How dangerous are airsoft guns?
Airsoft has been around since the early 1980s and has since then become one of the top recreational sports in the world. It is a combat-simulation game wherein two opposing teams are required to shoot at each other using airsoft guns filled with tiny plastic pellets fired at 300 feet per second.
For people who aren't familiar with airsoft, it can seem innocent enough. But if you're a parent and you find out that your child has taken an interest in airsoft, it's good to keep a close eye on them. Before you let them continue developing this hobby, you need to be aware of the risks that come with it.
In this article, we are going to walk you through all the safety concerns related to airsoft guns. We will also answer the frequently asked questions about the risks of airsoft and help you decide whether or not they are dangerous for your kids.
Does getting shot by airsoft guns hurt?
What every airsoft player needs, aside from the airsoft gun, is complete protective gear. All players are required to wear full safety gear while playing to avoid getting hurt by airsoft pellets — because getting shot by airsoft or pellet guns definitely hurts!
It obviously doesn't hurt as much as a real bullet or those metal bb pellets they use in daisy guns, but it can cause some harm to your body. That is why players are always reminded to wear full airsoft gear. Some essential airsoft safety gear includes:
- eye protection
- face protection
- ear protection
- groin protection
- body armor
- knee and elbow pads
What are the common injuries people get from an airsoft gun?
When playing with airsoft guns, there are also a lot of safety rules and precautions that need to be followed. Airsoft field players are taught to treat airsoft guns like real guns and even use the same gun safety rules. Luckily, unlike real guns, airsoft guns are non-lethal, but they can do just enough damage to cause severe injuries under the right (or, perhaps wrong) circumstances.
Tens of thousands of children are brought to the emergency room for various injuries caused by non-powder firearms such as airsoft guns, pellet guns, bb guns, and paintball guns every single year.
Out of 100,000 children, 19 are injured by airsoft guns. 87% of these children are male, 47% are between the ages of six and 12 years old, and another 47% are between 13 to 17 years old.
This just goes to show that an airsoft gun should never be treated as a toy and should never be handled by children below 18 years old, even if there are parents around.
That said, here are some of the most common airsoft gun-related injuries are:
The number of eye injuries from airsoft and bb guns has been rising since the 1990s, and the statistics show that the percentage is much higher today, around 30% higher.
Corneal abrasions are the most common form of eye injury that players get from an airsoft gun. It occurs when the player isn't wearing proper eye protection, and the airsoft pellets scratch the surface of your cornea.
It may not sound like a big deal, but corneal abrasions are actually very painful — most eye injuries are. That's because our corneas have many nerve cells or pain receptors. In fact, they have one hundred times more pain receptors than our skin.
The second most common eye injury is called a hyphema. Hyphema occurs when blood collects in the front of your eye. No, not on the white part of your eyeball, but in between the cornea and the iris.
Hyphema may spread all over the iris and pupil (the dark circle in the middle of your eye) and result in a temporary loss of vision. Failure to get it treated immediately may cause permanent loss of sight.
Next would be a globe rupture or an open globe injury. It occurs when the airsoft pellet penetrates the eyeball with such force that it causes the globe of your eyeball to rupture. It is considered an ophthalmologic emergency and requires immediate surgery. Without immediate medical attention, it can also cause permanent loss of eyesight.
Bruises and Welts
Bruises and welts are nothing new to most airsoft players. If you get shot by an airsoft gun on bare or minimally protected skin you are most likely to come home with some bruises and welts here and there.
Don't take it lightly, bruises and welts are painful and they can stay on your body for weeks. Not only do they hurt, but they are pretty unsightly, too. If you don't treat them properly at home they can even get infected and cause a series of other problems.
Make sure to clean the injured site with soap and warm water after coming home from a game. In case it gets infected you may have to consult a doctor to see if they can prescribe some antibiotics.
To help get rid of the bruises faster place a cold compress on the bruised spots. If they're all over your body, treat yourself to an ice-cold bath. You can even add some Epsom bath salts which are said to contain magnesium that helps tone down the swelling and helps your tissues heal faster.
Airsoft pellets, although made of plastic, are hard enough and shot fast enough to chip, crack, or even cause you to lose a tooth.
The damage can vary between breaking off a tiny piece of your tooth or it may result in knocking the entire tooth out. But if you aren't so lucky and the inner pulp of your teeth gets exposed it can be a very painful and annoying experience.
It might not be common knowledge but our teeth actually contain plenty of nerves as well. That's why when you bite down on ice cream or drink something too hot, your teeth feel sensitive.
If you don't get a broken tooth extracted or fixed at the dentist it may cause the pulp inside your tooth to rot and get infected. That's when annoying pain can turn into excruciating pain.
Embedded Airsoft Pellets
The pellets from air soft guns may even embed into your skin if shot from a close enough distance. The problem is some people don't realize that an airsoft pellet is even embedded in their skin.
