The Best Airsoft Pistols Under $100
WE-Tech Full Metal Hi-CAPA Gas Blowback (Multiple Models)
With a variety of models to choose from, the WE Full-Metal Hi-CAPA is a formidable option for gas-pistol enthusiasts. The Hi-CAPA comes in 3.8 Officer, 4.3 Commander, 5.1 Government, and 5.1 P14 models. Each has unique styling. The pistols primarily accept CO2 and green gas, but may also use red gas and propane. Though we favor the 5.1 Government for its aggressive styling, players cannot go wrong with any choice. Keep in mind that some models may exceed the $100 threshold. Overall, this is an extremely-popular pistol that receives excellent feedback from owners.
For the purposes of our review, we’ll assess the 5.1 Government from here onward. Like its siblings, it features a full-metal slide, frame, and barrel. This construction gives the gun a weighty, solid feel. Its textured, polymer grip ensures confident handling. A bottom rail provides a mounting point for accessories. The Hi-CAPA 5.1 is modeled after the traditional M1911 design, yet incorporates a high-capacity magazine. Internals are reinforced to reduce wear and tear, adding to the sidearm’s outstanding durability. The package includes the 5.1 Government pistol and a green gas magazine. That magazine holds 30 rounds.
We-Tech rates the Hi-CAPA at 300-330 FPS, a solid velocity for multiple playing conditions. With standard BBs, the pistol has an effective range of 70-100 feet. Opting for heavier rounds can help increase this range and boost accuracy. The 5.1 receives high marks for its impressive accuracy, the importance of which diminishes during close-quarters combat.
Despite being a strong blowback pistol, gas efficiency is surprisingly good. Players report shooting in excess of 60 rounds on a single charge. Be sure to keep the 5.1 Government properly lubricated to prevent leaks and lockups. If players do so, it will fire reliably time after time. The trigger pull isn’t too heavy, allowing players to fire off consecutive rounds with relative ease. The slide cycles very smoothly as well. Owners using propane will need to use an adapter, though that shouldn’t be a deterrent.
The Bottom Line
The WE-Tech Hi-CAPA 5.1 (and its siblings) is a great gas pistol for beginners and intermediate players alike. Though experienced players may be enticed to game Tokyo Marui’s version, the 5.1 is extremely capable. For a solid mix of performance and longevity, you’ll be hard pressed to find better value. Though some players say shaking the gun can produce wobbling, this not cause problems.
Colt 100th Anniversary M1911 A1 by KWC
An accurate 1:1 replica of the original M1911, KWC’s A1 is licensed by Colt and has an authentic feel. Constructed completely of metal with a serrated slide, the M1911 A1 is hefty and durable. It has a beaver-tail safety on frame plus a working hammer and hop-up. This is a blowback CO2 pistol that kicks heavily. Furthermore, it has a magazine release and fixed top sights. For the M1911 A1 enthusiast, this is a masterpiece. Internally it retains its superior attention to detail, making it easy to disassemble and reassemble.
The gun is easy to clean and maintain, though not a stickler for constant upkeep. No matter what environment you fight in, the gun is sturdy enough to stand up to drops, dirt, and the like. It’s relatively low maintenance, especially friendly for players who simply like to point and shoot. The box includes the KWC M1911 A1 and a 17-round magazine. This magazine is full metal and has a standard capacity.
The Colt M1911 A1 is a fairly-hot weapon, shooting at 340-360 FPS. Some owners event report that their pistols shoot harder, as there’s some natural variance from gun to gun. We are reviewing the 350 FPS version – KWC sells a 370 FPS version as well, though it’s more expensive. Our model is likely better for a greater variety of fields, especially those with strict regulations. With heavier BBs, the pistol is capable of being quite accurate up to 100 feet. Its power and hop-up help extend its range past other options at its price point.
