Top 14 Airsoft Safety Tips

These tips will help you get a head start on your airsoft performance.

Airsoft may be a game played with realistic-looking guns and rifles, but the dangers associated with them aren’t exactly fun. Many of the guns used can fire at several feet per second, and it isn’t uncommon for it to cause injuries to the more sensitive parts of the body like the face and abdomen. That’s why it is so important that airsoft players ensure that they take all the required safety precautions when playing. When we refer to players, we mean all sides that are engaging in a mock battle.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most important airsoft safety tips. If anything, these tips will help ensure that you can continue playing even if you were hit multiple times in a single day.

hero image of an m4 airsoft gun

#1 Only Point The Muzzle At What You Want to Destroy

Yes, this is a common-sense airsoft safety tip for beginners, but it applies to all guns, yet we have to make sure that everyone knows about it. We’ve been surprised by many people who thought that they could aim an airsoft rifle just for the fun of it because it was not loaded or because it was “only a toy.” To be clear, airsoft rifles and handguns aren’t toys, even if they are made from plastic. Airsoft can hurt. Even if your gun is unloaded, keeping the muzzle pointed away from people and animals is good practice. Doing this will ensure that it becomes second nature.

We also want to add is you should only look down the barrel of your gun and not the muzzle. Even if you are wearing eye protection, we urge you never to look down the muzzle; it is dangerous. Taking these safety precautions will help prevent instances of so-called friendly fire.

#2 Keep the Gun Unloaded When You’re Not Playing or Using It

While some real guns may have to be kept loaded outside of the firing range, depending on their type and the situation, there is no reason for your airsoft gun to be loaded when not in the field and especially not without eye protection. You should only load the gun once the game starts in the field and everyone has their goggles on.

When you leave the field, the gun should be entirely unloaded. If you have to leave the field urgently, like to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom, then at least remove the magazine and fire the rounds in the chamber on the ground or somewhere safe away from everyone. That will ensure the gun is entirely unloaded.

A word of caution here for all beginners is that even an unloaded gun can be dangerous, and any firearm, regardless of how comfortable you are with it, should be treated with respect.

#3 The Safety Isn’t Always Reliable

Now, this is one of the most important Airsoft Safety Tips for Beginners. Even though the gun might have a series of safety systems built into it as a way to prevent accidental discharge, those systems are known to fail. In other words, the fail-safe isn’t foolproof!

Even with the safety on, it is a terrible idea to wave the gun around. Again, even if it is unloaded, treat the gun as if it is loaded; doing this will ensure you don’t suddenly and unintentionally shoot someone near you.

#4 Know the Target and what is Beyond

You always want to be 100% sure about where you are aiming, and what happens if you miss the target? It is a safety rule that’s repeated over and over again and for a good reason. Observing this safety rule will help you avoid instances of friendly fire, which means preventing injuries in the field. Not to mention that you always want to have the best situational awareness.

We also like to stress that if you think that you will miss and hit someone who isn’t protected, then it is better not to fire the gun.

#5 Make Sure to Always Be Wearing Eye Protection

You shouldn’t ever get on the field without wearing eye protection, ear protection, or complete face protection, which is what we usually recommend.

Being hit in the eyes can be very painful, and a shot to the teeth will financially cripple you if it takes out a few teeth. It isn’t uncommon for airsoft BBs to take out teeth at the very least and at most cause a lot of damage to the face.

Even if you are not in the field but are near enough to be hit by a stray BB, make sure you’re wearing protection. A common occurence is that a player will remove their google to wipe off fogging: don’t do this.

Learn how to stop your airsoft goggles from fogging here.

We always tell players that they can’t have enough protection. After all, you never want to be hit in the ears with a BB.

#6 Understand How the Gun Works

We don’t expect you to be an airsoft gun expert with the ability to take the gun apart and reassemble it in under a minute. Instead, you should know a bit about your gun, at least so that you can diagnose issues if something goes wrong. But how does knowing an AEG’s internals keep you safe?

For starters, if you have some basic knowledge of the gun and can perform some basic repairs, it is possible to address numerous safety issues when on the field, which will prevent these issues from reoccurring. Plus, it helps protect you from instances where attempting to repair the gun might get you injured.

#7 Don’t Alter an Airsoft Weapon If You’re Not Trained to Do It

You probably think this is a contradictory statement because we just said that you need to know how to fix your own gun. However, there are limits to what you should do to a gun without formal training.

If you want to remain safe, do not alter or upgrade your airsoft gun, at least on your own. That’s something that’s best left for professionals who are ideally certified with experience. We’ve personally witnessed many instances where home modified or DIY modified airsoft weapons have sent people to the emergency room.

Sure, learning about upgrading your gun like the scope and barrel is fine, but modifying it to increase power or anything else should be discussed with a professional.

#8 Ensure Proper Maintenance of the Airsoft Gun

You should make it a point to replace all worn parts, ensure that the gun is properly cleaned and tuned up. Doing this can go a long way towards improving the weapon’s accuracy and overall reliability, not to mention making it safer to use.

