All manufacturers offer at least one line of M4 airsoft rifles. They are available in different variants and for every price range, from the cheapest to the most expensive and high-performance. It is not easy to understand what is important and what is not when buying a new M4 Airsoft Gun. There are so many things to consider and so many things you are unsure of.
For this reason, we have decided to compare some of the M4 airsoft rifles available to us. We want, once again, to help our airsoft enthusiast friends find their way around the various possibilities on the market. This time we have focused on the cheaper ones, those that do not exceed 200€. We have tried dozens of them, and we have chosen the ones we think are the best.
Probably to fully understand an Airsoft M4 rifle, one would have to take a step back and understand the weapon from which it is derived: the US Army's M4 assault rifle.
Versatility and Reliability: The Dominance of M4 Rifles in the US Military Arsenal...
M4 rifles are a cornerstone of the US military arsenal. They are known for being reliable, accurate, and versatile. Originally developed as a variation of the AR-15 rifle, they quickly became the standard weapon for the US Army's infantry.
The M4's popularity comes from its compact and flexible design, suitable for various combat situations. It is lightweight, easy to handle, and has a high rate of fire. Soldiers can choose between automatic and semi-automatic modes.
The M4 can be customized with accessories like optics, red dot, grenade launchers, and vertical grips, allowing soldiers to adapt it to specific mission requirements.
... and the dominance of M4 AEG on the playing fields
The excellent characteristics of the M4 assault rifle can be found in Airsoft replicas. It is probably why the M4 Airsoft rifle is one of the most popular choice of airsoft players around the world.
The versatility of the real M4 is also perfectly reflected in the airsoft versions. In fact, we have all seen tons of different M4 variants on the playing fields: Assault Rifles, DMRs, CQBs, Submachine Guns, Sniper-rifles. These are all variants that can be obtained from an M4 platform.
Reliability, on the other hand, is one of the factors we will be testing on all our replicas in comparison.
Again, we tried to choose airsoft guns with a better price/quality ratio, but of course this could not be the only parameter to be used....
So what are the parameters we used to compare M4 Airsoft Guns!
We have a large number of M4 Airsoft rifles in our catalogue, which allowed us to identify many models suitable for our comparison: as already mentioned, we decided to compare only rifles with an attractive value for money. All the more so as the maximum budget for each rifle should not exceed 200€.
So what did we consider to determine which were the best budget m4 rifles? Here they are:
- Quality of internal and external components. Clearly a low price cannot be synonymous with poor quality. Internal and external build quality is crucial to ensure that an airsoft gun is fit for play. we have checked that every internal part of the airsoft gun, such as the trigger and internal barrel, the gearbox must be made of good quality materials and fit perfectly with everything else. The same goes for the external parts; everything must be made of durable material and must be assembled perfectly.
- Reliability. Even for reliability it is true that a low price can never justify failure on the battlefield. So we evaluated a few factors, for each individual replica in comparison. We checked the web for reviews and feedback from other players; we evaluated the possibility of easily finding spare parts; and then.... took them out onto the playing field for a whole weekend and gave them a good going over with rain, mud, accidental and simulated hits, and all the craziness that went through our team members' minds.
- Muzzle velocity and accuracy and range. Other key factors in our evaluation are muzzle velocity, expressed in FPS, range and shooting accuracy. Clearly, a powerful but less precise rifle is hardly going to hit the target, so it is important to assess how these factors balance each other.
Let's get to the heart of the comparison, here are which budget M4 airsofts to buy right now.
Here are the best cheap M4 Airsoft to consider buying according to our team's testers
Once again it was not easy to decide who to send to the podium. Dozens of M4 Airsoft rifles deserved our and your attention, but only three places were available. Once again, thousands of bb's shot, hours of discussion and gallons of beer drunk.
But in the end we made it. Here are the three finalists in our comparison!
M4 Carbine SA-F01 FLEX - Specna Arms
Let us begin by describing the characteristics of the rifle that costs the least among the three. At the time of writing (spring 2023) it costs only 133€, just 97£!
Flex is the entry level series from Specna Arms that once again surprises us with its ability to offer excellent value for money. Common features of all aeg airsoft rifles in the Flex series are great performance straight out of the box and high-quality components.
Thanks to the ESA system, the spring can be changed in seconds directly on the playing field. This is one of the features we like best and which you will hardly find in other replicas in this price range. This will allow you to adjust the muzzle velocity to the rules of the field or tournament in as little as 30 seconds.
In fact, it will be possible to reduce the initial muzzle velocity of 375 FPS, obtained with the factory-installed M140 spring, to 300FPS obtained with the M90 spring, included in the package.
Other relevant features for a low-cost M4 Airsoft replica are the rotating hop-up chamber and the high-quality precision barrel.
