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Education / Training Hellboy semiautomatic BB gun: Part 3

Hellboy semiautomatic BB gun: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Hellboy BB gun
The Hellboy BB gun is a realistic semiautomatic repeater.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Adjusted the sights
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Dust Devils
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the new Hellboy semiautomatic BB gun. Let’s get right to the test.

The test

I shot the Hellboy off a UTG Monopod rest at 5 meters. I said in Part 2 that if the gun was accurate enough at 5 meters I would extend the range to 10 meters for another test. We will see today if that is going to happen.

Reader GunFun1 wanted a video of me shooting at a can, but that’s not interesting for several reasons. First, if the can is missed the viewers have no idea by how much. And hitting a soda can with a BB gun doesn’t show up well on film. It’s better in person. But if the Hellboy is accurate enough, I have a plan for how to do what GF1 wants.

Air Venturi Steel BBs

First up were Air Venturi Steel BBs. Ten of them grouped in what looks like 1.492-inches at 5 meters, but you are only seeing 9 of the 10 shots. One landed off the paper to the left, enlarging the group to 1.961-inches between centers. We are not off to a good start.

Hellboy BB gun AV BB target
The Hellboy put 10 Air Venturi Steel BBs in 1.961-inches at 5 meters. One shot was off the target, about 3/8-inch to the left of the paper.

Adjusted the sights

The Hellboy was shooting to the left, so I adjusted the rear peep to the right about 10 clicks.

Hornady Black Diamond BBs

Next I loaded 10 Hornady Black Diamond BBs, which I thought might be best in the Hellboy. They made a group measuring 1.846-inches between centers, which did turn out to be the smallest of the test.

Hellboy BB gun Hornady BB target
Hellboy put 10 Hornady Black Diamond BBs into 1.846-inches at 5 meters. This is the smallest group of the test.

Adjusting the sights didn’t seem to move the group much, so after this target I adjusted them again. The rear peep is now very close to the right side of the carry handle.

Dust Devils

Next to be tested were Air Venturi Dust Devils. The first shot landed to the extreme left of the bull and I thought the sight adjustment had not made a difference, but shot two hit to the right of the bull. I knew right then that Dust Devils were not going to do well in the Hellboy. And I was right. After it was all over 11 Dust Devils had gone into 3.968-inches at 5 meters. Why eleven? No idea. I just miscounted.

Hellboy BB gun Dust Devil BB target
Eleven — yes, there are 11 holes in this target — Dust Devil BBs made this 3.968-inch group at 5 meters. This is definitely not the right BB for this airgun.

I had planned to only shoot these three BBs in today’s test, but the lack of accuracy made me want to try one more BB — the Air Venturi Smart Shot. These lead BBs sometimes deliver surprising results.

Not this time though. Ten Smart Shot BBs shot at 5 meters landed in a group that measures 2.283-inches between centers. That puts them behind the Black Diamonds and Air Venturi Steel BBs.

Hellboy BB gun Smart Shot BB target
The Hellboy put 10 Smart Shot BBs in this 2.283-inch group at 5 meters.


Nothing I shot out of the Hellboy seemed to make any difference. The gun is adequate but not that accurate. For this reason I will not be continuing to test it at 10 meters. You have already seen how a BBs accuracy can fall apart as the distance increases, and this is not the place where I want to start.


The Hellboy has several things to recommend it. It’s very realistic, it handles BBs well and it is relatively powerful. The carry handle detaches for an optical sight to be mounted on a Picatinney base on the flattop receiver.

On the other hand, today’s test indicates it isn’t the most accurate BB gun around. If you plan to shoot gallon jugs in the yard it will do. If soda cans are your quarry, better stand close.

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.

91 thoughts on “Hellboy semiautomatic BB gun: Part 3”

  1. B.B.,

    This certainly is a Close Quarter Combat rifle for soda cans! A barrel swap would probably be needed to get better accuracy.


    PS. Maligayang Kaarawan Tom! (Happy Birthday!)

  2. Tom,

    Zum Geburtstag gratuliere Ich und wünsche ihnen auch noch viele schöne Shützen Erlebnisse!
    For your birthday I congratulate you and I wish you many more fabulous shooters experiences!

    Happy Birthday,


  3. B.B.,

    Happy B-day! 🙂 As for the test,…. well,…. on to the next test subject. I seriously doubt that you are lacking for anything to review.

    Off subject,…. but are you aware of any supply issues with air guns coming out of Russia or Turkey? It kind of looked like the Kral’s were getting cleared out awhile back. I ask this in light of the world’s political stage. Heck, China too for that matter.

