Summing things up, a standard ICS or G&G rifle from one of the Canadian retailers (007airsoft, mach1, velocity arms, etc. etc.) will be about 360 FPS stock, I'd say about 40-50 meters effective range depending on your play style.
FPS ratings are normally done with 0.20gram BBs. Many outdoor players will not use 0.2g bbs outdoors because they prefer heavier weights (0.25g - 0.30g) for greater brush penetration, more accuracy (more mass means less deviance from wind), etc. However heavier weights will reduce your FPS.
Like others have said, get a tightbore inner barrel. Actual barrel length is relatively meaningless at airsoft ranges until you get to really long barrels like in bullpups and sniper rifles.
A better hop-up will give your bbs more backspin and increase their range.
In Alberta, FPS limits go up to 420 FPS for full-auto, I don't know what it is for most Quebec games. An m120 spring will get you ~420 FPS. 420 FPS rifle with 0.28g bbs and a good hop-up can get out 200 feet / 60 meters effectively. Because airsoft ranges are so limited, most people recommend no more than 3-4x magnification for any optics you desire to you. The 'm' designation means meters per second so an m110 will do 110 MPS which is 360 FPS but this varies with every gun.
I have not found that much a variation in BB brand performance as long as they are polished and you stick to one of the good brands (Madbull, BB Bastards, Metal Tech, etc.). I've used others like TSD Tacticals and found them fine.
Regarding Hi-caps - I detest them. They rattle and need to be wound every now and then. Most players start with them because that's what comes with their guns. You'll see a few at skirmishes. Many games here will have ammo limits and serious milsims will restrict your ammo to realistic counts depending on your loadout. Airsoft rounds will not equate to real world rounds simply because they aren't as effective, a bb will hit a branch, the wind will blow it away, etc. Even airsoft low-caps are typically around 50-60 rounds whereas the genuine magazine will hold 30 rounds. If you really want to go for it, you can get real-caps that will have a realistic ammo count. These are more effective for indoor games where there are no branches and wind, etc. Don't worry about people not feeling their hits. This can happen with heavy gear and clothing. It's an honor game and usually you can hear it. If you are shooting 400+ FPS, airsoft can be quite painful.
Speaking of balls per second, with stock gun and a 9600mah NIMH battery, you'll probably get a dozen per second. There are other upgrades you can do to increase your rate of fire like upgraded gears, high torque motors, and most importantly the battery.
Last edited by SHÖCK; October 17th, 2009 at 20:22..