Other than a water gun or a cap pistol your first gun that actually shot a projectile was probably a BB gun. Today we are going to explore the Best BB Guns, they offer something for everyone be it collecting, training, or backyard fun.
The first BB gun was made in 1886 by the Markham Air Rifle Company of Plymouth Michigan, the gun was made mostly from wood, with very few metal parts that were used only where it was absolutely necessary such as the barrel, mainspring, barrel hinge, and trigger.
Since that time an untold number of BB guns have been made worldwide.
Many people look down on a BB gun as not having much utility, but it is a valuable tool that lets you practice sight alignment, trigger pull and follow through, all key components in good marksmanship. Because of the low power of the BB gun, this practice can be done at home, indoors, or out with a proper trap to safely collect the BBs.
The military of almost every country has used training weapons that were modified BB guns to teach basic marksmanship to new recruits. During World War II, the United States Navy and Army used BB machine guns to hone the aerial gunnery skills of troops.
BB guns are now being made that mimic real firearms, both historic and modern. They give a collector the chance to own a replica of an iconic firearm from history that is normally prohibitively expensive at a fraction of the cost.
They also allow people to train with a low-powered replica of their self-defense firearm in a controlled safe environment. The weight and ergonomics are the same, the grip and holster are the same, but the cost of ammunition and range fees are greatly reduced.
As you will see in this list, there is something for everyone, from replicas of 19th-century historical firearms to the latest full auto guns of the 21st century.
With hundreds of options to choose from it's difficult to narrow down our top picks, but here is where we would start.
Bb guns are perfect for:
This officially licensed blowback BB pistol made by Umarex allows you to take tactical training and backyard plinking sessions to a new level with a BB replica of the Glock 17 Gen4, that looks, feels, and handles like the real thing.
Since the pistol is the same size as the Glock 17 firearm, it will fit in your holster, you can use this BB pistol to practice your draw, presentation drills, and many other shooting exercises that will help you hone your handgun skill set, or just roll feral soda cans around the back yard.
This detailed BB pistol features fixed Glock style sights, the distinctive Glock trigger, a drop-free metal 18-round magazine that also houses the 12-gram co2 cartridge that powers the pistol, an integrated weaver rail in the frame allows for the attachment of accessories like a light or laser just like a real Glock, so you can train with a gun that is set up just like your real Glock. And just like a real Glock, the frame is made of polymer and the slide is metal, for a more authentic shooting experience.
The pistol has the same ergonomics as the real firearm to replicate the shooting experience. Extra magazines are available to keep the shooting going, and allow you to practice muscle memory drills like reloading.
The blowback action, while not as strong as the firearm, does give you the perception of recoil, and having to reacquire the sight picture after every shot.
The slide locks back after the last shot is fired just like the firearm so you know when you need to reload, and no wasted gas.
The pistol only has a 90-day warranty, while others offer longer warranties.
Being a blowback gun, it offers more realism than a non-blowback gun, but at the cost of complexity, and shot count.
Since it is co2 powered, if you shoot it fast, the gun will cool down losing some velocity until it warms up again.
Don't worry revolver fans you won't be left out, Crosman has you covered in this list with the Vigilante. The Vigilante is an update to their venerable Crosman 357 pellet revolver.
With metal and polymer construction the Vigilante is built to last. It weighs in at a hefty 2 lbs and is flexible with both a 6-round BB magazine and a 10-round pellet magazine as well. The rifled steel barrel ensures great accuracy.
Capable of being fired double action for speed, or single action for better accuracy. The rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation, but the Vigilante sports a Picatinny rail on top of the barrel for your favorite optic, and another on the bottom for lasers, lights, or other accessories.
The molded black combat grips have finger grooves and stippling on them for a sure comfortable grip. The revolver sports a manual safety, and easy-to-load break-open design to get you back into the action fast.
With over 70 shots per co2 cartridge, it is an all-day shooter sure to please anyone.
It is capable of shooting both BBs and pellets, has a rifled steel barrel for accuracy and molded grips for a secure grip, and replicates the muscle memory for shooting a double-action revolver.
The pistol is covered by a 1-year factory warranty and has mounting points for optics and accessories.
