by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Black Diamond?
- The test
- Springfield Armory M1 Carbine
- Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action
- Daisy Avanti 499 Champion
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.