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Ammo Air Venturi Dust Devils: Part 4

Air Venturi Dust Devils: Part 4

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
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Initial tests
  • Accuracy
  • Velocity
  • Feeding reliability
  • Unplanned test at the NRA Show
  • Hard targets with a BB gun!
  • Simple test
  • Serious test
  • Summary

This report has awaited the launch of the Air Venturi Dust Devil BBs. That happened last week, so they are now available to purchase. If you are a fan of BB guns, you need some of these!

Initial tests

I was sent a sample of these novel new BBs when they were still in the pre-production stage. The first thing I noticed was the broad band around the middle. It obviously has something to do with manufacture, but I wondered what affect it would have on accuracy and velocity stability, so those were the things I tested first.

Dust Devil
A Dust Devil up close. Don’t let the rough appearance bother you. These fly fast and straight!


I discovered that the Dust Devils are just as accurate as, if not a little more accurate than, conventional premium-grade BBs in most BB guns. The one gun they are not as accurate in is the Daisy Avanti Champion 499 — the world’s most accurate BB gun. Because that gun is specifically made to shoot Daisy Avanti Precision Ground Shot, no other BB can equal its accuracy. But in the other BB guns I have tested, Dust Devils come out very well.


Dust Devils produce roughly the same velocity as other premium BBs, if not a tad more. They are also as consistent, in terms of velocity, as the others. Sometimes they are far more consistent. Since they weigh almost a full grain less than conventional premium BBs I expected them to be even faster, and in one gun — the Daisy Red Ryder — they were. Daisy BBs averaged 285 f.p.s. with a 37 f.p.s. spread, and Dust Devils averaged 326 f.p.s. with a 15 f.p.s. spread. But in all other guns they were very close to the same as conventional BBs.

Feeding reliability

Feeding was another concern I had when the Dust Devils came to me. I knew they are designed to burst into dust when hitting a hard target, but how would that affect their function in BB guns that have a strong follower spring? Would they shatter in the magazine?

The strongest follower spring I could think of is in the magazine of the  Daisy Model 25 pump-action BB gun. I have several that are real bears and I tested Dust Devils in one of them. They came though with flying colors!

Unplanned test at the NRA Show

We got an unplanned test of the Dust Devils’ strength at the 2018 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. Pyramyd Air sponsored the airgun range and Crosman had just donated a new DPMS SBR full-auto BB machine gun to be used on the range. I visited that spot on the line several times throughout the show and watched as person after person shot the gun. The NRA range safety officer in charge of that gun was having feeding problems with one of the magazines because of an obstruction in the magazine’s BB trough, so he was pulling down the follower and letting it slam into position under spring tension with the gun partially loaded. The Dust Devils were “ironing” the obstruction out of the trough. Finally one did break in the magazine after about 20 slams and the guy had to turn the magazine over to a Pyramyd AIR tech rep to clear it. As far as I could tell, it was easy to clear and I never saw any more problems. The full-auto gun functioned fine throughout the show otherwise, with hundreds of people firing it against a steel target.

Hard targets with a BB gun!

This is the biggest news with the Dust Devils. Up to this point I have just been verifying that they work as designed. And they do. But stopping bounce-backs from hard targets is why they were created, and the reliability of that needs to be ascertained.

Simple test

I first tested the Dust Devils by firing them twice at the concrete floor of my garage from a distance of about two feet. I was wearing safety glasses and this is a test I do not recommend anyone doing. Both times they vanished without a trace. I felt no particles hit my legs, so I have to assume they were reduced to dust, just like the ad says.

Serious test

A far better test on hard targets occurred on the airgun range at the NRA Show. Tens of thousands of Dust Devils were fired at a steel Cowboy Action Steel Gong Target. That position had not one bounce-back during the entire show — I know because I specifically asked.


I wrote today’s report because Dust Devils have just hit the market. They are being made by Air Venturi, so you won’t find them anywhere other that at Pyramyd AIR or one of their other dealers.

I’m not done testing these yet. I still want to test them for accuracy and functioning in my K31 trainer and my Crosman M1 Carbine, plus a pneumatic Daisy 880. There is more to come.

