What hurts more Paintball or Airsoft? – This Might Surprise You

Airsoft and paintball are two very popular sports that people enjoy playing. There are a lot of people who wonder what hurts more Paintball or Airsoft? What weapons can you use for each game, and What is the best way to protect yourself from pain? Sit back and relax, because all those questions will be answered in this blog post. 

What hurts more Paintball or Airsoft

Paintball and Airsoft have a lot of similarities, both are shooting sports that are played for recreational purposes. Both require shooting your opponent in order to eliminate them. But, the pain caused upon impact can be different in both sports. 

What hurts more Paintball or Airsoft?

In general, Paintballs hurt a lot more than Airsoft. Why? Because, for both Paintball and Airsoft, the amount of pain experienced by the player upon the impact is directly proportional to the mass and velocity of the projectile.

Although the velocity of most paintball guns is capped under 300 FPS as a safety standard. Airsoft, on the other hand, is much smaller than paintball, about 3 times smaller. However, airsoft guns have an average velocity of 400 – 500 FPS. On Comparing both projectiles, we can easily find out that, despite having much less velocity, a paintball carries more energy due to its weight.

However, there are some other factors that can influence the degree of pain you’ll experience. First, is the place of the impact. Being shot in areas that are sensitive is bound to cause pain. The most sensitive areas are the neck, face as well as the crouch and inner thighs.

The second factor is the distance between you and the shooter. The farther you distance yourself from the shooter, the less you’ll be able to feel discomfort. Lastly, the amount of padding or clothing. Naturally, wearing padded clothes or having multiple layers of clothing will help absorb some of the impacts of bbs or paintball.

The difference in Guns – What hurts more Paintball or Airsoft?

Now that you know what hurts more, Paintball or Airsoft, it is important to understand the difference between the guns themselves.

Realism in Airsoft vs Paintball

1. Paintball Guns

Paintball guns are powered by compressed gas, usually CO2 or HPA. The gas is stored in a tank that is attached to the gun. When you pull the trigger, the release valve opens and allows the gas to flow into the chamber. This forces the piston backward which then pushes the paintball out of the barrel at a high velocity.

There are three main types of paintball guns that can be distinguished by their shooting mechanism. To load paintballs into the barrel, pump-action markers use pump action, whereas mechanical and electronic markers use springs and electric power to load paintballs, respectively.

2. Airsoft Guns

Airsoft guns use a small plastic BB as ammunition. These BBs can be fired from pistols, rifles, and even machine guns. The most popular type of airsoft gun is the AEG or Automatic Electric Gun.

AEGs work by using an electric motor to power a piston which then compresses air in a chamber located behind the barrel. This compressed air is then released, firing the BB out of the gun at high speed.

The great thing about AEGs is that they are very reliable and can fire hundreds of rounds per minute without jamming. Airsoft Gun also uses a spring-powered and gas-powered mechanism to propel bbs at high speed.

Size of Ammunition – What hurts more Paintball or Airsoft?

Airsoft vs Paintball - Which one hurts more?

Airsoft and paintball guns shoot ammunition of different sizes. So, which one hurts the most, Paintball or Airsoft? Well, the pain factor can be determined by multiple factors but most importantly the size of the round being fired.

A paintball measures 17mm in diameter and weighs approximately 3.0 grams. On the other hand, an airsoft bb is just 6mm wide and weighs around 0.2 – 0.25 grams. On top of that, Paintballs are bigger and heavier than bbs. However, they also travel slower: around 300 FPS compared to the 400-500 FPS for an airsoft bb.

Since paintballs are 3 times bigger and 10 times heavier than bbs, they require more energy to travel the same distance as compared to airsoft bbs. They also have more kinetic energy which means they can cause more damage on impact. With a speed of 300 FPS, the paintball would have a KE of 12.5 Joules. In contrast, a bb of 6mm will have a KE at 0.84 Joules.

