What Can a BB Gun Penetrate?

Setting up a target range for practice with a bb gun may have you confused as to which objects to use as targets. Do not let this stop you, as the penetration ability of a BB gun can vary, and certain materials are harder to penetrate than others.

BB Gun Penetration Capacity

A BB gun’s capacity for penetration is determined by the pellet material, speed, and where it hits. Velocity depends on the power source and ammo used.

Increasing penetration? Try shooting at an angle. But, always prioritize safety and follow gun handling protocols. And remember: never fire a BB gun at people or animals – it can lead to serious injury!

Pro Tip: Think of a BB gun as a mini artillery cannon for backyard battles.

Just remember that safety comes first. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says yearly, over 20,000 kids under 18 end up in the ER due to pellet gun injuries. So always use adult supervision and protective gear when using BB guns. Don’t forget size matters when it comes to the caliber.

What Can a BB Gun Penetrate?

To understand the potential damage of a BB gun, dive into the sub-sections of things that a BB gun can penetrate. Solutions include thin materials like cardboard and paper, soft materials like foam and plastic, thin metal sheets, and glass, thick materials like wood and plasterboard, and even human skin and body parts.

Thin Materials Like Cardboard and Paper

Thin surfaces like cardboard and paper can be easily penetrated by BB guns. Lightweight and porous, these materials offer little resistance. The penetration level depends on the distance and velocity of the BB gun.

Cardboard is a common material used in packages – thin and vulnerable to BB gun penetration. The depth of penetration depends on the cardboard’s thickness. Paper is another example of a thin surface that can be penetrated by a BB gun, without much damage or deformation. Other thin materials like plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and fabric can also be penetrated by BB guns, as they don’t offer much resistance against high-velocity projectiles.

The angle at which a BB hits a surface can affect its ability to penetrate it too. A glancing shot causes less damage than a perpendicular one. When shooting at targets with BB guns, always practice safety precautions, like wearing protective gear and maintaining safe distances.

To make sure you’re using your BB gun safely for target practice or hunting small game, get familiar with your equipment’s capabilities. Exercise caution when handling any firearm or projectile-based weapon. Follow proper protocols and stay safe while enjoying yourself!

Soft Materials Like Foam and Plastic

Testing the penetration power of BB guns on soft materials like foam and plastic can yield varied results. Foam substances such as polystyrene and polyurethane are easily punctured, whereas plastic materials like PVC or ABS require more force. Cardboard, rubber, and silicone also fall into this category; cardboard and rubber are fairly easily penetrated by BB guns, while silicone needs more force.

Though these materials may seem harmless, they can be dangerous. A study by Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that, between 1990-2016, ERs reported an average of 363402 cases per year involving individuals younger than 18, related to airsoft guns or BBs.

Thin metal sheets won’t protect you from a BB gun – unless you want a polka-dot pattern on your windshield.

Thin Metal Sheets

When it comes to ballistic items, thin metal sheets can be quite intriguing. What a BB gun can penetrate through depends on the metal and its thickness. Let’s explore this further with a table.

MaterialThickness (inches)Penetration

Thinner and softer metals are easier for a steel BB to pass through. To stay safe, try coating the thin sheets with materials like Kevlar or laminated polycarbonate sheets to provide better protection. Result? Shattered dreams, but not shattered windows!


BBs can penetrate the shatterproof and durable material known as the “Transparent Solid Substrate for Vision“. To prevent harm or destruction, we created a table to show the material thickness and its penetration capabilities.

Material TypePenetration Capability
Single Pane Window Glass (2mm)Penetrable
Double Pane Window Glass (6mm)Non-Penetrable
Tempered Glass (4-6mm)Non-Penetrable
Bulletproof Glass (28-32mm)Non-Penetrable

Remember, the angle of impact also affects glass penetration. An object striking at an acute angle is less likely to penetrate than one hit at a right angle.

Safety first! Put precautions in place before using a BB gun around glass or any other material that could cause damage or injury. Looks like your DIY barricade won’t stand a BB-ullet with those materials!

Thick Materials Like Wood and Plasterboard

BB guns face a unique challenge when it comes to thick building materials. These require more precision and power to penetrate than thin materials such as paper or plastic. Examples of such materials include wood, plasterboard, brick, and concrete.

It’s important to take into account other factors such as distance, angle, velocity, and type/weight of BB pellets when dealing with thick materials. High-quality BB guns with sufficient power and accuracy are recommended. Upgrading the airsoft gun’s inner barrel and the hop-up system can also increase range and accuracy, thus providing penetrating power on thicker materials. A careful selection of airsoft gun models compatible with advanced internal systems is the best solution.

Metal BB Gun Target

Special bb gun targets are made of thick metal, such as steel, that will not allow penetration by bbs. These are often attached to stands or mounts that can be placed in an open area at a set distance.

A powerful bb gun may be able to penetrate the wood. To learn more check out our post The Most Powerful BB Guns.

Human Skin and Body Parts

When it comes to BB guns, it’s key to be aware of their effect on the human body. This includes the potential damage to our skin and other structures inside us. It is thus essential to grasp how a BB gun interacts with human flesh and parts.

