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policetac

Plastic is fantastic, but I like heavy metal!

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Back when I was young things were a little less complicated. If you wanted to listen to your favorite song, you simply turned on the radio and waited for the D.J. to play it. If you were out with your friends at the movies and were going to be a little late, you walked to the closest pay-phone and paid a quarter to call home to let your parents know. And if you were feeling a little bored on the weekend, all you had to do was grab your B.B. gun and a few buddies and head into the woods.

 

I remember the first time I saw my first Airsoft gun. A couple of local kids were out in the parking lot of the apartment complex next door having a good old time playing an old favorite, "Cops and Robbers." I don't think they still called it that, but the concept was the same.

 

I remember thinking to myself, .."Man, one of those guys are gonna really get pi**ed when someone actually hits them with one of those B.B.'s!" It was one thing playing that game back in the day when your most powerful gun only put out 350fps, but I could tell just by looking at them that what these boys had in their hands were no Daisy's.

 

Curiosity got the better of me and I just had to see what kind of guns these kids were playing with. There was no confusing them with paintball guns, and I knew they weren't real, but the last "modern" B.B. gun I had seen was surely too powerful to be playing around with so casually. I could tell you from experience that even from an old Daisy, B.B.'s hurt! But these guys were laughing and having a great time.

 

When I first approached them I could tell that they thought I was going to yell at them for playing with real guns or something, but I soon convinced them that all was good and that I just wanted to see what they were playing with. The first one handed to me was a plastic spring fired single shot M4 probably made by Cyma. The next two were a couple of clear 9mm look alikes. They explained to me that they were Airsoft guns and that they fired these plastic little pellets that didn't really hurt at all if you got hit by one. .."Cool!" I said as I thought to myself. .."I don't care if I'm not a kid anymore. I've got to get myself one of those!"

 

Needless to say, I've had a few of these neat little toys over the years since then. But pretty much gave it up when a few friends of mine were out playing ourselves and the cops showed up. That is until I discovered the little beauty I have now. It's one of those KWC 100th anniversary Colt 1911A1's.

 

Now don't get me wrong, I finally do understand all the fun one can have shooting plastic B.B.'s, but for some reason the same thing kept nagging at me. .."How come they don't shoot metal B.B.'s out of these things?" "I mean it's not like the CO2 guns aren't powerful enough." Looking around I soon found out they do. ....Sort of.

 

I soon that Airsoft guns shoot a plastic B.B. that is advertised as being 6mm. After a bit of searching on eBay, I also learned that they do sell these in metal. BUT they don't work! They're too big. And nowhere could I find anything about this. Everyone involved with Airsoft is more than happy with their plastic ammo. So happy in fact that they even discuss the merits of B.B. weight, smoothness of the rounds, and what ammo cycles better than others. This was amazing to me. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why someone hadn't figured out how to put a hard metal B.B. into one of these new powerful guns and really got down to business. I finally resigned myself to believing that most Airsoft users are kids who didn't really think like that, and the older ones who did probably ran into the same problem I had and just left it at that.

 

Well I ain't one of those kids. After a bit of detective work, (and a shop with a micrometer in it) I soon discovered that Airsoft pellets don't really measure 6mm's. They're actually about 5.8 mm's to 5.9mm. It didn't take me long to figure out where to get something that just might work. Bicycle bearings! If I remembered correctly, they made bicycle bearings in that size. Sure enough! They did! So I bought some.

 

How did they shoot? Well, with a good CO2 they shoot just fine. They cycle through my gun with no problem and deliver a heavy THWACK!

 

If anyone here wants to discuss shooting metal B.B.'s through their Airsoft guns, I welcome your replies. Personally, I think it's the s**t!

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Unless you're wearing serious, full-face protection, don't even think about it. If one of those rounds were to hit a tooth during a "war", it'd be chipped, for sure.

