Automatic Electric Pistols
AEPs were the first handguns to incorporate an electric powered system that is capable of fully-automatic operation.
In cold weather, AEPs are often considered better sidearms than gas powered pistols, because batteries are not as badly affected by frigid weather.
Because the gearbox and battery are smaller, the velocity of the pellets is relatively slow for airsoft play, and therefore are only good for close range. (between 200 to 280 ft/s (85.3 m/s)). However, the advanced hop up units on these new guns tend to compensate for the low power and can produce an effective range comparable to those of an AEG. CYMA has made a clone Glock 18C, which is a lower priced alternative.
Some semi-automatic pistols can be modified to be automatic pistols. To make them more effective, they often use AA batteries or AAA batteries, and can be replaced with a 9v battery to make their ROF higher.
Due to restrictions on size, either the electric motor or batteries have to occupy space in the hand grip, reducing the available space for a magazine. Because of this no AEP uses a full size magazine found in most gas powered pistols.
In addition, most AEPs are constructed almost entirely of plastic and have a light, toy-like feeling to them.