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Ammo Air Venturi Dust Devil BBs: Part 2

Air Venturi Dust Devil BBs: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dust Devil box
Air Venturi Dust Devils will hit the market in a few months.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • How to test?
  • Test 1. A single-stack forced feed BB gun
  • Daisy BBs in the Daisy 25
  • Dust Devils in the Daisy 25
  • Power in the Daisy 25
  • Test 2. Gravity feed with a magnetic breech
  • Daisy BBs in the Red Ryder
  • Dust Devils in the Red Ryder
  • Power in the Red Ryder
  • Test 3. A CO2 gun with cartridges
  • Daisy BBs in the SAA/li>
  • Dust Devils in the SAA
  • Power in the SAA
  • Velocity comparison
  • Feeding
  • What’s next?

Today I begin testing the new Air Venturi Dust Devil BBs that you read about in Part 1. To say the interest is high is an understatement.

How to test?

How do you test something that’s so new that there isn’t much precedent? I decided on the following. In Part 1 we learned that the Dust Devils weigh about 4.35 grains, so they will go faster than conventional steel BBs that weigh about 5.1 grains. I thought that was the place to start, but with a twist.
Instead of just doing a velocity test, I thought I would select three different kinds of BB feed systems and also see how well Dust Devils feed in each of them. There are more than three types of BB feeding systems, so we won’t cover everything today, however, once we see how the Dust Devils compare to standard steel BBs we may not have to test their velocity any further in the future. We will see as this test unfolds.

Test 1. A single-stack forced feed BB gun

The first test was done with a Daisy Number 25 slide action BB gun — otherwise known as the Daisy  pump. I have linked to the current version that anyone can buy, but the gun I used for the test is one that was made in Plymouth, Michigan in the early 1950s. It it still in like-new condition and all I did before I started was drop 10 drops of Crosman Pellgunoil down the barrel with the shot tube removed. This gun has a synthetic piston seal, though the seal in the same model made a few years earlier is leather.

Daisy BBs in the Daisy 25

First up were 10 Daisy Premium grade BBs, They averaged 360 f.p.s. with a 13 f.p.s. spread from 352 to 365 f.p.s. That demonstrates the power and consistency of this vintage air rifle.

Dust Devils in the Daisy 25

Next I tried 10 Dust Devils in the Daisy 25. They averaged 365 f.p.s. with a 23 f.p.s. spread from 353 to 375 f.p.s. So they are slightly faster and slightly less consistent in this BB gun.

Power in the Daisy 25

The BB gun powerplant in the Daisy 25 is a hybrid spring-piston system. I therefore expect the lighter Dust Devils to be less powerful. Standard BBs generated 1.47 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. Dust Devils generated 1.29 foot pounds. So the weight-to-power relationship held true.

Test 2. Gravity feed with a magnetic breech

Test two was done with a modern Red Ryder BB gun. It feeds by gravity and has a tiny magnet in the breech to hold the BB for the shot.

Daisy BBs in the Red Ryder

Daisy BBs averaged 285 f.p.s. with a 37 f.p.s. spread that went from 272 to 309 f.p.s.

Dust Devils in the Red Ryder

Dust Devils averaged 326 f.p.s., and the spread was 15 f.p.s. — going from 319 to 334 f.p.s. In the Daisy 25 the Dust Devils were less consistent than Daisy BBs, but in the Red Ryder they were more consistent. That suggests they might have to be tested gun-by-gun, because there might be no straightforward relationship.

Power in the Red Ryder

Even the weight/energy relationship favors the lighter BB in the Red Ryder. The Daisy BB generated 0.92 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, while the Dust Devils made 1.03 foot pounds. It will be interesting to see how accurate they are in this BB gun!

As an aside, reader JerryC sent me a new BBgage, and I was able to measure the diameter of Daisy BBs at 4.40mm. Dust Devils also measure 4.40mm on this new gage. I used the instructions that came with the gage to measure the BBs, and that may be why the Dust Devils measured 0.01mm larger this time. Now that I can measure BBs larger than 4.41mm, Avanti Precision Ground Shot measure 4.43mm. I couldn’t measure them in Part 1.

Test 3. A CO2 gun with cartridges

The last gun I tested for today was the Colt Single Action Army. Not only is this a CO2 pistol, it also shoots the BBs from cartridges. So we get to see how well Dust Devils will do when loaded that way.

