Hellraiser Hellboy BB Gun Test Review
1 August 2018
Supplied by Pyramd Air
High shot count.
The easiest replica BB gun to repair.
No full auto.
Too light for full realism.
Only 18 shots in the mag.
VALUE FOR MONEY
The Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun is a remarkably interesting and unusual airgun. It’s also a new introduction into the market.
Yes, it’s technically an air rifle, but we’re testing it using the HAM pistol methodology because it’s clearly closer to a BB pistol in concept than, say, a high-powered PCP. And we have precedent for this approach. It’s how we tested the Umarex Legends MP BB gun which is very similar in overall concept and intention as a firearms replica.
The Hellboy uses a very different design concept to that of most other replica BB guns. Almost all of the operational parts – including the sear, hammer and valve – are actually located in the magazine. The gun itself provides only the trigger blade and barrel!
This concept gives benefits for long-term reliability (replace the magazine and you pretty-well replaced the complete gun). The downside is inconsistent feel and performance between one magazine and another. Hey, nothing in life is perfect.
At a Street Price of one cent less than $150, the Hellboy is relatively expensive for a BB gun. Compared to other rapid-firing BB guns, it has limited magazine capacity, no full auto capability and no blowback recoil effect. It’s also rather lighter than an M4 and doesn’t carry a firearm-manufacturer’s brand name.
But it’s mainly metal, looks very realistic and has a full 12-month warranty.
Overall, the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun offers fair value for money.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
HellBoy .177 CO2 BB Tactical Air Rifle, Black
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Hellraiser HellBoy CO2 BB Tactical Airgun
REALISM – LOOKS AND FEEL
The Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun scores highly for overall looks and feel realism.
Overall, the impression is of a very close copy of an M4 carbine. The size is very close, the multi-stage collapsible buttstock works in the same way and operating the charging handle opens the ejection port cover.
The iron sights are also very close to those of the M4 and there’s sling swivels, too.
The main disadvantage in this area is that the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun weights just 5 Lbs 3 Oz – including a 12 Gram CO2 cartridge. This is far less than an M4, which weighs-in at around 7 Lbs 8 Oz with a full magazine.
The gun can also be field-stripped, at least in part. The front hand guard can be removed – and replaced if required with M4 parts. The upper and lower can also be separated: again in a similar fashion to an M4.
So the Hellboy looks good but there’s a downside…
While some of the controls operate, they don’t actually do anything. They’re for show only. Only the magazine release actually works as it would on an M4. We’ll cover this in more detail below.
ACCURACY AND POINT OF IMPACT
Accuracy of the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun tested by HAM was generally very good at our standard 6-yard test range. Only the Dust Devils were somewhat less accurate – however, all the BBs tested demonstrated “minute of soda can” accuracy at 6 yards.
Best accuracy was achieved using the Umarex Steel BBs. However, at 10 yards, these BBs opened-out somewhat. Even so, 8 out of 10 hit the soda can-sized bull of our HAM test target.
Obviously no-one buys a BB gun with great expectations of sniper-grade accuracy. However this performance was comparable to that of other BB-firing long guns tested by HAM in the past.
Point of impact was initially a disappointment. The front sight was far enough out of alignment that the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun tested by HAM shot to the right of the target.
However, thinking that this could be the effect of an impact during shipping, HAM Publisher Stephen Archer gently tapped the front sight assembly over using the flat of his hand. A couple more gentle taps and the point of alignment was corrected. Problem solved!
The rear peep sights supplied with the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun are click-adjustable for both elevation and windage. There’s a dual-aperture rear sight that’s flipped to change the apertures. All-in-all the rear iron sights are just like those of a centerfire M4 carbine.
Unlike a M4 firearm, the front sight is fixed, however. It cannot be adjusted for elevation like that of the firearm.
Again like an M4, the rear sight/carrying handle of the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun can be removed, leaving a “flat top” configuration.
The HAM Team attached a Leapers UTG model SCP-DS3068TDQ red dot sight to this flat top for testing. It certainly worked and looked good, as you can see. However, the Hellboy’s front sight assembly tended to obstruct the view.
A better solution would be to place a riser between the gun and red dot sight. Even better, some UTG red dot sights incorporate a riser and this would undoubtedly be the best solution.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
Air Venturi – the company behind the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun – claims a maximum Muzzle Velocity of 495 FPS for it.
In HAM testing of the Hellboy, we achieved an average of 481 FPS for Dust Devils and 474 FPS for ASG Blaster BBs. These average muzzle velocities were obtained in our relatively cool, 68 degrees F range.
As the muzzle velocity of all CO2-powered BB guns varies with temperature, we would expect to see higher velocities at higher temperatures. As muzzle velocity typically increases by 2 FPS per degree Farenheit for CO2 guns, that means the the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun tested by HAM would attain the manufacturer’s specification at 75 degrees F with the Dust Devils and 78 degrees F with the ASG Blasters.
This means that the makers claims for FPS can be matched fairly easily in warm weather use.
The Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun tested by HAM demonstrated reasonable consistency in operation.
The Standard Deviation – a measurement of consistency of FPS in a string – was held reasonably low at 13.6 FPS. This is good for a CO2-powered airgun.
Accuracy was also pretty consistent with all the BBs tested, except for the Dust Devils.
The trigger pull of the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun tested by HAM averaged 6 Lb 14 Oz. However, it varied widely from 5 Lbs 8 Oz to 7 Lbs 6 Oz. This was a pretty significant spread.
It also should be noted that the “gun in a magazine” design concept (the sear, hammer and valve are all in the magazine) means that you will experience different performance from different magazines.