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

  4. B.B.,

    Off subject,…. but I was thinking,… Is there a downside to trying to make a (light weight), big bore air gun pellet/bullet? (.30-.50)

    While these heavy weights carry a large FPE,.. they also travel quite slow and are not all that accurate sometimes. The first think I think of is to go lighter to increase speed and perhaps accuracy. But,… how light can a lead pellet be made. With lead, there seems to be minimums given each caliber. Alloy? Lead over alloy?

    At any rate,… Has there been any thought given to this concept/idea in the big bore ammo circles?


  5. 😮



        • GF1,

          I started doing some of that action gun shooting at 2 sec intervals today. I started with a Crosman Model 73 Saddle Pal lever action CO2 rifle. I used it because I also wanted to compare its accuracy at 5 yards and 12.3 yards. ( I posted that to BB at about 8:00 PM tonight ) It is a gun that I think was geared more towards young shooters, but I have had a lot of fun with it myself. The Blue Book says it was only made between 1977 and 1983, but I think that’s wrong, since mine has a serial # that indicates Feb. of 1985.

          It’s about 35″ long and has a 18″ smooth bore barrel. It will shoot BBs from a built in 16 shot reservoir or pellets from a lift up loading tap in the top of the gun, just before the start of the barrel. It is super light and I think the LOP is between 13 and 14 inches

          I clamped it in my Jawhorse and fired it as fast as I could for the 16 rounds that it holds. That was less less than 2 seconds between shots, but just a little less. After 16 shots I had to reload and that may have taken 30 seconds, then back to firing. It is supposed to get 100 shots on a cartridge but I quit at 87 because my chronograph wouldn’t pick up the slow moving BBs. I made a collage of photos of the gun and its prominent features along with the chart of the five and a half 16 shot strings. I also included the target that was catching those BBs. About 70 of them went into 1 1/4″ at 12.3 yards. A few of them got a little squirrelly when the velocity tapered off on some of the later strings.

          I remember when I first got this gun, back when my eyes were good, I could set up sixteen 35mm film cans in a row and hit nearly all of them standing, unrested at about 15 yards. And I mean shooting fast. The BBs are gravity fed towards the front of the gun and down into their loading position, so I would always put the film cans on a 2X4 on the ground so I would never have to take my eyes away from the sights as the BBs just flowed naturally that way. I had trouble seeing the sights when I tried it recently. ( Gettin’ old sux )

          After I shot the strings fast I put in a new cartridge and did it all over again with a 30 second delay. I took a photo ( not a very good photo, I’m afraid ) of this string and I’ll post it. Because I had time between shots on this string I was able to go look at the target paper as it collected the BBs. The first 25 shots could have been covered by a dime and by 50 shots a quarter would still cover them. After 85 shots all but about 15 went into a group that was 1 1/4″ high by 3/4″ wide. I’ll post the 2 sec and 30 sec velocities side by side.

          I plan to do this with other guns that I have. They will be hand guns and maybe a 1077, too. Is this what you wanted to see?


          • Half,

            Again, superb testing. Again, the rapid fire proved to near similar to the 30 second. I think your testing is showing that rapid fire can be just fine.

            It looks as if the barrel is fully exposed,.. no cover. That is the type of gun that would be/is nice for magnet testing. Magnets applied directly to the barrel. In a spiral,… to maybe induce spin. On top to maybe induce hop-up or back spin. Not sure how that front sight is mounted though. Maybe it is shrouded.


            • Chris,

              Is is a solid barrel. The front sight is held on with a single machine screw. If the hole goes all the way into the bore I may be able to expose the tip of something to the top of the bb as it exits the barrel to put some spin on it. Food for thought.


        • GF1′

          One more thing. These groups were shot with the BBs that have the most consistent shot to shot velocity( Hornady Black Diamonds ) not the best accuracy ( Daisy Premium Grade ).


            • GF1,

              The Blue Book says its only worth $55 in 100% condition. The only plastic on it, besides the stock, is the front sight and that pellet loading tap. Like I told Chris U, it’s like a Gallery Gun and it’s cheap as all get out to shoot. I wouldn’t take a $100 for mine.


              • Halfstep
                Yep sometimes after hearing what people say about guns in the blue book and the prices it says makes me think the blue book is not right at times.

                In your case it sounds like it’s not right. First off if you was to sell it.would you find another for that price. Then will it be in as good of shape as the one you had. The way I see it is I know how a gun performs if I own it. If I have to get another, especially used. What kind of shape will it really be in.

  6. B.B.,

    Sending birthday greetings your way. I’m glad God put you on the green earth. You’ve helped an awful lot of people enjoy life and their favorite hobby a bit more. Here’s to another year of more of that!

