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Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

Overview
Testers

Doug Wall
Stephen Archer

Caliber

.177 BB

Model Number

4096

Test Date

June 5, 2022

Serial Numbers

04522BC

Source of Supply

Supplied by Barra Airguns

Condition

New

We Like

Best accuracy ever from a BB gun!
Huge shot count
Excellent overall quality

We Don't Like

That "AEG" sound
Requires BB speedloader
Loses BBs when magazine removed

HAM Rating
Value for Money
100%
Comparison to Makers Claims
100%
Consistency
100%
Appearance and Finish
100%
Buying and Owning
100%
Realism, Looks Feel
100%
Realism - Trigger, Action
80%
Accuracy and Point of Aim
100%
Shot Count
100%
Muzzle Velocity
80%
Hard Air Magazine Test Conclusions

Yes, the Barra 400e is expensive. Yes we're not keen on the sound and yes, there's still a couple of other features that could be improved - no hold-open on an empty mag, for example.

But overall this is an absolutely outstanding BB gun that sets new performance levels for this type of airgun. Gold Award!!!

Accuracy is outstanding, as is consistency. There's no 12 Gram CO2 cartridges to buy and with 50-round mags and over 1,000 shots per charge of the battery, you'll spend more time shooting and less time reloading.

For engaging feral soda cans out to 25-30 Yards, this is the selective-fire BB gun to have!

96%
HAM Rating
You have rated this
Full Review

VALUE FOR MONEY

At a Street Price around $400, the Barra 400e is expensive for a BB gun. Let’s make that VERY expensive – it’s around twice the price of similar selective fire BB-firing long guns.

So the question is “Is it worth it?” Based on the experience of the HAM Team, we have to answer with a resounding “Yes”!

You see, the Barra 400e is a revolutionary product. There’s been a step-change in the power output available using AEG technology. It’s protected by a currently-pending patent. The result is that – for the first time – steel BBs can be shot at usable muzzle velocities in the 380 – 410 FPS range from an AEG.

That means more than 1,000 shots per charge of the required LiPo (Lithium Polymer) battery. It means no issues with falling FPS due to CO2 exhaustion or rapid fire. There’s no re-loading with CO2 after every 150 – 200 shots. So the more you shoot, the more you save on CO2 costs!

The 50-round magazine has a greater capacity than that of most comparable BB guns, too. That’s another way the Barra 400e delivers more shooting between those pesky breaks for reloading.

In addition, the 400e tested by HAM was BY FAR the most accurate BB gun we’ve ever encountered.

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Barra 400E BB Rifle 0.177

Barra 400e BB Magazine

Umarex Universal Steel BB Speedloader

Barra 11.1v 35C LiPo 2200mAh Battery

Barra B3 Balanced LiPo Charger

 

REALISM – LOOK AND FEEL

The Barra 400e is an excellent representation of a typical AR15/M4 firearm. With the stock fully extended the overall length is 35.5 Inches, giving a length of pull of 15.25 Inches. Collapsing the stock reduces these measurements to 32.5 and 12.25 Inches.

In “as tested” condition, with accessories fitted, the all-up weight was 8 Lbs 10 Oz. (The bare weight is 7 Lb 8 Oz). So this is a substantial airgun that certainly has the looks and feel of the centerfire original.

There’s a non-functional, “faux” silencer incorporated into the product. Like the receiver, the handguard is a solid metal CNC-machined part that gives a definite feeling of solidity, weight and quality to the muzzle end of the gun.

ACCURACY AND POINT OF IMPACT

The Barra 400e is supplied complete with plastic flip-down (BUIS) front and rear sights that fit onto the top Picatinny rail. The rear sight includes windage adjustment.

During our initial familiarization testing, it rapidly became obvious that the 400e’s accuracy capabilities far exceeded the capabilities of these sights. So we fitted a Leapers UTG red dot sight (Model SCP-DS3840W, to be precise) as you can see in some of the photographs.

We also moved testing back from the standard 6 Yards to 10 Yards…

At that point the HAM Team was surprised to find that the 400e clearly had the capability to deliver better on-target accuracy than could be achieved with the red dot sight.

So – for the first time ever – we mounted a riflescope onto a BB gun!

The UTG 3-9x30AO Bugbuster seemed to be an appropriate match. And – with a Leapers UTG Picatinny Super Slim 0.5-Inch Riser below it – we were finally able to explore the inherent accuracy of the Barra 400e.

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

The 10-Yard targets are listed at the foot of this review. However – after shooting them – it became clear that the 400e had yet more accuracy to give. So – in a completely unprecedented move for any BB gun – Doug moved the target back to 25 Yards!

