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.

Feeding

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.