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Ammo Crosman Black Widow BBs

Crosman Black Widow BBs

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Black Widow BBs
Crosman Black Widow BBs.

This report covers:

  • Black Diamond?
  • Accuracy
  • The test
  • Springfield Armory M1 Carbine
  • Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action
  • Daisy Avanti 499 Champion
  • Summary

Today I’m taking a look at the new Crosman Black Widow BBs. With the wonderful new BB guns coming out these days, we need all the premium BBs we can get. The precision BB market didn’t really get hot until the last 20 years or so. I attribute most of that to Daisy finally deciding to sell to the public their Avanti Champion 499 and the precision BBs that go with it.

Whatever the reason, we have BB guns today that are very accurate and they need good ammunition. Crosman has made their Copperhead BB for more than a half century, but it has always been on the low side of the precision BB market. Copperheads are better than some Mexican and Russian BBs I have seen, but they aren’t as uniform as many of the newer brands that have come to the market in the last 10 years.

Black Diamond?

So the obvious question is — are these new BBs from Crosman the same as Hornady Black Diamond BBs? They are both made in China, where most premium BBs are made today.

I’m not a laboratory that can do exotic tests, but I will say this — both of them are black! I weighed five Hornady Black Diamond BBs and each of them weighed exactly 5.3 grains on my scale. Each of five Crosman Black Widows weighed exactly 5.2 grains on the same scale. Five Black Diamonds measured between 0.170 and 0.1725-inches in diameter. Five Black Widows measured between 0.171 and 0.173-inches in diameter.

The only substantive difference I can see is that Crosman puts 1,000 BBs in a bottle and Hornady puts 1,500. They may be exactly the same, but I don’t know of a way to tell.


So I decided to shoot the new Black Widows in my three most accurate BB guns and see how they did. This test still won’t tell us whether these are the same as Hornady BBs or not, but it will tell us if they are premium.

The test

I shot from 5 meters, which is 16.4 feet. I was seated and the guns rested on a UTG monopod. I shot 10 shots from each BB gun and will compare the target to the best group previously obtained from that gun. Let’s go!

Springfield Armory M1 Carbine

I started with the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine, which is my third most accurate BB gun. In the accuracy test of that gun it put 10 Smart Shot BBs into 0.533-inches at 5 meters. For interest, it also put 10 Black Diamonds into 0.764-inches at 5 meters.

M1 Carbine Smart Shot group
When I tested the M1 Carbine previously, it put 10 Smart Shot into 0.533-inches at 5 meters.

Today the M1 Carbine put 10 Crosman Black Widows into 0.754-inches. That so close to what it did with Hornady BBs (0.764-inches) that I have to call it a draw.

The M1 Carbine the put Black Widows in 0.754-inches at 5 meters.

So, for the M1 Carbine there is not much difference between the Crosman BB and the Hornady BB. Let’s look at another gun.

Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action

Next up is my second most accurate BB gun, the Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action BB gun. This one was incredibly accurate with BBs when I recently tested it. The best group it shot was 10 Umarex Precision Steel BBs that went into 0.212-inches at 5 meters. Hornady Black Diamonds were close in that same test, at 0.383-inches.

Cowboy Lever Action group
The Umarex Cowboy Lever Action BB gun put 10 Umarex Precision Steel BBs in 0.212-inches at 5 meters.

So, how about the Black Widows? What did they do? Well, 10 of them made a 0.517-inch group at 5 meters. While it is larger, it’s still a great group for a BB gun.
Cowboy Lever Action Black Widow group
Ten Black Widow BBs went into 0.517-inches at 5 meters. It’s not as good as the gun did with other BBs but it’s still pretty good.

Daisy Avanti 499 Champion

The last gun I will test the new BB in is my most accurate BB gun — the Daisy Avanti 499 Champion. I don’t have a measurement from the comparison target, but it is placed next to a dime.

499 group
I don’t know the dimensions, but you can see the size group the Daisy 499 got with its regular precision ammo.

