10 Tips to Stay Safe in Airsoft

As always, safety is our top priority–and that includes on the airsoft field and off.

If you’re just getting into airsoft or have been playing for a while and want to brush up on safety rules, you’re in the right place!

airsofters getting geared up to play
Gotta play it safe!

We’re going to talk a little more about some safety tips and rules that can keep you, and those around you, nice and safe. 

Let’s jump in!

How to Stay Safe During Airsoft

1. Only Point Your Muzzle at Things You Intend to Shoot

This should be a duh kinda rule but you’d be amazed at the duh kinda moments we’ve witnessed over the years.

Even if you know your gun is unloaded, it’s good practice to always keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

specna-arms-U9ZKrZSS5uU-unsplash
Muzzle in a safe direction? Check!

It’ll become a habit you’re thankful for one day.

This also includes — and we can’t believe we have to say this, but we do — looking down the barrel.

Do not look into the muzzle of your gun for any reason, even with eye protection on, okay?

Airsoft player wearing a plate carrier
Always keep it pointed in a safe direction…and that direction is never at your face.

This reduces instances of friendly fire and accidents.

2. Keep Your Airsoft Gun Unloaded When Not Playing

While there may be some reasons a real firearm would be loaded outside of the shooting range…there’s literally no reason for your airsoft gun to be loaded when you’re not on the field with eye protection on.

Only load your gun once you’re on the field and everyone’s eye protection is on.

loading an airsoft pistol
Always leave your gun unloaded until you’re on the field.

If you have to leave the field for any reason (even if just for a minute), remove your magazine and fire a few rounds at the ground or in a safe direction to make sure your gun is completely unloaded before stepping off the field.

Even though you know your gun is unloaded, treat it as if it can fire at any time. Better safe than sorry.

3. Don’t Count on the Safety

Even though your gun probably has a series of safety systems to prevent accidental discharges, they’re not fool-proof.

9. Krytac Trident SPR MKII Fire Selector
Don’t rely on controls…be smart.

Don’t think your gun is safe to wave around just because your safety is on.

Remember, treat your gun as if it’s loaded and ready to fire so you don’t accidentally shoot a friend.

4. Know Your Target And What’s Beyond It

Be 100% sure of what you’re aiming at, as well as what you might hit if you miss them.

This is one of the most repeated safety rules for a good reason.

It will help you avoid friendly fire, prevent injuries, and give you better situational awareness.

Down Range Photographer
Just… don’t.

5. Always Wear Eye, Ear, and Face Protection

Never, ever, ever set foot on the field without eye protection and ear protection. Full face protection is best. Why?

Eyes and teeth are very painful and very expensive to repair. Airsoft BBs will have no problem causing catastrophic damage to them.

Airsoft BB wound
If it can do that to your leg…imagine what it would do to your eyeball, just sayin’.

Even if you’re not on the field, but run the risk of stray BBs, gear up with your protection.

Even though airsoft guns aren’t loud, you’ll still want to protect your ears, since getting a BB in the ear canal is a rather unpleasant experience.

You won’t regret having protection,

See our recommendations on the best eye protection!

6. Know How Airsoft Guns Work

We’re not asking for expert-level knowledge, but a little know-how can go a long way. It can help you diagnose issues when things go wrong and allow you to make informed decisions about upgrades.

AEG Internals

So how does this keep you safe?

Well, if you have some basic knowledge of your gun and repair skills, you can address potential safety issues on the field and prevent them from reoccurring. 

That said…

7. Don’t Alter Airsoft Guns Without Technical Training

Okay, so we know we just told you to make sure you knew how to work on your own gun, but there are limits here.

Cyma CM048 AK-74 Pistol Grip
Leave the major alterations to the pros.

Altering and upgrading your airsoft gun is best left to the professionals, lest you turn your airsoft plinker into a hyper-powered death machine of doom.

That’s a lot less cool than it sounds when you send another player to the hospital.

You can learn about upgrading, but when it comes to wrenching on your gun, talk to a pro.

8. Properly Maintain Your Gun

Replacing worn-out parts, keeping your gun tuned up, and cleaning your gun can go a long way towards increasing the accuracy and reliability of your gun. And it makes it safer. 

OTT Elite Force Glock 17 Gen 4 CO2 pictures Compressed for Web (24 of 24)
Knowing how to learn your guns is important.

Clean your barrel after a day of shooting and inspect your gun before and after hitting the field.

Just don’t forget to always make sure your gun is fully unloaded before working on it.

If you need some tips on cleaning, see our article on How to Clean Your Airsoft Gun.

9. Take Precaution When Your Gun Misfires

You expect that your gun will go pew when you pull the trigger, but what do you do when it… doesn’t? 

airsoft sniper
Sometimes it goes click instead of pew…it happens.

Well, first off, you don’t look into the muzzle. Instead, try unloading the magazine, clearing the gun, or checking the battery, all while keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. 

If that doesn’t work, fall back to your secondary gun, do recon, or serve as a spotter until the match has ended for you.

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You can still help your buddies out, even if your gun isn’t working right.

More serious repairs can be undertaken in the staging area — after you’ve completely unloaded your gun.

10. Use Quality BBs

The quality of your ammo matters, even if it is pretty much being thrown away (see why you can’t reuse BBs).

High-quality BBs are less likely to shatter on impact and spray shrapnel in every direction or break and jam your gun.

Airsoft BBs
Higher quality BBs mean better matches and less wear on your guns.

This means you and everyone else on the field will be just a little bit safer.

Good BBs can be a little more expensive, but it’s well worth it in the end.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of ways to get hurt playing airsoft, but there’s also a lot you can do to protect yourself and those around you while on the field.

Milsim airsoft players
It’s all about having a good time, and being safe ensures that happens.

Even if you take nothing else away from this, remember these safety rules:

  • All airsoft guns should be treated as if they’re loaded.
  • Never point your gun at anything you don’t want to shoot.
  • Know your target and background.
  • Always wear eye and ear protection.

Your teammates will be grateful for your safety-conscious mindset, and you’ll be glad that it wasn’t you who did something dumb and got yourself or another person hurt.

Airsoft players preparing to breach a building
Your teammates will appreciate you not shooting them…trust us.

What safety tips did we miss? Any recommendations on BBs, eye protection, or other safety gear? Tell us all about it in the comments! Need gear? Be sure to head over to our Essential Safety Gear to see what we recommend!

Milo Harrison

Milo's a desert rat by birth and grew up in the shadow of Nellis AFB. He first discovered paintball in high school, but quickly switched to the world of airsoft when he found out how much less it stung. He still loves a pickup game in the backyard, but these days, you'll usually find him at airsoft LARP events.

View all posts by Milo Harrison →

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