If you’re thinking about getting into airsoft, or letting your child play it, one of the first questions you probably have is are airsoft guns safe. In this article we’ll dive deeply into the how safe airsoft is, and more importantly, how to always stay safe in airsoft. These are rules that you or your child should closely follow when playing airsoft.
Are Airsoft Guns Safe?
Airsoft guns are completely safe as long as you’re closely following the safety guidelines. Airsoft can be dangerous only as a result of players being careless and not putting safety first. Therefore, when playing airsoft you should always follow a set of rules. If you do this, there’s nothing to worry about.
Let’s dive into that set of rules and keep you safe.
How To Always Be Safe in Airsoft?
Even though there are no official airsoft rules, there are rules to follow in order to keep everyone involved safe.
Keep Your Eyes and Face Protected
The first thing to keep in mind is to always have at least eye protection (goggles) on, but full-face protection (full-face masks) is strongly recommended. Having the full face protected is especially important for children. In fact, at many airsoft fields wearing a full-face mask is mandatory for children.
The reason for wearing eye and face protection is that the face, and especially the eyes, is a very sensitive area. Indeed, the most dangerous airsoft injuries come from being shot in the eyes, which can cause serious issues, and in extreme cases even the loss of the eye. Ears should also be protected since it’s another very sensitive area. Finally, face masks will protect your teeth, which can be easily chipped if shot.
The very best mask to get is probably the Dye i4 Airsoft Full Face Mask, and if you’re looking for a budget option you can get the the Evike Annex MI-7 ANSI Rated Full Face Mask. If you decide to go with goggles alone, your best option are the Valken Sierra Tactical Goggles, while the Valken ECHO Tactical Goggles are the best cheap option. You can look at other options in our reviews of best airsoft masks and best airsoft goggles.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
While you don’t need to wear any special clothes for airsoft, there are certain things you should consider, such as the following:
- You shouldn’t leave any skin exposed. That includes wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and gloves.
- Wear shoes that offer ankle support. Many airsoft fields are in wooded areas, with a lot of trees and logs, so tripping is possible. Keeping your ankles safe is always a good idea.
- While far from mandatory, knee and elbow pads can also be a good idea.
If you want to learn more, check out this comprehensive guide on what to wear for airsoft.
Always Treat Your Airsoft Guns Like You Would Real Guns
This is another crucial thing. While airsoft guns aren’t real, you need to always treat them as if they were. This includes the following:
- NEVER show off your airsoft guns in public. Yes, you know they are toys. But they look very realistic, and most people won’t be able to tell the difference. If people see you with an airsoft gun in public, they will get frightened, they could call the police, or in the worst case they could pull out a real gun in self-defense. If you want to avoid all that chaos, keep your airsoft guns hidden, carrying them in a gun case (or bag) on the way to the airsoft field.
- Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, such as the ground. Don’t point the gun at anything or anyone if you’re not planning to shoot it/them. Accidental shootings happen.
- Keep your finger off the trigger unless you’re planning to shoot.
- Keep the gun’s safety on unless you’re planning to shoot.
- DON’T look down the barrel. Even if you have eye protection on.
- Always think of the weapon as if it were loaded. When you’ve finished playing, remove the magazine and ensure that it’s empty. After removing the magazine, shoot a few times on the ground.
- Avoid shooting hard surfaces from a few feet away. Airsoft pellets can ricochet and go pretty much anywhere.
- Keep the airsoft gun in a safe place.
- Don’t consume alcohol before (or during) playing airsoft.
Don’t Shoot Recklessly
You should also consider the safety of other airsofters. That includes never aiming at an opponent’s head and face. Also, avoid shooting from close proximity to an opponent. When in such a situation, yell “Bang!” or something similar instead of shooting the player. Being hit from a few feet away can cause some pain. Finally, don’t shoot blindly, or from small holes.
Follow Any Rules Set by the Airsoft Field You’re Playing At
The airsoft field you’re playing at will likely have its own set of rules, which may include the rules discussed above, but may also include additional rules not mentioned here. Whatever those are, they exist for a reason, and you should follow them at all times. Not doing so can mean putting yourself or others in danger, but could also see yourself banned from the airsoft field.
What Even Are Airsoft Guns?
In order to stay safe while using them, you should first know what airsoft guns are. And it’s very simple, airsoft guns are nothing more than toy guns, replicas of real firearms. One thing that makes them different from paintball markers and other toy guns is that they’re very realistically looking.
In fact, if it weren’t for the orange tip that airsoft guns are required to have, it would be difficult to differentiate them from real guns. The similarity is only in looks though.
Airsoft guns shoot tiny (usually 6mm in diameter, with a weight of much less than a gram), round, plastic pellets. They are designed to be used in combat simulations. These simulations allow combat enthusiasts to feel the thrill, but be far from the danger of combat.
Are Airsoft Guns Safe To Shoot at Each Other?
Airsoft guns are safe to shoot at each other if everyone involved is responsible and wearing the necessary protection. In fact, shooting at each other in a combat game is the exact purpose for which airsoft guns were invented.
