How Safe is Airsoft? A Comprehensive Guide to Airsoft Gun Safety

Airsoft is a popular recreational activity where participants engage in simulated combat using airsoft guns that shoot plastic BBs. While it can be an exhilarating and enjoyable hobby, safety should always be a top priority.

It’s important to wear safety gear, like eye and face protection, when playing airsoft or is on the designated play zone. Before coming off the field it’s necessary to remove the magazine and clear the Airsoft gun of any BBs that may be trapped in the barrel. Never point the Airsoft gun at anyone in the safe zone or anyone that isn’t playing.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the topic of airsoft gun safety, exploring the potential risks and providing essential tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable airsoft experience.

Understanding Airsoft Guns

Airsoft guns are non-powder guns that closely resemble real firearms. They are available in various models, including pistols, rifles, and shotguns. These guns shoot 6-millimeter plastic BBs, also known as BBs, at targets or other participants.

It’s important to note that airsoft guns are not toys and should be treated with the same level of caution as real firearms.

The Importance of Eye Protection

One of the most critical aspects of airsoft gun safety is the use of proper eye protection. Airsoft BBs can cause serious eye injuries if they strike the eye. It is crucial that the shooter, referee, and any spectators on the field wear protective eyewear specifically designed for airsoft activities.

These are the eye protection I use: Valken V-TAC Tango

To ensure adequate eye protection, look for goggles or glasses that meet the ASTM F1776 safety standards. These standards ensure that the eyewear provides sufficient protection against the impact of airsoft BBs.

Look for an ANSI rating of Z87+, Z87.1 which would indicate an American safety rating, or EN 166 with a letter after it which would indicate a European Safety Rating, you want an F or a B for any EN 166.

Never use eyewear that is not specifically designed for airsoft, such as ski goggles, as they may not offer adequate protection.

Potential Risks of Airsoft Guns

While airsoft guns are generally considered safer than other types of non-powder guns, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks involved. The speed at which airsoft BBs are shot out of the guns can vary, with typical velocities ranging from 250 to 350 feet per second. However, some airsoft guns can be modified to shoot at higher speeds, increasing the risk of injury.

When using airsoft guns, it’s crucial to be mindful of the distance between the shooter and the target. Shooting at close range with high-velocity BBs can cause more significant harm. Always exercise caution and avoid engaging targets at close range to minimize the risk of injury.

Proper Handling and Transportation

Proper handling and transportation of airsoft guns are essential to ensure safety, both for the user and the public. Never take your airsoft gun out in public, as it may be mistaken for a real firearm and lead to unnecessary panic or legal complications.

Always keep your airsoft gun concealed in a gun bag or case when transporting it, with the battery disconnected and the magazine unloaded.

Whether you are transporting your airsoft gun to a local airsoft site or simply moving it from one location to another, responsible gun storage is crucial. By following these guidelines, you can help prevent accidents and maintain a positive image of the airsoft community.

Differentiating Airsoft Guns from Other Non-Powder Guns

It’s important to understand the distinctions between airsoft guns and other non-powder guns, such as BB guns, pellet guns, and paintball guns. While all these guns share similarities, they have different purposes and risks associated with their use.

BB guns and metal pellet guns are not designed to be shot at people and should never be used for airsoft activities. These guns can cause serious harm and are best suited for target shooting or small animal hunting. It is crucial to recognize the potential dangers of these guns and treat them as weapons rather than toys.

Airsoft guns, on the other hand, are specifically designed for simulated combat and shooting at other participants in controlled environments. While they can cause welts on the skin, they are not intended to break the skin. It is important to use protective clothing, such as long sleeves and pants, to minimize the discomfort of being hit by airsoft BBs.

Age Considerations and Parental Responsibility

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not suggest a specific age at which airsoft guns are considered safe for children. Instead, parents should assess their child’s maturity, understanding of the risks involved, and willingness to adhere to safety precautions before allowing them to participate in airsoft activities.

Parents play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of their children when engaging in airsoft. It is essential to educate children about the potential risks, emphasize the importance of wearing proper eye protection, and supervise their activities to prevent any unsafe behavior.

I’ve been to Airsoft games and there are people of all ages. From 10 to over 50, and I have even seen younger children on the field as their parent refed the game. It’s all about understanding and wearing the proper safety equipment.

Creating a Safe Airsoft Environment

To promote a safe airsoft environment, both individual participants and event organizers must take certain precautions. Here are some key steps to ensure safety during airsoft activities:

  1. Establish Clear Safety Rules: Before engaging in airsoft games, ensure that all participants understand and adhere to safety rules. These rules should include wearing eye protection, maintaining a safe distance when shooting, and using appropriate protective gear.
  2. Designate Safe Zones: Designate specific areas as safe zones where participants can remove their eye protection, take breaks, or address any safety concerns. These zones should be clearly marked and easily accessible to all participants.
  3. Communicate Effectively: Clear communication is vital during airsoft games. Use verbal commands or hand signals to indicate when a participant is out of the game or to alert others of potential hazards. Effective communication can prevent accidents and ensure everyone stays safe.
  4. Regular Inspections and Maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain your airsoft guns to ensure they are in proper working condition. Check for any damage or malfunction that could compromise safety. It is also important to clean and lubricate the guns as recommended by the manufacturer.
  5. Educate Participants: Promote safety awareness by educating participants about proper handling, shooting techniques, and safety guidelines. Encourage open discussion and address any concerns or questions regarding safety.


Airsoft can be a thrilling and enjoyable activity when safety is prioritized. By understanding the potential risks associated with airsoft guns and implementing appropriate safety measures, participants can minimize the chances of accidents or injuries.

Remember to always wear proper eye protection, handle, and transport airsoft guns responsibly, and create a safe environment through clear communication and adherence to safety rules. With these precautions in place, you can have a safe and exhilarating airsoft experience.

About the author

Nathan Skoczylas

When I'm not playing Airsoft I enjoy working out, training BJJ, mountain biking, and making music!