Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Type of Airsoft BB Should I Use? A Lesson in Airsoft Physics

Considering the exorbitant amount of time airsoft enthusiasts spend in selecting their airsoft weapon... not to mention the amount of time they spend endlessly discussing the varying spring tensile strengths, gearbox upgrades and batteries available... I’ve always found it rather interesting how little focus many avid airsoft players place on the quality of airsoft BBs they employ with their hardware.

To put it simply, the choice of airsoft BB used is as important as the airsoft gun a player selects. Ammunition-grade influences everything from effective range and impact to the very mechanics of their airsoft gun... all things crucial to not only a player’s field survival, but also to their pocket-book. So if you will, let’s take a moment to address the positive impacts of using high-grade airsoft ammunition, what it is, and how the varying weights of BBs will affect one’s game-play.

Airsoft guns fire 6mm precision-polished, seamless, plastic pellets made expressly for airsoft guns, so the next time you are at your local sporting goods store, stay away from that old box of bronze BB ammo. It won’t work with your airsoft gun. In fact, those bbs will damage your firearm, as will most of the low-grade airsoft BBs sold by these distributors. Unfortunately, most of the airsoft ammunition you’ll find at these stores simply won’t cut it. These low grade BBs lack the spherical density and consistency needed to not only lend your gun 'effect on target', they also have the unfortunate tendency to jam your gun, or - even worse - shatter and damage the internals of your gun. So please take the time, as you did in the selection of your airsoft weapon, in your choice of airsoft ammo. Visit a specialized airsoft retailer, whether online or otherwise, and purchase high-quality airsoft ammo. I personally use GoldenBall ProSlick .20 gram BBs in conjunction with my current AEG (a JG M4 S-System), and I have been more than happy with the results.

With that, as we’ve now touched on the impact of the manufacturing-grade of the airsoft BB on your gun, let’s briefly address the varying weights of airsoft ammunition, and how they may affect your target shooting and/or combat operations, the two main sports airsoft players engage in.

Airsoft pellets range in weight from very light 0.12 gram BBs (used most often in starter spring/electric air guns) to 0.25 gram BBs (airsoft snipers prefer the heavier pellets for accuracy), and their varying performances are dependent not only the previously-discussed and quite important quality of manufacture, but also of course on Newton’s First Law of Motion, which is, ‘Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.’

In this case, the external force will be gravity, which unsurprisingly affects the flight of every airsoft BB, as do external weather factors (wind, rain, etc.). Simply put, the lighter the airsoft BB the further it will fly, although it will have less effective range the further it travels (meaning it’ll eventually begin to stray from its flight path). The heavier the airsoft BB, the less distance it will fly, although the effective range of a heavier airsoft BB is greater than its lighter counterparts (the additional weight provides flight stability), which lends itself to an increase in accuracy and impact energy. (For airsoft enthusiasts that play CQC, this also means that the heavier BB hurts a lot more).

Choose the weight and grade of your airsoft BB wisely. Both will affect not only your tactical operations and battle-field longevity, but also the life-expectancy of your beloved airsoft gun.

About the Author: Mike Zhang is the President and COO of Airsoft Megastore, the fastest growing of all airsoft stores in the nation. Airsoft Megastore offers deep discounts on sale items for players interested in cheap AEG airsoft guns and looking to find airsoft sniper rifles cheap.

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