In airsoft, the most common projectile that we use is a type of plastic pellets called "BBs" (pronounced "bee-bees"). The term BB is actually short for "Ball Bearing", but rather than metal airsoft BBs are typically made out of plastic. Most BBs measure 6mm in diameter for airsoft, with the occasional ones measuring 8mm.
Types of Airsoft Ammunition
Though the difference between types of BBs is small, there are certain types that are better or worse for different scenarios. Here are the most common ones you'd see on the field:
This is probably the most common BBs you'd come across in the airsoft community. It is relatively cheaper than other variants and is usually white in color. They come in various weights and sizes, but the most popular size you'd see is 6mm in diameter. The best performing airsoft BBs are usually available in this type.
Biodegradable BBs are getting more and more popular these days as some outdoor fields only allow users to use biodegradable BBs. They are slightly more expensive as they cost more to be made. They are made with compostable materials and will have various degrading processes such as soil microbes or photosensitive degradation.
The glow-in-the-dark powder is added to each tracer BB during the manufacturing process. The user will need to install a tracer unit (usually in the appearance of a silencer) into the airsoft gun for the tracer BB to work. When the tracer unit is turned on, a sensor detects when a BB exits a barrel; when it happens, the tracer will release a very intense flash to supercharge the tracer BB when fired. As the tracer BB exits the tracer unit, the BB will remain illuminated during its flight path.
The non-traceable BBs are essentially the same as non-biodegradable BBs but colored in a dark color, usually black. Since most BBs are colored in white, under daylight they are still visible once fired. Non-traceable BBs are used by some competitive shooters so they don't get distracted by their shots during a match.
What makes one BB better than others?
To pick the best airsoft BBs among its competitor, there are several things you need to be aware of. Though it is impossible to check the BBs before purchasing, one can only find them out after purchasing a bag.
As mentioned in our older blog post "How Airsoft Guns Work", we explained how BBs and hop-up work together. For optimal consistency, straight trajectory, and accuracy, we want our BBs to be as close to a perfect sphere as possible.
Good center of gravity
There has been a myth among the airsoft community stating that if you crack open a BB and see a bubble inside, it is a poorly manufactured BB; but that is not the case, the focus should be on the center of gravity of the BB. When you crack open a BB and you see the bubble is at the center of it, that means despite the bubble, the center of gravity is still even throughout the entire BB. The surface of the BB needs to be as smooth as possible as well, any scratches or bubbles on the surface will ruin the center of gravity of the BB, making it veer off target.
Clean and smooth surface
The best BB should have a clean and smooth polished surface, as an unclean BB could leave residuals within the inner barrel, causing the trajectory to be inaccurate. Some airsofters will even take an extreme measure of washing their BBs before use to ensure cleanliness.
What brand of Airsoft BBs are the best
Airsofters generally have their own preferred brand of BBs, so for this blog, we will be recommending the ones that we've tested and think is the best from our perspective.
Best Premium BBs: RWA Airsoft Surgeon BBs
From what we've tested, the RWA Airsoft Surgeon BBs are the best. They are made with ABS plastic so they do not shatter upon impact, making them safer to use. They are constant in shape, smoothness, and roundness; you can be sure they will feed consistently as long as your gun is tune right. They are so reliable that they were used as the official BBs for the IPSC World Shoot 2018. For airsoft guns that shoot mid to long-range and want to yield the most accurate shots, RWA BBs would be the one to use.
Best Tracer BBs: G&G Tracer BBs, Madbull Tracer BBs, Showguns Tracer BBs
For tracer BBs, the most crucial thing is their luminescence property. Among the ones that we've tried, the ones from G&G seem to retain their luminescence the best. They are also one of the few that offer BBs that are over 0.2g in weight.
Another great alternative is the Madbull Tracer BBs. A lot of tracer users prefer them as they were one of the early adaptors to make airsoft tracer BBs. Their BBs also retain luminescence very well but they are only available in lighter weight and only come in 2000 rds per bottle, which is 700 rds less than G&G's.
As for heavyweight tracer BBs, Showguns make tracer BBs that are up to 0.3g in weight. But just like Madbull, they only come with 2000 rds per bag.
Best Bio-degradable BBs: Madbull PLA Bio BBs
Madbull has been making BB for a very long time and is known for its airsoft tracer BBs. From our experience, their Bio BBs are one of the most consistent ones in the market that is available up to 0.3g in weight. Hence we think this is one of the best airsoft BBs for outdoor games.
When looking for a BB, it is best to look for reputable brands that ensure the BBs are round, smooth, and made with material that is tough yet doesn't shatter upon impact. To find the best airsoft BBs, be sure to visit our online store www.redwolfairsoft.com, or click here!