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Barra 400e Full Review (LONG with pics and data) by Turbinator!

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Turby’s Barra 400e Full Review
June / July 2022

Review Summary

The 400e is a well made high quality fully electric semi-auto and fully automatic .177 metal BB rifle modeled after an AR platform.  It runs off of one LiPo battery (sold separately and stored in the buttstock).  Out of the box, it offers an M-LOK compatible rail system, a top full-length picatinny rail, an adjustable butt stock, ambidextrous controls, a mock suppressor, fiber optic sights, and flip up open sights.  This hefty all-electric BB gun performed well compared to other air guns in my collection, landing in the middle of the range for sound and velocity tests.  In testing group sizes and accuracy, the stock 400e was able to print sub 1” groups at 10 meters (33 feet).  The best aspects of the 400e include the familiar AR-15 look and feel, the ability to shoot for extended sessions without needing CO2 or to pump up the gun, and the on-tap fun switch availability of fully automatic fire whenever you want it.


Warning: Long review with lots of text and data!  Important note, I received no compensation for this review.  I have taken the initiative to purchase with my own money, and review on my own time, the 400e, purely out of interest for the company and the product.  In fact, to complete this review, I had to purchase a few additional items, including a chronograph and other accessories.  This is the first Barra airgun I’ve purchased and owned.

Introducing the Barra 400e, the world’s first all electric powered .177 BB gun in full production, patterned after the infamous AR15 platform.  As a young air gun plinker, I longed for the thrill and excitement of having fast follow-up shots, or the satisfaction of laying down a blanket of suppressive fire against a band of marauding soda cans.  Sadly, my BB and pellet gun arsenal consisted of pneumatic single shot or repeater models, making fast shooting impossible.  CO2 powered guns helped to later close the gap a bit, but the elusive ability to fire fully automatic rivaling those carnival “shoot out the red star” games was far out of reach and only a child’s dream.  The introduction and explosion of airsoft popularity in the United States helped to scratch that itch to some extent, but in the back of my mind, I always wanted something that shot .177 BB’s.  Well, my dream has come true as I’ve gotten ahold of my very own Barra 400e, and now you can too!


Barra is a sponsor on Gateway To Airguns, a site where I initially saw Barra’s banner ad posted for the 400e.  Clicking through their image-laden site, I was captivated by the prospect of owning my own AEG .177 BB gun, and researched a little more.  Being that the gun had just launched in May 2022, there was very little information available online, except a couple of video reviews, a dealer thread on Gateway To Airguns, and the company’s site itself.  Just days later, Barra introduced a special promotional offer to purchase one of their tester guns (a gun that was tested as part of their quality control efforts), so I jumped on the chance to participate.  On a Monday, I created an account, added the product to the cart, and checked out - everything was easy and straightforward.  Barra sent an email confirmation immediately to acknowledge the receipt of the order.  Within a few hours, a second email arrived indicating that the order was being shipped by UPS, and a tracking number was provided.  By Friday that week, a 3rd email arrived indicating that the package was out for delivery, and finally, once delivered, a 4th email arrived updating the status to delivered.  I have to give Barra a thumbs-up for using an ecommerce solution that keeps the customer well informed of the ordering process all the way through to delivery.  I was also pleased to have ordered and received the product within the same week.  Kudos to Barra for processing my order quickly!


Packed in a nondescript brown box measuring 36x12x4, I was happy to see the shipping label showing the sender as “MOAB Industries” instead of “Barra Airguns”.  Best not to tip off prying eyes as to what might be inside, if it can be helped.

Cutting through the brown and clear packing tape revealed the 400e’s clean and attractive retail box inside.

The retail box weighed in at 9 pounds, 2.7 ounces.  As a tester gun, I noticed that the clear sealing tape on the retail box’s cardboard flaps had already been cut, indicating that the box had previously been opened.

