Hardball Ammunition and Reloading
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- Last updated: 19/12/2016
Although there are already some fine brands of high-quality BB available on the market, there are also some darn shoddy ones; if you buy an airsoft replica undoubtedly the manufacturer will include a small bag of ammo in the box with the gun. Sometimes these BBs are absolutely fine, but on other occasions you can physically see and feel the imperfections on the outer face. If you break a couple open you may also find irregularities and air bubbles internally, which not only will affect performance and accuracy, but also may even damage your beloved rifle or pistol!
As a matter of habit I routinely consign the ‘freebies’ to the bin and run something where I know the quality is good. Now, I’ve worked with the fine folk at ARMEX in Birmingham for some considerable time, as they are the UK distributor of the Umarex brands, and I know that they look for quality items to hold in their portfolio; so when they approached me in relation to testing their own new brand of BBs, I knew I was going to be in for a treat.
A package duly arrived, which when opened, revealed a shiny and attractive brushed metal box with a small viewing window containing a nominal 1000 HARDBALL BBs. Immediately this got my attention, as the presentation itself was just downright slick and very, very different from the normal plastic bottle that you see from virtually every other manufacturer; I know that you’re paying for the BBs and not the box, but it is very nicely done and 2500/5000 counts will come in the traditional bottle.
My first step was to inspect the BBs themselves under a lit magnifying glass, to see if I could make out any mould lines or physical imperfections; after looking closely at 20 I concluded that the outer finish was impeccable. Next, I took a small hammer and cracked half a dozen open, to check internally and again found no bubbles. So far so good!
At the time the BBs arrived with me I was setting up my kit for the first ‘Airsoft Three Gun’ shoot at Xsite in Bedfordshire and thought it would be the ideal opportunity to field test the new BBs in pistol, carbine, and shotgun. Three Gun is all about speed but it’s also about accuracy, so the BBs would need to perform! Normally I would use a heavier weight (.25g or even .30g) BB in a competition but I really wanted to see if the .20g HARDBALLs would cut the mustard. I’m pleased to report that over the course of the day using three different replicas, a gas pistol, an electric carbine, and a springer shotgun, I experienced zero problems, not one jam or misfeed. Accuracywise the BBs all flew straight and true.
In my opinion ARMEX have produced a very good product here. The HARDBALL BBs are obviously carefully made, with attention to the moulding process and are processed in such a way that they are uniform and safe. Accuracy with them is spot-on.
Typical retail prices for the new BBs are expected to be 1000 count tin iro £3.00- 4.00, 2500 count bottle iro £4.00-5.00, and 5000 count bottle iro £7.50-8.00, which is as keen and competitive as I would hope to see for this quality of ammo.
I for one hope that they will produce other weights in the future, for if they’re the same quality as the ones I tested, ARMEX will be onto a winner; as it says on the tin: “Wanna Play? Play Hardball!”