Paintball and Airsoft are two very similar sports. For the newbies, it might be hard to choose between the two. Both have their pros and cons and understanding them will help you select the better option for you.
Let’s start with paintball.
Paintball is a war or hunting game in which you can use a variety of guns to shoot out plastic balls full of colored paint. Once the paintballs hit the target, they pop and leave a paint stain which represents a hit or kill.
One of the main pros of the paintball game is the visible mark left by the paint. As once a player gets hit he or she goes out of the game, it is best to be able to mark that with 100% assurance. The bigger ammunition is also easier to track which helps in correcting.
High range and accuracy. Paintballs are heavy enough to ensure an accurate trajectory which cannot be changed by a side wind or small tree branches. Paintball guns use compressed gas to shoot, and this gives the shot enough power for a longer range.
It hurts. If you get hit in a non-protected place, the heavy paintball will leave a mark and will hurt.
You get a lot of stains on your clothes. With all the paint stains on your clothes, there is no doubt that you will have to wash your clothes for the next game even if it’s tomorrow. If you get hit of course. It is also not very easy to distinguish stains from different games in the same day if the teams don’t use paintballs with different pain color for each of them.
Gas containers are most of the times big. Compared to the airsoft gas containers the ones used in paintball are bigger as the guns use more gas for each shot.
The price of the guns and ammunition has a certain minimum which cannot be lowered.
Airsoft game differs from Paintball only in the equipment used. Airsoft guns shoot with small plastic pellets which in size are up to 8 mm in diameter. Because there is nothing to spill and clog the gun, airsoft guns can also be powered by a spring.
Spring powered airsoft guns are cheaper to make thus their market price is lower than the paintball guns’ price. This makes this sport more affordable for the newbies. Ammunitions are also cheaper. High-end guns the prices for both airsoft and paintball guns are similar.
Hurts less. Airsoft BBs are smaller in size and weight and hurt less if you get hit.
BBs’ trajectory is not that easy to follow thus corrections are harder to make.
Marking a hit or kill cannot be guaranteed as BBs don’t leave any visible mark. This may cause disagreements and heated arguments during a game.
Accuracy and range are difficult. If you want to be more accurate at the longer distance, you will have to use heavier BBs to prevent wind interference. This lowers the range, and BBs hurt more if you hit your opponent somewhere unprotected.
Choosing between one of the two extreme sports is not easy. Despite their differences, they are very similar to a good thing to before you choose the possible local teams you can join. There is no point in choosing one and then finding out that you are the only one in your area, right?
Many people think that airsoft and paintball are dangerous, but the truth is neither one of these extreme sports produces more injuries than a common club sport (i.e., basketball, football, baseball, etc.). If you are thinking about joining either of these sports, all the power to you. However, while both sports are safe, airsoft is considerably more intimidating than paintball. The fire rate for airsoft guns is usually around 300-450 fps. Paintball guns rarely reach 300 fps most paintball fields have restrictions that disallow players to have a fire rate above 300 fps.
Airsoft bb’s can pierce objects, including human skin. Paintballs are designed to inflict a small amount of pain as possible. Which is why a paintball is wider and more blunt. Because of a paintballs large surface area, the force of a paintballs impact is distributed over a larger target area. Which causes there to be less pain in one specific area.
So while you will never receive an injury from a paintball making contact with a skin protected body part, airsoft bb’s can, and do, occasionally injure skin protected body parts. The reason for this is because a paintball will never reach past the skin, but a bb can hit the bone. Airsoft bb’s rarely caused bone injuries, but there is documented evidence that these injuries do occur. Which does not apply to the friendly game of paintball. The most typical injuries from both sports are ankle and eye related. And for both sports, these injuries occur in the same way.
Ankle injuries cannot be avoided in any sport. If a player accidentally twists or rolls in an unnatural direction, an injury may occur. Ankle injuries happen in paintball and airsoft, but they also happen in just about every sport. Nothing we can do about these. For eye injuries, if a paintball or bb pellet contacts an unprotected eye, serious damage can be inflicted. The difference between eye injuries for airsoft and paintball is that paintball will usually leave temporary damage, but an airsoft bb in the eye will almost always cause permanent damage.
