We’ve all heard the warning in “The Christmas Story” when Ralphie just has to have an official Red Ryder that you’ll shoot your eye out. And while it’s true that BB guns are weapons and should be treated as such, a lot of families see these guns as a right of passage for their kids. It might be the first introduction your child has to a weapon and it’s a good opportunity to teach them firearm respect and responsibility. But what are the best BB guns available for kids? After all, if you’re going to get one, you want quality.
Most BB guns are passed off as children’s toys, although in all honesty they’re about as safe as a lawn dart. This doesn’t change the fact that these are complex guns (not firearms since they don’t use gunpowder to work) that can do significant damage to a person if you have a quality metal BB gun on hand.
These aren’t paintball guns; as mentioned, these are as close to real guns as you can get, which means you should be as responsible for BB guns as you would real guns.
Airsoft guns are also referred to as BB guns, but that’s a misnomer that can ultimately be misleading at best and dangerously risky at worst. Airsoft guns are safer with softer pellets that don’t do skin penetration and won’t bounce off of surfaces when you fire them, thus these toy guns really are much safer for hobby shooting or war games.
Our List of the Best BB Guns for Kids
1. Crosman CCP8 B2 Vigilante CO2 .177-Caliber Pellet and BB Revolver:
This particular BB gun makes use of carbon dioxide to propel projectiles out of its chamber. As its name suggests, it makes use of BBs or pellets as its bullets. The CrosmanCCP8B2 Vigilante (no, that’s not a misspelling; the company really is named “Crosman”) also offers a slightly higher velocity than some other models out there, even though it’s pretty low in general at 453 feet per second. It’s powerful enough for use of responsible children, but not too powerful. Regardless, you should teach your kid (or yourself if you instead want to buy this BB gun for your personal use) to follow safety precautions like wearing protective eyewear and making sure the gun is unloaded when it’s not in use.
The Vigilante scores in varying degrees when it comes to its noise (has a lot of echoes), accuracy (incredible surgical precision), and weight (it’s hefty for a BB gun). For a revolver that’s about two pounds, the CrosmanCCP8B2 is quite hefty and heavy. However, its accuracy does more than make up for its heaviness for a BB gun. If you wish to do some target practice at a shooting gallery or some other area where your targets are 10 yards away, the Vigilante can handle that distance without falling short.
It’s not the perfect revolver though; its plinker is quite loud and annoying, echoing whenever in use. Other than that, this is quite the impressive BB gun all-in-all, epitomizing everything that’s great about a quality gun of its metaphorical caliber.
2. Colt Defender Pistol (Black, Medium):
In regards to the Colt Defender, it’s a great pistol BB gun on the market, plus few other pistols can match its coolness, style, and effectiveness. In short, it’s a perfect marriage of form and function in more ways than one. This “toy” gun doesn’t feel like a toy. It quite realistically handles like a gun thanks to its heaviness and dashing good looks. It’s made of metal but has plastic grips. However, it weighs as much as the real deal. According to many reviewers, it can really help get your child started into gun collecting when he’s of legal age. The BB Colt Defender Gun is essentially a good practice pistol until he gets the genuine article, which is a real Colt Defender.
It’s the same way a boken or a wooden sword is a good practice sword until you can get the real thing, which is a katana. The Colt Defender BB Pistol even fits all standard gun holsters, at that. One thing that’s different about the BB version of the Defender is that it has less “kick” or blowback, thus you can get a pretty accurate BB gun for beginners who aren’t used to recoil (they can learn how to handle it when they’re adult gun owners).
You can get a total of 80 to 100 shots out of the carbon dioxide canister of the BB Defender as well. However, it does have drawbacks, like the fact that when you’re faced with cold weather, the canister for your gun won’t work. The 16-shot magazine is also non-removable, which is a drag.
3. Crosman M4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle:
Meanwhile, you’ll get the BB equivalent of the AR 15 with the Crosman Air Rifle. It’s a cool-looking gun of the pneumatic pump variety that can also make use of airsoft pellets, which are in many ways the safer toy gun projectile choice compared to the more responsibility-laden BBs (as mentioned in the intro, these are softer bullets with zero ricochet).
