How Dangerous Are Airsoft Guns? The Facts Explained

Although many people make use of their airsoft guns, many still wonder if it’s the right thing for them to do. In essence, most people are confused as to whether airsoft guns are dangerous or not. What are the facts about these guns?

Airsoft guns can be very dangerous, depending on how you use them. Wrong use of airsoft guns can lead to bodily harm, such as eye injuries. There is also the risk of injury, should a police officer mistake your airsoft for a gun. To avoid these dangers, always observe basic safety precautions.

Here, we take a look at potential dangers that may result from the use of airsoft guns and then the precautions you have to take to avoid these dangers so that you can use your airsoft guns without any skirmishes.

The Dangers Of Airsoft Guns

Experts don’t seem to have come to a consensus as to whether airsoft guns are dangerous or not. 

On the one hand, there’s the claim that airsoft guns are harmful and should be avoided as much as possible, especially for kids. Some go as far as stating that airsoft guns are wrongly named and that calling them “airsoft” is “terribly misleading“. 

According to these experts, airsoft guns are better described as “weapons“.

On the other hand, there are a group of others that support it. Airsoft guns aren’t inherently dangerous, but merely toys meant for recreation. However, despite this fact, airsoft guns, by nature, have a significantly greater tendency to bring about accidents that can cause a wide range of harm to their victims. 

Both in design and performance, the differences between toy guns, such as airsoft and BB guns, and action rifles, are minimal.

Shots fired from airsoft guns can cover significant expanses of land. The typical airsoft gun can shoot between 400 and 700 ft per second (141.9 and 213.4 m). This wide range indicates that for long distances, they can still do a lot of harm.

In addition, airsoft guns can shoot at considerably high velocity and with a lot of force. This means even if they hit any human or animal far away, they can still have some impact.

As a result of the above factors and more, airsoft guns can lead to danger. 

Risks Associated With Airsoft Guns

We already know that airsoft guns are dangerous. The question that often comes up next is, “What are the risks of airsoft guns?”. Ofcourse there are the immediate concerns of bodily injuries, but what about social and legal risks?

In essence, the risks can range from mild bruises to significantly severe injuries. It all depends on the particular circumstances of such an accident. However, let’s run through some common risks that may result from the careless use of airsoft guns.

The risks listed here are some of the most common risks. But, as with any sport, airsofting can be even riskier than what is mentioned in this article.

1. Eye Injuries

Many cases of injuries arising from the use of airsoft guns affect the eyes, which is a result of the fact that many airsoft gun enthusiasts aim at the head when shooting.

These headshots can end up hitting the eye of the targeted person, leading to a possible array of harm, and can lead to severe scratching and itching of the eyes. Sometimes, victims have blood pooling in their eyes, which can be seriously painful.

In cases of shots from close range to the eyes, there may be severe damage such as dislocation of the lens or even partial or total blindness.

2. Skin

Similar to eye injuries, the skin is also vulnerable to hits from airsoft guns, although it’s less risky than the eyes. Nevertheless, it can lead to a varying amount of discomfort for whoever is hit. For instance, there can be mild lesions and skin irritations.

However, if shot at a shorter range and at high velocity, the skin can be bruised or lacerated. For instance, there may be cuts.

Other areas of the body that may be affected include the ears, teeth, and the entire face.

3. Social Dangers

While this might not be the typical form of danger you might expect, airsoft guns can also be dangerous in that they put you at risk in public. By design, airsoft guns bear a lot of similarities with assault rifles that most casual observers might not be able to tell the difference.

As such, if you have people around who know little about such guns, there might be serious issues. 

You might carry your airsoft gun innocently in public, and everyone else starts to stare at you weirdly. Some might begin to panic and resort to alerting law enforcement agents.

Unfortunately, it’s not only ordinary civilians who can have problems with telling airsoft guns from rifles. Law enforcement officers also have this problem, which has led to very disastrous incidents. In only two years, police officers throughout the United States have accidentally killed over 80 people just because these victims brandished toys such as airsoft guns.

Despite the variety of dangers that airsoft guns can lead to, it’s improbable that airsoft injuries become fatal. 

If there is ever any case of death, it surely will not directly result from the airsoft gun and will most likely be due to complications that ensue from it, or as in the case with the police, ignorance. 

Even so, the accident must have been severe.

Video: Airsoft Injuries

How To Protect Yourself From the Dangers of Airsoft Guns

Airsoft guns are generally safe, but one mistake or another can lead to unpleasant consequences. To this end, you must observe a number of precautions both during use and when not in use. 

Let’s now discuss some essential safety tips.

1. Wear Protective Gear

You’ll need to wear protective gear when using your airsoft gun to protect vulnerable parts of your body from harm from the airsoft pellets.

