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pointy pellets

Posted by Rada on 2/2/2015 to articles

Pointed Pellets...
Worth the Trouble?



Last time I was testing the S200 I noticed that some pointed pellets were shooting rather well. So I thought how about an article on pointed pellets. I was interested how exactly accurate they could be. If accuracy decreased when the velocity was increased. Now I am sure most airgun shooters know the pointed pellet is not the one to use if top notch accuracy is expected. How ever, seems like most airgun shooters just down right ignore them all together. Talking to some shooters it seems to me the general consensus is they are to be used with low power air guns for very small game hunting. Until recently I pretty much ignored them myself. Except for few exceptions where they would be only one of a number of makes and styles I would test in an airgun. This time I thought I would do some what and extensive test.

So I looked around and found no less then nine different pointed pellets from a variety of makers. Some are as light as 7.1 grains to the massive 11.5 pellet from Beeman. Again using the S200 from Air Arms I knew I could adjust the power level to suit this test. At my disposal I had all sorts of power to choose from. I could borrow from T.G.A.G anything that had 6 foot pounds to some very zippy 21 foot pounds and close to the sound barrier. But I believe the pointed pellets would not shoot accurately at the high end of the velocity scale. I also reasoned if I used several different rifles the test would not be valid since I would only get a reading on accuracy out of each different rifle. And since most shooters normally do not even consider them for the more powerful rifles I adjusted the S200 to about 15 foot pounds or just over 900 feet per second. I used all sort of tricks to get the S200 in .177 to shoot this fast. It is easy to adjust the rifle to about 13.5 foot pounds, so lets just not reveal what I did to get my to shoot a little faster. I felt using the same rifle and only altering the power I would retain the same accuracy potential of the barrel pellet combination. Hopefully it is obvious that not all air rifles will shoot these same groups even though they may be set at the same power.

Since it would be too time consuming to adjust each pellet to obtain the desired foot pound rating, I used a 7.9 grain pellet to at least come close. Then I simply shot all the pellets at that setting. It was interesting to note that even though several pellets weight 7.9 grains none shot the same speed orgave the same foot pound reading. Looking at them it was quite obvious they have different bearing surfaces. With the statistics I included the length of each of the pellets. At first glance there was a significant difference between the makes, so I included the measurement. Here is how they stack up to one another.

Accuracy testing was shot at 20 yards at an indoor range.
Also here are the abbreviations I used.
c.t.c. = center to center;
fps = feet per second;
oal = over all length;
fpd = foot pounds

Gamo Magnum............. Ruko Accupoint .................JSB Straton .................Gamo Masterpoint
8.3 grains .... 7.9 grains ....... 8.2 grains ......................... 7.9 grains
1.077 c.t.c .. .473 c.t.c .. .367 c.t.c.. ............... 1.344 c.t.c
902.9 fps .......................900.1 fps. 905.2 fps 914.3 fps
.262 oal ......................... .280 oal .270 oal .273 oal
15.02 fpd .................14.21 fpd........ 14.92 fpd 14.66 fpd

Daisy Max Speed .......Beeman SilverArrow.........Beeman Silver Sting...........Daisy Quick Silver ..
7.1 grains 11.5 grains ...........8.6 grains...................... 7.9 grains ..
1.089 c.t.c .............. ...451 c.t.c ............. .511 c.t.c 1.182 c.t.c
937.7 fps ......................... .802.0 fps..... 901.9 fps 912.2 fps
....226 oal............................ .271 oal .235 oal .258 oal
... . .13.86 fpd...........................16.42 fpd... 14.82 fpd 14.60fps

Crossman pointed
7.9 grains
.632 c.t.c ..
919.1 fpd
.235 oal,,,,
14.82 fpd

The 15 foot pound setting for accuracy was won by JSB Straton. Unlike the .22 Straton this pellet is actually very pointed, the .22 is sort or trun cated at the point. Ruko pellet was also a surprise as that make looks too much like a Gamo. Even though it may be a Gamo with today‚€ôs labeling it is different and accuracy was very good. What did surprise me was Beeman‚€ôs Silver Arrow how accurate it was at this setting. I always try this pellet with a lot of .177 airguns and to date none have even showed a promise of a decent group. With the weight at 11.5 grains it also yielded the most foot pounds at 16.42. For me anything under half an inch center to center at 20 yards is usable. In that case only three qualify, JSB Straton, Beeman Silver Arrow, and Ruko Accupoint.

This next set of groups is shot at the same range but theS200 is set at 12 foot pounds.

.Gamo Magnum .............Ruko Accupoint ...............JSB Straton .............Gamo Materpoint
................... ..917 c.t.c . .... . .507 c.t.c ................ .213 c.t.c ............ .988 c.t.c
....................820 fps . ......... 832.6 fps ................. 816.8 fps ............. 840 fps
.....................12.39 fpd ........ 12.16 fpd .................. 12.15 fpd ................ 12.38 fpd

..........Daisy Max Speed . ....... Beemsn SilverArrow ....Beeman Silver Sting .... Daisy Quick Silver
....................807 c.t.c .625 c.t.c .648 c.t.c 1.032 c.t.c
....................864.9 fps 707.8 fps 822.7 fps 850.3 fps
...................11.79 fpd 12.79 fpd 12.92 fpd 12.68 fpd

Crossman pointed
.963 c.t.c
819.3 fps
11.77 fpd

This setting was a surprise. If the logic where the pointed pellets shoot better at less velocity this did not hold up to the 12 foot pound setting. Using the half inch accuracy criteria for useful pellets only one would qualify, the JSB Straton. Ruko Accupoint was close and the rest not all that useful.

This next set is also shot at the 20 yard mark and the rifle is set at 7 foot pounds.

... Gamo Magnum ..................Ruko Accupoint.................. JSB Straton .................Gamo Materpoint
...............509 c.t.c ............ . .323 c.t.c ................ .367c.t.c .............. . .585 c.t.c.
..............630.7 fps ........ ... .. 641.3 fps ................ 633.1 fps .............. 643.3 fps
..............7.33 fpd .. .. ..... 7.2 fpd ................ 7.2 fpd .............. 6.98fpd

........Daisy Max Speed... . . ... Beeman SilverArrow .. ..... Beeman Silver Sting ........Daisy Quick Silver
...............1.255 c.t.c ........ .794 c.t.c ............... .550 c.t.c .... 1.343 c.t.c
...............671.8 fps ........ 533.3 fps ................ 632.5fps ...... 659.8 fps
...............7.11 fpd ....... 7.26 fpd ............... 7.64 fpd .... 7.6fpd

........ Crossman pointed
.484 c.t.c
..648.3 fps
....7.37 fpd

Another surprise, I expected more pellets to shoot under the half inch group. Number one position was taken over from JSB by Ruko. And those were the only ones in less then one inch category. At first I was going to try another lower setting on the S200 but reasoned this is about the least ‚€úhunting‚€Ě velocity/foot pound I like to see. And only for the easiest target to dispatch like the English finch, or house sparrow. Interesting to note is only the JSB Straton shot with any sort of consistency, Ruko came in second and the rest are in the class of also tested. I would like to point out that JSB manufactures pellets and tests them in airguns provided to them. Since the manufacturer of S200, Zbrojovka is in the same country I would not be surprised if they have one rifle on hand for the pellets. That could explain the accuracy potential of the S200 with almost any JSB Bottom line is simple. Do not use the pellets for the very best accuracy expectations. However, do not discount them for some small pest control either. Testing is a must to see if they are useful out of your particular rifle velocity combination pellets.

Thanks,
Rada 


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