Airsoft Batteries 101A lot of questions have been popping up “What battery should I buy?”
The first thing you need to make sure of is what fits with your gun, after you know what batteries will fit in your gun (assuming you are running an internal battery). If you have questions please contact airrattle.com
Depending on what battery you have always use a smart charger. Please do not use wall chargers. *Lipo & LifePo4 batteries do require special smart chargers.*
There are different types of batteries used in airsoft today. Just to name a few Nickel-cadmium (NiCad), Nickel-metal hydride (NiMh), Lithium Polymer (LiPo or Li-poly), Lithium iron phosphate (LifePo).
*NiCd batteries are somewhat a thing of the past, they require a complete discharge after usage, they are cheap batteries that have low charge and discharge rates.*
These batteries come in all different shapes and sizes, just to name several types of batteries.
Brick: All cells are in contact with each other and wrapped together giving you your ‘brick’ shape’
Stick: All of the cells are arranged in a single column. These batteries are common amongst AK series guns that do not have full stocks.
Nunchuck: Batteries split in two with a wire connecting them- These are typically used in M4 series front hand guards and in crane stocks.
PEQ: Batteries designed to fit externally in a PEQ box.
Most beginners stick with the NiMh batteries which usually offer 1.2 V per cell. These batteries typically come in two different sizes, large types and mini types. Large type battery packs will last a lot longer as they can store more energy (Mah). Most airsoft guns lack the available space to support such as large battery, especially the very large 9.6 volt and higher. Few airsoft guns have the internal capacity to store these batteries.
Small type NiMh/NiCad batteries use smaller cells, they still most of us experienced users have long lost interest in large type batteries and switched to the more powerful and smaller LiPo batteries which I will cover later.
What does Mah mean?
Mah stands for milliamps this is the measure of electrical charge passing through a point in an electric circuit. (1000 Milliamps = 1 Ampere). The higher the amp the more shots you will get out of your AEG before your battery dies.
Is higher voltage better?
In short answer, yes. Higher voltage will increase your rate of fire and improve trigger response. You’re motor is more turbo charged and will increase the torque and speed of the motor. Most all stock AEG’s can easily handle up to 9.6 volts. Any higher and you will need the necessary upgrades to support the higher voltage. MOSFET, any plastic spring guide, bushings, will need to be metal, etc.
Some people out there become rather bored of the traditional NiMh batteries and have turned their attention to Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries. These are the batteries you will find in laptops and cell phones; the reason for this is because they offer powerful batteries using only a fraction of the size of a traditional NiMh battery. Commonly used in airsoft are the 7.4 v lipos (2 cells) and 11.1 v liPos (3 cells). These cells come in all different shaped and sizes so they can be used in all different AEG platforms. These three cell liPos and higher are harder on your AEGs internal components and will increase the rate of wear and tear on your gearbox.
Are liPos dangerous?
They can be if something goes wrong, many users have seen the horrific photographs of liPo fires and the devastation they have caused. LiPo batteries hold a lot of energy which is great for us that want the higher voltage, but in the event that something does go wrong. The battery will become unstable and it’s downhill from there. Toxins are released; potentially start a fire, all that bad stuff you hear about. Please use caution when using liPos, read/follow all manufactures instructions and safety tips before purchasing and using one.
Properly dispose of your batteries: After your battery has ‘bit the dust’ do not throw it in the trash. Batteries contain toxic chemicals that can pollute the surrounding environment. Please recycle the battery by putting it in a bin for toxic materials and batteries.