Airsoft batteries are always well-stocked, both in our store as in our online shop. Batteries are used in airsoft replicas with an electric power source, the so-called AEG’s. When choosing a battery, multiple considerations can weigh in such as lifetime expectancy, charging time, and the amount of energy that can be stored and released.
Three forms of battery are most used in airsoft:
- Brick: the name says it all, a square lump of battery cells that is often used in front wired replica’s such as CQB’s with dummy laser housing. Bricks can also be used in stocks with a large battery storage space.
- Stick: a long and small cylinder-shaped battery that has the advantage to fit into small spaces such as the buffer tube of a stock.
- Nunchuck: actually two stick batteries which doubles the capacity. The name is given because of the visual alikeness with the nunchuck fighting sticks.
The four most used types of battery in airsoft are:
- Ni-Mh: nickel-metal hydride batteries are the most basic batteries used in airsoft. They provide more energy than Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries and do not contain toxic metals. These batteries have a very long lifetime and can be recharged almost endlessly.
- Li-Po: lithium polymer batteries can store and give out more energy than Ni-Mh batteries and are smaller and lighter. They are often used to increase the rate of fire, meaning your airsoft replica will shoot more BB’s in a shorter time. Because Li-Po batteries are sensitive for overcharging and deep discharging, they have to be charged with special Li-Po chargers and often MOSFET’s with Li-Po protection are used to prevent deep discharge and protect the replicas internals such as trigger contacts that otherwise could start pitting. This is especially needed when batteries with higher voltage than standard are used. Li-Po batteries don’t suffer from memory effect that otherwise would reduce the capacity in time.
- Li-ion: lithium-ion batteries provide even more energy than Li-Po batteries, enhancing the playtime. Just as Li-Po batteries they don’t suffer from memory effect and the same things apply as far as charging and discharging goes, meaning special chargers and MOSFET’s are to be used.
- Li-Fe: lithium ferro batteries are heavier than Li-Po and Li-ion batteries and produce lower voltages, resulting in a lower energy which means your replica’s rate of fire surely won’t get quicker. However, they are less sensitive to deep discharge and their great advantage is that the voltage doesn’t drop when the battery starts to drain and keeps at level nearly to when the battery is completely drained, maintaining a very consistent performance all the time.
Lithium battery fact and fiction
Lithium batteries are known to self-combust. It’s a fact the possibility exists, but it’s fiction this happens very often. Compare it to a steam engine exploding or a combustion engine that sees its petrol tank explode. All things that can happen and the first time they did caused a lot of commotion, but precautions and improving technology and insights have made all that perfectly safe for normal use.
In short, lithium can react when in contact with other metals, causing heat and when there’s enough contact surface, the heat can result in combustion. This can be caused in batteries by deep discharge or overcharging (some batteries have internal protection circuits to prevent this) where in both cases parts are released that can cause shorting. Another cause can be damage done by heavy impact. It’s often advised to charge lithium batteries in fireproof safety bags. That of course isn’t wrong, but fact is that all carefully produced lithium batteries by well known manufacturers with good quality control are safe to use.
However, we’d like to point out a lithium battery should not be forced into a tight battery compartment which could damage external and internal foils and keep in mind airsoft replica’s normally don’t offer much battery protection when replica’s are thrown about, causing the battery to collide with the compartment internals with force.