What Happens When You Get Shot in Airsoft?

Although airsoft is generally safe when played responsibly, it is important to understand the consequences and precautions associated with getting shot in this sport.

When you get shot in airsoft:

  1. You will feel a sharp sting from the BB impacting your body or you’ll hear the impact of it hitting your protective gear.
  2. Once you register you’ve been shot you will loudly call, “HIT!”, to notify the opponent they have hit you so they stop shooting you.
  3. Finally, you will put your hand up and periodically yell, “DEAD MAN”, to alert other opponents not to shoot at you as you make your way back to spawn.

In this article, we will explore what happens when you get shot in airsoft and provide valuable information about safety measures and proper gear.

Why Calling HIT is Important in Airsoft

Calling “HIT” in airsoft is the only way to confirm that you have been shot by the opponent. Unlike paintball where the paint explodes on you, Airsoft requires players to be honorable and call “HIT” when they are shot.

Calling “HIT” signals to the opponent that you acknowledge they have shot you so that they”ll stop shooting you.

Once a player calls hit they will either raise their hand, airsoft replica gun, or pull a red kill rag on their head to signify they are dead and out of play. Additionally, it is good practice to periodically call out “DEAD MAN” as you walk back to spawn, although it’s usually not a requirement.

If the game is using a reviving system, everything remains the same, except instead of walking back to spawn you kneel down with your hand, airsoft replica gun, or red kill rag on your head. Then, to alert your team that you are in need of reviving, yell out, “MEDIC”!

Understanding the Impact of Airsoft BBs

Airsoft BBs are small projectiles made of plastic, typically ranging from 6mm to 8mm in diameter. When fired from an airsoft gun, these BBs can travel at speeds varying from 200 to 500 feet per second (fps) depending on the type of gun and its power source.

Upon impact, the force exerted by the BB can cause varying degrees of pain, discomfort, and potential injury.

The Force of Impact

The force of impact when an airsoft BB hits the body is influenced by several factors, including the distance from the shooter, the type of gun used, the power of the gun, and the part of the body hit.

Learn more about the FPS and Joules of BB’s with our Comprehensive Guide to FPS and Joules

The closer the shooter is to the target, the higher the force of impact will be. Additionally, guns with higher power can propel the BBs at greater speeds, increasing the force upon impact. The body part hit also plays a role, as certain areas may be more sensitive or vulnerable to injury.

Pain Sensation

When struck by an airsoft BB, players typically experience a sharp stinging sensation or a momentary discomfort similar to a small pinch. The level of pain can vary depending on individual pain tolerance and the factors mentioned earlier.

However, it is important to note that the pain is usually tolerable and fades away relatively quickly. In fact, some players even find the sensation to be an integral part of the thrill and experience of the game.

Potential Injury

While airsoft BBs are designed to be non-lethal, they can still cause injuries under certain circumstances. The most common injuries associated with airsoft include bruising and welts.

Bruising occurs when the impact of the BB causes blood vessels to break under the skin, leading to discoloration and tenderness.

Welts, on the other hand, are raised areas on the skin caused by the forceful impact of the BB. These injuries are more likely to occur when shots are fired from close distances or high-powered guns.

Safety Measures to Minimize Pain and Injury

To ensure a safe and enjoyable airsoft experience, it is essential to follow a few key safety measures:

Wear Protective Gear: Always wear appropriate protective gear, including eye protection, face masks, gloves, and clothing that covers exposed skin. This gear helps minimize the risk of injuries and provides a layer of protection against BB impacts.

Maintain Safe Distances: Respect the minimum engagement distances set by the game organizers or field rules to reduce the risk of injuries. These distances are determined to ensure that BBs do not cause harm when fired at close range.

Communication: Establish clear communication with other players and follow the agreed-upon rules and signals to avoid potential accidents. Effective communication helps prevent misunderstandings and promotes a safer playing environment.

Handle Guns Responsibly: Treat airsoft guns as if they were real firearms. Never point them at anyone not playing the game and observe proper gun safety practices at all times. This includes keeping the gun on safety when not in use and only firing in designated areas.

Know the Rules: Familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations of the airsoft field or event you are participating in. Obeying these rules helps maintain a safe environment for all players and minimizes the risk of accidents or injuries.

The Importance of Proper Gear

Investing in high-quality airsoft gear not only enhances your performance but also provides additional protection against potential injuries. Here are some essential gear items to consider:

Eye Protection: Full-seal goggles or a paintball-style mask with impact-rated lenses are recommended to protect your eyes from BB impacts. These should fit securely and snugly to prevent any gaps that could expose the eyes to injury.

Face Protection: A full-face mask or a lower-face mask combined with goggles provides comprehensive protection for the face. Choose masks that are designed to withstand BB impacts and ensure a proper fit for maximum safety.

Clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and sturdy footwear to reduce the risk of skin abrasions and potential injury. Additionally, consider wearing clothing made of durable materials that can withstand the impact of BBs.

Gloves: Gloves help protect your hands from BB impacts and provide a better grip on your airsoft gun. Look for gloves that offer padding or reinforcement in areas that are most likely to be hit by BBs.

Headgear: Depending on your preference and the intensity of the game, wearing a helmet or a hat can provide additional protection for your head. These items can help reduce the risk of head injuries and provide added peace of mind during gameplay.

Eye and Facial Injuries

One of the most critical safety concerns in airsoft is the risk of eye and facial injuries. The eyes are extremely vulnerable to BB impacts and can suffer severe damage if proper protective gear is not worn.

It is crucial, and required, to always wear appropriate eye protection such as full-seal goggles or a paintball-style mask specifically designed for airsoft. These protective measures significantly reduce the risk of eye injuries and should be considered an absolute necessity.

Eye Protection

When it comes to eye protection in airsoft, full-seal goggles or a paintball-style mask with impact-rated lenses are highly recommended. These types of goggles or masks provide comprehensive coverage for the eyes and ensure that BBs cannot penetrate or reach the delicate eye area.

These goggles are the eye-pro you’ll see people using on the field, including me!

It is essential to choose eye protection that fits securely and snugly to prevent any gaps or openings that could potentially expose the eyes to injury.

Facial Protection

Although it’s not required, facial protection is essential in airsoft to prevent injuries to the face – especially the teeth!

A full-face mask or a lower-face mask combined with goggles provides comprehensive protection for the face, including the nose, mouth, and cheeks.

These masks are designed to withstand the impact of BBs and provide a barrier of protection against potential injuries. It is important to choose masks that fit properly and comfortably to ensure maximum protection.


Getting shot in airsoft can be uncomfortable and may result in minor injuries such as bruising and welts. However, by following safety measures, wearing proper protective gear, and playing responsibly, the risk of serious injury can be significantly reduced.

Remember to prioritize safety at all times and enjoy the thrilling experience that airsoft has to offer!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are airsoft BBs made of?
A: Airsoft BBs are small plastic projectiles typically ranging from 6mm to 8mm in diameter.

Q: How does the force of impact when getting shot in airsoft depend on?
A: The force of impact depends on factors such as the distance from the shooter, the type and power of the gun used, and the part of the body hit.

Q: What kind of injuries can airsoft BBs cause?
A: Airsoft BBs can cause injuries such as bruising and welts, especially when shots are fired from close distances or high-powered guns.

Q: What protective gear is recommended to prevent eye and facial injuries in airsoft?
A: Full-seal goggles or a paintball-style mask with impact-rated lenses are highly recommended for eye protection, while a full-face mask or a lower-face mask combined with goggles provide comprehensive facial protection.

About the author

Nathan Skoczylas

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