Can You Put Airsoft Bullets in a BB Gun? The Ultimate Guide

As an airsoft enthusiast, you might have wondered if you can use airsoft bullets in a BB gun. This question often arises due to the similarities between airsoft and BB guns, but understanding their distinct projectiles is crucial in answering this query.

Airsoft guns use plastic, biodegradable pellets called BBs, typically weighing 0.12 to 0.40 grams. On the contrary, BB guns utilize smaller metallic ball bearings. Both types of ammunition are designed specifically for their respective guns; hence interchanging them can lead to performance and safety issues.

Using airsoft bullets in a BB gun is not recommended because of their size, weight, and material differences. Doing so may cause damage to your gun or even injure yourself and others. Sticking the correct ammunition for each type of gun is essential to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Understanding BB Guns and Airsoft

In this section, we’ll delve into the basics of BB guns and airsoft guns. We’ll compare both types of guns, their mechanisms, and their projectile differences to understand whether using airsoft bullets in a BB gun is possible.

BB Gun Basics

BB guns are air-powered guns that shoot small round metal projectiles called BBs. These guns come in various types: spring-powered, CO2, and pneumatic rifles. The velocity of BBs can range from 300 to over 1200 feet per second (FPS), depending on the gun’s power source and design.

BBs are typically made of steel and have a smooth surface, allowing them to penetrate targets easily. However, this also means they can rebound, causing injuries if misused. It’s essential to treat BB guns with respect and follow safety guidelines.

Airsoft Gun Basics

Airsoft guns are designed primarily for recreational use and resemble real firearms in appearance. The main difference between airsoft and BB guns is their projectiles. Airsoft guns shoot plastic pellets, known as BBs or airsoft bullets, which are usually 6mm or 8mm in diameter.

There are various types of airsoft guns, including spring-powered, electric, and gas-powered models. In terms of velocity, airsoft guns generally shoot their plastic pellets at speeds between 200 and 500 FPS. These lower velocities make airsoft a popular choice for skirmishing or gaming, as the plastic pellets cause minimal injuries when proper safety gear is worn.

Now that we have a basic understanding of BB and airsoft guns let’s explore whether using airsoft bullets in a BB gun is possible.

Key Differences Between BBs and Airsoft BBs

Material and Size

Airsoft BBs are typically made from plastic, while traditional BBs are made from steel or lead, making airsoft BBs much lighter and safer to use in airsoft games.

The size also varies between the two types of ammo. Airsoft BBs are typically 6mm in diameter, while traditional BBs measure a smaller 4.5mm, which may not be compatible with airsoft guns or cause damage to airsoft equipment.

Velocity and Impact

Airsoft BBs generally have lower velocities, around 200 to 500 feet per second (FPS), compared to steel BBs reaching up to 900 fps or more. Playing airsoft instead of traditional BBs results in less damage and injury risk.


Because of the lighter weight and lower velocity of airsoft BBs, they also tend to have less impact force. This makes them suitable for recreational play and reduces the risk of damage to property or causing severe injury to players.

  • Airsoft BBs: Plastic pellets, generally 6mm in size, with velocities ranging from 200-500 fps.
  • Traditional BBs: Steel or lead, usually 4.5mm in size, with velocities up to 900 fps or more.

Can You Use Airsoft BBs in a BB Gun?

It’s integral to acknowledge the differences between airsoft guns and BB guns. While they might look similar, using airsoft BBs in a BB gun is not recommended for several reasons. Let’s explore the functionality issues and safety concerns that arise from attempting this.

Functionality Issues

The barrel of a BB gun is designed to accommodate metal BBs, which are typically smaller than airsoft BBs. Using airsoft BBs in a BB gun might cause improper fit, reducing accuracy and a higher risk of jamming the gun. To avoid this, always use the appropriate ammunition for your type of gun.

Safety Concerns

Another primary concern when using airsoft BBs in a BB gun is safety. Airsoft guns are designed to shoot plastic, biodegradable BBs specifically made to minimize injury.

On the contrary, BB guns shoot metal BBs, and their increased firepower could cause airsoft BBs to shatter upon impact, posing a risk for both the shooter and the target.

It’s crucial to prioritize safety and adhere to the proper usage guidelines for airsoft and BB guns. Avoid using airsoft BBs in a BB gun to ensure the well-being of all participants and the longevity of your equipment.

Accuracy and Performance

In this section, you’ll explore the differences in accuracy and performance between BB guns and airsoft guns. Let’s break down the critical factors of each type with their respective sub-sections.

BB Gun Accuracy

BB guns use small, round metal projectiles, which provide a certain level of consistency in terms of accuracy. Due to their weight and size, they experience less impact from external factors like wind.

However, BB guns might not provide the same level of accuracy across all shooting conditions or distances. As a user, you must be familiar with your BB gun’s specific capabilities to ensure precise shooting.

Airsoft Gun Accuracy

Airsoft guns shoot non-metallic pellets, called BBs, which are typically lighter and larger than metal BBs. Consequently, they can be more susceptible to external factors, such as wind and humidity, which could affect their accuracy.

That said, airsoft guns offer various customization options for improving accuracy. For instance, you can invest in precision barrels or upgrade your hop-up unit to increase consistency in your shots.


While airsoft and BB pellets may appear similar, they are designed for their respective guns and should not be used interchangeably. Using airsoft pellets in a BB gun can cause damage to both the gun and the pellets, compromising their performance and safety.

It’s essential to understand the differences between the two types of ammunition:

  • Material: Airsoft pellets are made of plastic, while BB pellets are made of metal.
  • Size: Airsoft pellets are typically 6mm, while BB pellets are 4.5mm.
  • Weight: Airsoft pellets are lighter, which affects their accuracy and range.

Using the appropriate ammunition for your airsoft or BB gun ensures your equipment’s optimal performance, safety, and longevity. So, remember that you should always use the designated ammunition for each type of gun and refrain from experimenting with different combinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can you put airsoft bullets in a BB gun?

Although airsoft bullets, also known as BBs, might appear similar to metal BBs used in BB guns, it’s important to note that they are not interchangeable.

Airsoft bullets are made of plastic and are lighter and larger in diameter than metal BBs. Putting airsoft bullets in a BB gun could result in jams or damage to the gun’s internal mechanisms.

Q. What are the main differences between airsoft guns and BB guns?

Airsoft guns are specifically designed for recreational use and sport, firing plastic BBs using various power sources such as spring, electric, and gas.

On the contrary, BB guns are commonly utilized for target shooting and training, using CO2 cartridges and compressed air to shoot metal BBs. While both types serve different purposes, they offer enthusiasts and participants unique experiences in their respective domains.

Q. Can I convert my BB gun to an airsoft gun or vice versa?

It is not recommended to convert a BB gun to an airsoft gun or vice versa, as the internal mechanisms and power sources are designed specifically for their respective types of ammunition.

Attempting to convert your gun may cause irreparable damages or malfunctions and could be dangerous to you and those around you.

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