Does Airsoft hurt and how serious injuries can it cause?
When Silo Entertainment launched its online Airsoft Channel on YouTube, no one could have ever imagined that the game would turn out to be as enticing as it has today.
Sure, airsoft has been in the streets since about the 1970s, but the high-definition sounds and quality videos have brought the sport to a new level these past years.
Airsoft requires serious strategy and expertise
The famous game all started with a gun design in Japan at a time when firearms were still restricted by the public. The first models were created to be either cap-type or spring-propelled pellet guns that would eject plastic spheres at the release of a trigger.
Before long, multiple companies across Europe and Asia – and even the United States – adopted the airsoft manufacturing business. Today, it has become one of the most diverse gaming markets there is with more than just two basic models available for players.
With any tactical game, airsoft requires serious strategy and expertise. The military-themed idea behind it creates an even more critical atmosphere for teams. As an airsoft fanatic, the thrill of danger gets me going.
No one dies in airsoft, but you can surely draw blood during a round. Scratches, bruises, and swells are all part of the fun. The battle scars earned make great memories that any true player will appreciate.
Didn’t see that coming? Well, it’s true. Airsoft does hurt a bit but who can blame it? The replicas so closely resemble actual rifles, it should be no surprise the kind of force that comes with the impact of a pellet.
That’s partly why most people don’t recommend playing in your backyard. It’s too risky. You could easily get accused of carrying a real-life weapon.
Airsoft Damage vs FPS
At the end of the day, the damage really depends on the type of gun you own – its range of feet per second (FPS) – and your level of preparedness for the game. There are a few other specifics that come into play that we’ll see soon.
Before any airsoft gun hits the market, companies test it out in the open to get a feel of the speed at which the BBs eject from the nozzle.
The greater the velocity, the harder the sting. In fact, some countries have set restrictions on certain fps ranges for the sake of safety. Here’s a guide to the pain level for each velocity; we’ll start with the softest blow:
100 – 200 FPS
A gun within this range won’t really cover that much ground. The impact is pretty low; you might just feel a nudge or poke.
200 – 250 FPS
You’re going to feel this one, probably not so much but you’ll definitely be aware. The sting is minimal, especially at 60 feet.
250 – 300 FPS
Generally, heavier balls have a greater impact on meeting the skin. And it makes sense why. Something traveling at 0.25 g within 50 feet will never be able to match up to the force of a similar object of 0.3 g within the same range. The laws of science forbid it. There are a lot more forces acting on the ball with more mass.
Even with a light pellet, say about 0.2 g, you’ll get hurt. At this velocity, there’s no way a BB won’t cause any pain. If you get targeted within 60 feet of the shooter, you could get a superficial bruise and some swelling going on.
300 – 350 FPS
The closer you get the hotter the burn. No doubt, a hit like this will leave you with a scar. Anything past this will start ripping cloth.
350 – 400 FPS
Don’t go shooting players within 35 feet of distance with this gun. That could cause some serious blistering. And it will hurt like hell. If you see anyone walking in with this, the joke’s over.
400 – 500 FPS
Less than 50 feet away won’t be any fun. Shots from a rifle with this range will leave you bawling. This is the type of gun that can tear and pierce tissue. It’s been tested on plastic for proof. The game can get dangerous with just a regular BB. You might want to stick to only that.
500 + FPS
Think you’re protected? Think again. Any target from an airsoft gun like this will tell you – it HURTS. At this range, a pellet can go straight through clothing and past the skin.
Normally, we don’t recommend going beyond 300 FPS, especially for indoor gaming. Anything over that enters the extreme zone and can’t be safe for human targets. And softball or not, any hit took in the face is painful. There are no two ways about it.
The sting is also more noticeable if you get hit anywhere in the :
- Inner arm and leg
But walking into an airsoft game improperly suited is basically surrendering before the start. Amateur or not, never go in without being well-suited up.
Protect Yourself While Playing
You won’t usually be able to enter any airsoft battleground without adequate gear. The majority of your body should be covered in heavy-duty wear because BBs have a tendency to break the skin.
Start with the right combat vest and pants made of some thick material like jeans. Sometimes, that’s also layered with a second set of body armor, like a chest plate, to lower the risk of penetration. If you watch any of the live games online, you’ll notice the military-grade outfits more often than not.
