This guide discusses TOP-5 best BB guns, their main types and the difference between spring air, pneumatic and pre-compressed models. You will learn about the main factors to consider before investing your money, including the surroundings where you plan to use the weapon and the level of experience. Read about the main safety precautions from an experienced military officer as the device can still be very dangerous if it is not used properly. A chart featuring the most popular products on the market will help you make the right choice while a FAQ section will provide you with answers to the most common customer questions.
BB guns have been used and enjoyed by millions across the globe. Growing up, we always had this kind of weapon in our farm truck. From fun shooting competitions in the backyard to eliminating vermin such as field mice and rats that were posing a threat to our livestock’ food supply, these devices have become a valuable tool for our family and still does today. However, they are also a great tool for teaching firearm safety, marksmanship, and responsibility. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get to it.
How Do BB Guns Work?
These devices work basically the same way as a traditional firearm. Where a firearm uses ignited gunpowder to create the pressure needed to push a projectile through the barrel and towards the target, a BB gun uses compressed gases.
The compressed gas is in an airtight container and when you pull the trigger it opens a valve that releases the compressed gas. The gas travels behind the projectile, in this case, a BB, and pushes it down the barrel. In order to fire again, you have to have compressed gases. There are different types of this kind of weapon and each has its own method for supplying the need gases.
What Are The Types and Their Differences?
There are three main types and each creates the compressed gas differently, spring air designs, pneumatic designs, and pre-compressed.
Spring Air. With this design, you use a lever to push a piston back that compresses a spring. The piston locks into position until the trigger is pulled. Once the trigger is pulled, the piston is released and the spring rapidly decompresses. This, in turn, creates compressed air in a chamber located behind the BB and pushes it forward down the barrel.
Pneumatic. A pneumatic model requires you to create the pressure needed to fire it by pumping a lever located on the bottom of the gun. When you pump the lever, you move a piston that creates compressed gas and is held in a reservoir that will hold a set amount of air pressure. The piston is located in a tube that contains a check valve that will let air in but will not let air out. Each time the lever is pumped, the amount of pressure in the reservoir increases until it reaches the set limit.
Pre-Compressed. Pre-compressed models do not have the ability to create their own air pressure as with the previous designs mentioned above. Instead, they rely on pre-compressed gas that is stored in cylinders. When the trigger is pulled, a mechanism releases a set amount of air from the cylinder to a chamber located behind the BB and allows it to shoot.
How far does a BB gun shoot?
The distance these devices can shoot will vary between the different models and the velocity they have. Typically, a gun with a velocity of 200 fps will have a range of about 100 yards while that with the velocity of 350 fps will have a range of about 190 yards.
What to Look for When Buying a Product
When looking to buy your first or next BB gun, there are plenty of quality models available on the market. However, there are several factors that you should consider before investing your money.
- The surroundings where you plan to primarily use this weapon should be the first thing you consider. If the area is densely wooded, has a limited viewing range or is located in a fairly populated area, you will want to consider an option with a low to moderate velocity. The models that use a spring air design are typically ideal for this type of environment. For areas that allow for greater distances, such as open fields and even gun ranges, BB guns that use pre-compressed air or pneumatic designs would be the better option.
- Your level of experience is something else to take into consideration. If you are new to the world of BB guns, you may want to consider spring air design models. These are typically easier on the budget than other designs and serve as a great starting point for learning the functions and capabilities of these devices. If your knowledge and experience level is more on the advanced side, then pre-compressed air and pneumatic models might be a better fit for what you are looking for.
- The primary user is something else to consider. If you are looking for an option for your child, you may want to consider a model with a lower FPS, feet-per-second, rating. While a lower velocity also means a lower range, it provides for a safer option until your child gains experience with using a BB gun and understanding how to safely use it.
- Lastly, you need to consider your budget. These products range in price from very affordable to very expensive. For casual use, there are plenty of affordable models to choose from that should provide you with plenty of shooting entertainment. If you are looking for something for hunting small game or for competitive shooting, then you may want to take a look at some of the models that may have a higher price tag but offer increased capabilities.
TOP-5 Best BB Guns
As promised, here is our list of the TOP five models currently available that we feel would make the ideal option for those looking that kind of weapon. These products come at a price ranging from $20 to $50. These products differ in terms of velocity, capacity, and the type of design, with the most powerful models shooting at a velocity of up to 435 FPS.
Spring-Air Pistol with a 200-Shot BB Reservoir | Daisy Powerline 340
Daisy is a familiar name in the BB gun industry and has been manufacturing BB-caliber air guns since 1888. Their Powerline 340 BB Repeater Pistol has a reservoir that can hold up to 200 BBs and features a 13-shot magazine that is reloaded by pulling the magazine out and sliding it back into the pistol handle.
