How are Airsoft BBs Made? The Unveiled Secrets of Your Favorite Pellets

Airsoft BBs are a crucial part of the sport, but have you ever wondered how they’re made? Understanding the manufacturing process can give you a better appreciation for the quality and performance of your ammunition.

Typically made from plastic, airsoft BBs go through a meticulous process to ensure consistent size, shape, and density. The primary materials used are either ABS or PLA, as they provide an optimal balance between weight and durability. This is important, as you want your BBs to maintain a straight trajectory when fired.

In the production process, the raw material is first melted down and then injected into a mold, creating a long plastic string. This string is cooled, cut into smaller sections, and polished to achieve a smooth surface. High-quality BBs undergo additional rounds of polishing and inspection to guarantee precision and flawlessness in each shot.

Airsoft BBs Materials

In this section, we’ll delve into the different materials used to manufacture airsoft BBs, focusing on plastic BBs, biodegradable BBs, and non-biodegradable BBs. Understanding their composition is crucial as it directly affects their performance, environmental impact, and functionality.

Plastic BBs

Typically made of ABS plastic or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, plastic BBs are a popular choice among airsoft enthusiasts. They offer consistent performance and are widely available. However, they’re not environmentally friendly, as they can take years to decompose, causing potential harm to the surroundings.

Biodegradable BBs

Biodegradable BBs have been introduced to combat the environmental concerns of plastic BBs. Made primarily from polylactic acid (PLA) or polylactide, these BBs are designed to break down over time when exposed to moisture and sunlight, releasing carbon dioxide and water in the process. This makes them an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastic BBs.

Here are some benefits of biodegradable BBs:

  • Reduced environmental impact.
  • Compliant with many outdoor airsoft field regulations.
  • Decompose relatively quickly compared to regular plastic BBs.

Non-Biodegradable BBs

Non-biodegradable airsoft BBs are generally made from materials like ABS plastic or other petroleum-based products, which take significant time to break down. They are cheaper to produce, making them an affordable option for casual players.

However, their environmental impact can be detrimental, as they can contribute to pollution and harm wildlife.

It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each type of material when choosing the best airsoft BBs for your specific needs. Keep in mind your selection’s performance aspects and environmental impact.

Manufacturing Process

Understanding the manufacturing process of airsoft BBs is essential for appreciating their precision and quality. This section will discuss the steps involved in producing these tiny projectiles, such as raw material preparation, forming and shaping, and quality control.

Raw Material Preparation

Manufacturers source high-quality raw materials like Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) or Polystyrene (PS) to produce airsoft BBs. These materials are selected for their durability and impact resistance. The polymer pellets are blended, colorants are added, and the material is heated to reach a consistency suitable for molding.

Forming and Shaping

The next step is forming and shaping the BBs through injection molding or extrusion. Injection molding involves injecting the molten polymer into molds, while extrusion uses a machine to cut the BBs from a constant stream of material. Either way, utmost precision is required to achieve the desired spherical shape, size, and weight.

Quality Control

After proper cooling, the BBs undergo a thorough quality control process. Inspections include:

  • Dimensional accuracy: Bullet diameter and roundness are checked, ensuring consistency among the batch.
  • Surface finish: The BBs must have a smooth, polished finish, free of seams or blemishes.
  • Weight tolerance: Strict weight tolerances are maintained to guarantee precision and accuracy during gameplay.

Ensuring quality control guarantees that the airsoft BBs will provide players with consistent performance and enjoyable gameplay.

Types and Specifications

As an airsoft enthusiast, understanding BB types and specifications are essential to improve your accuracy and overall game experience. In this section, we will delve into three critical aspects: BB diameter, BB weight, and tracers.

BB Diameter

Accuracy and consistency in airsoft rely heavily on BB diameter. Commonly, airsoft BBs have a standard diameter of 6mm.

However, slight variations, like 5.95mm and 6.03mm, accommodate different airsoft guns and hop-up systems. Using the correct diameter for your specific gun is crucial to prevent jamming and ensure excellent performance.