It comes complete with an adjustable stock, which makes it easier to use for different age groups. It’s a good BB gun (or airsoft gun) for children who are age appropriate for it, plus the plinker has quite the great look for it. The body of the rifle is mostly plastic, but it’s not so distractingly plastic you’d swear it’s a gun attachment for a videogame console.
What’s more, for something that’s more plastic and metal, it’s still quite the heavy and solid gun which even comes complete with a scope that works for about the 50 to 75 foot range. It’s not exactly a 3x to 9x sniper-grade riflescope, but it’s still a decent-enough scope you’d expect from a BB gun. If you want a practice AR 15 that won’t have you risking life, limb, or your eyes (although you should still wear protective goggles just in case), then the CrosmanM4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle is the BB gun for you.
It’s easy to use as well and even though it’s not made mostly of metal and wood, the important thing is that it’s a simple, straightforward gun that works and won’t make you feel gypped.
4. Crosman 760B Pumpmaster Air Rifle:
Here’s another AR offering from Crosman known as the 760BPumpmaster Air Rifle. It differs from the CrosmanM4-177 Pneumatic Pump Air Rifle in that it makes use of multi-pump pneumatics this time around and has a different look and feel to it. It’s also a certified Crosman BB gun favorite around that offers quite the amazing gunning experience for all those BB gun enthusiasts out there. It’s been so popular for so long that it has sold 10 million units for over 40 years.
If that’s not enough, it could do something that the M4-177 couldn’t do, which is to double as a BB repeater and a single-shot pellet gun. This three-pound wonder is an even better starter air rifle than the CorsmanM4-177.
That’s not to say that the M4-177 is a bad scope or anything (or else it wouldn’t have ended up in this list), but the Crosman760B simply offers so much more that an already great gun model like M4-177 looks inferior to it. To wit, the 760B has a forearm and stock that’s made of durable synthetic material that can take a lot of abuse yet still look great. It’s one of the more durable BB guns around for sure.
There’s also the fact that the Pumpmaster is a proven economical rifle that can launch BBs for 625 feet per second or pellets 600 feet per second. The grip is checked, plus the pump handle has ergonomic indentations that ensure you won’t hurt yourself with prolonged gripping of the gun.
5. Beretta PX4 Storm 16 Shot CO2 Air Pistol- Shoots BBs & Pellets:
Here’s another dual-use product that shoots pellets and BBs with its 16-shot carbon dioxide cartridge. The Beretta PX4 Storm is a BB gun that could also be an airsoft gun depending on what projectile you choose to use. This makes this toy gun one of the most versatile guns around. The carbon dioxide canister isn’t included with this pneumatic weapon, but once you insert it along with your BB or pellet ammo, you will get a close feel of the real thing.
It’s even closer to a real Beretta than an e-cigarette is to a tobacco cigarette. Shooting those loads all over your targets feels right and satisfying somehow, especially when you achieve marksman-level precision with these guns.
Although they’re not really firearms due to their lack of gunpowder, the overall impact, recoil, and heavy reverberation from these heavy-duty BB guns are pretty much spot on to what you’d experience from a Beretta, as many an actual gun owner of the firearm variety would readily take note. You can shoot the eight-shot rotary clips and have the PX4 Storm’s repeater ensure that your trigger finger won’t even have to pause after every reload. As you finish one clip, the BB gun will flip the magazine and release the remaining eight shots like magic, keeping up with the speed and enthusiasm of your trigger finger all the while.
The gun’s grip has also been designed to make sure that loading your 12-gram carbon dioxide container is a breeze.
6. H&K MP5 K-PDW Semi Auto Steel BB Gun:
This personal defense weapon (that’s what the “PDW” in the “H&KMP5 K-PDW” stands for) is a semiautomatic steel BB gun that provides heavy duty BB gun action for advanced users who are disciplined enough to know how to handle such a weapon. This compact gun has been developed for use in vehicles and aircraft crew members. It has quite the powerful punch at 400 feet per second.