The most danger might arise from shots to the eye, so you’ll need to wear goggles. Apart from getting hit by shots from others, you can also get hurt from your shots. There is the tendency for shots from high-velocity guns to bounce back at you if they hit a hard object. 

Such accidents are more common in shooting ranges.

To protect your head and face, you’ll need to wear a helmet with a protective mask. You don’t want to have serious pain or injuries anywhere near your head. Other body parts should also be covered with protective clothing to prevent the pellets from piercing skin.

2. Confine Using your Airsoft Guns to Designated Areas

Another effective way to avoid endangering yourself and everyone else is to restrict your use of your airsoft gun to areas that are meant for its use. 

These areas typically include the shooting range and an open recreational arena with the requisite facilities in place. Never should you consider using your airsoft gun in places with a considerable number of people around. 

Also, you should restrict its use in and around the home.

3. Use “Safer” Guns

Airsoft guns come in different shapes, sizes, and specifications, which means you get many options to choose from. However, although you desire maximum fun, I strongly recommend that you go for slightly safer guns to protect yourself and others. 

The guns being referred to here are those which feature moderate specifications. For instance, FPS (feet per second) guns with a maximum of 400 FPS (121.9 m per second) are considerably safer than those with anything more than that.

It’s recommended that the shooting range of your gun be limited to around 100ft (30.5m) so that they don’t cause harm to persons or animals stationed far away.

The guns should also have moderate velocity, not too low to spoil the fun, but not too high so as to keep everyone safe. Lower velocity means that shots from the gun do not hit their targets with an extreme force strong enough to harm.

Nevertheless, while using these safe guns, you should still observe all other safety precautions, such as putting on the right protective gear.

4. Observe Basic Safety Procedures

One of the most effective ways to ensure safety while having fun with your airsoft gun is to be a “good” player yourself. 

Such expertise entails being responsible at your game and taking precautions to avoid making decisions that you know will put others in the way of harm. For instance, you should never knowingly aim at another person in the head region.

Also, whenever you find a group of people or animals in a particular area, you should completely avoid firing towards that area. This precaution is because while you may not aim at any person or object, in particular, you might end up accidentally hitting one in the most dangerous of places.

Apart from taking precautions to ensure you don’t cause harm to others, you should also ensure you observe basic safety precautions aimed at keeping you safe as well. For instance, you should never look down towards the barrel whenever you’re handling the gun. 

Then, always keep the weapon in safe mode until you want to put it to use.

Furthermore, you should keep your finger out of the trigger section when not in use as much as possible. You should only do so when you’re about to aim at your target.

In short, you should treat your gun as if it’s a real loaded gun. 

5. Don’t Brandish Airsoft Guns in Public

Many members of the public don’t know a lot about airsoft guns enough to tell them apart from firearms. However, even members of law enforcement have a problem identifying these toy guns.

Because of this, you’ll want to avoid displaying your airsoft guns in the public space and confine their use or exposure to the shooting range, or at best, in your home.

You don’t want a case where people start to call law enforcement when they see you with your toy rifle in public. You also avoid altercations with law enforcement because a number of those altercations in the past have had unsavory endings. 

While this removes a lot of the “fun”, it sure helps to guarantee your safety.

Another reason that you should keep your airsoft gun at home or in your vehicle when not in use is that you might start a panic among an unsuspecting public. Someone might have a real gun and decide to use it on you in response to your airsoft gun. 

It’s best to keep it hidden for the most part.

6. Know the Law

Some states have regulations regarding the use of airsoft and other play rifles. It’s essential that you educate yourself on their provisions, so you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

For instance, in some states, carrying these toy guns in public is explicitly illegal.

In other states, having an airsoft gun in public isn’t illegal, but brandishing the firearms in a way that suggests that it’s a real firearm can be considered illegal. Thus in these states, you should never consider “scaring” or “pranking” anyone.

In other states, airsoft guns that are allowed for use are those that meet specific physical specifications, such as having trademarks or orange-tipped barrels.

7. Insurance

We can’t always foresee the future, and despite the safety precautions, unexpected events still happen. However, you can be prepared, at least financially, by taking on a family insurance policy that includes family fun and entertainment insurance. 

With this policy, your family members will have their medical and other bills related to accidents resulting from fun activities such as airsoft gun use. 

Some policies may also cover third parties if you cause such accidents.

Final Thoughts

The airsoft gun is a source of plenty of fun and will always offer you an enjoyable experience. However, there are always chances of accidents. To prevent these, you should take essential safety precautions, just as I have explained here.

Start implementing them so that you can enjoy your airsoft gun.

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