The severity of Injury – What hurts more Paintball or Airsoft?

The slow velocity of paintball guns gives the shooter more time to react when being shot at. What is important, however, is that it takes less energy for a bb to penetrate the skin than for a paintball to do so.

Both airsoft and paintballs are considered safe sports if played properly. What hurts more Paintball or Airsoft will depend on how you play them. A player must avoid shooting in vital areas such as the head, neck, throat, etc.

Wearing safety goggles/paintball masks is also necessary even though both projectiles are non-toxic but eye injuries can occur with either one.

Injuries from paintball guns are more severe because the impact of a paintball is greater than that of an airsoft BB. This is due to the fact that a paintball is larger, has more mass, and travels at a slower speed.

That’s why the welts you get from paintballs are much bigger than that of airsoft and usually take 4-5 days to go away. Airsoft welt, on the other hand, is much smaller and usually fades away the very next day.

How the Gears Affect the Pain?

Paintball and Airsoft, both come with their own safety gears. What hurts more can also be determined by the safety gear you choose to wear.

Paintballs usually require players to wear thick clothing and a full face mask to protect them from the impact of the paintball. In fact, you will barely see any bare skin on a professional paintballer.

In airsoft, it is common for airsoft players to dress in clothing that simulates military uniforms, Instead of prioritizing their protection they go with the aesthetics. Although both airsoft and paintball players use a face mask and gloves. Paintballers go a step ahead by using chest neck and forearm protectors.

Most Painful Places to get shot in Airsoft or Paintball

Now that we know, that paintball usually hit more badly than airsoft. But is it the only factor that determines how much pain will be caused? Definitely not, the place where you get shot has a lot of influence on how much you will be hurt.

1. Face, Head, and Neck

Both airsoft and paintballs can cause severe injuries to the face causing a black eye, bruises, or broken teeth. Due to its size, a bb will penetrate deeper into your skin than a paintball which splatters on impact. That’s why it is important to wear a full face mask when playing airsoft and paintball.

Paintball can also cause injuries to the head if you are not protecting it. A direct hit to the head can result in a concussion or in the worst case, a skull fracture. The neck is also a very vulnerable area and can be easily injured by either type of projectile. A neck protector can be used to avoid any type of paintball or airsoft-related injury.

2. Chest and Fingers

The chest is also a very vulnerable area and can easily be injured by paintballs or bbs. A direct hit to the chest can result in severe bruises or in the worst case, broken ribs. That’s why it is important for players to wear some type of chest protector when playing airsoft or paintball.

Fingers are also at risk when playing either of the two games. The impact of both paintballs and bbs is enough to cause severe discomfort or even dislocation, so be sure to wear gloves when playing paintball or airsoft.

3. Groin and Inner Thighs

This is definitely the most important part of your body that you need to protect when playing airsoft or paintball. A direct hit to the groin can cause a lot of pain and in worst cases, it might even lead to infertility. The inner thighs are also very vulnerable and can easily be injured by either type of projectile. That’s why it is very important to protect both of them.

There are numerous options that exist when it comes to protecting the groin area. The most effective of them is to wear a supporting cup along with a good pair of paintball pants that has extra padding on the thigh and groin area.

Final Words – Wrapping it up

So, What hurts more Paintball or Airsoft? Now that you know the answer, you should also keep in mind that the pain depends on a lot of different factors such as the size and speed of the projectile, the place where you get hit, and most importantly, your safety gears.

Both airsoft and paintball can cause severe pain if you are not adequately protected. That’s why it is very important to wear the right type of gear when playing either game.

The best way to avoid any type of injury is to wear protective clothing from head to toe. So make sure you come prepared before heading out for your next paintball or airsoft match.

Happy Paintballing!


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James Edward

James Edward

James Edward is a paintball enthusiast and an editor at Paintball Beasts. He has years of experience in the industry and is well-known for his work on XtionPaintball, one of the web’s most popular paintball resources.

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