Is a BB or Pellet Gun Stronger?

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Bb guns and pellet guns are extremely popular with people who want to get started with firearms. They have much fewer safety risks. Hence, if you’re undecided if it is a BB or pellet gun which is stronger, read further.

Is a BB or Pellet Gun Stronger?

Generally, pellet guns are stronger than BB guns. Both guns are recommended for beginners. While they closely follow the style of firearms, their shots aren’t that fatal when you’re hit in most parts of the body.

A man holding a gun

It doesn’t mean that pellet guns aren’t favored as a beginner gun over BB guns. They have their own appeal to beginners. Let’s explore further the differences between the two.

What Makes BB and Pellet Gun Different?

BB guns and pellet guns are often mistaken for each other because of how they share some common features. Differentiating a BB gun and pellet gun is hard. However, you can easily identify them as non-firearm with its orange tip on the weapon indicating safety.

Most of the time, BB guns and pellet guns are used for different purposes. In terms of appearance, it may be hard to tell the difference. In fact, all of their differences don’t include a physical appearance at all. They are:

  • Ammunition
  • Gun Type
  • Uses
  • Cost


The most distinct difference between the two guns is the ammunition they use. Pellet guns generally use lead bullets that can vary in size. Larger pellet bullets are generally used in short-range shooting.

They use either a 177 pellet or a 22 pellet. Lighter and smaller pellet gun bullets are used for long-distance shooting.

Lead bullets

BB guns bullets are generally smaller. They are shaped like small spheres so it doesn’t have that much penetrating power. Pellets are shaped unusually. They have a flat, circular top with a bottom that tapers into the middle that can potentially injure someone.


Both pellet guns and BB guns are usable at range air rifles. Most of the time, pellet guns can only use 0.22 calibers and BB guns tend to be much smaller. Both are suitable for lighter, close-range shooting practices.


Both BB and pellet guns are great for different things. However, they do sometimes work the same in some things. Pellets are better suited for hunting pests and small game. This is because they have larger bullets and the shape of their bullets penetrates small games.

Bearing ball bullets

BB guns are better for target practice since they generally have high accuracy. They’re recommended for close-range target shooting and amateur backyard practices.


Most of the time, it depends on the quality of the gun. If I’m talking about averages, BB guns are generally cheaper compared to pellet guns. Their ammunition is also larger so you will spend more on ammo too.


While they are less harmful than actual firearms, they can still cause serious injuries. If you fire it at close range, it can inflict serious injury to people. Pellets are the more dangerous guns since their ammunition is larger.

However, BB ammo is also potentially dangerous since it can ricochet randomly thanks to its spherical shape. Hence, it’s always important to wear safety gear like goggles when using them.

Related Questions

What Hurts More BBs or Pellets?

Both BBs and Pellets can hurt a lot. However, Pellets will hurt more because their ammo is larger and heavier.

Is a Pellet Gun Good for Home Defense?

Pellet guns aren’t great for home defense. The pain they inflict isn’t enough to neutralize a threat.


Pellet guns are stronger than BB guns. Be careful when you’re firing them at close range. They could potentially inflict serious damage. Hence, it’s important to practice gun safety even with a BB gun or pellet gun.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.