Does Airsoft Hurt?

Does Airsoft Hurt

As a beginner you could be asking the question, “does airsoft hurt, and would you be able to handle it?”

With the number of videos out there showing people being injured when playing airsoft, it’s obvious why most beginners ask this. Let’s see what others have to say and does airsoft really hurt?


Getting shot with an airsoft BB hurts. The amount of pain will depend on:

  • The speed at which the BB was flying
  • The weight of the particular BB that hit you
  • The distance from where the gun was shot from

Airsoft is not lethal and within regulated fields, the injuries are not serious.

Airsoft Guns Hurt

The pain from being shot by an airsoft BB  from up close on the bare skin is like being stung by a bee. If it’s shot from a far distance or on your clothes, it’s like being flicked by a finger.

In both instances, the pain lasts for a few seconds. The pain would last a bit longer if the gun was shot up close and when it penetrates the skin. However, this is unlikely in a normal game since there are rules that control the minimum distance you need to keep for you to shoot anyone.

1. Why Does It Hurt?

An Airsoft BB flies at an average of 300 feet per second usually expressed as 300FPS. The impact from this bb is hard enough to bruise the skin when it is shot from a close distance.

Just a comparison, pistols reach up to 700 to 1,200 FPS. Airsoft is almost half of that. But don’t worry, there are lots of factors to consider here before an airsoft gun inflicts similar damage to a real gun. It would take so much FPS before an airsoft gun critically hurts anyone.

2. Can an Airsoft  BB Penetrate the Skin?

If an airsoft bb is shot from up close it is likely to penetrate the skin. This is, however, very unlikely in well-regulated fields.

This is because the places on your body that would easily allow a baby to penetrate are usually covered up these are the face the neck and the eyes.

3. Is Airsoft Lethal?

While being shot by an airsoft BB is not exactly a fun ordeal, it is very unlikely for a person to die because of being shot by an airsoft bb.

Most airsoft injuries come from the hazards of running around and falling from high heights. It is more likely that you will get injured from these risks than from being shot by an airsoft gun.

Most Painful Body Parts

Sometimes, being hit by a BB does not even hurt but some areas can feel excruciating pain when hit perfectly. These areas are critical in having protection and covering that most airsoft veterans already know. Some of these areas are even required to be covered or the field will not let you in. 

Let’s check which body part you’ll want to cover.

  1. The Eyes – The one place that you do not want to get hit by an Airsoft BB is the eyes. The impact from a direct hit on the eyes would be severe enough to cause permanent loss of eyesight. This is also one of the places that would hurt the most when you’re hit by a BB. 
  2. The Face – The face has more delicate skin than the other parts of your body and would experience higher levels of pain if hit by a BB.
  3. The Neck – This is a part of the body that is not normally protected by most players. You could experience high levels of pain especially if you’re shot from a close distance. If a gun is above the regulated limits a hit on the neck can cause an injury.
  4. The Groin – Now, this is an obvious place that would definitely hurt when hit.

Photo by  Kenny Mitchell
These areas are quite commonly painful when hit by anything. Even in our daily lives, we try to protect these areas. They’re not at all different in airsoft and if you, always protect these areas or prepare for the consequences. 

What Affects Pain

Different factors can affect the pain you will feel from getting hit by a BB. Let’s look at the basics. 

1. BB Size

All types of BBs hurt but have varying severity depending on their size. The heavier the BB, the more painful the hit will be.

Heavier BBs would have higher levels of momentum and would cover a larger surface area when hitting the skin. It is for this reason that they will be slightly more painful when they hit you compared to a smaller bb.

Aside from that, there are other factors to consider. 

2. Wind and Distance

Heavier BBs will hurt slightly more but with a bit of distance, there’s no big difference in the amount of pain that would be inflicted.

Depending on the distance, some BBs might hurt like a finger flicking you and will range up to a beesting if shot up close. Distance and wind decrease the momentum of a BB and this should make it less painful when airsoft guns are shot from afar. 

Also, the bigger the smaller the BB, the less likely the wind affect it. So if the BB is bigger, it will be more painful. 

3. FPS

Consider this number as the speed and power of the gun. The higher feet per second or FPS a BB is moving the more pain it will inflict when it hits you. This means that when a gun is shooting higher than the recommended FPS it will likely hurt more or even injure the person.

This is the reason why most official fields restrict how hot your gun shoots. The average field will only allow guns that shoot below 350 fps. Almost all fields will require that you test your airsoft gun using a chronograph to measure its FPS before you can begin playing.

These restrictions in fps help in reducing the number of injuries in the field by ensuring that even when you were hit in a sensitive spot you will not get injured.

4. Fields

Airsoft fields matter in terms of regulating how fast Airsoft guns shoot. it is for this reason that you need to carefully choose the airsoft field you’ll be playing at and know its rules before you go to play. Doing a bit of research on the airsoft field will help you know how seriously they take safety and know what restrictions they have on fps.

CQB hurts way more than field play. This is because CQB has much smaller engagement distances and this means that you will be shot from close range much more than when you are out in the field. Even though CQB requires lower fps guns than in the field, the pain is still more because of the proximity with which you are going to get shot most of the time.

5. Airsoft Guns

Airsoft guns with higher fps and larger BBs will hurt more than guns with the opposite configuration.

It is for this reason that sniper rifles will hurt more when shot at the same distance as AEG. This is because the average sniper rifle will fire at 600 fps compared to the average AEG which shoots at around 400 fps.

