Types of BB Guns
Rifles vs Pistols
At their most basic level, BB guns come in two varieties: BB pistols and BB rifles (also called Air rifles). Pistols are smaller, hand-held weapons that are compact and easier to handle. Rifles tend to have longer barrels, and are slightly more difficult to handle given their size when compared with BB pistols. Apart from the size difference, there are also differences in how each type of gun operates. Pistols tend to have magazines or reservoirs to hold multiple BBs or pellets. While some rifles also use magazines or cartridges of some sort, with or without a reservoir in the case of guns firing BBs, rifles often are single-shot. In some cases, while they may use a magazine of some sort, if they are bolt-action, the activity of cocking the gun after each shot makes them more like single-action guns that semi-automatic ones. Most of the higher-velocity rifles are single-shot, or use bolt-action.
BB guns operate using a pneumatic process to fire the BB from the gun. Pneumatic processes use pressurized air to transfer force to an object which, in this case, are the BBs/pellets. There are three basic mechanisms used to power the guns: spring-pistons, compressed air, and CO2. BB Guns that use spring pistons tend to be rifles and require that you “cock” them. These rifles are typically cocked using a mechanism built into the barrel that is used to engage the spring prior to firing the weapon. These are often called break-barrel air rifles because of the fact that the barrel “breaks” in half to cock the gun. There are a number of things to consider when evaluating these guns. The heavier the construction and better quality the materials used for the gun, the longer it will last. Additionally, the stronger the spring, the faster the BBs/pellets travel (and the harder it can be to cock the gun depending on the quality of the construction). When the trigger is pulled, the spring is released and it forces a column of air into the barrel that then propels the BB/pellet. Guns using a spring-piston typically fire their projectiles at the highest levels of speed allowed by the law. Compressed air BB guns come pre-charged (also called pre-loaded) or either have a single or multi-pump mechanism that must be operated to create the pressure required to propel the BB. In the case of pre-charged pneumatic BB guns, a reservoir is filled with pressurized air from a tank or other source which makes them extremely easy to use. These types of guns are most popular for pest control or small-game hunting and are often used in professional competitions given that they typically fire 35 to 50 shots per “recharge” of compressed air. Guns that use a pumping mechanism also used compressed air. Single pump air guns vary in terms of the final velocity of BBs/pellets, with higher quality guns that have better engineering providing the most velocity. Multi-pump guns follow a similar pattern with the exception of the fact that it can be possible to fire more than one BB/pellet with each full recharge. In the case of BB guns that use CO2 cartridges, carbon dioxide gas is held at high pressure in small cartridges that fit within the body of the BB gun. In each type of type of gun, the force of the compressed air is released when the gun is fired and is the primary force propelling the BB forward.
Choosing a BB Gun
Choosing the right BB gun should be an exciting process! However, there are many different types of guns that come in all shapes and sizes. There are handguns and rifles; guns that operate using spring-pistons, compressed air or those that use CO2; you can use BBs that are pointed or BBs that a round, and a number of other things. Given the massive amount of information there is out there, we have tried to gather the top BB guns from each category for you to choose from. To make the process very easy and a lot of fun!
BB Gun Comparison Guide
The table below shows a list of BB guns for sale. We have put together some key factors to consider when purchasing a BB gun that you can use to select your BB gun. They are:
|Caliber||Caliber measures the size of the bore, or hole, in the rifle barrel. The bore determines the size of the BB or pellet that can be used in the barrel. Higher caliber guns mean that larger BBs or pellets can be used.|
|Velocity||Velocity measures the speed that BBs/pellets travel when leaving the barrel of the gun.|
|Ammunition||The type of projectile, either BBs, pellets or both.|
|Mode||This identifies the type of shooting action the gun delivers, either single-shot, semi-automatic or automatic.|
|Mechanism||This identifies the mechanism used to generate the power required to fire the weapon: spring, compressed air (single pump, multi pump, or pre-loaded) or CO2.|
|Weight||The weight corresponds with durability and should be considered in the context of intended use of the gun. Lighter guns tend to use more plastic or composite materials while heavier guns have more metal components.|
|Suggested Use||BB Guns can be used for many different activities. The key thing that determines how many different activities a BB Gun may be used for is the Velocity. The higher the Velocity, the broader the uses for the gun. Typically, people use BB Guns for the following activities:|
|Price ($USD)||BB Guns vary widely in price. Typically Pre-Compressed Pneumatic BB Guns are the most expensive, while single-action pump ones can be much less expensive. The following is the indicator we use to give a sense of relative pricing as you explore BB Guns we have highlighted:|
If you’re looking to just have a little fun, save your money unless you want to have LOTS of fun – dont’ spend more than $150. If you’re looking for something a bit more durable that can be used for a wide variety of activities, budget between $150 and $250. If your budget is flexible, the sky is the limit!