Airsoft guns are replica firearms that shoot plastic pellets. They are often used in recreational settings, such as games or target practice. Airsoft guns can also be used for training purposes by law enforcement and military personnel.
Many people wonder if they can be deadly or used for pest control or hunting. So can airsoft guns kill? Well, the short answer is no, not really.
While airsoft guns are not lethal, they can cause serious injuries if they are not used safely.
In this article, we will take a closer look at if airsoft guns can be used to kill in any way as well as explore the dangers of airsoft guns in general and discuss how to stay safe while using them.
Can Airsoft Guns Kill?
The short answer is no, airsoft guns cannot kill. These replica firearms shoot plastic pellets at low velocity with a range of up to 500 feet per second. The pellets themselves are not lethal and do not have the power necessary to kill.
The normal airsoft gun isn’t even powerful enough to penetrate the skin. Even when tweaked and modified to achieve greater velocity and accuracy, the pellets still won’t do much damage even when shot from point-blank range.
However, airsoft guns should not be taken lightly. If used improperly or in unsafe conditions, they can cause serious injuries and hurt you.
Why Can’t Airsoft Guns Kill?
Well, for starters let’s take a look at what an airsoft gun is. Airsoft guns are replica firearms that shoot plastic pellets. And they are designed to be non-lethal. These guns use either springs or pressurized gas to propel the pellets out of its barrel at a low velocity.
The pellets or BBs the guns shoot are made of plastic and have really low mass. This means that even when shot at point-blank range, they have very little kinetic energy and will not penetrate the skin or cause serious injury.
The average airsoft gun shoots at a velocity of about 300 to 400 feet per second, even the most powerful airsoft guns don’t go over 700 FPS. And airsoft BBs weigh around .20 to .30 grams.
This gives an airsoft gun that shoots a .20gram BB 300 FPS a muzzle energy of 0.61 foot-pounds (0.83 joules). Even if you are shooting a .30 gram BB at about 700 FPS it’s only going to be 4.99 foot-pounds (6.79 joules).
Now in comparison, a 9mm handgun has a muzzle energy of 383 foot-pounds (519 joules). That’s about 460 times more powerful than the average airsoft gun’s muzzle energy, even the most powerful airsoft guns shooting a heavier BB will have almost a 100 times smaller muzzle velocity than the average 9mm pistol.
|Gun type||Muzzle energy|
|Average airsoft gun||0.6 foot-pounds|
|Powerful airsoft gun||5 foot-pounds|
|.117 airgun||15 foot-pounds|
|.22 airgun||20 foot-pounds|
|9mm pistol||383 foot-pounds|
Can Airsoft Guns Kill Birds or Small Animals?
Okei, so we know that airsoft guns aren’t powerful enough to kill humans but can they be used to hunt or control pests? Can airsoft guns kill birds and small animals?
Well, the answer here is a maybe. And it will depend very heavily on the size of the animal, where you hit it, how powerful is the airsoft gun and how heavy is the pellet.
Overall the pellets that airsoft guns shoot are still too weak to penetrate the skin but they can cause internal damage if you hit a bird or small animal in the right place.
The force of an airsoft pellet is only powerful enough to hurt a small animal if it hits it in the head or other vital organs like the heart. Depending on the size of the animal, you may be able to kill it but it would take a lot of luck and a really powerful airsoft gun.
And you most likely won’t kill it on the spot either. The pellet will cause internal damage and the animal would die later on either from the internal damage, starvation due to the injury, or due to falling prey to a predator in its weakened state.
And before you go trying to eliminate that pesty rat or bird in the backyard with an airsoft gun, remember that it’s illegal in most countries to use an airsoft gun to hunt animals or even harass them and it will most likely be intensely painful, and straight-out cruel for the animal.
How Much Can Airsoft Guns Hurt You?
So airsoft guns can’t kill you but how much can they hurt you? Can an airsoft gun break the skin or cause serious injury?
Although airsoft guns are considered safe, at close range, an airsoft gun will definitely cause some pain and can even break the skin if it hits you in the right place. Now how much airsoft pellets will hurt you will depend on the power of the gun, what you are wearing, and your pain tolerance.
Most likely if you are wearing appropriate protective gear, long-sleeved clothes, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants, an airsoft gun won’t break the skin or even hurt you. However, if you are wearing a t-shirt and shorts, or if the airsoft gun is shooting above 400 FPS, you may experience some pain. might get some bruises and if you are really unlucky it might break your skin.
What Are Other Injuries or Risks of Airsoft?
Apart from the risk of getting shot by an airsoft gun, there are other risks associated with using them.
The most common injury associated with airsoft guns is an eye injury, as the pellets can cause irritation or even blindness if shot in the eyes. Even if you get hit in the eye with a pellet moving less than 300fps you will most likely get permanent eye damage.
That’s why it is recommended to always wear protective goggles when playing with an airsoft gun.
But not all the injuries you could get while playing airsoft are gun-related. You may also get injured running and jumping if the terrain is rough or uneven. It is important to stay alert and look out for obstacles that could cause you to trip and fall.
The most common non-airsoft gun-related injury is probably a sprained ankle. So to protect yourself, it’s important to always wear stable shoes and be aware of where you step.
Another way people often get injured while playing airsoft is by mishandling pyrotechnics. Pyrotechnics like smoke grenades, grenade imitation rounds, and fireworks are often used in airsoft games to create a more realistic experience. However, these can be dangerous if not handled properly, so it is important to follow the instructions for use when handling pyrotechnics.
How to Protect Yourself While Playing Airsoft?
Now that you know the risks of airsoft and the potential dangers of airsoft guns, it’s time to talk about how to protect yourself.
The most important thing you need to do is to always wear protective gear. Protective gear includes goggles, face masks, and gloves.
Your face and well especially your eyes are very vulnerable when playing airsoft so it’s important to wear a full face mask and protective goggles.
It is also recommended to wear long clothing to help minify the risk of an airsoft pellet breaking your skin or leaving bruises. Long clothing will also help reduce the pain if you get hit by an airsoft pellet.
Also, it’s recommended to wear the right footwear, as you will be running and jumping around, so make sure to wear shoes that are supportive so you wouldn’t sprain an ankle or slip and fall.
And finally, always use your airsoft gun responsibly and follow all safety instructions for the pyrotechnics.
- Airsoft guns can’t people or larger animals/ birds.
- Airsoft guns are specifically designed to be non-lethal.
- Airsoft BBs have a very low speed and mass.
- The average airsoft gun’s muzzle energy is only about 0.6 foot-pounds. A 9mm handgun has a muzzle energy of 383 foot-pounds.
- Airsoft guns can cause bruises and hurt when shot from a close range.
- It is important to always wear protective gear when playing airsoft, such as goggles and face masks.
All-in-all, airsoft guns are not lethal but can still cause serious injury if care is not taken. Therefore, it is important to always wear protective gear and use your airsoft gun responsibly.
Be sure to always read and follow the instructions for use when handling pyrotechnics. And remember, always use your airsoft gun responsibly and follow all safety instructions.
It is also important to be aware of your surroundings and the potential risks when playing airsoft.
By following these safety guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy the sport safely and responsibly.