No problem, this is what I had expected from a tester gun.  The retail box features photos of the 400e on 4 of its 6 sides.  3 of the photos of the 400e are of the right hand side of the gun, while the large back panel of the box shows the left hand side of the gun, along with the buttstock plate removed and a battery (not included) connected to the 400e.  A few key marketing phrases adorned the box, calling out the product’s full metal construction, an estimated 1,000 shots per battery charge, and the 400e’s signature fully automatic fire mode.  A few basic product specs confirmed the gun’s .177 caliber, a stated velocity of 410 feet per second, a fire rate of 550 rounds per minute, and a 50 round capacity.  Finally, one end of the box lists the product number as 4096RB, a company address in Arkansas, and a “Made in Taiwan” declaration.  I was pleasantly surprised with the latter, having expected the 400e to be made in another Asian country instead.  Indeed, I was happy to see Barra working with Taiwan based manufacturing sites.

Opening the retail box reveals the 400e in all its packaged glory.  Nestled in a bed of white styrofoam shaped to snugly hold its contents, the package contained the following:  the 400e rifle, fully assembled; a speed loader; a 50 round magazine; an instruction manual; a warranty card; a pack of desiccant.  The gun and the magazine were packed in clear plastic bags.

Overall, the single walled retail cardboard box, along with the styrofoam and plastic bags seem like an adequate way to protect, pack, and deliver the gun to customers.  No “in transit” damage was observed to the product and the retail box arrived in perfect condition.

A Closer Look

Removing the 400e itself from the styrofoam and the unsealed plastic bag, the rifle presents itself as a hefty, beefy item, with an extremely solid feel in the hands.  There is absolutely zero play between the upper and lower receiver of this gun, though there is a little bit of a rattle in the buttstock.  A combination of mostly screws, some roll pins, and the two takedown receiver pins hold the gun together.  Everything that should have been tightened down and snug certainly appeared to be correctly torqued.  The matte black finish looks good and evenly applied, and overall appearance is a 10 out of 10 with zero machining marks, tooling marks, plastic injection traces, or other manufacturing process clues left behind.  Though mine was a tester gun, I could not detect any blemishes or signs of mishandling at all.  Overall fitment of all the parts together appears to be excellent, with everything lining up as one would expect.

The fiber optic front and rear sights arrive pre-installed on the top rail, and are made of plastic.  The sights integrate a flip up iron sights option, though I noticed these are not spring loaded and don’t appear to have any position retention built into them.  Those who wish to carry the 400e around, say patrolling property, may want to be aware of this, as the sights may inadvertently deploy or fold back up unintentionally.  Unlike standard A2 sights, the rear peep sight has no option to select from 2 different peep sight sizes - probably not as much of an issue given that the range of this BB gun will be far more limited than an actual AR.  The rear aperture is a relatively large circle, offering ample sight picture and space to center the front sight post.

Shouldering the gun and looking down the sights, I found the green fiber optic sights easy to spot and to align, as they grabbed any available ambient light and redirected that light energy back to my eyes in the form of 3 glowing green dots.  They are mounted a bit low overall, as one really needs to scrunch down in there to get a good sight picture, but for tactical situations, low sights are probably better to prevent equipment snagging.  Deploying the flip up iron sights (made of plastic) did make the cheek weld feel a bit better and not as smashed up against the stock, but deploying the flip up sights blocks the use of the fiber optic sights.  Note that the fiber optic and folding sights are built into the same units, that is, the front sight houses both the fiber optic sight and the flip up front sight.  Removal of either the front or the rear sights would remove all factory sighting options.

It is also worthy to note that the 400e includes an M-LOK compatible machined aluminum handguard, opening up a world of real AR accessories to you.  In the future, I may explore adding some accessories.  In later testing, I did add a 3 point sling to my 400e to help with easier carry.  The rear stock includes a sling loop mount, as well as a quick detach mounting hole.

Interestingly, the 400e sports a removable brass deflector on the right hand side of the upper receiver.  Clearly, its inclusion is simply for cosmetics, as it serves no actual function.  Actuating the charging handle reveals a limited range of motion not equal to that of an actual AR, but doing so does pop open the dust cover, exposing a fake bolt carrier that is notched to work with a forward assist.  However, there is no forward assist on this gun.  Unlike airsoft M4 / AR15 models, I didn’t see any signs of a hop-up feature hidden behind the bolt carrier when the charging handle is pulled.  Similarly for looks only, there is a bolt release latch on the left hand side of the receiver that does nothing.

