Although it is technically possible to use alternative ammo in a gel blaster, there are a number of reasons why it’s not recommended.
The ammo designed specifically for gel blasters are called gel balls (or sometimes gel beads, jelly beads, or polymer beads). These beads start out tiny, making it easy and cost-effective to buy them in bulk. They are then soaked for several hours in water, allowing plenty of extra space for expansion, after which they reach more than a 100 times their size.
They are non-toxic, don’t cause irritation, and won’t affect the environment. Because of their constitution, they burst and dissolve upon impact, leaving no stains and nothing to clean up after you play. This makes them perfect ammo for gel blasters. If you use anything else, you might encounter some issues!
The legal issues with using alternative ammo
As outlined in the Explosive Regulations 2017, it is considered an offence to modify your gel blaster in order to fire ammunition other than gel balls. Even though gel blasters are toys and there are no age or licence requirements for their use, modification that makes your gel blaster resemble a firearm will necessitate a “reasonable excuse” – meaning that modification for the sake of more fire-power, or to make your gel blaster potentially more dangerous, is not acceptable.
BB and Airsoft guns cannot be registered or used legally in Australia, so modifying a gel blaster to operate in the same way will incur penalties.
Damaging your gel blaster, and safety risks
Another thing to consider is the mechanics of your gel blaster. These toys are built to function optimally when loading and firing gel balls. The size, shape, and weight of gel balls puts minimal pressure on the mechanics of your gel blaster, but anything else is likely to damage it.
Safety risks are also a concern. Whereas the pain from being shot with a gel blaster is negligible compared to paintball and Airsoft, eye protection is always advised. However, if your gel blaster is modified to shoot harder ammo, these risks will become far more significant.
At iHobby, we sell a range of high-quality, Australian-made gel blasters for use with friends and family, in backyard games and other fun gatherings. We support their responsible use.