Ask someone their idea of a military rifle, and chances are that they will immediately think about the m16 rifle more than any other weapon. The m16 design is so iconic and ubiquitous that it’s the standard to which all other designs are compared. So, it’s not surprising that you may want to get the best airsoft m16 rifle for your collection—the real thing isn’t as accessible, after all.
However, there are actually a lot of different airsoft m16 rifles out there. So, how do you pick the right one to get?
You can start by reading up on the facts we offer on this comprehensive guide, and then check out our list of the top airsoft M16 rifles out there.
Top 5 Airsoft M16: Comparison Chart
|A&K M16 A3 Version 2 Metal Gear Box Airsoft Gun||Check Price|
|JG AEG-M16A1Vietnam nicads and charger included-metal g-box||Check Price|
|A&K M16-A3 NS15 Full Metal LiPo-Ready Airsoft AEG Rifle||Check Price|
|Prima USA JG M16A1 Vietnam||Check Price|
|BBTAC M83 M4 M16 replica airsoft gun||Check Price|
Best Picks of Airsoft M16
With so many airsoft M16 rifles out there, you can save a lot of time and effort weeding out the substandard options by starting with our list of recommended airsoft M16 rifles:
#1: A&K M16 A3 Version 2 Metal Gear Box Airsoft Gun
- Product Type: Sporting Goods
- Dimensions: 10.16 L 29.21 W 106.68 H
- Package Weight: 4.627 Kilograms
- Velocity: 300-350 FPS w/ 0.12g BB
- Mag capacity: 5000
- Gearbox: Full metal
- Country Of Origin: China
- Battery and charger included
- Polymer full stock
- 4-pound weight
- Fully adjustable hop-up
This is rather affordable, as it’s made in China. But that low price isn’t the only reason why it’s so popular (and why it’s often out of stock). It’s surprisingly good, which gives you a lot of bang for the buck. Our purchase even comes with a free battery and charger (though that’s not always the deal with other sellers).
Get this in your hands, and you’ll immediately note the nice heft and solid build. It weighs about 7.4 pounds. That’s because of the half-metal construction. The full stock is made with polymer, but you still get metal for the whole gearbox.
It also comes with a fully adjustable hop-up. You’re able to fire this in full or semi-auto mode, or set it on safe mode. You can use this with magazines containing 45 rounds, but it also works with drum magazines with 5,000 rounds each.
All in all, it’s simple and fun to play with. You get about 300 to 350 fps, which should still be under most local arena fps limits.
- Comes with a free battery and charger
- Very affordable
- Nicely accurate
- Solid feel
- Very durable
- Can give you 5,000 rounds in one go
- The 5,000-round drum magazine is a separate purchase
- You may want better batteries too
- It’s so popular it’s often out of stock
#2: JG AEG-M16A1Vietnam nicads/charger included-metal g-box
- Capacity: 175 rounds / 250 rounds / 5000 rounds
- Velocity: 350-360 fps(0.20g BBs)
- Full size scale
- Nice, solid weight
- Adjustable hop-up
- Full metal gearbox
- Full and semi-auto
This also looks very serious, and the darker orange tip isn’t really all that noticeable. So you better make sure you don’t brandish this around, or else you may get shot for your trouble. It looks so serious that some sellers don’t sell this to minors (younger than 18 years old).
But in your airsoft games, you’ll certainly have a lot of fun when you’re doing the shooting. It certainly helps that it comes with a free magazine, though you ought to get at least a magazine with a 175-round capacity When we were looking for extra magazines, we found that this also works with 250-round magazines and even drum magazines with 5,000 rounds.
This lets you shoot in either full or semi-auto mode, which is expected. But the 350-360 fps is a pleasant surprise, when we tested with the 0.20g BBs. With the 0.12g BBs, we even got 450 fps.
That’s quite a good velocity, while it’s still under the max fps of most airsoft arenas (at least with the 0.20g BBs). With the adjustable hop-up system, we were able to optimize both the range and accuracy.
