Every year (sometimes more frequently) airsoft blogs come out with their own lists and countdowns of the best starter airsoft guns. Some of them hold more water than others, but there’s one starter gun that makes most of these lists with dazzling regularity, and it’s the G&G CM16 Raider.
Is it the best airsoft starter gun? That depends on what you need in an airsoft gun. If you’re looking for an airsoft pistol, it isn’t; it also might not meet your expectations if you’re a dedicated brand evangelist of Tokyo Marui or Lancer Tactical.
That said, there are some good reasons the G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider (an M4/M16 replica) consistently makes the lists of best beginner airsoft guns – but this beast is not just a beginner gun. Here’s what it offers.
The G&G CM16 Airsoft Raider, which is available in a few different size configurations and colors, features a generous section of quad rail system handguard around the barrel. Plenty of airsoft rifles suffer from a lack of room for expandability, but one of the things that everyone loves about the G&G CM16 Raider is that it has tons of room for red dots, optics, tactical lights, lasers, side saddle mounts, sling mounts, and more.
Even without accounting for the fact that you can upgrade or replace many of the parts that come with the factory G&G Raider, the platform is highly modular. A poorly aligned length of pull can ruin anyone’s shooting experience, but luckily even a stock G&G CM16 Raider comes with a 6 position adjustable crane style stock – enough to fix a bad fit in a pinch, especially in response to changes of clothing.
The G&G CM16 Raider also gets exceptionally high marks for its high-quality internals. Intense periods of sustained fire can destroy the bearings and other internals of AEG’s gearboxes; this is one of their shortcomings. The plastic internals of some AEG gearboxes can melt, crack, chip, shear, deform, or otherwise break, completely halting the functionality of the platform.
The G&G Raider, by contrast, comes with a Version 2, full metal, fully upgradeable gearbox with 8mm brass bearings that are much better suited to heat and stress.
For an entry-level AEG at an affordable price, the durability of the G&G CM16 Raider is absolutely outstanding. With a dense, polymer receiver and high-quality all-metal internals, this is an airsoft gun that can hang with serious environmental adversity. Bumps, knocks, drops, extreme temperatures, and weather will all roll right off its figurative back.
Power and Capacity
In addition to the fact that it has an amazing trigger response and a crisp trigger, the G&G CM16 is capable of reaching muzzle velocities of up to 400 FPS with .2g projectiles. It also comes with a 450 round magazine but it is compatible with other M4/M16 AEG magazines, so it deserves a mark for capacity as well as modularity.
If there’s really one thing that seals this AEG’s position as one of the best starter airsoft guns if not the best, it’s the price. You just can’t get this quality elsewhere for cheaper. Other airsoft rifles with this level of quality command, in some cases, hundreds of dollars more. The G&G CM16 is just a rare oddity that you can get for less than $200 without compromising on quality.
Looking for an airsoft starter gun like this? Whether playing airsoft requires you to adopt an AEG like this, a quieter, smoother green gas AEG, or a high-performance spring-powered sniper rifle, check out MiR Tactical at MiRTactical.com. Their collection has plenty of G&G Raiders and they’re all covered by a price match guarantee. Visit their website or contact them at 800-581-6620 today.