Hey friends!

Welcome back to the blog! Today we're carrying on with our 'Airsoft 101' series. If you are a new or a seasoned airsoft player, I think we can all agree that during a game it can sometimes be difficult to see the BBs flight path and where it lands especially in low light environments and night games. To help with this, a lot of players choose to use airsoft tracer units and BBs. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss what they are, and how they work! 

Using the Wosport Spitfire Tracer Unit in low-light and daylight.

So, an airsoft tracer unit is a device that utilises specific airsoft tracer BBs (BBs that glow in the dark) so players can see the BBs' flight path by making the BBs easier to see by making them glow in the dark. These units usually come in two forms - the most common, which is attached to the end of the barrel like a suppressor (which you'll have seen a few times on the blog), or a hop-up tracer unit which is installed in the hop-up unit of the airsoft gun which is very much a rarity. 

So, how exactly do airsoft tracers work? 

Inside an airsoft tracer unit, there is a sensor that detects when a BB passes through - when a BB is detected, it triggers a flash of light that illuminates tracer BBs as they pass through the unit. They don't  Special tracer BBs are required. Tracer BBs differ from regular BBs because they are coated in Phosphor. The flash from the rows of lights in the tracer unit “excites/charges” the Phosphor making the BBs glow meaning we can see where the BBs travel. Phosphors are a material that emits light when exposed to ‘radiation’ such as Ultraviolet light of Electron beam 

Tracer BBs come in either red or green and it is worth noting that some tracer units ONLY work with one colour. 

Now that we know what they are and how they work, let’s discuss when to use them! Tracer units and tracer BBs are most effective in low-light environments and during night games, which is why you’ll see them regularly at CQB sites where the light varies. Although it varies depending on the BBs and tracer unit that you are using, they don’t work in bright sunlight so aren’t recommended for well-lit environments or outdoors. 

What kind of airsoft tracers are available? 

There are three types of tracer units: the flash hider, a built-in tracer (which is installed in the hop-up unit), and a magazine tracer (although this type is a rarity). 

Flash hider/ threaded tracers – These are by far the most typical tracer units you will see at an airsoft game as they’re easy to install and relatively affordable - they replace the flash hider and simply screw on so even beginners can use them. Many of them look like a mock suppressor so add a little something extra to the look of your rifle too! 

Tracer hop-ups – This type of tracer unit isn’t as popular as flash hider tracers, but they work in the same way. This type of unit has to be installed into your airsoft rifle, which is the reason that this isn’t the most popular type, because it can be complicated to install. 

Magazine tracers – This type of tracer unit may look like a regular magazine but it has a built-in light. It works by lighting up every BB whilst it is still in the mag, making sure they absorb enough light before exiting the barrel. 

Advantages of tracers 
  • They illuminate the flight path so you can see where the BB is traveling 
  • Makes it easy to see if you have hit an enemy player (or a friend if you’re unlucky!) 
  • Can help with team identification if teams are using different colour tracer BBs. 
  • They look awesome at night! Ever wanted to be in Star Wars? Now you can! 
  • Improves accuracy as you can see the BB flight path 

Disadvantages of Tracers 

  • Using a tracer unit gives away your position - players on both teams will be able to see where the BBs are coming from. 
  • Tracer BBs aren’t available in heavyweights. 
  • As you can see the flight path of the BB, enemy players can see them and dodge them.
Tracer Units and Tracer BBs I recommend

The WoSport Spitfire Tracer Unit is a tracer unit that not only lights up tracer BBs but also aims to replicate Muzzle flash with 3 forward-facing LEDs, it is designed to be used with airsoft pistols and rifles. The LEDs on the unit produce an orange fire-like flash for every BB fired. It brings an element of realism to airsoft AEGs and pistols but when this tracer unit is used on a GBBR however, the gas escaping the barrel makes the flash look even more impressive and realistic. Check out my full review here.

The Acetech Bifrost Tracer Unit is a tracer unit that is unlike any other tracer we’ve seen in airsoft so far. We’ve all seen red and green tracers, but until now, we’d not seen a tracer unit capable of giving us a rainbow! Yes, you did just read that correctly! The Bifrost from Acetech is designed to not only simulate muzzle flash with a multi-colour flame effect but also provides us with a rainbow BB flight path. Check out the full review here.

This is the first tracer unit I ever owned and it lasted a good few years of abuse. It is really compact and easy to use. I never got around to writing a full review of this unit but it was easy and fun to use on both pistols and rifles.

