Can You Use Plastic BBs in a Metal BB Gun

Can You Use Plastic BBs in a Metal BB Gun? Let’s Find Out

There is often confusion between the terms “Plastic BB gun” and “Metal BB gun,” but are they really interchangeable?

It is without a doubt that both of them are made to shoot projectiles. And they cal also function in similar ways. But their similarities end there.

So, can you use plastic bbs in a metal bb gun?

No, plastic BBs cannot be used in a metal BB gun. Metal BB guns also known as co2 guns are solely designed to propel lead or steel BBs. Whereas Airsoft guns are created to shoot plastic BBs. Moreover, Co2 guns are designed with maximum power that doesn’t go with plastic BBs.

Well, that was just a brief insight in answer to your question. We have provided adequate logical reasoning to clear it all out for you. 

Stay with us to know more!

An Overview of Airsoft Gun and Metal BB Gun

In the beginning, BB guns were spring-powered rifles. Single shotgun pellets are fired by them. In the years following, BB guns began to be made from metal, much like firearms.

Airsoft guns, on the other hand, are mainly used for the purpose of target practice. Green gas supports their power mechanism. Later it was found out that airsoft guns does not cause severe injuru if shot at pther people.

Reasons Why Plastic BBs Cannot Be Used in A Metal BB Gun

The answer to can you use plastic BBs in a metal BB gun isn’t as straightforward as determining the fps limit.

Now, Airsoft guns and BB guns does not serve the same purpose for the users. Ther are quite a few differences which makes them unique from the other one.

We have explained the reasons in detail. It will help you to end your confusion and help you to understand the differences between these two better.

Let’s take a look at them.

Reason 1: Ammunition 

The main reason plastic BB and metal BB are not interchangeable is because of their ammunition. BB guns use lead or steel BBs that measures about 4.3mm in diameter. Because of 

  • the power of the gun
  • the weight of the ammo
  • and its small size

 The use of BB guns can result in severe injuries or even death.

Airsoft guns fire plastic BBs, also called airsoft pellets, are 6mm in diameter. Apart from that, 4.5mm plastic BBs are also available on the market. Airsoft guns fire their rounds at a much slower velocity, so they don’t have a big impact.

 Here are some of our recommendations for plastic BBs

Reason 2: Power

There are some differences between BB guns and airsoft guns when it comes to performance. BB guns fire rounds at a faster velocity than airsoft guns.

The majority of airsoft guns fire at less than 500 FPS, while BB guns can fire at more than 550 FPS. However, airsoft guns aren’t deadly because of how their ammunition is loaded.

Due to their superior penetration, steel BBs or lead BBs cannot be used to shoot at others safely.

Reason 3: Use

A typical airsoft gun is used to practice target shooting and play the sport. Here, players shoot at each other to eliminate opposing teammates. Some military and law enforcement units use such games to train.

Even though you can use green gas in CO2 gun, you cannot use plastic BBs in a metal gun. 

BB guns are used not only for target practice but also for pest control and hunting small game. More powerful BB guns can allow hunters to kill their prey without the loudness of using an actual firearm.

Reason 4: Accuracy

Heavy metal BBs are less vulnerable to environmental elements like the wind. It can throw off precision, so BB guns may have an advantage. BB guns with laser are also available on the market

Long-range shooting is dominated by BB guns, but they cannot be used up close. But airsoft guns have the upper hand here.

Airsoft guns utilize a hop-up system that supports putting a spin on the BB. It helps to travel farther in a straight line

Reason 5: Safety

Generally, airsoft guns are far safer to operate than BB guns. Lower FPS rates and lighter ammo diminish an airsoft gun’s ability to penetrate a target, making it a harmless weapon

BB guns, on the other hand, are never safe to shoot at another person. Your backstop must be strong to stop a lead or steel BB while shooting a BB gun.

Maintaining safety while using airguns is obligatory to avoid any injury. 

Lastly, you might wonder now “Can you shoot plastic BBs in a pellet gun”? 

The answer is still no as it is for the metal BB gun.

Precautions with Buns

  • Even if airsoft is safer than BB guns, it’s still not an excuse to be reckless
  • Always wear eye protection, like you did while zeroing a scope with mirror when around BB and airsoft guns 
  • Never fire airsoft guns at ranges less than 10 feet,
  • Don’t shoot your opponents in the face to avoid any injury and accidents..

Now, these were all the precautions. 


Does metal BB hurt?

Yes metal BBs can hurt. It turns out to be not that painful, depending on how much shock/adrenaline you’re feeling. However, if you experience problems later, you might need surgery.

Are pellets and BBs the same?

NO! BBs and pellets are not the same. BBs, are in the shape of small circles that has a diameter of 0.180 inches They are also called ball bearings. Pellets are twice the size of BBs. The measure about 0.22 inches

Is BB or pellet gun stronger?

Between BB and pellets guns, the latter one is the strogest because of its maximum power and strength.


Hope we’ve answered your “Can you use plastic BBs in metal BB guns” properly.

Plastic BB guns are the best option if you just want to have fun and play some games with your friends. If you want your gun to shoot with maximum power, you have to choose metal bb gun

Thanks for staying with us, Good luck with those guns.

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