BB Weight

Your choice of BB weight greatly influences accuracy, effective range, and energy transfer on impact. Here is a quick breakdown of common weights:

  • 0.12g: Suitable for low-powered spring guns and entry-level electric guns.
  • 0.20g: A popular choice for standard AEGs, providing a good balance between range and accuracy.
  • 0.25g: Higher-powered AEGs and gas guns are recommended, offering improved accuracy and stability.
  • 0.30g and above: Ideal for sniper rifles and high-powered AEGs, providing long-range accuracy and increased impact force.

Remember to adjust your hop-up for optimal performance when changing BB weights.


Adding visual flair to airsoft games, tracers are glow-in-the-dark BBs illuminated by a tracer unit mounted on your gun barrel. These tracer BBs typically come in two weights:

  • 0.20g: Suitable for most AEGs and gas guns.
  • 0.25g: Recommended for higher-powered guns, offering better stability and accuracy.

Pair tracers with a high-quality tracer unit and ensure a UV light source evenly charges the BBs before use to achieve the best glowing effect.

Accuracy and Performance

When it comes to accuracy and performance in airsoft, the type of BBs you use can make a significant difference. With AEG (Automatic Electric Guns) being a popular choice among players, selecting the right BBs to maximize your game experience is essential.

High-quality BBs are polished and seamless, providing better flight path consistency and improving accuracy. Lower-quality BBs may have imperfections or seams that can cause trajectory variations and damage your AEG’s internal components.

The weight of the BB also plays a crucial role in performance. Lighter BBs, such as 0.20g or 0.25g, offer higher initial velocities but are more susceptible to wind and other environmental factors.

Heavier BBs, such as 0.28g or above, maintain a more stable flight path at the cost of reduced velocity. Selecting the appropriate weight for your playstyle and environment can enhance accuracy and performance.

  • 0.20g or 0.25g BBs – Higher initial velocities, less accuracy in windy conditions.
  • 0.28g or heavier BBs – Stable flight path, reduced velocity, better for long-range targeting.

Maintaining your AEG is also vital to ensure it continues to perform at its best. Proper cleaning, lubrication, and inspection of components can prevent potential accuracy issues caused by dirt or wear and tear.

Comparison with Steel BBs

This section will examine the differences between airsoft BBs and steel BBs, specifically focusing on safety and environmental impact.


While airsoft and steel BBs are used in shooting sports, the safety measures required for each differ significantly. Airsoft BBs are typically made of plastic and are much lighter, resulting in less kinetic energy and a lower risk of causing injury. On the other hand, steel BBs are much heavier and can cause severe injuries if not used responsibly.

It’s essential to wear appropriate eye protection and follow safety guidelines when using either type of BBs. However, because of their lower impact energy, airsoft BBs pose a reduced risk to you and others around you, making them a popular choice for recreational play and training scenarios.

Environmental Impact

When it comes to being environmentally friendly, airsoft BBs have an advantage over steel BBs. As stated earlier, airsoft BBs are primarily made from plastic materials, and many manufacturers now produce biodegradable options that break down over time, reducing their environmental impact.

In contrast, steel BBs do not degrade and can lead to soil contamination and other long-term environmental consequences. Disposing of steel BBs responsibly is crucial, while biodegradable airsoft BBs provide a more eco-friendly alternative for shooting activities.

Paint and Coatings

Regarding airsoft BBs, paint and coatings are significant in their appearance and performance. In this section, you’ll learn about the different aspects of paint and coatings for airsoft BBs.

Colored BBs

Colored BBs are used to differentiate between players or teams in a skirmish. Using non-toxic, water-based paint makes them environmentally friendly and safe for use. Manufacturers carefully select the ingredients, ensuring optimal adhesion and durability during gameplay.

Polishing Process

Besides the color, another crucial element is the polishing process that gives BBs their shiny appearance. Smooth and polished BBs help reduce friction when traveling through the airsoft gun barrel, improving their accuracy and consistency. Additionally, quality coatings prevent residue buildup in the weapon, enhancing overall performance and reducing maintenance requirements.


Some airsoft BBs might feature a biodegradable coating, which allows them to break down naturally in the environment. This type of BB is ideal for outdoor airsoft fields that enforce eco-friendly policies. Biodegradable BBs have a limited shelf life and should be stored properly to maintain quality.

So, whether you’re choosing vividly colored BBs for team identification or seeking eco-friendly options, paint, and coatings considerably impact airsoft BB performance and appearance. Make an informed decision based on your gameplay needs and preferences.