With extra magazines available you can have some pre-loaded for never-ending fun.
The revolver only comes with 1 of each type of magazine, extra ones must be purchased at a nominal cost. The grips must be removed to install the co2 cartridge, but they are easily removed and put back on.
Some owners report the finger grooves on the grips don't fit their hands well, comfort will depend on the size of your hands.
The gun has a lot of plastic furniture, but it is well made for the price point at which it sells.
Here in America, there has always been a fascination with the "Wild West", Dodge City, Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, the list of famous names, and places goes on and on.
The object that connects most of the historical figures from the old west is the Colt 1873 Single Action Army pistol, nicknamed the Peacemaker.
Used by cowpokes, shopkeepers, and people on both sides of the badge, modern cowboys, outlaws, and lawmen (and law-women) that enjoy that time period can now own a co2-powered BB replica of that iconic firearm from history.
The Umarex Colt 1873 Peacemaker is all metal, with a Beautiful nickel finish, and faux ivory grips, it has the looks, the feel, and the mechanical operation of the original, with about 1/10th the cost.
The pistol is a single action like the original, meaning you have to cock the hammer to index a fresh round of ammunition with the barrel every time you want to fire. It has the side loading gate, where you can load the cartridges, and spin the cylinder, then eject the spent cartridges just like the original.
The ammunition loads into the rear of each metallic cartridge, then the cartridges are loaded into the gun. With the 5.5-inch barrel, you will get a maximum velocity of 410fps, it has the power to dispatch feral tin cans, and paper bad guys with ease.
For collectors, it has the Official Colt logos in all of the right places to make a fine-cased display between trips to the range.
Own a part of history, pick up a Umarex Colt 1873 Peacemaker.
The pistol is full metal and uses metallic cartridges. The nickel finish and faux ivory grips are absolutely beautiful. It is the same size as the real firearm so it will fit the same holsters.
It uses 12-gram co2 cartridges and 4.5mm steel or low bounce BBs that reduce the dangers of ricochet. It gives a good shot count with a maximum velocity of 410fps.
The gun does have a manual safety if you wish to use it, and it is located in an unobtrusive place if you are a collector and don't want it to be seen. The co2 piercing wrench is located permanently inside the grip so you will not lose it.
It only has a 90-day limited warranty. The pistol is a single action meaning you have to cock the hammer manually before each shot, so it is not a fast shooter unless you "fan" the gun as they did in the old west.
Because of the hammer/valve design, the hammer will not sit flush with the frame like the real firearm, it is a small cosmetic difference, but it may bother some owners.
The Crosman DPMS SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) is the first of a line of new airguns that Crosman has introduced that mimic the look, feel, and function of their firearm counterparts, including the ability to have full auto function that can only be had in firearms that were made before 1986, and only available in some states and jurisdictions with a lot of government paperwork and background checks.
The Crosman DPMS SBR does away with all of that expensive and legal hassle because it is a co2-powered BB gun. The DPMS SBR can fire in semi-auto, or full-auto, with a rate of fire of about 1400 shots per minute (about 23 shots a second) It uses a 25-round magazine that is removable, and the magazine houses the BBs, the co2, and the valve assembly.
The SBR is great for plinking and backyard fun, but it is also an excellent tool for training at a reduced cost compared to a centerfire rifle.
The DPMS SBR has a 6-position stock to adjust the gun to your preferred length of pull, it weighs 6.5 lbs to mimic the weight of the real firearm, it uses an AR-compatible grip to customize for your taste, the safety/fire selector, charging handle, magazine release, bolt release, dust cover, all function just like the real firearm, it even holds the bolt open on the last shot when the magazine is empty, so you don't waste ammunition.
The gun uses two of the commonly available 12-gram co2 cartridges, that will give you about 200 shots, with a maximum velocity of 430fps. So you will get about 8 magazines before having to change the cartridges.
It has Picatinny rails for mounting optics and accessories, the flip-up backup sights are included with the gun, and it has an angled foregrip for better control as well.
The Crosman DPMS SBR only weighs a little over six lbs, but it is TONS OF FUN!!
It is a faithful replica of an AR-pattern rifle and all of the controls are functional. It will accept any accessory you would mount to a real rifle.