 

If you get some friends to join you on your mission for pain, ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY, make sure everyone's wearing some good gear all around. I fear one of those metal rounds could cause some serious bleeding, and full-auto could prove devastating if someone gets overshot in an unprotected area.

 

Don't ever, ever, think about bringing those to any field. Seriously.

 

I can't stress it enough. The last thing Airsoft needs is for people to hear about someone getting seriously hurt with "metal bbs" and people start confusing Airsoft with "pellet wars" or "bb gun war". It really could give someone the wrong idea, and possibly someone could get the wrong message, and think Airsoft guns are supposed to fire metal bbs.

Edited by Dead Christmas

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Guest alberty

Airsoft uses plastic pellets as the standard for safety, not because of some kind of technology problem or availability restriction.

 

Using metal pellets in a person-against-person manner can cause a noticable injury, whether minor or major, external or internal. Sure, I've heard the same story from the older generation "What's the problem, we played with pellet guns in the woods without goggles when I was a kid..." but that doesn't mean that time has made the physics of metal projectiles in air guns change...

 

If you are interested in shooting metal pellets for plinking around, consider air guns/air rifles instead of airsoft replicas. Yes, there are air gun models as realistic replicas too, if that is what you were looking for.

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The difference between myself and some of the commentors here is that I grew up in an era where we did not point guns at people EVER!

I choose to use metal B.B.'s for target practice.

My 1911 is too strong to shoot at anyone just as it is, much less with anything heavier than a traditional Airsoft pellet.

So renegadecow... Do what the wind does________ And ..Not you, but _____?

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GUGESMK3 - Yea, I was wondering how much wear using the metal B.B.'s was going to cause. I do have a steel barrel but I have been using a very thin coating of Bee's wax in an attempt to minimize the wear. The only problem this seems to be causing is an occasional misfeed due to a reduction in "smooth" operation.

 

Cleaning the pistol fairly often takes care of this and isn't really much of a nusiance at this point. I've been following up with a light oil that has Teflon added in the hopes of minimizing any further wear.

 

Have you by chance evefr heard of any way to increase the CO2 output? I know the CO2 pressure makes no difference, but I was wondering about the volume of air being released???

 

Also. On my 1911, where the magazine meets the slide componants there is a little square where the air "joins" the two componants. Any ideas on how to make this "seal" a little better?

 

Thank you for reading my post and answering it in the spirit with which it was written.

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And NOWHERE did I EVER mention B.B. gun wars, or shooting ANYONE with an Airsoft gun of ANY KIND!

Well, in airsoft you shoot at each other with fake guns, and this is an airsoft forum....sooo by posting here, you're implying that you plan to use your airsoft guns for actual skirmishes.

 

In addition there is a reason why people only shoot plastic BB's through their guns. Because airsoft guns were designed to use plastic BB's.

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To make the square rubber part in the mag seal better, take apart the magazine. Then using a sharp knife, fit a piece of plastic that you would get from the handle of a 6 pack of pop/Coke, and fit it underneath the rubber part. This will act as a spacer, pushing the rubber part up a bit more, and helping it seal with the gun/blowback unit better.

 

Shooting metal bbs has been going on for a bit now, particularly with those looking to make very accurate, far reaching guns. Generally though, it is frowned upon shooting others with metal bbs, and as far as I am aware, it doesn't happen much. Even guys with sniper rifles are switching to zirconia ceramic bbs for the heavier weight, and great smoothness, without using metal.

 

Airsoft specific metal bbs have always been crap (I believe you came across these), and generally people will shoot ball bearings like you have found. While I have not heard of people using bicycle bearings, I do know that people have sourced out .88g steel ball bearings at or just slightly under 6mm.

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airborne101 - Greetings from the 82nd! With regard to your suggestion for the mag seal; I'm a bit hesitant to actually cut into it right off the bat. I've got to ask, .."Have you tried this upgrade personally?" If so, did you have to go through a lot of mags before you got the technique down? lol - Your idea sounds like it has merit, but I was hoping for something with a little less damage risk. I have to admit, I'm not the greatest with an Exacto knife. :) Perhaps more along the lines of a very thin line of Silicone might work?

