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BB Guns

BB guns have come a long way in the last several years in terms of technology and manufacturing. The general perception is that they are "toys," but when you take a look at the different types of bb guns for sale today you will realize that they are anything but. There are several firearm companies that license their name and designs to bb gun manufacturers so there are a lot of guns on the market today that look and feel like their firearm counterpart. Popular companies such as SIG Sauer, Dan Wesson, Colt & Smith & Wesson are just a few of the brands offering bb gun replicas.

Also, don't confuse a bb gun with an airsoft gun because they are two completely different products. Airsoft guns shoot plastic bbs and are meant to be shot at each other (using proper eye and face protection). They also require a federally mandated orange tip to distinguish them from firearms and airguns. A bb gun will shoot .177 caliber steel bbs and don't require an orange tip as the intended use is target shooting, plinking or hunting. There are several types of bb guns for sale on the market today, but the most common are BB air pistols. They can be powered by CO2 or by a pneumatic pump (multi-pump). Browse our selection of guns in the categories above and use our advanced filtering system to find just the right gun.

What does BB stand for in BB gun?

While it is mistakenly referred to as a bearing ball or bullet ball, the actual term BB began as the size of a shot, intended for use within a shotgun shell, which fell midway between 'b' and 'bbb' types. The Markham company, the first bb gun manufacturer, released one of the first civilian use air rifles and they used one of these 4.4 mm lead balls.

After this, the name stuck and become part of the vocabulary of all shooters. Even when Daisy tried to change the type of bb used to what they advertised as a "round shot", the BB name was still the term most people associated with the ammo.

When were BB guns invented?

The BB gun has no recorded history of first use, but we do know that the technology to create one dates all the way back to 1580 with the Bellows airgun. This is the time period when most historians agree on the modern airgun being created. From the 17th century till the 19th, large-caliber air guns were used to hunt big game. Interestingly, the Austrian army used the Girardoni air rifle during this time. Many references to the Girardoni air rifles mention lethal combat ranges of 125 to 150 yards and some extend that range considerably.

It wasn't until July 1886 that the Markham Air Rifle Company, the first bb gun manufacturer, released a spring-piston air rifle designed to be used as a youth training gun. Then, two years later the Plymouth Air Rifle Company, what would become Daisy, introduced the first full metal air gun that fired BB shots to the public.

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