From a ballistics point of view, BB guns can penetrate skin and muscle tissue. This is due to the velocity, energy, size, and shape of the projectile. Skin is stretchy, yet can still be damaged. If aimed right, internal body parts could be impacted too.

It’s essential to know that BB guns aren’t toys – they have caused serious injuries to adults and kids. This illustrates the importance of firearm safety training and responsible use when operating any type of weapon.

For instance, a group of teens was shooting BB guns in an empty lot near a residential area. Sadly, one of them hit a pedestrian in the back of the head. The victim had to seek medical help and had severe injuries that took a while to heal.

The story shows that even small projectile weapons like BB guns can hurt people who don’t expect or guard against their impact. Everyone should understand what these guns are capable of and how to handle them safely and responsibly. So, remember: BB guns may be small, but they’re not toys – treat them with extreme caution!

Factors Affecting Penetration Power of a BB Gun

To increase the penetration power of your BB gun, you must understand the factors that affect it. Velocity, weight of BB, shape of BB, and material of the target all play significant roles. We will briefly explore each of these factors and provide you with solutions to improve your BB gun’s penetration power.


The speed of a BB gun bullet is an important factor in its penetration power. The higher the velocity, the greater the force – leading to deeper penetration.

The following table shows the Penetration Depth (inches) of BB gun bullets at different Velocities (fps):

Velocity (fps)Penetration Depth (inches)

Maintaining consistency in velocity is crucial. Even small changes can affect results. Velocity is influenced by atmospheric conditions, barrel length, and projectile weight.

During WW2, BB guns were used as training tools for air force gunners. These guns had lower velocity than modern-day BB guns but were still effective due to their similarity with real weapons.

Heavy BBs are more likely to hit something important, like a window, but they also hurt more when shot.

Want to learn more, see our post All About Air Gun Ballistics.

Weight of the BB

The weight of BBs can have a huge effect on their penetration power. Let’s take a look at the data.

BB weightPenetration power
0.12 gLow
0.20 gModerate
0.25 gHigh

As you can see, the heavier the BB, the more powerful its penetration. Lighter BBs (0.12 g) won’t do as well as those that weigh 0.25 g. 0.20 g BBs have a moderate penetration capacity.

Other factors like velocity, air resistance, and distance from the target can also make a difference. But, weight is still a key factor.

Choose the right size and weight of BBs for your gun – otherwise your accuracy and precision will suffer. Also, remember that rounded BBs are more penetrating than square ones.

The shape of the BBs

When it comes to BB gun performance, the shape of the projectiles can hugely impact their penetration power. Round-shaped BBs are cheap and easy to get, but flat-shaped ones are better for accuracy at close ranges. Pointed BBs have a sharp tip, so they penetrate better.

One must think about distance, wind velocity, and the penetration needed when choosing the shape of BB. For instance, if you need accurate shots over long distances, flat-bodied ones might be a good choice. They increase accuracy without impacting power.

Remember: Pick the right shape of BB for your needs to get the most out of your shooting experience!

Material of Target

The material of a target is key to a successful BB gunshot. Different materials have different densities and thicknesses, meaning they require different amounts of energy to penetrate. For instance, metal targets like cans and plates are harder to penetrate than paper and cardboard.

Material matters for accuracy and power. A smooth metal surface will ricochet off pellets, requiring more accurate shots to penetrate compared to a porous cardboard surface which absorbs pellets more easily.

When practicing with a BB gun, users should opt for materials similar to real-world scenarios such as thick walls or animal hide. This ensures they practice in contexts representative of their needs. Additionally, targets should be tight-fitting to reduce air movement and provide greater accuracy.

Pellet size is also important for penetration. A small projectile may not have enough force to pierce a thick steel plate, but will easily pierce through soft rubber mats. Ensure you use the right pellet size for maximum efficiency and better results. See what you can turn into a bullet-riddled masterpiece with your BB gun!

Safety Precautions While Using a BB Gun

When using a BB gun, safety measures are key to avoiding any harm to self or others. Here are some tips:

  • Treat the gun as if loaded. Don’t point it at anyone and keep the muzzle pointed down.
  • Wear eye protection gear to guard against ricochets or shrapnel.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger unless ready to shoot. Aim only at targets safe and within reach.
  • Don’t modify or alter the gun unless allowed by the manufacturer. This may lead to misfires/malfunctions.
  • Never use a BB gun for hunting. It lacks power and speed for ethical hunting.
  • Make sure no one is behind the target, as BBs can penetrate certain materials.

Practice caution with a BB gun, no matter the experience level. Don’t let kids handle them without adult supervision. As responsible users, we must take all necessary safety steps.

Additionally, store the gun in a place children can’t access. This adds an extra layer of security against accidents.

Following these measures will ensure an enjoyable experience with power guns while staying safe.


Many factors like range, angle, ammunition type, and velocity influence the damage caused by BB gunshots. So, when choosing your target, keep these in mind when determining if the bb will go through and hit something behind it.

Lawrence the Airgun Ranger