It is covered by a 1-year factory warranty, the magazine houses the valve, gas, and ammo. If something starts to leak, it will be in the magazine, which can be replaced or repaired, and not have to buy a whole new gun. Extra magazines are available.
With about 200 shots per gas fill, it is very efficient, even with the realistic blowback function that makes the bolt reciprocate with every shot.
With a rate of fire of 1400 rounds a minute, it goes through a 25-round magazine very quickly. With a loaded weight of almost seven pounds, it may be too heavy for smaller or younger shooters.
Since it uses co2 to operate, it will perform better in warmer weather, and not as well in cooler temperatures.
It is not a toy, it has the velocity, and rate of fire to damage property, and cause harm to people and animals. As with all airguns, adult supervision is suggested.
For the last several years the Umarex Legend series of airguns has been bringing firearms of historical significance to the world of airguns for both collectors and shooting enthusiasts alike.
The Umarex Legends MP40 is one of them. An almost exact recreation of the German MP40 of World War II, The firearm is a much sought-after item with collectors, but rarely owned because of the many thousands of dollars the weapon cost, and bureaucratic fees and licenses necessary for a civilian to own a machine gun. But the Umarex can be owned and enjoyed by anyone, and without the worry of something happening to a very expensive historical gun.
The MP40 weighs almost 8 lbs and is metal in all the right places, and plastic where the original had bakelite (the plastic of the 1940s.) Powered by two of the 12gram co2 cartridges that are housed in the 52-round metal magazine, which will give you about 140 shots before you have to change the cartridges.
With features like a metal folding stock, a rear sight that is adjustable for elevation, and a fire selector that allows safe, fire, and full-auto modes. It even has sling loops just like the original as well.
If you are a fan of WWII military arms, this legendary gun can finally be yours!
The Umarex Legends MP40 is a faithful replica of the original German MP40 from WWII, The metal construction and quality are excellent.
With a 450fps velocity and over 140 shots per fill, it is both powerful and gas efficient, while giving you the realism of blowback action.
Extra magazines are available separately so you can keep the fun going non-stop!
It is co2 powered, so firing it fast will make the magazine (where the valve is located) cool down quickly, causing the velocity to drop.
The magazine uses a magnet inside it to help the BBs feed, so it requires steel BBs or Dust Devil BBs to function as lead BBs are non-magnetic and will cause it to jam.
The Beretta PX4 Storm replicates the actual PX4 Storm in almost every way, the looks, the ergonomics, the operation, just not the Beretta PRICE!
The PX4 Storm is a co2-powered blowback air pistol that is capable of shooting both BBs and pellets interchangeably. The 16-round magazine has an eight-shot rotary clip on each end, you shoot the first eight, eject the magazine, flip it over and reinsert it, and shoot the other eight rounds. Extra magazines are available to keep the fun going.
With a weight of 26 ounces and a maximum velocity of 380fps, it is no flyweight in either the heft or the power department. With its rifled steel barrel, it is at home on the target range or rolling tin cans in the backyard.
It uses either pellets or BBs and uses an innovative magnet to hold the BBs in the rotary clip. Extra magazines are available at a very reasonable cost.
The pistol replicates the feel and function of the firearm almost exactly making it perfect for teaching someone safe and proper gun handling. The rifled steel barrel gives the pistol the accuracy to hone their marksmanship skills.
The rear sight is molded into the slide so it is not adjustable, and the safety and the slide release are not functional. So the slide does not lock back after the last shot.
It only has a 90day warranty, but it is a well-made and solidly built pistol that should give years of enjoyment.
The Springfield Armory Milspec 1911 can be summed up in one short sentence, about as real as it gets.
The Springfield 1911 is full metal and can be completely field stripped just like the firearm. All of the controls work, from the grip safety to the slide release, and even if the muzzle is pressed against something and the barrel is not in battery, the gun will not fire. It even has all of the correct trademarks of the original, making it a perfect piece for display.
Weighing 2 lbs, just like the firearm, the pistol uses a drop-free magazine that holds 18 rounds of BBs and is powered by a single 12-gram co2 cartridge that will give you about 65 shots before having to be replaced.
