"Cobalt-Blue" on Airsoft Ohio has run a couple of tests to compare the relative accuracy of .2, .23 and .25 gram BBs.

The following is an almost verbatim copy of his reports, used with his permission.

Thanks to him for taking the time to do the tests and let me host the results.

.2g BBs Vs .25g BBs

As the title states, maybe i'm reinventing the wheel here, but I've not quite fully understood the various arguments for or against the varying BB weights in STOCK guns, either electric or Gas.

maybe while I was beginning my airsoft newbie-hood (which still has yet to end, it's really a lifelong thing) I missed a class, but I had heard conflicting stories ever since- .25s offer the best shot while still others swear up and down about how .2's were better etc.

But no one had the numbers, and certainly not for specific guns (especially for guns a newbie may be interested in/capable of affording)

-let me amend that- plenty of people had numbers- all dressed up to make the guns sell. want an example, try looking up FPS ratings on the same gun, same manufacturer from COMPETING WEBSITES- you'll find some are more honest than others but all in all, it's not real performance based, because some of the honest retailers can't afford to be TOO honest. Other examples? sports cars- sure it has 175 HP on paper, but is that REALLY hitting the road with the rubber? or is it an engine-brake test done out of the car in the factory?

well today was the first gorgeous day all summer- who knew it would take till august- and OdinspearX and I decided to get scientific on that empiric azz.

so here we went.

exactly 75 feet from my back door (measured with the ubiquitous real estate M-tape) is a phone or other utility box on a utility pole. it is approximately .5 feet wide by 1.5 feet or so tall. Neither a head shot nor a torso shot (unless someone strung up a toddler in a utility pole- an atrocious breach of airsofting standards that I won't discuss here) The target still offered us a difficult shot to place our BBs on, or give up trying. we didn't give up.

so here is the numbers.

the outside temp was about 78 with a sometimes stiff breeze that would randomly come and irritate the bejeezus out of us. Humidity was very low. The KJW m9TE and the KWA Glock 19 were fed with a nice green gas I get from hardcoreairsoft.com which quite literally smells like my grandmother's old perfume, and the TM SOCOM was fed with the black and red labeled 134a from jungletoy. Whoever says they don't ship gas is wrong. I got a great deal on these two cans, and as other 134a enthusiasts may recall, it lasts FAR longer than a can of hfc-22

all results were achieved with a near miss still counting as a miss, no matter how grazing off of the top or side it was, nor how obviously it would have been a kill in a real game. keep this in mind. 75 feet away exactly, hitting a target as tall as a short torso, and as wide as a thin head. six inches by 1.5 feet.

shots were taken double action, ten at a time, twice (from a Weaver stance, no table top or rail leaning here)to produce an average ultimately expressed in 5% increments.

KWA GLOCK19, with metal slide/barrel upgrade installed. advertised as accurate from 30-50 feet

.2 BBs - 8/10+5/10= 13/20 or 65%
.25 BBs- 9/10+7/10= 16/20 or 80%

Given this is a tough and sturdy and reliable sidearm, but with .25's you also get a remarkable 15% increase in accuracy at a distance increased by 35' (40 is the average between 30 and 50, target was at 75 feet)

KJW m9 TE (plastic slide STILL! and plastic barrel) advertised for use with .2's and accurate between 40-60 feet.

.2 BBs- 5/10 and 7/10 =12/20 or 60% accurate out to 75 feet
.25BBs- 8/10 and 9/10 =17/20 or 85%

AN INCREASE IN 25%!!!! that's just accuracy, that also means a gun advertised as accurate out to 50 feet (the average between 40 and 60 of course) also jumped 25 feet in usable range! Hot Damn!

finally my baby, my favorite (you can read my objective review here)

the TM mk23 SOCOM NBB set from TM Can't find a retailer who advertises it's range.

.2grams- 14/20 or 70%
.25grams-18/20 or 90%

.2grams SUPPRESSED - a paltry 11/20 or 55% accurate ***see below***
.25grams SUPPRESSED- an astounding 17/20 or 85%-almost identical to when used Unsuppressed

