What is hop-up in airsoft and what does it do? This is a question that many newcomers to airsoft often have.
Hop-up, sometimes called “spin up,” is a mechanism found in most airsoft guns that alters the trajectory of the BB as it exits the barrel. It does this by adding a backspin to the BB which gives it more lift and stability. This allows for greater accuracy and range.
In this article, we will discuss what hop-up is, how it works and how to adjust it on your airsoft gun!
What Is Airsoft Hop-Up?
Airsoft hop-up is a mechanism that adds backspin to BBs as they leave the barrel of the airsoft gun. As a result is that the BB will have a flatter, more consistent trajectory, which leads to improved accuracy and gives the gun a longer range.
Many airsoft guns come with hop-up pre-installed, but it can also be added as an aftermarket upgrade.
The amount of spin given to the BBs can be adjusted depending on what you need from your gun in different situations. Too much spin will cause the BBs to curve in an unnatural way, while too little won’t give them enough lift and will cause them to drop out of the air prematurely.
How Does a Hop-up Work?
Airsoft BBs are very light and don’t have a lot of mass to them, so they are easily affected by wind and other external factors. The hop-up mechanism helps counteract these external forces by imparting a backspin onto the BB as it leaves the barrel.
This backspin causes what is known as the Magnus Effect, which is what helps keep the BB airborne for longer. The Magnus Effect is what allows airsoft guns to shoot accurately over a long-range, and it’s what gives them their signature arc trajectory.
When you add a backspin to the airsoft BB, it causes a difference in surface speed between the top and bottom part of the BB. Now the top of the BB is spinning in the direction of airflow which means there is less friction and more airspeed on the top while the button of the BB is spinning against the airflow creating more friction and decreasing airspeed.
The faster-moving air on the top part will fill the area of low pressure behind the BB a lot faster than the air below can and this essentially creates lift.
The airsoft hop-up works by a process known as hop-up bucking. Basically, when you shoot the airsoft gun, your BB will move through the hop-up chamber with a nub on top of the chamber made of rubber or silicone-like material.
When the BB passes through this chamber, it will come in contact with the nub which will slightly push on the top of the BB hindering its movement for a moment and giving it a backspin.
Different Types of Hop-Up
There are various types of hop-up available on the market today, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Generally speaking, there are three main types of hop-up available for airsoft guns: Standard hop-up, flat hop-up and r hop-up.
Standard hop-up is what you’ll likely find on most airsoft guns. It’s the most common type of hop-up and it works by using a rubber bucking to add backspin onto the BB. It’s very easy to adjust, making it a great choice for beginners.
Flat hop-up is a more advanced type of hop-up. They are similar to the standard one but they have a longer nub with a flat surface which helps impart more backspin onto the BBs and thus gives you more accuracy. It’s still quite a simple setup and it’s really simple to adjust. So it’s a great choice for both beginners and advanced players alike.
While the standard and the flat hop-ups use a single nub, the R hop-up has a rubber saddle extended the entire length of the chamber. This creates a longer contact area which gives the BBs more backspin and thus, more lift. This helps make shots much more accurate over a longer range.
R hop-ups are very difficult to install, though, and they require a lot of adjustment to get the perfect amount of backspin. Also, they are the most expensive hop-up option. So they are best suited for experienced players who are looking to get the most out of their airsoft gun.
How to Adjust Hop-up on an Airsoft Gun?
Adjusting a hop-up is actually quite simple and can be done by simply turning a dial or screw on the gun. The more you turn it, the more backspin is imparted onto the BBs. Too much of a backspin will cause them to fly in an unpredictable and inaccurate manner while too little of a backspin will cause them to fall short of your target.
It’s best to adjust the hop-up by trial. So it’s important to adjust the hop-up until you can get a consistent and accurate shot pattern.
Step-By-Step Hop-Up Adjustment
- To start you will need a safe area to fire (at least 50 feet) and a target.
- Switch your gun to semi-automatic mode and load a fresh magazine.
- Fire a few shots at your target, and then stop to check where the BBs are going.
- If your BBs are either falling short of the target or your grouping is below where you are aiming, you will need to turn your hop-up up.
- If your BBs are flying straight and lifting up at the end or well flying over the target then you will need to dial the hop up down.
- Between each “tuning” session make sure you are firing a few shots to check your progress.
- Once your BBs raise very slightly, maintain their level, and then lower again before reaching your target – almost like a straight line, then you have the perfect hop-up setting. So keep fine-tuning until you reach that point.
- So what is hop up in airsoft? It’s the system that gives your airsoft BB’s a backspin.
- Hop-up increases the accuracy, stability, and range of your shots.
- Hop-up works thanks to the Magnus effect which helps to counteract gravity and wind.
- Almost all airsoft guns have it.
- Adjusting a hop-up is quite simple. Just fire a few shots, check the flight path and then adjust as needed until you get consistent results.
- Too much will make your BBs fly too high, while too little will make them fall short.
- There are 3 different types of hop-up: Standard, flat, and R hop-up.
- When it comes to weight, heavier BBs will require more hop-up than lighter ones.
By understanding what a hop-up is and how to adjust it correctly, you can get the most out of your airsoft gun. So take some time out and fine-tune the hop up on yours!