 

To the comments about shooting others with metal B.B.'s. Do I really sound like I'm that much of an idiot? (renegadecow you don't need to answer.) In all seriousness. Shooting others with any projectile weapon that has not been specifically designed to do so is not only stupid, but it is also a crime in every jurisdiction I am aware of. I can assure all of you. Breaking the law is not something I take lightly.

 

renegadecow & BAMF - True. This is an Airsoft forum. As such I do understand your concerns with my thread. However..., with that said, I feel I must ask you to appreciate the fact that there are others in this world who have the ability to see the full capabilities these "toys" possess. As one of these individuals, I am able to appreciate these capabilities and wish to discuss them with others who have the ability to see them as well. If you feel that you are not able to participate in these discussions without fear of losing any self control you have that keeps you from harming others, then I would have to ask you to please restrict yourself from them. Personally, I think there are many "kids" out there that DO have the self control necessary to discuss these things safely and responsibly. It's a bit hard to tell what region of the world in which you reside, but here in the United States, we do not censor our discussions to appease the minority of people who demonstrate these weaknesses. Now as an adult, I'm not used to having to explain to someone what I would do if I were to encounter a questionable scenario, but in your case I'll make an exception. If the conversations within this thread were to deviate toward something inherantly dangerous, or if someone were to present information that was founded in criminal behavior or motivations, that would be a different matter all together. In that case, rest assured that the matter would be handled swiftly and responsibly.

 

Now run along.

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Well this is the kind of response that pretty much anyone would get when this is their first post.

 

Its not really personal, more so 98% of the time, when someones first post is like this, they either intend to or have already done something stupid and/or dangerous.

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airborne101 - Greetings from the 82nd! With regard to your suggestion for the mag seal; I'm a bit hesitant to actually cut into it right off the bat. I've got to ask, .."Have you tried this upgrade personally?" If so, did you have to go through a lot of mags before you got the technique down? lol - Your idea sounds like it has merit, but I was hoping for something with a little less damage risk. I have to admit, I'm not the greatest with an Exacto knife. :) Perhaps more along the lines of a very thin line of Silicone might work?

 

 

I'm not military. I just had a fascination with Band of Brothers at the time. It came out right about the time I was joining the forum, and I'm not the most imaginative of people.

 

The great thing about the modification I mentioned is that you cut NOTHING on the gun itself. You are only cutting the little plastic handle/ring thing that comes with a 6 pack of pop. So if you mess up, there is absolutely no harm done.

 

AHHA, found the modification with picture. Scroll halfway down until you hit the part title "How to Improve Gas Efficiency"

http://www.airsoftretreat.com/forums/index.php?topic=62532.0

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To the comments about shooting others with metal B.B.'s. Do I really sound like I'm that much of an idiot? (renegadecow you don't need to answer.) In all seriousness. Shooting others with any projectile weapon that has not been specifically designed to do so is not only stupid, but it is also a crime in every jurisdiction I am aware of. I can assure all of you. Breaking the law is not something I take lightly.

I'm still curious why you want to use metal BB's for plinking when plastic BB's are way cheaper, won't damage your gun, and arguably perform better than metal BB's. But hey, as long as it floats your boat and doesn't sink mine, go for it. Just remember it's only plinking, and at the end of the day, using metal BB's just means bigger dents in your soda can targets and more wear on your gun's internals.

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To all of the commenters here. Now that things have settled down here a little bit, I'd like to say thank you for all who have joined the conversation. I'm starting to sense that this thread is going to actually discuss some very salient points and produce some very significant results.

 

I'd like to take these questions out of order this time because BAMF's comment has really gotten me thinking this time.

..."I'm still curious why you want to use metal BB's for plinking when plastic BB's are way cheaper, won't damage your gun, and arguably perform better than metal BB's."