  7. B.B.,

    Don’t want to be left out in wishing you a HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    And, wishing you continued good health and happiness. You have changed
    lives here, and as Halfstep stated, don’t know what we would do without you.
    You are loved and appreciated very much. Have an especially good day my friend 😀


  8. Mr. Gaylord:
    Interesting reports on a bb gun that I don’t ever expect to show up on a cub scout rifle range. The boys might like it but mom’s and dad’s BSA leadership perhaps not so much.
    William Schooley
    Rifle Coach
    Venture Crew 357
    Chelsea, MI

  9. Happy Birthday and many more. If you don’t have one and want the most accurate select fire replica bb select fire, get yourself the MP 40. Here is what it does for me offhand standing, burst fire at 27 feet

  10. B.B.,

    Happy Birthday.

    Thanks for maintaining an excellent Blog. I really appreciate your hard work and oversight. Sometimes I am offline for one or two weeks but I spend the time to read all the reports and comments until I catch up. It is informative and entertaining.

    Thanks and a Happy Birthday to you.


  11. B.B.

    Just wanted to pass on to you and the guys that I got to witness ” BEING IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME ” firsthand last evening.

    The WX here in Southern MD. has been just terrible the last week or so – not much shooting going on. I finally had enough last night and had to pull the trigger on something. Went downstairs and grabbed the old HW30 and told myself 20 rds and then back inside.

    My range setup is 06 1\4 steel rounds, 02 inch in diameter, and they hang from a 1\2 inch steel rebar frame, all backed up by 02 layers of 3/4 inch rubber horse stall mat. It was made for 22 long rifle but it works really well for pellets. Not much movement just a nice ting when you hit one. All of this is at 41 YDS . Why 41? Thats the distance to the corner of my equipment shed from the back porch.

    To make a long story short, I ran 17 straight, loaded the 18th, got into position, concentrated on sight alignment, breathing and trigger control, squeezed the trigger, but instead of a nice pleasing ting there was just a small grey puff of something that floated slowly to the ground. After thinking about it for 30 seconds I went to investigate. What I found made me think about that song verse ‘ SOMETIMES YOU’RE THE WINDSHIELD – SOMETIMES YOU’RE THE BUG ‘ . Laying on the ground about 05 FT in front of the target was a dead rubythroat hummingbird. Needless to say, that was the end of my shooting session for the afternoon. Go figure!

    B.B. , as Twotalon already said, Happy Birthday from one old service member to another!


    • Bfrey56,

      Maybe the hummingbird thought your barrel muzzel was a feeder. A few weeks ago I had one stop right in front of a small red stick on bulseye just as I pulled the trigger luckily I missed the bird. It happened so fast i dont know what the sequence of events was. They can appear like magic. Sorry you hit one.


      • Benji-Don,

        My wife and I were in the middle of a fair-sized lake once and had one of those little buggers hover in front of a pink foam curler that she had in her bangs to hold them out of her eyes. He was there all of 20 seconds trying to decide if it was a flower or not. Was really cool and a big surprise, especially to her!


        • Half,

          Good story! They are cool. Wear the right colors and have some blooming plants and a feeder or two, sit very still and quiet and the results can be very enjoyable and quite amazing. Just do not color your bullseye red! 😉 They are so quick and precise in their movements. I see them often in the Summer at my tomato and pepper plants right outside my desk window.


    • I have a humming bird that visits my shooting window off to one side. It hovers there for a bit then goes. He probably goes back to the front of the house. We got a feeder hanging by the picture window. Watch them all the time. Cool little birds.

  12. B.B.,
    Happy Birthday Tom. May your day be filled with the love of your family and friends.

    From another old service member who spent a little time in M48’s

    Mr B..

    PS I see a lot of your friends here today

  13. Happy Birthday BB .
    I wish a very happy and good birthday, have a good time, a good party and wonderful day.
    Wish you many more to come and a lot of your experience and wisdom from you to all of us.
    God bless you.
    Sincerely Juergen.

  14. Yeah this really sucks, that the Hellboy is not that accurate, it was by far one of the most good and accurate looking M4 copy in a long time. I even think it is pretty close looking to the M16.
    Well we can’t have it all.
    Maybe they will be working things out and getting the accuracy better.
    I personally would like to see some more of these military replica rifles like we have like now.
    I would like to see a H&K G3 replica, that would be remind me what I had in my military time.
    So far we have only the Winchester M14 what I find interesting, but it would need a good solid Woodstock, or the Diana K98, what is out of price range the Mosin 1941 or the Crosman DPMS SBR, what I think is a little to modern looking for me.
    We will see where we going, I read on the Air Venturi Website that they planning to bring out more military replicas like the M1 out in the near future that will be interesting to see what comes out of this one’s.
    Always have fun, happy plinking and straight shooting.

