The Best Airsoft M4 AEGs To Fit Any Budget

The M4 is one of the most popular firearm platforms out there, used by military, police and civilians in over 60 countries worldwide. 

Much like its real steel counterpart, M4 AEG replicas are extremely popular in the airsoft world.

And there’s a good reason for that. 

Airsoft M4 AEGs are extremely versatile, with tons of variants covering outdoor, CQB, milsim and even speedsoft games. In fact, airsoft M4 variants can serve as a standard assault rifle, a DMR, a sniper rifle, a CQB primary, a submachine gun substitute or even, in some cases, an LMG. 

M4 airsoft aeg with all the accessories

Due to the M4 AEG’s popularity in airsoft there are also a ton of aftermarket parts, making them one of the easiest and most flexible platforms for upgrading, customizing and modifying, both inside and out.  

If you’re interested in an M4 AEG for your next airsoft game, then read on as we detail some of the best ones out across a number of different price points. 

In A Rush? Check Out Our Top Airsoft M4 Aeg Picks

Airsoft M4Read MoreCheck it out
Budget M4 AEG – Sub $200
G&G CM16 Raider 2.0Read the reviewCheck out the Raider 2.0
Cybergun M4A1 SportslineRead the reviewCheck out the M4 Sportsline
Tippmann Commando M4 AEGRead the reviewCheck out the Commando
Specna Arms CORE Series M4 Read the reviewCheck out the CORE
APEX Fast Attack M4 AEGRead the reviewCheck out the APEX
Midrange – $200-500
Specna Arms EDGE SeriesRead the reviewCheck out the EDGE
CYMA Platinum M4 QBSRead the reviewCheck out the Platinum M4
VFC Avalon Gen 2 VR16 Saber Read the reviewCheck out the Saber
G&G ARP 556 Full Metal M4 Read the reviewCheck out the ARP556
Premium – $500+
Tokyo Marui Next Generation Recoil ShockRead the reviewCheck out the Recoil Shock
VFC Avalon Samurai Edge 2.0 Read the reviewCheck out the Samurai

What We Look For In An Airsoft M4 AEG

If you’re buying an M4 AEG for your airsoft game, chances are you’re probably planning to use it as a primary i.e. something you’ll be using as a main weapon and bringing to the field over and over again. 

As such, unlike a more specialized airsoft gun such as a shotgun or even a sidearm like a pistol, we tend to take a more practical approach to the things we look for when it comes to M4 AEGs. 

After all, as tacticool as an M4 replica might look, it really won’t help you much if it breaks and leaves you helpless on the field. 


Everyone has a budget and obviously any airsoft gun needs to fit within that budget. When it comes to a potential primary weapon, however, price needs to be balanced against performance and reliability. 

Go too cheap and you run the risk of the gun cracking, breaking or otherwise failing when you need it the most. 

Too expensive and you’ll blow your budget and have little left over for mags and accessories.

With all that said, M4 AEGs are pretty ubiquitous in airsoft, and we were able to identify quite a number of options to fit a range of budgets. 

We divided our list to highlight reliable but cheaper, sub-$200 models, midrange models with a few more impressive options ($200-500) and a few premium airsoft M4s ($500+) that include quite a few more airsoft bells and whistles.  

Build quality

Being such a popular design, there are a lot of poorly made airsoft M4s AEGs out there. 

Being something that users might come to rely on, we looked for models that are particularly known for having good fit and finish (whether plastic or metal), snappy triggers, reliable gearboxes and hop ups, good accuracy and that use better quality materials (reinforced polymer or metal/metal alloy) in their construction. 


We tended to prefer airsoft M4s that made use of full metal and upgradable Tokyo Marui compatible V2 gearboxes over custom/proprietary gearboxes whenever possible, even when those custom/proprietary gearboxes had interesting specs and characteristics. 

This is due to the simple fact that, although fairly staid, TM-standard V2s tend to be relatively reliable, easily fixed when broken and, since there are a ton of aftermarket parts out there for them, pretty easy to upgrade down the line. 

We also tended to prefer gearboxes that were built a little more sturdily, such as those with 

steel gears, bushings, metal toothed pistons, aluminum piston heads and other, more durable options, as they tend to be able to more easily accommodate (and actually work with) common performance upgrades like tighter springs and torquier motors. 

Customization options

Although an M4 with a carrying handle and round, ribbed handguard is a classic look, we tended to look for M4 AEGs with a variety of rail options and threaded barrels, so that users can more easily take advantage of the plethora of optics, lasers, flashlights, suppressors and tracer units out there. 


Like price, power is a tricky thing with M4 AEGs. 

For one thing, too many low-quality manufacturers try to cover up poor build quality and QC with monster FPS ratings.

For another, users may actually want to use their M4 (for which they’ve spent good money) in CQB or indoor games that tend to limit FPS to below 400.  

As a result, most of the M4 AEGs on this list deliver somewhere around 350-380 FPS stock, with special mention given to models that allow for easier performance upgrading and downgrading on the fly, such as those that have quick change spring systems. 

Being a primary airsoft rifle, we also place an importance on accuracy and range, expecting a good M4 AEG to be able to hit center mass at 150 feet out or more when properly hopped. 

Our Picks

Budget airsoft M4 AEGs – Sub-$200 Range

Not everybody has the desire or ability to spend several hundred dollars on an airsoft M4 AEG and may want to find something a little cheaper. 

While it is true that you most often do get what you pay for, and at the sub-$200 price point there are a lot more poor quality airsoft M4s, being on a budget necessarily doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice any semblance of quality.

