What is the Best Weight for Airsoft BBs?
There are a lot of factors that play a role in you being able to consistently and accurately deliver airsoft BBs on target every time you pull the trigger – and one of the most important factors is the actual weight of the BBs that you are using.
Always significantly lighter than traditional metal BBs, airsoft BBs are designed to be nonlethal. The trick, however, is finding a BB that is heavy enough to fly straight for as long as possible – and as consistently as possible – without ever putting any of your fellow players at risk.
Below we dig a little bit deeper into everything you need to focus on to answer what is the best weight for airsoft BBs for your needs. By the time you’re done the inside information in this guide, you’ll have a much better idea of the types of BBs you should be feeding into your airsoft weapons as well as the types of BBs you should be avoiding at all costs.
Let’s dig right in!
Finding the Right Airsoft BB For You
Right out of the gate, you’ll need to think about the type of airsoft weapon you are going to be firing your BBs from before you start your search for ammunition.
Traditional electronic AEG airsoft weapons and AEG/gas blowback pistols almost universally ship with BBs that weigh in at 0.20 g. Most people are going to be really comfortable firing these relatively lightweight BBs out of these stock weapons, though some folks bump things up a little bit to 0.25 g just to get a more consistent flight pattern.
Those that are using semi-automatic airsoft weapons that use electric or nonelectric firing components are going to want to look at BBs that weigh anywhere between 0.28 g to 0.36 g for the most part.
These BBs are a little bit heavier, are designed to be fired from airsoft weapons that are specifically designed to be used at longer ranges (making these heavier BBs safer), and will have very consistent and predictable flight patterns that increase the combat effectiveness of these single-shot/semi-automatic airsoft weapons.
If you are going to be playing a dedicated sniper role on your airsoft team or in your airsoft squad most are going to be using gas or similarly powered single shot sniper rifles that have the capability to hit pretty high FPS numbers at the range – and 0.32 g to 0.45 g or even 0.50 g options might want to be considered.
As soon as you start to get into these heavy BBs, though, you have to think about engagement ranges, the rules and regulations dictating how you can use these bigger BBs, and a handful of other key considerations you might not ever think about when you’re running 0.20 g or 0.25 g BBs through your AEG rifles.
Understanding the Rules and Regulations of Different BB Sizes
Safety is paramount when you are using a BB gun designed to specifically be used on other people the way that airsoft guns are, and that’s why you need to fully understand the kind of FPS your airsoft weapon is capable of putting out and how that impacts the kinds of BBs that you can confidently use.
Your standard AEG or gas blowback pistol is going to produce 350 FPS (on average) when using 0.20 g BBs. A semi-automatic and more powerful rifle will be capable of putting out 400 FPS using that same 0.20 g BBs on average, and as soon as you step up to gas-powered single shot or bolt action sniper airsoft rifles you’re looking at 500 FPS using 0.20 g BBs.
It’s just not safe to use those lightweight BBs at those kinds of speeds at ranges anywhere shorter than 20 m. A lot of tournaments will tell you explicitly that you cannot use these high FPS weapons at all, but some are going to allow you to do so if only engage at distances that these BBs remain safe (30 m and out) and that you are using heavy BBs to slow things down as much as possible.
When you’re trying to figure out what is the best weight for airsoft BBs it’s not only important to think about how to get the most performance out of your airsoft weapon (though that is obviously a big piece of the puzzle).
It’s also important to think of the safety of your fellow players and the kind of damage that lightweight BBs can do with superpowered weapons, consciously choosing not to go down that road and endanger your fellow players even if you could produce a little bit more accuracy and a little bit more speed.
Important Things to Remember When Buying Airsoft BBs
Now that we’ve covered the BB weights you’ll want to consider moving forward, it’s important to highlight a few other core things you’ll need to think about before you pull the trigger on these kinds of purchases.
For starters, it’s critical that you avoid supercheap or dramatically discounted BBs at every opportunity.
Even though high-powered AEG fully automatic airsoft weapons are going to chew through BBs faster than you could ever imagine, and even though the temptation is going to be there to buy in bulk so that you can feed these beasts without breaking the bank, budget or discounted BBs are almost always in some way damaged, deformed, or less than consistent – and that is going to spell big trouble when you are out in the field.
Secondly, you need to avoid at all costs buying any BBs that are described as “recycled”, “refurbished”, or “reused”.
There are a couple of companies out there selling top branded and high-quality BBs at discounted prices because they’ve been collected from the field, washed, and then prepackaged. The trouble here is that you never know what those BBs may have been through, whether or not they are structurally sound, and whether or not they are all consistently from brand.
You can end up with barrel fouls, safety issues, and a whole bunch of other problems if you go down that road.
No, you’ll want to stick to buying high-quality airsoft BBs from brands you know you can trust – brands with consistent weights throughout the package – and only those BBs that are 100% brand-new.