NYC Airsoft


The definitive guide to airsoft for New York.
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 Post subject: Guide: Recommended BB weights and brands
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:59 pm 
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BB Basics
by Moondog

There are many BBs out there and for newbees the variety of BBs can be overwhelming. This is a basic primer on choosing BBs and learning what the differences are in quality, weight, and usage.

QUALITY
In general the BBs you find in the big box stores (Walmart, Dicks Sporting Goods, etc.) are low quality. Somewhere in that jar can be a misshapen BB that will jam up your barrel or worse, block your air nozzle and break it or your tappet plate.

If you experience a jam or blockage immediately STOP firing. Do not attempt to shoot the jammed BB out the barrel or you could seriously risk damaging your AEG. Eject your magazine and gently push any jammed BB out through the magazine feeding nozzle with a clearing rod.


BRANDS
Everybody tends to have their own brand bias and will claim theirs is the best. I personally use Matrix BBs (Evike.com) as do most of my team. Evike buys hi-quality BBs from the same supplier as Airsoft Elite and package them under their brand.

Upgraded AEG's with tight barrels experience more jams due to their smaller inner diameter (6.04 or smaller). This makes them less tolerant of dirt, hair, lint and inconsistently sized BBs. Therefore, it’s important to buy the best quality BBs for these upgraded guns.

Higher quality BB’s are rolled and tumbled and polished in the manufacturing process, giving them a smooth surface. Lower quality BBs lack or cut short this process. They can retain seams and mold lines which effect accuracy.


RECOMMENDED BRANDS
These brands have proven to have excellent roundness, consistency, and quality:
Excel
Airsoft Elite
Matrix (this is the Evike re-brand Airsoft Elite)
TSD
KSC
G&G
Tokyo Marui (expensive)



BB's TO AVOID
These are cheaper BB's. Unfortunately so is their quality:
Venturi
GB (Golden Ball)
Cybergun
Stinger
Any Walmart or sporting goods brand
Any .12g BB




BB WEIGHTS
BBs come in different weights (in grams): 0.12, 0.20, 0.23, 0.25 and heavier. The heavier the BB, the more accurate it is.

NEVER use 0.12g BB’s in a metal gearbox AEG. Let me repeat that, DO NOT use 0.12g bb’s in a AEG. 0.12g BB’s are made from soft, light-weight plastic and notoriously inconsistent. That's fine for LPEGs, Mini's, low end springers and shower grenades, who’s barrels are made to much looser tolerances. 0.12g BBs often jam in AEG barrels or break, sometimes causing damage to gearbox nozzles and hop-ups.

0.20g are the standard BBs for AEG's and benchmark tests for AEG FPS.
0.25g BBs are the most common weight for upgraded (+350 fps) AEG's. The increased mass makes them less susceptible to wind gusts and thus more accurate at ranges beyond 75ft. But with increased weight comes decreased distance.

Whenever you change your BB weight you’ll need to adjust your hop-up to compensate. Some guns–especially pistols–have fixed hop-ups, made for only one weight of BB. Using another BB weight will result in poor performance or accuracy.

0.28g are only recommended for use with with AEG's shooting 400fps and higher.

.030g and heavier BBs are most often used by sniper rifles.


My rule of thumb:

Under 300fps use .20g
Over 300fps use .20g or .23g
Over 350fps use .25g
Over 400fps use .28g
Over 450fps use .30s (for semi-fire sniper only)


Maximum Range with different BB's?

http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/?filnavn ... s_calc.htm

Use this online BB/FPS/Jules calculator to determine the difference in FPS due to weight scroll down to the converter. 'Effective Range' really means 'maximum range', so reduce this number by 30% to get your typical range.


COLOR
White is the most common color for .20g and 0.25g BBs. To differentiate weights some brands tint them blue, pink or other colors but this does not effect performance.

Some makers also produce black, brown or green BB's sometimes marketed as 'stealth' or ‘invisible’ BBs (not to be confused with the Stealth brand). They are nearly impossible to see in flight, even when fired in full auto. The benefit of this is that your target can’t see where the BBs are coming from. The downside is that it’s also harder to tell where your BBs are landing.

I have observed that targets seem to be less likely to call their hits when they don’t see the direction and origin of the shot. This may be due to them mistaking a non-seen hit for a ricochet or think it's a falling twig.

0.12g BBs come in the widest rage or colors, even glow-in-the-dark. The later is made for special AEG accessories that light up the BBs before firing, creating a tracer-like effect (when fired in the dark). In high quality guns, only use 0.20g tracer BBs.