You can save 5% on online purchases with the code ‘femmefatale21’ 

Post sponsored by Extreme Airsoft



Hey friends!

Welcome back to another blog post in the 'Airsoft 101' series! In this post, we'll be taking a look at 'what is HPA?' In airsoft, there are 4 main power sources that power airsoft replicas, and they are: spring, electric, Gas/C02 and HPA (or High-Pressure Air). We didn't explore HPA in the 'Beginners Guide to Airsoft Guns' as they're a little more complex. So, without further adieu, let's get into it!

So HPA or High-Pressure Air airsoft replicas are airsoft guns that are powered by pressurised air that is held in an external canister - this air is fed to the weapon via a regulator and line. Pressurised air enables HPA guns to have faster rates of fire, be quieter, and have a higher FPS than electric and gas airsoft guns, making HPA guns a great choice for anyone who wants to airsoft competitively.

In an HPA gun, the pressurised air is delivered to the gun with every trigger pull rather than relying on a mechanical process to create pressurised air within the gun itself (like with AEGs). However, there are examples of pneumatic systems that are fully mechanical, made for players that want a more realistic trigger and firing feel but this still relies upon an external source for air pressure. It is worth noting that AEGs can be converted to HPA - and this involves gutting the AEG of all its internals and installing an HPA engine.

The external canister is often called a ‘Tank’, this is what holds the highly pressurised air and is refillable. This is filled up using a dive tank and can be done at any diving shop or airsoft site that offers HPA filling facilities. The Dominator 48/3000 HPA Aluminium Airsoft Tank from Extreme Airsoft is a great example.

 On the stem of the tank, you'll need to use a regulator, like this Balystic HPR800C V3 HPA regulator and this is used to release the air into the line. You adjust the pressure using an Allen key. It also tells you how much air is in the tank. The line is then what feeds the air into the airsoft gun. 

There are even packages like this HPA Package inc. Tank, Reg and Line that make it super easy. Please note, these cannot be used with an AEG, they have to be used with a HPA airsoft gun.

Now that we have explored just what is HPA airsoft, let’s go through the pros and cons of HPA airsoft guns. Whilst they are enticing, the pros and cons should be fully considered before investing in an HPA setup. 

Let’s look at the Pros of HPA Guns

HPA replicas offer totally adjustable FPS with no disassembly required! The FPS of an HPA airsoft gun is raised and lowered by controlling the air pressure's PSI. The PSI can be adjusted on the regulator without any need to disassemble the gun. It also offers a high FPS. The higher PSI the higher the FPS will be. Remember, no matter how high your FPS can physically go, you can only shoot as high as the site limit, which for most sites in the UK is 350 FPS. 

Faster Rate of Fire - As well as offering players a higher FPS, the power in an HPA airsoft gun provides a faster rate of fire. 

Consistent FPS - HPA airsoft guns offer the user undeniable consistency between shots, and this is because the gun allows the same volume of air into the expansion chamber each time, meaning the same amount of air is used to push the BB out of the barrel every time. 

Simple Internal Design - You know the old saying ‘less to go wrong? That applies to HPA systems, compared to Automatic Electric Guns, HPA airsoft guns don't have as many moving parts making them less likely to malfunction. 

Quiet - The noises we hear from airsoft guns are the internal mechanisms working. In AEGs this includes pistons, gears etc and in gas guns, this includes the bolt carrier group but in HPA guns as they only use air pressure to propel the BB, the only noise we hear is that of the BB leaves the barrel. 

But what about the cons

Realism and looks - Whichever way you look at it, having a weighty tank and a line attached to your weapon removes some of the realism that airsofters want (not all airsofters but realism is one of the things that draw people into airsoft). The faster rates of fire and less noise also take away realism points. 

Weight - A traditional HPA setup includes a tank, reg, and line. Whilst the tanks aren’t too heavy, they do add weight and bulk to your loadout and this should be considered. If you like to have the lightest/least intrusive loadout possible, a traditional HPA set-up may not be the most suitable for you. But there are companies in the airsoft sphere that are revolutionising HPA such as Wolverine Airsoft which has developed a tank that is held in the stock of a weapon. 

Cost - It’s no secret that HPA set-ups are more costly than AEGs and GBBRs. This is because usually, you will need a gun that can be gutted of its internals to replace them with an HPA system, a tank, reg and line which all adds up. Ready-built HPA Airsoft guns such as the HPA Version of the AG Scorpion Evo also tend to be a little pricier on average. 

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