Apply the right hopup and I guarantee the pitching machine will throw it further than the pitcher!
Obviously not every low fps gun outranges every high fps gun, those are just my examples that you don't need high fps to get long range. Using .36g BBs with a 470fps sniper rifle, with good compression, blows everything away.
And a 50fps pistol won't outrange anything because there's an ideal speed for BB's to get maximum range, and that speed is 330-350fps
In high fps rifles you use heavier ammo. Why? Because it's more accurate, yes, buy say you have a 400fps VSR-10. It's about the most reliable platform you can do testing on.
It's shooting .20g BB's at 400fps, they go all over place, but if you manage to get one to go straight you notice is has crap for range anyway because it always destabilizes vertically no matter what you set your hopup to.
If your using .25s, much better but still doesn't get a great flightpath.
.30s, okay now we're talking, they're heavier so it's harder for them to destabilize, not to mention they don't have air bubbles in them which greatly improves accuracy more than anything else. But they're also flying slow enough that they maintain their path very easily.
As you go up in weight all of a sudden you start losing range and there's nothing you can do to improve on it except go to a higher FPS.
Think of it like a glider, a glider has an optimal gliding speed, and it's NEVER it's maximum speed.
And as far as sporting good are concerned, this happens with baseballs as well, your hopup has a greater effect on your projectile at certain velocities. If your going to fast, your hopup may not have any effect at all, too slow and you'll just be shooting upwards.
I used to serve volleyballs by 'cutting' the bottom of the ball horizontally, giving it the same hopup effect as a BB. It would go damn straight every time. Once I put so much spin on it it barely got any range at all, it was going to fall 3 feet short of the net. At about 5 feet in the air it got to such a low velocity that the hopup effect hit it's optimal point and it literally picked itself back up and hopped over the net.
By straight simple physics, your absolutely correct. But your failing to take into account that hopup drastically changes the simple physics of the BB.
And if you don't have good compression, your BB doesn't stay centered in your barrel And it ricochets down before it leaves, therefore giving you crap range, crap accuracy and crap consistency.