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!

Accuracy

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.

Velocity

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.

Summary

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.