Automatic BB Guns – for self defense?

Automatic BB Guns – Are They Good for Self Defense?

Automatic bb guns can be used for self defense but they need to have a minimum muzzle velocity of about 350-400 fps.

First let’s settle the question on legality.

Are Automatic BB Guns Legal to Own?

…in most states YES. BB guns are classified as “non-powder & toy guns”. You do not need a background check or fill out any paperwork to buy a bb gun. It is not a Firearm.

Auto BB Gun Specifications – requirements for self defense

  • Powerful:  350-400+ fps
  • Multi shot magazine
  • Steel BB ammunition
  • CO2 powered
  • Reliable
  • Ergonomic:  easy and quick to bring into readiness
  • Affordable: < $250

Here is the most critical feature/requirement of a self defense auto bb gun…power: 350-400 fps with steel bb’s.

This will penetrate about 3-4″ of soft tissue, in scientific tests and my own Ballistic Gel tests. This type of penetration can be lethal to humans if the bb’s reach a vital target. Vital targets would include the face and more specifically the eyes. The human brain lies right behind the eyeball and optic nerve. It’s easy to hit since the eye is a very soft target and very easy to penetrate. It is much softer than Ballistic Gel.

BB Penetration in Ballistic Gel

Here is my bb penetration test. All bb’s penetrated 3″ into the Ballistic Gel block from 5 feet. The test gun was the Daisy Powerline 415 CO2 pistol with a muzzle velocity of 495 fps.

As long as the automatic bb gun has a muzzle velocity of about 350+ fps, then it will be good for self defense. Auto bb guns have an advantage over semi-auto in that they fire continuously when you pull the trigger. This is highly destructive to the target.

So which automatic bb guns are available?

  • Crosman DPMS SBR Co2 – 1,400 rpm
  • Umarex Legends MP40 Gen 3 CO2 Rifle
  • Umarex Steel Storm Pistol – 6 round auto bursts
  • SMG 22 Cal Belt Fed Pellet Rifle – 360 rpm
  • Beretta 92A1 CO2 Pistol
  • Umarex Beretta M92 A1 BB Pistol
  • Crosman PFAM9B CO2 Pistol

How Much Are Automatic BB Guns?

The price ranges from $99 to about $550 depending on the make and model. The most expensive is the SMG 22 Cal belt fed bb gun at $550. The cheapest one is the Crosman PFAM9B CO2 pistol at $99.00. The best bang for your buck is the Crosman DPMS SBR CO2 rifle. It sells for about $150-$200.

What is the Best Automatic BB Gun?

The absolute best auto bb gun is the Crosman DPMS SBR CO2 rifle. It is high quality, powerful at 400 fps and has a high cyclic rate at 1,400 rpm. It is devastating!

Crosman DPMS SBR Full Auto BB gun-rifle

It is the best looking and functioning automatic bb gun. Crosman did a great job with the design and fabrication of the DPMS SBR. It feels like a real AR-15/M4 type rifle. The sights are adjustable and line up quickly though for home defense, you’re likely to just point and shoot. You can buy it here for less than the listed MSRP of $199.99…Buy at

Here are the specifications

  • Tactical short barrel for quick action and light weight
  • Semi auto and full auto operation
  • Fires over 1,400 rounds per minute
  • Muzzle velocity 400+ fps
  • Blow back action functions like the real M4
  • .177 cal BB ammunition
  • Co2 powered – 12 gram cartridges
  • Quad rail for attaching accessories
  • Adjustable 6 position stock
  • 25 round magazine
  • Nylon Fiber construction
  • Front and rear flip up sights
  • Flat Earth finish
  • Angled forend
  • Realistic weight and feel
  • Smooth bore barrel
  • Weight 6.21 lbs
  • MSRP $199.99

You might also want to read this article…best air pistols for self defense