It’s not as powerful as the high-end 600-625-FPS Crosman760BPumpmaster Air Rifle, but it delivers the desired results of a topnotch BB gun all the same at its designated FPS rate. Like an actual bullet, it’s small but powerful. This shooter works all-day, every day, plus it provides BB shooting action for the entire (gun-toting) family.
Who wouldn’t want to have fun with a carbon dioxide submachine gun with 12-gram carbon dioxide cartridges and 40-round removable banana mag that holds steel BBs? It can also be set at semiautomatic if you wish and it has realistic firearm recoil when you use it. If that’s not enough, then how about the facts that it’s lightweight, it’s easy to shoot, it sports a forward grip, and it offers a folding stock?
Of course, because it’s light, some dedicated BB owners might complain about its lightness. Unlike with firearms where the more compact the better, BB guns have more value to them if they’re as heavy as real guns. It’s not too loud either, but that’s a good thing for a BB.
7. Smith & Wesson M&P Airgun (Medium):
It offers quite a lot, especially in terms of its faithfulness when it comes to its Smith & Wesson design. The Smith & Wesson M&PAirgun is a black, medium-sized BB airgun with intricate designs taken straight from the source. It looks and feels like the genuine article because of its weight and look. The makers of this BB pistol have done their research and looked up the inner mechanisms of the original S&W. It makes use of a small and portable 12-gram carbon dioxide cartridge hidden in the grip of the gun, which powers the BB repeater of the convincingly replicated pistol.
It even has rear and front sights that are fixed, like the ones found in the actual Smith & Wesson pistol. If that’s not enough, then how about the fact that it’s quite the cost-effective gun in that even though it costs cheap, its construction is anything but low-grade? If you have a school play or a musical set in the Old West and you wish to have a convincing Smith & Wesson prop gun, then this is the BB gun to buy.
You can even use the BBs to shoot out actual (non-human) targets depending on the accuracy of your marksmanship. It’s a gun that doesn’t require much maintenance or cost.
BB Guns For Kids: Buying Guide
What is a BB Gun?
Many people believe that the “BB” in BB gun means “ball bearing”, however, that is not quite right. The name actually comes from the size projectile of the original guns fired (BB-sized lead shotgun and shot pellets).
A BB gun is a type of air-powered gun that fires either small pellets or small metal balls without the need for any sort of combustion or gunpowder.
BB guns come in many different sizes and shapes. They vary from toy replicas of historical guns to very powerful modern-looking air rifles which are actually powerful enough to hunt small game. While BB guns are definitely strong enough to do some kind of hunting, they are more commonly used for target practice, plinking, or just for fun.
A BB gun will primarily fire “BB” projectiles which are small balls. These are usually made of steel and look a lot like the pellets that you would find in a shotgun shell (approximately 4.5mm in diameter).
In addition to BBS, some guns can also fire pellets. These are non-spherical projectiles and are usually more accurate and can do more damage than BBs. They are also much more accurate and tend to have more stopping power due to their design and shape. This is why pellets are often the preferred choice over BBS for shooting at longer ranges or for hunting, however, both do work.
Things to Consider When Choosing The Best BB Guns For Kids
When you decide to look into buying BB guns for kids, there are a number of things to consider. This is especially due to the fact that there are a lot of different models and types. You should have a clear idea of what you are looking for in your mind before you decide to make a purchase. If you are looking specifically for BB guns for kids, a simple BB gun will usually be enough. However, there are a large number of different BB guns for kids to consider, and it really depends on what you’re looking to use it for.
RELATED READS: The Best BB Gun 101: What Should You Look for Exactly?
Types of BB Guns
Spring Powered / Single Pump
These are the simplest types of BB gun. A lot of the cheaper BB pistols and rifles are spring-powered. All this means is that a tightly-compressed spring mechanism is responsible for the propulsion of the BB. These types of BB guns can be very powerful, however, the cheaply-constructed spring firing system can be quite terrible in terms of the max range and velocity. They have the tendency to jam the spring if they are not handled with care.
