Once upon a fun weekend, my pals and I gathered in my backyard for a gel blaster party. Amid laughter and excitement, I spotted Kieren had a rather sheepish look.
“Hey, what’s wrong? Forget your blaster?” I asked him with a curiously. Bringing out his gel blaster, he pulled the trigger a couple of times to show us that it wasn’t working. Click, click – nothing happened. “Experimenting,” he confessed, “wanted to see if it handles airsoft BBs.”
Thankfully, I still had my other Orbeez guns and lend one to him, but this was a lesson we all learned – NEVER PUT AIRSOFT BBS IN A GEL BLASTER.
But I wondered why a gel blaster can’t handle airsoft pellets! After all, both the BB bullets and gel balls are spherical and shot from toy guns with similar mechanisms. Driven by this curiosity, I started exploring further, and here is what I have found.
Why Can’t You Put Airsoft BBs In A Gel Blaster?
You can technically load airsoft BBs into a gel blaster magazine instead of gellets, but that’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. However, as I have mentioned, it is not certainly recommended – those toy guns are solely meant to shoot gel balls. Any other kind of ammo can damage the blaster, pose a danger to others, or both.
Here are the 5 key reasons why you shouldn’t put airsoft BBs in a gel blaster:
1. Potential Damage To The Blaster
Gel blasters are designed to work with soft, bouncy gel balls – not the rock-hard plastic or metal pellets that airsoft guns or BB guns use. Using such bullets in a blaster can potentially damage its components.
Rapidly firing airsoft BBs in fully automatic mode for an extended period can generate quite a bit of heat. This can put a lot of stress on your gel blaster, reducing its lifespan significantly due to wear and tear.
And hey, size matters! Besides the difference in their hardness, airsoft pellets may also end up ramming your gel gun due to mismatching sizes. A gel ball jamming your blaster would simply get crushed if a moving part pressed against it, but an airsoft pellet would damage the gun instead.
2. Shorter Range
Swapping your regular gel ammo with airsoft BBs isn’t a performance upgrade, my friend. It’s quite the opposite, actually. You’ll end up with a significantly shorter shooting range because gel blasters aren’t as fast as airsoft guns.
The best gel blasters like Starfire XL and Surge XL have a maximum muzzle velocity of 250 feet per second within the safe limit. On the other hand, airsoft guns shoot at a velocity of around 400 FPS on average. Made from plastic or metal, BB bullets are heavier than water beads and require more force to cover the same distance.
A gel blaster, Orbeez gun, or splatter ball gun simply won’t be able to shoot airsoft ammo hard enough to hit distant targets. Opponents using regular Orbeez ammo can easily take you out before they’re within the range of your blaster.
3. The Risk Of Injury
Remember, the whole reason why gel blasters were developed was to offer a safer alternative to airsoft guns. While airsoft is definitely a lot more realistic, the BB pellets are much more likely to cause bruising and other injuries. This is because gellets primarily consist of water and break upon impact, while airsoft BBs are much harder.
You essentially need a pair of protective goggles when playing with gel blasters to avoid injuries to the eyes. But, for airsoft, wearing thick and full-length clothing, eye protection, and face masks is highly recommended.
In my experience, using airsoft ammo in a gel ball blaster is dangerous unless everyone is geared accordingly with the necessary safety requirements.
4. Mismatching Barrel And Ammo Sizes
7.5 mm gellets are explicitly designed for gel blasters, but the same can’t be said about airsoft. 8 mm BBs can easily jam your gun and potentially even cause damage to its components. Similarly, pellets that are too small (6 mm), can slip out of the barrel or pile up together inside, causing the gun to jam.
On the other hand, good gel blaster balls are soft and squishy, which allows them to fit more snugly inside the barrel and other internal components.
5. Legal Issues
Lastly, putting airsoft BBs in a gel blaster might not even be legal in the first place. For instance, airsoft guns have been banned in Australia and have restricted uses in several states in the US due to the associated risks. Modifying a blaster to shoot plastic or metal pellets can potentially land you in trouble and incur penalties.
So, Should You Stick To The Gel Balls Recommended By The Manufacturer?
While a gel ball blaster can technically shoot a variety of ammo as long as they’re of the right size, you must always stick to the gellets recommended by the manufacturer. Here’s why other types of ammo should not be put in a gel blaster.
- By now, you already know that airsoft’s BB pellets damage your blaster, raise legal concerns and even result in injuries, regardless of whether their material is plastic or metal.
- Paintballs are too large and would jam your magazine. Besides, the pressure and impact can cause them to burst inside the blaster, filling the inside with dye.
- Regular Orbeez without a proper size aren’t meant for gel blasters as they will not match the diameter of the barrel. Poor-quality, disfigured gel balls may also break apart easily or clog up your gun.
It’s best to get gel beads from the same manufacturer as your Orbeez gun for maximum compatibility. However, any of the top brands like Splat R Ball, Gel Blaster, or UnlocX should work just fine – all their bullets have a similar size and quality.
Final Thoughts: The Takeaways
So, I hope that clears up your doubts about whether a gel gun can double as an airsoft gun. After experiencing this myself, I would highly advise against putting BBs in a gel blaster – even a single pellet jamming the gun can potentially damage it.
If you still want to experiment by putting airsoft pellets in a gel blaster, use an old toy gun that you wouldn’t mind discarding if it does not work anymore. Make sure everyone on the spot is wearing protective clothing to avoid injuries – eye protection alone won’t cut it.
Also, stick to manual or semi-automatic firing modes, as your blaster would be more likely to get damaged when firing airsoft pellets in full-auto mode.
Thankfully, Kieren’s blaster wasn’t broken– it only had a jammed barrel due to the airsoft bullets piling up inside it and blocking the piston from moving. All we had to do was dismantle the gun, remove the BBs, and reassemble it back together. However, putting airsoft pellets in a gel blaster gun is not worth the risk.