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.

39 thoughts on “Air Venturi Dust Devils: Part 4”

  1. BB
    They are also good helping you get FREE shipping when you purchase a new Hellraiser Hellboy. Looking forward to testing them for velocity in this M4 carbine this week
    Bob M.

  2. B.B.,

    Sounding good so far. As long as accuracy is better or does not get a whole lot worse (just a tad) then they are the clear choice. I have the 499 and only use the ground shot. That is one bb gun that I do expect excellent accuracy in and I will say that it never fails to deliver.

    Looking forwards to more.

    Good Day to you and to all,….. Chris

  3. B.B.,

    A great advance in bbsafety it appears and no loss of accuracy… what’s not to like!
    I do have a question on one are that has bothered me since they were first reported on:
    Given that Dust Devil BBs seem to turn into dust when shot into a concrete floor what is the composition of the dust?
    Obviously the binder but exactly what is the metal? Is it ferrous metal? Will the dust turn to rust? Do they rust in storage? Inquiring minds want to know.


  4. I think that the textured surface of the Dust Devil will function like the dimples in a golf ball and enhance the performance.

    I’m still curious on how the raised band might influence flight. First guess says that it will be a positive thing.

    To quote Shootski, Inquiring minds want to know. I have a couple of tests that I want to do – will post my results.


  5. Mr. Gaylord:
    Frangable bb’s seem to be a bit expensive. Is shooting at hard targets that much of a thing? BB guns in BSA is mostly a cub activity shot on paper or soft tin pie plates at 5 meters. Will these new bb’s still go through a soft tin pie plate or disintergrate?
    Wm. Schooley
    Rifle Coach
    Crew 357
    Chelsea, MI

  6. B.B.,

    This is Michael’s wife with a few questions.

    I’ve been reading the blog occasionally, but I saw the Glock air pistol, and I had some questions about semi-automatic pistols. Michael said that I should ask them here because he knows very little about Glocks except that they are very different than the Colt 1911A. He says that is the definitive semi-automatic pistol, and as I typed that he chuckled. I think hes reading this so that I don’t ask anything stupid.

    First, on TV shows a person draws his pistol from a holster and then pulls the slide back to cock the gun’s hammer and place a round in the chamber. That’s to be a huge drawback to me. Pulling the slide back is noisy and takes time, a real design problem the revolver lacks. Is a mugger supposed to stand there and politely wait for you to pull the slide back with your semi-automatic? Isn’t it better to be able to draw, point and shoot?
    With a revolver you can draw the gun from the holster, aim and shoot without cocking the hammer. I know the trigger is harder to pull, but practice can make a person steady even with the harder trigger, especially if the target is only fifteen feet away or closer.

    Back to Glocks. I’ve read Glocks have a “striker” inside them instead of a hammer and are called double-action only (DAO). Does this mean that once a Glock is loaded, the slide does not have to be pulled back to fire it? Can you just draw, aim and fire without the extra step needed with a Colt 1911A type pistol?

    • Michael’s wife,

      Welcome to the blog!

      Yes, you have it right. A double action only pistol does not need the slide pulled back to chamber and fire the first round. You just pull the trigger. HOWEVER — a round must be in the chamber so the striker has something to fire. That means that at some point the slide did have to be retracted. That can be done at any time, and you can carry the pistol safely with that round already loaded. Then, as you correctly described, just pull the trigger when you draw the pistol.

      My wife, Edith, carried a Glock 36 in .45 ACP all the time. She had a purse/carry bag that had a holster inside for the gun. That purse was strapped to her front when she walked, because she was always on guard for purse-snatchers.

      The one detractor of all Glocks is their triggers. The factory triggers are heavy and have a long pull. We had a modified trigger installed in Edith’s gun and it now has a very pleasant trigger pull. I can shoot it quite well, despite how small it is. The Glock 43 is the 9mm equivalent of her pistol. The triggers might have gotten better over time.