Make it a habit to clean the gun a day after you have shot it and inspect the gun before and after using it in the field. However, as always, make sure that the gun is unloaded before doing any cleaning and oiling. If you spot cracks or broken-off parts, that’s a gun that should be repaired or discarded.

#9 Take Precautionary Measures In Case the Gun Misfires

Sure, the gun will, as expected, shoot a BB when you pull the trigger, but sometimes it might not, so what do you need to do when that happens? Well, for starters, they don’t ever look down the muzzle to see what’s wrong. Instead, you will want to:

  • unload the magazine
  • empty the chamber
  • disconnect the battery
  • clean the gun

all the while ensuring that you never have the muzzle pointed at anything or anyone you care about.

Sure, you can still help teammates out if the gun isn’t working correctly. However, our suggestion is not to use it (the gun), put it aside, and use your secondary weapon, or you could use your skills as a spotter until the game ends.

If the gun needs serious repairs, the staging areas are where you can do it. Though it is better to shelve a gun that misfires and then show it to a professional after the game is over.

#10 Only Use High Quality BBs

We have to say that the quality of the ammo matters a great deal, even if it is just being shot out and can never be reused. However, when you use high-quality BBs, they aren’t going to shatter as easily upon impact resulting in shrapnel in just about every direction or even breaking in your gun. So, investing in good quality BBs saves you from having to get your gun repaired and keeps everyone around you safe.

In general, you’re going to find that .12g BBs are NOT high enough quality for competitive use.

Oh, and we almost forgot high-quality BBs put a lot less stress on your gun, so it does not wear out as fast. Sure, they might be a little expensive, but they are worth every dime you pay.

#11 Buy the Correct Safety Gear

Your safety gear should fit snugly. You never want to buy safety gear that is:

  • Too loose
  • Too tight
  • Have potential snags

Our suggestion is to try it on. Put on the goggles, helmet, etc., and try crawling, jumping, and doing a bunch of stuff in it before deciding to buy it. That’s the only way you know that it is the right fit for you.

#12 Buy High-Quality Safety Gear

Now, this tip builds on our previous tip about buying the right safety gear. We suggest that you never cheap out on safety gear. So, there are $500 goggles, but those are overkill. Ideally, you’ll want to buy a eye protection, mouth protection, helmet, goggles, and all other safety gear that’s of the best possible quality but does not cost as much. That will often mean doing your research and reading reviews.

Cheaping out of safety gear jeopardizes your safety. We’ve seen safety goggles shatter and helmets that didn’t offer enough protection as they should; either way, the results are disastrous. When you read reviews from people who have used the gear, that gives you a good idea of if they are worth it.

#13 Don’t Buy A Sniper Rifle from The Start

Sure, we all want to be that cool sniper that picks everyone off prone from a distance. It’s a common role in an airsoft team as well.

However, sniper rifles are powerful, and if you don’t know how to use them, they could injure a fellow player. It isn’t uncommon for players to be sent to the emergency room because they were hit by a BB from a powerful sniper rifle at close range. Often the aiming was off, and they were hit in the face. If you’re going to be a sniper, don’t start playing airsoft as one just yet.

Additionally, airsoft sniper rifles require a unique method of play that can often be “unfun” for new players. You are required to spend a lot of time laying prone and crawling.

Buy the best airsoft sniper rifle you can; practice with it and understand your effective range, for a while so that way you can hit your target easily. Then ask your team leader if you can snipe in the field.

If you’re insistent on this role – check out our article on how to be an airsoft sniper here.

#14 Master the Hop up

One advantage that gives airsoft an advantage in the airsoft vs paintball debate is:

The hop-up mechanism puts the backspin on the BBs as they leave the barrel, which ensures that they are stabilized in flight. You will want to find something that allows the rounds to travel in a flat trajectory to the target or until they drop to the ground. However, you need to understand how the hop up works and get familiar with it.

Just about every airsoft gun has a way to adjust the hop up. So, spend time trying to see what setting helps you get the most distance. Knowing which setting to use on the hop up will ensure that you don’t injure players with a powerful shot at close range. Even the best airsoft pistol will require you to review the hop up on occasion.

Final Thoughts

Airsoft guns may be thought of as toys, but there is more than one way to get hurt by them. You need to do a lot to protect yourself and ensure that everyone around you is protected.

Make sure that you always treat your airsoft gun with respect. Don’t swing it around even when the safety is on, and never point it at anyone. Even an empty gun shouldn’t be pointed at anyone.

When you take safety seriously, your teammates will thank you for it. Nobody wants a person in the field who does not care about other people’s safety. Furthermore, many airsoft arenas are very strict about observing safety precautions and reserve the right to ban offending players. So, you need to be very careful if you want to continue playing commando!

Read more about our beginner’s guide to airsoft.

Timothy Hackett
Timothy Hackett

Tim has been playing airsoft since 1994. With over a thousand (no lie) airsoft games under his belt he has spent countless hours testing various airsoft guns and tactical gear. He's gotten hundreds (still no lie) of people into the airsoft hobby and is more than willing to spread the love of slinging 6mm plastic to any new player.

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