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· Super Moderator
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I grew up around machinist who worked the mines, their own shops or in factories. We also shot and hunted a lot. Most of those I grew up with when they hear or read BB think of only one thing .177 cal air gun ammo. When we talked bearings it was either ball bearing or size and ball bearing. Size and steel was also used for ball bearings. Those of us who used ball bearings in marbles games call them steelies. After I started reloading I had a new term to learn BB shot.

I understand the way BB is used with slingshots, but it confuses many people. Most that I work with now only came up with air gun ammo as what BB described. Flatband came up with using SB for ball bearing, but it did not catch on.

Is there a way to cut down on confusing the terms?

Probably not. Terms get picked up by newcomers and misused and eventually acquire the new meaning. For a fine example see PFS on this forum.

BB originally was a shot size, measuring .18 diameter. .177 steel air rifle ammo actually measures a bit less than .177 to ensure that the shot functioned properly in early air guns. BBs as airgun ammo is actually a distortion of the original meaning.

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