With the new Black Widows the 499 got an equally impressive group. And this is one I can measure. Ten BBs went into 0.142-inches at 5 meters. It’s better than the previous 499 group!

499 Black Diamond group
The Daisy 499 put 10 Black Widows into 0.142-inches at 5 meters. I only show the dime because it’s in the other picture that I can’t change. This one is worthy of the new gold dollar that is even smaller than the trime.


The Crosman Black Widow is a premium BB, no doubt about it. Is it the same as a Hornady Black Diamond? I don’t know. But what I do know it it’s accurate and consistent. It costs about one-third more than BBs of similar quality, but if it’s the most accurate in some of your airguns it’s the way to go.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

70 thoughts on “Crosman Black Widow BBs”

  1. BB, —- I do not like black BB,s. Compared to Avanti ground shot, they are harder to see in my magazines. The Avanti BB,s can be seen in flight (outdoors, on a sunny day). They look like tracers. Black BB,s are much harder to see, under the same conditions. ——–Ed

  2. I noticed the Crosman Black Widow BBs are listed by Pyramyd AIR as weighing 5.23 grains- very close to what BB weighed them at. I’m curious about the ASG Blaster Steel BBs, Pyramyd AIR lists them as being 5.4 grains while most others are 5.1 grains (including the Daisy Match Grade Avanti Precision Ground shot but we know they actually weight more than that). Might not mean anything or could be a difference in the alloy, but if they really are heavier that could mean their diameter is a little more than usual.

    I mostly use Daisy Match Grade but I’m always on the lookout for another good BB to use in my ’38B with the 499 shot tubes. Judging by how well the Crosman Black Widows performed, they are next on my list.

    • Cobalt,

      That stock is insane gorgeous! Custom made I would have to assume? Is that a 499 shot tube sticking out the muzzle end? If so,…. interesting build.

      Good Day to you and to all,……… Chris

      • Cobalt327,

        Like Chris, I am curious as to what is in that beautiful flame maple stock. The action screams Daisy lever-action BB gun, but the barrel looks anything but.


  3. BB
    I think you meant 5 meters here not 10 meters.

    “So, how about the Black Widows? What did they do? Well, 10 of them made a 0.517-inch group at (10) meters. While it is larger, it’s still a great group for a BB gun.”

    When you go down to the picture of the target in the description below it you do say 5 meters. I was thinking to myself why would BB do 10 meters all of a sudden when all the others have been 5 meter.

  4. B.B.,

    At .5 cents apiece, the Black Widows are nearly as expensive as Avantis and Dust Devils, each of which is .66 cents apiece. Nevertheless, if they are as accurate than the Avantis, then to some shooters it would be worth it.


    • Michael,

      Maybe I’m mis-reading your post, but I think you have the decimal in the wrong place. At $4.99 per 1,000, these work out to 1/2 cent apiece ($0.005), or 1.3 cents each ($ 0.013) if you add average shipping ($7.99 for me).

      Jim M.

      • Jim, I caught that too! At first (before I did the math in my head) I was thinking geez .5 cents a shot!! Can’t even think about the cost of shooting them through a full auto bb gun at that price lol.

        BB, Thanks for this report! Very excited about all these bb choices! And not just junk bbs, but nice bbs.


        • Michael,

          Thanks for clarifying. Sometimes people write the decimal version and still add the word “cents” after. It seemed like you were saying these were expensive at that price — and I guess you could say they are, when compared to “regular” BBs — so I interpreted it as a typo. Mea culpa!

          Happy Independence Day!


          • Jim,

            (My apologies in advance, but obsessing over grammar and usage is unavoidable for me given my occupation for over 30 years as a college English professor.)

            First, here is an example from BB’s text above: “Ten BBs went into 0.142-inches at 5 meters.” Key is his correct use of the plural “inches.” “0.145 of an inch” would have been fine, but what he wrote is better, in my professional opinion. “0.142-inch” would have been incorrect.