With this system, battles were actually a lot easier especially with the drum magazine. We were able to lay down suppressing fire and have teammates move from cover to cover more efficiently. With that much firepower and in full auto, even a single one with a weapon like this is formidable.
Now imagine if all of your team mates had this weapon! It may look a bit too simple with its Vietnam War-era design, but it’s still a good weapon to have today. We were even able to put in a bayonet (and you can get airsoft bayonets that are perfect for this weapon).
- Very durable
- Reassuring (and realistic) weight
- Full-scale specs
- Astounding rate of fire
- High velocity
- Often out of stock
- You may want to replace the 8.4v battery
- You’ll need to buy the high-cap magazines separately
#3: A&K M16-A3 NS15 Full Metal LiPo-Ready Airsoft AEG Rifle
- Length: 1000mm (39.5″)
- Weight: 2520g (5.5lbs)
- Inner Barrel: ~405mm
- Magazine Capacity: 350rd Hi-Capacity
- Muzzle Velocity: 430-460 FPS (0.20g BBs)
- Thread Direction: 14mm Negative
- Gearbox: Ver 2 Full Metal, Fully Upgradeable
- Fire Modes: Semi/Full-Auto, Safety
- Battery: 9.6v Small Butterfly Type recommended
- Hopup: Yes, Adjustable
- Package Includes: Gun, Magazine
- Quick-change spring system
That this is LiPo-ready sure got our attention, as we prefer that kind of battery in our airsoft weapons. The LiPo battery offers a lot more power, which ensures that we have enough power for a whole day of airsoft play.
And that’s a really wonderful day of playing, trust us. We did have to hunt for batteries first, as that wasn’t part of the purchase. With this design, we were able to use an 11.1V LiPo battery. You can also use a 9.6v Small Butterfly Type, along with a small Tamiya connector.
This uses high-quality polymer for the most part, which gives you the light weight while offering durability (and low costs too). You have polymer for the receiver, and also for the hand guard at the front of the gun.
This hand guard measures about 12 inches long. Add the 20 inches of the barrel itself and you sure get yourself a very accurate weapon that’s easy enough to control.
You do have full metal for the gearbox, so it’s durable and reliable. In fact, A&K really went to town with this version as they improved a lot of features. These improvements included extra reinforcement for the gearbox shell, making the gearbox a lot hardier even for tough battlefield conditions.
In other A&K versions, you have the 6mm gearbox bearings. Those aren’t bad, and they’re actually the standard. But here, you now have the larger 8mm bearings. These are much more durable, and work a lot more efficiently.
This is really meant for outdoor battlefields, which is great if you’re playing US troops versus Vietcong reenactments. For that you have velocities of up to 430 to 460 fps, and that’s with the regular 0.20g BBs.
Don’t worry about going over fps limits, though. That’s because the gearbox here also has the quick-change spring system. That means you’re able to modify your fps velocities without too much trouble. You won’t even have to disassemble the whole gearbox first.
This works very well with 350-round magazines, and you get a free one with your purchase. You can get these magazines from other brands too, such as Tokyo Maui, G&G, and Matrix.
This sure feels nice and lightweight at 5.5 pounds, and the specs are authentic with its 39.5-inch length. This gives you a detachable carry handle, along with front and rear sling points for more convenient carrying.
- Can use a wide range of batteries (including LiPo battery)
- Allows for east fps adjustments without disassembling the entire gearbox
- Comes with free 350-round magazine
- Very tough
- No free battery
#4: Prima USA JG M16A1 Vietnam AEG airsoft rifle
- Lots of freebies
- Full metal gearbox
- Tiny orange tip
- 360 fps
- 175-round capacity
- Full-scale specs
- 10-pound weight
This is very similar to the other JG AEG-M16A1 on this list. It’s just that this is a kit that’s great for a newbie. The purchase includes:
- 170-round magazine
- Magazine key
- 4v 1500 mAh battery
- Cleaning rod
- Flash hider cap
All these mean that you can start having fun right away. Put in the high-cap magazine, and it should take a while before you need to replace the mag. That’s especially true if you stay with the semi-auto mode. But chances are, you’ll want to go with the full auto mode every now and then, too. That’s why you need to buy extra mags.
