Having fun and winning at Airsoft often boils down to having the right gear, weaponry, and ammunition.
Whichever play or role you choose, the last thing you want is your equipment letting you down.
Imagine if your BBs shattered and damaged your gun? Or if you shoot at a target and your ammo only goes halfway? It would be frustrating, plus it’s a huge waste of money and time.
You want to make sure you choose all the right tools, including getting the best BBs. The heavier, the better right? Or should you choose the lighter options? Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
- Airsoft BB Weight Range
- Advantages of Heavier Airsoft BBs
- Disadvantages of Heavier BBs
- Final Verdict: Are Heavier BBs Any Better?
- Selecting the Right BBs
Airsoft BB Weight Range
You’ll find Airsoft BBs in weights denominated by a fraction of a gram. The usual weight ranges are:
- 0.12 gram
- 0.20 gram
- 0.25 gram
- 0.28 gram
- 0.30 gram
- 0.40 gram
- 0.50 gram
The lightweight Airsoft BBs, such as the 0.12-gram ones, are typically used for close-range shots. They usually go with spring guns firing at about 250 feet per second (FPS). These lighter BBs are hollow in the middle.
They aren’t strong enough to withstand the high velocity of higher FPS Airsoft replicas since they’ll shatter and break, damaging the gun.
Side note: Feet per second refers to the speed at which the BBs shoot out of your gun. A higher FPS means the BB quickly leaves the gun.
The middleweight BBs include the 0.20g to 0.28g. You can use them with a wider range of guns with different FPS.
Heavier BBs, such as the 0.30g to 0.40g, are often suitable for high-power automatic electric guns (AEGS) and sniper rifles. They typically need more force when firing, and they tend to be more stable and won’t shatter easily.
Advantages of Heavier Airsoft BBs
Heavier BBs have a couple of advantages, including:
Heavier Airsoft BBs Are More Accurate
The heavier your BBs are, the more you can hit your target accurately at an effective range.
Heavy ammo stays on track because the wind won’t easily toss the BBs about.
Their inertia keeps them on their path much better than a lighter BB would.
A lighter weight pellet like a 0.12g might easily go off course in a crosswind, shooting to the right or left or flying above the target. A heavier one like a 0.30g will stay on course since it can withstand the wind better.
They Maintain Velocity
Heavier BBs tend to arrive at their destination with more or less the same velocity, improving your shots on target.
The heavier your pellets are, the longer they linger inside the barrel when you take a shot. As a result, they take up more energy, which explains why they reach their destination with more or less the same velocity they shot out with.
In addition, heavier BBs offer more resistance to frictional forces in the air, which allows them to retain a higher portion of their energy. With lighter pellets, a large portion of the energy is lost to friction as they fly through the air.
Think about it this way, say the BBs are in a race. The heavier one takes off from the starting line at 60mph and keeps up energy throughout to arrive at the finish line still running at 50mph.
The lighter one kicks off at 80mph but quickly loses energy, by the time it gets to the finish line it’s trotting at 30mph.
In short, heavier BBs take longer to leave the gun, but when they do they keep a consistent speed, so they go further which makes all the difference between a shot and a near miss.
Disadvantages of Heavier BBs
Here are some of the flaws of heavier BBs.
Heavy BBs take a little bit longer to leave the gun. They are heavier to push out so they take a few seconds longer lingering in the gun than lighter ones would.
You can’t use heavy pellets for higher FPS applications, especially in close combat.
Correlation between weight and FPS
They Hurt More Than Lighter Ones
As mentioned before, heavy BBs retain a lot of their energy when they leave the gun. So the hit hurts a tad more than it would with a lighter one.
You can’t use them for close-quarter combat as they’ll inflict a lot of pain on your opponents.
However, this shouldn’t be a problem with the proper protective gear.
Final Verdict: Are Heavier BBs Any Better?
Not always. Heavier BBs have their pros, but they also come with challenges. Plus, it depends on the gun and the type of game you’re playing.
