Is it ok to shoot an air gun (also known as a "BB gun") to knock over cups on Shabbos?

I can't think of any reason to prohibit it.

  • 5
    @Sam, that discusses a regular gun which functions by the combustion of gunpowder which is a melachah. An air gun, it would seem, does not involve such a melachah.
    – Yirmeyahu
    Aug 5, 2013 at 2:49
  • There could possibly be a problem of destroying a vessel by putting holes in it, but this relates to the target, not the weapon. There is also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/12605/… which could be relevant.
    – Epicentre
    Aug 5, 2013 at 4:37
  • Shabbos 63a: Weapons are Muktzah on Shabbat.
    – Menachem
    Aug 5, 2013 at 4:40
  • @Menachem Maybe that would be a problem with marit ayin, but BB guns only mimic weapons. They're toys.
    – A L
    Sep 4, 2013 at 19:29

5 Answers 5


while an air rifle may not have the qualities that a real firearm possess in function it can still be used for the same purpose. What I mean is an air rifle can and many are used for hunting small game such as birds, squirrels, and rabbits. granted someone who is keeping shabbos is probably not going to be hunting the fact that it can be used for things not permitted on shabbos would make it muksa. To make a comparison even if one doesn't normally watch tv during the week the tv remote at someone elses house would still be muksa even for you. In addition o the issue of muksa I don't see using an air rifle as an activity fitting for shabbos


Isn't there an issue with "Activities that are not appropriate for Shabbat, even though they are technically permissible according to the Torah (uvda d'chol)."?

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya! Please take a look at our tour for some helpful information about how the site works. You’re correct that there’s such a concept as uvda d’chol, but can you justify its application here?
    – DonielF
    May 30, 2019 at 14:31
  • uvda d'chol always seemed like circular reasoning to me May 30, 2019 at 19:16

It can be a problem of Zorah (winnowing) because of the thrust of air.

  • 2
    What are you separating?
    – Double AA
    Sep 23, 2013 at 19:43
  • 1
    What is the separating when spitting and the wind carries the spittle, mentioned in the very end of Siman 319? Sep 24, 2013 at 5:53
  • @yosefstern When you spit in the air, the wind breaks the spit apart into smaller "pieces" rather than being one big glob of spit.
    – Daniel
    Sep 24, 2013 at 17:09
  • @Daniel separating the same thing into many pieces is not 'separating' as far as Shabbos Melochos are concerned. Sep 24, 2013 at 19:00

Might be muktzah depending on the model. There are airsoft guns made to resemble specific real weapons as closely as possible for training. One of those might be assur to use for reasons of uvdin d'chol but I can't think of a reason to forbid a toy BB gun.


It's fine because no melocho is involved and it's not winnowing because the bb and the gun were never one entity to begin with.

  • 2
    You could improve this answer by supporting what you say, particularly that it's not melacha. Right now we can only take your word for it, and most of us don't know you. Can you bring a source? Thank you. Mar 3, 2014 at 2:43
  • probably should be a comment on yosef stern's's answer Mar 3, 2014 at 4:11

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