One nice feature is the inclusion of ambidextrous controls.  Both the magazine release and the safety selector switch can be actuated by right or left handed users with ease.  This was a nice thought into the design.  The selector switch moved fairly easily, with clear tactile detents signaling when I was in “safe”, “fire”, or “auto” modes.  This will help allow for quick selector adjustments while keeping one’s eyes on the target or on the alert, while not having to dart quickly down to visually confirm selector operation and position.

Mounted into the lower receiver with 2 roll pins is a wide trigger guard.  Unlike traditional AR designs, the trigger guard is not detent equipped to allow the trigger guard to swing away for usage with gloved hands - not a negative, just an observation.  It does appear one can hammer out the roll pins to change the trigger guard if so desired, though I don’t know if standard off-the-shelf AR trigger guards would work.

The textured pistol grip looks and feels like an AR grip, but contains a bottom cover affixed by a screw.  I suspect just as with airsoft designs, the pistol grip houses the motor.  Based on this observation, it’s unlikely one can change out the grip with other aftermarket options because of the need to house the motor securely and correctly to mate with the gun’s gearbox.  Adjusting the buttstock for length of pull is done similarly to a standard AR retractable stock.  I found 5 available positions when testing my model.  Adjusting to each of these 5 was easy and smooth.

Opening up the buttstock to access the battery compartment is accomplished by pinching two sides of the butt plate, revealing a compartment for the LiPo battery, and a Deans connector - new to me, but not to the rest of the world, as I had not kept up with battery technology in awhile.  There is enough slack in the wiring to allow for the buttstock to adjust throughout its full range of positions without interfering with the battery / gun connection.

One thing I’ve not seen talked about or mentioned is the fact that the mock suppressor on the 400e is removable.  It appears to have a couple of rubber washers around the threads to provide some tension and to prevent over tightening.  The threading appears to be counter clockwise to tighten (right = loose, left = tighten) and is standard metric M14 CCW threading.  I’ve observed that this is common threading used in the airsoft world.  The suppressor itself feels solid, is hollow on the inside, and it almost feels like if one were to pack it with baffles or other material, it could become a functioning “lead dust collector” for another airgun.  According to the manufacturer, the factory provided mock suppressor can be disassembled by unscrewing either the front cap or the rear cap.  Both caps are standard threading.

The 400e magazine looks almost exactly like the same design used in airsoft spring loaded magazines, consisting of stamped finished metal, a spot welded spine, a metal baseplate, and a spring-loaded follower feed mechanism exactly like airsoft magazines.  If one plans on doing magazine dumps to hard ground, I’d suggest getting a magazine bumper or guard to prevent damage to the magazine over time.  Other than a screw on the bottom and some plastic tabs near the top, it doesn’t appear that the magazine is meant to be disassembled by the user on a regular basis for any reason.  As of this writing at the beginning of July 2022, Barra is now offering spare 400e magazines for sale on their site, listed under accessories.

Inserting the magazine into the magazine well isn’t as smooth as just slapping one in, although admittedly with everything being brand new, I didn’t want to force it.  Depressing the magazine release and then inserting the magazine completely into the receiver, then releasing the magazine release and checking for a snug fit seemed to be the best process for me.  I noticed the follower tends to stick up once inserted, so upon removal and reinsertion, I made sure the plastic follower was depressed back into the magazine before reinsertion.  It’s possible that over time or with a little more force, one can just ram home a magazine into the magazine well.  The magazine drops free once the magazine release button is firmly engaged, from either side.

The included instruction manual is printed on heavy gloss paper in two colors, shades of black, and red.  2 staples hold the 16 page booklet together.  Inside, you’ll find standard warnings about safety and usage, along with a labeled diagram of the 400e; battery selection, charging, and handling instructions; magazine loading instructions; firing operation; adjustable sight instructions; basic maintenance guidance; advanced maintenance; safety instructions; a short troubleshooting guide; and the manufacturer’s warranty statement.

