Best Airsoft M4s of 2019
For players who enjoy the run-and-gun lifestyle, exceptional automatic weapons sit at the heart of their preferred loadout. Although there are a variety of airsoft assault rifles to choose from, the M4 is a popular choice for those who want the flexibility of a CQB bruiser with all-fields performance.
We realize there’s an immense assortment to choose from. After doing research, looking at owner feedback, and comparing technical specifications, we’ve compiled our shortlist of the best airsoft M4s below.
Here’s Our Picks for the Best Airsoft M4 (Updated List)
- VFC Avalon Full Metal VR16 M4 AEG
- ICS CXP Transform-4 Keymod M4 Blowback AEG
- Krytac War Sport LVOA-C M4 AEG
- G&P Full Metal Advanced M4 Carbine AEG
KWA VM4 Ronin 10 SBR
VFC Avalon Full Metal VR16 M4 AEG
A crowd favorite amongst M4 enthusiasts, the VFC Avalon VR16 M4 is praised for its robust construction. The rifle features a fully-metal receiver, barrel assembly, and handguard. This gun is stout and can be knocked around without concern. The magazine has a large, textured pattern for easy handling. Depending on the model, the handguard comes in either a Keymod or M-Lok configuration, which look aggressive and feel solid. The stock is extendable by up to 3.5 inches for optimal shooting comfort. This can wobble minorly when extended. Owners can fold down their iron sights or detach the rear sights. As expected, external controls are ambidextrous and accessories are welcomed on the top rail.
The Avalon measures 35 inches with the stock fully extended, and 31.5 inches with it retracted. The VFC Avalon comes in two attractive finishes – Black and Bronze. The motor grip, trigger guard, and stock are QRS enhanced for control and ergonomic delight. VFC also offers a quick-change spring system, making parts swaps a breeze. Included in the box is the VFC Avalon VR16 and one 120-round magazine. The Avalon can be picky with some magazines, so be sure to do some research before buying extras.
The Avalon is powered by a long type motor and a 9.6V small butterfly battery. It fires at 370-380 FPS out of the box, and features a Version 2 gearbox. This gearbox is fully metal, and VFC claims it’s fully upgradeable. Thankfully, the M4 is a popular platform, so locating parts shouldn’t be challenging. Compared to brands like Krytac, VFC doesn’t include many proprietary internal components. Owners report that some Avalon models ship with a GATE MOSFET, which tinkerers will love.
An adjustable hop up compliments its ample power, located at the mock bolt catch. This is easy adjustable and offers good results. Players can accurately hit targets at 150 feet or more, depending on ammo and playing conditions. This isn’t simply a spray-and-pray weapon. With a quality sight, the Avalon can capably pick off opponents one shot at a time. Should players want to squeeze more performance out of their Avalon, upgrades are relatively simple and plentiful. This is especially true for spring swaps thanks to the quick-change system.
The Bottom Line
While this gun is suitable for all players, it’s not suitable for all budgets. The VFC Avalon VR16 is quite expensive, though the stock package offers impressive performance and durability. For those seeking the highest external-build quality, look no further. This gun is a worthy investment with superb quality-of-life additions.
ICS CXP Transform-4 Keymod M4 Blowback AEG
Outwardly unique to the ICS CXP Transform-4 is its blowback design, a departure from standard AEGs. Owners report that this feel is satisfying without being jarring, boosting realism. Accordingly, a full-metal receiver adds a hefty-and-durable feel. A full-length rail allows players to attach sights and accessories, to compliment the built-in sights. Unfortunately, these are polymer instead of metal. A pistol grip and adjustable stock make the ICS CXP ergonomic, as does an ambidextrous charging handle. As with most retractable stocks, the CXP’s does have a little play.
The grip houses the battery, though owners complain about its small space. This can make battery changes even more challenging, aside from a six-screw barrier. It’s available either rear wired or front wired. The gun has a split Version 2 gearbox, which sounds loud and lively. The gun measures nearly 36 inches when fully extended, and weighs 6.2 pounds. The inner barrel is actually quite long, at 14.8 inches. ICS offers the CXP Transform-4 in both a carbine and SBR configuration. It also comes in two finishes – black and tan. It comes with a 300-round magazine.
