Hellboy semiautomatic BB gun: Part 2
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Velocity Air Venturi Steel BBs
- Rapid cool-down
- Loading the magazine
- Velocity Daisy BBs
- Velocity Dust Devils
- Shot count
- Discharge sound
- Trigger pull
- Evaluation so far
Today we look at the power and velocity of the new Hellboy semiautomatic BB gun. According to the website description, we are to expect to see 495 f.p.s. That’s extremely fast for a BB gun!
To get ready for this test I loaded a fresh CO2 cartridge into the magazine. If you remember, though, I told you this first cartridge exhausted a lot of gas before it sealed. I am testing the gun with this same cartridge that leaked a lot. I can’t say how many shots were lost, but it was several. For that reason, I did something different in today’s test to compensate. I’ll explain it when we get there.
Velocity Air Venturi Steel BBs
First to be tested were Air Venturi Steel BBs. They averaged 470 f.p.s. but the spread was large — from 449 to 483 f.p.s. That’s 34 f.p.s.
I was waiting the standard 10 seconds between shots, to allow the gun to warm back up. The last shots three shots were just at the 10-second mark or possible a little less than 10 seconds, and they went 464 f.p.s., 462 f.p.s. and 449 f.p.s., respectively. That made me wonder what real rapid fire would do, so I loaded 6 more of the same BBs into the magazine and waited in my hydraulic library for about 10 minutes.
After that break, I fired the 6 shots through the chronograph as fas as possible. The first BB registered 479 f.p.s. and the sixth BB went 430 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 49 f.p.s. over 6 rapidly fired shots. That tells me we can expect to see that kind of velocity drop or greater when shooting rapid-fire. With the Hellboy, rapid fire is a given!
Loading the magazine
To load the Hellboy magazine you first remove the mag from the gun, then separate the working guts of the magazine from the shell. I showed this in Part 1. The BB magazine holds 18 BBs in a single stack. The follower spring is not heavy and the follower locks out of the way in a notch at the bottom of the BB channel. Then the BBs are loaded one at a time through a port that serves both to load the gun as well as to fire the BB.
I noticed when dropping the BBs into the port that the mag had to be vertical or even leaning slightly forward (toward the BB channel). If the mag is tipped back, even slightly, the BB enters a seat and sticks right there at the top of the magazine. No more BBs can get past it, so you have to bump that BB out of its resting spot if you want to load the magazine. It took me some time to learn how to hold the magazine correctly for loading.
Velocity Daisy BBs
Next up were Daisy BBs, which now come in a 50-tube case that I have linked to. Ten of them averaged 478 f.p.s. with a 23 f.p.s. spread that went from 463 to 486 f.p.s. This string is tighter than the first one because I was careful to allow more time between shots.
Velocity Dust Devils
Talk about a surprise! I expected the lighter Air Venturi Dust Devil BBs to be the speed kings. They were, but the first shot only went 401 f.p.s. Was the gun out of gas? Apparently not, because shot number two went out at 489 f.p.s. and shot 4 was at 500 f.p.s. The average for 10 shots was 474 f.p.s. and the spread was huge — from 401 to 506 f.p.s. That’s 105 f.p.s. And, for the record, the Hellboy did meet spec. for velocity.
If I ignore the first shot the spread ranges from a low of 461 to a high of 505 f.p.s. That’s still large, at 44 f.p.s.
At this point the first CO2 cartridge had 36 shots on it, so I fired blanks and then loaded a single BB at the proper time for the next set of data. I waited about 5 minutes between each of these shots.
I stopped at 80 shots because the velocity had dropped so low, but it bothered me that so much gas had been lost the first time, so I installed a second CO2 cartridge. That is the special thing I mentioned in the beginning. This time the cartridge sealed almost instantly, because I was ready for it to leak. I was quick on the Allen wrench that causes cartridge penetration.
I shot blanks to burn up gas then loaded a single Air Venturi Steel BB at the proper time for the following test. Between each recorded number I waited 5 minutes.
The second shot count string looks very similar to the first, until shot 80. This second cartridge still had some gas in it at that point. That tells me that the velocities I got in the first string are representative but they end too soon. Each CO2 cartridge will have a little variance, so this close relationship is pretty telling.
I will say that the Hellboy is a relatively quiet CO2 gun. Instead of the loud pop I’m used to, this one is more of a quiet snap. Must have something to do with the length of the barrel.
The trigger is a long single stage that has a lot of take-up slack in front of the spot where it begins working. An argument could be made for it being 2-stage except stage 2 moves through a long arc that can be felt. It breaks at 7 lbs. 7 oz.
Evaluation so far
The Hellboy is well-behaved thus far. It shoots hot, and the shot count is right for that kind of velocity. I think it all boils down to the accuracy. I have heard that this is gun not that accurate, but I will still test it my standard way for you.