Batteries and charger are not included in the package, the battery plug is Tamiya small. Instead, you will find the 300-round bb magazine inside the box.
Specna's Flex series is relatively new, which is perhaps why we haven't found many reviews on the net. But it is certainly good that the few reviews found scouring the net were all positive. Another definitely positive thing is that Specna Arms has literally flooded the market with spare parts. Because...it doesn't happen, but if it does, it won't be difficult to intervene.
To sum up: In our opinion, the M4 SA-F01 Flex carbine is a great choice! Especially if what you are looking for is an economic, but reliable and versatile M4 rifle that already out of the box is ready for battle and costs just over €130 (£97).
M4 Ris Bravo - Delta Armory
Proceeding with our comparison, the second M4 Airsoft rifle on the podium is the M4 Ris Bravo produced by Delta Armory.
The Bravo series is renowned for the good quality of its internal parts: all-metal pistons and gears. The reinforced gearbox can also equip M130 springs for long periods. Again we have a quick spring change system, called QRS, which allows easy spring replacement. You will probably use it often if you live in an area where airsoft guns cannot exceed joules.
Because the M4 RIS Bravo rifle leaves the factory with a setting of about 1.5 joules. This means that out of the box it will shoot at over 400 FPS. A lot, considering that we are talking about a rifle belonging to the entry level category. In fact, the M4 RIS Bravo costs just under €160 at the time of writing (spring 2023).
During testing, we realised that in order to exploit this power without losing accuracy, it is advisable to use slightly heavier bb. We were satisfied with the 0.28g bb, which slightly reduces the muzzle velocity, but wow... what precision!
Looking at the outside, we see that the quality of the materials is on a par with the internal components. Lots of metal to make the handguard, outer barrel, trigger or sling eye. The body, on the other hand, is made of a very good and resistant ABS polymer.
Included in the package are a RIS grip, 2 RIS rail caps and a 120 bb mid-cap loader. Battery and charger are also included in the package, but we would like to elaborate on these. The quality of these did not seem to us to be comparable to the quality of everything else.
For this reason, we decided to conduct the test with a more suitable battery. We are sure it will be the first after-market purchase you make when you get this excellent M4 softair rifle home.
To sum up: in our opinion, Delta Armory's M4 RIS Bravo is one of the three rifles that deserves a place on the podium in this comparison. It is ideal for beginners, but winks at advanced players! Lots of metal and lots of quality for an airsoft gun that costs just over £110.
Please note: the 'depowered' spring to go below joule not included in the package.
M4 assault rifle black - CYMA
Third M4 rifle to make the top three in our comparison is Cyma's M4 assault rifle, call sign: CM603.
Of the three, this is the oldest, already sold in several tens of thousands of units, worldwide.
We can safely say that of the three this is the most player-proven replica.
It is also an M4 replica that stands out for its good quality offered at an affordable price.
The CM603 M4 rifle is made in accordance with the Tokyo Marui AEG standard. This means quality of components and availability of spare parts on the market.
The hop-up chamber is made of metal and is easily reached by pulling the reloading lever. Adjustment is by means of a knob. The M120-type spring guarantees a muzzle velocity of around 400FPS. There is no rapid spring release system.
The metal gearbox guarantees long life and the possibility of upgrades to increase power.
On the outside, CYMA's Combact Machine M4 is almost entirely made of good plastic. It is important to note, however, that what should be metal, is metal: the barrel, the magazine and the small handling parts.
In the package you will find a 350 bb metal magazine and a cleaning rod. Battery and charger are not included, so you may need to buy them separately.
To sum up: in our opinion, the CM603 is a good choice for a newbie. The low price should not fool you because the build quality is high. Proven!
In conclusion, you don't have to spend a lot of money to purchase a good M4 airsoft rifle
Of course, this article is not directed at high-end airsoft players. If you are a newbie player and you have read this far, you have certainly learnt that you do not need to spend a lot of money to buy a good quality M4 airsoft rifle. Here we compared three of them, but it was not easy to select them as we found dozens of good rifles in this price range that deserved attention.
We also learned that some budget M4 airsoft rifles offer amazing performance for their price. Even if they are cheap, they can still provide good power, accuracy and reliability.
Finally, it's a good idea to get high-quality accessories to make the M4 Airsoft rifle perform even better. Along with the battery, which is usually needed, it's recommended to buy a set of M4 magazines to have more bb’s to shoot.
All of the M4s we tested, not just the ones that made the podium, proved to be good platforms for those who want to start out on a low budget and later come back to invest in upgrades. There are many accessories available for the M4 platform, such as optical sights, silencers and additional Magazines, which can increase the accuracy and effectiveness of the rifle.