Do you love spending time outdoors? If so, you’re not alone.
After all, there’s really nothing better than getting out of the house and exploring nature. And one of the funniest activities to enjoy in the great outdoors is target practice.
Shooting guns can be a blast, especially when you use an air rifle. And yet it can be confusing to understand the difference between a pellet gun vs BB gun. Because while many people might think there’s no difference between these two types of guns, each offers specific pros and cons.
If you’ve been wanting to learn more about BB gun vs pellet gun for target practice, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.
Understanding the Basics
First of all, let’s talk about the basics of air guns. Simply put, these are guns that operate by using compressed air to push a projectile toward the target rather than gunpowder.
Some air guns require CO2 cartridges while others feature a manual pump mechanism.
Now let’s take a closer look at the overall differences between a BB gun vs a pellet gun.
The Pros of BB Guns
BB guns shoot a steel ball called a “BB”, and the average size of a BB is 4.5mm. This type of gun can be purchased in various forms, all the way from a basic handgun to a fully automatic rifle.
Ammunition Is Cheap
One of the great advantages of BB guns is the fact that ammunition is extremely inexpensive.
The average BB gun is cheap, especially if you buy a very basic model featuring a manual pump for refilling the air chamber between each shot.
Available Almost Anywhere
Another benefit of BB guns is they are available for purchase at most big box retail stores. This even true of stores that don’t carry guns that fire traditional ammunition. Plus most major retailers offer basic air guns at very low prices.
BB guns are also much lighter than other types of guns. This makes them very easy to handle, especially for beginners learning how to hold and fire a weapon for the first time.
Easy to Master
Many beginners can be timid around guns. Plus, they might think that shooting a gun is a complicated process. That’s why you should keep in mind that BB guns are easy to operate and become proficient with, even after minimal experience shooting one.
Great for Young People
The ease of use of BB guns makes them ideal for younger people. They are extremely safe, especially when handled properly and treated with respect. You can also load a lot of BBs at once, thus a young person won’t have to worry about reloading after every shot.
The Cons of BB Guns
There are also a few things that make BB guns less than ideal for everyone. Here are a few of them.
Poor Long-Range Accuracy
Let’s face it, BBs simply aren’t accurate beyond a limited distance. This is largely due to their shape. After all, the round design creates a lot of wind resistance, making it difficult for them to stay on target at long-range.
BBs are Much Slower Than Pellets
They are also slow. Again, this is largely due to shape and lack of power.
Not Great for Hunting
Some people use BB guns when hunting small game such as birds, squirrels, rabbits. And while BB guns can be effective in certain cases, especially at extremely close range, there is also a very high risk of simply wounding the animal. Thus you’d be wise to choose a different type of weapon for this activity.
Very Limited Uses
Aside from basic target shooting, BB guns offer very few uses. This doesn’t make them any less fun to shoot, just be aware that the practical uses are very limited.
Here’s a great resource for choosing between pellet gun vs BB gun.
The Pros of Pellet Guns
Now let’s talk about pellet guns. This type of weapon that fires a pellet made of lead or some other soft metal. Pellets are shaped more like traditional ammunition, thus the gun is designed with a larger bore in order to accommodate the size and shape of the pellet.
Here are some of the advantages of pellet guns.
Pellets are more accurate than BBs. This is especially at a longer range when it really matters most.
Better Suited for Hunting
Because pellets are more accurate, they are better for hunting small game. In fact, pellet guns are ideal for shooting pests around the house or in the yard.
More Power Than BBs
The design of pellets enables greater velocity. Thus you will be able to hit the target with a far greater amount of power.
The Cons of Pellet Guns
Pellet guns are great, but there are a few things to know before buying this type of firearm. Here are some things to be aware of.
Limit uses In Competition
It’s important to keep in mind that pellet guns cannot be used in airsoft matches. Thus you’d have to participate in competitions that are specifically tailored for pellets.
Typically Load One Pellet at a Time
Pellets must be chambered correctly. This means they must be placed in the chambered one at a time and seated in the proper position.
While BBs are extremely affordable, pellets are slightly more expensive. Thus you might not feel as free to practice as often as you might wish.
Keep in mind that pellet guns are more powerful than BB guns. This also means they are far more dangerous and should always be handled with respect.
More Challenging to Master
BB guns are just one step above a toy rifle. Thus they are easy to handle and operate. And while pellet guns are still relatively easy to operate, they are slightly more complicated than BB guns, making them less ideal for beginners or younger shooters.
A Guide to Choosing Between a Pellet Gun vs BB Gun for Target Practice
Target practice can be fun at any age. Fortunately, this guide to choosing a pellet gun vs BB gun will help you choose the right weapon for your needs.
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