This model uses a spring air design and is cocked by sliding the top of the pistol all the way back and then pushing it forward until it locks. For aiming, the Powerline 340 has a standard blade and ramp front sight and a fixed open rear sight.
BB Gun with a 650 Shot Capacity | Daisy Model 1938
Probably one of the most iconic model every manufactured, the Red Ryder has been around since 1940 and has been the first BB gun for millions. This spring air design rifle uses a lever action to compress the spring.
It can hold up to 650 BBs in its reservoir and has a cross-bolt trigger block safety with red indicator band. The front sight is a standard blade and ramp fixed sight but the open rear sight is adjustable.
CO2-Powered 177-Caliber Steel BB Gun | Umarex XBG 2254804
Our next model comes from Umarex and is the first model we reviewed that is powered by pre-compressed gas cylinders. It features a 19-shot magazine that is reloaded by simply sliding the magazine down and then sliding it back into the magazine well.
The pistol is equipped with fixed post and notch sights but there is an under-muzzle Picatinny Rail that will allow for the mounting of additional attachments.
CO2-Powered Full Auto BB Rifle | Crosman DSBR
The next model we looked at takes BB guns to a different level entirely. The DSBR from Crosman has the capability of full auto firing. In other words, when you pull the trigger the gun will continue to fire until there are no more rounds in the magazine at the rate of 1,400 rounds per minute.
This model features a drop-out 25 round magazine and has many of the same features found on a real AR rifle, including an adjustable stock and a fire selector that lets you choose from the safe, semi, and full auto positions.
CO2-Powered Pellet & BB Revolver | Crosman Vigilante
The Vigilante CO2 Revolver, also from Crosman, is the only model we reviewed that offers the user with the ability to shoot BBs and pellets. Pellets are a type of projectile that provides better accuracy than a BB and tend to have a longer range since they are designed with a cavity in the back that captures the compressed air by expanding when fired. Combine this ability with the steel 6-inch rifled barrel and you have a formidable option for shooting competitions.
Comparative Chart of BB Gun Effectiveness
Even though this kind of weapon may be considered toys or tools, they can still be very dangerous if not used properly. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.
- Avoid using steel targets when shooting. This kind of device is also constructed of steel and is more likely to ricochet off of a steel target and towards the user. Use softer targets, such as clay or paper, to help reduce the chances of being hit by a ricochet.
- Shooting at a target too closely can also lead to possible injury from ricochet. The closest you should be to a target that you are shooting at is five yards or 15 feet.
- Always know what is beyond your target. Homes, barns, livestock, family pets, anything that you would not normally use as a target should not be located behind where you are aiming, regardless of the guns maximum range.
I know, it sounds like we are being overly cautious, however, keep in mind that a BB traveling at a velocity of only 150 FPS can pierce human skin and at 200 FPS it can actually fracture a bone. Using this kind of weapon incorrectly can turn a fun event into severe pain and injury.
Are BB guns firearms?
While these devices are typically classified as a compressed air toy or tool, some state laws or city ordinances may restrict who can purchase a BB gun, how they must be transported, and how they can be used. Before you buy it, check your individual state laws and any ordinances your city or town may have regarding this topic.
Which BB gun is the most powerful?
Of the five models we reviewed, the Crosman Vigilante CO2 Caliber 177 Pellet & BB Revolver had the highest velocity with the Crosman DSBR CO2 Powered Full Auto BB Air Rifle following closely behind it. However, if you are looking for a BB gun or air rifle for competitive shooting or small game hunting, there are some model available that have a velocity rate of over 1,000 FPS.
Can these devices shoot pellets?
While you can typically fire BBs in a pellet gun, not all models will allow you to fire pellets. Check the specifications before you make any purchases. The model you are considering should indicate if it can shoot BBs and pellets or not.
Will this weapon kill rats?
A gun with a high velocity should not have any issues taking down a rat. However, consider using this weapon that allows you to shoot pellets as well as BBs. Pellets are typically more accurate and are better for small game hunting.
As you can see from the models we have reviewed, there is a BB gun that will suit any need. If you are looking for air rifles that have larger calibers, better velocities or provide better accuracy, perhaps you should check into one of the larger .22 caliber models that have recently become popular with enthusiasts. These types of air rifles are typically used for competitive shooting and for hunting small game.
We hope this post has provided you with some helpful information and enables you to make an informed decision when you go to purchase your a new item. As always, feel free to provide any feedback you would like or that you think would be helpful. Good luck and safe shooting.