Whilst you may think that BBs are BBs are BBs, there’s a lot of difference between different kinds of BBs and manufacturers and it’s important that you understand the differences.
Here are some of the most common questions that you might have when looking at the best airsoft BBs for your Pistol, AEG, Sniper Rifle or DMR.
What weight of airsoft BB should I use?
Airsoft Ammunition comes in varying different weights, ranging from 0.20g up to 0.45g. It is widely considered that for guns with an fps range of 200-375fps a BB weight of
0.2g to 0.28g is optimal. For RIFs with an fps of 375-450fps a weight of 0.3g to 0.4g is considered ideal and for 450fps+ you should be using a heavy BB such as 0.4g+.
A heavier BB requires more ‘hop-up’ to carry the BB as far as lighter ammunition but the greater weight paired with a higher fps gives it resistance to wind and provides more momentum to the BB.
If you’re filling gas grenades with BBs, we recommend you fill them with cheap, light BBs such as 0.12g BBs. This ammunition is usually lower quality than other weights which can cause damage your airsoft gun but gas grenades are much more forgiving and filling them with cheap BBs can save you money!
How can I tell the quality of an airsoft BB?
The overall and consistent quality of your airsoft gun’s ammunition is extremely important. With most airsoft guns featuring
tightbore barrels of 6.01mm, your BBs need to be precisely manufactured to avoid damage to your RIF.
The quality of your BB is also vital when it comes to accuracy. BBs with poor manufacturing processes can contain air-bubbles and a rough finish, this changes the centre of gravity and can give it an erratic flight path.
To check the quality of your BBs, remove a handful from the bag and visually inspect them for a smooth finish and (if possible) a consistent weight and diameter, using calipers and precision scales. Next, take a small blade a cut in half some of your ammunition and inspect the composition of the inside. Here, you want to check for a consistent material on the inside, free from air bubbles and crumbling.
What colour Airsoft BB do I need?
No matter how long you have been playing airsoft for, airsoft players use the visible stream of BBs to work out exactly where they’re shooting. For this reason, most airsofters prefer a light or high contrast coloured airsoft ammunition (such as white, tan, yellow, green) as they’re the easiest to see during flight. Some players prefer to use darker BBs (often called ‘invisible’ ammunition) so that other players cannot see where they’re being shot from. This is a valuable tactic that gives players an effective edge, but you have to be confident in your airsoft rifle’s accuracy and range.
What size Airsoft BB do I need?
The majority of standard airsoft rifles use 6mm BBs. If you have to research this topic, there’s a good chance that your airsoft gun requires 6mm ammunition. If in doubt, check your airsoft gun’s model number and manual.
There are a few specialised airsoft weapons that use 8mm BBs. This are relatively rare on the skirmish field and 8mm ammunition is harder to find. The 8mm airsoft ammunition has a greater surface area and weight, giving it less range unless paired with a high fps.
What are Airsoft BBs made from?
A ‘standard’ airsoft BB is made from injection moulded plastic and then polished to a highly smooth surface. Quality of BB varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from batch to batch, but a perfect airsoft BB has no air bubbles (these affect the balance, weight and drag of the ammunition), has a highly polished surface and a consistent weight.
You may see metal or glass BBs, these are widely considered dangerous for skirmish use as they’re a lot stronger and heavier than plastic BBs, which can potentially cause harm to another player or your airsoft gun.
What are biodegradable (BIO) BBs and do I need them?
Airsoft ammunition is made a non-degrading plastic that over time will cause harm to the environment. As an alternative, you can purchase
biodegradable airsoft BBs that will breakdown and disappear over time. Some sites require you to use this environmentally friendly ammunition if you visit and play on their site, so check with your skirmish field before you visit.
Biodegradable ammunition has the minor downside of having a shelf life – if left open to the elements for a prolonged period of time, the ammo will begin its decomposition process. This process can cause the BBs to swell, shrink, crumble or become misshapen, depending on how it wants to ruin your day. This process can be slowed by storing it in a airtight container with a bag of silica gel.