The battery is also good, as it gives you about 3 hours of heavy use for a single charge. But you can do better by upgrading to a 9.6V battery.
At least the weapon performs reliably, thanks to the full metal gearbox. You’re able to fire at about 350 to 360 fps, which should be allowed in most airsoft arenas. You have an adjustable hop-up as well, which should help with the range and accuracy. You shouldn’t have trouble hitting targets up to 180 feet away.
This really looks authentic, and the orange tip is so tiny! You better not brandish this around, or else armed civilians (not to mention cops) may be alarmed. What’s more, it gives you a very realistic feel. It weighs about 10 pounds, which may be too heavy for some. But for those who want a more authentic experience, then that feels just about right.
- Realistic look and feel
- Ample pellet velocity without being too much
- Reliably hits targets at 60 yards
- Comes with battery and other freebies
- You may want a better battery
- You’ll need extra mags, too
- Really small orange tip (don’t brandish this about!)
#5: BBTAC M83 M4 M16 replica airsoft gun
- Velocity: 240 fps
- Rechargeable battery & Charger
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Red Dot Electric sight
- 3-selection switch: Safe, single, and continuous
- 2 barrels, standard barrel and barrel extension
- variable hop-up system
- 100 free BBs
- Battery and charger
- Tactical flashlight
This is basically a replica of the M4, which is what you may want to use indoors instead of the M16 airsoft rifle. The real M4 was actually designed for CQB in lieu of the M16, as it is more compact.
This airsoft version is a full scale (1:1) replica, with the same looks as the real thing. In fact, it feels and works like the real thing, which is great for safer training. You even get 100 free BBs.
In fact, you get a lot of freebies with this purchase:
- 100 free BBs
- Battery and charger
- Tactical flashlight
- Vertical fore grip
- Red-dot scope
The weapon has rails with enough space for all these accessories. You also get a mag, and this one carries 45 rounds at a time. While that may not seem a lot, it does feel a lot more realistic (and challenging, too).
It’s very easy to handle this airsoft replica, thanks to the design. You’re even able to adjust the rear to whatever length you have. Along with the broomstick VFG, you should be able to use this effectively for indoor combat.
- The fps is great for indoor battles
- Compact for indoors too
- Very ergonomic
- Comes with flashlight, red-dot scope, and VFG
- Detachable carry handle
- Not good for outdoors
History of the M16 Airsoft Rifle
The history of the M16 airsoft rifle rightfully starts with the original. It was developed in the late 1950s and was called the AR-15 at the time. They were marketed to the US military, as an alternative to the 0.308 battlefield rifles of that era.
It was eventually adopted by the US military starting in 1962, and the DOD designated it as the M16. By the mid-1960s, versions of the M16 were being used by US combat troops in Vietnam. It offered several advantages, as it was lightweight, accurate, and offered an impressive firing rate. By 1967, it was called then M16 A1 and became the standard infantry weapon for US troops.
It did have trouble with jamming at first. But those problems were fixed by changing the powder composition of the M16 ammo, along with better training for the troops and the proliferation of cleaning kits for the M16.
It’s so famous, (especially with the popularity of Vietnam-era TV shows and movies) that it’s not surprising that there would be plenty of airsoft versions of the M16. The airsoft versions of the AR-15 series (the series to which the M16 rifle belongs) remain among the favorites of airsoft fan to this day.
What is the Best Airsoft M16?
The Best airsoft M16 rifle is the one that gives you the most pleasure. For some people, that means the best Mi16 rifle is the one that lets them win more games. So, check for higher (bit still allowed) fps ratings. Look for a metal gearbox and an adjustable hop up.
However, some people like a more realistic feel. If you like reenacting the Vietnam War (at least in your mind), then you’ll want a heftier build with lots of metal for a more authentic vibe. Obviously, you need to get the right look and measurements. You may even wish for a blowback feature to simulate the recoil.
