Does airsoft hurt? A Quick Read

Anyone who's ever been hit by an airsoft pellet will tell you that, yes, it does indeed hurt. But just how much does it hurt? Is it enough to deter people from playing? In this blog post, we'll take an in-depth look at just how much airsoft hurts and whether or not it's worth playing.

Airsoft is a thrilling, adrenaline-pumping sport that simulates combat situations. It's growing in popularity every year, but many people are hesitant to try it because they're worried about getting hurt.

So, how bad does airsoft hurt? Keep reading to find out.

Some Factors that Contribute to the Pain Includes

Type of Airsoft Gun

The type of airsoft guns you use makes a big difference in how much it hurts when you're hit. Spring-powered guns are the least powerful, followed by electric guns, with gas-powered guns being the most powerful. So, if you're worried about getting hurt, stick to a spring-powered gun.

Type of Ammunition

The type of ammunition you use also matters. There are three main types of airsoft BBs: plastic, biodegradable, and metal.

Plastic BBs are the cheapest and most common type of BB, but they're also the least accurate and can break if they hit something hard.

Biodegradable BBs are made of compressed cornstarch and are better for the environment than plastic BBs. They're also more accurate than plastic BBs but can still break if they hit something hard.

Metal BBs are the most accurate and strongest type of BB, but they're also the most expensive. Metal BBs can be used to hunt small games as they can cause some serious damage and that is why never used in airsoft fields.

Size of the pellet.

Airsoft pellets come in a range of sizes, from 0.12 grams all the way up to 0.68 grams. The larger the pellet, the more pain it will cause when it hits you. That's because a larger pellet has more kinetic energy than a smaller one. Kinetic energy is what causes the stinging sensation when you're hit by an airsoft pellet.

Velocity of the pellet.

The higher the velocity, the more pain it will cause. A pellet fired at 400 FPS (feet per second) will hurt more than one fired at 300 FPS, for example.


You can significantly reduce how much airsoft guns hurt by wearing the proper protective gear. This includes a full face mask, gloves, long pants and sleeves, and body armor (if available). Wearing all this gear will make it so that even if you're hit by a metal BB fired from a gas-powered gun, it likely won't break the skin or leave more than a mild bruise. Also, don't even think of skipping your shooting sunglasses.

Distance between you and the person firing the gun.

The closer they are, the more pain you'll feel. That's because a pellet loses velocity as it travels through the air, so a pellet fired from close range will retain more of its kinetic energy than one fired from far away.

Where you're hit

Obviously, getting hit in the head is going to hurt more than getting hit in the leg. That's because there are more nerve endings in the head, and a direct hit to the eye can be especially painful. Additionally, getting hit in a bone will hurt more than getting hit in soft tissue.

How Much Does Airsoft Actually Hurt?

This is perhaps the most common question we get asked about airsoft. But it is a difficult question to answer because pain is subjective. What might feel like a mild sting to one person could be incredibly painful for another.

All the above factors are important to consider when evaluating how much pain an airsoft pellet can cause. Now let's take a look at some actual numbers to see just how much pain we're talking about here.

The average human threshold for pain is around 20 joules of kinetic energy transferred to the body. So let's say we have a 0.20-gram BB traveling at 400 FPS. When that BB hits someone from close range, it transfers 8 joules of kinetic energy to their body—enough to cause significant pain but not enough to break the skin or do any long-term damage.

Now let's say we have a 0.68-gram BB traveling at 500 FPS. When that BB hits someone from close range, it transfers 20 joules of kinetic energy to their body—enough to cause serious bruising or even break bones if hit in a sensitive area like the fingers or toes.

But generally speaking, the average plastic BB will hurt less than paintball guns, unless shot from a point-blank range. But keep in mind that if you are shot with metallic BBs (not allowed in any official tournaments) you can be severely injured, as they are mostly used for hunting small games.

Final Verdict

In short, yes—airsoft can hurt if you're not properly protected. However, by following the safety guidelines outlined above, you can minimize your risk of injury and have a great time playing airsoft!

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