Airsoft or paintball – what will you choose? This question applies purely to anyone who keens on these sports. Fans can’t stop arguing about the superiority of both of them. It should be considered that both of them are very similar, but at the same time different games that have their own key points and differ by the gameplay.
What airsoft is? Airsoft is a military-tactical game with using soft pneumatics, which has combat and targets in military style. The weapon is loaded with plastic balls. The equipment is as realistic as possible for this style, so especially guys like to feel themselves like real soldiers and fight in a fair battle. Applied weapons are also as realistic as possible to the firearms that are their prototype.
Paintball is also a team game, but with using of special markers that shoot paint balls that break when they hit a person or an obstacle. Projectiles are made of polyethylene glycol and other non-toxic and water-soluble substances that allow you to see where the player was hit. The markers are powered by compressed gas.
The big difference is that airsoft guns shoot very fast at 300-500 fps, while paintball guns – less than 300 fps. Airsoft guns can also be tuned for more accurate shots at long range; their magazines hold about 400 balls, while paintball guns have less than 200 due to the large size of the projectiles.
The energy, released by the balls, is also different. It’s all about weight – airsoft has less weight – 1/4 gram, meanwhile paintball – 12 times more. That is why their kinetic energy is different. During airsoft, only 0.84 joules of kinetic energy is released, and during a game of paintball – 12.5 joules. With such a difference, the energy of projectile impacts will also differ. Accordingly, after a hit in a paintball, the pain will be felt much stronger.
It is worth noting that there are factors that affect the sensation of pain on impact.
• Distance – if you fire from a long distance, the speed of the ammunition will greatly decrease as it reaches the target. Respectively, the higher the speed of the bullet is, the more significant and stronger the impact will be felt from the shooter, so it’s better to keep a safe distance to reduce the energy of the bullet’s velocity, which will help avoid a lot of pain and discomfort. For instance, if your opponent is 30 feet away from you, then the impact will feel 2 times stronger than if he is 60 feet away.
• Wind direction – always keep it in mind, because it will affect the speed of the shots. When the wind is fair so you shoot into the wind – the speed of the projectile will be higher and the defeat will be with greater force. But when you shoot against the wind – this can make it very complicated to shoot accurately. The direction of the wind plays bigger role in airsoft than in paintball, because the projectiles are lighter and the shot comes from a greater distance.
• FPS of the weapon – it determines the speed of the shot, and the higher this value is, the greater the degree of pain and damage will be. Remember the rule – higher speed – higher damage.
• Mass of the projectile – do not forget that the mass of paintball equipment greatly exceeds the mass of airsoft one.
• Clothing that protects you from impact.
Which parts of the body are most affected on hit?
• Eyes – even if the smallest grain of sand gets into the eyeball – there will be an incredible burning sensation due to it’s very sensitive organ. Now you can imagine what harm paintball and airsoft balls can do. The worst outcome of events under such circumstances is damage to vision or even its deprivation. To prevent this tragedy, you must remember about safety and wear special glasses.
• Finger joints – this area does not have a lot of muscle for protection, so it is very easy to damage them, and severe pain occurs after hit. Gloves ensure their safety.
• Teeth – although they are strong, but the force of the blow can knock them out and damage the oral cavity; protect them with some part of your equipment.
• Ears – they contain the eardrum, which is very susceptible to loud sounds and noise. Hitting the ear by projectile can lead to hearing loss, so it is better to cover the ear area with part of your equipment.
• Lips – they are made of soft tissue and are prone to injury. On impact, it will most likely bleed and bruise, so the best solution is to cover your lips with part of your equipment.
• The groin area – whether you are a man or a woman – does not play a special role, this is a vulnerable place, regardless of the person’s gender. The pain occurs very sharply and the hit itself can have negative consequences. The best protection for this sensitive area is several layers of clothing to reduce the impact force. But do not overdo it – clothes should not hinder your movements.
• Neck and back of the head – the neck covers a very vulnerable part of our body – one of the areas of the spine. In the best case, the impact will only leave you a bruise, but in the worst case, you can at least lose consciousness, or even possibly get worse injuries. Save yourself from this by wearing a helmet and suit.
So what conclusions can we draw? Paintball is a sport that is more dangerous than softball for a number of reasons – it has a heavier projectile and greater hitting power. Pain, when hit by ammunition, is affected by factors such as FPS, wind direction, distance. Both sports have their own advantages and are suitable for everyone individually.