An experienced player from both sports knows that eye protection is an absolute must. And when the proper precautions are taken, both sports are very safe. That being said, airsoft will be too painful and scary for many prospective players. If the absence of danger and pain are your main criteria for airsoft vs. paintball, then paintball is your best option.
Paintball masks and airsoft goggles are pretty simple things. They consist of a clear piece of plastic hooked to some more plastic and strapped to your head which keeps your eyes safe. They are necessary but often are uncomfortable, frustrating and often a hassle to care for… Or are they??
A challenge many beginning players face playing paintball or airsoft is that most of their time is spent either with a mask that came as part of a package or a cheap rental mask from the local field. These masks typically are uncomfortable and have a limited range of vision. They also tend to fog at the most inopportune times. Many attempts are made to clear the fogging. However, it always seems to return.
The reasons above are just a few of the many of why I recommend that one of the first upgrades any airsoft and/or paintball player makes is to purchase a nice mask or a good set of goggles. Sure, a nice mask or set of good goggles can cost a few dollars. However, a nice mask or good goggles will increase your comfort, and you can almost eliminate the fogging problem. In my opinion, those reasons alone make it worth the small cost. At a minimum, I recommend choosing a thermal mask which usually costs around $40-$50. If you spend any time playing in hot, cold or humid weather, you will be grateful for your indulgence all day long. Plus, the improvements in visibility may make you a better player.
Typically, players want a full mask for playing paintball and a pair of goggles for playing airsoft. However, you can use either for both games. The important thing is that your eyes are covered and protected. The rest is pretty much the option of the player.
Now the cool thing with mask and goggles is that there is a large selection. You can get a mask or goggles in a variety of colors. Masks are also available with a variety cool designs. Some people like the design on the masks because they think it helps to intimidate the opposition. While this may be true in some cases, it’s not always the case, especially with the more experienced players.
Designs on masks are typically a lighter color which allows them to stand out. This can be a bad thing because it can make you easier to see by the opposition. So, if you are considering a mask with a design, you may want to keep this in mind, especially if you are a player who likes to stay hidden for sniping or other purposes.
Any airsoft fanatic knows that the truly best military simulation sport out there is airsoft; however, some paintballers and non-players remain unaware of the benefits and advantages airsoft has over paintball. Here are the top 10 ways in which airsoft skirmishes trump paintball games:
1. Airsoft gameplay is more realistic than paintball play.
Airsoft guns look like real guns, so much so that legally airsoft manufacturers must include a 6mm orange tip at the end of the barrel to identify it as an airsoft gun and not a firearm. Airsoft guns resemble real firearms in many aspects: their barrels, machinery, magazines, and accessories more closely mirror firearms than paintball guns.
2. Shooting airsoft ammo allows for better accuracy than shooting with paintball ammo.
Airsoft bbs are smaller than paintball pellets, so they experience less wind resistance and therefore, are more accurate. Airsoft bbs are less visible to the opponent because of their smaller size, which adds to their accuracy. Also, when playing paintball, players may see the larger paintball pellet flying toward them and can take cover accordingly, which decreases your hit percentage.
3. Airsoft skirmishes are more tactical than paintball games.
With the realism of the airsoft guns, tactics play a large part in their battles. Players feel as though they are on the battlefield and must act strategically and intelligently to win a skirmish. With the ability to release large rounds of airsoft ammo quickly, bum rushing opponents and sloppy strategy will lead to a quick defeat; therefore, designating a chain of command (see reason #7) is vital. The highly tactical aspect of airsoft battle helps transcend the sport into a reality.
4. Airsoft guns have greater usability than paintball guns.
Airsoft guns vary in weight, ranging from as light as 2 pounds to heavier than 6 pounds. The ammo can be sized at.12 grams or as hefty as.28 grams; however,.20-gram Airsoft bbs are the most common size. On the other hand, the average paintball gun on the light end weighs about 5 pounds and can reach more than 15 pounds for nicer, heavier-duty models. Maneuvering a paintball gun becomes clumsier and less agile than handling a lighter airsoft gun. Due to the lighter gun and airsoft bb weight, airsoft guns are easier to carry around, which increases their usability.
5. Buying a quality airsoft gun is cheaper than getting a paintball gun.