With everything unboxed, I took a moment to weigh the rifle with the magazine and battery installed, but unloaded (no BB’s).  Total weight came out to be 7 pounds, 11.6 ounces.  This BB gun is quite hefty!


Opening up a fresh pack of Daisy zinc plated .177 BB’s, I loaded up the included speedloader nearly to the top.  Indicator marks molded into the side of the speedloader tell you how many BB’s you’ve loaded into the speedloader.  The design of the loading port for the speedloader opens up wide enough to serve as a bit of a funnel to guide bb’s into the speedloader reservoir.  Closing up the loading port, the speedloader intuitively interfaces with the magazine’s plastic following.  Depressing the loading mechanism with your thumb forces about 8 BB’s at a time into the magazine.  I did find that the BB’s don’t feed smoothly through the speedloader’s body to align with the thumb mechanism, requiring me to shake the speedloader during loading to ensure a constant flow of BB’s could make their way down to the bottom.  Perhaps with some practice, I’ll get smoother at this operation.  I’m interested in seeing how well the speedloader will hold up over time and multiple uses.

LiPo Batteries

Ok, so I’m old.  I grew up with leaking alkalines, my first real RC cars used NiCd, and NiMH batteries were the last great advancement in battery technology when I last paid attention.  Purchasing my first ever 2 LiPo batteries to feed and power the 400e, I had to research and learn all of the tips and tricks out there as to how to manage LiPo batteries.  Wow, there’s a lot to learn!  I won’t repeat the commonly available advice here, but suffice to say, developing good LiPo battery management practices is critical when getting into the 400e.

I stayed within the manufacturer’s suggested guidelines for battery selection, and also went with the recommended low voltage battery alarm.  I had no trouble fitting a charged LiPo plus the battery alarm and the cable assembly into the provided space in the buttstock.  The end cap of the buttstock snaps back into place with a couple of plastic “tabs” that slip into slots, securing the cap.  I did find that removing the buttstock cap isn’t exactly the fastest procedure, requiring some patience.  When the battery is installed, depending on where your wires are situated, you might have some trouble pressing in the plastic tabs to free up the buttstock cap for removal.  This is something to be aware of when installing your battery, it may be important to make sure nothing is obstructing the plastic tabs for later removal.

Function and Shooting Performance

First inaugural shots were fired semi-auto at some marauding snails in the garden.  About a dozen shots were fired, with zero misfeeds or malfunctions, and the targets pulverized easily.  The ability to deliver followup shots and to adjust for poor aim is invaluable when having to move from target to target quickly before escapes are made.  Using a stack of cardboard, full-auto mode was tested next.  The gun has a very manageable full-auto rounds per minute cadence, not too fast, not too slow.  As with semi-auto function, full-auto function and feeding was flawless.  There wasn’t any noticeable recoil and sight picture stayed fairly constant throughout the test shooting session.

Perhaps the most attractive feature of the 400e is the fact that it runs on batteries, just like an electric airsoft gun - no CO2, no pumping needed.  The obvious benefits of this design include a very low cost per shot average, no loss of velocity after repeated shots (as you would get with CO2), no loss of velocity depending on the weather (also a concern when running CO2), and minimal effort needed to maintain lengthy, sustained shooting sessions.  Having multiple batteries and magazines readily at hand certainly pave the way towards all day shooting sessions with stops only to swap and refill magazines, and maybe a change of the battery if you’re driving the gun that hard.

Per the manufacturer, the gun is permanently lubricated inside the gearbox and needs no further lubrication and other maintenance, other than keeping the barrel clean and free of obstructions.  As with any magazine-fed device, I’d recommend periodically inspecting the magazines for any signs of damage or wear, and then either repairing those or replacing them entirely.

Trigger Pull

One of the most important user experiences with any projectile launching device equipped with a trigger is the trigger pull weight and feel.  Since the 400e is an “all electric gun” (AEG), it is logically best compared to a Tokyo Marui M4 airsoft.  Both guns feature an AR-like trigger which ultimately is just a simple switch that closes a circuit in order to actuate the motor.  Using a Lyman digital trigger gauge, I collected data for 45 trigger pulls from each gun.  The averages are shown in the table below.

