Airsoft replicas can be fitted with standard or mid capacity magazines, which feed 60-150 bb’s, (dependant on mag size), via a spring, like a real magazine. They are loaded by putting BB’s in the top of them with a loading tool. Mag capacity is often proportional to mag external size, so a larger calibre weapon like a 7.62 G3 has an airsoft mag that holds more than a small calibre 9mm MP5 mag. Some players prefer mags which hold the same number of BB’s as the real thing, known as real cap mags. Gas weapons use standard type mags but have a reduced capacity as some of the space in the mag is occupied by the gas reservoir.
The most popular mags for AEG’s are high capacity magazines, which hold a reservoir of 200-600 BB’s and feed them via clockwork style mechanism. ‘Hi-cap’ magazines are loaded by pouring BB’s into the opening at the top and require the player to wind the clockwork spring via a wheel on the bottom.
Closely related to Hi-caps are drum or box magazines, which are often found on support weapons. These utilise the same mechanism as hi-caps but have a bigger reservoir of 2000-6000 BB’s. Some of these magazines wind the feed spring by an electric motor.