Can Airsoft Shoot Metal BBs

Airsoft man in uniform, move with machine gun on yellow forest backdrop
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If you’re new to airsoft guns, there’s probably a lot of questions that you’re asking yourself right now on how to operate your airsoft safely. Let’s take a look at a few of the most pressing questions, along with a quick guide on the dos and don’ts of airsoft guns.

What is an Airsoft Gun?

An airsoft gun is a very low-velocity and non-lethal weapon. While they bear a resemblance to real guns, airsoft guns are used in airsoft sports, utilizing incredibly light (.12 to .45 grams) and very small (6 to 8mm) plastic BBs. Airsoft guns are great fun for target shooting and outdoor play, as well as specific sports that utilize airsoft guns.

Airsoft Safety Rules

While airsoft guns are non-lethal, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t risks involved. Much like real guns, airsoft guns come with their own set of safety rules that have to be followed.

Always wear your safety eyewear when playing with an airsoft gun. There’s a chance of ricochet, and those small plastic BBs can easily cause damage to the face and eyes.

Point the gun in a safe direction. Don’t ever point your airsoft gun at someone’s body or face. Always be aware of where the muzzle of your gun is facing, even if you’re not shooting.

Never put the barrel up to your face! Just like with a real gun, don’t attempt to look down the barrel of your airsoft gun just in case it goes off or you accidentally pull the trigger.

Make sure to always handle your airsoft gun as if it is both loaded and a real gun. Just because an airsoft gun is non-lethal doesn’t mean that it can’t cause significant accidental harm.

And lastly, when not in use, always make sure your airsoft gun has the safety on and that your finger is never on the trigger unless you’re ready to shoot!

BB pellets in hand over pile of silver pellets

Can an Airsoft Gun Shoot Metal BBs?

Much like the plastic BBs used in airsoft guns, there are also BBs that are made out of metal. These metal BBs tend to be smaller and more powerful. Metal BBs are often used in target practice or pest control, because of the greater power and control that comes with them.

Metal BBs are usually made up of steel, though ingredients can also include zinc and copper. They are much denser than plastic BBs.

But can you use a metal BB in your airsoft gun? The answer is a resounding no! Let’s look at the reasons why.

Damage to your gun

Airsoft guns do not have the function or the design to take metal BBs. If you load up your airsoft gun with metal BBs, you might find that at first, the gun has no issue shooting them. So why not keep using them? Well, after a while, the metal BBs will begin to damage the inside of your airsoft gun, causing problems down the line. The gun may even stop working entirely.

Metal BBs are too small

The last thing you want for your airsoft gun is for a metal BB to get someplace inside that it shouldn’t. The airsoft gun uses pressure in order to shoot out its plastic BBs, but a metal BB is too heavy and small.

That means that the metal BB might sit inside the barrel of the airsoft gun, causing problems internally. If you keep pulling the trigger and metal BBs keep getting stuck, you’ll find yourself on a road to damaging your airsoft gun beyond repair.

Less control

An airsoft gun doesn’t have the pressure required to shoot a metal BB out of the barrel. Your airsoft gun isn’t designed to fire anything denser than the plastic BBs that are recommended for it. This means that you don’t have the control that you need when firing a metal BB out of an airsoft gun. That lack of control could cause someone to get injured.

air pistol on the table with metal bbs

Safety Concerns

Metal BBs are not allowed on airsoft fields, and for good reason. Metal BBs are much heavier than plastic BBs, which makes them a major safety concern. Metal BBs can turn a non-lethal airsoft gun into something particularly deadly. There’s a reason that metal BBs are used as pest control on farms!

Even if you’re not shooting a metal BB gun directly at someone, the hard metal can ricochet against concrete or any other hard service, which can cause bodily harm to anyone who happens to get in the way. The material of a metal BB is much more solid than a plastic BB, which means it can go through skin.

An airsoft gun can fire a metal BB at a velocity of 150 feet per second. This is enough to do damage to anyone standing in the way.

If a metal BB hits concrete or another hard surface on an airsoft field, there’s potential for the BB to break apart. These smaller projectiles are dangerous in and of themselves, and can cause flying, sharp shrapnel that could easily cut through skin.

How to Safely Use Metal BBs

Metal BBs can be used safely, so long as they’re kept far away from airsoft guns, as well as airsoft fields! The only place that metal BBs should be used is either a practice range or in the hands of a professional outside of that.

The only gun that can safely utilize metal BBs is a BB gun. A BB gun is designed to take metal BBs and offer more control over these pellets versus an airsoft gun. Using BB guns against other people is incredibly dangerous, not to mention illegal.


If you’re new to airsoft, it’s important to know the safety rules that surround the types of BBs that you can use with your gun. While some people may use metal BBs in their airsoft gun, this is not only incredibly dangerous but also damaging to your gun. While the gun may physically shoot the metal BBs, you’ll find the damage that it does to the gun, in the long run, isn’t worth it.

Metal BBs on an airsoft field are absolutely prohibited, and using metal BBs in the vicinity of other people is illegal. Metal BBs being shot out of an airsoft gun can cause sustainable harm to either yourself or the people around you. It’s best to just forget about metal BBs in your airsoft gun altogether!

Metal BBs can only be safely used in a BB gun that is specifically designed to take those types of pellets. They should only ever be used for target practice or in the hands of a professional.

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