Recognizing that budget M4 AEGs are a common entry point into the sport, a few airsoft companies have started producing well-built, affordable models that can actually keep up with some of the bigger boys on the field.

G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider 2.0 AEG

G&G raider 2.0 m4 AEG boxed
Lightweight and durableM-LOK system takes some getting used to
Modern, cool looksSells out quickly
Quality internals, build quality
Easy to accessorize and a great platform for upgrades
Good firepower and accuracy out of the box
M-LOK handguard is smooth, cool looking and lightweight

The G&G Combat Machine 16 Raider 2.0 is one of the most well-known, and highly recommended, budget friendly M4s in the airsoft world. 

That’s because while its price is entry-level, its performance and build quality is anything but. 

Coming in at just under $200, the G&G CM16 Raider 2.0 is made out of highly durable, nylon-reinforced polymer that makes it very sturdy and still fairly lightweight. 

In fact, the Raider’s reinforced frame is durable enough that it is often a popular choice as a rental rifle, due to its ability to take the day-to-day punishment being a rental piece entails.  

Its exterior is comfortable to hold and offers quite a bit in the way of customizability. 

The G&G Raider 2.0 comes with a 14mm threaded CCW barrel, making it easy to add suppressors and tracers, as well as a a full-length 12 o’clock rail and cool looking M-LOK handguard for the maximum and free addition of optics, flashlights, lasers and other accessories. 

Inside, the G&G really shines and provides a lot of value for a budget price.

The 2.0 comes with an upgraded, narrow bore 6.04mm inner barrel, a full metal, fully upgradable V2 gearbox, 8mm bearings, Deans connectors, a torquey 18000 RPM motor and features an adjustable gear hop up located under a fully-functional dust cover. 

In terms of performance, the G&G Raider 2.0 delivers a respectable 355 or so FPS with 0.20g BBs, with an ROF of about 14 RPS, making it quite useful for just about any airsoft game or field. 

Those looking for increased performance can easily upgrade the G&G, with its popularity, TM compatible gearbox and internals allowing users to take advantage of the many and diverse replacement parts and upgrades available on the market, from MOSFETs and LiPos to improved bushings, hop ups and more. 

More than that, the Raider is pretty accurate out of the box, reliably hitting targets at 150 feet plus. 

In terms of magazines, the Raider comes with a 450 round hi-cap but, as with other M4s, it also accepts just about all AR-15 class STANAG airsoft magazines, allowing users to try out mid caps, tracer mags or even drums. 

Overall, it is small wonder that the G&G Raider 2.0 is a highly popular (and often sold out) gun in the airsoft world. 

With its durable build quality, easy upgrades, affordable price, good performance and well-above average stock internals, the Raider 2.0 represents excellent value for money and is one of the best options for beginner airsofters or those looking for a decent, upgradable gun that will last. 

Read our in-depth review of the G&G CM 16 Raider 2.0 for more information

Cybergun COLT Licensed M4A1 Sportsline Carbine

Highly affordableAt just 4lbs it isn’t the most realistic feeling
Very lightweightPolymer construction
Lots of room for accessories
Good power 
Accurate at range
Decent rate of fire
Good mag compatibility
Officially licensed 

If you’re new to airsoft or on a stricter budget, we think that Cybergun’s M4A1 Sportsline Carbine (made by CYMA, incidentally) can be solid choice that can deliver a decent bang for your buck.

Coming in at well under $150, the Cybergun’s M4A1 Sportsline Carbine is probably one of the more affordably priced M4 AEGs on our list and it’s officially licensed, sporting all the Colt trademarks and military stamps you’d want in a modern battle rifle replica.

Now, it’s not a full metal airsoft gun (as might be expected from a gun with such an affordable price), but its receivers are made out of reinforced polymer and so will stand up to most day-to-day use without a problem.

While not as durable as metal, the use of polymer in the gun’s construction does make it quite ligthweight,.

Coming in at just around 4lbs (1.84 Kg), the gun is quite easy to carry around during longer games and is very easy to snap between targets, although some players might feel that the Cybergun is a little too light-weight compared to other models on this list, lacking a realistic heft. 

Thanks to a full length picatinny top rail and a Keymod handguard, Cybergun’s M4A1 has plenty of room to add accessories, making it very easy to outfit this gun with optics, flash lights, lasers and more.

The Keymod handguard also keeps the front of the gun smooth and prevents it from snagging on clothing or vests, making the Cybergun M4A1 carbine a little more of a better fit for CQB games than quad rail sporting rivals. 

In addition to the rail and handguard, the Sportsline also comes with a 14mm negatively threaded barrel, so users freely and easily add mock suppressors or tracer units should they so desire. 

Inside, the Cybergun M4A1 Sportsline comes with a pretty standard Tokyo Marui compatible V2 gearbox that’s connected to a long-type motor, a 6.08mm barrel and a pretty decent and easily adjustable CYMA rotary hop up, for keeping things steady on the field at range.

Although nothing particularly special, the internals are pretty solid and reliable, something that’s always welcome when it comes to a beginner’s gun, and can of course be easily repaired and upgraded later on should you want to squeeze a little more oomph out of this gun. 

In terms of performance, the gun offers decent power for the price. 

FPS-wise, we saw the gun get around 380-390 using 0.20g BBs and hit targets pretty reliably to about 150 feet (45m) thanks to the gun’s quality CYMA hop up and adjustable flip up sights. 

On full auto, meanwhile, we were pleasantly surprised by the Cybergun M4A1 Sportsline’s capabilities, with the gun getting around 15-16 RPS.

