Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
I've never heard of a COLT airsoft mechanism - it might be that we're getting some terms mixed up.
An AEG is an "Automatic Electric Gun" - basically, a gun that has a cylinder of air, that an electric motor winds up, and then releases when you pull the trigger (along with accepting a new BB into the chamber).
A GBB (Gas Blow Back) is a gun that has a reservoir of gas in the magazine (usually propane or CO2) that releases gas from the magazine in order to propel the BB out the barrel. This gas pressure also moves the bolt or slide back, to allow another BB to enter the chamber.
As far as I know, the only thing "COLT" means in the airsoft world, is the firearms manufacturer.
So the first thing to decide when you're looking for an airsoft gun is what mechanism you want to use - AEG or GBB.
AEGs are simpler in some respects, until you try to open the gearbox. They're more common, less expensive, and definitely recommended for newcomers. You pop in a $40 battery, jam in a $15-$30 magazine of 30-300 BBs, and pull the trigger.
GBBs are a simple mechanism to fire, but they take a little more maintenance than an AEG, and their magazines are expensive.
Once you've established that, you need to find what model of gun you want. With an M4, there's a ton of variants (well, AR15 variants) - but pretty much every company offers your "basic M4A1", with either rails or handguards.
Since you've established you want an M4 (you can look around at different variants if you want), that is full metal, you now need to find what manufacturer you want to buy from. You'll want to pick a manufacturer that creates a gun with solid externals, and good internals. Unless you're going to be opening it up, tinkering around with it, upgrading parts, etc, you'll want one that's good out of the box.
So what I meant in my last post, was that a good mid-range company to look at to purchase an AEG M4, is King Arms. It'll probably run you $250-$350 for the gun, and then another $100 for the mags, and another $50-$100 for a battery and charger. (Usually the guns come with a single high cap mag, which holds 300 BBs, and a low end battery, and lower end charger, so you can put off these costs until you want to actually game the gun).
If you want to spend a couple thousand dollars, there's a company called Systema that makes "Personal Training Weapon" (PTW) M4s, that are high quality AEGs, that are meant to be as close to a real M4 as possible, with the exception of the gas blowback part.
If you establish that you want an AEG M4, others might come along and suggest looking at AEGs from other companies, such as VFC.
I would recommend looking at what you have available to you - as in, look at retailers that are in Canada. The majority of AEGs being sold internationally will fire at a muzzle velocity that is too low to import (thus, it will be seized at the border as an "imitation firearm", which is illegal to import, rather than an "unregulated firearm", which is importable). After you have an idea of what you have available, compile a list of what models/manufacturers you like, and do some research on each one, to get an idea of where each one stands.
It's overwhelming at first, but as you begin to narrow things down, starting from AEG vs GBB, all the way down to what Canadian stores/websites have in stock, things become far less confusing. Keep in mind there's a lot of duplicates-with-minor-changes from the same manufacturer. What I mean by this, is that a retailer might have five different M4s from the company G&G, but really, the only difference is that the first one has a longer barrel, the second has a different rail system, the third has a different stock, etc. It's all the same internals (usually), so go with whichever one you like the look of (and/or feel of, if you happen to be able to walk into a store that sells airsoft weapons)
Within Canadaian retailers, there's probably no more than a dozen different manufacturers, so if you take the time to look at what is available in Canada, and learn about the manufacturers, you'll be able to wrap your head around what gun is a good buy.
I hope that helps give you an idea of how to narrow down your search!