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Crosman Fireball Pellets


Crosman Premier pellets are my favorite all-around pellet, as well as the favorite of most airgun field target shooters.  They’re an excellent design, and Premier quality control is second to none- shape and weight variation between pellets is minimal. The .20 caliber Premiers are the best .20 caliber pellet available, period.

But not all pellets with the Crosman name are of the same high quality as the Premiers. Case in point: Crosman Fireballs. These complex looking pellets consist of a lead base with a small steel BB inserted in a hollow point. They’re advertised as having superior penetration, which is kind of silly, as a lead or lead alloy pellet is hard enough to penetrate any game you’re reasonably pursue with an air gun. Adding that steel ball just increases the chance of a ricochet- not a good thing. And steel, being lighter than lead, lowers the ballistic coefficient of the pellet. And should the BB get loose in the barrel, it’ll scratch it badly.

If you look at the photo above, you’ll see what a lot of Fireball purchasers have been complaining about- poor quality control.  Some pellets are constructed off-center, which isn’t going to help accuracy. Others have large amounts of lead flashing still attached. Many are simply malformed.Do a Google search on Crosman Fireball and you’ll find a lot of similar photos and complaints.

Pellets with a steel ball have been around for at least 50 years, and have never quite caught on. They’re more expensive than all-lead pellets, and in every instance I’ve seen, suboptimal. That doesn’t seem to stop manufacturers from marketing them. Besides the Fireball, you can buy Gamo Rockets, and there may be one or two others still on the market I’m not aware of. Should you get the urge to buy a tin out of curiousity, go right ahead. Just don’t put them in the good airgun of yours!


  1. Terminal Velocity wrote:

    It’s a shame they had trouble with these pellets. You can’t doubt it was a good idea but they just didn’t have good QC. I’d like to see these come back on the market after some improvements. I see this pellet good for it’s armor piercing qualities. Well for an airgun anyways.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 1:11 am | Permalink
  2. Plinkerton wrote:

    You touched on this in the article, but it bears repeating. THESE PELLETS ARE DANGEROUS! If you have a direct hit on something solid (rock, brick, steel, etc.), the lead part of the pellet splatters, releasing the BB, which of course bounces back at HIGH VELOCITY. I speak from experience here, these pellets are a BAD idea from a safety perspective and perform worse than most quality pure lead pellets. It’s a gimmick, save yer money and buy some JSBs, FTSs, or Premiers.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
  3. mje wrote:

    That’s a point that definitely deserves repeating.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  4. mark simms wrote:

    Quality control is agreat point,but as far as ricochets are concerned thats the responsability of the shooter. How many BBguns are out there anyway?

    Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

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