Although not blazing fast, it is a rate of fire that we would have expected on a more midrange M4 replica and should be pretty useful for keeping your opponent’s heads down.

Overall, then, we feel that Cybergun’s M4A1 Sportsline Carbine is an excellent weapon for players who are new to airsoft. 

While it may not have all the bells and whistles of more a expensive gun, such as its fancier counterpart the CYMA Platinum, it is low-priced, reliable, performs well, and can eventually be modified or upgraded to grow with a player’s developing abilities. 

Tippmann Commando M4 AEG

Picture of Tippmann Commando M4
Very affordable Mostly polymer construction, including part of the outer barrel
Full metal, upgradable, TM-compatible gearboxNo locking bolt mechanism, have to hold charging handle back when adjusting hop up
Easy to adjust, rotary hop up
Well put together, doesn’t feel cheap
Metal flip up sights for backup
Modern M4 looks
Crisp, long type motor with decent trigger response
Keyhole handguard adds extra mounting options

Tippmann is a well-known brand in the paintball world, and they have brought their expertise to the airsoft world, producing one of the more affordable, yet well-made, entry level M4 AEGs out there – the Tippmann Commando M4 series. 

The full size Commando M4 comes in around $160 or so and provides a lot of proverbial bang for its buck.

It is a nearly-all polymer construction, with the receivers, keyhole handguard and even part of the outer barrel made of fairly durable polymer material. 

While perhaps not providing the same aesthetic feel as metal, the Commando M4’s plastic build doesn’t feel cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Everything is well put together, there isn’t any looseness and it can stand up to most of the bangs and nicks that a primary airsoft gun might be subjected to. 

The Commando M4’s construction also makes it fairly easy to add accessories to. 

The gun comes with metal top and bottom mount rails, and a 14mm CCW threaded outer barrel for the easy addition of suppressors or tracer units. 

It also has a polymer keyhole handguard that not only looks cool and keeps the handguard smooth (and less likely to snag), but also allows users to mount accessories to a variety of locations along the barrel.

Looks aside, the Commando M4’s internals are pretty decent, as well. 

The Tippmann comes with a full metal V2 gearbox that performs quite smoothly and can be easily upgraded later with the plethora of TM-compatible parts on the market. 

In terms of performance, the Commando M4 shoots pretty well and reliably out of the box, with an FPS of about 350-370 using 0.20g BBs. 

While not a heavy hitter, its power allows it to be used in most games, including CQB and indoor fields where FPS restrictions might be a little tight. And, of course, there are no real proprietary parts to it, so it can be pretty easily modified for greater performance. 

To help keep things accurate, the Tippmann helpfully includes an easy-to-adjust rotary hop up, although users will have to hold the bolt open while doing so, since the bolt catch is unfortunately purely decorative.

In terms of magazines, the Commando M4 comes with a pretty standard mid-cap but can accept pretty much any STANAG-style airsoft mag, which can help keep its cost of ownership down.

Overall, with the Commando M4, Tippmann has brought its reputation for building quality, entry-level paintball guns to the airsoft world. 

Although the Commando M4 isn’t a heavy hitter when it comes to FPS, and its largely plastic body isn’t for everyone, its highly affordable price, upgradable internals and decent out of the box performance make it can be an excellent choice for those on a budget or those looking for their first airsoft M4.

Specna Arms CORE (SA-C) Series M4 

Extremely affordable Lots of plastic, including buffer tube
Full metal, highly upgradable, TM-compatible gearbox with steel gearsFlip up sight is plastic as well
Easy to adjust, rotary hop up
High quality components, including tightbore 6.03mm barrel 
Fairly powerful out of the box, accurate
Upper and lower rails
Quick change system and included M90 spring make it highly adaptable to different fields

Specna Arms is a well-known producer of airsoft replicas that aims to produce reasonably-priced, but high-quality, airsoft guns. 

True to their mission, the Specna Arms CORE M4 is one of the more affordable airsoft M4 AEGs out there at around (and often less than) $150. 

And, on the surface, the Specna Arms CORE seems to be a fairly standard, entry-level M4 in that it uses lots of plastic. 

Its upper and lower receivers, buffer tube and even the rear sights, are made of polymer and the gun is pretty lightweight, weighing just a touch over 5 lbs (2.4 Kg). 

That said, it does use nylon-reinforced polymers, which make it quite durable and able to withstand most moderate airsoft use without any problem, even if it doesn’t feel quite as nice as metal. 

The gun has upper and lower rails, allowing for the easy addition of optics, flashlights and more, and the metal outer barrel is threaded, allowing for the addition of suppressors and tracer units. 

Unlike some of the other rifles on this list, the gun doesn’t have quite as tactical a look or as many external features (keymod or M-LOK), so you really can’t add side mountings as easily.

That said, where the Specna CORE might take you by surprise is inside, where it really counts. 

The CORE comes with a metal V2 gearbox, 8mm bushings and steel gears, making it capable of standing up to some heavier use. It is Tokyo Marui-compatible, as well, so upgrading things is quite easy. 

The CORE also comes with a pretty decent M110 spring, as well as a quick change system that allows users to switch to a lower-powered M90 (which is included, by the way) by simply unscrewing the stock and getting to work.

Very interestingly, Specna Arms fit the CORE with a 6.03mm tightbore inner barrel, and an easily adjustable, rotary hop up- both of which can help quite a bit with performance. 

And the CORE does perform. Out of the box it should shoot around 380-390 FPS with its stock M110 spring, and its quick change and included M90 spring can lower this to about 300 FPS or so, making the gun very adaptable if you plan on frequently visiting fields with stricter FPS limits. 