Answering as honestly as I can, I'd have to say .."I truly don't know why I became so set upon using metal B.B.'s instead of plastic ones." I'm guessing that for some reason there must be some part of my mind that views the plastic B.B.'s as more toy than tool. It also wants to convince me that plastic would be more susceptible to wind interference. And a big part of me wants to see just how much performance can be coaxed out of one of these little pistols. (So convince me! Aside from your concerns about barrel wear, what exactly is it that makes firing plastic B.B.'s so satisfying? Especially since the power of my 1911 precludes me from using it against Human targets?)

 

airborne101 - I'll check that link out and respond to it on my next reply. Thank you for the link.

 

tomtortoise - I can understand that, but let's assume what you say is true. Does attacking someone right out of the gate seem like a good way to express your concerns to that person? I know that all I felt was an attitude of resentment and anger. ("Anger" is a bit too strong, but I've used it for lack of a better word)

 

Again. Thank you to all who have joined this conversation.

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I'd like to take these questions out of order this time because BAMF's comment has really gotten me thinking this time.

..."I'm still curious why you want to use metal BB's for plinking when plastic BB's are way cheaper, won't damage your gun, and arguably perform better than metal BB's."

Answering as honestly as I can, I'd have to say .."I truly don't know why I became so set upon using metal B.B.'s instead of plastic ones." I'm guessing that for some reason there must be some part of my mind that views the plastic B.B.'s as more toy than tool. It also wants to convince me that plastic would be more susceptible to wind interference. And a big part of me wants to see just how much performance can be coaxed out of one of these little pistols. (So convince me! Aside from your concerns about barrel wear, what exactly is it that makes firing plastic B.B.'s so satisfying? Especially since the power of my 1911 precludes me from using it against Human targets?)

The KWC 1911 clocks in at under 350fps so it's perfectly safe to shoot at people, granted they are wearing the proper safety equipment. Airsoft guns are also not toys, they can deal serious damage, even with plastic BB's. Yes, plastic BB's are more susceptible to wind, but that's where the different weights come in. You need to try different weight ammo to see which one performs best out of your gun. Like I said before, airsoft guns were designed to use plastic BB's, not metal BB's, so you will get the best performance with those.

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It also wants to convince me that plastic would be more susceptible to wind interference. And a big part of me wants to see just how much performance can be coaxed out of one of these little pistols. (

While heavy weight bbs (metal or plastic) are great at achiving accuracy and range (more mass means more momentum, and less susceptible to wind), you have to be able to spin them.

 

Range and accuracy in airsoft are largely based on applying spin to the bb through the hop up. As you increase the weight of the bb, you have to increase the spin. Conventional hop up's struggle to apply sufficient hop to the heavier weights.

 

I would suggest looking into hop up modifications like the flat hop, or better yet, the R-hop if you want to use the heavier weights and milk the accuracy and range out of them.

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Conversations regarding the use of metal bb's in airsoft guns usually relates to Sniper/DMR rifles that are attempting to achieve a long range distance and/or accuracy goal.

Then the conversation always gets into the issue of safety, followed by the OP expressing intent of non-game use, followed by a debate on who is and is not willing to take the field in a game where someone is using metal bb's.

 

It is the view of this airsofter that metal bb's have no place in airsoft at all.

Not in plinking, non-game-play shooting, nor game play shooting.

I understand the novelty interest one may have.

In reality, if one is interested in using metal bb's, the simple and most obvious solution is to purchase and shoot Air Guns, not Airsoft Guns.

 

The reality is, at some point, someone is going to get seriously hurt by someone choosing to shoot metal bb's in airsoft guns, whether intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly.

It is going to happen and will influence undue damage to the reputation of our sport.

 

The current heaviest field legal types and weights of bb's available are quite sufficient for uber long range shots and accuracy.

Current videos in social media and stories of in game shots on target at uber long range are almost always accomplished with non-field legal fps/joules and non field legal ammo.

