Airsoft GBB Pistol Upgrade Guide - AAP-01 GBB: Rate of Fire

Airsoft GBB Pistol Upgrade Guide - AAP-01 GBB: Rate of Fire

How to improve the rate of fire of your AAP-01 Airsoft GBB Pistol

The Action Army AAP-01 GBB pistol has rightly earned a reputation for having an impressive rate of fire thanks to its forward-thinking, performance-oriented design. The use of a reciprocating bolt instead of a slide allows the AAP-01 to handle cold temperatures admirably, and let off long fully automatic bursts the likes of which an EU18 can only dream about.

When it comes to upgrading the AAP-01 the lack of a slide also makes upgrades more affordable. With a "normal" GBB pistol, getting good results from a rate of fire upgrade would primarily hinge on whether or not a lightweight aftermarket slide had been installed, which can cost several times the price of the pistol due to their size, and their complex external design. With the AAP-01, there is little need to upgrade the bolt other than for longevity, as its lightweight polymer construction means a scary rate of fire, straight out of the box! 

So why would you seek to upgrade the already impressive rate of fire of the AAP-01? Well, as a design conceived for pure performance, the AAP-01 has enormous potential. For some, providing awesome performance straight out of the box is enough, but for others, chasing perfect performance is what this sport is all about, and if you can make it better, why not?

For Airsofters looking into using high-pressure air, or those planning on building out a carbine kit, the additional rate of fire provided by these upgrade parts will improve hit probability and allow the AAP to contend with dedicated primary weapon platforms such as the ever common Airsoft AEG. 

CowCow Guide Rod Set  - Stronger guide rod, 150% recoil spring, Buffer Spacers

The CowCow Technologies Guide Rod Set includes a replacement for your original guide rod, machined from aluminium to add strength and rigidity, a 150% recoil spring to give a more forceful recoil experience and raise the cyclic rate of the pistol, and two recoil rod buffers to keep the rod straight and ensure its longevity under the strain of rapid-fire.

Installing this set into your AAP-01 should give it a more energetic feel, and will help it last a lifetime by adding a stronger recoil rod, a part which is under a lot of additional strain when using the included 150% recoil spring. The parts within this set are available separately, but CowCow provide this handy set to ensure you get all the parts you need in one go.

CowCow Recoil Rod Buffers - Buffer Spacers to short-stroke the bolt

If you would rather upgrade your AAP-01 incrementally, the CowCow recoil rod buffer spacers are available on their own, meaning you can add the buffers when you see fit. This set includes two recoil rod spacers which are CNC machined from 6061 aluminium to provide a great balance between strength, precision and low weight.

Adding one or two of the spacers to your guide rod will reduce the length of travel of the AAP-01 bolt and speed up the already impressive cyclic rate of the AAP-01 in both semi-auto and fully automatic fire.

CowCow 150% Recoil Spring - Stronger Recoil spring made from high strength steel

As another component from the CowCow Guide Rod Set, the 150% recoil spring has been made available separately for those who prefer incrementally upgrading the specific parts they feel are lacking, rather than dumping the entire internals for aftermarket parts. 

This recoil spring replaces the original AAP-01 recoil spring and should improve the rate of fire and provide a snappier bolt speed with a slight increase in recoil. This recoil spring should also outlast the original recoil spring due to its high strength spring steel construction. 

CowCow Enhanced Plastic Nozzle Set  - Complete Enhanced Nozzle with Enhanced Piston Head

The set includes an enhanced nozzle, nozzle valve, valve lock pin, valve spring and enhanced piston head, and when installed these parts should improve the shot to shot consistency, provide smoother cycling performance and improve the rate of fire of the AAP-01 thanks to the improvement in gas efficiency. 

CowCow Enhanced Plastic Nozzle - Enhanced Nozzle with Strengthened Nozzle Pin

The CowCow Enhanced Plastic Nozzle is designed to improve the air seal performance and gas efficiency of the AAP-01, the result of which should be an increase in the rate of fire and cyclic speed, with less wasted gas per shot. This nozzle is also present in the Enhanced Plastic Nozzle set but is available separately so if you manage to break your original nozzle you can replace it with a high strength part without having to replace more than you need to. 

CowCow Enhanced Piston Head - Oil Resistant Rubber Piston Head

The CowCow Enhanced Piston Head can help improve the gas efficiency and add long term durability to the impressive AAP-01 platform. With an improvement in gas efficiency comes greater resistance to cooldown, and longer full-auto bursts!

