Both BB Guns and Pellet Guns are types of Air Guns; they both fire projectiles through a either a pistol or riffle form by means of compressed air or in some cases other gases such as CO2. Where they differ is in the type of projectile they propel. BB guns commonly fire a small spherical shot made mostly of steel with a copper or zinc coating, whereas pellet guns use a more elongated pellet with a skirt that have either a pointed, flat, hollow or round tip.
Manufacturers such as the famed Daisy Outdoor Products coined the term BB gun because the original projectiles fired from these smooth bored rifles were birdshot pellets removed from the casings of shotgun shells. The pellets roughly measured 4.5mm in diameter, which shell manufacturers commonly called a BB-sized pellet. In the early 1900s, Daisy wanted to increase the performance of their guns. The pellets that Daisy used had a wide range of tolerances since the pellets were designed for shotgun shells and not rifled bores.
Daisy standardized the size of the pellets used in BB guns to 4.45mm in an effort eliminate inconsistencies in pellet sizing. This went a long way with improving the velocity and accuracy of the BB gun. Since the public already adopted the term BB to represent this type of gun, the industry decided to stick with the name BB Gun to avoid any confusion by the public.
BB guns gained notoriety with the release of the Red Ryder BB gun in 1938. The Red Ryder BB gun is still available today and has remained a very popular gun for younger BB gun enthusiasts. It started as a pump-action rifle and has experienced little change since its 1938 release. The Red Ryder’s height of popularity was most likely in 1983 with the release of the movie, “A Christmas Story” which chronicled young Ralphie’s plight to receive A Red Ryder BB gun as a Christmas present. In the end, Ralphie got his wish and spent a life time with his Red Ryder BB gun.
For those looking for a bit more “bang for the buck” it is now possible to purchase BB guns in just about every possible configuration. With new manufacturers such as Crosman, Smith & Wesson, Dan Wesson, Umarex, Magnum and Walther just to name a few, the boundaries of what a BB gun can do have been pushed to the breaking point. For example, the IZH-Biakal C02 powered pistols exceed speeds of 540-fps. The manufacturer Sumatra makes big bore BB gun rifles capable of small game hunting. These rifles shoot speeds up to 1000-fps and utilize a BB that measures a quarter inch in diameter.
If you plan to use air driven rifles or pistols for small game hunting, you should opt for an airgun that shoots pellets. Pellets are made of lead and provide a balanced weight not only from end to end on the pellet but from pellet to pellet. This means that pellets are more stable and shoot more accurately than BBs. This allows you to sight in the gun to achieve a smaller grouping at increased distances.
For obvious reasons, this increases the possibility of successful hunting of smaller game such as rodents and squirrels. Many guns shoot both pellets and BBs but it is important to read the product specifications to ensure you are buying the right gun for the way you plan to use the weapon. Although pellets often cost more than BBs, you may also want to incorporate a pellet gun into your plinking or target practicing collection. You will find that the increase in ammunition costs is often negligible when you see the increased accuracy of your shooting.
With countless choices between classic single shot pump action rifles, C02 powered multi-shot pistols or high capacity tactical machine guns, it is possible for any gun enthusiast, no matter his or her skill level to find the perfect BB gun. It does not matter if you need a BB gun for plinking, competitive target shooting or for a tactical sidearm, Airgun Warehouse has one of the widest selections of BB guns on the Internet today and we are sure that we have a BB gun that will suit your needs perfectly.