Here’s how they work:
When you pump or cock the lever, depending on the design of the gun, it pushes a small piston back which compresses the spring. When the piston slides back and reaches a certain point, it catches onto a small latch which is called a sear. This holds the spring back in a compressed position. When the trigger is then pulled, it pushes on the sear which then unlatches the piston and causes the spring the expand very quickly. This then pushes the piston forward. The compressed air which exists in the chamber propels the pellet or BB forward and results in a fairly powerful shot.
Each gun of this design is limited by the amount of air pressure the spring mechanism can create from a single compression or pump.
These are the best types of BB guns for kids as a first gun as they are generally the weakest kind of BB gun and so children can learn how to use a weapon safely. Children can have a good time with these guns without being exposed to any of the dangers which may be associated with higher-powered air or combustion rifles. That is why this type of gun is the best BB guns for kids.
These are not like single-pump guns. Instead, multi-pump guns get much stronger with each pump and so this means that they usually have a much higher max range and velocity than a single pump or spring gun.
Here’s how they work:
Each time you pump this type of gun, a small piston will move inside a tube. There is a one-way valve that allows air in but not out, and this means that each pump adds additional air pressure inside the chamber. This means it gets harder and harder to pump the more you pump. When you pull the trigger, the compressed air is released from the chamber and this propels the BB or pellet forward.
A multi-pump gun can sometimes match or even exceed the velocity and power of a CO2-powered gun. These types of guns can also be called variable pump guns because the user can determine the power of the shot depending on how much they pump it. This means that each shot can meet their desired needs.
A Co2 powered BB gun uses separate charges of compressed carbon dioxide as a propelling mechanism. The Co2 cartridges in this type of BB gun are similar to the Co2 cartridges that you might find in a whipped cream can under pressure, however, they are usually slightly bigger.
Here’s how they work:
This type of gun utilizes the Co2 in the same way that a drinks fountain machine may utilize gas in order to build up the internal pressure and then force the projectile through the barrel.
A good Co2 air rifle can rival the power of the multi-pump BB guns, however, they tend to be weaker. As the Co2 cartridge gets low, the velocity and power of the projectile becomes significantly weaker.
The main drawback of a Co2 powered type of BB gun is that the cost of replacing the cartridges can stack up. This is in contrast to the pump style of BB guns which use air from the environment, which means there is always an unlimited supply. This means that the cost of maintaining a Co2 powered gun can be much higher than the other types of BB guns.
However, if you are looking to pick up a fully-automatic or semi-automatic style of BB gun, then the Co2 powered guns are probably the best choice for you.
Understanding Rates of Fire
Similar to traditional firearms, a BB gun is designed with a variety of different rates of fire. These varying fire rates are either fully-automatic, semi-automatic, or single shot guns.
Fully automatic firing means that you can pull the trigger one time and hold the trigger down and the gun will continue to fire until the trigger is released or until it is out of ammo.
Semi-automatic firing means that you do not need to cock the gun in between every firing round.
It is classed as semi-automatic because, like a fully automatic gun, you don’t have to operate the bolt or cock the gun in order to fire a new round. However, unlike fully automatic guns, you do need to pull the trigger each time you want to take a shot. You can continue to fire the gun over and over until it runs out of rounds. Then all you need to do is refill or replace the BBs or pellets in order to continue firing.
A single shot firearm is one which, with each pull on the trigger, one round will exit the chamber. Sometimes, on lower-quality spring design pistols, two BBs or pellets may fire out at once, however, this is just a design flaw.
Understanding Max Range and Velocity
This simply means the speed of something in a certain direction.
When referring to BB guns, this means the top speed the pellet or BB can reach as it moves through the air. This is important because a high max velocity usually means that the gun will have a high range. The majority of BB guns will come with the max range and all of the other important specifications printed on the packaging, or within the user manual.
Types of Sights
Sights are the mechanisms that are used for lining up an intended shot. Using a sight is the easiest and fastest way to increase the effectiveness of your BB gun. When buying BB guns for kids, be sure to teach them how to properly use the sight which comes with the gun.
