A Brief History of BB Airsoft Pellets

BB Airsoft Pellets

Source: Abbey Supply

The common or garden BB pellet, which sees use in many applications, including airsoft and traditional shooting weapons, dates all the way back to the 1880s.

During this time, pellets commonly comprised of lead began to see used by shotgun owners as an alternative to the conventional bullet-shaped projectile.

These soon became readily available in hardware shops and were sold in bags with a variety of different weights and sizes – usually assigned with codes such as ‘B’, ‘BB’ and ‘BBB’.

Unsurprisingly, ‘BB’ was quickly regarded as the standard configuration for these pellets, with a diameter of 0.180 inches and a minimum weight of 9 grams.

As BBs became more prevalent in the gun world, their construction was soon optimised to afford consumers a more precise firing experience.

Daisy, a leading manufacturer of BBs, revised the original configuration to feature a smaller diameter of 0.175 inches which, despite being only a small divergence from the original design, allowed the company to save money on lead and produce an improved pellet.

BBs have undergone numerous different changes throughout the years in order to accommodate different gun variants; however, their comparatively lightweight and compact construction characteristics remain much the same.

How Are BB Airsoft Pellets Made
A Brief History of BB Airsoft Pellets

How Are BB Airsoft Pellets Made?

Due to the sheer volume of pellets required and the high cost associated with processes such as casting, BB companies typically use a different method to produce this specific type of ammunition.

Injection moulding is the name of the game here – a technique which allows for the quick production of small, uniform products on a large scale.

Raw plastic material is collected in a warehouse before being heated for use in injection moulding machines. These feature a specially designed mould template into which the plastic is inserted.

The exertion of high temperatures causes the plastic to become softer, and this helps facilitate the production process as the material can now mould perfectly to the spherical contours of the machine’s template.

Once the injection stage is complete, the machine then releases the finished object, which is comprised of a large number of pellets sandwiched between two parallel rails.

BB Pellets
A Brief History of BB Airsoft Pellets

The BBs are released from these rails after being subjected to a vertical pressing movement by automatic robot arms, and the remaining plastic is then taken to be recycled for later use.

After being sorted into appropriate groups, the pellets can undergo a number of additional stages depending on the manufacture and their intended use before being packaged and sent off.

For instance, BBs can be painted in specific colours to comply with a company or airsoft team’s aesthetic, whilst high-end products can even be applied with a polish to further reduce the friction between the pellet and the gun’s barrel.

Airsoft BBs

Whilst BBs are a relatively simple product, they are a hugely important part of many gun-based sports, including both traditional shooting and airsoft.

Abbey Supply is a leading producer of high-quality gun maintenance products, including airsoft gas, gun grease and silicon lubricant – all of which work to improve the performance and condition of your weapons.

Types of Airsoft Pellets

Airsoft pellets that are available on the market can be generally split up into three different categories based on their size. These are:

– Biodegradable airsoft pellets

– Standard airsoft pellets

– Tracer airsoft pellets

Let’s take a closer look at each of these in turn:

Biodegradable Airsoft Pellets

As their name suggests, biodegradable airsoft pellets are made from materials that will decompose over time when exposed to the right conditions.

This makes them much more environmentally friendly than other types of airsoft BBs, as they will not pollute the ground or water around where they are used.

Standard Airsoft Pellets

Standard airsoft pellets are the most popular type of airsoft BBs and are made from a plastic material known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).

ABS is a tough, lightweight plastic that is perfect for use in airsoft guns, as it can withstand the high temperatures and pressures that are generated inside the gun barrel during firing.

Tracer Airsoft Pellets

Tracer airsoft pellets contain a small amount of phosphorus, which makes them glow in the dark.

This allows you to see exactly where your shots are going, which can be very useful for improving your accuracy.

However, tracer airsoft pellets are not suitable for use in all airsoft guns, as the phosphorus can damage the gun if used excessively.

How to Choose the Right Airsoft Pellets

When choosing airsoft pellets, there are a few things that you need to take into account in order to make sure that you get the right ones for your needs.

Firstly, you need to think about the size of the pellets that you want to use.

As we mentioned earlier, airsoft pellets are available in three different sizes: biodegradable, standard and tracer.

The type of airsoft gun that you are using will dictate the size of the pellet that you need to use, so make sure that you check this before making your purchase.

Secondly, you need to think about the material that the pellets are made from.

As we mentioned, most airsoft pellets are made from ABS plastic, but there are also biodegradable options available if you want to be more environmentally friendly.

Finally, you need to think about the price of the pellets. Airsoft pellets are relatively cheap, but the price can vary depending on the brand and the type of pellet that you choose.

Do some research to find the best deal before making your purchase.

How to Store Airsoft Pellets

Storing airsoft pellets correctly is important if you want to keep them in good condition for longer.

Firstly, you need to make sure that they are stored in a cool, dry place.

If you live in a humid climate, it is also a good idea to store them in an airtight container in order to keep moisture out.

Secondly, you need to make sure that they are stored away from direct sunlight, as this can cause the pellets to degrade over time.

Finally, you need to make sure that they are stored away from any sources of heat, as this can also cause degradation.

These simple tips will help ensure that your airsoft pellets stay in good condition for longer!

Why Airsoft Pellets Are Important
A Brief History of BB Airsoft Pellets

Conclusion: Why Airsoft Pellets Are Important

Airsoft pellets are an essential part of the airsoft experience, as they are what you use to shoot your opponents!

There are a few different things that you need to take into account when choosing airsoft pellets, such as the size, material and price. It is also important to store them correctly in order to keep them in good condition for longer.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that you now have a better understanding of airsoft pellets and why they are so important!

Source: Abbey Supply

About Laurence

Laurence is a keen airsoft player and has been the owner of SoCom Tactical for over 10 years. He’s played airsoft all over the country solo and as part of teams and is an expert on all things airsoft, like tactics, airsoft guns and gameplay equipment. As one of the UK’s leading airsoft suppliers and retailers, Laurence is the go-to source for airsoft knowledge.