Ball bearing (BB) guns, ease of purchase and potential for significant injury

C. Grocock, R. McCarthy, David J. Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Ball bearing guns are used in the UK for war games, but they have the potential to cause severe injury if used incorrectly. Materials and methods: A search was made for availability of these weapons, the ease of purchase and the potential for tissue damage. Results: These weapons are widely available on the Internet and are easy to purchase with no security checks. Once fully charged, an electric BB gun is capable of penetrating a cadaveric animal model at distances up to 5 m (1 m = 25 mm penetration, 3 m = 20 mm penetration, 5 m = 15 mm penetration). Conclusion: BB guns are not toys and have a significant potential to cause injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-404
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Availability
  • Ball bearing guns
  • Injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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