What is the typical distance of an airsoft gun?

In Japan, where it first gained popularity, airsoft is also referred to as a survival game. It is a cooperative shooting game in which players tag rival players with plastic pellets fired from airsoft guns, which are low-powered air guns.

Airsoft pellets do not leave recognizable marks on their target, and hits are not always obvious, even though the concept and gameplay are comparable to those of paintball. The game mainly relies on an honor system where players who are hit are required to call themselves out of play in keeping with honesty and sportsmanship, even though pellet hits can cause minor bruises or welts on exposed skin (although protective clothing is still advised).

The majority of airsoft guns are magazine-fed, though some have spring-piston pump power plants similar to those found in Nerf Blasters or manual/battery-powered spring-piston pump power plants. Other airsoft guns are pneumatically powered by replaceable compressed gas canisters, such as propane (“green gas”), 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoromethane, or CO2. They are therefore well-liked for historical recreation and military simulation. Due to superior safety and reduced costs, airsoft is also used for professional gun safety and weapon usage training in various professions, such as law enforcement training. For instance, in 2018, the United States Coast Guard formally accepted airsoft training.

While airsoft gameplay can take many different forms and consist of a variety of different activities, it frequently involves action shooting, short live-action role-playing (LARP) scenarios, close combat, military simulations (MilSim), or historical reenactments. It can be played on fields outside or indoor courts. Real military tactics may be used in on-field combat situations to accomplish game-specific goals. Participants may strive to imitate the tactical gear and accessories used by contemporary armed forces and law enforcement agencies. Usually, qualified individuals serving as marshals and supervisors keep a game safe.

Before use, the muzzle velocity of an airsoft gun is typically verified using a chronograph and is typically measured in feet per second (FPS) or joules, which is a unit of kinetic energy. Guns that shoot faster than the permitted muzzle velocity may be seized in nations with set muzzle velocity or muzzle energy restrictions. Some gaming venues require players to yell “Bang Bang!” or another phrase instead of shooting other players up close, further reducing the minimum engagement distance. By doing this, any possible damage caused by high-energy pellets fired at close ranges is avoided.

Any use of laser sights, including those built into gun scopes, is prohibited in some nations.

Classic Army M4 AEG with a replica Aimpoint CompM2 red dot sight

Airsoft guns

Airsoft guns are replica toy weapons used in airsoft sports. Incorrectly referred to as “BBs” in common parlance, these are a specific kind of low-power smoothbore air cannons designed to fire non-metallic spherical projectiles (PB), which can be constructed of a variety of materials, including but not limited to plastic or biodegradable resin. Airsoft guns are generally safe for competitive sporting and recreational activities if the proper protective gear is worn because the airsoft gun powerplants are designed to have low muzzle energy ratings (typically less than 1.5 J, or 1.1 ft-lb), and the pellets have significantly less penetrative and stopping powers than conventional air guns.

There are two types of airsoft guns, depending on how the pellets are propelled: mechanical and pneumatic. Mechanical airsoft guns have coil spring-loaded piston air pumps that can be manually cocked (like spring guns) or automatically cycled (like AEGs) by a battery-powered electric motor gearbox. Pneumatic airsoft guns use valve-controlled releases of prefilled bottled gas like compressed propane mixed with silicone oil (commonly known as “Green Gas”) or CO.

Although some jurisdictions require airsoft guns to have orange muzzle tips, many airsoft guns are made to closely resemble real guns. Because of this, airsoft gun handlers have been shot by authorities who mistakenly believe they have lethal real firearms.


Gas blowback (GBB) airsoft technology was embraced by US federal and state organizations in 2012 as an economical and dependable tactical training weapon for close-quarters combat. Previously, airsoft was virtually exclusively utilized for recreational purposes. 2018 saw the formal adoption of the SIG-branded P229 airsoft pistol by the US Coast Guard. GBB guns make it possible to do accurate weapon manipulation drills, muscle memory training, stress inoculation, and force-on-force simulations at a fraction of the price of traditional bolt conversion kits that use marking cartridges with wax bullets from training ammunition producers like UTM and Simunition. By lowering the possibility of an accident injuring someone or killing someone through a careless discharge, airsoft guns also enable basic and advanced shooter training in a safer setting.

All across the world, there are organizations, teams, and even athletic organizations dedicated to airsoft games. Some of the biggest battles, including battles of over 2,000 participants, take place throughout Europe. Over 1,100 people attended the Fulda Gap Airsoft Game in Taylorsville, North Carolina in 2012, and 800 people attended the Operation Lion Claws Military Simulation Series (OLCMSS) at George Air Force Base in Victorville, California. Both events were held in North America. Large games are also hosted by American Mil-sim, Black Sheep, and Ball hack. The intensity and range of equipment employed in the larger games, from small guns to armored vehicles, contribute to their appeal.

Every owner of an airsoft gun and active enthusiast is required to be a member of an approved airsoft association or federation in many nations. A registered field is used by most airsoft players to host games where war scenarios are acted out using airsoft replicas of handguns, submachine guns, carbines, sniper rifles, light machine guns, grenades, and landmines. Militaria comes in a wide variety and abundance. Another favorite activity of many airsoft players and clubs is historical recreations of renowned battle scenes. The police and military can use these ultra-realistic, high-velocity airsoft weapons for non-lethal training, according to many companies, including Systema Engineering and Celsius Technology. These days, people can also use them as filmmaking props.

