Can You Put Metal BBs in an Airsoft Gun?

If you’re new to airsoft, then like most of us you’ve asked yourself the question – is it okay to put metal BBs in your gun for airsoft instead of plastic ones? We’ll provide clarity on this topic, and give you all of the reasons why you should and shouldn’t do this, as well as when…because the last thing you want to do once you’ve dropped the $ buying the best airsoft gun is to screw it up with the wrong ammo!

Can You Use Metal BBs?

The quickest version is what we’ll give you right away: no, you shouldn’t. And there are numerous explanations for why this is the case. You’ll soon see that those who choose to use metal BBs do so at their own peril.

The size of the metal BBs used in airsoft is the first issue you’ll run into. More specifically, they frequently have smaller holes than what the airsoft marker needs. BBs must have a diameter between 8mm and 6mm in order to be used in an airsoft gun.

But the diameter of the barrel of a BB gun is generally 4.5mm, making the above-mentioned metal BBs too small for an airsoft rifle. Of course, you may think to find metal BBs with a bigger diameter. And you may very well find the guns that you need. However, if you use metal BBs for airsoft over a prolonged time period, you will notice the performance of the gun degrading after a while. That’s because of the pure and simple fact that airsoft guns weren’t made with steel airsoft BBs in mind.

Prolonged exposure to metal BBs is bound to deal damage to the internal mechanisms of the airsoft gun, particularly the inside barrel. This kind of damage will, in turn, be detrimental to the accuracy of the gun, and you’ll have to invest a tidy sum of money to repair or replace the barrel.

Additionally, a lot of individuals mistakenly think that using metal BBs will offer them a power advantage on the field. But keep in mind that the spring mechanism of the airsoft weapon’s projectile force was calculated with plastic BBs in mind. Additionally, plastic is far less dense than metal, so even though the bullet will be heavier when it hits, its range will be much less.

On top of that, we needn’t even mention the safety concerns – in terms of danger, the metal BBs are much closer to bullets than the plastic ones which disintegrate upon impact. The former is even capable of inflicting lethal wounds.

We have also talked about the diameter issues and the difference between plastic and metal airsoft BBs. While you could theoretically still use the metal ones, the airsoft firing mechanism simply demands a larger diameter. Thus, the smaller metal BBs can easily get stuck. And if you still try to shoot them, they’re prone to jamming or damaging the cylinder head and the air nozzle.

The primary lesson you should take away from this is that metal BBs are often inappropriate for airsoft weaponry. The pistol itself will probably get damaged if you try to use these. It’s usually ideal to follow whatever directions the maker of the airsoft gun gives you when purchasing BBs; that way, you won’t run the risk of safety issues or spend money on repairs that you might have saved.

Can You Safely Use Metal BBs?

It’s not all about the mechanism of the guneither, when it comes to the unsuitability of metal BBs. Additionally, practically all legal airsoft fields forbid their usage. As we’ve mentioned above, metal projectiles are far too dangerous for casual playing.

And not only are the metal BBs that hit someone dangerous. If these pellets hit metal or concrete somewhere in the field, they will break into smaller pieces that become dangerous projectiles themselves. All in all – there is no option or need to play with metal BBs in afield.

Metal BBs should only be fired at targets using BB guns on a practice range. Compared to airsoft weapons, they surely offer a unique experience because they are more precise. We must emphasize that employing metal projectiles in a game against other players is extremely unsafe, dangerous, and unlawful.

Conversely, airsoft weaponry that’s filled with plastic BBs is safe for usage; these are quite harmless compared to the metal ones. Suffering a hit from a plastic BB won’t perforate your skin; meaning that you won’t anything more than a soft sting, and the pain will quickly dissipate.


So, is it safe to fill your airsoft gun with metal BBs? No, absolutely not, airsoft with metal BBs is not safe at all. There is no reason at all to attempt doing such a thing. Plus, while a BB gun that shoots metal pellets may seem almost identical to its airsoft counterparts, you can easily discern which is which by looking at their side; they have different caliber marks.

Given everything said above, we suggest sticking to the plastic BBs that were created specifically for your airsoft weapon in order to keep both you and your buddies safe. It is strictly banned to bring anything else onto the airsoft field.

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Airsoft Gun Guide


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