The results can be seen here…

Using ASG Blaster BBS, the 400e grouped every one inside the HAM Soda can target at 25 Yards range. That’s FAR better than any other BB gun HAM has ever tested. More than that, 9 out of 10 shots grouped into 1.5 Inches Center-to-Center.

That’s better than some pellet rifles HAM has tested!

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

HAM Tester Doug Wall just couldn’t resist the temptation! He filled a magazine full with 50 BBs and let rip on full auto at 25 Yards.

As this target shows, 45 out of the 50 BBs hit within the soda can at a cyclic rate of somewhere between 500 and 600 round per minute. The other 5 BBs were only just outside it, too, as you can see.

Wow!!!

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

Of course there was no issue about adjusting the point of impact as required as we were using a scope.

If we could rate this section of the review with more than 100%, the HAM Team definitely would do so!!!

 

COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS

Barra claims that one battery charge gets you over 1000 shots. They also claim that the 400e can maintain velocities ranging between 380 and 410 FPS. A third major claim is that of high levels of accuracy for a BB gun.

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

Compared to these claims, HAM is achieving well above the 1,000 shots per charge claim.

While we don’t hit the headline 410 FPS claim made by the manufacturer, HAM testing did see Muzzle Velocities above 380 FPS. So that’s within the manufacturer’s claims too.

As for the accuracy claim? There’s no doubt about that as you will already have read in the “Accuracy And Point Of Aim” section of this review, above.

 

CONSISTENCY

This is another “Wow!” for the Barra 400e. The average consistency across the standard HAM test BBs had a Standard Deviation of just 2.06 FPS. That is better than almost any high-end PCP air rifle HAM has ever tested, let alone a BB gun!!!

Put another way, the 50 test shots at the 10-Yard targets gave an Extreme Spread of just 12 FPS. The low was 375 FPS and the high 387 FPS. And that was with five different types of BBs. You can’t get much better than that…

The trigger also proved to be extremely consistent, varying only a couple of Ounces either side of its average pull weight under HAM testing.

 

REALISM – TRIGGER AND ACTION

The trigger of the Barra 400e tested by HAM provided an average pull weight of 2 Lbs 15 Ozs. There was a fair “two stage” feel to it and the release was also predictable and consistent.

Doug Wall commented in his test notes that “It’s quite a good trigger.” It’s also a better trigger than is common on other BB-firing replicas of this type.

When set to “Auto”, Stephen Archer found it easy to achieve consistent, predictable 3-shot bursts by simply “dabbing” the trigger. That’s a great feature in his opinion.

The safety/fire control lever is also very good. It clicks into the “Safe”, “Semi” and “Auto” positions clearly and with authority.

But – more than that – it’s completely ambidextrous, being operational from either side of the gun. Again, true ambidextrous safeties are far from common on BB-firing replicas.

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

The cocking handle is operational. However its only function is to allow the ejection port cover to flip open. It has no actual functionality related to firing the gun.

So if you want to rack the charging handle for before shooting, go right ahead and have fun. But the Barra 400e can be fired without doing so.

Another wrinkle noticed by the HAM testers was that the sheet metal magazine does not just click into place when installing. It’s necessary to depress the magazine release before tapping the mag into place. The magazine release is, however, ambidextrous.

Furthermore, if you remove a partially-loaded magazine, two or three BBs always fall out of the action. Should you keep on firing, you quickly find that there’s no hold-open. When no BBs remain in the magazine, the 400e keeps firing blanks, although the sound is a little different.

Ah the sound…

That’s the real difference here. Unlike CO2-powered BB-firing replicas, the 400e does not provide a clear “bang, bang” when the gun is fired.

Instead you hear a grinding, whirring noise.

For anyone used to AEG airsoft guns, this is the normal sort of sound that’s inherent in AEG operation. But – if you’re not – it’s definitely unusual, unexpected and abnormal.

This grinding is accompanied by a small amount of recoil. It’s not exactly blowback, but it means that the gun does not feel entirely “dead” when you fire it.

Finally – as an AEG – the Barra 400e cannot be field-stripped in the realistic manner that’s possible with many CO2-powered replicas.

 

SHOT COUNT

So far, the HAM Team has fired well over 1,000 rounds from the Barra 400e using a new, freshly-charged battery. In use, the battery voltage declines as the gun is fired.

Using a LiPo battery voltage alarm – more on that another day – the HAM Team found that 4.0 Volts were still present in the battery after firing those 1,000+ shots. The minimum voltage at which the battery should be re-charged is 3.3 Volts. So, there’s obviously still plenty of shots remaining until the battery requires recharging to its full 11.1 Volts.

