Home Airsoft Steel BBs and Why You Should Avoid Them in Airsoft

Steel BBs and Why You Should Avoid Them in Airsoft

Steel BBs and Why You Should Avoid Them in Airsoft

No place for steel BBs in Airsoft!

Are you aware of steel BBs’ dangers?

If you’ve ever used an airsoft gun, you may have wondered if steel BBs could be used instead of the usual plastic ammo. You would want to experiment with metal BBs for many reasons, but you must first make sure that doing so won’t endanger you, your gun, or anybody else.

Steel BBs fired from an airsoft gun are never safe. BBs are not intended for this type of projectile; using them will seriously harm the gun’s internal components. Furthermore, steel BBs fired from an airgun have the potential to pierce the flesh and potentially result in a fatal injury.

Note that steel BBs are not allowed on airsoft fields if you have never played the game; this is for your protection and the safety of others around you. Steel BBs are more dangerous than plastic BBs because they can penetrate the skin since the metal is more solid and heavier than plastic.

This article will go over what metal BBs are, why they can be so harmful, and whether or not they can be fired from an airsoft pistol.

What are steel or metal BBs?

Steel or metal BBs are small metal balls fired from a BB gun.

Airsoft guns typically utilize plastic BBs, while BB guns often use metal BBs. Although they may appear extremely similar at first glance, these two types of ammunition have much in common.

The size of the BB is the first difference between the two pellets you’ll notice. Depending on the model and barrel used, plastic BBs for airsoft guns are typically 6 mm (0.23 inch) or 8 mm (0.31 inch) in diameter. The diameter of conventional metal BBs is 4.5 mm (0.17 cm).

Can airsoft guns take metal BBs?

Yes, in a nutshell, is the answer to this question. Airsoft weapons can fire metal BBs.

However, most airsoft guns are constructed to withstand the force of a plastic BB. You may find that the weight of a metal BB also impacts the distance of your shot.

Typically, airsoft guns will need more power to fire heavier projectiles at a distance properly.

Potential Airgun Damage Caused by Using Steel BBs

Cylinder Head and Piston

Metal BBs’ smaller diameter may result in jams in your airsoft gun. These jams occur when the BB deviates from its intended path due to its small size. The cylinder head and piston of your gun, which is responsible for round cycling, could be damaged by jams.

Inner Barrel

Due to the inefficiency produced by the BBs’ small size and weight, using steel BBs could also damage the gun barrel. It would initially show as observable scratches on the interior of the barrel, but with time, it would grow into severe damage that would impair accuracy and performance.

Consider it like a pinball machine. The BB will have space to move around and bounce all over the place if it is too small. The different density of the steel causes this damage to be magnified. The BB would fit into the barrel properly and wouldn’t move if it was the proper weight and size.

The Hop-Up

The component of the gun, known as the hop-up, controls how much spin the BB receives. This is done to reduce windy situations and improve accuracy over long distances. The hop-up is a delicate device that can only withstand minor abuse.

Using steel BBs can quickly ruin your hop-up and make it useless.

Why You Should Avoid Using Steel BBs in Airsoft

Assume you have unlimited resources and have no problem regularly replacing or fixing your airsoft gun. The next question to be answered is whether it is safe to shoot BBs at other players on the playing field.

It is dangerous to use steel BBs on an airsoft field. Due to how dangerous metal BBs are, almost all airsoft fields have prohibited them. They will act much more like bullets than their plastic counterparts because they are made of metal.

The skin will definitely be penetrated by a steel BB. Being hit with a steel BB at close range can be fatal or life-changing.

Metal BBs would rebound if you shot them into a hard surface like metal or concrete because they would break into tiny fragments and go everywhere. Because of this, many airsoft fields are designed only to accept plastic BBs. 

A steel projectile can seriously damage the body if fired from a powerful airsoft gun at close range.

Among them are:

  • breaking of smaller bones (imagine being hit in your leg).
  • Entry injuries are being formed (i.e., the pellet can end up inside your skin).
  • Steel BBs are more likely to result in severe bleeding.

If plastic BBs can penetrate your skin at close range, think what 0.6 g of lead or steel could do to you.

There is also the possibility of lead or zinc poisoning, depending on the substance used to produce a steel BB. Rusty metal fragments getting into your bloodstream could signify infected wounds.

The airsoft sport (and its players) are not equipped to manage this degree of risk and injury.


Using steel BBs in an airsoft gun is never recommended under any circumstances. When the risk to your gun is so significant, and there are also the additional risks of injury or even death to others, it is never beneficial to use the incorrect ammo for your gun.

Join the military and use real weapons if you want more realistic ammo. However, use the right kind of BBs for the protection and courtesy of airsoft players of all ages.

You may use them at a private event (perhaps long-range shooting) or a practice range. Enjoy yourself by using a less expensive airsoft rifle.

Steel BBs can cause serious injuries, and they can damage airsoft guns. For these reasons, it is essential to avoid steel BBs when playing airsoft.