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Airsoft – does it hurt to get shot?


Now that you know how much a BB shot would hurt, and how to minimize the impact on your skin, you can take part in your next airsoft match without too much worry!


Airsoft is a contact sport, which means you will definitely get hit, but don’t let the fear of getting shot to discourage you from going to your first game. In this article, we will break down exactly how much it does hurt to get shot, and what you can do to mitigate these problems.

So does it hurt to get shot?

Well, the short answer is “kind of”, but the long answer has a few more extra variables involved in it.

The main factor is the range or the distance you were being shot from, anything from under 20 feet is going to hurt, regardless of what airsoft rᎥfle it was fired from. The pain can be described as a sharp stinging pain, the closest thing I can describe it to is someone flicking you in the arm really hard with their fingers. Fortunately, it only lasts for a short while and the pain fades away quite quickly.

Here’s a video from our friends over at Imperial Recon doing a live test for us.

Most Airsoft rᎥfles have are limited to 350 FPS (feet per second) for fully automatic replicas and snipers to a max of 500 FPS to be used on sites. This means that it is unlikely in normal game-play for the BB’s to penetrate the skin, as long as players adhere to the minimum engagement distance rules.

The second factor to take into account is the weight of the BB, a heavier projectile will carry more energy and will have a stronger punch, even when fired at the same FPS. The main weights of BB’s used range from .20g, .25g, and .30g.

You will usually find the heavier BB’s used by snipers whos shots are more susceptible to the wind from longer ranges. Getting shot with a .30 from 150 feet or more is like a small pinch, it will sting but it is nothing to worry about.

The final variable in the amount of pain a BB can cause you is the amount of clothing you have on during an Airsoft match. There are certain items of clothing that are a must have, while others can be nice to have.

Eyes and Face protection


Different types of Eyes and Face Protection.

With the velocity at which these BB’s are traveling, they can do some serious damage to your eyes. There are numerous types and forms of eye protection being sold on the market. Some of these are combinations of eye and face protection and most are just eye protection.

Face protection, just like eye protection, comes in many types and forms; from hard plastic, mesh, and neoprene to using a shemagh or a bandana. People underestimate the importance of face protection until a BB chips their tooth, my advice would be to at least wear a bandana and save yourself that expensive trip to the dentist.




Different styles of gloves to fit your loadout

Gloves are important for a few reasons. Like some of the other items on this list, they help protect your hands from the environment, trees, bushes, thorns, splinters, flying BB’s and whatever else the area may have to throw at you.

Not mention one of the most sensitive areas to get hit by a BB is in your hands and fingers. Remember when purchasing gloves that they must be comfortable, but you still need to be able to fire and reload your AEG and sidearm, and also accomplish other tasks in the field.


Long Trousers and Long Sleeve Shirt

To make sure the BB’s hitting you cause the least amount of damage, you need to protect your body and skin as much as possible. Keeping your body fully covered helps lessen the sting of the incoming BB’s. If you are playing in a woodland gaming area, the full coverage will also help you from getting scraped up by tree limbs and thorn bushes. Even in a CQB game, there are sharp edges, splinters, nails and staples, that can ‘bite’ you while gaming.

Most airsoft operators will wear military uniforms for a few reasons. They are designed to handle battle situations, help you blend into the gaming area, have plenty of pockets to stow extras, and they just look good. I would personally wear a layer of clothing under the uniforms, giving you extra padding from the BB hits. Military uniforms come in many different styles and camouflage patterns and you can purchase them from your local military surplus store or on the internet or from some airsoft operators.

Now that you know how much a BB shot would hurt, and how to minimize the impact on your skin, you can take part in your next airsoft match without too much worry!


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1 Comment

  1. I got lit up recently by multiple sub-350 FPS AR’s (6 I think all on full auto) from ranges of about 3 feet to 12 feet while trying to respawn.. only two of the hits hurt, one to my stomach that got past my combat vest and one on the inside of my left hand middle finger from about 3 feet away. Non of them hurt for more than a couple of seconds until I left the field at the end of the day and got in my car to go home with the heating… at that point the finger hit which had left a small “blood blister” started to sting a little but nothing anywhere near as bad as when I got hit during paintball (which hurts ALOT more)… looking forward to getting the time for the next event.


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