            • Michael,

              Uh oh! I must be on my best behavior now! You should see the smile on my face. Although I often fail at it myself, I do very much appreciate proper grammar, in spoken and written form. Please accept my apologies. I am so accustomed to seeing improper usage that I did not realize “.5 cents” was correct, and mistakenly read it as “five cents”. And, although my placing the period outside the closing quotation mark in that last sentence is not correct (since I’m not British), I stubbornly do it that way by choice. (smile)

              Thank you for taking time to clarify this. I always appreciate the opportunity to learn something. Now I can truly say “I have learned something today.” (smile)

              Have a great day!


              • Jim,

                I feel I went far overboard, and I believe I am the one who should apologize. I should have left it all at work. All of us here are here to have fun, not be lectured to by a pretentious pedant.

                I am sorry.


              • Gunfun1,

                Deciphering is indeed a lot of fun. But I now see I went too far.

                And you are absolutely correct that understanding what one means is an important part of communication. It is probably the most important single part.


                • Michael
                  Sometimes it just doesn’t come out sounding right.

                  No bother to me. If that was the worst thing I had to be worried about I would be happy. And back to the blog. 🙂

  5. “Ten BBs went into 0.142-inches at 5 meters.”
    That’s some awesome accuracy! I wonder if some of the manufacturers will start to tighten up the tolerances on their barrels to take advantage of these precision BBs? I hope so. =>
    take care,
    P.S. Wishing a blessed Independence Day to all!

  6. Hey All,

    I’m still laughing Out Loud!
    €, ¥, £, A$, $, or ¢…0.0005, or 0.005, or 0.05, or even 0.50 of any of those currency is still way cheap. I frequently throw as much $5.00 bills down range with every single trigger pull as do many PB shooters! I think unless you have money to burn shooting higher priced ammunition can help make you a more engaged shooter.
    I know it makes me way more mindful of every action before, during, and after the completion of the shot cycle. Now please DON’T get me wrong their are times when I also thouroughly ENJOY hosing down a watermelon or two on full automatic…usually shot in bursts… Can’t HELP myself I guess!!!!!


  7. B.B.,

    Really nice targets Tom!

    I is great we are all here in the Golden Age of Pellet Guns and now it appears that we are also living in the Golden Age of BB guns!!!!!!
    What’s not to like about that!
    It gives me a glimmer of hope that the Shooting Sports may survive for the foreseeable future after all!


      • Gunfun1,

        Also taking a nonshooter to the range or inviting one to your, at home range, usually gets them hooked.
        We need to introduce more women and especially young girls to the safe shooting sports!


        • Shootski
          I’m doing my part. Wife and daughters both shoot.

          Matter of fact a quick story. My oldest daughter and her husband was at the town picnic and they had the shoot out the red star air gun game there.

          The guy running the stand goes here’s how you aim. My daughter goes I got it. Then started shooting. Well she finished and the guy goes well you do know how to shoot. She saved the papers (she shot 2 different times) and brought them when she came over to the house. They was just verily hanging on by about a 1/4 inch of paper. When she did it again the second time with same results the guy ended up giving her a small stuffed teddy bear. But yep my daughter was proud of those two target stars. Oh and she shot better than her husband. How about that. 🙂

  8. Folks, Have the safest possible 4th of July with friends and family. One of my pet gripes about pneumatics especially, is determining if weapon is loaded or not. Right now, I have to shoot a round out of my airguns to unload them. A nice feature of the breakbarrel design at least allows the shooter to easily and safly check its condition. Be nice to have a chamber clearing mechanism, but short of that, be careful out there!

    • Roberto,

      I will 2nd that “everyone have a safe 4th”. As for “clearing” a pneumatic,… if in doubt,… point at ground and shoot. Pneumatics and PCP’s in general are so much nicer to shoot (easily) and be accurate. If I do not know if my gun is chambered or not,… that is a pretty good indication that I should not be shooting at that given time.