Despite not having a MOSFET, which you wouldn’t expect for the price, the CORE still has a fairly crisp and short trigger response. 

In terms of magazines, it comes with a 300 round hi cap, which is nice and it accepts most STANAG mags, which helps lower the cost of ownership somewhat. 

Overall, While some users may not be huge fans plastic M4 builds, the Specna Arms CORE is solidly built, durable and affordable replica that uses pretty impressive internals and quick change spring system to deliver pretty impressive performance and usability for the price. 

APEX Fast Attack M4 AEG

Apex Fast Attack AEG M4 airsoft rifle
Extremely affordable Lots of plastic
Quick change springDoesn’t include lower powered spring 
Full metal gearbox
High quality components, including tightbore 6.03mm barrel 
Very accurate
Quad rails
Detachable carrying handle

If you’re just getting into airsoft, are on a strict budget, and want an M4 that won’t let you down, APEX has you covered with their Fast Attack M4 AEG series (OEM by the well-known Classic Army, by the way). 

Often found for under $130 (and sometimes closer to $100), the APEX Fast Attack is a solid, entry-point M4 replica that is suitable for even the most budget-minded airsofters.

It is, as  you might expect at this price point, made of plastic. Although its outer barrel is made of metal, its uppers, lowers, buffer tube and more are all made of polymer plastic. 

Although there isn’t much metal to speak of with the APEX, its polymer build is nylon-reinforced, making it reasonably sturdy and damage resistant, far more so than the ABS plastic models that are commonly found at this price point.

In terms of customizability, the APEX Fast Attack delivers as well. 

It sports a quad-rail handguard, which is perfect for adding things like lasers, flashlights and more, a threaded barrel and a pretty cool detachable carrying handle (great for milsimers or those who like a classic AR look) that can be removed to reveal an optics-ready rail underneath.  

Despite its budget price, Classic Army actually put a fair amount of effort into its internals.

It contains a full metal and upgradable LiPo-ready gearbox, a 6.03mm tight bore barrel, a flat trigger for faster trigger pull and an adjustable rotary hop up unit. 

It doesn’t include a MOSFET or ETU, but overall it has everything needed to make this a pretty decent gun out of the box and a great platform for later modification, especially given the price, should their owners desire.  

In terms of performance, the APEX shoots quite nicely and fairly hard, around 350-360 FPS with 0.20g BBs, with an average RPS, and should get decent groupings in a man-sized target up to 150 ft or so without much of an issue. 

For those who need to take things down a notch, it also features a helpful, quick change spring system, although (unlike the Specna Arms CORE) it doesn’t include a looser spring in the box. 

In terms of mags, it comes with a pretty standard 300 round hi cap and accepts most STANAG magazines, which is nice and keeps costs down. 

Relatively durable, with solid, upgradable internals and decent performance out of the box, if you are in the market for an airsoft M4 AEG and don’t have a lot of money to spend, the APEX Fast Attack is probably the gun for you. 

Midrange Airsoft M4 AEGs – $200-500

If you want to take things up a notch with improved build quality, metal components, improved performance, and even some extras such as MOSFETs, ETUs upgraded internals and more, but still want to remain within a reasonable budget, the midrange of the M4 AEG market is probably where you’ll want to look.

While you’re probably not going to find anything too mind blowing, the midrange is where you’ll typically find flagship airsoft assault rifles since it offers the best balance between volume of customers and profitability for manufacturers. 

Consequently,  there’s a lot on offer at this price range, meaning there’s a lot of M4s for potential buyers to sift through. 

But if you have a little bit more money to spend on an airsoft M4 AEG, or you’re looking to step up from your first airsoft M4, this is probably where you’re going to look . 

Specna Arms/Rock River Licensed EDGE (SA-E) Series M4 AEG 

picture of sepcna arms edge m4 Aeg
Good value for moneyMOSFET is located in buffer tube, can get a bit cramped
Quick change spring
Full metal construction with scratch-resistant coating
High quality components, including reinforced metal gearbox, steel gears, torquey motor, tightbore 6.03mm barrel, and more
Very accurate with rotary hop up for adjustment
X-ASR MOSFET included
Decent ROF on 11.1v LiPo
Extremely upgradable platform
Includes M90 downgrade spring for use in fields with FPS limits
Tons of different styles and variants to choose from

The Specna Arms EDGE M4 AEG is a step up from their entry-level CORE series and continues following much of the same strategy that has won over fans in the airsoft world: provide a lot of airsoft gun for not a lot of money – in this case sub-$300.

The Specna Arms Rock River Licensed EDGE M4 is an officially licensed airsoft replica, with official trademarks from the well-known Rock River Arms firearms company engraved onto its receivers. 

The gun itself is a full metal construction, with aluminum uppers and lowers. 

There are a ton of EDGE variants, from full-sized M4s to PDWs, with different furniture such as keymods and various handguards, and while they are made of polymer, they are nylon-reinforced and so are pretty sturdy and durable, all told.

Most EDGE M4 AEGs come with rail attachments and all have 14mm CCW threads, so users are pretty free to add attachments, such as optics and suppressors. 

Inside, too, EDGE M4 AEGs have a lot going for them.

The EDGE series uses Specna Arms’ own Orion gearbox. Essentially a full metal V2, the Orion uses a reinforced aluminum frame, steel gears, 8mm bearings, steel-tooth piston, an aluminum cylinder, nozzle and piston head, and more, all firing through a tightbore 6.03mm inner barrel. 

