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Information regarding NIMH batteries
There are several factors which you must consider when purchasing a NIMH battery for your AEG. The three main characteristics are amperage, voltage and size.
Amperage dictates how long your battery will last and is measured in milliamps (mA). The higher the amperage the better as you will get more shots per single charge. As a very general rule, the amperage is roughly equal to the number of shots you will get from a full charge; so a 1600mA battery will provide approximately 1600 shots.
However this varies wildly depending on the quality of the rifle you own, the state of the charge of the battery, the quality of the battery, the temperature at which it is used, how the rifle is fired (semi or auto) etc. Typically if you are using a high quality rifle and battery rated at 1600mAh, you should see at least 2000 shots on a full charge.
The amperage of a battery is usually proportional to its physical size. Larger battery packs have larger cells so they typically have a higher amperage. The opposite goes for small celled batteries. So it is always in your interest to try and fit the highest amperage battery possible into your rifle to achieve the longest possible playing time on the field.
The voltage of a battery dictates the speed at which your motor spins, and as a result how fast your gearbox turns over. Choosing a higher voltage battery will produce a higher rate of fire, at the sake of longevity of the gearbox.
8.4v is the standard voltage battery suitable for all airsoft rifles and will produce a perfectly acceptable rate of fire in most AEGs. This is the voltage of battery that we recommend for most applications. 9.6v batteries are the other most popular voltage available, producing an increased rate of fire in all rifles. You will typically see an improvement of somewhere between 20%-50% in terms of rate of fire. Consequently, you are inducing increased wear on the gearbox at the sake of the increased performance.
It is important to note that not all batteries are created equal; using a high quality 8.4v battery will produce similar rates of fire to a low quality 9.6v battery (like the batteries that are included with some cheap Chinese AEGs).
Other higher voltage batteries are available, however these are outside of the norm and are only for highly upgraded rifles.
The size of the battery you choose is dictated by the shape of your rifle and its battery compartment. The most popular types of batteries are small/mini-type batteries, stick-type batteries, large-type batteries and crane-stock/nun-chuck-style batteries.
Small/mini-type batteries are the most widespread, as they fit in virtually every single rifle, including virtually every M4 rifle variant, the most popular rifle available. They are primarily housed inside the handguard on M4s and G36s, and in the rear of P90s, SCAR and AUG models. They come with a small Tamiya connector fitted.
Stick-type batteries are not very widespread as they have special applications like in MP5k, G36 full size and PSG-1 models. They come with a small Tamiya connector fitted.
Large-type batteries are extremely popular due to their large amperage and ability to fit snugly inside rifle stocks. They typically fit in all MP5s, AK47s, M14s, FAMASs and M4s with fixed stocks. They come with a large Tamiya connector fitted.
Crane-stock/nunchuck-type batteries are also extremely popular, as they can be housed both inside most M4 handguards, as well as primarily inside M4 crane stocks. They come in two seperate columns of cells allowing it to fit inside most tight spaces. They come with a small Tamiya connector fitted.
Note: The size of a battery is also dictated by the voltage of the battery. 9.6v batteries will always have an additional cell over 8.4v batteries, making them larger in size.
Something else to note is that different rifles are wired differently, meaning their battery compartments can be in various different places. A prime example of this is the M4 rifle, which can be wired to a rear fixed stock, wired to the handguard, or wired to an external rail-mounted battery box, depending on the model. All of these factors effect the size of the battery you should choose.