      Good extended holiday to all,…………. Chris

    • The nice thing about a PCP is that you can de-cock the bolt, making it perfectly safe to leave a pellet in the chamber. Just remember next time you shoot, not to load a second pellet on top of the one already chambered. With my Urban, that is easy to do. I can tell though the second I load that 2nd pellet. when you are used to your rifle, you can tell immediately that you messed up. Then it’s down to the basement with a cleaning rod to push them out of the barrel. I am able to de-cock my Diana RWS 34 too but it’s more of a pain to do. If you have children in your household, then it wouldn’t be wise to leave a pellet in the chamber.

      • See George — that Diana 34 is still causing you headaches. It IS a pain to de-cock and unload. I hate to see you put up with that. Tell you what, I’ll buy it from you. I know, I know, I’m a glutton for punishment….It’s just a “thing”. Email and let me know how much it would be to get that thing out of your house so you’ll feel better. Jim (at) jemellon (dot) com. (Smile!)

        Happy Independence Day!

        Jim M.

        • Jim M,

          Happy 4th to you! I don’t de-cock the Diana anymore because I have not used it since acquiring the Urban PCP a year ago this spring. My Diana RWS 34P .22 is a very nice break barrel rife though. Just because I’m not able to shoot it as accurately as needed doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value tp me.

          I have written a report describing all the details of B.B.’s six part review and repair of my Diana in 2016. This will stay with the rifle as a historical document. Because of what B.B. did for me and the blog by reviewing and testing this Diana, I won’t be able to part with it now. It has sentimental value for me. I can’t say that I will never part with it, but it is not very likely.

          I only have one daughter and one son, either of whom are interested in guns or shooting. I have one grand-daughter who is 25 years of age and is too busy to be interested. So I don’t know who will end up with my guns and rifles. My powder burners are in my gun cabinet and haven’t been shot in over thirty years. I can’t shoot them where I live and I’m not motivated to drive anywhere to shoot them. I’m just happy to be able to shoot my airguns now.


          • Geo,

            I completely understand. If you don’t mind, I’ll probably just “remind” you every now and then that you have a willing buyer, should you ever decide you could part with that Model 34. (Smile)

            I turned to airguns because I seldom have, or want to take the time to drive to a range and shoot my powder-burners. I am glad you found airguns too, to still be able to enjoy shooting.

            Have a great day!


            • Thanks Jim, and if I ever do contemplate selling the 34, I’ll think of you first. Yup, I do enjoy my airguns now. I know my Urban is probably more accurate than my Winchester .22 auto. Pellets are cheaper than bullets and I shoot more pellets than I ever did bullets. The other nice thing about my airguns is I can shoot them in the basement if it’s too hot, or too cold outside. That helps to stay in practice.

              • Geo,

                I agree — I shoot in my basement too. I believe shooting airguns, particularly springers, has made me a better shot. On the rare occasion I do get out to the powder-burner range, I do not feel I have “lost the touch” — trigger control, breathing, etc., all seem to not deteriorate like they used to, because of the airgun practice in-between those sessions.


      • Geo,

        I have shot 2 pellets from the .25 M-rod and the .25 Red Wolf when using the shot trays. No problem. It was accidental on my part, not intentional. The Red Wolf pellets landed about 1″ lower and about an inch apart,…. which surprised me. At any rate, I would not rod out a double feed in your gun. Just some first hand FYI for what it is worth.


        • Chris,
          Yes, when I first got the Urban I had some problems until I learned how to cock the bolt properly. I was getting miss-fires and a some double feeds. I also thought I was having an issue with the magazine because when I pushed the bolt forward to load a pellet, I was getting resistance.

          After shooting a few mags through it, I found that sometimes I wasn’t pulling the bolt ALL the way back causing the miss-fires. Then when I pulled it back again, it loaded a pellet on top of the one already in the chamber. I didn’t realize it at the time, and I did shoot a few double loaded pellets. They did shoot out okay, just not exactly at the POA.