***the below I wanted you to see***

in order to get the gun to shoot with .25's, I had to carefully adjust the hop up to accommodate them, since they were rapidly dropping short. (this is an easy to adjust, but PRECISE hop up) however since I did the tests in the order described, i had not RESET the hop up unit from .25 back to .2s for the suppressed trials, yielding much lower results. Now as you see in my review, the suppressor does in fact diminish your long range accuracy, but that is not able to be taken into consideration because as you see in similar trials before, the gun performed much better than it did today, but still diminished in overall long range accuracy when suppressed, BEFORE it having it's hop adjusted poorly. since the hop was set to .25's and not .2's, the BBs were in fact hurtling towards their intended targets strait and true, but shooting skyward when they got into within ten feet or so. The wind was picking up at this point in the day, and so we packed up and went home. (there were also more than 20 shots for some of the guns, but to use one set of ratings for one and not the others, and since we had set out to use this standard would be unfair to certain guns, since some were shot a lot more than the rest.)

general synopsis-
1- airsoft guns are NOT precision weapons
2- WHEN USING GAS GUNS you can on average increase your accuracy by 22.5% by simply switching your BBs to .25's.
3-WHEN USING GAS GUNS you can increase your range by an average of 30'.
4-this test obviously is subject to the rules of gunplay- these accuracy ratings are from a relatively sterile environment, much unlike the one you will encounter when your teammates are getting blasted, you're XO is hit and the radio man is unresponsive, and you're about to be overwhelmed when your damn hi-cap jams and you reach for your backup- amongst other things your hands might be shaking terribly and you may be moving to cover when your opponent's cross over your front sites...use these numbers wisely- they give you a quantified empirical result so you can stop (or start) blaming the gun and get better at shooting under stress

hope this helps someone out there.

.23g BBs

some of you may be already aware of my previous experiment with gas guns and .2's vs. .25's for those of you who are not, check this link. it is also a good overview of some of the more popular newbie gas guns (and I include myself in that evaluation of newbie-ness) the KWA glock 19, the TM SOCOM NBB set, and the KJW m9 series.

I used the same parameters for this experiment as I did for the last. I shot 20 shots at a 6" by 1.5' utility box on a telephone pole exactly 75' away from my back deck, while shooting at a standing weaver position with every shot being double action (a full trigger pull- no hammers were separately cocked in this experiment) this time I used the aforementioned new .23' BBs made by Excel

as you can see from the previous experiment, use of the .25's over the .2's increased your effective range and accuracy against a small target at 75 feet. the .23's did about the same... almost as good as the 25'! I was afraid they would either be exactly between the two weights, or fall short of their .25 brothers by a wide margin- as the .2's are prone to do.

with the .23 excel BBs I achieved the following accuracy ratings-

tm mk 23 SOCOM unsuppressed= 18/20 or 90% accuracy

tm mk 23 SOCOM Suppressed= 15/20 or 75% accuracy

kjw M9 TE= 16/20 or 80% accuracy

KWA glock 19= 15/20 or 75% accuracy

it is important to note, as mentioned in the previous article, that the advertised effective range for both the KJW M9 and the Glock 19 are in the 50-60 foot max range. so being able to hit such a small target at that distance equates to adding effective range to your gun as well as added accuracy.

to sum up, my hypothesis prior to this experiment was that on average the use of .23's would be somewhere between the use of .2's and .25's- a somewhat obvious assumption- and the numbers show the jump from normal regular .2g's is much much greater than the jump from .23's to .25's, at times even matching the performance of the .25s.

mk23 SOCOM Un.

.2 =70%

mk 23 SOCOM Supp.

.2 =55%*

kjw m9

.2 =60%

kwa glock 19

.2= 65%

*it is important to note that there was a lot of wind that day and I did not want to retest the socom accuracy suppressed in order to make my favorite gun look better. I would suggest you do your own research with your own in this arena, because as both my review on the gun and a cursory look at the rest of this experiment shows, the usage of the suppressor does in fact weigh in as a negative factor on your accuracy ratings, but not necessarily in my experience as bad as this number shows. However in the spirit of accuracy, I did not want to fluff the numbers to pad the reputation of my and many other's sidearms.

back to my .23gram review- I would recommend using .23's if you already had an AEG that performed better with .23's over .2s or .25s, so you could achieve accuracy with BOTH your sidearm and your AEG without different BB weights. if your aeg is set up for .25's, I'd roll with strait .25s, though I am told that AEgs work best with .2s. I have yet to go out and test this information though. hope this helps someone out there in 6mm BB land. Cobalt out.

it may also be vital to note that the KJW m9 may have at times better ratings than the glock 19, but the glock 19 has range and relative accuracy comparable to the SOCOM, even with it's shorter barrel. it may be a tad less accurate, but it maintains it's BBs path all the way out to it's end, while the KJW m9 either drops off at about 80 feet or drifts a tad wider. I'd still wholeheartedly recommend either gun for a skirmish sidearm on a budget.

Up to the accuracy core page.