The Transform-4 is compatible with both 7.4V and 11.1V LiPo batteries, though only the 7.4V is included. ICS recommends owners invest in the larger voltage, but this comes with a caveat. Those using the stock 20-amp fuses commonly find them blown after 40-50 shots. Those hoping to use 11.1V batteries should opt for a 30-amp replacement. This ensures reliability. The gun fires at 380-400 FPS, outpacing many competitors. Since its inner barrel is so long, it can also sling rounds out to 150 feet.
Since the gearbox is split and Version 2, it’s easy to open up and work on. Proprietary alternatives are notoriously tricky for even experienced players to work on. A spring detention system helps reduce wear. Owners praise the Transform-4’s high rate of fire, which increases with improved LiPo batteries. Some modifications even help the gun reach 50-60 rounds per second, some reviewers claim. That’s some serious performance, alluding to the CXP’s great potential as an upgradeable platform.
The Bottom Line
Cheaper than many competitors, the CXP Transform-4 is a great value. All players will enjoy it and its unique blowback action. It’s easy to upgrade and service if needed. Players will gravitate towards its attractive design and performance.
Krytac War Sport LVOA-C M4 AEG
For players looking to stand out, look no further than the Krytac LVOA-C M4. The custom LVOA handguard is a distinct addition to a stealthy frame, and the compensator adds aggressive styling. A motor grip is an ergonomic touch, as are the ambidextrous sling plate and selector switch. The top rail and iron sights are metal to aid durability. The stock is extendable to five different positions, and the handle is comfortable in hand. Weight distribution is even, though some are weary of the gun’s overall weight.
The Krytac LVOA-C has a quick-change spring system, beneficial for those who play in different fields. The battery space is also large and easy to access, granting players flexibility. Krytac recommends a 9.6V, 1600mAh butterfly battery, though players will have their own preferences. Speaking of options, the LVOA-C comes in four external finishes: Black, Combat Grey, Flat Dark Earth, and Foliage Green. The gun weighs 5.5 pounds, and is 36 inches long when fully extended. The package includes the Krytac LVOA-C, a 300-round magazine, and a War Sport GP compensator. Battery and charger aren’t included.
Krytac has nailed it with performance on the LVOA-C, due in large part to some incredibly-solid internal components. Krytac achieves a high rate of fire thanks to a long-type, 30K motor. The Version 2 gearbox is fully metal. It’s also easy to maintain thanks to a small window, allowing players to directly lubricate moving parts. The Krytac piston is durable polymer, though the cylinder is protected by a rubber bumper. Accompanying metal internals ensure longevity. All of these upgrades equate to 390-410 FPS. Accuracy is also impressive, extending effective play to moderate range.
Since the battery space is large, players can fit many different types of batteries within. Just ensure output doesn’t exceed 30 amps. However, Krytac’s secret weapon is the built-in MOSFET, which protects key trigger components to ensure reliability.
The Bottom Line
You absolutely get what you pay for with the Krytac War Sport LVOA-C, if you can shell out. The gun comes with an impressive assortment of internals and doesn’t cut corners in any regard. Those looking to stand out will love the LVOA-C.
G&P Full Metal Advanced M4 Carbine AEG
The G&P Advanced M4 is a superb gun that deviates from the others in our list, based on appearance. It trades in a long handguard for a traditional, tubular grip. Players can remove the integrated top grip and sight to attach optics. The rail is a Picatinny design. G&P claims its tapered outer barrel adds stability, which should improve shooting performance. Construction is durable thanks to a fully-metal receiver, barrel assembly, and buffer tube. Nylon fiber is used in the handguard for a premium feel. A five-position Crane stock allows players to find greater shooting comfort. This stock does have some wobble, which isn’t a surprise.
G&P offers four finishes for the Advanced M4: Black, Dark Earth, Foliage Green, and a unique style dubbed Zombie Killer. The latter includes zombie-killer graphics and labeling. The gun is nearly 35 inches long when fully extended, and weighs a stout 6.6 pounds. This M4 feels anything but cheap. The bolt catch is also operational, a nice added touch. Included in the box is the G&P Advanced M4 and a metal, 130-round magazine. Chargers and batteries are available for an upcharge.
No slouch in terms of velocity, the G&P advanced M4 fires rounds at 370-410 FPS. An upgradeable Version 2 gearbox accompanies an M120 long-type motor. With a 9.6V small butterfly battery, trigger response and rate of fire are excellent, at around 18-20 rounds per second. The gearbox is reinforced and smooth, equating to greater longevity. In fact, internals are made by VFC. G&P also recommends a 7.4V LiPo battery, which will introduce more improvements in these areas. There is no MOSFET, though it’s compatible.