Both guns are comparable in trigger pull, with the 400e being ever so slightly lighter than the M4.  In the world of projectile launchers, these are extremely light trigger pulls, and I’d advise a high degree of diligence when handling these guns.

The 400e’s trigger pull is smooth without any interruptions or snags, with a clear and repeatable stop at the end of the trigger’s travel.  There is no specific tactile feeling to signal to the user when the gun’s trigger breaks, as there would be with a traditional pneumatic air gun that releases a hammer to strike a valve stem.  As such, I suspect there will be very little trigger finger fatigue experienced over long, extended shooting sessions.

Sound Levels - How Loud Is It?

One thing I wanted to test with the 400e was the perceived and measured sound levels when shooting.  I had envisioned the 400e to be backyard friendly, compared to other airguns that make a much louder sound when compressed air expands and gets released into the environment.  True enough, firing this AEG results in what seems like very little noise from the muzzle.  However, the sound of the motor, gearbox, and piston ends up being the loudest sound that I noticed when shooting my initial test shots.  You could liken the sound to a modified airsoft AEG.  My presumption is that the sound of the 400e going off wouldn’t be recognizable to the untrained ear as an airgun or as an airsoft.  Those who are familiar with airsoft, airguns, or firearms wouldn’t think of the sound as anything other than someone shooting an AEG nearby.  So exactly how loud is the 400e?

Let’s get down to some decibel measurements.  I don’t own a real measuring tool, and had no other plans to buy one, so I went ahead and downloaded a free application onto my phone to serve the purpose.  If anything, the relative measurements will be useful to compare between different items.  A quick Google search suggests 30 to 100 data points are sufficient for a sample size.  I’ll settle on 45 data points as a target.  You can find the software application and instructions on how to use it here:

Note that the application is OSHA certified, but only if used with a calibrated external microphone.  I don’t have that, as I am using a stock iPhone 12 Pro Max as my measuring device.  Since the same device will be used to measure each sample gun, placed in the same location each time, the relative measurements compared to each other is likely the most useful observation to be made.  We can question the absolute accuracy of the absolute measurements since my device won’t be calibrated, but the relative measurements should yield useful observations in comparing the different guns.

I figured it would be useful to compare the 400e to some other air guns.  The 400e will be pitted against an AEG airsoft, and some vintage pneumatic airguns as shown in the data table.  These other air guns were selected out of my limited collection because they are the alternative guns available to me to use in my everyday plinking.

Projectile Velocity - fps Measurements

Another big part of my test was to see how fast the BB’s were coming out of the 400e.  Was I going to hit the advertised feet per second velocities?  Using a Competition Electronics DLX chronograph equipped with the infrared light option and mounted on a carbon fiber tripod, I measured the velocity of BB’s at the same time I took the sound measurements.  The chronograph transmitted all readings via Bluetooth to my nearby phone, where data was then loaded into Google Sheets for collation and analysis.

Test Methodology

To help control for variability introduced by environmental factors, I conducted the tests in a closed room of about 400 square feet, shooting into a wadded up bedsheet so as to both dampen the sound impact of the projectile, and to act as a suitable safe backstop.  Effort was made to conduct all sound and fps tests on the same day in succession.  Distance from the muzzle to the target was 6 feet.  Distance from the muzzle to the sound measuring device was 12 inches to the front of the muzzle.  The surface over which the BB’s traveled included a hard desk, hard floor, and a blanket lined futon, where the target bed sheet was located.  The chronograph was located approximately 3 feet in front of the muzzle for these tests.  Occasionally, a shot failed to register on the chronograph.  Those results were discounted and not included in these test results.

