Obviously, there are a lot of differences between air guns and a real gun,some of them are obvious others not so much. We are going to pit air guns vs real guns in this article. We aren’t going to be able to cover everything, but you should have a decent overview by the end of this page. 

Air Gun vs. Real Gun


This only applies to the United States. However, the laws between air guns vs real guns are completely different. While you can only purchase either over the age of 18, there is no law which prohibits a person buying an air gun for a minor and then passing it on to them. There is this law when it comes to real guns. 

Their purpose 

Despite what people may say, real guns are always designed to kill. They have the capability to kill. Even if you are using them for target shooting, it is still a weapon that was originally conceived with the idea of killing. 

Most air guns are not going to be able to kill people. They may cause some serious injury, but unless you are up close to somebody, it is unlikely to kill them. This is because air soft guns were not specifically designed to kill. They are for target practice. Dependent on the power of the gun that you purchase, you will even be able to use them in skirmish matches where you fire them at each other. 

How the projectile is launched 

When it comes to air guns vs real guns, the way in which the projectile is launched is completely different too. 

In real guns, a ‘hammer’ knocks the bullet, which causes the gunpowder in the bullet to ignite and be sent up the barrel. 

In air guns, there is no propellent inside the bullet. Instead, there will be a mechanism inside the air gun which gives the gun the ability to propel the projectile (normally small plastic or metal). This may be gas or air. 

Power is lower in air guns 

Because there is no gunpowder inside the bullet of an airsoft gun, the power is going to be lower. This means two things: 

  1. It is going to cause less damage 
  1. The bullet is going to travel smaller distances. 

Accuracy is lower in air guns 

You will also find that the accuracy of air guns will be lower than normal guns. They are harder to ‘zero’ too. The more you spend on an air gun, the more accurate it will be, but even then, it is still going to be less accurate than a normal real gun. 

Weight is lower in air guns 

Finally, air guns are going to be lower in weight than normal guns. There are several different reasons for this, but for the most part it is because there is ‘less’ going on inside of an air gun. There is no mechanism to light the gunpowder etc. This is another reason as to why the accuracy in air guns is lower. There is less ‘stablity’.


Obviously that is just a few things that different between air guns and “real guns”.  The truth is there is a lot more detailed differences in the two weapons than listed above. Although both are very different in their own ways they are the same. It’s like the difference between a cat and a lion but air guns vs. real guns is always interesting to look at though.