Photo by   Kenny Mitchell

Protecting Yourself From Injuries

Airsoft guns hurt when being hit but the most injuries you may have is not from the gun itself. Handling the gun, wearing safety gear, following rules, and abiding by the laws are more critical when using an airsoft gun. Let’s see which areas should be more focused on rather than dodging airsoft bullets.

1. Don’t Brandish Airsoft Guns in Public

Brandishing an airsoft gun in public is both illegal and dumb. Airsoft guns are almost identical to their more dangerous relatives and people will not be able to tell the difference between an airsoft gun and a real firearm.

One good way of safely storing away your airsoft gun is placing an airsoft gun in a gun case or protective bag.

2. Never Point an Airsoft Gun at Anyone Outside of an Airsoft Game

Whether jokingly or intending to scare them, this is a very dangerous thing to do. If the person who you are pointing the gun at does not know that it is an airsoft gun, they may respond in a defensive way that may hurt you or them.

It is especially unwise to point an airsoft gun at a police officer. This could potentially get you killed since the police officer will be acting in self-defense.

3. Play in Official Airsoft Fields

When playing airsoft, try to visit official playing fields rather than shooting in your backyard. While you own the place, there are still bystanders and neighbors seeing you holding a gun. They might mistakenly think you’re holding a real gun and call the police. 

If you really have to, try to talk to your neighbors or even local police that you are conducting a friendly airsoft game. this way, you won’t be troubled and your neighbors won’t panic. 

4. Eye Protection Must Be Worn

This is the most important protection that you should use. Despite being experienced with airsoft, it is still advisable to wear your goggles all the time. 

Also, remember that people in your area might not be wearing one. Tell your friends and family to wear safety eye gear and if you’re playing in your backyard, consider your neighborhood as they are also at risk. 

You might just want to play in an official field in this case. 

5. Always Consider an Airsoft Gun as Loaded

Keeping this assumption will keep your mind alert when handling your airsoft gun and when others are handling their guns around you. Other things are going on in our lives and distractions are inevitable. 

Most accidents happen when you get too relaxed when handling dangerous equipment so treat your gun as if it’s loaded at all times. 

6. All Safeties Should Be On Until You Start Your Airsoft Game

You should ensure that everyone in your team maintains this habit and create ways of enforcing this habit. 

There’s a reason why guns have safety features and it is to keep you and other people around you safe. 

7. Keep Your Finger off the Trigger

Keep your finger off the trigger until you have your target in sight. If you’re not yet ready to shoot or if you simply have no open shot, just keep your finger off the trigger. 

When we are excited, we may get trigger-happy and shoot at something we were not expecting. Friendly fire is common but it can be avoided. 

8. Never Shoot Through the Safe Area

There are safe areas in an airsoft field and must not be shot at all times. People here are not prepared for an airsoft match and might not be wearing their protection gears. 

Always keep the safe areas safe and free from any shot. 

9. Have Proper Footwear

Airsoft fields are usually rugged and one of the injuries you will need to protect yourself from are sprained ankles. You need to have boots that provide proper ankle protection.

Hiking boots like this one provide good ankle protection and will protect you from injuries when you are running on top of rocks and bushes.

10. Always Point Your Airsoft Gun Below Your Waist

Point your gun below your waist and not pointed up risking anyone from being shot in the face. This will protect you from hurting anyone if your gun does go off unintentionally.

Keeping this habit whenever you handle your airsoft gun will prepare you for when your gun is actually loaded.

Airsoft Safety Gear

Here are some of the gears that you might need in an actual airsoft game. You might also want to check the links as these are considered good products in the market.

1. Airsoft Protective Vest

Airsoft Protective vests help in guarding your chest against BBs that may be shot at close range. It’s also a great way to store your other gears so you can easily access them. 

2. Airsoft Goggles

The proper airsoft safety goggles should naturally exceed ANSI Z87.1 High Impact Requirements. This keeps your eyes safe even when high-velocity BBs come at you from close range.

3. Airsoft Mask

Airsoft Masks help protect your face from the sharp sting caused by BBs hitting your face. Plus they look tactical and cool. 

4. Airsoft Protection Kit

Padding on your knees will help you prevent scrapes when you hit the ground if you trip over a branch or rock. Falling is common in an airsoft field, so try investing in lower body gear. 

5. Airsoft Helmets

A good airsoft helmet will help you prevent serious injury if you trip and fall when on your airsoft game.

Being a common injury, this gear becomes an important one as well. Plus they also look cool when you have them on.

6. Airsoft Gloves

Aside from looking cool, Airsoft gloves help shield your hands from BBs which might also come from close range.

Your guns become visible in the dark or corners of buildings which makes your hand prone to being shot. Having a glove on solves that problem.

7. Airsoft Neck Protection

A normal scarf would do when you want to protect your face but you may also want to have custom gear.

8. Airsoft Gun Cases

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A good airsoft gun case will protect you from a world of legal challenges. It also helps you get your airsoft gun to and from an airsoft game without brandishing it in public which is a crime and can get you in serious legal trouble.


Now that you know airsoft guns don’t necessarily hurt, you may be able to enter that field with more confidence. Just remember that there are other things that you should be focusing on more rather than being shot by an airsoft gun. 

As long as you wear the proper gear and follow the rules and laws of airsoft, you’ll surely enjoy engaging in this intense game.