Can You Use Airsoft BBs in a BB Gun? The Surprising Truth Unveiled

Are you wondering if using airsoft BBs in a BB gun is possible? You’re not alone in this question, as many airsoft enthusiasts and BB gun users have similar concerns. In this article, we’ll explore the compatibility of airsoft BBs and BB guns and answer the burning question: Can you use airsoft BBs in a BB gun?

Understanding the differences between airsoft BBs and steel BBs used in BB guns is essential. Airsoft BBs are made of plastic or biodegradable materials, while BB guns typically use metallic ammunition. These distinctions in the material can impact how the guns function and ultimately affect performance and safety.

As you read on, you will delve into the practicality and safety concerns of using airsoft BBs in a BB gun. You’ll learn about the potential issues that could arise with using mismatched ammunition, and by the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of whether or not it’s a good idea to mix these types of ammo.

Differences Between Airsoft BBs and BB Guns

Materials and Sizes

Airsoft BBs are typically made of plastic or biodegradable materials, lighter and less dense than the metallic BBs used in BB guns. They usually come in different sizes, most commonly in 6mm diameter.

On the contrary, BB guns use steel or lead BBs with a standard size of 4.5mm in diameter. Due to the diverse materials, Airsoft BBs are significantly less damaging to humans and objects.

Shooting Mechanisms

The mechanisms used in airsoft guns and BB guns differ significantly. Airsoft guns use three power sources: spring, gas, and electric. These power sources propel the airsoft BBs at generally lower velocities than BB guns.

Contrarily, BB guns are powered by CO2 cartridges, making them more powerful and capable of shooting at higher velocities.

Consider your intended use and safety requirements to choose between airsoft BBs and BB guns. Remember, airsoft BBs are designed for recreational and competitive purposes, while BB guns are generally more suitable for target shooting and pest control.

Potential Risks of Using Airsoft BBs in a BB Gun

Jamming and Damage

Using airsoft BBs in a BB gun may result in jamming, as the size and materials of the BBs differ. Airsoft BBs are generally larger and may not fit properly in the barrel. They’re also often made of plastic, which can easily cause damage if lodged in the gun’s inner workings.

Using the correct ammunition for your specific BB gun is crucial to avoid these issues. Not only does this ensure smooth operation, but it also significantly reduces the risk of damage and malfunctions.

Safety Concerns

Using airsoft BBs in a BB gun raises safety concerns for users and bystanders. Since airsoft BBs are not designed to be used in a BB gun, they can shatter or break apart upon firing, potentially causing harm.

Additionally, airsoft BBs might not provide the same accuracy as traditional BBs, increasing the odds of hitting unintended targets. Always remember to follow all safety guidelines when using a BB gun and choose the appropriate ammunition to maintain a secure and enjoyable shooting experience.

Types of BB Guns and Airsoft Guns

When it comes to BB guns and airsoft guns, there are three main types you should be aware of: Spring-Powered, Gas-Powered, and Electric-Powered.


Spring-powered guns rely on the force of a coiled spring to propel a BB or airsoft pellet. These guns are typically more affordable and require manual cocking before each shot. They don’t need batteries or gas, making them an excellent choice for beginners exploring the world of airsoft or BB guns.


Gas-powered guns use CO2 or green gas to propel the BB or airsoft pellet. These guns offer a more realistic shooting experience due to their semi-automatic or fully automatic capabilities. However, they might require more maintenance and can be affected by temperature. Gas-powered BB guns can be more powerful, and using airsoft pellets is not recommended.


Electric-powered guns, also known as AEGs, use a battery to power a motor that compresses a spring. This type of gun provides the most convenient and skirmish-friendly experience. With a variety of available models, you can find an AEG suitable for your desired level of airsoft or BB gunplay.

Make sure to charge your batteries, and remember that using airsoft BBs in a BB gun could cause damage to the mechanism or become a safety hazard.

Choosing the Right Ammunition

BB Materials and Weights

The most common material used when selecting ammunition for BB guns is steel. Steel BBs typically weigh approximately 5.1 grains (0.33 grams). They are available in different finishes, such as zinc or copper-coated, for improved performance and durability.

  • Steel BBs (5.1 grains, 0.33 grams)
  • Zinc or copper-coated finishes

Airsoft BB Materials and Weights

In contrast, airsoft BBs are commonly made from plastic materials like ABS or biodegradable PLA. Airsoft BB weights range from 0.12 grams to 0.40 grams or even heavier.

The most common weights for airsoft BBs are:

  • 0.12 grams (very lightweight)
  • 0.20 grams (standard weight)
  • 0.25 grams (mid-weight)
  • 0.28-0.30 grams (heavier weight)
  • 0.40 grams and above (specialty weight)

It is important to remember that airsoft BBs should not be used in BB guns. The materials and weights of airsoft BBs are designed specifically for airsoft guns and may cause damage if used in a BB gun. Stick to the proper ammunition for each type of gun to ensure optimal performance and safety.


Using airsoft BBs in a BB gun may cause various issues. Airsoft BBs are made of plastic, significantly lighter than metal BB gun pellets. This difference in weight can cause airsoft BBs to jam inside the barrel or not provide enough force to propel the BB out of the gun properly. Additionally, airsoft BBs are slightly larger than BB gun pellets, which can cause even more problems with accuracy and functionality.

Using the wrong ammunition can result in serious injuries. If airsoft BBs get stuck in the barrel, they can cause the gun to malfunction, potentially leading to the BB gun exploding or causing injury to the shooter or others nearby. Additionally, firing airsoft BBs at high velocities can cause them to shatter, leading to dangerous shrapnel that can cause injuries or damage property.

In conclusion, using the correct ammunition for any type of gun, including BB guns, is always essential. Using airsoft BBs in a BB gun can lead to various problems and should be avoided. Prioritize safety, follow proper guidelines, and use the appropriate ammunition for your gun to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I use airsoft BBs in a BB gun?

No, you shouldn’t use airsoft BBs in a BB gun. Airsoft BBs are typically 6mm plastic pellets, while BB guns use 4.5mm metal BBs. Using the wrong size or material can damage your gun or reduce its performance.

Q. What are the main differences between airsoft BBs and BB gun pellets?

Airsoft BBs and BB gun pellets differ in size, weight, and material, impacting their performance and compatibility.

Airsoft BBs are 6mm plastic projectiles, lighter (0.12g to 0.43g), while BB gun pellets are 4.5mm steel or lead projectiles, heavier (0.5g+). These differences affect trajectory and suitability.

Airsoft BBs are for lower-powered airsoft guns, while BB gun pellets are for higher-powered BB guns. Choose the right ammunition for optimal performance and accuracy in your specific gun.

Q. Can airsoft BBs and BB gun pellets be interchanged?

No, you should not interchange airsoft BBs and BB gun pellets. Each type of ammunition is designed specifically for its respective gun. Interchanging them can cause jams, poor performance, or even damage your gun.

Stick to the appropriate ammo for your gun to ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

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