Players positively rate the hop-up system, which is easily adjustable. Accordingly, shots are accurate well beyond 150 feet. Some owners recommend upgrading to a tight-bore barrel for improved performance. Luckily, feeding issues don’t plague this gun, even with high-capacity magazines. Whether plinking or mowing down enemies, this will perform reliably.
The Bottom Line
Though not necessarily cheap, the G&P Full Metal Advanced M4 is a great value. Its exceptional internals paired with solid external quality will impress all players. Upgrades are absolutely possible, though many will find no need to change the stock configuration. Compared to the VFC and Krytac, for example, the G&P brings a unique look to the table in a sleeper package.
KWA VM4 Ronin 10 SBR
With the familiar, modern M4 frame we know and love, the KWA Ronin also features a sleek Keymod handguard. This ten-inch section has a top rail for optics and other accessories. Additionally, the Ronin has modular receivers compatible with multiple uppers and lowers. This platform is exceptionally flexible, and KWA claims it can fill both SBR and DMR roles. It’s offered in black only, though the finish is excellent. Like others, its PTS stock is extendable, Trigger guards are large and fire controls are ambidextrous, making the Ronin user friendly. Flip-up sights also adorn the top rail of the gun.
KWA recommends a 7.4V LiPo small-type battery, though we suspect owners will opt for an upgraded voltage. The gun is on the sorter side, at only 31.5 inches extended. Despite this compact frame, the Ronin weighs 6.6 pounds. Included in the box is the VM4 Ronin 10 and a variable-capacity magazine, rated at 30/120 rounds with cutoff.
At stock 390-430 FPS, one might think the Ronin 10 is too hot for many fields. However, KWA took steps to mitigate this issue – the Version 2.5 gearbox is adjustable, meaning players can fine tune FPS. The internals of the gun are stout and can handle these variances. This eliminates the need to swap springs, saving time and expense.
The gun includes a rotary hop up for dialed-in accuracy, and it shoots straight even at range. Owners praise its rate of fire. A switch lift extender protects against trigger contact degradation, boosting longevity.
The Bottom Line
The KWA VM4 Ronin 10 is an excellent gun for those seeking premium features, without excess external fluff. Everything most players could want is present. Performance is high and surprisingly customizable – other manufacturers can’t match that. There’s very little the Ronin gets wrong, which is why we believe it deserves a long look.
Airsoft M4 Buying Advice
We form immediate opinions regarding a gun’s quality based on its look and feel. This is especially true for M4 rifles, which are lauded for their handling and shooting comfort. The M4’s external construction typically includes a blend of materials – most commonly polymer, fiber, or metal. While true of most airsoft guns, the M4 is a modern platform that utilizes composites more often than not. Since M4s are suited for mobile warfare, they must be portable yet sturdy enough to withstand drops and knocks.
That said, you can’t go wrong with your M4 purchase. Polymer comes in different grades, thicknesses, and weights. In fact, some of these polymers can rival metal’s natural durability. This material is often the lightest you can find in an M4 of any caliber.
Next comes fiber, which is often blended. Glass and nylon fibers are interwoven within a polymer base, forming a hybrid material with key benefits. One such advantage is strength. M4s with this fiber construction are referred to as “reinforced” since they add structural support to the gun. This makes the stock, foregrip, and other areas of the body more rigid. Accordingly, fiber blends often feel more premium than basic ABS/polymer. For these reasons, nylon or glass fiber externals are normally exclusive to premium M4s with a higher price tag. These materials are more expensive to produce.
Lastly, metal is traditionally the most durable material offered in any gun. Colder and more rigid than other alternatives, metallic externals are decidedly more utilitarian than their composite cousins. While fantastically hardy, metal is also the heaviest material available. If you play extended matches that involve a lot of movement, this may become a con. However, many players believe the tradeoff between portability and durability is worthwhile.
No matter what you choose, the overall balance and feel of your gun also depends on its internal construction. These factors contribute to how you’ll perceive your M4.