Daisy BBs in the SAA

Daisy BBs averaged 404 f.p.s. in this revolver, with a total velocity spread of 21 f.p.s. The low was 395 and the high was 416 f.p.s. in this air pistol.

Dust Devils in the SAA

Dust Devils averaged 420 f.p.s. in the Colt SAA. The velocity spread was 8 f.p.s. — from 419 to 427 f.p.s.

Power in the SAA

The Daisy BBs averaged 1.85 foot pounds at the SAA’s muzzle. Dust Devils averaged 1.7 foot pounds. So the weight-to-power relationship held true for the gas gun.

Velocity comparison

Dust Devils are advertised to be up to 10 percent faster than steel BBs. I saw that, but not in every test. The Daisy 25 pump increased by 1.5 percent with the new BBs. The modern Red Ryder increased by 14 percent and the CO2-powered SAA increased by 4 percent. So the velocity increase will vary by gun.


All the Dust Devil BBs fed well in today’s test. I couldn’t tell the difference between them and the standard BBs. I will still want to test a single-stack stick magazine in CO2, because of the great number of them on the market. And I want to test a vintage gravity-feed BB gun like the Crosman M1 Carbine. I also want to try these in a pneumatic air rifle like the Daisy 880. I even plan to test them for accuracy in my Hammerli air rifle trainer for the K31 Swiss rifle I showed you some time back.

What’s next?

I think today’s test reveals the difference in velocity well enough. Next I want to do some accuracy testing of a lot of different BB guns. That will take up several reports. Then I want to try some safety tests, to see what works and howbest to use the Dust Devils.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

65 thoughts on “Air Venturi Dust Devil BBs: Part 2”

  1. BB,

    Another great report and you are right, we are very interested in this product. I think we are all rooting for it to work well and sell at a reasonable price. An clue on the expected price point?

    If you have the opportunity, I would like to see a function test in the 10 shot wheels that are used in the Colt Python BB revolver.
    /product/colt-python-357-co2-bb-revolver-kit?m=3696, /product/colt-python-357-co2-pellet-bb-revolver?m=4060
    ( I think the BB/Pellet version uses the same wheels/clips to shoot BBs) I’m interested because of issues I’ve found with Crosman Copperheads just falling out when you try to put the clip into the gun. It is very aggravating and I stopped buying them for that reason. Daisys don’t fall out, but they do seat to different depths and Hornady Black Diamonds work like a charm in all regards. The ring/band that you revealed around these- more excellent closeup work, by the way- have me suspecting that how well they are retained in this system may depend on careful orientation of the BBs when they are loaded.

  2. B.B.,

    A very nice start into the testing. I would imagine that weight/fps/fpe ratios you found here would play out again the same way, with non-dust devils. Maybe not.

    I am assuming that the infamous 499 will be in the testing in the accuracy phase? Plus, that is a different feed system, though “feed” would seem to not apply.

    ( The band is of high interest. Other than accuracy, I am not sure what type of type of testing could be applied there ) The band also skews the bbgage test, as the band will be the biggest, but not representative of the sphere diameter. Could the band have had an effect with your test today? Blow-by? Out of round testing too, with calipers, maybe.

    The safety phase should be interesting. I would expect few, if any issues. Kind of surprised that it was not first up.

    Looking forwards to more! 🙂

    Good Day to you and to all,…. Chris

    • Chris,

      You must have missed that I already did shoot this BB from a 499. Not for accuracy — for function, only. That was in Part 1.

      The band doesn’t skew the gage test. There is no orientation in which the band is not read by the gage. The band is the width of this BB.


      • RR,

        Yes I do realize that. These might do better with a lube application. The rougher surface might retain more oil? It might offset some of the band diameter/sphere diameter difference. Light oil on bb’s did do better in my 499.

        It would be awesome to see a super slow motion video to see just what that band is doing upon exiting the muzzle. Rifles barrel and smooth bore. I would bet that a University Engineering class might have just such video equipment,.. maybe? I think that it would be worthy of a call or two.

  3. BB,

    The safety factor and the price are the big points with this product. For some reason I am suspecting that accuracy is going to be slightly improved with these. I will just have to grit my teeth and wait and see.

  4. BB,

    What I find amazing is how in the world they made these. Going on the assumption that they use a mold, it must be very precise. It would indeed be very interesting to see how they are manufactured.

