If you’re indecisive when it comes to choosing a new hobby, this might help you. Finding out whether airsoft or paintball hurts more can be a very powerful decision-maker. Does airsoft hurt more than paintball?
It is actually paintball that hurts more than airsoft. While both games seem very similar, it is the weight and size of a paintball that makes being shot by one hurt more.
If you’ve ever played paintball or airsoft, you’ve experienced the sharp, stinging pain of being pelted by a flying ball of destruction.
It’s no secret that the most painful places to get shot are the eyes, ears, hands, lips, and crotch. But what makes these sports hurt so much? Let’s break it down.
Distance From the Shooter
There is a “no shooting someone within 10ft” rule for a reason. The paintball or airsoft BB will lose speed as it travels. If you’re shot at from a distance, the speed at which you’re hit will have dropped significantly and will hurt far less than being shot at close range.
Paintball is played in closer quarters, so the wind plays a much more important part in airsoft. The wind is going to pull, push, and guide your shot away from where you wanted it to go. Even if your shot manages to reach your target, the pushing and pulling is going to greatly affect the speed, and just like distance, the shot will not hurt as much.
Feet Per Second
The feet per second, or FPS, is the speed your gun fires a paintball or BB. The FPS for paintball guns are between 250-300, and airsoft guns are 350-400. The higher the FPS, the more it is going to hurt when you’re shot. It might be surprising, given how much the shots hurt, but fields will have a rule that your gun has to have an FPS limit to not cause any unnecessary harm.
The Mass of the Paintball or BB
On average, paintballs weigh around 3.0g, whereas BBs weigh .20g to .25g. The heavier the projectile, the more energy potential it carries, and the higher the transfer of energy upon impact. It’s this transfer of energy that results in pain as you physically stop the paintball or BB.
So now you know why these sports hurt, but it was said in the beginning that paintball hurts more. Why?
In general, paintball is played in much closer quarters. Because of the weight of paintballs, they just can’t cross the distances that BBs can in airsoft. Because the paintballs are being shot at a much closer range, you can start to see how paintball hurts more than airsoft.
Paintballs are also much larger than BBs. A BB has a diameter of 6mm, whereas paintballs are 17-18mm. Yes, the BBs are smaller, so you would think the damage from those would be more concentrated and leave a bigger welt.
That isn’t true. Because of how light the BBs are, how far they are shot from, and how quickly they lose their speed, they don’t leave nearly as big a welt as paintballs. The pain from airsoft only lasts a couple of hours.
Paintballs, on the other hand, leave a huge welt. The pain from these can last for days.
A Reddit user perfectly summed up the difference when answering what hurts more, “Paintball because I shot my brother in the neck with an airsoft gun and he laughed. I did it with a paintball gun and he punched me in the face.”
If you’d like to avoid pain altogether in both sports, follow these tips.
Yes, paintballs will hurt more. They’re bigger, they don’t lose as much speed, and they are shot at closer range. But this makes the game so much more fun. Knowing that at any second a paintball can come flying toward you? Thrilling!
If you’re worried about the pain, don’t be. Many of the pain tests are done on bare skin and close range. This isn’t how the game is played, and you won’t be in nearly as much pain as the people who have participated in these tests.
So go have fun, and don’t let the fear of pain stop you!