You are planning to play airsoft during the weekend with your friend. All you have is one airsoft-specific mask and your paintball headgear. At this point, you don’t have much to purchase any more gear and are not ready to rent one. Can’t you just use your paintball mask for airsofting?
Maybe that’s not your case. You probably want to buy one mask that suits your paintballing and airsofting activities, that is, kill one bird with two stones. That can really save you a lot in terms of budget. Is there a paintball mask you can go for? If that is so, then which one is the best?
The question concerning the proper masks to use for airsoft has led to heated debates among players with some fields requiring only specific paintball goggles. Many times, airsofters have felt that any field that has such rules goes against the law and is putting the players at a risk of sustaining serious injuries.
The truth is that airsoft guns are not toys. They can easily damage your eyes, mouth, ears, and teeth, even when you’ve set the velocity as low as 250fps. That’s why you need proper equipment to protect your face and the whole body. In fact, you need a full-face mask for your head.
Apart from your gun, the most important thing you need on the airsoft field is the face and eye protection. While a shot on your limb or torso may only leave a welt, everything above your shoulders is delicate and you have to protect it properly. That’s why you need to select a mask that you’re sure of.
There’re very many different masks available on the market today, and it is highly recommended that you go for a full-face option. This makes it a daunting task to select one that suits your specific needs as an airsofter.
As to whether it is proper to use a paintball mask for airsoft or not, it depends on a number of factors. Apart from requiring full-face goggles, you have to ensure that they are either tested or cannot allow the small pellets to pass through the vent holes. Also, you need to consider the flexibility of the paintball mask.
Why a Full-Face Mask?
A full-face mask is meant to protect everything above your neck. While airsoft pellets cannot put you in danger of getting a head trauma, they can seriously damage the softer parts of your head and result in minor facial scars. A good full-face mask can protect you from such dangers while offering the much-required comfort.
Most players prefer these masks as they’re easy to use and do not require them to set up their own systems. There are many different types of goggles under this category depending mainly on personal preferences.
More experienced players prefer half-face masks. These are meant to cover the lower parts of your face and allow you to select the eye protection of your choice. If you customize it properly, a half-face mask can provide the same level of protection as a full-face one. However, this two-piece option may not be suitable for you if you’re a novice.
Why Some Fields Strictly Require Paintball Masks?
Every airsoft field has a responsibility of protecting its own players. Some fields strictly require airsofters to use only full-face masks for their own safety. If you go there with your airsoft mask, they won’t allow it. There’s usually a reason for that.
Some fields have done tests for different types of masks using standard 0.20g pellets and close range shots. For instance, Airsoft Hawaii/ASH Productions does this at 30 feet. The fields determine the impact of such shots on masks at varying velocities.
Airsoft Hawaii found out that paintball goggles are the strongest types of eye protection that can withstand impact. Lexan, the material that makes bulletproof glass, is what they permit for the lens on the field. The maximum velocity that they allow is 450fps. This is because any speed beyond that can seriously damage the mask and end up injuring you.
When it comes to your personal safety, it’s always better to stick with facts rather than theories. Before arguing that the field owners are breaching the law, do some research to find out why they only allow paintball masks. It could be that they have done tests to protect themselves from being answerable before the courts.
Paintball Equipment is More Developed
There’s a much larger market for paintball safety equipment as compared to airsoft. This includes masks. In fact, retailers market many paintball-specific goggles as airsoft gears. This is because the improved technology in paintball equipment has made them safer and more comfortable.
Most paintball masks are more durable, flexible, efficient, and stronger than the simple goggles or glasses that usually come with airsoft guns. They can combat fogging issues better. That’s why many airsofters love them. Paintball masks aren’t popular for no good reason. You’ll get good value for your money once you have done a good research.
Some Important Things to Consider
If you’ve decided to play airsoft with your paintball mask, then there are a number of things to consider:
- Whether the fields you are going to play in has requirements that can fit with your style. While some field managers allow you to use paintball masks, there are some who strictly require specific types of protection. It is always good to check out the rules of the fields you intend to play in before either purchasing or going with your paintball mask there. Also, ensure that your mask’s velocity limit is safe for the specific field.
- Be sure to get a quality paintball mask that you can use for airsoft. Since the design might be quite different, you need to force a BB through the mask’s vent holes before buying it or going with it to the field. Avoid wire mesh masks as they may allow pellets to go through.
It is possible to use your paintball mask for airsoft. However, you need to do proper research before trying it out in the field. Specifically, you need a full-face mask that doesn’t allow small pellets to pass through the vents.