Airsoft guns have numerous complex working parts, and when something interrupts the delicate workings of your gun, it can become jammed and unable to fire.

This is the last thing you want when you’ve just forked out hundreds of pounds on a new piece of kit. Airsoft rifles prone to jamming are also less than ideal when you’re seeking victory at a skirmish.

In most cases, a jammed airsoft gun can be fixed pretty easily, simply by finding the cause of the obstruction and removing it.

Why is My Airsoft Gun Jamming?

When you hear someone refer to their airsoft rifle or pistol jamming, they are likely talking about BB pellets getting stuck in the gun’s internal mechanism.

This means that, often, the issue lies with the BBs themselves – they could be the wrong size, of poor quality or loaded incorrectly. If this is the case and the BBs are imperfect, they may get stuck in the barrel of the gun.

To ensure you’re up to speed on the best ammo to use for airsoft, see our guide to different types of airsoft ammo.

A close-up of a black airsoft gun

Adjusting your hop up improperly and increasing the pressure and backspin on your BB can also cause jamming.

Other elements of your gun, like gears, can become jammed and broken too, affecting the state of your shooting. A jammed gear is less of a simple fix than if you’ve got a rogue BB in the barrel. You may require the help of an experienced technician if the cause of your gun’s inability to shoot is a faulty gearbox.

An excessively dirty barrel or dirty BB pellets may also cause jamming, but regular airsoft gun maintenance should ensure something like this does not become an issue.

To summarise, the most common causes behind airsoft gun jamming are:

  • BBs of the wrong size and weight.
  • BBs with surface imperfections and a poor internal structure.
  • BBs that are excessively dirty and introduce too much debris into the barrel and inner mechanism.
  • The hop up feature is set too high.

How to Unjam an Airsoft Gun & Clear the Barrel

When you notice issues with jamming, stop firing right away – you do not want to worsen any problems within the internal mechanism. To unjam it:

  1. Remove magazines and batteries and turn off the hop up – you don’t want to risk any easy-preventable accidents or further damage to your gun.
  2. Turn your gun upside down and take your unjamming rod (one should come with most airsoft rifles). Insert the angled end of the rod into the barrel.
  3. Feed the rod through the barrel – you will feel it when you reach the jam. Push the obstructing BB back into the magazine well.
  4. When you’re confident any offending BBs have been removed, test fire your gun, first without ammo, then if it sounds good, with some high-quality BBs.

Removing jammed BB pellets is relatively straightforward but can be quite tedious, especially if there are multiple BBs to remove. Remain patient and perform the steps gently to ensure you avoid damage.

Once you’ve unjammed your airsoft gun, it is probably a good idea to give it a quick clean (which should be done after every or every other use). Simply use a silicone lubricant and a cloth on the other end of your unjamming rod, passing it through the barrel several times to ensure any debris is removed.

An airsoft player in full military loadout, holding a gun

Why is My Airsoft Gun Not Shooting?

If you keep having issues with jamming or experiencing an inability to shoot properly, even after changing your BBs and ensuring you perform regular gun cleaning, there may be other issues at play.

Other reasons why your airsoft rifle is not shooting that have not already been touched on include:

  • Your gun is not cocked.
  • The magazine is not properly fitted to your gun, or you’re using incompatible magazines.
  • Your battery is not sufficiently charged.
  • You’ve blown a fuse.
  • The motor wires have become disconnected.
  • The trigger switch is jammed.

Bear in mind the issues and subsequent solutions may also be affected by the type of gun you have (AEG, gas or spring-powered). However, the advice on unjamming BBs from a barrel should apply to all airsoft guns.

If you are experiencing issues with one of your airsoft rifles or pistols and aren't sure how to reach a solution, you can get in touch with our team to point you in the right direction.

And if it’s time to add a new airsoft gun to your repertoire, you’ll find countless options here at Surplus Store, offering real-life replicas and two-tone guns at some fantastic prices.

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