Ironically, these same distances, and even much farther shots, are just as able to be accomplished with field legal fps/joules and field legal ammo.

 

It's time airsofters choose to be honorable again.

It also stands out that many of the talking head forum techs who have been giving advice over the years have switched to Polar Star's and are also shooting way over the fps/joule limits at games and events, as well as using non-field legal ammo.

Airsoft needs to get back to the future on the subject of honor and integrity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Upvote 1

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airborne101 - Well I tried the magazine mod you suggested. I was able to successfully perform the modification without any damage to the pistol or magazine. I did have a problem at first with seating the mag, and with cycling the slide, but after a little finish sanding using an Emery board these two problems were quickly and effectively solved.

 

Although I don't have a ballistic chronograph, I do not have any power loss and I am fairly convinced that I do in fact have an increase in power output. So thank you for the suggestion.

 

Now at this point I'd just like to say that my intent in starting this thread was to investigate the technical aspects of a higher caliber air pistol than the traditional .177 B.B. guns of days long past. I guess I was hoping that there were a few older hobbyist's around that had taken an interest in the guns, dissected them to their core, came up with creative ways to maximize their performance, crafted high performance parts in their shops, and then make them spit fire the same way we made 110hp Vegas puke flames at 500bhp.

 

But the thread keeps going back to the same argument renegadecow brought up almost as if it was about a 16 year old delinquent trying to get a group of church kids to try smoking cigarettes. I guess the men and women here old enough to own their own shop either haven't moved out of their parents basement yet, or they still like to play games with children and have no desire to engage in adult conversations such as mechanical enginerering, physics, or gas chromatography.

 

Since it has become obvious to me that the subject matter of this thread is too mature for this forum, I am requesting that this thread be terminated.

Edited by policetac

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I guess I was hoping that there were a few older hobbyist's around that had taken an interest in the guns, dissected them to their core, came up with creative ways to maximize their performance, crafted high performance parts in their shops, and then make them spit fire the same way we made 110hp Vegas puke flames at 500bhp.

Judging from your comments, you're only at the tip of the airsoft iceberg. The tech section of this forum might interest you. There are countless modifications that people young and old do to their guns to improve or alter the performance, and it's not like these people are a minority in the airsoft community either.

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Now at this point I'd just like to say that my intent in starting this thread was to investigate the technical aspects of a higher caliber air pistol than the traditional .177 B.B. guns of days long past. I guess I was hoping that there were a few older hobbyist's around that had taken an interest in the guns, dissected them to their core, came up with creative ways to maximize their performance, crafted high performance parts in their shops, and then make them spit fire the same way we made 110hp Vegas puke flames at 500bhp.

 

Let's say that your interests are truly for the sake of hot rodding the platform. I already put it plainly before: 4.5mm is what you're looking for and KWC even makes the exact same gun as yours in that caliber. Airsoft calibers are a dead end for you. Sure you can cram in the most weight with metallic bbs, but there's this thing called hop up which airsoft utilizes to achieve extended range. Using this technology bbs take more of a flight path rather than a ballistic trajectory and when it comes to flight, very heavy things can only go so far. To get them to get more backspin for range you'd need a harder hop rubber and more muzzle velocity than what the guns can give or even what the typical consumer even wants/needs as going overboard makes them useless as airsoft guns since you can't use them to safely shoot at people anymore. What you're theorizing on has already been done to death in the past and the results always end up with something that you can't use for airsoft but still pales to what airguns can deliver particularly ones using pellets and rifled barrels. So again, just get an airgun.

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Fortunately for you, there are some people who tweak these things for the absolute best performance.

 

Step 1. Dump the KWC and get TM 1911. You can keep the KWC but I can only guarantee parts compatibility with the TM version.