It is, of course, upgradable, being an otherwise typical V2 set up. 

The gearbox is mated to a very torquey, long type motor with neodymium magnets rated to about 22TPA, which, along with the reinforced gearbox, should allow the gun to upgrade to M140 springs without too much of a concern.

In fact, the EDGE series includes a quick change spring system that makes this pretty easy. Pop the stock off, unscrew the buffer tube and the spring should easily come out. 

The EDGE also comes with a respectable GATE X-ASR MOSFET, which is mounted buffer tube, allowing the gun to be used with an 11.1v LiPo with no real issues other than some reduced space, as well as a fairly decent and easy to adjust rotary hop up unit. 

In terms of performance, the EDGE delivers a pretty consistent 360-370 FPS @ 0.20g on its stock M110 spring, downgradable to around 300-310 with the included M90 spring. 

Upgrade to an M140 and you should clear 400 FPS no problem.

Rate of fire is decent, as well. If you’re running an 11.1v LiPo you can expect an impressive 18+ RPS, while on a small 7.4V a more typical 11-13 or so. 

In terms of mags, the EDGE comes with a 125 round midcap, and, of course, it is compatible with a wide variety of STANAGs out there. 

Overall, the Specna Arms EDGE series offers an excellent balance between high quality internals, performance, upgradability and price, and should be seriously considered by any airsofter looking for their next M4. 

CYMA Platinum M4 QBS

cyma m4 airsoft aeg
Not that expensive MOSFET not the most advanced on the market
Quick change springGear, not rotary, hop up
Full metal construction
High quality components, including metal gearbox, 13:1 steel gears, torquey motor tightbore 6.03mm barrel, MOSFET and more
Very accurate
Cool aluminum M-LOK
High ROF
Extremely upgradable platform

With airsoft assault rifles, CYMA is best known for its rock-solid AK platform that is known for delivering a high level of performance and reliability for a reasonable price. 

In recent years, CYMA has made great strides in its M4s as well, making great improvements in their internals and performance and turning them into something that airsofters should really start paying attention to. 

Sitting at the top of their M4 line is the CYMA Platinum M4 series and, true to form, it delivers a good deal value for a (typically) sub-$300 price. 

Outside, the Platinum M4 is a full metal build, with aluminum receivers, iron sights and a pretty cool looking metal free-floating M-LOK handguard, as well. 

The CYMA comes with a continuous top rail, maximizing the real estate available for optics, and the M-LOK handguard allows for the attachment of flashlights, lasers and other tactical accessories at the 3, 6, and 9 o’ clock positions, while keeping the overall feel of the handguard smooth and comfortable. 

It also comes with a 14mm threaded outer barrel, which allows for the easy addition of suppressors and tracer units. 

The QBS in the CYMA Platinum M4 QBS name stands for Quick Buffer System, which is CYMA’s fancy way of saying quick change spring system, which allows users to up- or downgrade the gun’s spring to modify its performance so it can be used in different games and fields. 

Pop off the stock, unscrew the buffer tube and the spring is easily removed and replaced. 

Inside, the Platinum M4 demonstrates why it is CYMA’s premiere airsoft M4 AEG through its use of more upscale internals. 

The gun contains a pretty well-built TM-compatible, full metal gearbox with 13:1 machined steel gears (not sintered) and 8mm bearings, a steel tooth polycarbonate piston, an aluminum piston head and cylinder and a tightbore 6.03mm barrel.

Attached to a torquey neodymium magnet-powered motor, the CYMA can deliver when it comes to performance right out of the box.

This is helped along by the fact that the gun is LiPo-ready and comes with a CYMA MOSFET and microswitch trigger.

Like other stock MOSFETS, the CYMA’s isn’t the most premium module available but does the job out of the box and can easily be swapped out for an upgrade later. 

In terms of FPS, the Platinum M4 should hit around 360-370 FPS. 

While not an FPS monster, it is decent enough and does allow it to be usable in pretty much any field, and its durable gearbox, internals and quick change spring means you should be able to up this performance fairly easily. 

The gun is, however, very accurate and has an impressive rate of fire for an M4, around 17-18 RPS on a 7.4v battery and over 26 on an 11.1v.

To help keep things accurate, the CYMA comes with an adjustable hop up. It is, unfortunately, a gear-based hop up, which isn’t as easy to adjust as a rotary (which we prefer) but the gun does have a functioning bolt catch, which means you won’t have to hold the charging handle back when you make your adjustments. 

The CYMA comes with a 160 round midcap, which is pretty sturdy and reliable, but it can also fit any of the wide number of M4 mags out there, which is nice. 

Overall, with the Platinum M4 QBS CYMA has stepped up its M4 game significantly. 

Its high quality internals, solid materials, upgradability and quick firing should make it an interesting option for those looking for a high value M4 AEG at a reasonable price. 

VFC Avalon Gen 2 VR16 Saber M4 AEG

VFC Avalon Saber M4 AEG
Realistic look and feelA little up there in price
Quick change springQuick change spring requires disassembly 
Full metal construction
Very high quality internals, including reliable MOSFET, steel gears, machine parts, 6.03mm barrel and more
High rate of fire, snappy trigger response
Cool aluminum M-LOK
Laser accuracy
Highly upgradable platform

The VFC Avalon Saber Generation 2 (sold under the Elite Force brand in the US) is one of the more respected airsoft M4 AEGs out there and a great choice for those with an eye for performance and a little more money to burn.

Usually sold at just over $450, the Avalon is on the upper end of what we consider mid-range, but those that make the plunge can find a lot about it to justify the price. 

