Airsoft Elite BBs

Airsoft
Elite BBs

by Arnie


Airsoft
Elite BB review:
when it comes to what bbs go
in my Airsoft replicas i’m a bit picky. The reason is
simple, inferior bbs [normally cheap] are a huge liability
for a quality AEG or gas blowback. If a jam occurs, and
a part is damaged not only is the repair expensive but
the parts [specifically the more obscure ones] need to
be sourced from hong kong, this takes time and the shipping
costs more than the part itself. For GBBs, such as KJW
GBBs for example, they might not even be available. Not
wanting to cast aspersions here, but if the BBs are yellow
or brown they aren’t going near anything of mine. ^_^

It’s
white it’s round, so what? When I was asked to review
BBs, I wasn’t exactly enthralled by the prospect. Why?
– well a BB is white and round, there’s not much to judge
a BB on apart from that. Or so you’d think…

For
a BB you require three main strengths:

  • Accuracy
    when fired – obviously you want your round to go where
    you want

  • No jamming – you really don’t want it to jam and/or
    damage your rifle/pistol

  • No splitting or smashing on impact – When skirmishing
    in confined areas (specifically CQB), you really don’t
    want your BBs splitting into pieces if they hit a wall,
    and then showering your colleagues with sharp bits of
    plastic. Not particularly pleasant if they smash and
    the shards go through someone’s goggles either. :(

According
to the manufacturers Airsoft
Elite
(AE)
their BBs are specifically designed to confirm to all
these needs. Well we can’t just leave it at that can we
– we need to test these things. Now believe me when I
say that this review is actually one of the hardest I’ve
had to do, I mean how do you review a BB? Well lets see
how the BBs that Airsoft
Elite
very kindly sent in to me performed.

The
bag:
There’s one feature of the AE
bbs that I am pleased with, and it’s something that’s
highly underrated in my opinion. Staples! Okay so you’ll
be wondering what I’m on about here, so I’ll explain one
very common source of jammed mags and AEGs is that staples
form bags of BBs fall into the bag when people rip open
the bag. I think it’s that Christmas spirit, you know
the whole – “tear it open to get at the goodies approach”.
The newer issue AE
BBs now come in a ziplock bag, which is again a nice touch,
the ultimate container is of course a bottle as it’s easy
to pour, but bottle do have two drawbacks – one is that
they don’t get any smaller when you use up the BBs, the
other is that the packaging will add to the cost of the
BBs.

So
how do the BBs fair?
Well it’s difficult to quantify
in the field, as put simply you don’t watch to closely,
well I don’t. The best thing I could come up with was
in my mock indoor range. These targets were shot at (by
hand) at a range of 20 feet with a KWC Taurus. I chose
the KWC Taurus as it has a fixed barrel, and is your ‘average
joe’ pistol. There’s no point in testing BBs with highly
expensive rifles/pistols as at the short range I have
available indoors to run the tests you simply wouldn’t
see the differences. No what you need here is a pistol
that’s not poor, but not something too top grade. The
advantage of the fixed barrel is that the mechanism is
fairly regular in terms of shot placement. The targets
are the standard type that you just pull out of any old
TM box.

Review
part 1 – the 0.2g AirsoftElite BBs

The
results:
As you can see the Excel BBs provided a mass
grouping that spanned the entirety of the 9 ring, whereas
the AE
BBs grouped consistently within the height of the 10 ring
(10 is the center) . As the groupings were achieved by
hand, you can discount the lateral error – that’s my fault.
;) The horizontal grouping is down the the BBs, the two
wild shots were the first shots and were ‘sighters’, so
please ignore them.


Airsoft Elite 0.2g BBs

Excel
0.2g BBs

Contents:
Both bags weigh in at 0.75kg – that is exactly 3750 0.2g BBs
or 3000 0.25g BBs, so the number of BBs that they list on the
bag is correct. Honest I did weigh them – here’s a photo ;)
Do note that AE
sell their BBs in larger quantity, so you do get better value
for money than if you buy other brands. It’s a very simple point,
but one worth making, especially if you count your ‘softing
pennies, after all every penny saved goes towards that next
lavish upgrade expenditure! Having checked online just now,
standard 0.2g Excel bags come in 740g bags.

