by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman M1 Carbine
Crosman M1 Carbine BB gun is a classic lookalike airgun.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Daisy BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Accuracy spoiler
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • H&N Smart Shot BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Results
  • Value
  • Summary

This is accuracy day for the Crosman M1 Carbine BB gun we are testing. I have tested this BB gun several times in the past, so I have a pretty good idea of what it can do, but there is always the hope that a new BB that hasn’t been tried will surprise us.

The test

I shot from 5 meters (16 feet 4 inches) using a UTG monopod rest to steady the gun. I was seated for this.

Daisy BBs

I have tested Daisy BBs in this gun several times in the past, so I didn’t test them again. The last time I tested them at 5 meters, I put 10 into 5.148-inches, with 9 landing in 1.354-inches. I think that one wild shot was a fluke and the 9 shots better represent what this gun will do with this BB. In fact, I learned something in this test that probably explains that wild shot. I’ll tell you about it in a moment.

Hornady Black Diamond BBs

The first BB I shot in this test was the Hornady Black Diamond. My first shot missed the Winchester Target Cube altogether and I wondered what happened. This BB gun was never that inaccurate!

Accuracy spoiler

When that happened I wondered what went wrong. Was the front sight loose? Hello — what’s this? The entire barrel is loose and rotates on its axis! The front sight flops side-to-side about a third of an inch. That could explain a lot of things, including that one wide shot with the Daisy BBs I just mentioned. I knew I had to do something about it if I was going to get any accuracy from the gun.

After discovering that, I purposely rotated the barrel all the way to the right after the gun was cocked each time. That should at least give some consistency.

I loaded another Black Diamond BB (to get back to 10 in the magazine) and shot four times. From the sound I could tell I was hitting the target cube, but where was not obvious. So I walked to the target and saw 4 holes inside the black bull! Okay, that works! The final group is larger, but still not bad for this gun.

Ten Black Diamond BBs went into 1.701-inches at 5 meters. Nine are in 1.133-inches, so not much different than the Daisys.

Hornady target
Ten Hornady Black Diamond BBs went into 1.701-inches at 5 meters, with 9 in 1.133-inches.

Air Venturi Steel BBs

The next BB I tested was the Air Venturi steel BB They were not as accurate as the Hornadys. Ten went into 2.357-inches at 5 meters, and you can see that the group is much more open.

Air Venturi target
Ten Air Venturi Steel BBs went into 2.357-inches at 5 meters.

H&N Smart Shot BBs

The last BB I tested was the copper-plated lead H&N Smart Shot lead BB. One reader asked about them and wondered if they would feed through the M1 Carbine magazine, since it doesn’t have a magnet. I thought they would, but this was the first time I have tried to shoot them in this gun.

They feed perfectly! You can hear they are going out a little slower, but the M1 Carbine has enough power for them. Ten went into 1.886-inches at 5 meters, with 9 going into 1.212-inches. That’s not good enough to justify the additional expense, in my book.

Smart Shot target
Ten Smart Shot lead BBs went into 1.886-inches at 5 meters. Nine of them are in 1.212-inches.

Results

Well, this M1 Carbine has not mysteriously grown more accurate over the years. It has maintained its power, which is good, and the coolness quotient is off the chart! I still regard it as a special BB gun that I enjoy more for what it copies than how well it shoots. But these guns will all be different, so nothing says that another one can’t be more accurate.

Value

I will say that at the Findlay show I attended last Saturday, I was surprised to see asking prices for these guns have risen in past few years. Guns with magazines that used to fetch $90 are now being offered for $150. And I saw a ridiculous price, as well — over $500 for a gun with a Croswood stock! I didn’t see any wood-stocked Carbines at the show, but there probably was at least one. If the plastic-stocked gun goes for $150, the wood-stocked one should fetch about $250. My own gun is in good condition with a lot of finish wear, but it also has the original box that ought to command a premium.

Summary

This is not a BB gun you buy to shoot targets. It’s meant for fun, and will hit a soda can if it isn’t too far away. This gun is nice because of the M1 Carbine that it replicates so well.