A little more than 10 years have passed since the previous test of bbs that we had made.
Meanwhile most brands have developed a range of heavy beads for us, snipers. Thus the rare 0.36 or 0.43 have been joined by even heavier weights like 0.45 or 0.50. Now we find most of these weights in visible colors in the scope.
In the end it still makes us more than 40 bbs tested!
I thank Skavenger, Fitruff, Bowy and Samo for their help on this comparison and the different people who sent us samples
Our sponsors, Airsoft-Entrepôt and OUTOOR & TACTICAL, offered us many samples and I warmly thank them.
Why these criteria?
– The first concerns the weight in according to the power of your replica we will go on a nominal value of different weights. More the replica is powerful, more we will go on a heavy bbs for better stability and a conservation of the final residual energy. The smaller the weight difference within the same bb, more accurate you will be.
– The diameter is mainly conditioned by the diameter of your inner barrel, from 6.12 we went to 6.08, then 6.04 and finally 6.01. This narrowing race is supposed to improve accuracy, but at the moment I will not judge anything. (You can go to PDI’s website. It commercial reference for precision inner barrels and you can see how they explain things)
Regarding the bbs, they are undersized, unless they are deformed or if there is dirt, but there should be no problems.
The tests are based on factual data and others more arbitrary/empirical. The weight was measured with a scale with 3 decimal places before zero, and the diameter with a digital caliper reseted at each measurement. In the meantime we acquired a palmer-type micrometer for increased accuracy because some diameter data seemed a little weak (5.90-5.91 on bbs expected to be around 5.94-5.95).
The tests is done out on a sample of 15 – 20 balls. The units are in their respective values. There is only the hardness that we noted in number of stars from 1 for a « soft » bb to 5 for that almost indestructible. This makes it an empirical value but the purchase of pro hardware in the area of hardness far exceeds our budget.
So we proceeded to cut the balls with a Santoku particularly sharp.
Due to lack of time, we haven’t tested the biodegradable side of the bbs.
Manufacture of a bb
The bb come from a liquid mixture of « plastic » injected under pressure into tiny molds. Once cooled, the molds open in 2 and we come out some bbs connected to each other by bridges. These bb plates pass in a machine that will press and separate the bbs from the bridge.
The bbs then go into one or more machines the famous « dual polish » that will refine the surface state. I didn’t manage to know if it was a kind of sand or other. I’m thinking that’s 2 different grains for the dual polish. This process aims to eliminate traces of bridge cutting and allow them to be as smooth as possible.
To add weight to bbs, different minerals can be added to the composition of plastic, the minerals « dust » for example: BLS explains that they use zinc powder.
The BIO bb is made with corn powder for light weights and PLA (polylactic acid) for heavier ones.
Sometimes we have some kind of grease on the bb. It was straight and more recently some King Arms. Is it to protect the bb form the air? To lubricate the magazines? In our case, it is particularly annoying because of contact with the HU rubber with the bb. So I would tend to advise to lightly wash these bbs.
This test took almost a year to be done between taking measurements, lack of time, equipment worries, waiting for new bbs, etc. I hope it will bring you lots of elements to optimize your shots.
The bbs are presented by the weight in order to provide as quickly as possible the appreciation of the different bbs according to your usual game weight.