      With the 1911, people often carry them cocked and locked, meaning loaded with a round and the hammer cocked back and the safety on. When they draw their thumb releases the safety before the gun will fire. That takes training that most law enforcement agencies don’t care for, and I agree with them.

      What I would do is visit an indoor shooting range that rents handguns. Most of them do, and Glocks are the number one best rental because they are in demand and also very rugged.

      Please feel free to join us on other topics. I am soon starting an airgun/firearm report that will feature airguns that are copies of certain defense firearms. Use the airgun to train and carry the firearm.


      • B.B,

        I’m glad Punky is having an ideal cat kind of day!
        Hopefully you won’t wake him up with a big SIGH when you read what follows…
        I think I understand your statement about the level of training required to carry a 1911 in Condition One. I also don’t want to put words in your mouthon a very important topic! Is the issue which you, and the police departments, that when the pistol is drawn and the decision to shoot has been made (if not prior to the draw) the shooter fails to thumb the safety off when on target? I have carried a 1911 for at least 45 years and have seldom carried it in any other condition. When I draw on a target, in a simulator, or with simunition in a Shoot House training run; I think of it as almost like a two stage trigger. Present, aim, Thumb (either depending on strong or weak hand) squeeze…BANG, BANG unsoweiter! So the issue the level/frequency of training required to achieve or maintain the automatisity of thumbing the safety off or some other concern?


          • BB,
            I am not a fan of having to flip a switch in a crisis. A revolver eliminates that problem but some people feel the need for more bullets on board. To that end, a Sig-Sauer has it covered with the DA/SA operating system. There are some other brands with this system but Sig seems to make the most models with the decocker. It makes for a revolver like DA first shot.

          • B.B.,

            Isn’t “Locked ‘n’ Loaded” a way to a short-lived hammer spring? (And wouldn’t a finally inadequate hammer spring be capable of ruining someone’s day?)

            My wife thanks you for the detailed response. She isn’t thinking (although I’ll ask her again just to be sure . . .) of purchasing a handgun. I’ll ask her about this as a way to start the conversation: if anything, I suspect she feels it less necessary than I do to have a gun in the house, for defending the house, anyway. Because of the way our house is, we would need a half dozen or more guns, each in a different part of the house, for them to be of reliable use if our home were invaded.

            Or, one of us could walk around with a holstered one strapped to the thigh. ;^)


  7. Time will determine whether parents will learn of the Dust Devils and be willing to pay a small premium for safety. I suspect that unless more community outlets carry the Dust Devils, the Kid market will continue to buy conventional BBs

    My experience with BB bounce paralleled the Christmas Story Ralphie experience. A paper target thumbtacked to a weathered wood garage wall. Me with my new Red Ryder at approx. 5 meters. I could see the BB bounce straight back. It struck the right lens of my glasses with a loud crack. Happily I was alone, no witnesses. Did NOT tell anyone about that experience.

    I don’t know how much unsupervised BB shooting happens today. Sandlot baseball has been replaced by Little League. Adults have taken over and “improved” kid play in so many areas. I suspect that in this gun-phobic era that even in rural areas a kid would not have a BB gun and be allowed free use of it.

    • GrandpaDan,

      I have had a few of the harder lead pellets bounce back when shooting at 10m with some brands of lead pellets. I don’t think I could ever bring myself to NOT wear shooting/safety glasses even with the Dust Devils!
      EYES and eyesight are precious things in my book!

      Just my two Centavos,


  8. Off topic for a moment if I may. I wanted to congratulate and thank Pyramyd AIR for a job well done on my order last week. I ordered a new R9, a UTG 4-16×44 scope, rings, and pellets on Tuesday and on Thursday AT 6:16pm they were delivered by UPS. Now that’s what I call fast. Almost as fast as when Cool Papa Bell turned of the light switch and was in bed before the lights went out.

    I must admit I had doubts about ordering a R9. I worried about whether the R9 was still being built to the same high quality as the older R9. My doubts have been erased. The new R9 is as good as ever.

