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What is the difference between a BB gun and an airsoft gun

BB guns and airsoft guns are two different types of air guns, and while they might look similar, they have key differences in terms of ammunition, power, and purpose. Here’s a breakdown of the differences:


  • BB Guns: BB guns fire small round metallic projectiles, known as BBs, typically made of steel with a copper or zinc plating, and they’re usually .177 caliber (4.5 mm).
  • Airsoft Guns: Airsoft guns fire plastic pellets that are 6mm or occasionally 8mm in diameter. They are lighter and less harmful than the metallic BBs.



  • BB Guns: BB guns are often used for target shooting and pest control because of their higher power and the ability of their metal BBs to penetrate targets. They can cause serious injury and are not typically used for person-to-person games or skirmishes.
  • Airsoft Guns: Airsoft guns are primarily used in team-based games and tactical training scenarios where players shoot at each other. The lighter, non-metallic BBs used in airsoft guns are much less likely to cause injury, especially when proper protective gear (especially eye protection) is used.



  • BB Guns: BB guns typically have higher velocities and longer range than airsoft guns due to their power systems (often CO2 cartridges or powerful spring systems) and heavier ammunition.
  • Airsoft Guns: Airsoft guns typically shoot at lower velocities suitable for their purpose of safe use in games and training scenarios. They can use different power systems such as springs, gas, or batteries (in the case of electric airsoft guns).



  • BB Guns: BB guns can be dangerous due to their metallic ammunition and higher power. They can potentially break the skin or cause serious eye injury.
  • Airsoft Guns: While injuries can occur, they’re typically minor (like welts or bruises) due to the lower power and lighter weight, non-metallic ammunition. Wearing proper protective gear, particularly eye and face protection, is crucial when participating in airsoft games.


In summary, the main differences revolve around the type of ammunition they use and their purpose: BB guns are more for target shooting and can cause more harm, while airsoft guns are designed for safe person-to-person shooting games.

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