Safety is a very important thing to consider when playing with gel blasters. While they ensure a great deal of fun, one question still remains – do gel blasters hurt?
Especially if you are buying a gel ball gun for playing with your family or friends, it’s important to make sure that it is safe to use. In this article, I’ll be shedding more light on how much gel blasters can actually hurt and how you can prevent it. So, stick together, team, and let’s explore!
Do Gel Blasters Hurt? Get the Facts Straight Here
OUCH! Gel blaster balls burst upon impact on the skin, which feels like a short-lived sting and it is not as intense as paintball or airsoft pellets. To give you an idea, it feels like a rubber band snap or a gentle pinch that goes away quickly. But, when shot from a close range, the intensity of the impact is more than usual.
In most cases, I didn’t even feel any pain because the impact was negligible as I always play at a safe distance with <250 FPS gel blasters. However, if shot from a close range or if the water beads are frozen or hardened, the impact can hurt more. This video explains the effect of gel balls on the skin fired from a 280 FPS blaster at a close range-
While sensitive body parts like eyes and face are the most vulnerable spots, you can mitigate the problem by wearing safety spectacles and proper apparel. Younger children are more vulnerable to getting hit by gel blaster balls and for this reason, I do not recommend kids below 9 years playing with gel blaster guns.
As you might expect, their skin is much more sensitive than adults and teenagers. There has even been a report of a poor kid getting bruised in the face, neck, or eyes after getting shot randomly with a gel blaster as a result of the “Orbeez Challenge” on TikTok.
But, gelsoft guns do not cause any serious problems if you take proper safety precautions and don’t follow any unethical practices. Remember those blasters are fun toys meant for recreation, not real weapons in the battleground.
Factors That Determine How Hard The Gel Ball Will Hurt
In my experience, how hard will the gellets impact, depends on the distance, power, and muzzle velocity of the blaster. Here are all the factors that can determine how hard a gel blaster can hurt:
- Muzzle Velocity Or FPS Rating: Fire in the hole! The velocity at which the gel balls leave the barrel of the blaster can affect the impact force they have. The higher the FPS, the faster the bullet will travel, and the harder it will hit. Most of the gel ball guns shoot with a speed of 90-250 FPS, which is far less than airsoft and paintball guns (300 FPS & more). The faster the FPS rate, the higher the degree of getting hurt.
- Gel Ball Size And Weight: The weight and size of the gel ball can also affect its impact force. Larger and heavier gellets will generally hit harder than smaller and lighter ones. This is the reason, why I do not recommend freezing or hardening them as they become stiffer with increased weight.
- Distance: The closer the target is to the gel blaster, the harder the gel ball will hit. As the distance increases, the impact force will decrease. For this reason, never shoot in close range- lower than 3 meters. Check how far can gel blasters shoot to get an idea about their shooting ranges.
- Type Of Blaster: Different types of gel blasters, Orbeez guns and splatter ball guns have different power levels and firing mechanisms, which can affect the impact force of the gel balls they fire. For example, blasters powered by compressed air are usually more powerful than battery-operated ones.
- Upgrades And Modifications: Upgrading or modifying a gel blaster can increase its power and impact force. For example, installing a stronger spring or upgrading the motor can increase the FPS and make the gel balls hit harder- which should be avoided.
The degree of pain a gel blaster inflicts depends largely on its firing power. As I explained a bit earlier, different guns can fire projectiles at different speeds. In most cases, if the gellets are well-soaked, it just feels like a short-lived sting and doesn’t hurt a lot.
Case Study With Gel Blaster Surge: The Analysis & Findings
In this case study, I have used a Gel Blaster Surge Gen3, which fires gel balls of 7.5 mm in size- each has a mass of less than 0.01 grams. Measured by a Chronograph, the shooting speed is 150 FPS.
The impact force by these gel balls directly depends on the kinetic energy (½mv²) and momentum (mv), which are variables of mass and velocity. Upon release from the barrel, their momentum and kinetic energy can be calculated as 0.46 g*m/s and 0.01 Joules, respectively.
Let us compare these values with other projectiles to get a clear picture. As an example, a baseball has a mass of 145 grams and typically travels at 160 Km/hr. Its momentum and kinetic energy will be 6438 gm/s and 143 Joules, just after the bat hits the ball.
So, we can see that a small gellet shot from a gel blaster gun has a significantly negligible impact (1/30,000 times) compared to a baseball. It’s just a toy! The same thing is applicable to all Orbeez guns and splatter ball guns. You just have to be a little careful, wear protective gear, and avoid shooting your friends where it hurts.
Which Gel Blaster Hurts The Most?
Usually, gel blasters with more than 250 FPS speed would hurt the most. For example, an ARP9 gel blaster shoots at 300-330 FPS, which is beyond my recommended range. But, most other gel guns in the present day come with a 90-250 FPS speed range, so you don’t have to worry. It’s quite possible to play safely with these fun toys. Still, if you want to stay on the safe side, avoid purchasing a high-FPS gel blaster that tends to hurt the most.
