Airsoft vs BB

One of the key differences between a BB gun and an Airsoft gun is that BB guns can be lethal against a human being as they can usually penetrate the human skin. Meanwhile, Airsoft guns are considered pretty much non-lethal because they normally can’t penetrate the skin. That’s the reason why Airsoft guns are ideal for war games, while BB guns are not.

Aside from that, there are several more differences between BB guns and Airsoft guns, such as their level of realism and accuracy, how they perform, how good they are in hunting and pest control, how much they cost, differences in legality, and more…

… all of which we’re going to discuss further below, so keep scrolling!


The Airsoft gun is the winner when it comes to realism, as it’s designed to look as close to a real gun as possible. In fact, it can be a real challenge to most people to be able to tell if the Airsoft gun they’re holding is the real deal or not. It doesn’t help that some Airsoft guns have added weight to them for more realism…

…which is understandable, considering that the entire hobby (Airsoft game) revolves around the gun’s realistic look and functions…

Airsoft guns so closely resemble real firearms to the extent that they’re mandated to have an orange tip at the barrel’s end to distinguish them from the real ones.

Now that’s not to say that BB guns look far from real firearms; it’s just that BB guns generally are built with performance in mind rather than having a realistic aesthetic.


While both BB and airsoft guns can perform equally well, they still differ in some aspects. The type of ammunition used by both guns significantly affects their performance and power.

BB guns can shoot up to 550 FPS, but airsoft guns, generally speaking, can fire at only less than 500 FPS. Yes, high-performance airsoft guns have the ability to fire up to 500 FPS and beyond, even surpassing some high-performance BB guns in velocity, but they will never be lethal because of the difference in ammunition used.

BB guns use metallic BBs, which can penetrate a target effectively even at lower velocities because of their density and small size. There’s also the fact that Airsoft guns have the tendency to lose velocity quickly because of their low mass.

So yes, Airsoft guns may look and feel more realistic, but BB guns have more shooting power.

Pest control

When it comes to the matter of getting rid of the pests in your home or any property, it’s best to do it quickly and get it over and done with. BB guns are simply better for the job than Airsoft guns. 

As mentioned earlier, BB guns can penetrate targets deeper and more effectively, which makes it the more humane choice, as there wouldn’t be any need to torture the target for long.


It depends on what you’re going to use the guns for. If it’s for long-range shooting, there’s no doubt that a BB gun can shoot more accurately, as the ammunition used (lead and steel BB’s) are more resistant to wind and other environmental factors, so it doesn’t lose velocity like Airsoft BBs tend to do.

But if we’re talking close-range shooting, then an Airsoft gun is where it’s at. It also certainly helps that Airsoft guns have a hop-up system that provides excellent accuracy in long-distance shooting.


Comparing the prices of an Airsoft vs BB gun, they don’t really differ from each other much. As with most things, you can find entry-level BB guns at a price range of $12-50, but you have to be prepared to spare extra cash, sometimes as much as a few thousand dollars, if you want more features or the higher-end ones. The same goes for Airsoft guns.

As for their ammunition, steel BBs can be a bit cheaper than Airsoft BBs, but not by much.

Shooting Environment

As we’ve already established by now, BB guns can be much more dangerous to use in comparison to Airsoft guns. Airsoft guns shoot at a lower velocity and use more lightweight ammunition, so they just rebound off the target instead of penetrating.

Combine that with Airsoft guns’ effectiveness in short-range shooting, and they’re a no-brainer choice for both indoor shooting and backyard shooting.

Now, sure, Airsoft guns are relatively safer to use compared to BB guns, but that doesn’t give you a license to fire Airsoft guns at random people or to act in a careless manner. No matter what gun you’re using, always use proper protective measures, such as making sure never to fire an Airsoft gun at a range of less than 10 feet. Also, never forego proper clothing and eye protection (trust us, you don’t want to be shot in the eye). You want to prevent a serious injury as much as possible.


As with pest control, when it comes to hunting, it’s best to go about it in a quick and humane way.

And that’s why…

You’ve guessed it right; the BB gun is the better choice for its power and long-range accuracy. But remember, BB guns should only be used for hunting small animals. Neither a BB gun nor an Airsoft gun can kill larger animals quickly, and it would be unethical to allow them to suffer for a long time.


Although both the BB gun and the Airsoft gun use BBs as ammunition, make no mistake, they are not the same thing at all.

The BBs that are used in BB guns are made of steel or lead and have a measurement of 4.3mm in diameter. Their weight, size, density, and BB gun’s characteristic power can be a deadly combination, so remember to never fire a BB gun on any human or living thing.

Airsoft guns shoot out plastic BB’s, also referred to as Airsoft pellets. They measure 6mm in diameter and don’t have much impact because of their light weight and bigger size (compared to steel BBs).

Airsoft vs BB is written by Brett Lewis for

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