Dr. Airsoft operates on a patient's eye  
Mark Vaughan, M.D.  


ASTM International

Airsoft Safety Questions

1. Dear Dr. Vaughan aka Dr. Airsoft,

First of all, thank you so much for what you are doing for the safety of airsoft.  I am 42 years-old and play airsoft with my 11 year-old son and I really appreciated your videos testing various face masks.  I hope that you don’t mind me contacting  you,  but I would  really appreciate your opinion.

Based upon your reviews, my son and I use Flex 8 masks.   However, after playing airsoft for almost a year my son has started to notice that  the really “good” or “cool” players are using a two piece type  of protection that consist of a mesh face mask and separate goggles.  As you can imagine, kids tend to want the latest “cool” thing and of course my son wants to start using this type of system.

I am concerned that this two piece system is not as safe as a full paintball type mask.  When I  look at some of the other players using this two piece system, I can sometimes see the skin under their eyes between the mask  and the goggles.

My gut instinct is that the full paintball type mask is a much safer system.  Though unlikely, it seems that it might be possible for a bb to reach the face or even the eye with the two  piece system.  Also,  a one piece mask is  much less  complex than a two piece system that might be prone to movement, especially on a smaller face.  Simple seems better.

However, I am seeking your opinion because I do tend to be somewhat overcautious as a parent.  

If you do happen to think there is a two piece system that is as safe as a one piece paintball mask system, I would greatly appreciate  your opinion on the best make and model.

Again, thank you for all of your time and help,


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2. Dear Mark,

Our church middle school is doing airsoft games as an activity for the kids. Last night they held an all nighter for the boys.  He has been wanting a certain gun and we bought it for him for the all nighter. I also got him a full face mask and told him to use it. Up until now he was using smith & wesson shooting glasses for airsoft. The church leaders require at least glasses at all times while in play. When I showed up to pick up my son this morning one of the leaders had a couple welts on his forehead and my son had two welts on his face. One was right below his eye. He told me he couldn't see through his scope and used the glasses instead of the facemask. I was upset because looking at the hit on the face it looked like it was from close range and I had specifically told him no close range shooting. They said it happened from across the gym. I am skeptical looking at the welt. When I heard one of the kids describe some close range encounters they had outside I became more upset.

Can I ask you what your opinion would be for minimum safety gear and what rules for the handling of these things in a group environment do you believe are most important.



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