To begin with, the Avalon Saber is a full metal M4 replica, with aluminum uppers and lowers that make the gun quite durable. 

They also provide a good deal of heft. The carbine version of the Avalon tips the scales at just over 7lbs (3.22 KG), meaning it is a bit heavier than some other M4s on our list, but also matches the weight of an actual M4 quite well.

The Avalon Saber comes in a few variants, including carbine, CQB and SOPMOD versions, which gives users some selection.  

Most come with a continuous top rail and M-LOK handguard which, combined with the 14mm threaded outer barrel, allow for a great deal of customization in the form of optics, suppressors, lasers and more. 

Interestingly,  the Avalon Saber series bucks the standard right-handed AR template and adds ambidextrous selectors and magazine releases, making things a little easier for left-handed users.

Inside, the Avalon Saber uses a VFC ECS gearbox that’s pretty impressive. It is a full metal and upgradable V2 that sports steel gears, 8mm bearings, steel-toothed piston, machined nozzle, snappy vertical trigger, and a pretty solid and reliable 11.1 V LiPo-ready MOSFET. 

All of which is mated to a high torque, neodymium motor and fires through a high quality tightbore 6.03mm inner barrel. 

The result of this configuration is that the VFC Avalon Gen 2 is snappy, quick firing and has laser-like accuracy out of the box. 

Performance-wise, the Avalon Gen 2 hits around 380 FPS with 0.20gs, with an RPS of around 20 when on a 11.1v LiPo, making it an ideal all-arounder. 

To help keep things accurate, the Avalon has a pretty tight and powerful rotary hop up unit that is easy to adjust and easy to access. 

For those looking to use it in more FPS-limited fields, the gun also comes with an easy spring change system, where users simply pop the gearbox out of the lower receiver to access and replace the spring. 

Although quite as simple as a buffer-tube quick change system, it is pretty simple and easy to do nonetheless.    

The Avalon comes with a 120 round midcap, and the gun is pretty cross compatible with other mags, so finding replacements or specialized mags shouldn’t be an issue.

Overall, if you have a little more cash to spend on an M4 AEG and want a gun that can deliver high performance and precision accuracy out of the box, the Avalon is probably your best bet. 

G&G ARP 556 Full Metal M4

Realistic look and feelA little up there in price
Quick change springQuick change spring requires disassembly 
Full metal construction
Very high quality internals, including reliable MOSFET, steel gears, machine parts, 6.03mm barrel and more
High rate of fire, snappy trigger response
Cool aluminum M-LOK
Laser accuracy
Highly upgradable platform

If you love CQB games or are planning a custom speedsoft build and you want an M4 that’s highly compact, hard hitting and easy to handle, G&G’s ARP556 is probably what you’re looking for. 

The G&G ARP556 is the STANAG-mag compatible version of G&G’s famous and highly capable ARP9 (which we did an in depth review of that you can read here) and has the same hard hitting, far-reaching capabilities in the same tiny, PDW package. 

Unlike the ARP9, however, the ARP556 is a far more durable full metal airsoft build that essentially replicates the look of a short barreled rifle (SBR) M4. 

Its looks are a significant departure from a traditional M4. With a highly compact (under 20 inch/500mm stock-retracted) length and aggressively tactical looks, it probably won’t win you many friends at a milsim event but is ideal for maneuvering quickly in tight quarters, firing from cover and creeping around corners. 

The ARP556 comes with a top rail and M-LOK handguard, so adding accessories isn’t an issue, and it comes stock with a surprisingly effective and aggressively-styled sound amplifier that can be replaced with a suppressor or any other 14mm CCW threaded accessory.

Inside, although small, the ARP556 is mighty. 

It comes with a full size, full metal and upgradable TM compatible V2 gearbox with steel gears, 8mm bearings, all with a snappy and short-pulling flat trigger. 

The gearbox is mated to a torquey 25k motor, and comes standard with a programmable integrated MOSFET and ETU, which serve to improve trigger response, makes the ARP556 11.1v LiPo ready and lets the gun fire in burst and automatic fire modes, which is pretty cool.

In terms of performance, the little ARP556 is actually surprisingly effective given its small size and 5 inch barrel. 

The gun fires at around 330 FPS with 0.20g BBs with an RPS of about 21-22. Although not the most powerful M4 out there, it is ideally suited for CQB fields, high speed indoor play and even speedsoft with some minor mods.

It is also accurate, hitting targets easily up to 150 feet or so, which surprises most users given its size. With a little modification, users have reported hitting opponents well past 200 feet. 

Its accuracy is helped along by a pretty well-built rotary hop up unit that, unfortunately, requires users to hold the charging handle back to adjust. 

In terms of mags, the ARP556 comes with a 350 round hi cap. Unlike its ARP9 little brother, however it is compatible with a variety of other M4 style mags, so users can easily find mid caps and even drums for it, which is nice. 

Overall, although it looks a little different and isn’t an FPS beast, the ARP556 is well-built inside and out, extremely compact, accurate and has a high rate of fire. 

If you’re looking for a M4 AEG for your next CQB game, the G&G ARP556 should certainly be at the top of your list. 

Big Daddies – Airsoft M4 AEGs over $500

Once you cross over the $500 mark, it’s time to get a little pickier with your airsoft guns. 

At this level of spend, build quality and fit and finish are a given. 

When laying out this kind of money, airsofters should expect more premium out of the box options, such as ETUs, high levels of accuracy and other interesting features that let these guns stand out above the rest in terms of overall experience and give their users an edge on the field. 