  5. B.B.,

    Aspenparis/RPL previously stated in the comments that the Dust Devils are porous enough to readily absorb oil and water. I wonder if you used a freshly oiled Daisy Red Ryder or oiled Dust Devils might have a better performance?


    PS. Last sentence: “Then….howbest (how best) to use the Dust Devils.

  6. It does seem that the more or less random orientation of that band on the BB as it is loaded or fed must affect accuracy, though most BB guns aren’t that accurate compared to pellet guns. Looking forward to more accuracy testing. Sounds like it’s going to be a fun product, though!

      • Hank,

        I thought of trying to put one in a clear tube and pass very low pressure air past it. Just enough to make it “float” in the tube. Aquarium shops have a wide selection of hard wall clear tubing. It would be interesting to at least see what the band does in that experiment. Tumble? Orients itself into a stable position?

        Also, the depending on the band orientation, the barrel could be sealed better in one,.. then allow blow-by in another. That, theoretically, could cause a “pulsing” effect. Better seal one instance, less so the next instance,… all in micro-seconds.

        I keep thinking back to the idea of a flying saucer shape. Then too, a motor cycle wheel or bicycle wheel, both of which create stability through centrifugal force.

        Maybe, the band would just perpetuate tumbling with no stabilized orientation ever realized.

        The band, which is the only thing that will contact the barrel,.. has much less barrel contact than the entire sphere. Is that part of the reason for 10% faster? Less barrel contact,.. less drag.

        Feel free to tell me if I am over thinking all of this! 😉

        • LOL! you are funny Chris 🙂 I say that because you are going over the same sort of thoughts as I have been having.

          OK, since we are sharing ideas… I am going to try suspending a ball in an air-stream from my shop compressor to see how it reacts. Then I was going add a band of electrical tape to about the same thickness (to scale) as the one on the bbs and repeat the test to see if the band causes the ball to “weather-cock” and run with the air flow or if it goes unstable – “pulsing” as you said – and wobble back and forth (like a fishing lure). If nothing different happens I will increase the thickness of the band to see if there may be some effect from a band on a ball.

          Your clear plastic tube idea has merit and might shed some light on how the airflow around a banded bb in a restricted environment will react. It may orientate itself to allow the air to blow by equally or it could try to rotate to block the flow.

          Think that the velocity increase is due to a lighter weight projectile and affected by the bore-to-bb size difference and the length of the bore.

          Over thinking and speculating are great fun eh? Actual testing will show us what we need to know – even if we don’t know for sure why. 🙂

          Looking forward to more information on this product.



          • Hank,

            🙂 If you get that (hollow) ball with tape idea to work, please try to post a video. I would think however,.. that the cross sectional density/weight distribution would be off when compared to a solid mass. Something like a “super-ball” might be a better test subject. One of those squishy hand held foam stress balls might be a better test subject.

            That really good picture that BB had in Part 1 might yield the band/sphere ratio.

            • Chris,

              I bought one of those red/blue/white sponge rubber balls for this test. Think it will have the density needed without being to heavy for my shop compressor to handle.

              And yes, will take a video if anything interesting shows up – I had anticipated that request 🙂


      • Vana2,

        Based on my knowledge of ballistics, I don’t think it would orient the same way each time. So, air pressure will be acting differently on each BB depending on how it was oriented. This can’t contribute well to accuracy, though the effect may be minimal at BB gun range.

        • HiveSeeker,

          Know what you are saying but I think that we may be straying away from ballistics and getting into aerodynamics.

          The venturi effect (Bernoulli’s Principle) of air flow around a bb in a bore could (being deliberately vague here 🙂 ) set up pressure differentials that could “grip” the band on the bb and force an orientation – either with the flow or contrary to it.

          Once free of the bore the band on the bb may influenced by the airflow around it or it may be “hidden” in the boundary-layer around the bb and have no affect.

          I’m hoping that we have some engineers reading the blog that might step up and dispel my speculation with some real good data 🙂

          In the mean time, we can just shoot them and see what happens.


  7. B.B.,

    The velocity increase is obviously welcome, but I agree with others that accuracy, a ricochet-resistance comparison to Smart Shot, and price are major interests with this innovative new ammo. (I know from reading your tests for years that you already have thought through many ways to put these through their paces.)

    How did they seem to hold with the small magnet in the Red Ryder? I imagine when it is accuracy day you will try them in your Daisy Avanti 499. It will be interesting to see if one loaded in the 499 will stay put if you shake the gun muzzle-side down. I imagine it will, as that magnet might have more strength than those used in many other BB guns.