The M1911 A1 is very gas efficient, using 12-gram CO2 cartridges. The pistol can shoot about four full magazines before it needs a new CO2 cannister. This longevity means greater flexibility and firing time. Magazines are very durable due to their construction, but can be tricky to reload for those with short fingernails. The retention tab can be somewhat difficult to reach. Overall, the firing mechanism is smooth and reliable – a characteristic that will endure for years.
The Bottom Line
The Colt M1911 A1 is a superb pistol for players of all levels. It has great power and accuracy, adaptable to many fields and situations. However, replacement magazines are quite expensive.
WE-Tech CQB Master 1911 MEU Gen. 2
Hugely popular amongst the airsoft community, the WE CQB Master is an excellent gas-blowback pistol. It features authentic M1911 styling with some visual tweaks that give it a modern look. It has a heavyweight design fashioned entirely from aluminum alloy. The grip has a molded rubber wrapping, making the gun comfortable and easy to wield. While the front sight is fixed, the pistol’s rear sight is adjustable. Though its beaver-tail safety is traditional, its enlarged and ambidextrous – righties and lefties will feel right at home using the CQB Master. However, this safety can begin to feel a little loose with time.
The pistol is gas blowback, accepting green gas and red gas. With an adapter, players can also use propane if they prefer. Green gas cannisters may also require some sort of magazine extension. It comes in four finishes: Black, Dark Earth, Desert, and OD Green. The black finish may chip with use. If players want a bottom rail, they will exceed the $100 mark, as this is optional. OD Green is the most expensive color scheme, rail or not. The barrel is threaded and tightly bored, measuring at 6.03 millimeters. The box includes the WE-Tech CQB Master pistol and 16-round magazine.
The CQB Master performs very well, firing BBs at a velocity of 300-330 FPS. Its blowback system kicks reasonably hard, yet consumes gas fairly efficiently. Owners say they can fire 3-4 magazines prior to replacement – quite serviceable. Accuracy is strong with the CQB Master, due in part to its tight barrel. Rated for 70-100 feet, this gun reliably hits human targets. However, some players rate accuracy as good out to about 50 feet, which could depend on one’s unique setup.
The hop up system is adjustable but located under the slide – players must remove it to gain access. The trigger pull is smooth without demanding a lot of effort. This makes rapid fire easier, especially useful while clearing rooms. The pistol is loud when it fires, which will intimidate opponents.
The Bottom Line
WE-Tech’s CQB Master is a great option for beginner and intermediate players. While build quality is mostly superb, a fragile safety and flimsy stock magazines prevent it from receiving top marks. With solid performance and value, this pistol will serve players well over time.
ASG CZ P-09
The ASG P-09 is officially licensed by CZ, featuring authentic CZ markings and aesthetics. It’s full sized and built using textured polymer around the frame. The CZ P-09 is a gas blowback pistol that uses either green gas or propane. The sidearm has fixed, three-dot top sights for quicker targeting, opposite a tactical bottom rail. The safety is both on frame and ambidextrous, making the gun accessible for southpaws and righties alike.
The trigger pull is engineered to be smooth and pulls rather easily. It has a double/single action that feels natural. The P-09 comes in two finishes: Black and Dark Earth. For the purpose of our budget, we’re evaluating the Dark Earth version. The Black version is more expensive, including a metal slide and outer barrel. However, its polymer brother is no slouch. The pistol still has a sturdy, balanced feel that will appeal to most players. Included in the box are the CZ P-09 pistol and a 25-round magazine.
The ASG P-09 is not the fastest pistol we’ve covered, firing rounds at about 279-300 FPS. However, it’s incredibly reliable and excels at close-quarters battle. With heavier rounds, the pistol is no slouch. It does have the ability to hit targets accurately at 90 feet, but players may not make a habit of doing so. While players have adapted the gun for CO2, this is not officially recommended and could cause excess wear on the gun. This is especially true for the polymer model we’re examining. Gas efficiency is good with green gas under ideal conditions, though results can be mixed.
