Hornady Black Diamond BBs: Part 2
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• The test
• 499 — Precision Ground Shot
• 499 — Daisy Premium Grade BBs
• 499 — Hornady Black Diamond BBs
• 880 — Precision Ground Shot
• 880 — Daisy Premium Grade BBs
• 880 — Hornady Black Diamond BBs
• Overall evaluation
Today, we’ll continue the report on Hornady Black Diamond BBs and look at the accuracy. For this test I selected the same 2 BB guns that were used for the velocity test — the Daisy Avanti Champion 499 and the ever-popular Daisy 880 multi-pump.
The groups were all 10-shot groups, shot from 5 meters (16 feet, 4 inches). I was seated and used a UTG Monopod. This monopod is as steady as the best bipods I’ve seen — and better than most. You may find that difficult to believe, but I’ll do a separate report on its use very soon and show you how I use it to make it so steady. For all practical purposes, this was similar to shooting off a sandbag rest.
I’ll tell you now that there were no called fliers in this test. There was one group when I had several called fliers, but I threw it out and reshot the group with that BB.
499 — Precision Ground Shot
First up is the 499, shooting Avanti Precision Ground Shot. As you know, the 499 is the world’s most accurate BB gun and is also the only gun used in the world championship BB gun matches. Ten BBs went into 0.26 inches at 5 meters. This isn’t the best group I’ve shot, but it’s probably representative. There are kids who can do better than this offhand!
499 — Daisy Premium Grade BB
Daisy Premium Grade BBs that came next out-shot the Precision Ground Shot! That isn’t supposed to happen, and I’ve never seen it before, despite doing several similar tests over the years. And, since it was the first Precision Ground Shot group that got a second chance because of called fliers, I have to acknowledge this BB as the best in this test. Ten BBs went into 0.209 inches at 5 meters.
Ten Daisy Premium Grade BBs shot from the 499 at 5 meters made this 0.209-inch group. The group is larger than the hole appears, though these 10 BBs did seem to go to almost the same place every time.
499 — Hornady Black Diamond BB
The final BB shot from the 499 is the star of this report — the Hornady Black Diamond BB. Ten of them went into a group that measures 0.321 inches between centers. It’s a good group, but it’s not in the same category as the first 2 groups.
Now, it’s time to switch to a more conventional BB gun. I used a new scoped Daisy 880 for the next 3 targets and made no adjustments to the scope as I shot. I pumped the gun 4 times for each shot because it was shooting pretty fast on 5 pumps during the velocity test.
880 — Precision Ground Shot
Avanti Precision Ground Shot fired from the 880 scattered everywhere! I thought I was going to need a larger trap! Ten of them made a group that measures 1.644 inches! I thought I knew what was wrong; and when I shot the other 2 BBs, it was confirmed. This BB is too large for the 880’s bore! It does pass through, but the rifle doesn’t like it one bit!
880 — Daisy Premium Grade BB
Once again, the Daisy BB beat the Precision Ground shot. This time, however, it came as no surprise, for this BB is designed for this kind of gun. Ten went into 0.807 inches at 5 meters. While it doesn’t compare to what this BB did in the 499, it was still the best BB in the 880.
880 — Hornady Black Diamond BB
And, finally, the star — the Black Diamond BB. In the 880, Black Diamonds went into a group that measures 0.872 inches between centers. It’s not much different than the Daisy BB group, except for one shot that went high.
I would say that Black Diamond BBs have demonstrated they belong with the best BBs on the market. You have to bear in mind that measuring BB groups is a best-guess effort because the BBs tear holes in the target paper that are hard to see. Yes, this target was backed by stiff cardboard. BBs are just difficult to measure. The one saving grace is that all measurement errors are probably made in the same direction, so they cancel out one another in the end. But I wouldn’t want to be a scorer at the world BB gun championships!
From this point on, I’ll include Hornady Black Diamond BBs in many BB gun tests, just like I do the other premium brands. I’ll assume everyone knows about this test or can refer back to it if there’s a question.
And, finally, isn’t it interesting how good the Daisy Premium Grade BBs did in this test — especially in the 499? I’ve always known they’re good, but never before have they actually beat the Avanti Precision Ground Shot.