BIO DEGRADABLE AND OTHER BBs
Many outdoor fields require you to use bio-degradable BBs, but honestly - I have never seem them check. Standard BB's are made of a mix of Barium Sulfate (a innert mineral similar to baking soda, ingested by patients as part of gastro-intestinal X-Ray exams) and the plastic 'styrene' (same kind of plastic used in foam drinking cups.) They are not made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) the plastic used in plumbing pipes.
http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/?filnavn ... _tests.htm

Styrene in concentrated gas form is dangerous. But exposed in the environment, it's fairly harmless and is digested by bacteria. Apparently styrene is even used as a flavoring agent in food! The EPA does not classify styrene as a threat to the environment:
http://www.epa.gov/chemfact/styre-fs.txt

Excell BIO BB's, Tokyo Marui, KSC and other biodegradable BB's are made to break up faster when exposed to the elements. That's actually the definition of Bio-Degradable: that biological or natural conditions will cause them to 'degrade/disintegrate.' So by that definition all BB's are bio-degradable, it just that some take longer than others.

BIOTECH BB's are the only truely eco-friendly BB's because they are made entirely of baking soda and starch.


BOTTLES AND STORAGE
BBs come in bottles and bags. Bottles are useful because they can be refilled and come with a pour spout to easily fill hi-cap magazines. But I have found that these pour spout can still clog, so I use a ghetto BB dispenser –an empty soda bottle. The larger mouth makes pouring into hi-caps easier but takes a little more finesse.

Avoid picking up BBs that have spilled on the floor at home. They easily pick up lint, hair and dust that can clog a barrel. NEVER EVER pick up BBs that have fallen to the ground at the field. I've seen newbs with bits of dirt, leaves, grass etc jam their magazines as well as their AEG's. BBs cost less than a 1/10 of a cent each, so don't be cheap and try to save dropped BBs. Let ‘em go.


CONCLUSION
Ask your friends and teammates what BBs they use but beware of brand bias. Don't be afraid to test brands head to head on your own. Keep in mind, you often get what you pay for.

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 Post subject: Re: Guide: Recommended BB weights and brands
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:06 pm 
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I've got to add a warning on Matrix orange .4g - these consistently leave red-dust on the inside of my barrel & hop in multiple guns at various FPS, and require lots of barrel-cleaning to keep shooting accurately. Never had any problems with other weights of Matrix bbs.

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 Post subject: Hailstorm BB's are fail city
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:41 pm 
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I would stay away from Hailstorm BB's. They jam all of my different midcap mags and are generally terrible. They are the first bb's i've ever had an issue with. Totally ruined OPP5 for me. Partly my fault for not trying them in advance. There were favorable reviews from Patcom and M7 however (who are sponsored by them), and I took their review at face value. Big mistake.

Also, on a separate note: Sometimes black bb's can throw off a chrono reading and give a reading much higher than the actual FPS.


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 Post subject: Re: Guide: Recommended BB weights and brands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:35 pm 
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How are these bb's?
http://www.evike.com/product_info.php?c ... s_id=35511
http://www.evike.com/product_info.php?c ... s_id=24527
http://www.evike.com/product_info.php?c ... s_id=24127
http://www.evike.com/product_info.php?c ... s_id=35513
http://www.evike.com/product_info.php?c ... s_id=37502
Which is best over all? Is there a advantage of .23 bbs over .25 for accuracy and range.

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 Post subject: Re: Guide: Recommended BB weights and brands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:41 pm 
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youngbuck wrote:


All those you listed are identical in quality and container. The Matrix BB's are the same except that for the size of the bag.

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 Post subject: Re: Guide: Recommended BB weights and brands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Thanks. Do I need to wash my bbs before using them? I didn't think so but just wanted to make sure. And .25 vs .23 any huge difference?

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 Post subject: Re: Guide: Recommended BB weights and brands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:51 pm 
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I'm sure washing helps a little if your a huge accuracy weenie but honestly, I've never washed my BB's.

Yes there is a difference between .25 and .23. If you read the 1st post, it depends on the power output of your gun. Heavier BB's are always more accurate at long range.

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 Post subject: Re: Guide: Recommended BB weights and brands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Sorry about that. Thanks for the info, I think I'm going to go for the huge bulk bag.

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 Post subject: Re: Guide: Recommended BB weights and brands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:04 pm 
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I recommend .25s. If you're buying for Bad Blood, I would get 20,000. It seems like overkill, but that way you can have plenty of extra. Ideally, you should only need 5-10,000 (if you have a heavy trigger finger) but ammo is one thing you don't want to run out of.

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 Post subject: Re: Guide: Recommended BB weights and brands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:11 pm 
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Yup. I always carry to much ammo. On my first skirmish I had 3 bags of 2,000 rounds in my bag. I used less than 1,000.

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