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Airsoft Guns (in general)

"Airsoft Guns" are replica firearms that propel plastic pellets by way of compressed gas or a spring-driven piston. Depending on the mechanism driving the pellet, an airsoft gun can be operated manually or cycled by either compressed gas such as Green Gas (propane), or CO2, a spring, or an electric motor, but are ultimately fired from a piston compressing a pocket of air.

Automatic Electric Guns (AEGs)


"Electric guns", in their varying forms, use an electrically powered gearbox to compress a spring, which, when released, propels the pellet out of the barrel.
Electric-powered airsoft guns typically use a rechargeable battery to drive an electric motor, which cycles an internal piston/spring assembly in order to launch pellets. Automatic, 3 round burst, and semi-automatic operation is possible which gives these guns the popular name "automatic electric guns" or AEGs.

Squad Support Weapon


A support weapon is classified as any weapon that can provide support to advanced infantry in the field. A support weapon is by nature, belt feed, heavily engineered against failure and overheating, heavy, uncomfortable to wield, and [difficult] to carry.
This includes, but is not limited to light machine guns, heavy machine guns, mortars, any type of grenade launcher, etc. [Typically a support weapon in airsoft contains] a box mag and possibly a bipod and or forward vertical grip.
editor's note: the term Support Weapon in airsoft a controversial subject


Pistols


Gas Blow Back (GBB)


"Gas-powered" airsoft guns use pressurized gas to propel pellets. These guns are capable of automatic and semi-automatic operation. Gas power tends to be used in airsoft pistols where size constraints make electric-powered mechanisms impractical. Other instances where gas is favored are where adjustable velocities are required or where a blowback feature is desired. A blowback feature is a mechanism which cycles a slide or bolt to better simulate a real firearm's operation.

Automatic Electric Pistol (AEP)


Automatic Electric Pistols, abbreviated AEPs [are typically used] in cold weather, [due to the fact that] batteries are not as badly affected by frigid weather. Gases are stored in liquid form and require heat in order to vaporize. A gas pistol at 10°F will usually only get one to two usable shots from a full magazine, and even they will be at reduced power because of the lowered pressure of the gas. Because the gearbox and battery are smaller, the velocity of the pellets is relatively slow for airsoft play, and therefore are only good for close range.


Springer


Spring-powered airsoft guns are single-shot devices that use elastic potential energy (EPE) stored in a spring to compress air to launch an airsoft pellet down the barrel of the gun. The user must cock a spring gun prior to each shot.

Sniper / Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR)


DMRs are rifles built for long-range assault. Most sniper rifles are bolt action, although a few [...] are semi-automatic. This gives them a much lower possible ROF than AEGs. [Typically the DMR] should be upgraded for more accuracy and range than an assault rifle. Optics, usually a scope or red dot sight, may be attached too.
editor's note: Snipers/DMRs are not recommended for new/beginning players.

Shotgun


Shotguns are typically used at close quarters (CQ) and at rare cases, mid-range. Shotguns [typically] operate differently in airsoft than real shotguns. Most of them fire only one BB at a time, although [there] are [...] exceptions. [Both] spring and gas shotguns are available.

Rubber Knife


Some sites [like JFFA] will allow players to use training knives made out of rubber, plastic [ ...] to perform a 'knife kill' as long as they do not use violent stabbing or cutting movements. [This allows] simulated 'knife kills' [...] when a player touches or taps an unaware opponent. This prevents the player being forced to shoot him or her at point-blank range.

Sources

Airsoft gun - Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airsoft_gun#Automatic_electric_guns
http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-an-Airsoft-Gun
http://www.airsoftohio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20952