Whether you own a real 1911, and want to maintain your proficiency at home, or introduce new shooters to the sport, or just chase tin cans in the backyard with a replica of an American icon, the Springfield Armory 1911 is the gun for you.
The pistol is an exact replica and has a full metal construction. All of the controls and safety features work just like the real firearm. You will get about 65 shots per co2 cartridge, even with the blowback action.
If you shoot fast, the magazine will cool down and the velocity will drop, the drop-free magazine gives it a chance to warm up while you are reloading to keep the fun going.
The pistol only has a 90-day warranty, and only comes with 1 magazine. If you wanted to practice reloading drills, you would need a second magazine. Extra magazines are relatively expensive.
Weighing 2 lbs, and being a full-size pistol, it may be hard for new shooters or smaller shooters to hold the weight while aiming.
The Umarex 712 is a full auto BB pistol that traces its design back to the mid-'90s... The mid 1890's.
The 712 is actually a replica of the pistol of the Broomhandle Mauser that was made from 1932 until 1936, that had a detachable magazine that the earlier models didn't have.
The Umarex is full metal, except for the faux wood grip, and is a faithful reproduction that is a boatload of fun in a small package. The pistol has a reciprocating bolt and functioning selector lever and safety, while the rear sight is adjustable for elevation just like the original.
It is fed from an 18-round magazine that uses a single 12-gram co2 cartridge that gives you about 36 rounds per fill and sends out a stream of BBs at velocities of up to 360fps, and a rate of fire between 1200 and 1500 rounds per minute.
It makes a great display of a very popular and collectible firearm from history while enjoying the fun of a selective-fire machine pistol.
Make sure you buy BBs and co2, a LOT of BBs and co2, you will not be able to put this fast shooting replica down.
There's a lot to like about the Umarex 712, it is full metal construction, and is a faithful reproduction to the point that the holsters and wood stocks from the original firearm will fit the Umarex.
It fires in both semi-auto, and full-auto, allowing you to choose the mode that best suits your mood at the moment. The removable magazine allows you to purchase extras to have some preloaded so the fun never stops.
The pistol weighs over 3 lbs, so it is heavier than most other replica pistols, but the weight helps mitigate some of the recoil from the bolt moving back and forth helping you keep your sights on target.
The Umarex 712 has a very high rate of fire, over 20 shots per second, so if you shoot it in the full auto mode, you will go through a lot of BBs and co2 compared to the semi-auto mode.
No one is currently making a BB pistol that replicates the Glock 18 machine pistol, which is essentially a full-size Glock 9mm service pistol with a selector switch on the slide to switch between full-auto and semi-auto modes of fire.
Barra has stepped up to the plate in a big way, one of the most popular types of firearm builds at this time is what is called a Polymer 80, meaning you buy a polymer lower receiver of a Glock type pistol or an Ar-15 that is 80% complete, and you have to finish the receiver yourself.
The Barra 009 is a complete ready-to-go replica of a Polymer 80 Glock frame that is mated to the slide of a selective fire Glock 18. The frame has all of the safety features of the Glock firearm, but with the styling of the popular Polymer 80 grip frame.
The Glock 18, is restricted to Military and Governmental agencies, so it is "unobtanium" for the rest of us, but with the Barra 009, we get to enjoy the airgun version.
The pistol sports a 4-inch smooth bore barrel, and Glock-style sights, it is fed by an 18-shot magazine that uses a single 12-gram co2 cartridge, giving you up to 320fps. The upper assembly is metal, and the lower is polymer.
The 009 has a front rail under the gun to mount a laser or a light if you wish, and it will fit into most holsters that will fit the Glock 17.
If you are looking for a replica of a full-size service pistol that also has full-auto capability, the Barra 009 could be the gun for you.
The pistol is styled after the popular Polymer 80 Glock frame. The controls and sights are exactly like the ones on the Glock firearm, and like the firearm, the slide locks back after the last shot so you know when the gun is out of ammunition.
The Barra 009 is backed by a full one-year warranty by the manufacturer, and also fits in most full-sized Glock-style holsters.
Machine pistols in general tend to have a faster rate of fire than larger guns because the mass of the slide is less than the bolt of a larger machinegun. So you will go through a lot of BBs and co2 very quickly.
