Can airsoft penetrate skin? & How deep does it Go?

There are hundreds of videos of guys unloading an Airsoft gun on bare skin and the one thing that usually accompanies these videos are funny moments of wincing in pain from the sting especially when shot from up close. The question you may, therefore, asked yourself is, can airsoft penetrate the skin? I did some research on this topic and here is what I found:

Can airsoft penetrate skin? Yes. When an Airsoft gun is shot from a close distance and with enough velocity, it will penetrate the skin. However, stock airsoft guns don’t have enough velocity to get deep enough into the skin to cause serious damage. So, though getting hit hard enough by a bb to penetrate skin will really sting, it’s not enough to take you to a hospital. In this post, I will dig deeper into what it feels like to get shot by an Airsoft gun for it to penetrate the skin.

Can Airsoft penetrate skin?

Airsoft BBs shot from standard unmodified airsoft guns travel at between 300-450 feet per second. At this speed the most damage they usually cause is a welt when they are aimed at bare skin. The welt hurts and leaves a bump since blood has collected under the skin. But this is not penetration of skin.

However, there are rare occasions when an Airsoft BB can penetrate skin. This is when an the airsoft gun is shot from close up and aimed at soft parts of the body like the face. The gun also needs to be shooting at a really high fps to penetrate the skin.

How deep does an airsoft bb penetrate skin

In the rare occasions when an Airsoft gun shoots hard enough to penetrate skin, the bb would not pass through all the layers of skin. It generally should be a minor wound that would not necessitate a visit to the hospital

Getting hit on a sensitive part like the throat might cause injury but not due to the bb penetrating the skin. it would be more of the impact of the bb hitting the throat.

Will you bleed when an airsoft bb penetrates your skin?

You generally don’t expect to bleed from an Airsoft BB penetrating the skin. You may draw a few drops of blood from the few veins on the deeper layers of skin but the impact to not be big enough to reach an artery or cause any serious injury.

Can an airsoft gun cause serious injury

You can sustain serious injury if you are hit by a bb in the eye. Your eye is the last place you want an Airsoft BB to hit you. These are the most sensitive parts of your body when you’re playing airsoft and should be guarded by all means. wearing full seal impact rated goggles will help with this.

If an airsoft BB hits your eye, it will penetrate and cause either temporary or the more likely, permanent vision loss.

What can I do to prevent airsoft from penetrating skin

As discussed earlier, an Airsoft gun will only penetrate the skin when shot from close distances, and with a higher than usual fps.  For this reason, to prevent an Airsoft BB from penetrating your skin, you need to:

  • Increase the distance between you and a hot airsoft gun
  • Ensure that soft and sensitive parts of your body like throat and face are covered using something like a Shemagh.
  • Ensure you have full seal impact tested goggles on at all times during an Airsoft game.
  • If you have a hot airsoft gun ( a gun that is shooting more than usual fps), keep a large minimum engagement distance to protect others from being hurt by your gun.
  • Ensure that you play in fields that have strict rules on fps limits. This will help you be sure that all the players are shooting acceptable fps and no player is using a modified airsoft gun that is likely to cause injury.
  • Don’t play around with your gun outside of the field. Treat your airsoft gun like you would a firearm. This will reduce the chances of the gun unloading on someone unexpectedly and at close enough proximity to cause skin breakage or even worse, loss of eyesight.

What to wear to airsoft that doesn’t hurt

Airsoft bb’s only hurt when they hit you on the bare skin or light clothing . You therefore want to wear something that will cover up as much skin as possible and it needs to be thick enough to prevent heavy impact on your skin when your hit by a bb.

Pair of Jeans and a sweatshirt

A basic pair of jeans and and a long-sleeved sweatshirt will do a good job of padding you from bb’s.


Another thing you may want to do is get a pair of gloves to protect your hands. Your airsoft gun will be one of the first things that will be seen when you are shooting from a corner. This means that it will be a target most of the times and your hands will get hit quite a lot in the process. This is the main reason why loves would be a good idea.

Enquire if the feel you will be playing at rents out gloves  to know if you need to buy a pair or not.

You can read more about what to wear to an airsoft game in this article  that I wrote address doing some research on the topic.