Don’t walk in with sneakers unless you’re looking for a limp. The ankle is a sensitive spot to get stung. Get a good pair of leather boots that reach above the Achille’s tendon.
Masks and goggles are just as important as the rest because they cover the most vulnerable area – the face. Aside from the pain, no one wants to get shot in the eye or end up with a cracked front tooth. And a scar on the face is noticeable above all other wounds.
Purchase a nice pair of tactical gloves that will have your wrist and fingers well covered. You’ll want something that protects but still gives a tight grip on your rifle. And avoid as best getting hit in the knuckles – those won’t be nice.
What’s the big deal about all the clothing? The better suited you are, the less likely you will be to feel intense pain from a blow from even some of the highest FPS airsoft guns. It will definitely be in your best interest.
Does Airsoft or Paintball Hurt More?
If you’re not into physics, you’re going to need to be for this one.
Airsoft pellets are usually much smaller than those used for Paintball. In other words, airsoft BBs weigh a lot less. Not only that, but lighter balls will also travel at much faster speeds because of the reduced friction and air resistance acting on them.
That means to say that when a paintball hits a player, its direct force isn’t the only thing coming his way. Couple that with the two other factors just mentioned at even the lowest FPS and you’ll be surprised to feel the difference in impact. It will carry at least twice as much energy with it in the air. Yea, you’ve got it right – paintball hurts more than airsoft for sure.
So what does that say about the risk of injury? Since a hit from paintball hurts more, you can expect to get larger and deeper welts and bruises from a game than with airsoft. It’s often easy to tell the difference between the scars because of the level of coverage either may have.
Second, airsoft players have more rules when it comes to distancing. Because of the possibility of tearing and piercing, sessions are usually kept to a minimal distance of about 15 feet. With paintball, you’re able to close in a bit more on your target to get a good hit with the paint.
The other thing is that although airsoft gear is highly recommended, facial protection isn’t that much enforced. With paintball, players tend to keep that area of their body covered – the game can get messy.
So while you might get harder blows from paintball, airsoft comes with the possibility of more extensive injuries to the neck and upwards. It’s not common to find a paintball enthusiast walking away with a broken tooth. A swollen ankle is more probable.
Can You Get Killed by an Airsoft Gun?
Airsoft hurts, but it won’t kill you no matter how realistic looking the gun is. What it can do, however, is cause some serious damage. In certain cases, it could be permanent. But honestly, those only happen when players fail to abide by the rules of safety.
You could actually lose an eye from airsoft if you go in without goggles or a visor. And even if you’re lucky to keep it, you could walk away blinded.
If you get hit outside of the safe range, and with a high enough FPS rifle, chances are you’ll end up with a deep wound or shattered bone. And depending on where you get hit, that could be an even bigger problem. That’s why it’s always stressed to have the torso and feet well secured.
And of course, all these injuries come with a side of pain – the thing most people try to avoid. So while you won’t get murdered during airsoft, you could just as well end up in the ER for some stitches.
Will Airsoft Break Skin?
The short answer: Yes, airsoft can definitely break the skin. But not all guns can shoot for that kind of damage. Remember, the higher the FPS, the greater the likelihood of penetration.
If you do get cut or bruised, don’t be shocked if you see a little blood. It’s uncommon for the bleeding to be extensive or last longer than a few minutes. Airsoft hits don’t normally reach main blood vessels. With a little pressure, it should be over in no time.
To avoid all the conflict, try not to:
- Target players within less than 15 feet
- Make blind hits
- Use airsoft rifles with greater than 300 FPS
- Walk in with exposed skin, especially for the face and throat
- Use cheap, untested protective gear
- Play within fields with lenient safety guidelines
- Use the airsoft gun outside of the game or safe zone; you might be the one to get hurt
Play It Out
Airsoft can be one of the most exciting experiences you’ll ever have but be careful not to get lost in the thrill of the game. The biggest mistake possible is to head out uncovered. Innocent games can easily result in nasty blows, even if by an accident.
The best way to get the most out of a good airsoft session is to walk prepared. Know your rifle, know your peers.
Wear your gear, play by the book, and just have a good time. Besides, a little bruise won’t kill you. Take the wounds as a mark of initiation; a sign of courage. Any veteran will tell you it’s part of the sport.