Hammer Black Widow 3.0 Comparison

Welcome to Fill The Frames Bowling Services’ ball comparison report of the Hammer Black Widow 3.0. We continue to present more information to help you make a better choice in equipment replacements or additions.

Hammer Black Widow 3.0 2.500 .058 .016 (55° x 5-1/2” x 35°) • HK22 – Aggression Solid 500, 1000, 2000 Siaair
Comparison to Hammer Black Widow 2.0, Hammer Black Widow 2.0 Hybrid & Hammer Envy Tour
Using the same additive package as the 2.0 Solid, Hammer adds the newest base formulation (HK22) to the Black Widow line. Keep in mind, the 3.0 is not a replacement for the 2.0. It’s is another option that gives more and earlier traction that narrows the gap between the Widows and the big Asym Extreme Envy. We added the Envy Tour to this comparison to show the difference in the cores while having similar (but not exact) covers strengths. As with most Asyms, the 12 (RG 2.612) and 13 (RG 2.589) pound balls will have an alternate core (Diff of .043 and Asym of .011). This allows the performance to match the ball weight.

Hammer Black Widow 2.0 2.500 .058 .016 (45° x 5” x 25°) • Aggression Solid 500, 1000, 2000 Siaair
The original Black Widow changed the game for thousands of bowlers. The 2.0 was introduced on 11/19/2020. This ball was designed to get as close to the original motion on today’s lane conditioners. The release was and continues to be a success. The cover is easily adjustable to help a bowler fine tune the ball motion. The Aggression cover will combat the Medium to Heavy volumes.

Hammer Black Widow 2.0 Hybrid 2.500 .058 .016 (45° x 5” x 25°) • HK22 – Aggression Hybrid 500, 1000, 1500 Siaair/Crown Factory Compound
The HK22 base has opened up a world to all ready great ball motions and using it as a base for the Gas Mask core has produced what many are calling the Ball of the Year for 2023. It is cleaner and more angular than the Black Widow Ghost with better traction in oil. Surface changes are taken very well to match a bowlers release specs. Currently a go to ball for transition and friction away from the pocket.

Hammer Envy Tour 2.469 .034 .013 (45° x 4-1/2” x 35°) • Envy Solid 500, 1000 Siaair
On our Comparison Report for the Hammer Envy Tour (9/21/2023), we stated that this ball could be in many bowlers’ tournament bag as well as being a league choice. This is exactly what happened. The controlled power of the combination of the Envy Solid coverstock and the Obsession Tour core allows bowlers the best option for smoother ball reaction front to back and have a nice motion off the pattern. While blending out high ratio daily patterns the Envy Tour also manages flatter ratios as well, if not better.

The layout is slightly different and this is due to the D.O.T. and the ability to fine tune layouts even further.

Bonus Comparison – Hammer Scorpion Low Flare 2.474 .031 (4-1/4” x 30°) • Semtex Hybrid 500, 1000, 2000 Siaair
Since the 3.0 and Scorpion Low Flare were released together. FTF wanted to show a comparison between the two. You can find our Hammer Scorpion Low Flare Comparison Report on the FTF website.

Comparisons
Bowling on a fresh pattern for this center where the numbers are 12:1, under 24mls, bulk at 27’ and buffed to 48’ this provides a good taper both front to back and the side to side is tapered, also. 

Starting out with the Hammer Envy Tour with a refreshed to box surface, I had to start a bit more left than I would using my usual benchmark, the Hammer Purple Solid Reactive. The starting angles were pretty shallow; starting on 23, targeting 13 at the arrows, with a focal point to the center of the 6 pin (9 board) between 42’-44’. With a rolling controlled release, lining up was fast and carry didn’t take long. The flare was about 4-1/2” and the motion was smooth and continuous off the pattern.

Switching to the Black Widow 2.0 also with a refreshed box surface, it and the bigger core took over. To get to the pocket consistently, moving in was needed and striking was found with the feet at 34, targeting at 18 at the arrows and a more open focal point to the right side of the 6 pin. This was an 11/5 move that created steeper angles from the Envy Tour. Using the same release as the Envy Tour, I just kept moving. Moving more left to 36 (the highest bulk of conditioner), flat 10s showed up. I could adjust the release for more axis rotation and the 10s were kicked out. The total flare was 6”.

