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!

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Can You Use Metal BBs?

We’ll give you the shortest possible versionright away – no, you shouldn’t. And there are more than a couple of reasons whythis is the case. As you’ll soon realize, people who opt for using metal BBsface a host of different issues.

The earliest problem you’ll encounter is the size of the metal BBs. More specifically, they tend to be tinier than theairsoft marker requires. If you want to use BBs in an airsoft gun, they need tobe between 8mm and 6mm in terms of diameter.

But the diameter of the barrel of a BB gun isgenerally 4.5mm, making the abovementioned metal BBs too small for an airsoftrifle. Of course, you may think to find metal BBs with a bigger diameter. Andyou may very well find the guns that you need. However, if you use metal BBs inan airsoft weapon over a prolonged time period, you will notice the gun’sperformance degrading after a while. That’s because of the pure and simple factthat airsoft guns weren’t made with metal BBs in mind.

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

Plus, many people wrongly believe that metalBBs would give them an advantage in the field in terms of power. But remember,the projectile force that’s exerted by the spring mechanism of the airsoftweapon was calculated with plastic BBs in mind. And plastic is a lot less densethan metal, which means that, while the projectile will be heavier uponhitting; it will also have a much shorter range.

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

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

Your main takeaway from all of this should bethat metal BBs are largely unsuitable for airsoft weaponry. Attempting to usethese will probably result in damage to the gun itself. When you’re buying BBs,it’s always your best bet to follow any instructions the manufacturer of theairsoft gun gives you; that way you won’t risk safety hazards, or waste fundson repairs that you could have avoided.

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 mentionedabove, metal projectiles are far too dangerous for casual playing.

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

The only place where metal BBs should be usedis a practice range, with BB guns. They definitely provide a sensation of theirown compared to airsoft weaponry, as they’re more accurate. But we cannotstress this enough – using metal projectiles in a game against other people isincredibly risky and dangerous; not to mention illegal.

Conversely, airsoft weaponry that’s filledwith plastic BBs is safe for usage; these are quite harmless compared to themetal 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 willquickly dissipate.


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

Considering all of this, we advise keepingyour friends and yourself safe and sound by using only the BBs that weredesigned for your airsoft weapon, to begin with; the plastic ones. Bringinganything else into the airsoft field is absolutely forbidden.

Chris Chamberlain Administrator
I am an outdoor nut and love researching and testing new gear. For me its about finding that diamond in the rough…not just shelling out $$ for the sake of it. Its tough to decide between the mountains and the ocean so I try and travel alot and bring my Australian Cattle dog where I can (but he does not like boats).

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