, as well as the only Marui-compatible XM8, which also is the only fully assembled XM8 with a working scope.
- CYMA Airsoft - Earlier models include the CM027 MP5J and CM028S AK47. Their release for 2006 includes the CM031 which is externally a CA SLR-105 clone but internally similar to its version of the AK47 with a different hop up chamber and inner barrel. They also recently released a TM clone G18c AEP, however their products lack the quality and precision of higher end brands. They also manufacture LPEGs, which are quite popular among beginners.
- JIEKE/WELL - The Chinese company that revolutionized the MPEG market with the release of their R5 MP5 and R6 M4A1 in mid 2005. Its gearbox and motor proved to be surprisingly durable although both guns suffer from air compression problems. They later released the R7 or M4A1 with full stock and R8 G3SAS which surprised many with its robustness and accuracy. WELL is the first company to release the TM clone of MP7 or R-4.
- Double Eagle (DE) - The company that revolutionized LPEGs with its famous M83. Double Eagle has been proven to make exact copies of Tokyo Marui's weapons with small upgrades, which results in greater durability and utility. Their version of the AK47 and Spetsnaz were met with lukewarm enthusiasm as most other Chinese companies, many unknown, were able to come up with better performing aegs. Their M50 springer rifle was quite popular and easily "upgradeable" to 400fps by simply wrapping the inner barrel and hop up chamber area with teflon tape to seal air leaks. In early 2007, Double Eagle released a version of M4 S-System (the M88) and G&G-based UMP (the M89).They have been notably making the highest quality LPEGs compared to Well and CYMA
- Both Elephant (BE) - Not a very good company, weak guns don't manage in hard use and break easily. Manufactures copies of the MP7, G3SG1, G36K, and the SL8 sniper rifle. Most of their AEGs are offered with either a plastic or metal gearbox, the latter being more reliable. However, even the metal gearbox versions are inferior in quality to similar models produced by Jing Gong (JG). They are often light weight and lack the same quality of finish and trademarks. Currently their plastic gearbox and metal gearbox variants have dropped drastically in price because of their quality, but they have still been making some of the stringest LPEGs and they were leading some of the strongest MGB Guns until JG came back in the production
- Jing Gong (JG, also known as Golden Bow) - JG's first normal-power AEG release was the first series of M5 - MP5 replicas (MP5A4, MP5A5, MP5-SD5, MP5SD6) based on plastic bodies of their earlier LPEGs, fitted with a modified V2 gearbox and non-standard hop up system. Those replicas, prone to breaking and having poor performance, were soon discontinued. The next series of JG AEGs, the AK47 series – built around a copy of Tokyo Marui V3 gearbox and AK47 hop up system – proved more successful. Aside from standard AK47 and AK47S, the series included a copy of TM Beta Spetsnaz AK, a folding stock variation of the Beta Spetsnaz and a copy of Guarder "AK-to-SVD" kit (able to achieve velocity in 380-400 fps range after replacing poor quality cylinder and barrel). In late 2006, Jin Gong introduced its M16 line (consisting of M4A1, M16A2, M16A4, M4 S-System), the second, revised series of MP5s, Steyr AUG A2 and a G36C, all capable of BB velocity of 350 fps and more. Jin Gong are often referred to as "Tokyo Marui of Chinese AEGs" due to high quality of their products. Their latest release of M4s: M16A4 (Referred as SPR), M4 S-System, CQB and SR-16 have achieved high velocities, confirmed to be about 400 fps with 0.2g BB(1.49J) out of the box. Jing Gong is considered to be the new manufacturers of high end guns at low prices. Their newest airsoft guns feature highly durable reinforced gearboxes with metal bushings, and full metal receivers. The following rifles in their lineup include metal bodies: AK-47 series MP5 RAS series The following include metal bushings in their gearboxes: G36C (Confirmed) AK-47 (Rumored)
- A&K - Its M4 S-System with metal RIS (rail interface) has become a big winner in a market saturated with M4A1s. The S-System was followed by other rifles from the M16 family: M16A4, M4, M933 and M4 CQB, and a M249 clone was released in mid August 2007. The A&K M249 clone is far cheaper and stronger than the original CA Version, priced at around 1600HKD and has velocity of 400fps!
- Kart/New Star - this company, commonly linked to A&K, has débuted with releasing a M14 copy soon after the Tokyo Marui model appeared. Other models include M14 SOCOM rifle, M40 and Steyr AUG (although the last one was discontinued due to poor build).
