What BBs weight should I use?
A common question here at our shop is what weight BBs should you use. Generally speaking, Great quality BBs for airsoft start at 0.20g BBs and can be had in weights beyond .40g. For simplicity sake, we will talk about the most common three weights: .20, .25, and .28g.
.20g - lowest cost, average performance, great for pistols and guns that do not shoot very hard, or for indoor use where wind is not a factor
.25g - middle of the road cost, great accuracy, great for rifles that are shooting towards the 400fps mark.
.28g - most expensive, best accuracy, great for upgraded guns, DMRs, and some sniper rifles.
How are BBs made?
BBs in the context of airsoft are plastic pellets. These are not to be confused by the metal pellets that are used in air guns. Airsoft BBs are made of plastic and are made to be shot at targets or other players. Airsoft BBs come in 6mm diameter though there exists 8mm too. The 6mm diameter BB is the standard in airsoft for pellet size so we will talk about that. The majority of airsoft guns out there (literally 99%) of all airsoft guns will use these 6mm pellets, be it spring airsoft guns, electric, or gas powered. One thing you can be selective about is the weight of BBs you use which you can achieve better accuracy or lower your cost to play.
BBs are made by taking a raw material and then melting it. From there the molten plastic material is fed into a mold and extruded into sheets of BBs attached to sort of a template. It is similar to how you see model cars and planes come if you have ever assembled those. The BBs are visible but still molded to these sheets. They are allowed to cool, and then the actual ball is pressed out of these sheets. After this it looks like your average BB, however the process is not over.
These BBs will still contain little imperfections or flash from the previous process that will either have to be removed or smoothed out. The next step is the polishing process which can be proprietary to the manufacturer. The result is a smooth surface that will ensure flawless feeding and cycling in your airsoft guns and low drag as it exits the barrel. The other important thing high quality manufacturers strive for is what is inside the BB itself. The composition of the BB and uniformity of the mass inside the BB is also going to contribute to accuracy. Beyond that, factories of high quality BBs do their best to make sure their manufacturing tolerances are accurate so your ammo has the same consistent weight throughout the batch. These are what separates low quality BBs from great quality BBs.
In low quality BBs you will find a lack of a smooth surface either from lack of or a poor polishing process, seams and mold lines which result in an imperfect spherical shape, wildly fluctuating weight differences within the same batch of ammo, bubbles within the BB, and more. These elements can all lead to jamming or poor accuracy.