Does Airsoft Hurt More Than Paintball?

Does Airsoft Hurt More Than Paintball

When most people consider an adventure or military strategy game such as airsoft or paintball, they also factor in the different kinds of risks. Also, when deciding which game to play, they ask themselves: Does airsoft hurt more than paintball?

The short answer: Paintball hurts more than Airsoft.

While most people have different pain tolerance levels, the physics behind the operations of these two systems can help us decide which would potentially hurt more. Please keep reading to find out which factors determine this decision.

4 Factors That Determine Which Hurts More, Airsoft or Paintball?

The factors below will paint a clearer picture of why one might be more painful than the other. Although these reasons are greatly different, some are more scientific than others.

1. Different-sized Projectiles

Both airsoft and paintball are shooting sports. The first clear difference between the two is the projectile they use to shoot.  Airsoft uses 6mm bb rounds made of plastic. On the other hand, paintball, as the name suggests, uses a colored-gelatin-infused wax-like shell that measures just over half an inch or approximately 13mm. In other words, the size of a paintball is 2 times de size of an airsoft bb round. 

This size difference means the paintball impacts a much larger surface area and thus inflicts more pain than airsoft bbs.

2. Projectile Speed

Airsoft and paintball guns are similar in that they use the same type of compressed air or gas to fire. However, their internal mechanics are slightly different, making one more powerful than the other.

Paintball guns propel heavy projectiles, which is why they’re typically dialed up to shoot at a higher velocity of 500fps (feet per second). On the other hand, airsoft guns propel their projectiles much slower at approximately 350fps.

While the difference in speed affects the projectiles’ impact, multiple other factors affect how much pain they inflict. This velocity disparity also affects how far the projectile travels.

For instance, a paintball typically holds energy better because of its larger mass and will travel further. On the other hand, an airsoft bb diminishes in speed faster and travels a shorter distance. This is because it’s lighter, and the airsoft gun propels the bbs at a significantly lower speed.

So, how does a projectile’s speed affect how much it hurts when it hits you? Well, without getting technical, the heavier projectile will hurt more if they travel at the same speed. A paintball weighs about 3 grams, while bbs tip the scales at approximately 0.12 to 0.25 grams. Therefore, it’s safe to say that you’ll feel a shot from a paintball gun more than one from an airsoft rifle in this case.

3, The Damage to Exposed Skin

Another factor that helps determine which hurts more between paintball and airsoft is the extent of the damage a shot causes. An evaluation of the effects of these two projectiles reveals a difference in the bruising and welts after the shot lands on your body.

A paintball injury on exposed skin will consist of heavy bruising and a welt that can last days or weeks to heal. On the other hand, an airsoft bb only causes a minor welt that typically disappears within 24 to 48 hours.

Paintball shots are more painful because of the size of the injury and how long it takes to heal.

4. The proximity of the Shooter/Target

The only time an airsoft bb will be more painful than a paintball is when proximity comes into play. Typically, there’s a restriction in paintball arenas: you can only shoot an opponent if they’re at least 10 feet away.

However, this restriction doesn’t apply to airsoft, where you can shoot even when you’re a foot away from the opponent. At the proximity airsoft allows, bbs can cause significantly more pain than paintballs.

Other factors that affect how much you hurt include the players’ gear. Typically, paintball players have some light body armor, protecting them from getting injuries. Airsoft players only wear tactical and camouflage gear without the armor, exposing them to more direct hits.

Final Verdict

After considering the above points, one can understand that paintball will hurt much more than airsoft. While the facts above point to paintball shots hurting more, players’ ability to tolerate pain differs. Still, these sports rarely cause serious injuries, so most people aren’t afraid of feeling a little sting. In fact, the point of each sport is to avoid getting hit and hurt. This acts as a direct motivation to players in order to play.