Whether it’s Milsim or CQB action, the key to any great game lies in the right airsoft ammo. It’s easy to assume that every 6mm BB pellet is made straight out of plastic, but real veterans know the truth.
Airsoft ammo can vary in material, size, weight, and obviously – color. And while it may all seem like nitty technicalities, knowing what pellet you firing can easily grant you an edge on the field.
Which Material Use for Airsoft Ammo?
Typically, airsoft ammo can come from different types of polymers – strong plastics – through a process of mixing, melting, and molding. Different varieties and structures of these materials are combined to ensure that any airsoft pellet produced won’t pop or tear under high gun pressure. So they’ll last at last a few games.
But aside from durability, airsoft manufacturers also consider the environmental safety of the pellets they create. Biodegradable airsoft ammo is becoming increasingly popular across the industry. Especially since most countries have now joined the No Plastic Movement.
The ammunition derives from a compound called polylactide. It is a heat-resistant substance made from sources like sugar cane and corn starch that decompose after just a few months. And as you can imagine, with everything natural comes an additional cost.
Non-biodegradable pellets, on the other hand, are much cheaper since they come from less eco-friendly ABS plastic – the kind they use to make leggo blocks.
Less common are the aluminum and steel airsoft pellets. It’s no surprise that they’re not as welcomed into games; their weight and dense material prove to be far more dangerous to players. Plus, they don’t travel as fast as lightweight materials. Likely, you won’t be allowed to enter any session with a set of these.
Tracers have the advantage of glowing in dark scenes to make targets more visible, but you’d have to pair them up with suitable tracer units. Or there’s also the option of paint BBs that will mark any hits if they try to call a hoax. However, the resulting stains on airsoft vests and costly gear aren’t highlights for the airsoft community. Besides, they still lack compatibility with most automatic electric guns (AEGs).
What Size is Airsoft Ammo?
The average BB pellet measures a diameter of 6 mm, but companies will allow 5.95 mm to pass as well. Most over or undersized airsoft ammo gets automatically removed from the manufacturer’s selection upon production.
Why? The FPS (feet per second) capabilities of airsoft rifles depend on both the size of their barrels and their ammunition diameters. Large pellets will get stuck within the firearm and pose difficulties for shooters. Likewise, there needs to be enough pressure built within the barrel to force out BBs, so small pellets won’t work either.
What is The Weight of Airsoft Ammo?
The lightest BB weighs about 0.12 g, though most airsoft guns will test their muzzle velocities using 0.20 g pellets for better performance testing. The difference in mass goes back to the materials used. 0.12 g pellets will shoot at high speeds but lack reasonable quality. At best, they should be used in rookie kits and maybe some cheap gun that won’t hurt to get damaged.
If you know your guns, the Glock 18C has a reputation for accuracy with ammo of up to 0.23 g. Serious players can opt for even heavier ammo within the range of 0.25 g to 0.28 g with rifles designed to withstand rounds of top-grade, weightier BBs.
What Color is Airsoft Ammo?
Dark-colored airsoft ammo is excellent for confusing targets. It’s almost impossible to tell the source of a shot from a camouflaged pellet. But, it can be just as difficult for the shooter himself to track his hit. That said, lighter-colored BBs are more visible for shooters, but the same goes for the targets, as you can guess.
There’s nothing soft about a game of airsoft. From the fields to the players and down to the gear, you’ve got to walk prepared. Get to know your airsoft ammo and choose the best one for your gun and expertise. Scoring isn’t complicated once you’re hitting right.