It’s pretty common for many airsoft newbies to plan upgrading their 300-fps airsoft gun to a weapon with 400 fps, to at least boost the range. So, how far can a 400-fps airsoft gun shoot, anyway?
Having a greater range is certainly an advantage in airsoft battles. Imagine being able to hit an opponent at a distance when the rest of the opposing teammates can’t get at you with their lower-fps rating.
Range vs. Effective Range
Before anything else, we first need to differentiate between the range of an airsoft weapon, and its “effective” range.
The range of a weapon can simply mean the distance the BB covers after you’ve fired a round.
But the effective range refers to the distance you can expect to hit your targets consistently. The effective range is generally a shorter distance.
A weapon can fire BBs to a distance of 200 feet. But it may only hit targets at 100 feet.
Average 400-FPS Distances
So, how far can an airsoft gun shoot at 400 fps? The real answer is, it depends.
However, let’s go with averages. If you’re buying several random 400-fps airsoft guns and test them, what average range will you get?
Off the shelf, with no upgrades whatsoever, you can perhaps expect an effective range of 25 to 35 yards. That’s 75 to about 100 feet, and that’s not so bad at all.
Tune the airsoft gun properly, and you can boost that to maybe 40 yards.
There are some airsoft guns that have been tuned to get a range of 50 yards, and even 70 yards are possible. But you’ll have to spend a lot of money to get this type of range.
FPS and Range
The truth of the matter is that the FPS for your airsoft weapon isn’t the most important factor that affects your range. Here are the more crucial factors you need to consider:
Hop Up Quality
The hop up is that component that puts a backspin on the BB to make it travel farther.
Baseball fans should understand what this is all about. Regular fastballs have tremendous backspin, so the baseball pitcher can throw them strong with a lot of accuracy.
Knuckleball pitches don’t put any spin on the baseball, that’s why the ball travels more slowly. Also, sometimes not even the pitcher knows where the baseball will end up.
If you have a great hop up along with other components, you’re fine. That’s why premium brands can give you a greater range even with lower fps. Their hop ups are terrific.
Again, you need a reputable airsoft brand to give you a smooth bore for your rifle.
A smooth bore is like a nicely flat, paved highway on which you can unleash your sportscar. If the bore isn’t smooth, it’s like trying to go fast on a very bumpy road.
You should also clean your barrel regularly, to remove any dirt that can affect your range and accuracy.
If your rifle can fire heavier BBs, go for it.
Lighter BBs don’t travel as far, and the wind can affect it more.
Using heavier BBs gives you better range and accuracy.
All in all, having a great fps rating for your airsoft weapon is nice. But some factors are more important for greater range and accuracy.
So how far can a 400-fps airsoft rifle shoot? Not as far if you have a lousy hop up, a dirty barrel, and a lightweight BB!