Subsequently, the list isn’t large but if you are getting serious about your airsofting and have the ready cash, these M4 AEGs are definitely worth a look.

Tokyo Marui Next Generation Recoil Shock m4 -$570

Tokyo Marui M4 AEG with recoil shock
Durable, high quality Tokyo Marui metal buildSome proprietary parts (gearbox, mags, battery)
Easy spring changeLower FPS than other options out of the box
Really cool simulated recoil and blowback when fired
High quality, reinforced gearbox 
High rate of fire, snappy trigger response
Threaded barrel, quad rail and top rail allow for a lot of customization
Dead accurate at distance
Excellent hop up system lets you fire heavier BBs without a loss of accuracy
Functions better in the cold compared to GBBR M4s
Real functioning bolt catch makes adjusting hop up easy and adds to realism

If you prefer the functionality, convenience and ROF of an AEG M4 over a gas version, but you’d still like to have a little more of a realistic feel and experience, Tokyo Marui’s Next Generation Recoil Shock M4 might be what you’re looking for.

On its surface, the Tokyo Marui NGRS M4 looks like any other higher end airsoft M4 AEG. 

It uses very durable metal receivers with TM trademarks, a top and quad rails for mounting attachments and accessories, 14mm threaded outer barrel for suppressors and tracers, a 5 position crane stock, and adjustable front and (removable) rear sights. 

Being a premiere M4 replica, Tokyo Marui has put all the bells and whistles on its external features, as well, including a realistic bolt catch that locks open when the magazine empties, much like a real steel AR. 

Also being a TM rifle, the manufacturing is superb, with everything tightly and cleanly fitted together out of the box with zero wobble on any part of the gun. 

Where things get really interesting with the Next Generation Recoil Shock M4 is its internals. 

The Next Generation Recoil Shocks use a full metal, reinforced V2 gearbox that is built with the same precision, attention to detail and reliability that Tokyo Marui is known for.

However, unlike other V2s out there it is modified to provide a relatively strong “recoil” feeling when fired, something that you won’t find in nearly any other AEG out there.

Essentially, as it fires the gearbox’s piston moves backwards, pushing a rod connected to a small weight located in the buffer tube. Every shot, then, results in a fairly strong vibration that users can feel in their shoulder and resonating through the body of the gun. 

Perhaps not as strong as a true blowback, this recoil shock is definitely noticeable and gives them gun a more realistic feel than a typical electric airsoft rifle. 

Unlike a gas gun, it will also work consistently in the cold, so it might be a great option for those who live in cooler climates. 

Unfortunately, the recoil shock isn’t a standard V2 and is proprietary to the line, so swapping parts out isn’t quite as easy as it might be on a regular Tokyo Marui airsoft gun. 

That said, the recoil shock line is pretty prominent in the Tokyo Marui catalog and there are more than enough specific replacement parts and aftermarkets available if you want to dig in there and go crazy.

In terms of performance, for legal reasons in Japan the gun is restricted to sub-300 FPS, is connected to an M85-ish spring out of the box, and it comes in at around 280 FPS. 

With a few mods, such as a tightbore barrel, rhop and tighter spring, however, the gun can reach up to about 350 FPS. 

That said the gun is extraordinarily accurate. 

The Recoil Shock M4 is a deadshot M4 and will hit targets well past 150 feet. Because Tokyo Marui has one of the better hop ups in the game, players can easily make use of heavier (0.30g) BBs and still group at distance, and its rotary for easy adjustment. 

In terms of mags, the gun comes with an 82 round mid cap. Like the gearbox, the Next Generation Recoil Shocks use proprietary NEXTGEN mags (due to the functioning bolt stop), but there are mid and hi caps aplenty for the series, which is nice. 

Similarly, you can use an adapter to allow the gun to feed off regular mags, but the bolt stop will not function. 

Overall, while it does use some proprietary parts and isn’t an FPS monster, the Tokyo Marui Next Generation Recoil Shock M4 is a beautiful, highly accurate, well made replica that delivers a relatively strong recoil feeling when fired and can be a more functional and reliable alternative to gas blowback rifles. 

VFC Avalon Samurai Edge 2.0 M4 – $599

Full metal constructionA little longer than some other M4s
Extra rail systems on stock and front to add bipods and monopodsPricey
Comes with programmable mosfet/ETU with burst mode and pre-cocking
Very high quality, reinforced gearbox with tight spring
Maple leaf bucking, nub and tightbore barrel for improved accuracy and range
Excellent trigger feel, really easy and comfortable to hold
Good rate of fire, decent FPS
Easy to upgrade

Taking the plunge into the more premium end of the market, VFC decided to take their Avalon platform and pull out all the stops. 

The result is the VFC (Elite Force in the US) Samurai Edge M4 Generation 2. 

From the start the Samurai Edge looks cutting edge. 

It is a full metal airsoft M4 with billet-style receivers and a metal M-LOK handguard, and features VFC’s chunky but easy to adjust and spacious Quick Response System buttstock, which comes with a tiny rail of its own for readily attaching monopods and other sniper/DMR buttstock attachments.

Similarly, the highly skeletonized M-LOK handguard not only keeps the barrel area smooth, lightweight and easily customizable, but features a small undermount rail of its own, which is ideal for quickly attaching/detaching bipods.

The result of this build is that the Samurai Edge 2.0 is very light for a metal airsoft gun, making it easy to hold and use for long periods, with most of the gun’s weight shifted to the rear of the gun. 

Inside, VFC has continued to load up the Samurai Edge pretty well. 