 

Step 2. The parts (In no particular order)

 

Lees Precision Engineering mag shims

Maple Leaf aluminum hop adjustment wheel

Non tilting outer barrel (5ku is cheap but I suggest a higher quality one such as nineball)

Tanio Koba Twist inner barrel (if you tune your fun to 328 FPS)

Nineball VSR-10 Chamber Packing

Airsoft Surgeon or Shooters Design Loading nozzle (when the stock one cracks, also use the stock TM rocket valve)

TM Stock plastic slide (with speed holes drilled)

Nineball featherweight BBU

Trigger with adjustable overtravel (Really helps with double taps and quick follow up shots)

 

Step 3. DIY Mods

 

Teflon tape mod

HPA tap your mags (Very Important for the best accuracy possible)

Shim your hop up chamber to the frame

Polish the slide rails

Short stroke the slide

 

Step 4. BBs, Stick with the Japanese brands of BB's

 

Step 5. Practice

 

 

 

I probably forgot a thing or three but this is enough to get started.

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Well, it's been 7 month's now since I started this thread and I've been shooting metal bearings through my 1911 on a daily (for the most part) basis.

 

RESULTS:

1. No serious injuries or deaths have occurred, no animals have been harmed during the duration of this experiment. :)

(However..., there HAVE been about 3-5 unintentional "air" releases caused by design failure of the beavertail safety/hammer mechanism.) Unlike the real steel 1911A1, the Airsoft version of the gun does not require the full force of the hammer drop to initiate the primer of a standard firearm cartridge. All it requires to release air into the system is a slight amount of pressure to the hammer when in condition 2. Since there IS a small amount of play in the hammer mechanism, accidental discharge or air release when the weapon is in condition 2 is a moderate safety concern. NOTE The traditional Colt 1911A1 as designed is one of the very few real firearms that are safe to duty carry in conditions 1 and 2. Yes, even in condition 1. (Round in the chamber with the hammer cocked) I've taken the time to address this in detail as I feel it is important information for those who have come to trust the safety of the beavertail design utilized by the traditional 1911A1.

 

2. The gun has been well maintained using traditional cleaning and lubricating products and techniques. This trial has confirmed the need to maintain a high level of standard maintenance to ensure proper and reliable functionality of the gun. Not only has decent maintenance reduced malfunctions, the results seem to indicate that damage/wear has been reduced as well. Especially in the barrel. I have had NO significant loss of power, accuracy, or material from exclusively using metal B.B.'s in the gun. (Proper bearing diameter of 5.8-5.9mm is essential)

 

3. Power: Although I do not have a chronometer, I have noticed zero amount of power loss when firing. Proper maintenance of the air system has shown to be highly effective in reducing the amount of air loss when not in use. (Although it is not recommended to store any CO2 gun with a charged CO2 powerlet inserted, I have done so intentionally in order to evaluate air loss.) Again, proper maintenance has resulted in a system capable of releasing a workable charge even after a week and a half of storage..

 

4. Accuracy: Although a significant amount of barrel wear from using metal bearings was anticipated, I have not actually experienced this result. Accuracy has not been noticeably affected and even minor barrel wear has not been observed. I was really surprised by this result, Nevertheless, the evidence suggests that the use of properly sized "steel" B.B.'s in higher end Airsoft guns does "not" cause premature wear or observable damage to the barrel. Nor has shown to negatively affect accuracy up to this point. Groupings of 3/4 to 1" at 25 feet are on average from a stable rest.

 

All in all, I am extremely pleased with the quality and reliability of this KWC 100th anniversary Colt 1911A1. My only criticism is that the gun is painted and not "blued." Daily use has had a significant effect on the appearance of "wear" on the finish. The original "licensed" Colt markings disappeared almost immediately as the "wear points" common to most traditional firearms soon followed. One saving grace to this is the relatively low cost of generic Flat Black spray paint. Believe it or not, using spray paint on my "real steel" firearms has been a practice I've used for many years with excellent results. Not only does it minimize observable wear but it actually looks pretty good too. Touch-up's are "occasional," and they quickly return a healthy, clean, (and glare resistant) finish to any blued/black metal finish.

Edited by policetac

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