Do Gel Blasters Hurt More Than Airsoft?
If you have been shot with an airsoft gun before and learned the hard way how much those things can make you feel, you might be wondering if gel blasters hurt even more.
However, it’s quite the contrary – water beads guns hurt far less than airsoft guns. To begin with, the biggest difference between airsoft and gel blaster guns is the kind of pellets they use. Airsoft guns fire projectiles made of plastic, which sting more than the gellets fired from a blaster.
Though airsoft bullets are smaller, they still weigh more than a gel ball. A typical airsoft bullet has a mass of 0.2 grams and an average speed of 400 FPS. So, the kinetic energy of airsoft gun pellets would be 1.48 Joules, which is still 148 times higher than 0.01 Joules by soft gellets. Therefore, airsoft guns will definitely impact stronger than gel blasters.
Orbeez Or Paintball: Which One Hurts More?
Gel blasters are once again the less painful option than paintball guns. Just like Orbeez beads, paintballs burst upon impact too. However, what makes the paintballs impact more is their size, weight, and speed.
A 0.68 caliber paintball weighs only 3 grams and gets shot from a marker with a maximum speed of 300 FPS. As a result, a paintball has a kinetic energy of around 12.5 Joules compared to 0.01 Joules by a gel ball. So, it is evident that a paintball hurts more than a gel ball used in Orbeez guns (1250 times in this example).
Getting hit on bare skin with paintballs can even cause welts, which is why it’s always advisable to wear protective clothing during a paintball game. Learn More: Gel Blaster Vs Paintball Gun: Which Is Better?
How Hard Do Gel Blasters Impact Compared To Nerf Guns?
Nerf guns have been around in the market for much longer than gel blasters, with the brand launching numerous gun models. So, if you’re trying to figure out whether to go for a Nerf gun or try out a blaster, you should note that Nerf guns hurt a bit more.
An Elite Dart for nerf guns weighs 1 gram and travels at a speed of 110 FPS approximately. So, its momentum and kinetic energy will be 45.72 g*m/s and 1.05 Joules. So, compared to the kinetic energy of gel blaster balls (0.01 Joules), nerf guns hit 105 times harder.
Also Read: Do Orbeez Guns Damage Cars?
Gel Blaster Safety Guidelines: Tips To Avoid Getting Hurt
Remember I told you this article would be shedding light on how to play safely with a gel ball blaster? Well, it’s about time that I showed you how to have fun with these guns without injuring yourself or someone else.
Must Use Eye Protection
Wearing a safety spectacle or glass is an absolute necessity because getting shot in your eye with a gel ball can blind you, even if temporarily. These toy guns usually come with safety goggles, so this shouldn’t be much of a problem. Always ensure everyone is using eye protection during the game.
Have Adequate Clothing
Besides protecting the eyes, it is always wise to wear clothes that cover your hands, legs neck, and face. You can wear a protective mask as paintball players do- this does not only improve safety but also your style. It is particularly important for children, as they are more vulnerable to getting hurt.
Do Not Use Gel Blasters With More Than 250 FPS Speed
I highly recommend playing with gel blasters that have a maximum FPS of 250. Many of the best quality gel ball blasters come with a feature to adjust the shooting power, allowing you to lower it to as low as 90 FPS. If you can get one of these, it’s a good idea to set it at a low power setting, especially when playing at close ranges.
Play Outdoors, Avoid Indoors
Although gel blasters are not unsafe for indoor playing, it’s best to play outdoors if you have a high-FPS gel ball gun without any power adjustment feature. It does not only help you to be safe but also keeps your home mess-free.
Never Shoot Near The Face
When playing a gel blaster battle with friends, make it a rule to avoid hitting anyone in the face. Even if you wear a safety glass, gellets can hit the sensitive spots near your ear, lips, and neck. This is very crucial to play safely with gel guns.
Don’t Hit Random People
It’s perfectly fine to enjoy a gel blaster game with your friends. However, avoid shooting people on the street randomly with your gun – they can even press charges against you. Many states in the USA have strict laws to prevent imitation guns to scare people in an unethical way. So, beware.
Maintain Minimum Distance
Always maintain a distance of at least 3 meters when playing with an Orbeez gun blaster. I know that might not always be possible in the heat of a battle, but at least try your best not to shoot someone from too close.
Adult Supervision Is Important For Kids
If you are a parent, please teach your children about the dos and don’ts of using gel blasters and supervise them to ensure it. Make sure the kids comply with the minimum age requirements and follow the safety precautions to use it properly.
Hopefully, you can play with gel blasters safely if you stick to the safety tips and guidelines. Let’s face it – any toy gun that shoots projectiles can hit someone if you aren’t careful and responsible.