Air Gun Model Test Notes

* 400e
* Tested with a fully charged LiPo battery
* Tested using Daisy .177 zinc plated BB’s
* Stock configuration, no mods
* Tokyo Marui M4
* Tested with a fully charged 1600 mAh 9.6V stick battery
* Plastic 6mm bb’s used as ammo
* M4 motor was upgraded from an EG700 to an EG1000, no other mods
* Crosman 2100
* Tested with Crosman .177 Copperhead BB’s
* Tested with 2 pumps of air to achieve similar velocities as the 400e
* Stock configuration, no mods
* Crosman 2100 moderated
* Tested with Crosman .177 Copperhead BB’s
* Tested with 2 pumps of air to achieve similar velocities as the 400e
* DIY sound moderator attached
* Crosman 1377
* Tested with Crosman .177 Copperhead BB’s
* Tested with 5 pumps of air
* Stock configuration, no mods
* Crosman 1377 moderated
* Tested with Crosman .177 Copperhead BB’s
* Tested with 7 pumps of air to achieve similar velocities as the 400e
* DIY sound moderator attached
* Daisy 856
* Tested with Crosman .177 Copperhead BB’s
* Tested with 3 pumps of air to achieve similar velocities as the 400e
* Stock configuration, no mods
Following next are summary data tables and charts.  Full data for these tests can be found in the appendices.

Summary Data Tables and Charts

OSHA dBA Chart For Comparison

dBA and fps Results Discussion

The gun test results will be discussed in the order they were tested, not necessarily the order they are listed in the tables and charts.

Up first was the 400e, the star of this review.  Testing over a series of 45 shots, the 400e exhibited an average dBA of 101.8 dBA, while delivering an average velocity of 374.2 fps.  This ended up being a bit under the advertised ~400 fps.  In discussion boards, fps variances were quoted as being between 380 fps and 410 fps.  For whatever reason, this specific 400e ran below the low end of the discussed range.  I was unable to identify any specific factors that would have caused the average fps to fall outside discussed ranges.  There were no problems loading, feeding, and shooting the Daisy .177 zinc plated BB’s during this test.  I did observe that for every freshly loaded magazine into a fully empty 400e, the first shot tended to shoot slower than the rest of the magazine - about 250 fps.  I suspect the reason is that the first BB into the feed mechanism doesn’t get a good “seat” and loses some velocity as it is forced up into the chamber by the following BB’s under spring tension from the follower.  Subsequent shots produced the fps results in-line with the overall data set.  As such, every first shot out of a fresh magazine was discarded from these fps tests.

In an attempt to compare “like-for-like” (that is, an electric platform vs an electric platform), the Tokyo Marui M4 was also tested for sound and velocity measurements.  Coming in at an average of 92.76 dBA and spitting out 257.82 fps on the average, the M4 airsoft is not a hard hitter, trading off velocity in favor of being a quieter performer.

The stock Crosman 2100 definitely came in louder than the 400e, blasting out an average of 103.62 dBA of noise.  The 2100 is a pneumatic air gun and only offers pump increments as a way to best match the velocities of the 400e.  After experimenting, I found 2 pumps to be the closest approximation of the 400e’s fps performance, though the 2100 averaged higher at 420.18 fps compared to the 400e’s average 374.2 fps.  Subjectively, I didn’t find 2 pumps to be a significant amount of work to meet and exceed the performance of the 400e, though the 2100 definitely sounded louder, as proven by the measurements taken.  Though the 2100 is a repeating BB rifle, it could never match the fire rate of the 400e, giving the 400e a distinct advantage in follow-up shot capability albeit at a significantly higher cost and overall higher investment in necessary accessories (batteries, charger, battery alarm).

Interestingly, the moderated Crosman 2100 was significantly quieter than the 400e, delivering an average of 94.05 dBA.  Launching bb’s downrange with an average of 372.24 fps with only 2 pumps, the moderated rifle performed right in the same velocity range of the 400e but without the same noise level.  If noise is a concern and one can live with slower follow-up shot speed, a moderated Crosman 2100 would do quite nicely.  As usual, it’s likely best to match the tool with your intended application.

Testing a stock Crosman 1377, I found 7 pumps were required to reach the same fps range as the 400e.  The 1377 appeared significantly louder, averaging 106.6 dBA, while averaging 393.04 fps.  Though an easier handling air gun, the amount of effort to pump the 1377 to achieve similar performance as the 400e at the cost of being louder, makes it a less desirable plinking alternative.  Given the dBA results here, hearing protection would be a must when shooting a Crosman 1377 indoors without any sound moderation.