- AGM - a latecomer that surprised the market with its surprising accurate and powerful springer rifle, the MP001 aka VSR (since it is a visual replica of the TM VSR10). While its MP004/s AK 47 version did not gain popularity mainly due to the head start gained by CYMA and the AGM offering nothing new, its MP007 (MP40) was an instant hit as an alternative to expensive and fault-prone TOP MP40 and MP008 (M14) surprised the market with its use of the version 3 spring guide and stock gears. The MP.0005, is an amazing gun. It has an awesomly cheap scope. (Yeah!)
- BOYI/DBOYS' - Known for their M4s. The M4 CASV is one of their greatest hits. Recently (08-04-07) There have been a new outbreak with some M4/M16 Rifles as the new M4 SD version which are available to select dealers, they have almost every M4 style gun in their production range.
- ARMY - Little known manufacturer only known for product is a full stock AEG version of the AK-47 and an L85A1 AEG. Also they are a Manufacturer than can be found more in Europe Airsoft Dealers as not many to the USA
- JLS - producer of the airsoft SCAR and two full metal HK33 variants and an FN F2000. Also the biggest producer of the "cheap" AEP )Airsoft Electric Pistol) blowbacks which have a high failure rate but one of best sellers for their fun.
Note: There have been inaccurate claims that CYMA, Double Eagle, and/or WELL are the same company. They are in fact separate companies although closely related, possibly with family connections between some co-owners. What is sure is that they have close business ties and sometimes coordinate their product development efforts. Also important to note is the prolific pirating of Chinese products within China. Many smaller factories duplicate the larger factory's product in exact detail, copying even the factory marks (WELL for example). Consumers and retailers must be aware that purchasing factory-direct (non-branded) product does not mean that the product is legitimately from that factory.
- Unicorn Hobby Company (UHC) - Offering very reliable, yet economical alternatives to higher-end companies. Have produced a variety of well known spring guns including the MP5 SD3, the M1911A1, M92FS, as well as the Super 9. Also have released gas pistols including the H&K USP.
- KHC - Famous for their Maverick Bullpup and spring pistols.
- Omega - Famous for their Beretta 93R.
- Academy - South Korean company best known for their DPMS Kittycat, L85, and A-15 rifles.
- AZR Machine & Tool Co. -Customized builders of airsoft accessories , replica wood rifle stocks for the (AKM,M14,M1A), Co2 mechbox upgrade for AEGs and conversion kits. This company based in Manila that offers a wide range of customized services for there clients that wish to have there own designs to there replica rifles.
Distributors These companies purchase product directly from the factories for distribution to retailers. In the United States, the better companies will repackage the products with English instructions and may include warranty cards. Generally, the larger the company, the more leverage they have with the factory, which leads to better quality control and distribution. These distributors are classified as manufacturers even though they contract outside manufacturers:
- Redwolf Airsoft, Founded in the 90's, this company wholesales to retailers across the globe. This company has offices in multiple cities, and focuses on mid to high end airsoft products. The company also has a retail unit.
- Team SD, one of the oldest Airsoft importer in the US. They offer weapons and accessories from many of the leading manufacturers, including ICS, SRC, HFC, and WE. They admit to simply re-branding some products, but claim to offer feedback to manufacturers to improve product quality on most. Warranty is offered on most products.
- Airsoft Elite - Smaller importer and distributor of ICS and VFC products.
- AIRSOFT ZONE CORPORATION - An American-based DIRECT importer and distributor of a wide barrage of airsoft weapons and accessories.
- BroJames' Shop and Distro - A distributor in the Philippines that imports and domestically preupgrade high-end AEGs (Classic Army and Tokyo Marui) and mid-range AEGs (SRC, Kuan Ju Works, STTI, Y&P, and non-branded Chinese AEGs).
- ECHO 1 – An American company that rebrands AEGs, first testing and upgrading, then repackaging. Known for their M4 line and the G36c. There remains some doubt as to whether Echo 1 internally upgrades their products as advertised.
- Crosman, offering mainly low-quality Chinese entry-level electric rifles, spring and co2 powered
- Cybergun - offers a big selection of licensed products, mainly by KWC and AGM.
- FIREPOWER (Palco Sports) - The company offers a warranty on their products.
- JAG Precision, One of the most reputable and oldest distributor in USA. The owner has real solid background and also work with Hollywood movie industry. They are also the exclusive distributor for Japan CAW, MadBull, Modify, Echo1USA, and more...TEL: 1.626.448.9879
- Jape Airsoft - A Manila (Philippines) based reseller of quality High-end and ACM AEGs that offers upgrades and custom works. Carries most popular brands of AEGS/Accessories/Parts/Supplies. Contact through +63918 9418225.
