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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I want to really know which BBs are the best.

I see the 'Heavyweight bb Database', but the problem I have with a resource like that (and all others) is the sources- people giving very subjective overviews of just a few types of BBs, using god-knows-what setup. I want to test all relevant BBs as scientifically as possible.

The general plan for testing the accuracy/consistency of various BBs, without thorough outlining, would be the following:
- Use an analytical scale to measure weights of many individual BBs per BB type, evaluate average and standard deviation, etc.
- Cut many individual BBs per BB type in half to inspect for inclusions, etc.
- Rub BB against various grits to test BB material for inclination to transfer residue
- Soak BB in water to test for hygroscopic properties
- Apply magnet to test for magnetic properties
- Physical examination for visible imperfections (seams, dimpls, extrusions, etc.)
- Keep rifle completely static (gun horse / etc.) and fire in an indoor range / with minimal air circulation
I will go into detail about my rifle setup later, but it should be sufficiently tuned.

Although I'm primarily interested in the heavyweight range, some other random BBs were thrown in (for example, TSD and Matrix for the lulz, and BB Bastard donated a bunch to test). You'll also notice a lack of darkly colored BBs; this is because I find them to be extremely undesirable in my opinion; feel free to attempt to convince me otherwise.

Confirmed:

- .20g [white] ??? [free with JG BAR-10]
- .20g [white] TSD
- .20g [white] BB Bastard STY
- .20g [grey] [biodegradable] BB Bastard ECO
- .25g [white] Matrix
- .25g [white] BB Bastard STY
- .25g [grey] [biodegradable] BB Bastard ECO
- .28g [white] BB Bastard STY
- .28g [grey] [biodegradable] BB Bastard ECO
- .28g [clear] BB Bastard SIL
- .29g [white] Maruzen Super Grand Master
- .30g [white] BB Bastard STY
- .30g [white] Goldenball
- .30g [white] Novritsch
- .30g [white] BLS
- .36g [white] [biodegradable] Valken
- .36g [white] BLS
- .36g [black] BB Bastard Nites
- .36g [white] Geoffs Super Precision
- .36g [white] [biodegradable] Bioshot
- .36g [white] Novritsch
- .40g [tan] Madbull
- .40g [white] Geoffs Super Precision
- .40g [white] BLS
- .40g [tan] [biodegradable] Bioval BBB
- .40g [white] [biodegradable] High Powered Airsoft
- .40g [white] [biodegradable] Bioshot
- .43g [white] [biodegradable] BLS
- .43g [white] [biodegradable] Bioshot
- .45g [white] Proball
- *.66g [white] BB Bastard Pearls

Under consideration or pending acquisition:

- .30g [white] [biodegradable] Green Devil
- .33g [grey] [biodegradable] G&G
- .36g [white] Madbull
- .36g [white] Amped Airsoft Custom
- .36g [white] ASG Blaster Devil
- .36g [TBA] Exact
- .36g [white] [biodegradable] Goldenball
- .36g [white] Elder BB
- .36g [white] [biodegradable] High Powered Airsoft
- .38g [white] Proball
- **.40g [grey] Valken
- .40g [white] Amped Airsoft Custom
- .40g [grey] ASG Blaster Devil
- .40g [TBA] Exact
- .40g [white] Elder BB
- .40g [white] [biodegradable] Goldenball
- .40g [white] Proball
- **.43g [white] WE Nuprol
- .43g [white] BB King
- .43g [white] CORE
- .43g [white] Elder BB
- .43g [white] Exact
- .43g [white] Proball
- .43g [TBA][TBA] Geoffs Super Precision
- .45g [TBA][TBA] Geoffs Super Precision
- ***.64g(.69g?) [white] grade 5 6mm Zirconia Oxide ball bearing

*Some have claimed BB Bastard Pearls are Zirconia Oxide (ceramic) ball bearings (grade 20?).

**I've heard that these are largely made of metal and should be avoided for various reasons.

***Calculated according to the density of Zirconia Oxide (ZrO2) and 6mm diameter of sphere- actual weight to be determined. This calculated weight contradicts the statement claiming that BB Bastard Pearls are Zirconia Oxide ball bearings- BB Bastard also advertises the Pearls as having a 'tetragonal lattice' structure, which ZrO2 appears not to have(?).
New note: I did not want 6mm, I wanted 5.953mm; returning and switching product.

So, any input? What am I missing- what other BBs out there are worth evaluation?
PM me for my address if you feel so generous as to send some BBs to test (no more than 100 BBs necessary).

Thank you.