Since the lower frame is not built to exact Glock standards, your flashlight or laser may attach in a slightly different position than on your real firearm.
The Umarex Steel Storm is a selective-fire BB repeater that is one of the few BB submachine guns on the market to offer a 6-round burst feature.
When you shoot full auto, the movement of the mechanics of the gun cause it to "walk" meaning the inertia moves it off your target, with real-life machineguns, they teach you to fire in short bursts, as your first few shots will be on target, but as the burst continues the recoil will push the gun off target.
This happens with BB guns as well, The Steel Storm has that burst fire feature built-in to help you increase your accuracy and hit probability.
The Steel Storm looks like a cross between an HK MP7 at the rear, and a Steyr SPP in the front. The Storm has a 300-round reservoir under the front sight to hold 300 BBs that are fed into the 30-shot spring-loaded internal magazine as needed. It is powered by two 12-gram co2 cartridges housed in a removable tray that is stored in the pistol grip, giving you over 300 shots before you have to change the cartridges.
The sights are fixed, but a Picatinny rail is on the top for mounting your choice of optics or lasers. The Umarex Steel Storm is a reliable, fun, and accurate BB submachine gun that will give you and your family hours of shooting enjoyment.
The Steel Storm has an easy-to-load onboard BB reservoir that holds about 300 BBs, that feeds directly into a spring-loaded internal 30-round magazine, so you will not waste ammo spilling it on the ground while trying to load the BBs into a small opening.
The gun is very gas efficient as it gets over 300 shots with two co2 cartridges. With the rare 6-round burst mode, it increases your hit probability and helps you save ammo.
It does not have a removable magazine like most co2 BB guns, some people will see that as a detriment. The BBs will start to rattle in the reservoir once you start to empty the hopper.
It is not a blowback action, so the gun will still fire the co2 gas when the magazine is empty, but the 30-round internal magazine coupled with the six-shot burst feature makes it easy to keep count of your rounds in the magazine.
A BB gun is a type of airgun that is designed to shoot spherical metallic projectiles that are about .173 (4.3mm) in diameter. They are called BB guns because the diameter of the projectile is roughly the same size as the shotgun shot called BB shot which is nominally about .180, or 4.5mm in diameter.
Most BB guns are powered by a spring driving a piston that pushes air down the smoothbore barrel driving the projectile out of the airgun. BBs are normally made from steel and are plated with copper or zinc to make them more resistant to corrosion.
When you say BB gun, the first name that comes to mind is Daisy. But the first BB gun was actually manufactured in Plymouth Michigan by the Markham company in 1886 with the Chicago model. It was a spring-piston airgun made mostly of wood with metal parts used only where absolutely necessary.
The Markham plant was just down the street from the Plymouth Iron Windmill Company (that would later become Daisy Manufacturing Company) that soon started making an all-metal BB gun of their own, but Markham's was the first by two years.
Steel BBs are prone to ricochet or bounce back when they encounter hard objects like metal, brick, concrete, or wood. They will retain a good portion of their velocity and can cause serious injury. Eye protection is essential when shooting BB guns, more so than a pellet gun as the pellet will typically flatten out and transfer its energy to the target instead of bouncing back toward the shooter.
A steel BB with a velocity of 150fps (45 meters per second) has the ability to pierce bare skin, and if shot at a velocity of more than 200fps (60 meters per second) can fracture bone, making it potentially lethal, and that lethality increases with velocity.
Because the projectile is so light about 5.1 grains (0.33 grams) and is spherical, it loses its velocity quickly, a BB fired at approximately 590fps (180 meters per second) has a maximum range of about 240 yards (220 meters) if the muzzle was elevated to the optimum angle.
For safety reasons in recent years copper washed lead balls and sintered metal BBs have come to market to reduce the danger of ricochet that is common with steel BBs that are shot at hard surfaces, the lead BBs will deform like a pellet when hitting a hard surface, and the sintered shot will shatter into small dust-like particles greatly reducing the danger of ricochet.
Airguns can look like real guns, replica blowback models even more so. They have the look, feel, and operating characteristics of their firearm counterpart, this is one reason why they are so popular.
It is important to remember the general public can not tell an airgun from a cartridge-firing gun. Never brandish an airgun in public.
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