Dissection:
Well I was getting rather desperate at this point, the BBs
have been tested for accuracy and we’ve checked the weight..erm
what else can we do? Well as I was in my kitchen weighing the
BBs I spotted my much coveted cooking knives. Hmm I wonder….
very carefully – honest guys please don’t try this it
is dangerous (I am well trained with a knife in the kitchen,
yup man of the 21st Century me, I love to cook), anyway back
on point (sorry bad pun), taking an exceedingly sharp and large
knife I decided to cut the AE
BB in two.

Chosen
at random (how else?) I picked a BB from the AE
0.2 bag and sliced it in two. Well the first thing I noticed
was that the little bugger was really hard, it didn’t chip,
but it required an awful lot of weight to cut through it. Well
the good news was that it is a very hard BB, I can’t really
say fairer that that, as it really was a tough little blighter,
the bad side was the air bubbles. As you’ll see in the photos
there were two very large bubbles in the center of the AE BB.
Air pockets in the BBs offset the center of gravity and thus,
when hopped, the accuracy. In short, bubbles in BBs are bad
news. As I said though it was a tough little bugger, so it’s
not all bad, and as we’ve seen the accuracy is very good despite
the bubbles.

For
comparison sake I’ve taken a sample BB from a bag of Excel and
sliced it in two. The first thing I noticed was how much softer
the Excel BB was, now it did have air bubbles in it, but they
were much smaller. For a density comparison the AE
BB needed to be cut on a steel plate as it was putting a dent
in my wood chopping board, whereas the Excel BB was easily cut
on the wood board.


Excel on the left, AE on the right

I’m
afraid I lack a micrometer to measure the width of the AE BBs
and compare them to what I have in stock here, but I’ll take
AE at their word for the widths and the tolerances as I am fairly
sure that their superior sizing and tolerances are what makes
up for the air bubbles.

AE
give the width as 5.98mm +/- 0.01mm, now that is very good and
on a par with Maruzen’s Grandmaster ammo. Just to make a point
here though, the GrandMaster ammo is roughly 8UKP for a small
box (around 500 I think), which is not cheap.

Micrometer
results:
Mike “Rotor”
Nowak
was reading the review and kindly took the time to
do the micormeter readings, take some photos and email them
in to me:

“…The
test BBs were from a bag of .20g AE BBs I got at Operation:
Iron Angel but haven’t used (I’m a .25 fan myself), and a bag
of Excel .25g BBs. I calibrated the micrometer before every
reading, and took 1 reading from 5 seperate BBs from each bunch.
I averaged them out, and rounded the numbers to the nearest
ten-thousandth of a milimeter.

The AE .20g BBs averaged an outer diameter of 5.9959mm. The
Excel .25g BBs averaged an outer diameter of 5.9223mm.

So there, just a couple of numbers, but it shows that the AE
BBs are just a hair (around 6 thousandths of a milimeter) out
of their quoted dimensions, but on the better side of the scale.
I’ve gotten great accuracy and velocity from AEs, and it’s probably
because they fit so well in the barrel…”
Mike
“Rotor” Nowak

A
real big thanks go out to Mike for the info, as it’s something
I simply cannot do here as I’m lacking the tools. As you can
see though, Airsoft Elite were correct with their readings,
and their BBs are quite simply spot on. Nice one AE!

Conclusion
So far the 0.2g BBs are top notch, you get
more in a bag than normal, they don’t chip, and are
nice and hard, so they are highly unlikely to shatter
and be a hazard, and they are very accurate, which
is down to the high manufacturing dimension tolerances.

The
only downside I could find, was that they had somewhat
larger air bubbles in them than I anticipated, not
a huge issue but it has to be mentioned. In short,
these 0.2g BBs are great value for money.

Stay
tuned for the 0.25g comparisons coming shortly.

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last
modified:
Sunday, January 26, 2003 5:50 PM
Copyright 2003 ArniesAirsoft




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