Airsoft guns can hurt people, which is obviously bad. The best way to ensure safety is therefore to measure the gun’s performance. To help you, we have prepared an FPS Chart. If you do not know how to read it, scroll down to our short Guide:
The airsoft FPS Chart has 3 categories in total:
- 🟢 Green (safe): Guns with under 2 Joule of muzzle energy. On most fields, you can use these everywhere without bigger issues.
- 🟡 Yellow (strong): Guns in between 2 to 4 Joules of muzzle energy. This is mostly the “sniper” category. With most events requiring players using such replicas to always carry and use a weaker sidearm with a muzzle energy around 1 Joule.
- 🔴 Red (unsafe): Guns with 4+ Joules of muzzle energy are unfit for airsoft game in most places as it’s very hard to ensure safety. These can be used for target shooting.
How to assess which category my gun goes in?
There are 2 easy ways:
- Measure the gun with a Chornograph: chronograph allows you to tell the muzzle velocity of a BB. Take the actual BBs you’ll be playing with and measure the velocity. Then find your Joule number in the chart.
- Look up the gun’s performance: if you have a stock gun, just look it up on the internet. Most shops state the gun’s muzzle velocity. All these velocities are taken with .20g BBs. Knowing that, you can easily head for the Chart.
You got the SSE18 Airsoft Electric Pistol. From the product webpage you know, that the muzzle velocity is around 220 FPS (w/ 0.20g BBs). You combine these two numbers in a chart and get the final result: the pistol should have around 0.45 Joules of muzzle energy, meaning it’s safe.
Safety Regulations on Airsoft Fields
Put simply, fields mostly set up their own limits so the best thing to do is look that up or shoot them an e-mail. However, if you decide to play outside of a field (in the woods with your friends for instance) it may be beneficial to know if your gun is safe.
Depending on how powerful a gun is, the user may have to be a certain distance away before shooting another player. This is called “Minimum Engagement Distance.” If the gun is really powerful, or the field is really small, the field may deny certain guns from being used. This is important to consider if you wish to buy an airsoft replica. We at Novritsch therefore always state our guns’ performance.
Fields that allow more powerful guns will require you to keep distance or use a weaker sidearm. If you are closer, you will have to point your gun at them and say a specific phrase like “Bang bang.” These guns can shoot up to 400 FPS, 130 MPS, or 1.6 Joules.
Fields that allow really powerful guns will require you to stand around 100 feet or 40 metres away. These guns can shoot up to 500 FPS, 150 MPS, or 2.8 Joules. If you own one of these, it’s highly recommended to buy a pistol. Many people in the bracket below also carry low powered pistols so they can shoot people with no minimum distance.
Problems with Gun Chronoing
The power of guns is usually measured in FPS (feet per second,) or MPS (metres per second). These measurements are always taken with 0.20g BBs. However, the most precise measurements should be done in Joules with the actual BB weight you intend to play with. This prevents an effect called the Joule Creep. If you want to get more tech-savvy, check out this video made by Chris:
In the US, fields will measure the FPS of guns with either a .2 gram BB or a .25 gram BB. Once the FPS is measured, just about every outdoor field will allow you to use any biodegradable bb you want. Many indoor fields will require you to use .25 gram BBs or lighter. Since engagement distances are so short, you don’t need to worry about the accuracy loss with lightweight BBs.
Depending on where you play, the rules may differ; feel free to message your local field or call them. Many fields will allow you to shoot players with no distance between you. This will require low power guns. These will shoot below 350 FPS, 100 MPS, or 1 Joule.
In any case, stay safe. Causing injuries to others is never worth it.