How to set the Hop Up on an Airsoft Gun

How to set the Hop Up on an Airsoft Gun

How to set the Hop Up on an Airsoft Gun. Correctly setting up the Hop Up on your airsoft gun is absolutely critical both in terms of range and accuracy. But to set the Hop-Up unit correctly, it would be a good idea to learn exactly how it works and what it does.

What does the Hop Up on an Airsoft gun do?

It’s a good question and knowing the answer will get you the best range possible on your shots. Knowing how to set the Hop Up on an Airsoft Gun will make you shoot further than your competitors.
The hop-up unit is very straightforward in what it does. It puts a backspin on the airsoft bb which in turn creates lift. The spin is put on the bb as it passes the hop-up rubber or bucking which when adjusted adds more or less spin onto the bb.

How does the Hop Up work?

So the hop-up puts a back spin on your bb, but why would you want to do that? The answer is very simple. Backspin creates lift. When this lift is set correctly, it counters the force of gravity allowing the bb to float to it’s destination.

To truly understand this, we must first know the difference between an air rifle pellet and an airsoft bb.

When you fire an air rifle pellet out of an air rifle, the distance the pellet travels is based on the trajectory of the pellet. If the barrel is pointing upwards, the pellet will travel in an arc and increases in distance are achieved. At 45 degrees, the pellet will have optimum range.

If you were to put the air rifle into a vice and align the barrel with a spirit level so that it was exactly horizontal and fired a pellet. At the same time as the pellet left the end of the barrel, you were to drop a pellet from the barrel height. Both pellets would hit the floor at the same time. That’s simple physics and gravity.
No matter how far the pellet travelled, 10m or 1000m, the pellet will hit the floor at exactly the same time as a pellet dropped by hand from barrel height.

Airsoft guns use hop-ups though which create lift by putting backspin on the bb. So, when the airsoft bb leaves the end of the barrel, it will float in the air much longer than an equivalent bb dropped from barrel height even if the barrel is horizontal.

How to set the Hop Up on an Airsoft Gun

Your Hop Up unit will typically have a dial which can be moved clockwise or anti clockwise. Turning this dial will increase or decrease the hop-up rubber or bucking protruding into the barrel giving more or less spin.

If you were to place the airsoft gun into a vice and set the barrel exactly level, you would see the bb either fly straight, fly in an upward arc or fly in a downward arc.

The correct setting is to have the bb fly in an exactly horizontal trajectory with a slight nip at the end. This will give maximum range. This setting is absolutely critical for range and should be adjusted each time you play.

The next article will discuss how different bb weights, combined with hop up give you even greater range.

More pages you may find interesting

Airguns V Airsoft guns – What you need to know
The science of Paintballs – Understanding ballistics and Trajectories

Air rifle shooting at the Yorkshire Outdoor Activity Park

Airsoft – A fun and realistic alternative to paintball for your stag do.

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