The most popular projectile in airsoft is a plastic pellet called Airsoft BB. The acronym “BB” technically stands for “Ball Bearing”, however, airsoft BBs are often made of plastic rather than steel BBs, which should be avoided. Most Airsoft BBs have a 6mm diameter, though occasionally, an 8mm BB will be used.
Types of Airsoft BBs
Despite the differences across BB types, some are better or worse for particular situations. The ones you’d likely see on the field are listed below.
In the airsoft world, non-biodegradable BBs are the most common. They typically come in white and are less expensive than other options. The most common size you’ll see is 6 mm in diameter, though they come in various weights and sizes. This type of airsoft BB often has the best performance.
These days, users of various outdoor fields are only permitted to use biodegradable BBs, so the popularity of biodegradable BBs is increasing. Due to the higher manufacturing costs, they are a little more expensive. They are made of compostable materials and will degrade by various processes, such as photosensitive degradation or soil microbes.
Each tracer BB receives the glow-in-the-dark powder during the production process. For the tracer BB to function, the user must insert a tracer unit into the airsoft pistol, which typically has the shape of a silencer. When the tracer unit is turned on, a sensor recognizes when a BB leaves a barrel.
The tracer will then discharge a highly powerful flash that will supercharge the tracer BB when it is fired. The tracer BB will continue illuminating throughout its flight path as it leaves the tracer unit.
In essence, non-traceable BBs are non-biodegradable BBs tinted a dark color, usually black. Most BBs are white; thus, once shot, they are still visible in the daytime. Some competitive shooters employ non-traceable BBs so they won’t be distracted by their shots during a match.
The best brand of Airsoft BBs
RWA Airsoft BBs
The RWA Airsoft BBs are considered to be the best. Due to their ABS plastic construction, they won’t break on impact, making them safer to use. As long as your airsoft gun is tuned properly, it will feed consistently because it is constant in form, smoothness, and roundness.
They were the official BBs at the 2018 IPSC World Shoot because they are reliable. If you want the most accurate shots, RWA BBs would be the best to use with mid to long-range airsoft guns.
G&G Tracer BBs, Madbull Tracer BBs, Showguns Tracer BBs
The most important factor for tracer BBs is their luminescent characteristic. The ones from G & G retain their brightness the most. They’re also one of the few companies that sell BBs that weigh more than 0.2 g.
Elite Force 0.20G BBs
The most popular choice for airsoft players that shoot between 280 and 350 feet per second is the 0.20-gram BBs from Elite Force. They don’t have any dimples, seams, or flaws because of the high-quality manufacturing procedure used to make them. They feel smooth and well-polished to the touch.
The BBs have a standard industry diameter of 5.95 mm and weigh 0.20 g per pellet. The standard deviation is less than +/-.01. This results in a continuously excellent performance on airsoft fields.
The BBs come in a bottle measuring 12 by 3 inches with a durable screw-on cap. The bottle typically holds 5000 pellets and makes it simple to load high-capacity magazines without having to handle and dirty the pellets with your hands.
One of the best-known and most well-liked brands in airsoft is Elite Force. Their price reflects this; they are usually slightly more expensive than competing brands.
Valken Tactical 0.36g BBs
The 0.36-gram BBs from Valken Tactical is a very effective projectile in high-end, modified airsoft guns that shoot at 500FPS and above. V-BBs Tacs are the best choice if you’ve invested a lot of money and effort into your gun and want to reach ranges of up to 200 feet.
Valken’s BBs have a 5.95mm diameter, +/-.01 tolerances, and are flawlessly polished. They have unmatched accuracy and fly straight as arrows because of their weight. No other BB weight will be as precise as Valken’s 0.36 g. However, this ammunition is typically only used by expensive and strong bolt-action snipers due to its weight.
With such a heavy BB, no gas or the electrically powered stock gun will function properly.
What distinguishes one BB from another?
You need to know a few things to choose the best airsoft BBs from their competitors.
Good center of gravity
There is a misconception in the airsoft community that it was poorly constructed if you crack open a BB and see a bubble inside. Instead, you should pay attention to BB’s center of gravity.
When you open a BB and the bubble is in the middle of it, it means that the BB’s center of gravity is uniform throughout, despite the presence of the bubble. The BB’s surface must also be as smooth as possible; any nicks or bubbles on the surface will alter the BB’s center of gravity and cause it to veer off target.
Clean and smooth surface
An unclean BB could leave residue inside the inner barrel, altering the trajectory. The best BB should have a clean, smooth, polished surface. Some airsoft players go so far as to wash their BBs to ensure they are clean.
When searching for a BB, it is recommended to go for reputed manufacturers that guarantee the BBs are smooth, round, and made of durable material that won’t shatter when fired.