Surprisingly, the moderated Crosman 1377 did not exactly fare well when compared to the 400e.  Requiring roughly 7 pumps to achieve similar velocities as the 400e, the moderated Crosman 1377 averaged 99.98 dBA and 397.73 fps.  Though slightly quieter while shooting a little faster than the 400e, the pistol still appeared subjectively loud, and the need to pump the pistol 7 times to obtain similar fps performance simply demands too much effort to make the moderated 1377 competitive to the 400e.

The Daisy 856 produced 102.19 dBA while managing 393.2 fps on the average, needing 3 pumps to achieve this performance.  The 856 offers a much shorter pump arm throw than the Crosman 2100, and has a wider forearm than the Crosman 1377, making it easier to grip and pump.  As a BB repeater, the built-in reservoir holds what seems to be over 100 bb’s at a time, making follow-up shots easy as long as the user cocks and pumps the gun quickly each time.  As with the other BB guns compared in this review, the Daisy 856 does not offer the fast follow-up shot capability the 400e offers, but costs significantly less to purchase.  Comparing these two is a bit of “apples and oranges”, so the same rule of picking the right tool for the job would apply here as well.

Finally, as a “what if” test scenario, the 400e’s factory mock suppressor was removed and replaced with a vintage KSC MK23 equipped with open cell foam.  This mock suppressor is longer than the factory model, allowing for 2 pieces of foam to be placed at the end of the barrel, thereby capturing some of the expelled air at the expense of velocity.  Average dBA measured out to be 94.9 dBA, with velocity dropping to an average of 356 fps.  This is roughly 7 dBA quieter than a stock 400e, with a cost of about 18 fps on the average.  I found it interesting that a portion of the overall noise signature from the 400e came from the muzzle, and that deploying a lead dust collector with foam helped to reduce that collateral noise.  The remainder of the sound generated by the 400e is likely coming from the motor and gearbox, and unless one wraps the 400e in a blanket or similar, it’s possible that one couldn’t achieve much quieter performance than this.

So, What Does This All Mean?

With the average sound rating coming out at 101.8 dBA for a stock 400e, I would subjectively consider the 400e to be a loud air gun, though not the loudest, coming in around the middle of the pack when compared to the other tested guns.  For noise intensity, the 400e falls squarely in the “Construction Site” category as indicated in the included OSHA dBA chart. To prevent hearing loss from repeated exposure, I would recommend wearing even the most basic hearing protection when shooting the 400e repeatedly.  If one opts to use a foam equipped mock suppressor with the 400e, such as the KSC model I tested, you could reduce the 400e’s overall sound signature at the expense of a few fps of velocity.  Depending on your shooting environment and the purpose for your shooting, this trade-off might be worthwhile.  Perceived loudness of the air guns tested may also differ depending on the shooting environment, as these tests were conducted indoors with hard surfaces present that could reflect sound signatures.  Shooting in a densely packed wooded area, for example, may yield different perceptions of the loudness of these airguns including the 400e, as there may be more sound absorbing materials present in such an environment.

There appears to be a bit of a correlation between louder air guns and faster velocities, in the models that were tested.  Among these choices of air guns, if you want to shoot faster, you may wish to manage the louder sound generated from these guns as a result.  The same correlation might not apply for an adequately equipped moderated air gun not tested here.

Plotted here is the complete data set showing the correlation of dBA vs fps.  The trendline shows that as fps increases, so does dBA, or the loudness of the air gun.

Accuracy / Repeatability

To test the accuracy of the 400e, I set up a simple homemade BB trap in my yard and measured out a distance of 33 feet / 10 meters from the firing line to the target.  33 feet / 10 meters appears to be a common competition distance for airgun shoots.

I downloaded a free 10 meter air gun target from the National Shooting Sports Foundation online:

This target was printed on standard 8.5” x 11” printer paper, then stapled to a cardboard backing in preparation for group size testing.  As considered a norm, 5 shot strings were fired at the target and measurements were taken using a center-to-center method to measure group sizes.  A total of 5 sets of 5 shots were taken to gather data, for a total of 25 rounds fired.