  15. BB,

    If this is a typical sample of the gun, then Air Venturi needs to do something differently. What are they thinking? This is a SEMI-auto that pales shamefully to the likes of the FULL-auto MP 40’s accuracy and that can be had for a mere $50 more. And you couldn’t ask for more realism from the MP 40.

    There ARE folks that buy replica non-firing guns to populate their collections, but I don’t think that is the group that this gun is being marketed to. I, personally, would have absolutely no use whatsoever for this gun with accuracy like that. It may be good for gallon jug hunting at 5 or 6 paces but who does that? Surely they didn’t think it could sell on looks alone.

    Your 10 meter test got sidelined, but I did another 5 and 12.3 yard test today. The gun I used was a Crosman Model 73 Saddle Pal. I had it clamped in my vise setup and fired 4 different BBs through it at 5 and 12.3 yards and got these results for the 10 shot groups


    5 YARDS 12.33 YARDS

    DAISY Premium .277” .950”
    BLACK DIAMOND .282” 1.225”
    CROSMAN .341” 3.60”
    BLASTER PLASTIC .603” 1.950”

      • Half,

        Nice looking gun. I am fond of lever actions. 30 seconds to look up,… (Blue Book), in case anyone is wondering,….. just sayin’,…… 😉 Pretty well perfect when someone mentions some odd ball gun and you go,… “huh?”.


        P.S.,… Magnet idea?

      • Chris U,

        I posted some stuff to GunFun at 10:00 PM that you may be interested in.

        My 12th edition Blue Book says the Saddle Pal is only worth 55 bucks at 100%. If you can find one that holds gas ( or not ) at that price you should grab it or tell me about it. I wouldn’t mind having a second one. It is economical to shoot and is very much like a Gallery Gun.IMO


        • GF1,

          As has been said in the past,… it is a guide. A pretty good one. I gives a comparison across the board. Like anything,… supply/demand/economy/what is hot and what is not,… all comes into play.

          Since you go for mostly new stuff,… I can see where the Blue Book would not be of high interest/priority to you. I go for new stuff too, but I like it for when B.B. does an old gun (and mentions several similar guns and previous or subsequent versions) or if someone mentions something odd in the blog comments. Plus, it adds to the overall enjoyment of the hobby.

          I have assisted more than one person here when they say,… “I just got this X gun. What can anyone tell me about it?”

          • Chris
            It seems since you answered here you must not of read my comment above. Here it is so then you will maybe understand what I mean. Sometimes the Blu book don’t represent what the gun might be worth sometimes.

            “Yep sometimes after hearing what people say about guns in the blue book and the prices it says makes me think the blue book is not right at times.

            In your case it sounds like it’s not right. First off if you was to sell it.would you find another for that price. Then will it be in as good of shape as the one you had. The way I see it is I know how a gun performs if I own it. If I have to get another, especially used. What kind of shape will it really be in.”

  16. B.B.,

    A very Happy Birthday to you and thanks for all you do, unfortunate the Hellboy is not making the grade but your reports on all airguns make the grade for sure.

    I guess we can look forward to a first report on the Fortitude next week, lots of interest on that one for sure.


  17. BB
    Well Tom it’s still your birthday here in California and for the next 24 hours I can say I’m glad I’m not as old as you.. But … on the other hand I hope to be as old as you some day 🙂 Hope you had a memorable birthday, those are the good ones and with a little help from our medical insurance and heavenly creator we can hope to have a lot more !

    So what have I learned at 70? Your body will only permit you to do things you do on a daily basis. If you do not lift a truck battery every day, you will hurt yourself when you do. Today my thoughts turn to acquiring the 9 essential amino acids required to retain and build muscles.

    Good thing you avoided the ten meter testing, it probably avoided embarrassing someone someplace.

    Bon M

    • Bob,

      I do believe that Quinoa has all 9 in good quantities. Pronounced keen-wa. If not mistaken, it can be a meat replacement in 3rd world countries for nutritional purposes.


  18. Chris
    Indeed it does. I just ordered some other stuff but will look into this for diversity. Need all the good stuff I can get these days to counter act my life of self indulgence. So far so good!
    Thanks, Bob M

    • Bob,

      What do ya’ know,…. I subscribe to the same counter balance/imbalance philosophy. 😉

      Cook it with other (small/diced) goodies,… onions, peppers, carrots, etc.. Can use stock instead of water. I do a black bean/ fat free refried bean mash up and will mix the Quinoa in 50/50 and makes for a quick tortilla fill/snack.


      • Chris
        Thanks, sounds good. I had to look this stuff up on line and find out how to cook and eat it.
        A few years after I retired I was fading fast. I started taking better care of my old bod drinking more water, taking vitamins and doing moderate exercises and after a while all the white hair I had all over and a few ailments I had disappeared. You can make a big difference.
        Bob M

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