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Air Venturi, H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs

OVERVIEW

Air Venturi recently sent HAM a sample tin of the H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs they are distributing. As regular BBs are all steel spheres, usually with some sort of external coating, these H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs are very different.

Air Venturi, H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs

Our main aim was to determine if the H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs achieve their main objective – to reduce the big problem steel BBs have always had with ricochets. On the way we also wanted to determine if they feed well and what happens to accuracy and muzzle velocity.

To cut to the chase, H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs work exactly as described.

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Smart Shot .177 BBs, 750 ct.

FEEDING

Firstly, we tested H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs in several BB guns that we happened to have at the HAM offices. These included the Umarex P08 Blowback pistol the Beretta Mod 84FS Blowback Pistol and the ASG TAC 4.5 BB air rifle.

The answer was clear. Feeding was perfect with all the BB guns that we tested. Air Venturi does say that BB guns that use a magnet to keep the BBs in place for shooting will work less well with H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs. This makes sense, as these BBs would not be attracted by any magnet, but it’s unlikely to be an issue with many firearms replica BB pistols.

 

ACCURACY

We also wanted to see if accuracy was changed when using the H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs.

For this test, I mounted my trusty old Leapers 3-9x40AO scope onto the TAC 4.5 BB rifle and fired a group with it. This enabled me to obtain a better accuracy comparison that would be possible when using a BB pistol, as I’m a poor pistol shot.

Air Venturi, H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs

Accuracy proved to be very similar with H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs to that achieved by HAM tester Doug Wall when he tested the TAC 4.5 BB rifle back in September. In fact, the group I obtained with the H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs was very close to that Doug produced with the most accurate BBs tested in that gun – ASG Blaster BBs.

Here’s the group from the Air Venturi, H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs. Ten shots at ten yards.

Air Venturi, H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs

And here’s the group from the ASG Blaster BBs. Again ten shots at ten yards.

ASG TAC 4.5 BB Rifle test review ASG Blaster BBs

So yes, accuracy was good too. Both targets showed much better than HAM’s “Minute of Soda can” benchmark for BB guns.

Air Venturi says that muzzle velocity will be a little slower with H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs than with conventional steel BBs. This is due to the heavier weight of the lead BBs. At 7.4 Grains, the H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs are 40% heavier than the ASG Blaster steel BBs, for example.

And yes, muzzle velocity was slower, but only by about 5%. As you can see from the chrony prints on the targets, muzzle velocity dropped from 321 fps to 304 fps at approximately the same ambient temperature. It’s unlikely that most shooters will notice that sort of muzzle velocity drop when firing H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs.

 

REDUCED RICOCHET

This, of course, was the big deal. Would the H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs demonstrate the reduced ricochet performance that Air Venturi claims?

The answer is a definite yes!

For this test, we fired H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs directly at a steel plate. This is something that should NEVER be done with steel BBs as they are guaranteed to ricochet back and hit you. I took appropriate precautions…

Did the H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs ricochet? Well, yes, a little. Firing against the steel plate at 6 yards, these copper plated lead BBs did bounce back, but only by a few inches. This is a HUGE improvement compared to regular steel BBs and matches the claims Air Venturi is making for the product.

Our photograph below compares an unfired H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs with one that was fired against the steel plate. As you can see, the fired BB is flattened into an almost exact half sphere.

Air Venturi, H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs

 

VALUE FOR MONEY

H&N Smart Shot Copper Plated Lead BBs perform exactly like steel BBs, except with substantially-reduced ricocheting. However they cost very much more than conventional BBs.

HAM’s take is this. If you have a problem with BBs ricocheting around the range, or if you’re concerned about the possibility of this happening, then Smart Shot BBs offer a great value.

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Smart Shot .177 BBs, 750 ct.