In order to remove as much of the influence of human error as possible in group size testing, the 400e was rested on a small pile of towels to help reduce movement in the 400e while shooting.  Despite these efforts, it wasn’t possible to entirely remove the variability of the shooter from these tests.  I did not make use of any commercial rifle rests in gathering this data.

As depicted in the photo, the weather was sunny with very little wind interference.  Test shots were taken around mid morning, between 9AM and 10AM local time.

Measurements were taken using Midway dial calipers as best as possible.  Understandably, not using proper target paper may account for some variances in measuring group sizes, as the BB’s do not make clean holes in the paper (more ragged versus a clean round hole).  Here are the results, photos may be found in the appendices.

Note that Target #2 had an unusually small group size.  I checked very carefully to make sure no mistakes were made in producing this result (all 5 BB’s were found in the backstop, and no other stray holes were observed).  Based on the evidence, Target #2 is a real result and won’t be discounted for the purposes of testing.

The average group size between the 5 targets came out to be 0.8122”, measured center-to-center.  I also observed my stock 400e to shoot consistently high and left.  Throughout the shot collection process, no attempt was made to adjust the sights or to account for the impact location.  The sights were kept trained on the bullseye for every shot.

As a way to compare to another benchmark, I equipped the 400e again with the KSC MK23 mock suppressor, loaded with 2 pieces of open cell foam.  I then ran another 5 shot string for 5 targets worth of shooting.  The data table is shown below.

With the benefit of a few dBA quieter but the loss of some fps, the 400e moderated did open up average group sizes to 0.8714”.

Based on the relatively small augmentation to measured group sizes, my assumption is that the moderator does not introduce any significant variation in group sizes for the 400e.  To test this hypothesis, I used Google Sheets to calculate the p-value of the two data sets and came up with 0.3629.  Using this as a guide as found here:

* Significant: <=5%
* Marginally significant: <=10%
* Insignificant: >10%
The conclusion here is that the data and the p-value supports the idea that a 400e moderated in this fashion does not show a significant variance in group sizes as compared to a stock non-moderated 400e.

So, is the 400e accurate?  It all depends on what you intend to use it for.  At 10 meters, the 400e will easily blast a soda can over and over.  For casual plinking, it’s great.  To compete in the Olympics, you’re going to want something else that will print dime-sized groups all day long.  For my recreational shooting needs, the 400e fills the niche quite nicely without any disappointments in performance.

As for the difference in measured fps versus advertised fps, I’m aware that these guns vary from specimen to specimen.  My specific sample averaged out at 374.2 fps, which comes in under the generally stated fps.  I’d imagine the 400e is aptly named as such as the gun is expected to produce 400 fps, and is electric.  According to the manufacturer, the 400e leverages a lot of internal parts from existing airsoft gearboxes, giving the 400e nearly unlimited tuning options.  If one wants to spend some time researching parts and disassembly / assembly tutorials, it should be quite possible to modify and tune the 400e’s performance.  Note that any mucking about the internals will invalidate the warranty coverage, so one might want to wait for the warranty period to elapse before venturing into the gearbox, or to proceed at one’s own risk.

Final Thoughts

The 400e is a blast to shoot and just plain fun!  With semi auto and fully automatic fire readily available, it delivers consistent performance and reliability.  The picatinny rail system plus the M-LOK mounting system opens up the door to a huge world of accessorizing, enabling the user to deploy all manner of aftermarket options.  If you’re used to handling the powder burning counterpart, the 400e is easy to handle and feels right at home to the experienced shooter and could be a great training aid as well as a fantastic standalone shooting platform for general plinking.  Is it worth it?  Being the first platform to market as an all electric .177, you’d certainly be paying a bit of a premium to be among the first owners of the 400e.  Whether or not the price of admission is worth it for you, only you can make that decision on your own, but the Barra 400e certainly is worth checking out!


Complete Data Sets

Gallery of 400e and Other Guns Tested

Target Photos - 400e Stock






Target Photos - 400e Moderated






If you made it this far, thanks for reading!


Thanks for this.Really appreciate the effort.

 One of the best put together reviews I've ever seen. Great job!

Very good review!


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