-----

Thank you to the donors!
- BB Bastard
- Bioshot
- Geoff
- BLS (mitra88)
- bmr3
- fb6_marcin
 

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Most people on this forum, myself included, are loving the BioShot white heavyweights--they're so good. HPA also finally released their new heavyweight formula. These two omissions are a kind of big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Most people on this forum, myself included, are loving the BioShot white heavyweights--they're so good. HPA also finally released their new heavyweight formula. These two omissions are a kind of big deal.
Hm, I didn't consider testing the .4 or .36 Bioshots because I'm testing the .43s- but yeah I suppose that doesn't necessarily make sense. Did you mean the .36s and .4s, or just .4s? *kicking self because I just made the purchase on the .43s today* I'm just not sure I want to test everything .3 and up- that's a lot more BBs being added to the list...but I mean hey, I'll do anything people think is relevant.

I'll pick up some .40g HPA BBs then!
 

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Personally, I just shoot the 0.43g... but lots of people with lower energy builds are using 0.36g and 0.4g.

It's totally up to you what you test. I'm not trying to hassle you. But you asked what you were missing.

If it were me, I'd skip all the Valken, Matrix, CORE, etc. All of that stuff is consistently reviewed as mediocre to awful. If I were buying, I wouldn't get anything that people aren't raving about.

What would be really valuable is to know which of the top-shelf BBs are best. Testing Valken against BioShot is like reviewing a Fiat against a BMW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Personally, I just shoot the 0.43g... but lots of people with lower energy builds are using 0.36g and 0.4g.

It's totally up to you what you test. I'm not trying to hassle you. But you asked what you were missing.

If it were me, I'd skip all the Valken, Matrix, CORE, etc. All of that stuff is consistently reviewed as mediocre to awful. If I were buying, I wouldn't get anything that people aren't raving about.

What would be really valuable is to know which of the top-shelf BBs are best. Testing Valken against BioShot is like reviewing a Fiat against a BMW.
You make sense!
I did read plenty on Core being very inconsistent.
 

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Great project!

If I may add to the testing methodology: measure the FPS-variance over +10 shots in an identical setup, preferably one with proven airseal and consistency. Many of the qualities of a BB lead to FPS-consistency, so it makes for a great metric.

Personally, I found Green Devil 0.3 and G&G Bio 0.33 to be among the most consistent.

Good luck, looking forward to the results.

B.
 

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You'd be an absolute hero if you actually pulled this off. Would be the first time that someone uses somewhat scientific approaches to approximate bb quality.
 

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For our purposes (Sniping) I'd probably drop anything under .3. Unless you're using them as baselines with .2 and going from there.
 

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What are your experiences with nuprol .43? Mine got stuck in my barrel, measured between 6.1 and 6.2 mm, not sure if it's the brand or a bad bottle
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Great project!

If I may add to the testing methodology: measure the FPS-variance over +10 shots in an identical setup, preferably one with proven airseal and consistency. Many of the qualities of a BB lead to FPS-consistency, so it makes for a great metric.

Personally, I found Green Devil 0.3 and G&G Bio 0.33 to be among the most consistent.

Good luck, looking forward to the results.

B.
Absolutely. If the ZrO2 bearings are as precise as I believe, they can be used as a control to discern the FPS variance induced by my rifle; hopefully my rifle will be at +/- 0 FPS (haven't gained access to a chrono since my HPA upgrade), and the noted FPS variance during testing can be considered as 100% the fault of the BB. Even if the ZrO2 bearings aren't flawless (after checking with an analytical balance), I can still measure a BB's exact weight and record the same BB's velocity, to then discern the shot's energy in joules- again allowing me to hopefully prove that my rifle's energy/FPS variance is at +/- 0 FPS. Notice that I stated I haven't gained access to a chrono since my most recent upgrades (HPA build included), so unfortunately, the setup may be in the break-in phase...we'll just hope that a double-regulated rig was enough (on top of the Pro V2 SLP tank regulator), or that I can break the rig in by firing off a shitload of random unimportant BBs.

For our purposes (Sniping) I'd probably drop anything under .3. Unless you're using them as baselines with .2 and going from there.
I agree in general. Anything under .3 is listed only for some specific reason- e.g. BB Bastard donated all their BBs, SGM .29s used to be the golden standard of quality BB, etc.

What are your experiences with nuprol .43? Mine got stuck in my barrel, measured between 6.1 and 6.2 mm, not sure if it's the brand or a bad bottle
I have no experience with Nuprol .43s. I'm beginning to think i'll leave it that way ?:)
 

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Absolutely. If the ZrO2 bearings are as precise as I believe, they can be used as a control to discern the FPS variance induced by my rifle; hopefully my rifle will be at +/- 0 FPS (haven't gained access to a chrono since my HPA upgrade), and the noted FPS variance during testing can be considered as 100% the fault of the BB. Even if the ZrO2 bearings aren't flawless (after checking with an analytical balance), I can still measure a BB's exact weight and record the same BB's velocity, to then discern the shot's energy in joules- again allowing me to hopefully prove that my rifle's energy/FPS variance is at +/- 0 FPS. Notice that I stated I haven't gained access to a chrono since my most recent upgrades (HPA build included), so unfortunately, the setup may be in the break-in phase...we'll just hope that a double-regulated rig was enough (on top of the Pro V2 SLP tank regulator), or that I can break the rig in by firing off a shitload of random unimportant BBs.
From the batches I have (all 6mm G5) the ZrO2 BBs weight variance is about +-0.0003g. I have an industrial precision scale for weighting them. Their weight is 0.689g.