 This part is constructed from oil-resistant rubber, meaning it will not absorb lubricant and expand, preventing cycling issues from developing over long term use. This enhanced piston head is also included in the CowCow Enhanced Plastic Nozzle set and is compatible with either the CowCow nozzle or the original Action Army AAP-01 nozzle. 

CowCow 200% Nozzle Spring - High Strength Spring Steel Nozzle Return Spring

The 200% Nozzle Spring from CowCow provides double the strength of the original nozzle spring installed into the AAP-01 and should improve ROF and provide a snappier cyclic rate with a slight increase in recoil. The idea behind this part is that it will help your nozzle return to position more quickly, which should result in a rate of fire improvement in full automatic, and a quicker trigger response in semi-automatic. 

An upgraded nozzle spring is ideal for use in an AAP-01 built up for extreme rates of fire and can be an essential part to maintain speedy feeding to keep up with a high cyclic rate. If you have kitted out your AAP-01 and it cycles quickly but feeds intermittently, an uprated nozzle spring is what you need!

CowCow Stainless Steel Fire Pin Lock - High Strength replacement Valve knocker lock

This replacement fire pin lock is constructed from stainless steel using precise CNC machining and is polished using MAF polishing technology for smoother function with less friction. Though alone this part will not improve your rate of fire, we have included it in our guide as it is one of the parts which is likely to fail when subjected to thousands of rounds of high ROF shooting. 

There isn't really a need to replace this part immediately, but it can help avoid the disappointment of having your upgraded AAP-01 fail, and potentially waiting months for replacement parts to become available with your precious AAP gathering dust. This is also a great part to have in the bits box just in case, as the more you shoot your AAP the more likely the original valve knocker lock will fail. 

CowCow Ultra Lightweight Blowback Unit - Add durability for long term performance

For those intending to add some long term durability to their super speedy AAP-01, or for those intending to build out the AAP-01 into a carbine and use it as a primary weapon, the CowCow Ultra Lightweight Blowback Unit would be an asset to your build. This part replaces your original polymer blowback housing and cocking lever with a CNC machined 6061 aluminium piece in one of 3 colour options, either tactical black, metallic matt gold or metallic red.

The high strength construction of this blowback housing will help your AAP-01 keep its superb performance in the long term by reducing the chances of wear and guaranteeing reliable bolt locking at the end of the magazine, even with the increased stress of using upgraded internals. The use of ultra-lightweight aircraft grade 6061 aluminium keeps this part agile, allowing it to cycle with speed approaching that of the original BBU but with the added peace of mind of knowing this core part of your AAP can handle any stress other upgrade parts can throw at it!  

Lancer Tactical AAP Drill Kit - Make your AAP-01 Stand out!

Now we must confess, this won't speed your AAP-01 up, but it would definitely give it a unique exterior to match the drill like speed your AAP will be boasting if you install a smattering of CowCow upgrades! This kit can be installed directly onto your AAP-01 to give it a more unique look and would suit a yellow hard hat and high vis vest loadout perfectly 😉


The body of the Drill Kit is constructed from ABS polymer with a CNC aluminium outer barrel which is styled to match a large drill bit, complete with a mock locking collar and all the vents and grooves needed to match a real Makita cordless power drill, in a roundabout sense anyway! The left side of the receiver includes an embossed Makita marking, just in case the look isn't already recognisable enough. The kit also includes a magazine baseplate designed to mimic the batteries used in cordless drills to complete the Makita look! 


Whether you're an absolute memelord, a serious tradesman with a sense of humour, or you just want to stand out from the crowd with your AAP-01 Pistol, then the AAP Drill Kit is just the ticket, even more so if your AAP shoots at a comically high speed!

The upgrades discussed in this article are our current top picks for AAP-01 upgrade parts for a rate of fire increase, though given the rate at which new parts are released for this impressive platform it won't be long before we have even more options to consider!

The AAP-01 is probably the most flexible Airsoft GBB platform out there, and the sheer volume of options for parts can be overwhelming. This guide should help narrow down which of these parts will give you a rate of fire increase, and which parts are needed to maintain a high rate of fire AAP-01 GBB build in the long term. 

If you are already quite pleased with your AAP's speed, perhaps you are looking to upgrade the handling and ergonomics of your pistol to keep the muzzle down and on target during a full-auto burst? In that case, check out our guide on Ergonomics and Handling Upgrades for the AAP-01 GBB pistol!