- STTi (SpringTime Taiwan Inc.) - Parent company of KJW and SRC
- Tippmann (Spring, CUCOK, and electric guns)
- Umarex - operating mainly in Germany and selling various replicas of Walther, Beretta, Desert Eagle, Smith and Wesson, and Heckler and Koch guns - produced by KJW, KWC, HFC and WELL. Umarex USA, offers entry-level spring and electric pistols in Walther shapes and mid-upper level electric and CO2 models with metal gears under the Tactical Force (WELL) brand.
- UTG / Neonfire - Two subdivisions of Leapers that re brand lower-end Chinese-made guns from WELL, CYMA, and Double Eagle. Usually packs them with extra accessories like an extra battery, magazine, or sling.
- UK ARMS - a new company who imports mostly Chinese airsoft products.
- Aliz.fr – A French company offers selection of GBB and AEG ; importing and selling replicas - producted by WE(wei e tech) and AIM Top
Airsoft pellet (BB) manufacturers
- AS-24 (0.15g, 0.20g, 0.23g, 0.25g, 0.28g Bio Pellets)and (0.20g, 0.25g, 0.30g) non Bio Pellets - very good quality 6mm BB sold by www.Airsoft24.de in Germany.
- Airsoft Elite (0.2g, 0.23g, 0.25g BB Pellets) - Good quality white and black BB Pellets
- Biotech BBB (0.20 0.25 Biodegradable Bionelle) - Very good Bio pellet previously supplied through Arte Corporation
- Excel (0.2g, 0.23g, 0.25g Biodegradable BB Pellets) A high quality Bio-Degradable BB Pellet's Manufactured in Japan
- Goldfire (0.2g, 0.25g BB Pellets) - Taiwanese BB pellets.
- Systema (0.2g Pellets) - High quality 0.2g 6mm BBs
- ICS (0.2g BB Pellets) - Taiwan-made BB Pellets by I Chih Shivan Enterprise
- Maruzen (0.2g BB Pellets) - High precision Japanese manufactured BB Pellets, claimed to be within +/- 0.01 mm. Rate 4.5/5 on the universal BB grading system.
- KSC (0.2g, 0.25g, 0.3g BB Pellets) - Good quality Taiwanese manufactured BB Pellets for OEM in Japan. Rate 4/5 on the universal BB grading system.
- Tsunami (0.2g, 0.23, 0.25, 0.30 and Tracer Pellets) - The first company to incorporate double polishing to their pellets. Very high precision and harder composite then most other BB's.
- TSD Tactical - High quality, competition-grade highly polished BB's, made with ABS plastic.
- Killer Beez (.20g, .25g .28g BBs) High quality white BBs.
- HFC (0.12g, 0.2g BB Pellets) - Regular quality BB Pellets for lower to middle end guns
- ECO BB (0.20g) - biodegradable BB. These BB's dissolve in hours when submersed in water. Rate 3/5 on the universal BB grading system.
- Flying Colors (0.12g., 0.2g, 0.25g) - Good grade 6mm BBs for all-around use. They have the widest variety of colors available. Rate 2.5/5 on the universal BB grading system.
- 6MMZ (.20g BB Pellets) High quality Black BB Pellets
- 1st Target (0.12g,0.18g,0.20g,0.23g,0.25g,0.28g,0.30g,0.33g Non Bio - 0.20g,0.23g,0.25g,0.28g,0.30g) available in rough finish ( suitable for not double stacking mags ) and smooth finish High quality 6 mm BBs.
- Matrix BB Pellets in Southern Californian non bio only They are sold by Evike.com.
- CYMA (.12, .2) Generally poor quality despite advertising as High grade pellets, to be avoided in most cases.
- Xtreme Precision Italy (0.12g, 0.20g, 0.23g, 0.25g, 0.28g 0.30g) - High quality BB's, The company does not primarily deal in airsoft BB's but rather professionally makes ball bearings.
- King Airsoft regular and Bio BBs Fotodegradable Italian BB makers various colours and weights.
- GoldenBall China (0.12g,0.15g,0.20g,0.23g,0.25g,0.28g,0.30g,0.32g Non Biodegradable BB pellets & 0.20g,0.25g Biodegradable BB pellets) High quality 6 mm white,green and black BBs.
- Tokyo Marui Japan (0.12g,0.20g,0.25g,0.30g)Superior quality BBs for good price,suitable for all guns of all manufacturers
Former Airsoft Factories/manufacturers
Along with the named companies, a few companies who were prominent in the earlier history of airsoft, but have since gone out of business, include:
- Asahi Firearms
- Falcon Toy Corp./Hudson
- MGC Bondshop of Japan
- YE- Youth Engineering
Some guns from these manufactures can be found on eBay or Endoshoji.com
- Airsoft Pyrotechnics Manufacturers
- Tony Lewis TLSFX contact - A UK company.
- Spectrum (Spectrum Pyrotechnics) - A UK company.