What’s more painful? Paintball or Airsoft?

Ever since I started working for Airsoft GI, I’ve heard this question at least 3 or 4 times per week. Does it hurt as much as paintball? The answer to that is no. A single shot does not hurt anywhere near as much as paintball. Although you can also say yes, because a lot of times, your average paintball guns aren’t capable of achieving over 20 balls per second (BPS).

From a single shot aspect your average airsoft gun (for outdoor play) will be shooting with about 1.48j (j=joules) or shooting a .20g BB at 400FPS (Feet Per Second). Joules is the amount of energy the BB has as it leaves the muzzle and the higher the joule rating the more pain is felt. Most paintball fields in Southern California have an FPS limit between 285-300FPS with a .68 caliber paintball. The average paintball (Some are denser than others) weighs 2.8g. At that speed and mass your typical paintball marker is shooting with 10.51-11.64j of energy. 7 times more energy on the lower end of the average FPS limit.

                                                                              Joules = 1/2 mass X velocity^2

 1.48 = .10 X 121.92^2                                                                                                                                           10.5 = 1.4 X 86.87^2

In paintball they hit much harder due to a bigger, heavier projectile being sent down range. Although, Airsoft is capable of having a much higher rate of fire due to the feeding systems being much better. Your typical high-end airsoft gun ($300-$400 USD) should be more than capable of hitting 20+ RPS (Rounds per second) on an 11.1v LiPo battery. The cost to make a gun shoot an incredibly high rate of fire is no where near as high to get a paintball gun to shoot close to 30. For the same price as an ultra-high-end paintball gun you can get an Airsoft gun to rip at 70 RPS reliably.

Airsoft hurts in volume while paintball hurts in every single hit. They’re different types of pain but both are more than manageable. Personally, I started in paintball and switched to Airsoft because the guns looked cooler and a day of playing as so much cheaper. Pain had absolutely nothing to do with it. If pain is a deciding factor for you Airsoft more than likely will be your choice.

Leave a Reply