    I did a velocity test to see how the rifle was doing. With JSB Exact 10.34 g, I got a high of 763, a low of 743, ave of 757. Extreme spread of 20 and a std. deviation of 6. That is all pretty good in my book. But then I got some eye popping numbers. With JSB Exact 8.44g, I got a high of 875, a low of 869, an ave of 870, Extreme. spread of 6, and a std. deviation of 2. Wow, I am happy with that. They were both 10 shot strings.

    Keep in mind this rifle is nowhere near broken in yet. I was so impressed with this R9 that I ordered the R7 from Pyramyd Air’s refurbished list. It is scheduled to arrive today.

    Bottom line, the R9 is still as good as ever!

    • Pelletpopper
      When you get around to it I would like to know what both guns group like with both pellets you mentioned.

      That would be a good test to see how much the fps spread affects the group’s.

      • Gunfun1

        Yes I will do that and let you know. Maybe tomorrow for the R9. I have not decided what scope to put on the R7 yet. I personally like UTG scopes with the 30mm tube. There are a couple to choose from. I am leaning towards ordering the same one as I have on the R9.

        With the velocity numbers I posted, I am sure if I can’t get good groups it will be on me not on the rifles. I think I got lucky with the R7. It’s a refurb and looks brand new. Not a mark on it. You have a pretty good idea of how well it shoots since you have a HW30S. Have you found a favorite pellet for it?

        • Pelletpopper
          Ok I will be waiting to hear. And sounds like you got a nice R7. If you don’t mind me asking how much did you have to give for it since was refurbished. Maybe those refurbished are a good deal after all.

          And my HW30s loves the JSB 10.34’s. and I’m actually starting to get better groups with the peep sight on it out at 50 yards. Getting pretty close to the same group size as when I did have a scope on it. And the peep sight is definitely doing better than the open sights.

          And post some velocity numbers and groups with the R7 too when you get there.

          • Gunfun1

            The R7 was $259.99. On the refurbished guns they usually engrave a R on the barrel by the serial number but this time they didn’t. No R.

            Which peep sight did you put on your HW30S? Maybe I will go that route.

            • Pelletpopper
              Got this Williams sight from Pyramyd AIR.

              Then this adjustable peep from Champions Choice.

              And this metric to standard thread adapter from Champions Choice also.

              I’m really liking the peep sights now that I tried them. Plus the adjustable iris on the 510 peep makes focusing and brightness of the target real easy. And very easy to hit targets at different distances without all the holdover and under like scopes. Well in a given distance anyway.

              If you try the peeps sights I would like to hear about it also.

              • Gunfun1

                This may be a stupid question but I am a newbie when it comes to peep sights. Are you using the Williams sight and the Champchoice 510 together. And do you need the champchoice thread adapter too?

                • Pelletpopper
                  Not stupid at all. I just went through all of this too about a week ago. Was my first time setting up a peep sight.

                  So the answer is yes to all of your questions. Basically I up graded the Williams sight from Pyramyd AIR with the Gehmann 510 adjustable peep. And then I needed the thread adapter to install the 510 on the Williams sight.

                  The Williams sight comes with a fixed sight. But I wanted the Gehmann sight to be able to adjust focus and light at the target.

                  Here is a link to part 2 of the peep sights. Read BB’s blog and as well as the comments. Alot of information. And pictures throughout.

                  Let me know what you think. If you want to ask something feel free. I’ll try to answer if I can.

                    • Gunfun1

                      Not sure if I should have replied here or on today’s new blog. Buy here goes. I went to my sportsman’s club range yesterday but couldn’t get on the outdoor ranges. The local police were using them. That’s ok because I want my local police to hit what they aim at.

                      I did shoot at the indoor 50ft range with the R9 and got a .562 group with the JSB 10.34g and .437 group with the JSB 8.44g. Not bad, I just need some trigger time. It will be a fine shooter.

                      I tested the R7 at home for velocity and with the JSB 8.44g I got a high of 590, a low of 573, an ave of 581, extreme spread of 17, and std deviation of 4. It might be shooting a tad on the slow side. Do you get similar velocities with your HW30S?

