How to Adjust the Shooting Power of a BB Gun

Written by matthew burch
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How to Adjust the Shooting Power of a BB Gun
Several models of BB guns allow the user to adjust the power. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Clarence Hamilton invented the modern BB gun in 1886. It used compressed air to propel a small ball bearing (BB) through a length of metal tubing. BB guns make a popular choice for beginning shooters. As your skills advance as a shooter, you may want to adjust the power of the BB gun. Several models of BB guns allow you to easily adjust the air pressure. The pressure determines the velocity of the BB and power of the BB gun. The first step in maintaining the highest level of performance from your BB gun is proper care and maintenance.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • BB gun with adjustable power

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  1. 1

    Apply two drops of high-flash cylinder oil after a few hundred shots to keep the barrel well-lubricated. Never use household oil; it can damage the firing mechanisms.

  2. 2

    Discharge your BB gun before storing, and if it uses a compressed air cylinder, remove the cylinder. This will protect your seals, pistons and springs.

  3. 3

    Following the recommendations of the manufacturer, load the BBs into the appropriate holding chamber, or breech if it is a single-shot model.

  4. 4

    Pump the lever at least the minimum number of times the manufacturer recommends for the lowest amount of power.

  5. 5

    Pump the lever up to the number of times the manufacturer recommends for the maximum amount of power.

Tips and warnings

  • Keeping your BB gun clean will also help maintain proper power levels. Use a cleaning kit designed for air rifles, and follow the instructions included in the kit.
  • There are also high-end air rifles with a thumb-wheel adjustment for power built in, but these guns are expensive and uncommon.
  • Always follow appropriate gun safety procedures when handling BB guns.

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