Picking the right ammo is crucial to a successful airsoft game and the overall weapon longevity even though many airsoft players often overlook it. With airsoft ammo, the options are almost endless, so understanding the types, their differences, weights, and quality is necessary before you choose one for your first battle.
Before you purchase BBs, there are important factors you should consider for a hitch-free play, and these are factors that make your chosen BBs high quality. They include:
As said above, all 6mm BBs are common for all airsoft types though some may come in 8mm size. The size of the BB is the approximate measurement of the BB pellet, and the sizes are what allow them to be shot out of many spring, automatic-electric-gun (AEG), or gas-powered guns.
While the definition of excellent craftsmanship might be relative and thus differ, in airsoft, the term has a lot to do with the physical appearance of the pellet. The most significant characteristics of a high-quality pellet is a balanced center of gravity, a general lack of deformities, imperfections, seams, dimples, bubbles, and cracks on the surface of the pellet.
True, in every bag or bottle of BBs, you’ll find some outliers, often deformed but then a few deformed BBs are nothing to worry about if the others are up to standard. You want your BBs to be as flawlessly spherical as possible because the closer they approach perfect sphericalness, the more accurate and straighter they will shoot. Imperfections around or inside the BBs will impact on the center of gravity, and you’ll find your pellets swerving away from your targets.
The weight of a projectile affects the way it moves; weight affects the velocity, energy, trajectory, and durability of your airsoft gun. Picking the accurate weight of BBs for a particular gun is critical to your success in the field of play. Below you’ll find a list of the most common BBs and also one that is a complete fit for your gun.
These are the most common and probably the cheapest BBs out there, but there’s a problem; they are total rubbish almost all the time, and that is the reason they are “suitable” for low-quality spring guns. Also, these types tend to break apart easily which is why you should avoid using them in more powerful airsoft guns as they can even break guns. So, you want to stay off them at all cost.
These BBs types might be far from perfect, but unlike the .12 G BBs, they don’t damage guns. They are serviceable and a good choice for higher level guns. Also, .20 G BBs are affordable, work well and common.
This BB type is more popular with serious airsoft players using AEGs. They also have the heaviest projectiles that are used in low-powered airsoft guns. Plus, they generally have better wind resistance, and often fly further than the 20G rounds.
.28 G pellets are designed for more powerful AEGs like the ASG CZ Scorpion, though they are commonly used in spring powered airsoft guns in a sniper role.
This is another excellent choice for sniper rifles and is a lot more stable than the above listed over a long range.
Another brilliant option for sniper rifles due to their long-range performance, stability and velocity maintenance.
Not just about BB weights
Now, while those are the standard BB weights, it’s not enough to pick the ones deemed the heaviest or the best. Your shooting skills, your gun, its setup and the environment you play affects your accuracy to a large extent. But then, your pellet still plays a significant role and can affect your performance even when everything else is put in place.
That is why you should opt for properly crafted BBs to help you achieve a better degree of accuracy. Also, if you observed correctly in the section on BB weights, you’d notice the heavier BBs are designed most times for use in more powerful guns. The heavier the BBs you get, the less it will be affected by natural conditions like the wind but on the flip side, the heavier your BB, the less range you should expect to cover. This is why a more powerful gun is best and highly recommended to properly balance your BB weight and your gun power to optimize accuracy and range performance.
If you wonder why durability is essential since what happens to BBs after they are shot doesn’t matter, well, here’s something you should know; one of the immediate problems with inferior quality BBs is the likelihood to break inside your gun.
Picture this: you’re operating an unmodified AEG and shooting around 15 rounds per second. Then from nowhere, your BBs get stuck and break into several pieces inside your gun’s loading mechanism or in the hop-up and barrels. By the time you notice your gun has clogged up and jammed, you’ve probably shot another 10 BBs which will cause enormous damage to your gun’s internals.
On a $40 gun, such occurrence may not matter so much, but on a $500 heavily modified and upgraded gun shooting at 50 rounds per second? Not funny! In the end, just one pellet can undo so much effort and money.
Another reason why you should take durability very seriously is that poor quality BBs will shatter into several tiny pieces on impact. Even though you wouldn’t bother about this most of the time, you may accidentally shoot at a newbie or someone else wearing just a wire mesh protection that these small fragments can pass through into the player’s eyes.
Buying the Best
It’s all too easy to be lured by the low prices of inferior BBs but avoid them as much as you can. True, you save money by buying such, but what’s a few extra dollars compared to the damage these will wreak on your gun, especially if you own high-end ones or spent good money modifying and upgrading them?
Besides the price differences between top quality and inferior brands are not so much, and good quality BBs will add to your accuracy and give you the edge you need to succeed in Airsoft combats.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. If you own more than one gun, you will want to find a BB that works for as many of them as possible, so you should factor in the versatility of a particular BB before you purchase.
Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk is one of the most cost-effective ways to buy BBs seeing you’ll need millions of them on many airsoft weekends to come. The more you get in a particular order, the less it costs you. Find a trusted brand with your teammates and make a BB cash pool to buy hundreds of thousands at once if possible. Granted, that will be a lot of BBs, but the cost is less on each of you than when purchased alone. And storage shouldn’t be a problem; find, clean and use large plastic bottles around the house.
Types of BBs: Biodegradable vs. Regular
Let’s see; after a long search for an excellent place to play, you finally find one, but there’s a problem, the BB rule there says it’s either biodegradable or nothing. And then you wonder; aren’t they all supposed to be plastic pellets? Yes, they share similarities but are different.
They BB type breaks down in just a matter of months. They may sometimes lack quality as they tend to shatter on direct impact with hard objects like goggles, weapons, etc. Also, they cost more than regular BBs and may come coated with an oily film which can be bad news for any airsoft gun. Despite their negatives, their biodegradable nature makes them perfect for the environment. Also, because bios deteriorate faster, you should start using as soon as the bag is open.
Regular BBs are often of superior quality and except the particular type you get is inferior, most do not just shatter and break upon impact. They are also less expensive, and you are afforded more weight variations. On the other hand, they may even last decades before deterioration and this, of course, is terrible for the environment.
If you have to choose between regular BBs and biodegradable ones, you should consider the factors above. If field restrictions are the primary concern for you, you may want to consider using indoor fields as these do not care if they are biodegradable or not because they are swept away after every game.
There you have it, our rundown of airsoft BBs basics. Hopefully, you learned a thing or two about BBs, their types, sizes, weights, and other details to look out for or consider before you make your next purchase.
If you already use BBs or know other helpful airsoft BBs tips, we’d like to read them. Kindly share in the comments!