How far can airsoft guns shoot

Every airsoft player fantasizes about getting their hands on a long-range assassination airsoft gun. Unfortunately, physics plays a significant role in determining how far a plastic BB will travel. As a result, most airsoft guns in stock form can’t fire beyond 200–300 feet (60–90 meters) without the bullet flying off-target due to gravity and wind. To increase the range of your airsoft rifles, pistols, and SMGs, you can take a few steps. Let us cover everything you need to know about airsoft gun range, including how far different types of airsoft guns can shoot, the significance of the distinction between effective range and maximum range, and the steps you can take to extend the range of your favorite airsoft guns a little bit.

What you need to know about effective vs max shooting ranges

Understanding the distinction between effective range and maximum range is crucial when considering airsoft gun range. The term “max range” refers to the farthest a BB can fly before succumbing to gravity and falling to the ground.

However, just because a BB can travel a certain distance before losing all of its energy does not guarantee that it will do so precisely. If the target is within your gun’s effective range, you may still need to make adjustments for drop and windage, but if you are a good marksman, you at least have a predictable chance of hitting your target. Effective range is defined as the maximum distance a gun will shoot while still maintaining an effective level of accuracy.

a man using an airsoft gun

What factors influence shooting range?

The following are only a few of the many variables that can affect an airsoft gun’s maximum and effective range:


It is easy to grasp how the energy or speed of the airsoft gun affects the airsoft gun range: the quicker your BB is flying, the farther it will travel before it runs out of energy. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to increase your gun’s range is to increase its FPS.

BB Quality

When considering how to extend the range of their airsoft guns, many people frequently forget to take into account the BBs they are employing. You should select BBs that weigh at least .2g for the greatest effective range. Numerous more aspects affect how effective your BBs are, in addition to your weight. These elements consist of their materials, polishing, etc.

Hop-Up / Bucking

A hop-up is a device found inside the barrel of an airsoft gun that is intended to give a BB backspin when it leaves the barrel. The quality of your gun’s hop-up can significantly affect its range because spinning items fly much straighter and further than objects that aren’t spinning. Bucking, on the other hand, is the rubber shroud within the hop-up that makes contact with the BB to produce a backspin. If you want the backspin on your BBs to be consistent between shots, you should use high-quality bucking.


Your gun’s range can be significantly impacted by the outdoors in some different ways. The range of your gun might be significantly reduced by a severe breeze while being slightly increased by a tailwind. The range of your rifle may also be affected by the temperature. Since gas guns frequently do not function as well in cold temperatures, this is especially true if you are using one.

What is the typical distance of an airsoft gun?

You can see why it’s difficult to answer the issue of how far airsoft guns shoot when you take into account all of the different factors that can affect their range. Having said that, the typical effective range of airsoft weapons across all types and models is somewhere in the region of 120–180 feet, or 36–54 meters.

Looking at the normal FPS ranges for airsoft guns’ average effective ranges is the most helpful approach to further break down this average:

  • How far can an airsoft rifle with 200 FPS shoot? – Maximum effective ranges for airsoft weapons with an FPS of 200 or less are normally in the region of 75-100 feet (22m-30m).
  • How far can an airsoft rifle with 300 FPS shoot? – Airsoft weapons with a maximum effective range of 125-175 feet (38m-53m) typically have an FPS of roughly 300.
  • How far can an airsoft rifle with 400 FPS shoot? – Airsoft weapons with a maximum effective range of at least 400 FPS typically have a maximum range of about 200 feet. The effective range of high-quality sniper rifles in this FPS range can occasionally reach up to 300 feet (90m).

Finding the ideal balance between cost and maximum effective range when buying an airsoft gun will be made much easier if you are aware of the range, you can expect based on your gun’s FPS.

The kind of gun in issue is another aspect that merits attention when assessing the range of airsoft weapons. Even if all other conditions are identical, it is evident that an airsoft pistol will have a significantly shorter range than an airsoft sniper rifle. In light of this, let’s examine the range that you can anticipate from each of the three major categories of airsoft weapons: pistols, shotguns, and rifles/SMGs.

Airsoft Pistol

Airsoft Makarov pistol spring system

There are two primary types of airsoft handguns: spring-powered pistols and gas-powered pistols. Your maximum effective range with spring-powered airsoft pistols is only going to be around 40 feet (12 meters). While gas-powered airsoft pistols perform marginally better, they typically have a maximum effective range of 50–80 feet (15–24 meters).

Airsoft SMGs and Rifles

A Dboys M4A1 AEG

When it comes to airsoft guns, longer barrels equate to longer ranges much like with real-steel weaponry, and airsoft rifles and SMGs will have far higher effective ranges than airsoft pistols. Starting with SMGs, most AEG SMGs have a maximum effective range of between 120 and 150 feet (36 and 45 meters). In contrast, AEG assault rifles typically have a maximum effective range of 150–200 feet (45–60 meters). The maximum effective range of airsoft sniper rifles is normally between 53 and 68 meters or 175-225 feet. Despite this, some high-end sniper rifles and even a few assault rifles can fire accurately at distances of more than 300 feet (90 meters).

Airsoft Shotguns

photo of a man aiming his rifle

Airsoft shotguns were not intended for long-distance shooting like their actual counterparts. However, compared to shotguns that fire a single projectile, you might find that your effective range with an airsoft shotgun is a little bit closer to the gun’s actual maximum range. Having said that, the maximum range of most airsoft shotguns is between 75 and 100 feet (22 and 30 meters), which is also their maximum effective range, depending on whether or not you get a lucky spread.