But if you’re looking for just a movie prop, simply get an authentic design. Try to get rid of the orange tip for a more real vibe to your student films.
Advantages of Owning an Airsoft M16
There are several benefits to owning the airsoft version of the M16.
You can’t get an M16 rifle legally, as it’s strictly a military weapon. Your best option is to either settle for the AR-15 (which is the civilian version of the M16) or go with an authentic airsoft replica of the M16.
They’re Great for Movies
You can find lots of authentic-looking M16 rifles that will serve nicely as props for your Vietnam War-era movie.
They’re Easy to Use and Maintain
The M16 (especially the early models) were notorious for jamming at the wrong time. You won’t have that problem with a good airsoft M16 replica.
Also, most people find the M16 design simple and easy to understand. These airsoft variants are also generally lightweight and easy enough to maneuver and carry around.
There Are Plenty of Choices
That’s another advantage of going with the airsoft version of a popular rifle. Plenty of brands out there will offer their own version. That means you have plenty of design choices, and you may even get to pick out the fps capability.
Some of these M16 airsoft rifles may even have particular accessories already attached.
They’re Easily Customized
Even if the rifles don’t have any accessories yet, that’s not really a problem. Most of these airsoft rifles can accommodate a wide range of accessories. These can allow you to put such items as scopes, red-dot lasers, and tactical flashlights on your M16 rifle.
Things to Consider Before Buying Airsoft M16
Here are the factors you should keep in mind while reading reviews and product descriptions. After all, it’s not really all about the price!
Airsoft M16 Authentic Looks
This is obviously the first thing you notice, so you may as well get something that actually looks like the real thing. If you’re looking for a movie prop, then it’s extremely important. But an authentic design simply feels better, if you’re into practicing or just playing war games.
The orange tip may not seem authentic at all, but keep it there. That may just save your life, if you’re holding this and you alarm local cops.
Airsoft M16 Build Material
You have 2 options when it comes to what’s used to build your M16 airsoft replica—metal and tough polymer. Some people like an all-polymer build to really cut down on weight, and on the price too. But you really should go with a metal gearbox on the inside, for durability and performance reliability.
Others prefer a heftier build with more metal. That makes the rifle more durable and more reliable, but also more expensive. But it’s also a bit more realistic, as the extra weight can approximate the weight of an actual M16.
Having some metal parts and some polymer parts will be a good compromise. You’ll actually want to get polymer for the stock to cut down on weight, like on the real M16. But you also should insist on metal for the gearbox.
Airsoft M16 FPS
This is one of those factors you simply can’t ignore. You can be very sure that your local airsoft arenas don’t ignore it, since they most likely have rules regarding the maximum fps they allow. That’s because having BBs fly too fast can cause serious injuries.
At the same time, the fps can’t be too low. You’ll need a high fps rating for range and accuracy. So, try to get the highest fps rating allowed in your local arenas and battlefields.
Airsoft M16 Adjustable Hop Up
This is one of the features you should insist on when you’re looking for your M16 airsoft replica. The hop up is the device that puts some backspin on the BBs to boost your range and accuracy. It’s like how you put some backspin on the baseball when you throw it.
The thing is, you need an adjustable hop-up so you can tune the effect to best suit the weight of the BBs and the velocity.
Airsoft M16 Battery Capacity
First, check if it comes with a free battery (and charger). But also check what kind of battery you can put inside. The more powerful the battery you can put in, the better performance you can expect.
It’s great if you’re able to use high-cap magazines so that you don’t have to change magazines too often. In some cases, you’re even able to use drum magazines that immediately give you hundreds (if not thousands) of rounds at your disposal.
How to Use Airsoft M16
If you want to really enjoy your time with your M16, here are some tips to heed:
Do You Have Everything You Need?
First of all, you need not just the rifle but all the necessary components too:
- Battery. Try to get the best and most powerful battery you can use for your M16 rifle. If you can use a LiPo battery, all the better.
