So you ask, “What is a Lipo Battery”? Lipo, short for Lithium Polymer, is a relatively new battery type in Airsoft. They offer a high performance rating in a compact size for easier fitment. Gone are the days of external battery bags. A Lipo battery can fit into the buffer tube of an M4 style rifle for added realism. Lipo batteries are available for airsoft in two voltages, 7.4V and 11.1V, with many different mAh ratings and “C” ratings. You have heard about voltage (amount of power) and mAh (Milliamp hours, aka, how long the battery will last). The “C” rating is the maximum current capacity (how fast the battery will discharge completely). A 1C battery being used at capacity will be completely discharged in 1 hour. A 2C battery discharged in 1/2hr and so on. Choosing the correct “C” rating is important as too high a rating will cause a high voltage and possibly damage the wiring in your gun. For airsoft, the most common “C” ratings are 15, 20, or 25 depending on your gun and how upgraded it is. For stock gun applications we recommend either a 15 or 20 “C” rating.
What are some of the advantages to using Lipo batteries? Well for a start, the compact size and high power make it a great choice for people not wanting to use a external battery compartment such as a battery bag or AN/PEQ on their gun. Also, for highly upgraded guns, it provides a huge amount of power. They are also less susceptible to cold weather leeching the power, which is an issue with traditional NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) and NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries.
Choosing the right Lipo for your gun
When you go looking for your Lipo battery, do your research. Look up good brands, like Intellect or Firefox, and look at the Voltage, mAh, and “C” rating of the battery. The choice also depends on your gun, whether or not it is upgraded, and what of quality it is. A 7.4V Lipo is equivalent to a 9.6V NiCd or NiMH. Most stock guns shooting under or around 350fps should use a 7.4v Lipo to prevent damage to the gears and piston. If your gun is heavily upgraded, look at the 11.1V Lipo, which has more power to push over those heavy springs.
Now, the warnings on Lipo Batteries. Due to the size and chemical composition, Lipo batteries can be picky, and require certain things for proper safe function. A high quality designated Lipo battery charger is a must, you cannot use a regular battery charger or the Lipo battery may become severely damaged. Lipo batteries require that all of their cells be charged at the same rate. If not, the cells will die and the battery will be useless. Using a charger for a NiCd or NiMH battery will cause your Lipo battery to die and may become hazardous. A good Lipo battery charger will charge off of the 4 pin balancer connector on your Lipo battery. We recommend getting the highest quality charger you can afford. We recommend the use of a “Lipo sack” when charging, so if an issue occurs and the battery lights on fire, it will be contained and keep everything else safe.
Do not discharge your Lipo battery using the discharge function on a charger, this will wear out the cells. Also, do not discharge your Lipo battery completely during use, as this will also kill the cells. As soon as the battery begins to die (ie: rate of fire slows down) stop and change out the battery. We recommend the use of a Lipo warning chip, this emits a noise when the battery is almost dead to prevent the over-discharge of the cells causing damage to the battery. As long as a Lipo battery is treated properly, and with respect, they are 100% safe.
If you have any question feel free to contact us, and remember be safe and have fun