The different types of ammo work well in varying circumstances.
Lightweight for Low Power Guns
BBs less than 0.20g are suitable for low-power electronic guns and cheap quality pistols. If you want to get a feel of the game without splurging too much, these lightweight BBs may be more suitable.
However, they are so lightweight that they’ll have sub-par flight trajectories and will be tossed to and fro by the wind. In addition, they might shatter at high FPS, damaging the internal parts of your replica.
Midweight for Close Combat
The 0.20–0.25g weight range is the most suitable for close-quarter combat. You can use the 0.20g BBs for indoor action and the heavier 0.25g outdoors when dealing with windy conditions.
They have more stable flight trajectories and are compatible with electronic, spring, and gas replicas.
If you’re engaging with targets over a distance of 40 yards or more, 0.28–0.30g BBs are your best shot. They withstand the wind well, maintain flight trajectory, and show effective range and accuracy.
The mid-weight BBs do well with all high-quality guns at 350–400 FPS.
Heavyweight for Long Distance
The heavier 0.30–0.40g BBs are compatible with long-distance shots for designated marksman rifles (DMR’s) and top-quality guns shooting at a decent FPS of over 400. They have a higher ability to sail through wind and are therefore more stable.
BBs from 0.45g and above also work best for sniper rifles as they maintain velocity and wind resistance over greater distances. You can achieve the longest effective range with these.
A gust of wind that can knock a 0.20g off track won’t affect a 0.45g BB as much, which means the heavier the BB, the more effective your shots.
However, because of the extra weight, you won’t be able to achieve higher speed shots.
So, if heavier BBs aren’t always better, how do you choose the right weight?
Based on FPS
To select the right BB weight, you can consider the FPS of the gun you own. Each type of gun fires at a specific velocity. You can use BBs with a lower weight for guns with lower velocity ratings like cheap spring guns.
For heavier bullets, you’ll need a higher FPS rating on your gun to handle the weight.
Based on Energy Rating
You can also select suitable BB weight based on the gun’s energy rating measured in joules.
- For replicas producing power output between 1 and 1.15 joules, you’ll need 0.20–0.28vg BBs. Most pistols and AEGs fall within this range.
- If your gun fires approximately 1.6 joules, which is true for most rifles, you’ll need BBs usually between 0.30 and 0.36g.
- For long-range sniper rifles firing at about 2.5 joules, you need heavyweight BBs like the 0.40g and 0.50g ones.
Here’s a table to help you select the appropriate weight pellets for your Airsoft replica.
Airsoft Replica BB Guide
|Weight range||BB Weight in grams||FPS||Power in Joules||Replica||Gameplay||Role in the game|
|Light weight||0.12||Less than 300||Less than 1||Low-quality inexpensive spring guns||Not recommended|
|Medium weigh||0.20||300–350||1||All replicas with FPS range above 300||
|0.25||350–400||1–1.15||All replicas with an average FPS greater than 300||
|0.30||Greater than 425||1.6||
||Long-distance shots||Rifle shots|
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I reuse BBs?
No, when you shoot a BB from a replica, it goes under a lot of stress. The energy of the release and the impact of the drop causes cracks inside the pellet.
If you reuse the BB, it could shatter inside the magazine or barrel of the replica, causing jams and malfunctions.
Which BBs should I avoid?
Hollow, lightweight BBs like the 0.12g are often poor quality and tend to shatter easily. It’s best to steer clear of them, even if you’re a beginner. You risk damaging your gun, plus they won’t hold a stable trajectory.
Selecting the Right BBs
Bottom line: heavier BBs are not always the best option.
Go for mid-weight BBs for close-quarter games with guns labeled 300–450 FPS and energy ratings of 1–1.6Joules.
If you’re playing a long-range or sniper role, choose heavier BBs above 0.40g.
Learn more about the best guns, BBs, gear, and Airsoft tactics here.