While external build is largely a matter of personal preference, internal build is somewhat cut and dry. Since many players purchase M4s as a growth platform, these investments must handle the rigors of prolonged use. These guns, typical AEGs, are known to cycle numerous rounds in a short period of time. This exerts a lot of stress on internal components. Any quality M4 should at minimum include a blend of polymer and metal internal parts.
Ideally, these metal components will be located at key stress points internally, such as the trigger box, trigger contacts, firing mechanism, gearbox, and more. This will stave off excess wear over time. Plastic components are comparatively more flexible and prone to warping under a variety of conditions. As you might’ve guessed, cheaper, entry-level M4s will include plastic internals more commonly. As you move up in price, metal takes the reigns as the dominant material.
As with external materials, more metal equates to more weight. This may become a consideration depending on the overall build of your M4. In our opinion, metal is essential if you need your rifle to live a long life.
External Accessories and Customizability
The M4 was made to mold to its owner’s preferences. The gun welcomes a wide variety of external accessories and attachments, a dream for compatibility. This is achieved by including rails, most commonly 20mm and built to Weaver or Picatinny specifications. Many accessories today mesh well with this configuration – even those made for genuine M4s and others. Look for an M4 with top and side rails at minimum. Many models also include a bottom rail along the handguard. More surface area means greater flexibility, which can really aid you in battle. They’re also fun and useful when tinkering with various loadouts.
Some manufacturers make their rails to proprietary specs, which hampers customizability. Shoot for a popular configuration previously discussed. Ideally, these rails should be metal. Since accessories attach to these areas, weaker materials provide additional opportunities for structural failure. This is important since attachments enlarge your M4’s form factor, making it more prone to incidental damage.
Speaking of form factor, the M4 places immense importance on shooting comfort. Apart from ambidextrous switches and controls, the M4’s stock is often adjustable. This telescoping design allows you to choose different lengths, making it easy to find a cozy shooting position. Thankfully, fixed-stock versions are becoming rarer as adjustable versions become popular. That said, you can find fixed versions if needed. At worst, you can keep the stock in its default position. These adjustable stocks aren’t perfect – greater flexibility often comes with a little stock wobble, even in costlier rifles.
We touched on the long service life of the typical M4, thanks to its internal upgradeability. The M4 is a supremely-popular platform, having been developed for a long period. Though manufacturers introduce their own proprietary configurations, most M4s share similar internals. This often begins at the gearbox. Many include a Version2 gearbox or a related variant. This same gearbox design is found within a plethora of M4s. This means upgrade parts will be easy to track down. Replacement parts are the same way.
Internals also pave the way for quality-of-life improvements. High-quality M4s often include a quick-change spring system. This allows you to quickly access the gearbox and related internals for rapid spring changes. If you plan on playing in a variety of regulated fields, but lack extensive technical knowledge, this is a godsend. It makes your rifle flexible while eliminating the need to find replacement weapons.
Essentially, you’ll want to choose any M4 that gives you the ability to swap parts. Perhaps your needs are a little more fixed, which is perfectly fine too. If you want to experiment with your M4 an really invest in it, internal flexibility is key. That being said, some top-flight models will have manufacturer-specific parts. While this affects flexibility, many of these guns are designed to perform out of the box without requiring new components.
Another thing to keep in mind is your battery well. Many players upgrade or swap battery packs in their M4 AEGs. These batteries are commonly located in the grip or stock. From gun to gun, the size of this compartment varies, affecting battery fitment. In these cases, some batteries may work while others aren’t physically compatible. That may be an important consideration if your needs are specialized.
M4s are modern guns, featuring sleek designs and hard lines. These rifles are sought after for their aggressive styling just as readily as their performance. Accordingly, players want something imposing and attractive.
Since M4s are modeled after combat weapons, manufacturers often offer multiple finishes for any one model. While nearly all M4s are black by default, various camo patterns are available. These are solid, printed, and vary in color. Depending on your playing environment, a certain finish may tip the scales in favor of one gun over another. While options like Flat Dark Earth have a standard appearance, some brands offer unique varieties. M4s are extremely common in airsoft. Standing out from the pack never hurts.
Other features include stamping and other authentic touches. Graphics and machined parts, mock or functional, add details that you might appreciate. Little things like sights may differ, or even stocks. Handguards come in two main configurations: Keymod and M-LOK. These contribute to appearance and handling comfort. Apart from these, textures incorporated externally can elevate your M4’s appearance.