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What is GBB Airsoft? What You Need to Know about Gas-Powered Airsoft Guns

What is GBB AirsoftWhat is a GBB airsoft gun? GBB stands for ‘gas blow back’ which refers to one of the most popular types of gas-powered airsoft guns. It got its name from its blowback action which sets it apart from other airsoft weapons. You can find pistol and rifle GBB weapons today.

Quick Introduction

In search of an airsoft gun that will add more excitement to your gameplay? With so many different types of airsoft weapons available, you certainly have tons of options to choose from. However, if you want something different from conventional picks, gas blowback guns might just tickle your fancy.

What are GBB airsoft guns and what sets them apart from your other choices? This article will take a closer look at gas blowback guns and help you get better acquainted with them.

What is GBB Airsoft? What is the Difference Between Gas Blowback and Non-Blowback Gas Airsoft Guns

While gas and spring-powered airsoft guns are widely available in the market, AEGs or airsoft electric guns tend to be more common and popular. Their convenience and reliability make them suitable for beginners, hence the widespread use.

However, once you start getting to know the sport better, you might find yourself curious about other available options. The beauty of airsoft is that there are so many exciting choices for equipment so there’s always something different to explore.

For a whole new experience in airsoft, switching to another type of airsoft gun would be a good idea. While you’ll still be playing the same type of games in most likely the same fields and with the same people, the involvement will be different if you’re going to use a different type of weapon.

So if you’re used to using AEGs, a GBB gun might be a nice alternative for you. What exactly is it? Let’s take a closer look below.

What Does GBB Stand for in Airsoft?

Airsoft or softair gun with carbon dioxide gas canisters and non-metallic shotsGBB stands for ‘gas blowback’. This refers to the type of weapon these guns are. They’re gas-powered and come with a blowback action.

What is a blowback action? Blowback is defined as “a process in which gases expand or travel in a direction opposite to the usual one, especially through escape of pressure or delayed combustion.” In airsoft guns, it refers to the back and forth movement of the slide with each pull of the trigger.

The best way to describe it for those who are unfamiliar with the concept is that it’s similar to an actual firearm’s recoil. It’s just a less severe action since the object being forced out of GBB guns are much lighter than real bullets. As a result, the kick created by GBB airsoft weapons are classified as blowback and not recoil.

How GBB Airsoft Guns Work

GBB airsoft guns work following the principle of potential energy in the form of gas. The pressurized gas is stored in a reservoir inside the airsoft gun, some of which gets released when the trigger is pulled.

Essentially, the trigger opens a slot where the pressurized gas can escape to. This will then push the bb forward while also pushing the slide back. This results in a realistic blowback action that also pulls up another bb in front of the valve then resets the hammer that releases the gas.

It’s a cyclical process that repeats every time you pull the trigger. It ends when the last bb is loaded and the stopper at the side of the gun is engaged. It will stop the slide from moving to its closed position and will keep the shooter from attempting to take shots again.

GBB vs Non-Blowback Gas Airsoft Guns

Not all gas-powered airsoft guns have blowback action. These are known as non-blowback gas airsoft guns. They work pretty much the same way as AEGs and most spring airsoft guns as their slides stay in place while shooting.

Another notable difference between the two is the trigger action. The trigger pull is usually longer and heavier for non-blowback guns due to their double action. This can make them trickier to handle.

Also, non-blowback guns look a lot less realistic compared to GBBs. The latter are typically made to look and feel like actual firearms so they often come with all the details of real weapons. As a result, many find the GBBs to be a lot cooler to shoot with.

What are the Best GBB Airsoft Guns?

To give you a good idea of what the finest GBB guns are like, here’s a quick roundup of the most popular picks today:

Why Consider Getting a GBB Airsoft Gun?

Man in cargo pants with gunNow that it’s established what a GBB airsoft gun is and what sets it apart from non-blowback types, it’s time to look into its usage. There are actually quite a few reasons why GBB airsoft guns are notable and preferred by many.

If you’re wondering what benefits you’ll get by getting one, here are some good points that you should know about.

Realistic gameplay

One of the biggest reasons why a lot of airsoft players get GBB guns is because they can offer very realistic gameplay. As mentioned above, these guns are nearly identical in many aspects to actual firearms.

The blowback action tends to make these airsoft weapons feel like they’re real firearms. While the impact they create are not identical to the real thing, it proves to be enough for most shooter’s purpose.

If you’ve only played with AEGs before, GBBs will offer you a whole different experience.

Training for real firearms handling

Lots of professionals who use firearms as a part of their jobs also make use of GBB airsoft guns for training for various reasons. For one, they feel like the real deal so they can help maintain one’s muscle memory in handling firearms even if they can’t actually train with actual weapons.

The blowback action in GBB guns are already enough for a lot of shooters to help them get used to the feel of handling actual firearms. The impulse it creates keeps a lot of shooters from getting surprised and intimidated from a real gun’s recoil.

Friendly price tag

It may not seem like it but GBB airsoft weapons are usually around the same price as AEGs. So if you’re worried about the prices of these items, there’s not much to fret about. If you have a budget for an AEG, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a good GBB unit within the same price range.

What might make GBBs a bit costlier than AEGs, however, are the consumables. Aside from bbs, you’ll also need to buy canned gas to make them work.

Proper Handling and Maintenance of GBB Airsoft Guns

Firearm cleaning and maintenance after use at shooting rangeIf you’re interested in getting a GBB gun, it’s important to learn about its upkeep, too. Caring for GBB airsoft guns is different from handling and maintaining AEGs. To ensure that you’ll keep your GBBs in top shape, here are some important things to keep in mind.

How to Clean the Barrel of an Airsoft GBB

There are lots of different guides and tutorials on how to clean the barrel of airsoft guns. Some even have conflicting tips, so they can be a bit confusing. However, the most basic steps are the following:

  1. Check the user manual for instructions. This will tell you what the safest route is in cleaning your airsoft gun.
  2. Gather your materials
    • Cleaning rod (usually included in the package)
    • Small cleaning cloth (microfiber is best)
    • Your choice of cleaning solution (rubbing alcohol, silicone oil, teflon oil, etc)
  3. Remove attachments like suppressor units if you have any.
  4. Turn the hop up dial off to avoid damaging it.
  5. Grab the cleaning cloth and thread it through the eye at the tip of the cleaning rod. Spray some cleaning fluid in it.
  6. Insert the rod down the barrel carefully. Do not use force, especially if you feel any kind of resistance. Pull the rod out and reposition the cloth before reinserting then repeat the process.

How to Fill GBB Airsoft Magazines

To fill GBB magazines properly, here are the steps:

  1. Grab your can of green gas and take off the cap.
  2. Hold the can upside down on one hand and your magazine on the other. Align the nozzle to the magazine. Do not tilt as it might damage the nozzle of your gas canister.
  3. Insert the gas canister’s nozzle into the magazine and hold it down for a few seconds. Depending on the size of the magazine, you might need to take 10 to 30 seconds to fill them up. Do it in increments to ensure that you’ll fill the magazine properly.


GBB airsoft guns can be great additions to your airsoft arsenal for the different kind of experience they offer. Even actual firearm enthusiasts will find them very useful for many reasons, so they’re truly worth checking out.

If you have anything to add to the points mentioned above, please leave them in the comments. Opinions and suggestions are always welcome.

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