An Idiots Guide to Upgrading Your AEG RIF - Airsoft Anonymous

We understand that upgrade options can be confusing, especially for new players. So we have written this guide to upgrades, so that you can work out what it is you would like to improve the performance of. This isn’t a definitive guide but should give you a better understanding of the benefit of each upgrade and a rough cost.

 

Use the optimal bb weight for your RIF, and make it a good quality one

Ditch the 0.20g bbs, they’re cheaper but they won’t have the same range or be as accurate as a 0.25g bb. As a rule of thumb, all RIFs will be able to lift a 0.25g bb straight out of the box. Some may be able to lift heavier, it will be a case of trial and error to see if your RIF can lift them. The heavier weight of bb your RIF can hop, the more range you’ll get out of your RIF and more accuracy. As a final note on bbs, they’re not all created the same. A good quality bb will fly better and hit targets more accurately than a poorer quality one. A bad quality bb can also cause damage to your RIF. Bottom line, cheap bbs are a false economy and will have an impact on your game. In test, bbs can have wildly different performance, but a good quality bb will have tighter and more accurate groupings when shooting targets.

 

Hop Unit

Not all hop units are designed the same. Some RIFs have a good hop unit as standard, some not so good, a good tech will be able to advise whether upgrading your hop unit is worth doing. An approximate price for a hop unit is £25.

 

Flat/R/S Hop

Installing one of the above hop set-ups will give your RIF the ability to lift heavier bbs, thus increasing the range of your rifle. This is one of the cheapest upgrades you or your tech can do, with the parts costing less than £25 and fitting by a tech of approximately £20. 

 

Barrel

A barrel upgrade to a tightbore barrel increases the accuracy of your RIF. If installing a shorter or longer barrel then the one your RIF comes with, bear in mind that this will have an effect on your fps. The cylinder in your RIF is designed for a certain air capacity, so, for example, if you install a longer barrel to reach the end of a suppressor, you’ll need a larger capacity cylinder to support this or you’ll see a drop in your fps. Barrels do vary in price according to the quality, length and bore, ranging from approx. £25 to £150.

 

Spring

Changing your spring can increase or decrease the fps on your RIF. It isn’t the only contributing factor for fps, for example the air seal in your gear box affects this too. When changing the fps in your RIF, you need to consider what effect this change in power is going to have. A RIF designed for lower fps may need other parts changing to support the increase in fps to avoid weaker parts failing. For example, in the Tokyo Marui platform (designed for sub 300fps), when increasing by around 50 fps, we recommend changing the nylon bushings to metal and upgrading the piston to handle the stress of a stronger spring. If upgrading a RIF to a DMR, there are lot more components that will need upgrading to support the big increase in fps. Bringing fps down in a RIF with a softer spring can cause pre-engagement within the gearbox. In this case you may need to look at upgrading your piston, possibly gears. A good tech will be able to identity if this is necessary and advise accordingly. Fitting a spring can be quick and simple if the RIF has a quick-change spring, or it may require the whole gearbox to be opened up. Cost for changing a spring can therefore vary. Springs range in price from £8 - £25.

 

Gears

There are several different gear options available, different speeds, made from different metals, some stronger than others. Gears made of a weaker metal will obviously wear down quicker. The type of gear set you use will dictate what motor you need to use with it. For example, you would use a high-speed motor with high-torque gears, or high-torque motor with high-speed gears. Never a high-speed motor and high-speed gears or high-torque motor and high-torque gears. Prices range from £15 - £160.

 

Air Seal

A good air seal within your gearbox will result in a more consistent fps, performance and efficient RIF. Greater efficiency results in less stress and wear on internal parts along with lower battery drain. When improving the air seal, components involved include cylinder, cylinder head, piston, piston head and air nozzle. A rough guide in price for these parts is £60 - £150.

 

Motor

Motors have had an exciting development recently with the launch of the Warhead Brushless Motor. A brushless motor has no brushes to get worn out, create friction or heat. This makes for an extremely efficient motor, requiring less current to reach the same rpm as a brushed motor. These motors have several other benefits, read about them here. Prices for the Warhead motors range from £85 - £170. Other brushed motors from various manufacturers are available in either high-torque or high-speed, these range from £35 - £120. Reasons for changing your motor would be for increased efficiency, to run with either high-torque or high-speed gears, to pull a stronger spring (i.e. in a DMR build), or simply because your motor has worn out. 

 

MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor)

One of the biggest advancements in airsoft RIF tech has been the mosfet. As this is a basic guide, we won’t go into advanced detail of how they work, for more information hit up Google. A mosfet is an electronic device, the primary function being to divert electrical current away from the trigger contacts. Advanced mosfets, such as our preferred mosfet, the Gate Titan, provide many benefits to RIFs including:

  • Cycle detection - Optical gear sensor ensures gears complete a full revolution, preventing the gearbox from locking up, allow you to spam that trigger all day long.
  • Trigger sensitivity
  • Selector modes – safe, semi, binary, burst, burst/auto, auto, semi ramping
  • 2 Stage trigger
  • Pre-cocking
  • Magazine – Low ammo warning. Simulate lower capacity mag.
  • Sniper delay
  • ROF control
  • Battery protection against over-discharge and low battery warning. An audible or vibrational warning when battery is running low and when voltage drops to a critical level your RIF will stop firing.
  • Active break adjusts the motors’ braking power according to your needs, eliminating unnecessary stresses on the gearbox and its parts.

A mosfet, depending on its functions, can cost from £20 - £185. If you are considering a mosfet, discuss with us or your tech what functions you need and budget to find the best fit for you. We have upgraded RIFs in house so you can experience the difference between an upgraded and a standard RIF.

 

Our Technical Services Rates

We charge a flat rate fee of £80 inc. VAT for in depth tech jobs and servicing. For simpler jobs our charges range from £20 - £40. This will be discussed with you when booking your RIF in, along with any parts needed and their cost. 

Airsoft techs have RIFs that they love working with, and ones they may flat out refuse to work on.  We are no different (and when I say we, I mean Kirk). Our blacklist consists of the M14 & PPSH. Send the M14 to Negative Airsoft, he loves them. Good luck with the PPSH. 

When you approach us about upgrades, we will ask what your budget is. This is not to establish how much we can rip you off for, it’s so we can recommend how to make the most of your budget. 

I hope you’ve found this guide useful and insightful!  If you have any further questions in regards to upgrades give us a call or drop us a line.