What FPS Airgun Will Hurt? Here Are the Facts

Airsoft guns are a lot of fun, and playing with them simulates the feeling of being on an actual battlefield. That’s down to how authentic they look and feel. But if you get shot with one, will it hurt, and is there a specific FPS Airgun that hurts the most?

A 500+ FPS will result in the most pain and injuries, but remember that the higher the FPS, the more painful the effects will be. So, a 400-500 FPS will break the skin, causing tissue and even minor bone damage, but lower FPS airgun injuries can range from poking to a mild stinging sensation.

Curious about how it feels to be shot by different types of FPS? Below, you’ll learn more about the impact of the FPS (among many other factors) on the body.

How Getting Hit With an Airgun Feels

There’s a reason why the FPS is capped in the airgun arena – getting hit by a BB or paintball will hurt. 

For one, the gun’s FPS is one of the most significant contributors to this painful sensation. The faster the velocity, the more hurt you’ll feel. 

You can liken it to being hit by a car. The faster the vehicle is moving; the more devastating the impact will be. 

For the purposes of explanation, let’s pretend you entered the airgun shooting range without wearing any protective gear. Here’s what you’ll feel when you get hit with a projectile:

  • 100-200 FPS: A poking sensation.
  • 200-250 FPS: A stinging sensation.
  • 250-300 FPS: A painful welt (given that the shooter is from 60 feet (18.28 m), using a 0.20 g (0.007 oz) BB).
  • 300-350 FPS: A strong, painful sensation leading to a welt – that is, if the shooter is 50 feet (15.24 m) away from you. In some cases, this FPS range can also pierce the skin. It’s one of the reasons why indoor ranges limit the FPS to 350 and below.
  • 350-400 FPS: A golf ball-sized welt, mainly if the airgun is shot from a near distance.
  • 400-500 FPS: A skin break, even damage to the tissue and small bones (especially if they fire the gun less than 50 feet (15.24 m) from you.) Remember, this velocity can quickly pierce through plastic.
  • 500+ FPS: Severe pain and penetrating injuries. Painful as painful can be!
Video: Air Gun Extreme Power Mod

Other Factors That Affect Airgun Impact

Apart from the FPS, many other factors contribute to the pain you feel after the shot. Again, just like being hit by a car, the distance, weight, and material can contribute (or reduce) damage. 

Below, you’ll learn how the shooter’s distance, impact area, BB weight & make – even protective gear – contribute to the post-shooting pain. 

Shooter’s Distance

The nearer you are to the shooter, the more painful the hit will be. 

Even if the shooter only has a 200 FPS gun, the damage is worse if he shoots it from a point-blank range.

But if it’s shot further, all you’ll feel is more or less a poking sensation. 

This effect is one of the reasons why the ‘bang’ ruling is in effect. If you’re going to shoot somebody within four meters, you need to call out ‘bang.’ It’s your way of telling them that you’ve engaged and you’re about to hit them. 

Impact Area

There are sensitive areas in the body that hurt more when shot. Such is the case if you’ve been hit on the face, eye, neck, fingers, or groin. 

You’ll also feel some pain if the bullet hits your bare skin. It’s one of the reasons why you need to wear protective gear when you play. 

In sensitive areas, the pain you’ll feel will be more severe than being hit on the hands, back, or feet. 

BB Weight and Make

BBs weigh anywhere from 0.12 g to 0.40 g (0.004 oz to 0.014 oz). So naturally, the heavier the projectile is, the more pain you’ll feel. 

Let’s say your opponent’s BB weight is 0.2 grams (0.007 oz) – and the gun is 350 FPS. The resulting energy (measured in joules) is 1.13.

But if their BB weight is 0.4 grams (0.014 oz), the energy expended by the gun will increase to 2.26 joules. 

The fact of the matter is most high-FPS guns use heavier BBs. They’re a good combination, for the high FPS will help the projectile fly straight – no matter how strong the wind is. 

The only problem is this combination will hurt you more, primarily if the gun is shot at a closer range. 

Just like the BB’s weight, the bullet’s make can affect the shot as well. For example, BBs with copper coating will inflict more damage than plastic ones. When fired in a 400-500 FPS gun, this BB can penetrate the skin – even shatter some small bones. 

Protective Gear

As I’ve mentioned earlier, wearing protective gear can help reduce the pain of a BB shot. Eye and ear protection are essential, mainly because these areas are quick to injure. 

Add to that; eye gear will help shield your eyes from the gasses emitted during the game. The same goes for ear protection, which will help protect your ears from popping noises. 

It’s also good to use a full or partial face mask during the game. 

As for clothing, a long-sleeved top and pants are recommended. While it may be tempting to wear a short-sleeved top and shorts during the summer, you may end up with a lot of bruises and welts at the end of the game.

It will also help to invest in helmets, neck guards, and some soft armor, especially if you bruise easily. 

A pair of gloves will come in handy too. They can protect your hands while you’re shooting and moving barricades.

Video: FPS Explained


The higher the FPS, the more painful the shot will be. For example, a 500+ FPS gun will leave you in severe pain, while a 100-200 FPS gun will only cause a poking sensation. 

The FPS, however, is not the only factor that will hurt you. The nearer the shooter or the heavier the BB, the more painful the projectile will be. 

The shot will also feel more severe if it hits your eyes, ears, face, neck, and groin. As such, it will help to wear protective clothing whenever you shoot with friends.