Below. The outer magazine is removed for loading BBs and CO2.
For example, the trigger pull was about 1 Lb lighter on the spare magazine shipped with the Hellboy tested by HAM than was the one in the gun. It also had a longer and significantly smoother pull. The FPS was somewhat different, too.
Such differences are due to the inevitable tolerances in manufacturing which are found in samples of every manufactured product. However, they would normally only be found between different guns, rather than different magazines, and so are normally less obvious to the owner.
REALISM – TRIGGER AND ACTION
Although the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun looks very realistic, this realism unfortunately does not extend to the gun’s operation. While some of the controls operate, they don’t actually do anything. They’re for show only.
Only the magazine release actually works as it would on an M4.
Yes, you can pull back on the charging handle and – yes – the ejection port cover snaps open when you do so. But operating the charging handle does not actually cock the gun. It’s not connected to the hammer has no real functionality at all.
Likewise, the fire selector switch offers “safe” semi” and “auto” settings. The safe and semi settings work fine, but there is no fully automatic capability. In the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun, “auto” is just the same as “semi”.
The Hellboy’s trigger is set further forward than in an M4 firearm. It also has a very different feel and method of operation.
Below. Only a part of the trigger mechanism in inside the gun. The rest is in the magazine.
In fact, the magazine uses a combined sear and hammer design. This means that the trigger needs to be let right back out to its “rest” position in between shots. This makes the trigger action feel more like a double action revolver, even though it’s not.
The lack of a hold open also means that there’s no way for the shooter to tell when the Hellboy is out of BBs, except by the changing sound of the gun and – maybe – lack of impacts on the target.
As a non-blowback BB gun, the HAM Team expected a strong shot count from the Hellboy. The sample tested by HAM didn’t disappoint.
HAM Tester Doug Wall recorded 90 shots from one 12 Gram CO2 cartridge before the Muzzle Velocity fell to 260 FPS. After that, FPS fell away very rapidly…
Remembering that this is 90 shots from just one CO2 cartridge and that the FPS is quite strong, the HAM Team feels that this is a good performance for the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun.
Muzzle Velocity of the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun tested by HAM was strong. Three types of BBs achieved averages of 470 FPS and above, which is creditable at the cool – 68 degree – temperature in the HAM test range.
As with all CO2-powered airguns, the FPS will change with temperature (as described in the Comparison section, above). It will also fall if the gun is fired rapidly. Of course FPS also drops off once the CO2 cartridge becomes exhausted. However, these are not criticisms specific to the Hellboy.
|BBs||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Air Venturi Dust Devils 4.35 Grain||481 FPS||2.24 Ft/Lbs||OK|
|Crosman Copperhead 5.13 Grain||454 FPS||2.35 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|Umarex Steel 5.29 Grain||453 FPS||2.41 Ft/Lbs||Very Good. Best Tested.|
|ASG Blaster 5.32 Grain||474 FPS||2.66 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|Hornady Black Diamond 5.36 Grain||430 FPS||2.20 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|Daisy Avanti 5.44 Grain||473 FPS||2.7- Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
The overall, flat black appearance of the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun looks good at any distance. There’s a minimum of plastic parts on the gun: basically just the barrel hand guard, pistol grip and stock.
However, this finish seems very prone to scratch marks caused by fingernails. Such fingernail contact does not actually remove the finish, but after a while, it’s certainly easy to see marks on the receiver and pistol grip. You’ll be able to spot this is the photographs accompanying this review…
BUYING AND OWNING
As an Air Venturi product, the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun is readily available from major online airgun retailers such as Pyramyd Air and Airgun Depot. However, you’re unlikely to find it in your local big box sporting goods store.
The Hellboy does have the benefit of a 12-month warranty. This is four times longer than that offered by some firearms-replica BB guns and may be a factor in your buying decision.
Also the “gun in a magazine” design concept means that most possible repairs can be made simply by swapping the magazine for a replacement. This is attractive for anyone concerned about long-term use of the gun. It also makes it possible for the owner to repair most problems just by buying another magazine. It does make spare magazines relatively expensive, however.
In addition, it does mean that the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun can provide rather different performance levels, depending on which magazine is used.
The Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun is supplied in a well-made foam package that should help to protect the gun during shipping to you. The card top for this packaging is also of good quality. However it would be better if theses two packaging parts were taped together – that may have prevented the out-of-box POI issue found with the Hellboy tested by HAM.
There’s a clear and well-illustrated instruction manual included with the Hellboy. It’s in English only.
The ability to separate the upper from the lower could be useful to clear any jams in the barrel. However, this is not described in the otherwise-comprehensive manual.
Unusually, loading with BBs is a two-stage affair. The outer magazine cover must be removed first, before BBs can be loaded. The BB follower itself is easy to use with a convenient notch to hold it back in position for loading. That’s good, but the design also means that there’s no chance to speed load the Hellboy with BBs – it’s strictly a one-at-a-time process.
Combined with the low – 18-shot capacity – magazine, this means that you are almost certain to spend more time loading the Hellraiser Hellboy BB gun than shooting it! However, this is a situation common to many fast-firing BB guns.
Finally, the lack of a hold-open means that you’re certain to fire multiple blanks with the Hellboy – at least until you become used to the change in tone of the shot and are able to stop firing as soon as you hear 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.
6-YARD TEST TARGETS
10-YARD TEST TARGET
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
HellBoy .177 CO2 BB Tactical Air Rifle, Black
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Hellraiser HellBoy CO2 BB Tactical Airgun
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.