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

This means that we’re probably looking at closer to 1,200 shots from a new, full battery. Maybe more. That’s a huge difference compared to the 150 – 200 shots that can be expected from a BB-firing replica using two 12 Gram CO2 cartridges.

It’s also why the total cost of the 400e becomes more reasonable compared to a conventional CO2-powered gun, the more you shoot it…

 

MUZZLE VELOCITY

The Barra 400e tested by HAM generated Muzzle Velocities that were almost identical – independent of the specific type of BB. As can be seen from the table below, the average was between 381 and 383 FPS.

BBsAverage Muzzle VelocityAverage Muzzle EnergyAccuracy
Crosman Copperhead 5.13 Grain382 FPS1.67 Ft/LbsExcellent.
Umarex Steel 5.29 Grain382 FPS1.72 Ft/LbsExcellent.
ASG Blaster 5.32 Grain383 FPS1.71 Ft/LbsExcellent. Best Tested.
Hornady Black Diamond 5.36 Grain381 FPS1.71 Ft/LbsExcellent.
Daisy Avanti 5.44 Grain382 FPS1.76 Ft/LbsExcellent.

This velocity is comparable with that produced by some CO2-powered replica long guns. True, it’s at the lower end of the FPS spectrum. However it’s still usable and – unlike CO2-powered guns – it’s not affected by ambient temperature or rate of fire.

One other point about that 382-ish FPS Muzzle Velocity. Doug Wall enjoyed himself with some informal shooting after completing the formal HAM testing. He shot at a 6-Inch diameter metal gong target at 30 Yards range and was hitting about 50% of the time – offhand!

There’s tiny dimples in the metal from the BB hits even at that range to prove it. So the 400e’s Muzzle Velocity is perfectly viable for targets even at 30 Yards. But there’s not enough energy for hunting any critter – however small – at any range.

 

APPEARANCE AND FINISH

Appearance and finish of the Barra 400e are first rate!

Apart from the stock and pistol grip – as expected – the whole gun is manufactured from metal parts. All external surfaces are extremely well finished – this certainly looks like a quality product.

The photo below shows the 400e with UTG red dot sight. The M-LOK bipod and M-LOK forward grip are also Leapers accessories. They match well with the overall finish and quality level of the gun.

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

The Barra branding is on the right side only and is not overwhelming. Fortunately, the airgun “legal lettering” is also printed inconspicuously in small font on the underside of the handguard.

The 6-position synthetic buttstock is likewise well-manufactured. There’s a minimum appearance of mold lines and the surface textures are well figured.

 

BUYING AND OWNING

The Barra 400e is already available from online sources such as Pyramyd Air and Airgun Depot. So it’s easy to buy.

The gun is supplied in a quality card box. There’s a well-illustrated user guide in English only. The warranty is for one year. Many CO2-powered competitive products have just 90 days coverage from the manufacturer, so that’s good.

For those of us who are unfamiliar with airsoft AEGs, there’s a learning curve involved with buying and charging the required batteries.

You’ll need to buy the correct LiPo battery, together with a balanced charger. Fortunately Pyramyd Air makes it easy by offering all these items, separately or in a bundle.

One potential downside is that the magazine MUST be loaded with BBs using a speedloader. You can’t load it by hand.

Yes, one is supplied with the gun. However BB speedloaders are somewhat unpredictable devices – at least in the HAM Team’s experience – so it would be a sensible move to buy a spare or two. They’re cheap and this would be great insurance against problems with what is undoubtedly the weakest link in the chain.

After all, you’re going to be loading A TON of BBs in your Barra 400e!

The tiny BB ejector tab enables the magazine to be unloaded if required. Watch out as otherwise the BBs will spray all over the floor. You can imagine how we know this…

 

SAFETY FIRST. As with all BB-firing airguns, it’s necessary to wear shooting glasses when firing this airgun. Also do not shoot at hard surfaces or water. BBs tend to bounce off these surfaces and may hit you, or something other than what you intended. If in doubt, don’t pull the trigger! Due to the realistic appearance of this product, handle it as you would a firearm. Do not display it in public or in any place where it could be mistaken for a cartridge firearm.

 

10 YARD TEST TARGETS

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

 

10 YARD FULL AUTO DUMP

Barra 400e Selective Fire BB Gun Review

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Barra 400E BB Rifle 0.177

Barra 400e BB Magazine

Umarex Universal Steel BB Speedloader

Barra 11.1v 35C LiPo 2200mAh Battery

Barra B3 Balanced LiPo Charger

This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.