Can You Put Metal BBs in an Airsoft Gun

Airsoft Bbs

If you’ve begun playing airsoft, one thought may have crossed your mind – 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?

We’ll give you the shortest possible version
right away – no, you shouldn’t. And there are more than a couple of reasons why
this is the case. As you’ll soon realize, people who opt for using metal BBs
face 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 the
airsoft marker requires. If you want to use BBs in an airsoft gun, they need to
be between 8mm and 6mm in terms of diameter.

But the diameter of the barrel of a BB gun is
generally 4.5mm, making the abovementioned 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 in
an airsoft weapon over a prolonged time period, you will notice the gun’s
performance degrading after a while. That’s because of the pure and simple fact
that airsoft guns weren’t made with metal 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.

Plus, many people wrongly believe that metal
BBs 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 airsoft
weapon was calculated with plastic BBs in mind. And plastic is a lot less dense
than metal, which means that, while the projectile will be heavier upon
hitting; it will also have a much shorter range.

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 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.

Your main takeaway from all of this should be
that metal BBs are largely unsuitable for airsoft weaponry. Attempting to use
these 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 the
airsoft gun gives you; that way you won’t risk safety hazards, or waste funds
on repairs that you could have avoided.

Can You Safely Use Metal BBs?

It’s not all about the mechanism of the gun
either, 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 a

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

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. 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 their airsoft counterparts, you can easily discern which is which
by looking at their side; they have different caliber marks.

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

About the Author Ben