In terms of diameter, they are within G5 tolerances but I can't remember exactly the variance. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_(bearing)

The polish is also VERY good, here are some images a friend of mine did:



 

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The .64g (actually .69g) you're testing are the same material as the BB Bastard Pearls. Only difference is quality. BBB offers a 2 micron tolerance, G5 is 0.125 micron. They are a proper ceramic, though it is one that happens to be reactive with ammonia/nitrogen ions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
*words and pictures*
I'll have to get my hands on a way to measure diameters- shouldn't be too difficult with my university.

The .64g (actually .69g) you're testing are the same material as the BB Bastard Pearls. Only difference is quality. BBB offers a 2 micron tolerance, G5 is 0.125 micron. They are a proper ceramic, though it is one that happens to be reactive with ammonia/nitrogen ions.
So they're technically biodegradable..? And why, if the bearings are .69g, are Pearls [advertised as] .66g?

Good news all! Bioshot will be donating BBs!
They also want to know how they stand up to the competition <- a self-reminder to email them after testing is complete.
 

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If it were me, I'd skip all the Valken, Matrix, CORE, etc. All of that stuff is consistently reviewed as mediocre to awful. If I were buying, I wouldn't get anything that people aren't raving about.

What would be really valuable is to know which of the top-shelf BBs are best. Testing Valken against BioShot is like reviewing a Fiat against a BMW.
Surely, if someone is going to the trouble of doing some decent tests then the whole point is to test as many varieties as possible? Be it good or bad. Then you can definitively say "Brand X" suck and "Brand Y" are awesome... and here are the numbers to prove it..... Otherwise you are still saying Brand X suck because I say they do with no evidence to back it up.
 

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One thing that needs to be taken into account is that if you are going to check for accuracy, you will need to change the rifle to suit each bb weight. For example, if you have an inner barrel of 500mm long, the rifle will shoot 0.36gm really well but it will be really inaccurate for 0.66gm because there is not enough volume in the cylinder to push the bb out.

Also, you will notice that plastic bb's are never accurately round. If you measure them with a vernier, you will notice that they are oval. This is the same no matter what the brand. The only ones that are round are the ceramic bb's. This can be a pain in the backside when trying to find the most accurate brand of plastic bb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Doing great. Gotta hit up them Elder bbs and BLS too.
I'll look into Elder BBs; BLS is officially donating .36, .40, and .43 gram BBs!

As for the weight difference, perhaps some are the 15/64" (5.95mm) and some are true 6mm?
Oh oh ohhh this might be exactly the case. I'll do the math and confirm when I get the time.

One thing that needs to be taken into account is that if you are going to check for accuracy, you will need to change the rifle to suit each bb weight. For example, if you have an inner barrel of 500mm long, the rifle will shoot 0.36gm really well but it will be really inaccurate for 0.66gm because there is not enough volume in the cylinder to push the bb out.

Also, you will notice that plastic bb's are never accurately round. If you measure them with a vernier, you will notice that they are oval. This is the same no matter what the brand. The only ones that are round are the ceramic bb's. This can be a pain in the backside when trying to find the most accurate brand of plastic bb.
Hm. That could be a serious problem...I'll be using a gas build with HPA, so hopefully I can crank the bolt spring [and adjust pressure to create appropriate FPS,] to induce excess volume for each BB (probably not ideal, but better than creating a 'back-draft'..?) The only saving grace of the matter is it's really only rational to compare various companies' BBs which are of equal weights- meaning they're all affected similarly by the appropriateness of the volume of air in question. Hell, maybe I'll just spend gratuitous amounts of time dialing in the volume/pressure for each weight...thank god I bought a hand pump for my HPA tank ;)
It's beginning to become clear that including a micrometer in evaluation is a necessity. We'll see if some companies manage a better oval/circle than others with regards to plastics.
 

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As you said, you would be best to compare the various companies with the same bb weight with the rifle set up for this weight. After you have checked all the brands, you can then dial in more air volume to test the heavier bb's.
 

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So they're technically biodegradable..? And why, if the bearings are .69g, are Pearls [advertised as] .66g?
15/64" is 5.953mm versus 6.000mm as stated before.

You must also consider the stabilizer(dopant) used, be it yttrium, calcium, magnesium, or cerium.

Pure ZrO2 is considered chemically unreactive but the stabilizer means it can react slowly in the presence of certain chemicals.
 
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