                      Oh, and I ordered the Williams peep sight from PA for the R7. I should have it Saturday. Once I have it, I will see if I want the Gehmann parts too.
                      Thanks for your help!

                    • Pelletpopper
                      Sorry I didn’t get your reply.

                      Here’s a problem about me. I usually chrony a gun when I get it just to get a idea what it’s shooting at. Then I probably won’t chrony again until I change something with the gun. Or if the gun starts dropping in point of impact verses point of aim.

                      So basically I sight the gun in and if I see the impact of the pellet change at the target at some point in time then I chrony to see where it’s at.

                      So right now I don’t know what it’s shooting at. But I do know it knocks my hanging tin can target up about a foot and a half if I hit the can right. And have got at least 5 starlings at 50 yards with the peep sights. So it does have adequate power for how I use it.

                      And that sounds like good groups to me. I never had a R9 so don’t know. Is a R9 the same as a HW50s? If so I had one of those. And it was a accurate gun.

                      And I’m really glad you are trying out the peep sights. I still wish I would of gave them a try sooner.

                      Oh and almost forgot. It was good you posted here. But the current days blog will be the most likely way for me to see your comment.

                      And no problem. I’m just glad to hear what other people have to say about thier experiences. That helps me learn too. 🙂

    • As I understand it there are two Beeman brands now. One owned by the company that also owns Marksman and Air Venturi. So the marksman company its only the low end Chinese guns and air venturi rebrands the HW rifles. I’m not sure where the Beeman pistols are in this, but I suspect AV also.

      • Edw,

        I do not know about you,… but I have a hard time keeping up with (who has bought who) and (who now owns what). I for one,… have a difficult time swallowing putting a well known and long respected brand name on Chinese guns in an effort to capture a bigger profit margin. Personally,… I like to know what I am buying, where it comes from,…. and the reputation behind said brand.

        • Beeman is kind of a special case. PA I think are the only ones selling the good Beemans, and all other Beemans are now cheap.

          Diana is doing the rebranding thing, but it’s easy to see what is what.

          I remember all of the crappy Winchester and Remington knives and multitools I’ve seen, so no big company is above it really.

      • To provide some clarity, there is Beeman/Marksman, which is owned by a Chinese firm. They are the existing manufacturer of the Chinese Beeman branded guns. Air Venturi is not owned by this Chinese firm. AV is the importer of the Beeman Precision guns, which currently include the R9, R7, P1, P3 and P11. PA may still have some stock of the other models, but they are being phased out. In the future, you will be able to find the various other Weihrauch made models under the HW name/numbers. So the R1 will be the HW80, RX2 will be the HW90, etc.

        Hope that helps

    • Pelletpopper,

      That is a very impressive set of numbers for both pellets. I would like to hear some accuracy numbers once you get it broken in and hummin’ along.


  9. B.B.,

    “Word on the street” is that some of these were sent out pre-release to a few “Clandestine Ballistic Testing Laboratories”. Nothing to back that up,… but that is what “they” say. You are pretty well connected,… so I am figuring to myself,… who better? Perhaps you can “dig” around a bit, contact some “secret agent” in a dark alley,.. see what you can come up with,… and maybe report back with your findings? Maybe?

    A few tip from the movies,… A dark suit. A London Fog coat, dark. Dark shoes. Do not shine them. Stay in the shadows. A wide brimmed, but classic styled hat, tilted low to the front. Of course,… be packing some adequate “heat” in case things “head South”. 😉


  10. BB,

    In a recent interview at the 2018 IWA, Steve of YouTube’s AEAC channel was talking to H&N’s Director of Sales and Marketing about a number of issues surrounding their products. As the interview progressed an insert in the corner of the screen was displaying a number of H&N pellets. At one point the insert was filled with an image of the Dust Devil BBs. There was no mention or discussion of them at any point in the interview, but I recognized them because of your blog. At that time I assumed that H&N was manufacturing them for Air Venturi. Are you saying that Air Venturi is making them and H&N is marketing them in Europe? The package that was displayed looked just like the one in your blogs and was void of any brand that I could see.


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