A pleasant surprise to maintain, the CZ P-09 is relatively easy to take apart and reassemble. When firing, the slide does move very freely, locking into place when magazines run empty. The slide lock is not reinforced. This opens the door for wear and failure, though this doesn’t appear to be a chronic problem.
The Bottom Line
Though not a top performer, the ASG CZ P-09 is a reliable and capable weapon when used on the right fields. It has a high-quality feel and finish that lasts when treated well. The gun does exactly what it should – fires well – and remains a solid choice for beginner to intermediate players.
Matrix Elite Tokyo Marui Clone M9
A replica of the M92FS, the Matrix Elite M9 is an attractive pistol that feels great in the hand. Its grip is roughly textured for secure handling. With a full-metal frame, slide, and barrel, the gun is hefty and stands up to abuse. It has a functional safety on the slide. The Matrix Elite M9 also has a lanyard loop below the grip, especially useful for secure handling under adverse conditions. It comes in two finishes: Black and Silver. Each of these external finishes has both a polymer and a full-metal variant. Owners report that paint tends to chip fairly easily on the Black model.
Because the M9 is based on the M92FS, it is designed to be easily stripped and reassembled. Those comfortable with the gun should have no trouble performing maintenance. Because it’s built from the Tokyo Marui platform, the M9 does accept upgrades, elevating it from a cheaper base gun to a worthy investment. The box includes the Matrix Elite M9 pistol and a 26-round magazine.
The pistol fires a respectable 300-330 FPS, perfect both for medium range and close-range engagements. It is a blowback pistol designed to handle green gas, red gas, and propane. Gas efficiency is decent. Many players seem to fire about two magazines of shots before a new canister is needed. This is perfectly serviceable, though not superb.
The gun does possess solid accuracy and has the ability to hit targets out to 100 feet. Keep in mind that these results are not always consistent, however, with true effective range being around 75 feet. Players who dial in their hop up can achieve straight and predictable BB flights. The gun is loud when fired and thus can intimidate opponents.
The Bottom Line
For those desiring an authentic M9 replica, this is a great sidearm with upgrade potential to boot. It performs admirably under a variety of conditions and is quite reliable despite its price point. With a solid build, it should last quite a while. Just keep an eye out for wobbling magazines, which can happen occasionally.
Umarex Walther P99 Gen. 2
A budget-friendly option rounding out our list, the Umarex Walther P99 is a well-made pistol that deserves a look. It’s a quality replica with a polymer frame and metal slide. The P99 features a CO2 blowback action. The grip is slotted and textured for surehanded gripping, and the gun has a balanced weight that isn’t excessive.
It comes in a black finish that’s pretty durable and resistant to scratches. It has an ambidextrous magazine release, friendly to all players. Included in the box is the Walther P99 pistol and two 15-round magazines. However, these magazines are proprietary. On the positive side, they’re drop free, making reloading easier in the field. Instead of storing CO2 cartridges in the magazine, CO2 is kept in the grip itself. While this makes reloading challenging at times, replacement mags are notably cheaper.
The Walther P99 shoots at a muzzle velocity of 300-330 FPS, a respectable speed for CQB and short-mid ranges. Owners report that it’s accurate in most situations, and that trigger pull is smooth. It has a double-action trigger, however, which elongates the pull distance. This may be a turn off for some players.
The hop up is there but fixed, which leaves players a little more locked in. Thankfully, the P99 is an accurate gun despite this. The range is not fantastic but should be perfectly adequate for most situations. The gun is loud when fired with a unique sound, due to how the slide is constructed. Some players may find it jarring, but it has no bearing on the function of the pistol. Gas consumption is pretty good, allowing players to stretch out each cartridge prior to replacement.
The Bottom Line
The Umarex Walther P99 is a surprise, and a fine example that good performance can come in a cheap package. While not without its minor flaws, the pistol pairs respectable power with solid build quality. Those factors alone will make it an attractive sidearm in the eyes of beginner players.