Airsoft pellets are usually around 6mm to 8mm. There have been cases of people not realizing the pellets are embedded into their flesh because of how small they are. Sometimes, they leave almost no signs of an entry wound. This leads the person in question to assume that it's just a welt and only find out it's stuck inside when it starts to feel painful and get worse over time.
There was a case study in 2014 involving a 25-year-old man from the United Kingdom. It was reported that he got shot in the cheek during an airsoft game. After 20 hours, he felt pain on his left cheek and it was found that there was a mass underneath the skin, but showed zero signs of an entry wound.
It's a common misconception that pellets from airsoft guns aren't capable of penetrating a person's flesh. But this case study found that a 6 mm pellet shot at a velocity of 325fps can penetrate the skin quite similar to that of a 4.5mm steel pellet used in bb guns.
Are airsoft guns illegal?
Not all countries have the same laws about airsoft guns. In most of the states in America and Canada, airsoft guns are considered toys. Some states allow all ages to carry and own an airsoft gun while others are strictly 18 and above only.
In countries such as Australia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Switzerland airsoft guns are either illegal or heavily restricted.
Australia considers airsoft guns illegal because a majority of them are capable of fully automatic fire and resemble sub-machine guns and pistols. They are considered real guns if the airsoft shoots at an fps higher than 175. Most airsoft guns shoot at around 300fps to even as high as 500fps.
They also state that they do not want to allow their citizens to participate in "war games" and airsoft guns should be considered undesirable due to their militaristic appearance.
In China, airsoft isn't banned, but they are heavily restricted, and the punishments for breaking their restrictions are also quite heavy. Similar to Australia, they do not like that airsoft is a "war game". If the airsoft gun shoots at an fps higher than 234, the air soft gun is then considered a real gun.
Hong Kong considers airsoft as toys as long as the muzzle energy is below two joules. Guns that have muzzle energy exceeding two joules are considered real guns which need to be registered. Carrying such airsoft without a license is illegal.
Korea considers airsoft as toys and not weapons, but it is still illegal. Especially if the airsoft looks very similar to a real gun and there is a high probability of it being used for crime.
It is also illegal if the pellet is bigger than 5.7mm and if they are heavier than 0.2 g. Most airsoft bbs are 6mm to 8mm and can be 0.12g, 0.2g, or 0.46g.
Switzerland doesn't ban airsoft but they do consider them weapons. They cannot be sold or owned by anyone below 18 years old or if they have a criminal conviction. One person can only own up to three guns, all registered, and the registration is only valid for six months.
What's a great alternative to airsoft guns that is safe and fun for the entire family?
There are just so many risks when it comes to playing with airsoft and bb guns — no wonder some countries consider it illegal. They are certainly not the innocent toys a lot of people will lead us to believe they are. If your children are starting to take interest in airsoft you might need to warn them of the possible dangers of playing with these guns.
Of course, you wouldn't want to ruin all the fun and you still want to find a way to make your kids happy. Well, you don't have to worry about ruining anything. Meet Gel Blaster! The #1 alternative to airsoft guns that is 100% fun and has zero percent risks!
The Gel Blaster Surge works just like an airsoft. These fun guns are fully automatic and they can shoot to a range of up to 100 feet. But instead of shooting plastic pellets as you would with airsoft, they shoot gel pellets or Gellets made of biodegradable super-absorbent polymers or SAP!
Gellets are made from all-natural starch that is non-toxic, pet-friendly, and eco-friendly. They are filled with water that burst on impact and evaporates almost immediately. So you can play indoors and outdoors without worrying about cleaning up after the game.
Customize Your Gel Blaster To Truly Be Your Own!
Another fun thing about Gel Blasters is that they're highly customizable. Choose from a variety of fins and barrel colors and match the color of your Gellets to your Gel Blaster Surge. Pick from yellow, orange, blue, green, purple, or transparent. You can even mix and match the colors to fit your own personality!
But you know what the greatest part about Gel Blaster is? It's that they don't hurt at all! You don't have to worry about these leaving any bruises or welts on your body because the Gellets are so soft. Enjoy a game of Gel Blaster with the entire family without the risk of hurting anybody, especially your kids!
Grab a Gel Blaster today and get ready to have some fun without the risk of pain and injuries! Invite your friends and family to join you by purchasing two Gel Blasters for 5% less, or purchase four Gel Blasters and get 10% off your total purchase!
Each Gel Blaster already comes with interchangeable blue and orange fins and barrels, 3000 rounds of orange Gellets, 3000 rounds of blue Gellets, a USB C charger and cable, and a pair of safety goggles!
Gel Blasters are truly an innovation. You get to have the same thrill that airsofts give without all the fuss about it looking like a real gun. You don't have to worry about being seen as a threat or getting into any legal mishaps. Plus you can carry the Gel Blaster Surge in public and play freely in your backyard without raising any concerns.
All you have to worry about now is when your first Gel Blaster tournament will be!