What is an LPEG Airsoft Gun
An LPEG airsoft gun, sometimes also known as an LPAEG, is a broad class of low-powered airsoft guns that are often marketed as entry level or “safer” models for beginning airsoft enthusiasts.
The term LPEG actually stands for Low Power Electric Gun, while the term LPAEG is essentially the same thing with the word Automatic added in to draw a more direct comparison to more typical AEG models (Low Power Automatic Electric Gun).
Compared to a typical AEG, an LPEG fires BBs at a far lower FPS rate (hence the term low power) so they hit with a lot less force..
Where a standard AEG M4, for example, might chrono at 400 or so FPS using standard 0.20g BBs its LPEG equivalent might be around 200-250, and oftentimes even less.
Why do people buy LPEGs?
There are a couple common reasons why people tend to consider LPEG airsoft guns.
One of the main reasons people consider purchasing an LPEG airsoft gun is usually price.
Generally speaking, you can get a fully-functioning airsoft rifle from a reputable company like Cybergun, ASG, Umarex and even Tokyo Marui for a fraction of the price of a full-powered AEG (usually far less than $100, and often less than $50).
They also come in a wide variety of popular gun styles so that, by considering an LPEG, even people on a fairly strict budget can pick up a brand-new replica of their favorite M4, AK47 or even a SCAR-L and get started on the hobby.
And, for the most part, these LPEGs function (in theory) much like an AEG and even come with many of the same features and accessories that those purchasing regular airsoft guns enjoy and benefit from.
These can include:
- Automatic and semi automatic selection
- Rail attachments and threaded barrels for the easy addition of accessories
- Flip up sights
- Realistic looks
- Folding and adjustable stocks
- And even adjustable hop up units on some models
Low Power Games
Another reason that people consider LPEG airsoft guns is that they want to participate in airsoft games where it would be dangerous, damaging or just generally unwise to bring a full-powered airsoft rifle.
With typical FPS rates of less than 250, an LPEG airsoft gun is thought to be a little safer to use in a typical backyard skirmish between friends (where players will be at a lot closer range than a typical game) or even for indoor/home plinking and target shooting (where BBs fired at full power might damage walls).
Regardless of how “safe” they are perceived to be (or marketed to be by retailers or manufacturers), it is always important to remember that even low powered airsoft guns fire small projectiles and it is very important that proper airsoft safety precautions be followed to prevent serious injury.
What Are Some Of The Disadvantages Of LPEG Airsoft Guns?
There are actually quite a few disadvantages to LPEGs that potential buyers need to consider before jumping in and making a purchase.
Because they are so low powered, LPAEG airsoft guns tend not to be all that useful in an actual airsoft game.
As a rule they tend to lack the range necessary to really play competitively, since their users will pretty consistently be outshot by opponents.
They also tend to be more limited in terms of BB weight, usually suffering from performance issues with anything heavier than 0.20gs, which can be a disadvantage in windy conditions or for those seeking some kind of accuracy at range.
That said, FPS isn’t everything in airsoft and it’s really the following disadvantages that have earned LPEGs something of a negative reputation in the airsoft world.
Being an very affordable, entry level airsoft gun, LPEGs tend to be made using a lot of inexpensive plastics, typically eschewing metal frames and even reinforced polymers as a cost-saving measure.
As a result, although cheaper to buy, their frames can be more prone to cracking and damage as a result of moderately intensive use.
More importantly, they tend to use a lot of plastics on the inside, as well.
To save money and lower performance, oftentimes LPEGs will use plastic gearboxes and gears (as opposed to the metal versions typically found in decent quality AEGs), which can be prone to damage and failure over time.
These gearboxes and internals are also often proprietary to the LPEG, meaning that they can be difficult to replace if things break and very difficult to upgrade with sturdier parts.
As a result, if things go catastrophically wrong with an LPEG they can very quickly go from cheap airsoft option to very expensive paperweight.
When looking at LPEGs, new airsofters should be aware that, on occasion, manufactures can mask poor build quality on LPEGs by including various cool-looking tactical accessories, such as optics, flashlights, suppressors and lasers.
One thing to bear in mind is that some of these accessories, a good quality optic for example, can cost as much as an LPEG.
As always, caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.
The Existence Of Better Airsoft Options
It’s true that it’s probably dangerous (and a little overkill) to take your primary 400 FPS M4 out into the backyard and mess around with your buddies.
As airsoft has become more popular and developed as a hobbysport, there are many better (in our opinion, at least) options out there for those who want to do a little backyard skirmishing or are looking to get into the sport.
Some airsoft rifles offer quick change spring systems, letting users quickly and easily install a weaker spring to detune the gun to more CQB-friendly power levels.
These guns are built to higher spec, inside and out, and are far more durable and reliable on average. Yet, with a spring change they can drop to 300 FPS or less.
With these, users can have a far more versatile gun they can use in casual, close quarters skirmishes but that can also be quickly upgraded to full power and taken to a regular airsoft game.
Others, like those often produced by Tokyo Marui, are limited by regulations to sub 300 FPS out of the box, but tend to have better quality internals and performance levels and have access to more replacement parts and upgrades than an LPEG.
For those who want to really restrict their FPS and are on a stricter budget, AEP (Automatic Electric Pistols) can offer low FPS and can often be picked up for less than $100, much like an LPEG, and are offered in a variety of pistol and submachine gun styles.
Unlike LPEGs, however, they are often built using more durable metal components, including metal gearboxes, and (especially if they are compatible with Tokyo Marui AEP specs) can have far more replacement and upgrade parts available to them.
Where Do LPEGs Still Have An Advantage, If Any?
At the end of the day, LPEGs do have one advantage over other AEG options – their price.
It is highly unlikely that most people will be able to find a brand new airsoft AEG rifle in the style they’d like for under $60.
Pistols yes, SMGs sometimes…rifles not so much.
In this regard, LPEGs still have a place in the airsoft world.
That said, when considering cost you do have to balance out the relative build quality and access to replacement parts and upgrades for LPEG.
This is, of course, not even mentioning the greater limitations in use that these guns have, and users may outgrow them quickly as their interest in airsoft develops.
At the end of the day, you can buy a ~$50 CYMA AK47 that might last you for some casual plinking or backyard games, or you can save up a bit more and buy an entry level full-powered AK47 for ~$140 by the same company that, sports a better quality, repairable and upgradable gearbox, metal body and frame and that is usable in pretty much any airsoft field and will probably last a longer time.
LPEG or LPAEG airsoft guns are somewhat controversial in the airsoft world.
Importantly for beginners, they are very affordable and replicate the look and essential mechanics of a full AEG. Similarly, their low FPS make them an option for those looking for a low-powered backyard skirmishing weapon.
That said, they do have a number of drawbacks to them that potential buyers should be aware of, including a tendency to being poorly built, and the existence of sometimes superior alternative solutions means that users might want to do their homework and really think about their needs before buying one.
Will Martin – Will has been into airsoft and paintball for well over 10 years, and has done it all – from upgrading and fixing gearboxes as a tech to building custom airsoft loadouts for his friends to supporting off those friends as a DM.