          Now I know what I was doing wrong and have a good feel for how the pellets feed into the chamber. I don’t ever have a miss-fire any more. Once in a while I will feel a little resistance when I push the bolt forward and I just reach up and wiggle the magazine a little and then the pellet feeds in smoothly.

          If I get a double feed now, it’s because I have loaded a pellet into the chamber and not made the shot, then de-cocked the bolt. Then the next time I go out to shoot a pest, I forget that I had already previously loaded a pellet and when I cock the bolt, another pellet is loaded on top. But I can feel it right away and know not to push the bolt all the way forward. Then I take the rifle down to the basement and use my cleaning rod to carefully push the pellets back out of the chamber. I do not ram the cleaning rod in to dislodge the pellets. Also, I have a nylon jag on the end of the rod.

          I have to remember to remove the magazine before I de-cock the bolt with a pellet in the chamber. That insures that there will not be a second pellet loaded when I re-cock the bolt. These are all things that must be learned through experience.

          • Geo,

            Yes,… I (can) relate to learning through experience. I had/shot air guns in my youth,… but had little instruction or guidance. Now,… it is a different story.

            Thank you B.B. (and to all here) for that!

            Everyone have a happy and safe 4th. A fellow at work bought $3,000.00 worth of “home” fireworks this year. I am waiting to see if he shows up at work Monday still in tact,… or at all. I did not get the impression that he has had any long term experience with massive displays. He once said that mama “made” the big money and his was to “play” with.


    • 1stBlue,

      Roberto said, “One of my pet gripes about pneumatics especially, is determining if weapon is loaded or not.”
      Chris USA and Geo791 responded with some good information to keep PCP shooters safe.

      I will add one more thought to how to keep shooters and others around PCPs Safer:
      NEVER treat a PCP as unloaded, unless it is BOTH depressurized (or precharged cylinder/bottle removed; if so equiped) and the pellet/Bullet/magazine are all removed!

      The bolt open is a good field/range expedient, but for storage (or when you unhand the weapon and leave it untended) realize that even with no round loaded that ANYTHING introduced to the bore can be launched with sufficient force to kill or maim ( synonyms: injure, wound, hurt, disable, put out of action, incapacitate, impair, mar, mutilate, lacerate, disfigure, deform, mangle!) even a liquid ejected from the bore can penetrate the skin and prove fatal!

      Be mindful out there!


  9. Happy Independence Day B.B., and everyone here.

    I hope each of you has a wonderful day, an endless supply of barbecue, fireworks, pellets, and fun things to use for targets! (smile!)

    Jim M.

  10. Read you guys comment’s.

    If I have a pellet loaded and I have to set the gun down and walk away for even a minute. I shoot that round from the gun first. I just always no matter what want that gun so it is a empty gun.

    And yes never assume the gun is empty. Always think that it is loaded until you check or fire the gun.

    • GF1,
      I understand what you are saying about making sure the rifle is safe and not leaving a pellet loaded into the chamber. If I had any young kids in the area, I would do the same. But in my particular case, I am watching for starlings and grackles raiding my bird feeders. They are so wary and don’t stay long enough most times for me to get out to my garage with my Urban to get a shot. Sometimes I am able to to flip the scope covers up and cock the hammer, but then off they fly before I can take the shot. Then I just remove the magazine and de-cock the hammer, leaving the pellet in the chamber. If it is humid, I bring my Urban back into the house and lean it up in the corner. No one in the house will touch it, so it is perfectly safe in my situation. I would sure hate to waste all those pellets by shooting each time I cocked the rifle to shoot a pest bird. 😉

      • Geo
        I pest shoot alot. If I have to make sure I got a gun loaded just to make the shot in a hurry it’s probably not a shot I’m going to take. Just the way I have been.

        I know what you mean though. But still it’s just a accident waiting to happen. And you know how that goes. If it can happen it probably will sooner or later.

  11. everyone—Now you know why you must always check muzzle loading fire arms to see if they are still loaded. Because of the slow loading time, many muzzleloaders were kept loaded at all times. ——Ed

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