- Charger. If the charger isn’t part of the purchase, then do yourself a favor by going with a smart charger. One of the problems with charging is that you may have problems if you charge the battery for too long.
- Magazines. Most of these rifles already come with at least 1 mag. Try to get more, especially the high-capacity magazines.
- BBS. Even with a free mag, you may not get free BBs as part of the purchase. Stick with the right caliber and weight as recommended in the manual. Also get the BBs only from reputable brands.
- Silicone oil. Airsoft M16 rifles are like their original counterparts—you’ll want to take care of them. That means using silicone oil, and not WD40.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
It’s not really all that hard to figure out how to use this rifle. Just charge up the battery, zero the sights, attach all your accessories, put in the mag, select the firing mode, and get ready to rock and roll.
But you’ll do better if you practice with it. Start in your backyard, and get to shooting a few magazines. Try out the full and semi-auto modes. Familiarize yourself on changing the magazines, so you can do that quickly even when under fire.
Always Clean the Rifle Regularly
Clean the barrel after each use! That’s crucial.
Tips for Using and Maintaining Airsoft M16
If you want your M16 airsoft rifle to last long, you may want to treat it better than your sneakers. That means don’t just throw them to the floor when you’re done with them, and don’t keep bumping them hard into walls if you can avoid it.
Here are some other tips that can help:
Clean Your M16 Barrel After Each Use
One way of messing your barrel (and thus your whole rifle) is by leaving dirt or debris in your barrel. When your fire your BBs, that dirt can just mess up the trajectory of your BBs, and so cause damage to the barrel. That also messes up your shots too.
So, clean your barrel after each use, and use silicone oil.
Clean the Hop Up and the Magazines, Too
You don’t have to do this after each time you use the M16 airsoft rifle, though. Every other time is okay. Just use a little silicone oil on the hop up, and on the magazine too. These moving parts need the silicone oil to make sure that everything works smoothly.
Don’t Use WD40
Sure, WD40 is great for many things. In fact, you may have found lots of articles online regarding the thousand (and one) stuff you can do with it. But cleaning your M16 airsoft rifle with it is not one of those things. Always use oil that’s silicone-based instead.
You mess up your batteries if you charge them past when you already have the full charge. This is the reason why you’d want a smart charger for this. If you don’t have a smart charger, check every so often so you have a fair idea of how long it takes to fully charge the battery. It’s a safe bet that overnight charging is out of the question!
Who Makes the Best Airsoft M16?
That’s probably up to you and your preferences. Obviously, your budget limitations will also come into play. But you can go with a reputable brand like A&K and feel safe, knowing you’re getting great value for your money.
While all the weapons on our list are great, we really liked the A&K M16-A3 NS15. It’s a true monster in terms of firepower, reliability, and durability. That 460-fps capacity is outstanding. But if it’s too much for your local airsoft arena, you can adjust the fps without any problems whatsoever.
It’s true that you’re the best person to determine which of these is the best airsoft M16. But do yourself a favor and try the A&K M16-A3 NS15. It’s a blast—literally!
Frequently Asked Questions
how much is an airsoft m16?
Prices vary, of course. But you can certainly find lots of good options even with just a $200 budget.
what type of battery does an airsoft m16 use?
Again, that depends on the model you get. In most cases, you’ll use a typical NiMH battery with at least 8.4V. But some of these M16 airsoft models can accommodate LiPo batteries too.
Must have accessories for m16
Now the accessories you need will depend on where you’re using the M16 airsoft rifle.
If you’re using a terrific, high-fps rifle outdoors, that means you’re able to shoot from farther away. You may want to attach a scope to see your targets better and to hit them with greater accuracy.
For indoor games, a tactical flashlight may be a good idea. You can then at least move your way around without bumping into stuff and causing a ruckus. You also get to find your targets better.
A red-dot laser can also help with indoor close quarters combat. That way, you can fire your weapon without having to line up the sights. Instead, you can shoot from the hip and the red dot tells you where you’re aiming at.
Get a strap as well, especially for games that last for hours. You can then rest your hands from carrying the rifle constantly.