These are the easiest and most basic types of sight to use. They are not usually as accurate as scopes, however, they are cheap and so most BB guns come already equipped with an iron sight. This can be rear-mounted, front-mounted, or could be a combination of both. These are definitely the most common types of sight on BB pistols. Some rifles may include an iron sight along with a scope.
These are sights that are mounted to the top of a pistol or rifle. You look through a scope in a similar way to looking through a monocular. Most scopes will offer some form of magnification that enlarges the target so that the user can see if more easily and clearly. Scopes are usually very accurate as many of them contain crosshairs which give a visual indication to the user of where the projectile will land. However, you do still need to take into account the wind direction and speed before you fire the gun.
When you use a scope, it will look as if the target is moving around much more than it would look through an iron sight. This is due to the fact that the target is magnified and so the shooter’s natural movements or shakiness will also be magnified.
Red Dot Sights
These are usually non-magnifying sights that use a red LED within the lens to mark the aiming point. These types of sights don’t ordinarily come with a BB gun, however, they can be purchased and attached to some varieties of BB guns. The main advantage of red dot sights is that they offer a much faster target acquisition. This type of sight is best used for quick shots rather than long-range accurate shots.
The best sight choice is going to be dependant on personal preference more than anything. It is important to ensure that the scope is properly adjusted so that the projectile hits the correct area where you are aiming. BB guns usually come with their sights adjusted correctly right out of the box, however, if it is banged around or dropped a lot, the sight can be thrown off quite badly.
Different Round or Caliber Types
BBs are 0.177 caliber projectiles that are very similar in size to bird-shot pellets that are found inside of shotgun shells. These can be fired out of guns with either smooth bore or rifled barrels. However, using BBs repeatedly in a rifled barrel instead of pellets can lead to faster wear and tear of the rifle and this can lead to early failure and also a reduced life of the barrel.
These are another type of projectile which is more aerodynamic than a BB. This is why they typically have a higher velocity and a higher max range. These come in different sizes, similar to bullets, and can range from 1.77-caliber to .25-caliber. Some of the more advanced air rifles can have almost as much stopping power as the combustion-based versions of them.
What is the Best Age to Start Training my Child to use a BB Gun?
There is no specific age or magic number in which it is appropriate for you to start teaching your child to use a BB gun. Generally speaking, when your child shows the signs that they have a small understanding of the need to be safe and wise when using any kind of weapon, and when they seem to understand the consequences of improper use of a BB gun, you can then think about buying them a BB gun of their own.
Your child will need to understand that a BB gun is not simply a toy, but it is instead a tool that is designed to accomplish a specific task. The best option for a child’s first BB gun is usually a single-shot, spring-powered or single-pump action rifle that has limited velocity and range.
The Best BB Guns for Kids: Conclusion
When you get the real deal BB guns, you should be as responsible for them as you would with real firearms of the shotgun, pistol, and rifle variety. They’re so harmful you can scare off small pests or do small game hunting with them. The steel pellets offer much more of a punch than the soft rubber bullets of an air gun. As such, you should never point that gun on a person or hard surface. At any rate, like with everything else, your choice of BB gun will depend on what you’re looking for. You’re the one who sets the rules on which gun is the best gun according to your individual needs.
If you want good replica guns that are airgun versions of the more famous, expensive guns out there, you can find several in this list. You can even judge them by FPS or feet per second velocity, with the caveat that the more powerful the gun, the more dangerous ricocheting bullets will end up being. You also have the option of dual-projectile guns that can accept both BBs and airsoft pellets. The Crosman offerings are quite numerous because this is the brand that churns out the most high-quality BB guns around. If you want classic high-performance BB guns, you won’t go wrong with the likes of the timeless Daisy Red Ryder 1938 BB Gun.
We hope that this article on the best BB guns for kids has been useful to you in deciding on which BB gun would be best to suit your child. Do you have a favorite BB gun? Do you have any stories about BB guns that you would like to share with us? We would love to hear all about your experiences as well as your thoughts and opinions on the BB guns in our list. Please leave us a comment in the comments section below this article.
Last update on 2022-02-28 at 10:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API