Standard Historical Last Updated: Jan 18, 2023
ASTM F590-12(2018)

Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Powder Gun Projectiles and Propellants

Significance and Use

5.1 This consumer safety specification establishes the dimensions and tolerances and supporting test methods for non-powder gun projectiles and propellants to ensure compatibility between the projectiles and propellants and the non-powder guns for which they are designed.

5.2 This consumer safety specification identifies non-powder gun projectiles and propellants and establishes product identification requirements. The product identification requirements are intended to guide users of non-powder guns in selecting the correct projectile or propellant for use in various guns, and attempts to prevent hazards associated with incorrect use of projectiles and propellants.


1.1 This consumer safety specification covers projectiles and propellants manufactured for use with non-powder guns intended for target shooting, educational, and recreational purposes and is to be used in conjunction with Consumer Safety Specification F589. Non-powder guns are commonly identified as BB guns, air guns, or pellet guns.

1.2 The projectiles and propellants covered by this consumer safety specification are BB cal, .177 cal (4.5 mm), .22 cal (5.5 mm), and .25 cal (6.4 mm) air gun shot of various materials; .177 cal (4.5 mm), 5 mm, .22 cal (5.5 mm), .25 cal (6.4 mm) pellets and .177 cal (4.5 mm), 5 mm, .22 cal (5.5 mm), and .25 cal (6.4 mm) darts and propellants identified as 8 and 12-g type CO2 cylinders with both small and standard-sized necks as well as refillable CO2 or compressed air cylinders and reservoirs.

1.3 This consumer safety specification does not cover propellants such as dichlorodifluoromethane or projectiles that are propelled by a combustible release of energy; non-powder gun projectiles used with products identified as blow guns, sling shots, cork guns, toy guns, or archery cross bows and other such devices; projectiles designed for adult use in obsolete non-powder guns, custom-made non-powder guns, and non-powder guns designed for and used by law enforcement, scientific, veterinary or military use; paint ball markers, ammunition for airsoft/softair guns and shot used with shotguns in the firearm classification. Test methods for refilling cylinders do not purport to address all of the safety issues, if any, associated with the safe handling and transfilling of small cylinders. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations, such as but not limited to DOT, CGA and OSHA, prior to use.

1.4 The following precautionary caveat pertains only to the test method portion, Section 7, of this specification: This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 15.11
Developed by Subcommittee: F15.06
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.1520/F0590-12R18
ICS Code: 95.060