The gun contains a full metal, upgradable V2 gearbox, with 8mm bearings, steel tooth piston, aluminum piston head and cylinder, and an M120 spring that’s accessible through an easy, VFC quick change spring system. 

The gearbox comes with a programmable ETU that can be set to automatic and burst modes, and offers pre-cocking in semi mode, which can increase trigger performance significantly. 

The gun is also 11.1v LiPo ready, with a rather loud low power warning feature. 

For the hop up, the Samurai Edge 2.0 uses a rotary hop up unit that is easily accessible as the gun has a functioning bolt catch, and that performs quite well due to its Maple Leaf bucking and nub. 

All of this is, of course, mated to a pretty decent out of the box choice of Maple Leaf  6.03mm tightbore inner barrel.

In terms of performance, the Samurai Edge 2.0 performs extremely well even when left stock. 

It can deliver around 370-380 FPS using 0.20s, and once dialed in has no issue hitting targets at 200 feet or more.

For mags, the VFC comes with a 120 round mid cap, but can accept just about any STANAG type, although some users do mention that certain brands can wobble a bit in the well. 

All in all, the Avalon Samurai Edge 2.0 takes the Avalon series to new heights of performance. 

It contains a good deal of upgraded components out of the box, including a programmable ETU, a solid and upgradable gearbox, accurate fire, improved hop up and barrel, and a lightweight frame. 

All of this makes it an excellent target shooter out of the box and an intriguing option for a first DMR build. 

Why pick an M4 AEG as an airsoft rifle?

They are widely available and priced to fit any budget

It’s no secret that M4s are a common sight on airsoft fields. 

Widely used by militaries around the world, and commonly seen in film and television, there is considerable demand for them by new and experienced airsoft players alike and, subsequently, airsoft gun producers tend to make quite a few models.

As a result, airsoft stores online and in real life are filled with many different makes and models of M4s with a wide variety of features and prices. 

It’s really not that hard for players to find an M4 that they’ll enjoy using and, perhaps as importantly, that they can afford. 

Plenty of replacement and upgrade parts

With so many models out there, and so much demand for them, it perhaps should come as no surprise that there are also tons and tons of aftermarket, replacement and upgrade parts available for M4s compared to more…esoteric airsoft rifles choices, such as a StG 44. 

Lots of customization options

The AR platform, upon which the M4 is based, is nothing if not customizable. 

At a minimum, airsoft M4s tend to come with top picatinny rails, and most tend to come with quad rails or other forward mounting options, such as an M-LOK or keyhole handguards. 

Consequently, figuring out how to mount optics and other accessories isn’t really a problem with these compared to other guns (like vintage AKs or MP5s) that may require mounting brackets.

Similarly, airsoft M4s tend to use TM-compatible V2 gearboxes, which are basically the workhorses of the airsoft world and, with the massive aftermarket selection available to them, it’s generally not too hard to swap components, add MOSFETS or ETUs to them and so on. 

Easy to get magazines for them

Although not always true, most M4s AEGs tend to accept a wide variety of STANAG/AR-style magazines, of which there are a great many out there. 

As a result, it is a little easier (and cheaper) to keep an airsoft M4 AEG running and gunning, and it allows their users to more readily take advantage of the different mag types out there, such as mid caps, low caps, drums and tracer mags. 

Easy tech support

As they are so common in the airsoft world, any tech worth their screwdriver set will know how to open and repair a basic airsoft M4, which lowers the cost and difficulty of repairing one if it breaks. 

Usually premiere platforms for technology and products by companies

Because of their high demand, in order to stand out from the crowd of manufacturers, M4s tend to be where airsoft producers will add a lot of their more interesting and cutting edge technologies, innovations and gadgets, which can make these guns a little more interesting at times than your standard airsoft rifle.  

Why an M4 AEG not be a great choice for you

Everyone seems to have one and you like to be different

If you are someone who wants to bring something a little different to the airsoft field and likes to stand out from the crowd, an airsoft M4 is definitely not for you. 

For the reasons mentioned above, if you visit an airsoft field and look for those carrying an assault rifle replica, most people will be carrying some AR-type gun. 

Although there are quite a few interesting looking variants out there that really stretch what is possible with the AR-design (the G&G ARPs, for example), M4s do tend to have a pretty identifiable silhouette and people will figure out what you’re carrying, more or less. 

You don’t like the look of an M4

Some people don’t like the AR platform’s looks and may prefer an AK or a bullpup design instead for their airsoft loadouts. 

And that’s ok – different strokes for different folks, right?

Usually have a lot of plastic parts

The AR platform was always designed to be lightweight and even the original  ArmaLite AR-15 used “space age materials” (i.e. plastic) to keep weight down. 

Many airsoft M4s out there are polymer based and even those that are full metal builds will have things like plastic grips and stocks. 

If you are a fan of nice, solid, wooden furniture, an airsoft M4 is probably not for you.

You’re looking for realistic blowback

Some users like the recoil and sound of a blowback mechanism and you can’t really get that with an electric airsoft rifle of any kind. 

While there are a few M4 AEGs that use weighted mechanisms to simulate blowback, these are relatively uncommon and aren’t all that comparable, being more of a vibration or nudge rather than crisp, gas-recoil. 


An M4 AEG can be an excellent choice of airsoft gun to use in a game. .

While there is a lot of junk out there, the sheer demand for M4s and their usefulness to airsoft companies as a draw, means that there are also a ton of good quality M4s to suit just about any budget. 

With their customizability, upgradability and ease of repair, a good quality M4 AEG can be a dependable day to day primary and a great addition to any collection.

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.