But, remember to only shoot at people who have agreed to be a part of the game and who are wearing protective equipment. Never shoot at people who haven’t given you permission to shoot at them by being part of the game. Also, avoid shooting people from just a few feet away, and never aim at a person’s head or face, even if they’re wearing full-face protection.
Are Airsoft Guns Deadly?
Airsoft guns aren’t deadly to humans. There actually isn’t a single recorded case of a person being killed by an airsoft gun. These kinds of guns shoot plastic pellets, which even with their high velocity can hardly penetrate a person’s skin (although it’s not impossible).
Even though they aren’t deadly, airsoft guns can cause injuries if the airsofters are reckless and don’t follow basic safety rules. The most dangerous injuries are eye injuries, temporary skin wounds, and chipped teeth.
While there aren’t recorded deaths from an airsoft gun, that’s not to say that there aren’t deaths involving airsoft guns. Usually, they involve carrying airsoft guns in public, which can cause other people to mistake them for real guns due to their similarity in look. Indeed, there are some examples when people pulled out a real gun in self-defense from a person with an airsoft gun.
We already concluded that airsoft guns aren’t deadly to humans. But what about animals? Here, the story’s a little different. While airsoft guns generally can’t kill a bigger animal, they could prove fatal for small animals such as squirrels, small birds, or rodents. Even for them, it would probably take a combination of heavier pellets, shooting from proximity and the pellet hitting the wrong place.
Needless to say, it’s extremely wrong to even think about testing this. Even if they aren’t killed, they would surely feel pain and suffering.
Are Airsoft Guns Safe for Children?
Just as with adults, airsoft guns are safe for children as long as they’re respecting the safety guidelines. The same safety precautions for adults should be taken by children too, including wearing full-face protection (even more important in children), wearing appropriate clothing leaving no skin exposed, treating airsoft guns just like real guns, and following the rules set by the airsoft site they’re playing at.
There’s no right answer to the question of at what age should children be allowed to play airsoft. Since following the safety rules requires a certain level of responsibility, the maturity of the child is more important than the age. Basically, as long as parents are certain that their child is responsible enough to always stay safe, they can allow them to play regardless of their age.
From a legal point of view, in the US there’s no minimum age requirement for children playing airsoft. However, only adults 18 years and older can buy airsoft guns. Therefore, airsoft is allowed for children to play regardless of their age, as long as someone is willing to buy them an airsoft gun.
Are Airsoft Guns Safer Than BB Guns?
Airsoft guns are much safer than BB guns. There are no recorded deaths from airsoft, and even more serious injuries are extremely rare. On the other hand, there’s a plethora of deaths and injuries caused by BB guns.
After all, airsoft guns are designed to be shot at other people as a part of a game, while BB guns aren’t designed to be shot at people. Also, airsoft guns shoot plastic pellets which are difficult to penetrate a person’s skin. On the other hand, BB guns shoot metal BBs which are much more dangerous.
With all of this being said, when it comes to recreational use, airsoft guns are definitely far safer and more appropriate compared to BB guns.
Does Being Shot by an Airsoft Gun Hurt?
If the above-mentioned rules are followed, being shot by an airsoft pellet shouldn’t be terribly painful. While you will definitely notice being shot, it feels more like a sting, or a pinch. However, the pain level will depend on a lot of factors, such as the velocity of the airsoft pellet that hits you, the distance from which you’re shot, at what body part you’re hit, as well as your pain threshold.
If you’re hit by an airsoft pellet shot from a powerful gun with high velocity, from a short distance, and on exposed skin, then yes, it could hurt and leave a skin bruise that will last a couple of days. You can check out this comprehensive answer to how bad airsoft hurts and how to minimize the pain.
Still, most airsoft fields limit how powerful the guns can be, as well as the distance from which you can shoot. And it’s up to you to cover the skin. So, just follow the safety guidelines and there’s nothing to worry about.
Compared to paintball and especially BB guns, being shot by an airsoft gun is generally less painful.
Airsoft guns are generally safe, on the condition that players follow the safety guidelines, mainly keeping their eyes and face protected, wearing appropriate clothes, treating the airsoft gun as if it were a real one, avoid shooting recklessly, and following the specific guidelines set by the airsoft field they’re playing at.
Apart from the safety rules, in this article we discussed if airsoft guns are deadly, are they safe specifically for children, is being shot by an airsoft gun painful, and how do they compare when it comes to safety to BB guns.
Are CO2 Airsoft Guns Safe?
CO2 airsoft guns are safe if you’re following the safety guidelines. Just as any type of airsoft gun, CO2 guns must comply with the FPS limits set by the airsoft field you’re playing at. So, if the gun is allowed on the airsoft field, a CO2 gun is as safe as other types of airsoft guns.
Can an Airsoft Gun Hurt You?
An airsoft gun can hurt you only if you’re not taking safety precautions. Specifically, they can cause eye injuries and painful skin bruises. These can be easily avoided if the necessary equipment is worn.
What Age Is Appropriate for Airsoft Guns?
There isn’t a single correct answer to the question of at what age is it appropriate for children to start playing with airsoft guns. It doesn’t depend on age alone. What’s much more important is the child’s maturity level since they’re the ones who need to be responsible once on the field.