July 7, 2017 0:00

// Pneumatic weapons

BB balls: there are never many of them

Most of us have visited a shooting range at least once in our lives or, being out of town, shot at an empty container with an air pistol. BB steel balls are the most suitable projectiles for this type of weapon. Due to their simplicity and good shooting performance, they do not give up positions in the projectile market and are the No. 1 choice for many shooting enthusiasts.


Steel balls for shooting from an air pistol also have another name – “BB balls”.


What does the abbreviation BB mean?

There is a theory of the origin of such a name, according to which the designation “BB” is an abbreviation of the phrase “ball bearing”, but this is not the case. This abbreviation comes from the West (England, USA), where the type of fraction was indicated by the letter “B” or its combination. Depending on the size of the fraction, it was assigned to one or another category, of which there were three in total: “B” (fraction size 0.17 inches), “BB” (size 0.18) and “BBB” (size 0.19).

For the first time, a conventional BB-sized shot was used as bullets for pneumatics. Thanks to this combination, the pneumatic weapon was named BB, which was then applied to steel balls. At the beginning of the 20th century, Daisy Manufacturing Company began the production of BB-caliber balls, measuring 0.175 inches in diameter. From that time on, fans of shooting no longer needed to use a shot, it was replaced by steel BB balls. Among the people, among sellers and people with experience, such balls have become known as “babeshki”.

The appearance of such shells has made certain adjustments to the design of pneumatic weapons. So, reducing the size led to an increase in speed. This, in turn, allowed the use of a spring wire of a smaller diameter.


After buying the balls, a small amount of gun oil must be dropped into the package to prevent undesirable consequences (rusting, separation of the protective layer)


BB balls: affordable and simple projectiles

At the moment, there is a large assortment of shells for pneumatic weapons on the market, including: pneumatic bullets, BB balls, darts and bolts. The first two types are the most common in use: they occupy the lion’s share in the market of the above-mentioned shells. Pneumatic bullets have more fields of use: they can be used both for amateur shooting, and for hunting, sports. This possibility is due to their wide range (they differ in caliber, weight and shape).

Bullets are used by those who need a large percentage of accuracy, while BB balls, due to their round shape, do not have good aerodynamics, and are characterized by less accuracy. Such shells are suitable for those who want to shoot at targets in the backyard of their house, in the park or in other sparsely populated places.

To date, there is a large selection of weapons for which, as projectiles, BB balls are suitable. This is due to the simplicity in the design of stores and the possibility of magnetic fixation of the ball from falling out.


When using BB balls, as well as other types of projectiles, it is necessary to remember about safety precautions and use protective equipment.


BB balls. Technical specifications

Balls are spherical bullets weighing from 0.25 to 0.35 grams, cal.4.5 (0.175 d. in diameter), made of steel. Depending on the coating, they are divided into three types:

– uncoated;

– with copper coating (red color);

– galvanized.

When buying shells of the first type, you need to pay attention to the fact that they are corroded. Rust, in turn, pollutes the barrel: as a result, the accuracy of the shot decreases, and corrodes the weapon itself. Users of galvanized BB balls indicate frequent separation of the protective coating, which damages the barrel of the gun. A good choice would be steel balls with a copper coating. They, unlike the other two types of shells, do not corrode and their protective layer does not separate.

Nuances of using BB balls

Before using BB balls paired with a rifled barrel weapon, one should remember the consequences of such “cooperation”. Some argue that the balls passing through the rifled barrel do not actually interact with it and do not damage it, however, as practice has shown, this is an erroneous statement. Passing along the barrel and hesitating, the projectile damages the edges. In addition, such use negatively affects the already imperfect accuracy. Not every rifled barrel (especially made of brass) can be used with BB balls, as this leads to damage to the weapon.

The balls have a tendency to ricochet, and since they are made of steel and differ in considerable hardness, the energy after the ricochet does not significantly decrease. Therefore, when firing these projectiles, it is necessary to take care of your own protection. This is especially true for children who, during such entertainments, must be supervised by adults.


Fans of shooting from pneumatic weapons prefer time-tested BB balls from the following manufacturers:

– Crosman is a brand originally from the USA. He holds the primacy in the creation of pneumatic copies of combat weapons. In the production of BB balls, the company uses the stamping method, so they are characterized by a high level of balance and correct shape.

– KWC is a manufacturer from Taiwan, a significant part of whose production is focused on the manufacture of pistols and their analogues. Guarantees the supply of high-quality BB steel balls to the market.

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