BB Guns and Companies

In the airsoft world, BB guns and their manufacturers play a pivotal role in providing high-quality equipment for enthusiasts like you. Some leading companies, like Daisy, have been in the business for over a century, earning a solid reputation for producing reliable and accurate airsoft guns.

When it comes to selecting a BB gun, consider factors such as the power source (spring, gas, or electric), the material (plastic or metal), and the overall performance (fps, range, and accuracy). Different companies offer various options to meet your specific needs and preferences.

Here’s a list of some popular airsoft BB gun manufacturers and their notable products:

  • Daisy: PowerLine series, Red Ryder, and Winchester series
  • Crosman: Air Mag, Phantom, and Challenger PCP
  • Umarex: Steel Force, HK, and Walther series
  • G&G Armament: Combat Machine, Top Tech, and GEC series

Choosing a reputable company ensures a better experience and peace of mind, knowing you’re using quality airsoft equipment.

Airsoft BB Usage and Maintenance

As an airsoft enthusiast, you know how vital it is to maintain your airsoft BBs properly. This section will guide you through their usage and maintenance, focusing on avoiding splitting and proper storage practices.

Avoiding Splitting

Splitting is a common issue faced by airsoft users, but following a few practices can help prevent it. Choose airsoft BBs manufactured from high-quality materials, as these tend to be less susceptible to splitting. This might include polished and seamless BBs.


Next, avoid reusing BBs, as this increases the chances of them splitting, which could damage your airsoft gun. Keep the BBs and your gun clean, ensuring you clean the barrel after each use.

Proper Storage

Storing your airsoft BBs correctly is crucial for their longevity and performance. Keep them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, as exposure to moisture and heat can degrade their quality over time. It’s best to store your BBs in an airtight container to avoid them absorbing moisture.

When storing your BBs, you can consider the following storage options:

  • Original packaging – Many BB packages come with resealable bags for prolonged storage.
  • Plastic containers – Opt for a container with a tight-fitting lid to ensure no moisture seeps in.
  • Polymer BB bottles – These bottles are designed to store airsoft BBs and come with pour spouts for easy loading.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure dependable performance from your airsoft BBs and prolong your airsoft gun’s lifespan.


Airsoft BBs have come a long way in terms of manufacturing processes and materials. As an airsoft enthusiast, it’s crucial to understand the differences between various types of BBs, especially concerning their weight and materials.

Quality and accuracy usually go hand-in-hand–higher-quality BBs generally perform better in your airsoft gun. Always choose the right weight, depending on your shooting preferences and style.

Your choices impact the sustainability of the sport as well, so be conscious about selecting biodegradable BBs to minimize environmental harm. Considering these factors, you can elevate your airsoft experience while making responsible environmental decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are airsoft BBs made of?

Airsoft BBs are primarily made of plastic, specifically acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polystyrene (PS). The manufacturing process includes injection molding the plastic material, resulting in a solid and spherical BB.

Q. What are the different types of airsoft BBs?

There are mainly three types of airsoft BBs: standard, biodegradable, and tracer. Standard BBs are made of regular plastic, whereas biodegradable BBs are made of PLA or other materials and degrade over time. Tracer BBs contain phosphorescent material and glow in the dark when exposed to a light source.

Q. What are the most common BB sizes and weights?

The most common diameters for airsoft BBs are 6mm and 8mm, with 6mm being the most widely used. BB weights can vary significantly, ranging from 0.12g to 0.45g. However, popular choices among airsoft players are 0.20g and 0.25g BBs because of their balance of accuracy and range.

Ultimately, selecting the appropriate BB size and weight will depend on the player’s airsoft gun, personal preference, and the specific requirements of the game or scenario.

Q. How can I choose the right BB for my airsoft gun?

To select the ideal BB for your airsoft gun, consider your gun’s power (spring, gas, or electric), barrel, and hop-up unit. Heavier BBs typically result in better accuracy and range but may produce lower velocities. Testing different weights and brands can help you find the perfect fit for your playstyle.

Q. Are biodegradable BBs better? Why?

Biodegradable BBs are more environmentally friendly and are strongly recommended for outdoor play. Because of their eco-friendly nature and gradual degradation, they help reduce environmental impact and keep playing fields clean.

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