Every now and then, I receive this common question, “what hurts more, paintball or airsoft?” This is a valid question, no doubt, to which the simple answer is: paintball hurts more than airsoft.
Although paintball and airsoft guns both use pellets, paintballs have a bigger size and weight, making the impact more intense. To find out more about the other factors, keep reading.
Why Paintball Hurts More than Airsoft
Although paintball and airsoft guns shoot pellets at the same speed, paintballs hurt more because of their different structures. Here are some key differences that explain why paintballs are more painful:
- The balls used in airsoft are lighter and weigh one-fourth of a gram, while 0.68 caliber paintballs weigh 3 grams.
- Because of more weight, paintball has more momentum and energy. When paintball is fired, it emits about 12.5 joules of energy, while airsoft release only 0.84 joules.
The force with which each ball hits varies because of the drastic difference between their energies. Consequently, someone getting hit by a paintball will experience more bruises and welts, and pain will be felt more widely.
Read more about these differences in the “Paintball vs. Airsoft” blog article.
Factors Determining the Intensity of Paintball Impact
In addition to the weight and energy of the paintball, many factors dictate how painful it will be upon hitting the pain-filled pellet. Given below are some elements that determine the severity of paintball pain:
Speed of Paintball
Many paintball guns shoot at a standard speed of 280-300 FPS. However, some high-end paintball markers can fire at a velocity that exceeds the limit. When you are fit by the paintballs that are traveling at 350 FPS Plus, you will definitely feel more pain.
To prevent this, many paintball fields make it compulsory to use only those markers with standard firing speed.
Distance between the Players
Another factor that can make paintball impact more intense is the distance between the players— if you are hit at a closer range, it will obviously hurt more. And if the impact is on the sensitive body at this range, paintball can leave you with severe injuries or even kill you.
For these reasons, wearing a paintball mask is a must. It protects the eyes and faces from incoming paintballs. Shooting on the head from close range is also discouraged.
As stated above, being hit by a high-velocity paintball can cause serious damage. It is seen that wind can also influence the speed of the paintball gun— adding more acceleration if the paintball projectile is in the direction of the wind. Therefore, avoid putting yourself in positions where the pellets coming in the direction of the wind may hit you.
Body Part Where Paintball Hit
If you get hit by paintballs or airsoft, the pain is obvious, but depending on the area, you might feel even worse. Our body has many sensitive parts that are not protected by muscles or any other protective layers. When a fast-traveling paintball hits on any such body part, it may cause excruciating pain.
The eyes are the most sensitive and crucial part of our body. Even a minor injury can risk the loss of vision. It would be devastating to be hit by a 3-gram paintball moving at around 350 fps at a closer range.
The second most sensitive part is the head. Any blow to the head by fast-moving paintball pellets may lead to concussions or even worse. It is better to wear a cap or bandana to reduce the impact of the paintball.
Hands are the most exposed to the paintball, and you wouldn’t believe how much it does hurt when hit by these pellets—wearing gloves that is why is quite crucial.
Another sensitive body part is the groin region. Hitting on this region inflicts unbearable pain. You should wear a cup to minimize the impact of paintball.
Our goal in this article was to answer the question, “what hurts more, paintball or airsoft? ”. We have established that paintball hurts more than airsoft.
However, Both paintballs and airsoft can hurt if you do not wear protective gear. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you wear an adequate layer of clothing, goggles, headgear, and gloves when playing these games to protect your sensitive body parts.