    On that subject, there are a number of BB pistols that employ magnetic circular clips. Those usually have strong magnets, but nevertheless, if you have one in your collection to try out . . .

    This is indeed an interesting product. If these do not cost too much (especially given they are not reusable as conventional steel BBs can be), these could really improve BB gun shooting, especially with reactive targets and for indoor ranges.


  8. B.B.,

    I have a small amount of off-topic data to share.

    I recently came into a Gletcher NGT Nagant BB revolver and matching pellet revolver. To begin, I removed the cylinder of the BB model and determined that .177 pellets do not even come close to fitting that gun’s barrel, so if you have or obtain a BB NGT, don’t even think about trying pellets in it.

    I was aware that some have had issues with Crosman 12 gram CO2 Powerlets being a whisker too long in these revolvers, so before the NGTs arrived on my doorstep, I sorted 100 Crosman Powerlets by length. Four Powerlets were 3.23 inches, thirty-eight were 3,24 inches, forty were 3,25 inches, and eighteen were 3.26 inches.

    For what it’s worth, I tried two 3.26 Powerlets in the BB model and two in the pellet model, and I had no problems fitting them in the grips, tightening them for a good seal, or snapping the grip panels shut. I also did not experience gas loss as the Powerlet tips were pierced.

    As always I put a dollop of Pellgun oil directly into the seal “cup” of the revolver before I installed the Powerlet.


    • Michael,

      Glad you found that Crosmans will work for you. You always want to have as many options as possibly when it comes to CO2 cartridges as there are good deals on them out there but they vary from brand to brand and time to time. I hate paying more than I have to for the consumables we use in this hobby and CO2 is what I shop hardest for. I don’t think that I have ever had a problem with any brand other than sometimes they don’t have the right amount of CO2 in them and that’s not even a problem when they give me too much in one. 🙂

  9. Well they seem to be pretty consistent on fps spread.

    Thought the band might make a air seal problem but apparently not. I’m thinking the air that does initially blow by might get the bb spinning in the bore. And probably good for accuracy too.

    I’m guessing these are all smooth bore guns you tested today. If so maybe at least test velocity in one rifled barrel gun. And of course accuracy on a smooth bore and a rifled barrel.

  10. Have you completely answered the question of these BBs possibly being crushed by a strong follower spring in the single stack magazine? Several of my semi-auto CO2 full size magazines have very strong follower springs. I’m concerned about the possibility of the follower spring crushing one or more of these BBs in the magazine.

  11. B.B.
    off subject, seen the Swarm in now in 22 cal. I had asked if a person used a dot sight, would the “hump” (magazine) allow enough site picture that it would work? Just wondering.


      • B.B.
        Sorry. You said you’d look at it, I just didn’t remember if you did or not. I’m not a big fan of high mounted tubes. I used to have those “see thru” rings in the late 80’s on a 22 mag. I felt like I was holding the rifle near my belly to see out the scope. Not really, but you know what I mean.
        Also, Thanks for testing these dust devil bbs. This is really exciting as now a person has a choice of normal weight steel, heavy smart shot lead and now light weight “dust metal” bbs. Nice to have choices.


  12. BB

    Like just about everyone I grew up with I had a Daisy BB gun. Dad gave me a Model 25 pump in the late 1940’s. We all thought it was more powerful than the lever Daisy, even those who had them. But in recent years from this blog I learned they all were about 350 fps. Well after reading this report I’m wondering if my specific gun was a bit faster. We all shot the same BB’s so energy would have been slightly higher. I just wish I still had it. Depending on future reports on this new BB I may have to get another Model 25 or even a 499.


  13. BB

    I see that they are lead free. Not being one to trust corporate, I was wondering if there is anything else used in construction of the BBS that would be considered toxic or prone to cause allergic reactions?


  14. Judging from the picture, I’d say these have to be sintered. Sintering is how they make rare earth magnets, and most modern lead free buckshot. It’s when they take different materiels and grind them into a fine powder, then press it together under pressure, and bake it, with some kind of binder added. This is done to make rare earth magnets because they are made of metals that will not alloy, and to lead free shot, since those are made from tungsten, which has the highest melting temp of any metal, making casting entirely unpractical. These are probably sintered iron, sintered, in this case, to make them shatter on impact, whilst still maintaining most of the weight, and they will still stick to a magnet, which bb guns depend on to hold the shot in battery.

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