Changing to the shinier Black Widow 2.0 Hybrid, the angles were closed almost back to where I started with the Envy Tour, but the ball reaction was different as the Envy Tour is a slower responding cover to friction and the 2.0 Hybrid is much quicker and sharper when it sees friction. This is what some call a skid/flip reaction. FTF describes this as clean through the front and a quick/sharp reaction off the pattern and the flare measured again at 6”.

The Hammer Black Widow 3.0 had more flare (7-1/2”) as it kept hooking. This is what we believe is too much flare for what we were bowling on. The motion was a touch cleaner than the 2.0 Solid but when it saw friction, hook started and did start to roll forward when the ball got too far away from the pocket down lane. The alignment to strike was where the 2.0 started leaving flat 10s. Staying there and closing down the launch angle so the 3.0 is in the conditioner longer, the reaction was better and the pin carry increased. Simply put, for my matched speed I need more volume to use the 3.0 or keep it in the bulk more. A surface change is possible, but that’s every bowler’s choice to fine tune the reaction. Bowlers that are speed dominant on medium to lighter volumes and ones who bowl on volume that need a ball to help cut through the conditioner will be happy with the 3.0.  

Just to test from where I was with the 3.0 to where I could strike with the Hammer Scorpion Low Flare had me curious. The motion looked the same as the Low Flare report; however when it hit the pins is was almost an 8-10. This showed the core is trying but the cover needs some friction to change direction. Moving right to 26, targeting 15 and the focal was between the 6/10, the smooth motion front to back and a little pop from the Semtex Hybrid cover, gave a great reaction and excellent pin carry.  The flare was larger (4”) than previous low flare or tournament differential cored balls, but is less than the Upper-Mid and High Performance balls. It’s all a ration and relative to each other. 

Findings/Opinion
The Hammer Black Widow 3.0 is a continuation of the line and brings the evolution of HK22 to work with the Gas Mask core. There have been many Black Widows and the 3.0 will be a favorite among Hammer fans. It receives surface changes well. While FTF isn’t the biggest fan of polish and balls that are designed to cut through the conditioner, maybe a smoother grit or a touch of compound will fine tune the reactions if more volume is scarce in your area. This could be a tournament ball for those who have not had success with the biggest core numbers and cover combinations. The question from most- Is there enough difference between the 3.0 and the 2.0 Solid? I believe so. While I do have a slight difference in drilling numbers, a bigger change and possible surface adjustments would open the ball motion difference. Having a 3.0 and the Scorpion Low Flare is an interesting 2 ball combo for some bowlers. Ask your favorite retailer what could work in your benefit. If you are an FTF client and I have done an Arsenal Evaluation for you, you can contact us and we can see if any ball can fit in your ball selections.

You can find more information about HK22 https://brunswickbowling.com/products/hyperkinetic22

We hope enjoyed this review and got some information to help you make the choice to add the Hammer Black Widow 3.0 to your arsenal. Feel free to contact FTF with your questions. Please be specific, that way I can get you the best possible answer for you. Our best advice is to get an honest feedback on your skill set. This will determine your choice in equipment which can benefit you on the lanes. Understanding what you bowl on for the majority of the time helps greatly, too.  You can always contact me with any questions or schedule a consultation session on your current equipment. For more information, please visit the Coaching & Services page on our website at www.filltheframes.com or you may call or text messages to (310) 784-1901. Thanks, be well & safe!

As always, what you bowl on and more importantly your release numbers and skill set will determine your choice in equipment. You can always contact me with any questions or schedule a consultation session on your personal release specs or current equipment. For more information, please visit the Coaching & Consulting page on our website at www.filltheframes.com or you may call or text me at (310) 784-1901. Thanks, be well & safe!

Juan Fonseca
Fill The Frames Bowling Services