So, many following may know I am an Avid Airgunner. Not your Red Ryder style, but high power PCP Air Rifles. Just like with "real" rifles, there are varies styles of projectiles or "bullets" available for these weapons.
The most common ammunition for these are generally pellets. Back in the day, our Red Ryder's, Daisy's, and Crossman's shot .177 caliber round BB's. Many folks started shooting pellets for more accuracy, and to provide expansion on down-range targets for hunting.
Nowadays, there are many different styles of pellets, slugs, BB's, darts, and even arrow shooting modifications available.
That's the story of this post. A manufacturer (Predator Pellets) located here in Colorado has come out with some new pellets designed for greater expansion. I thought it would be fun to test the expansion, and also compare for accuracy against my current favorite. I was pleased that the new pellets weigh the same as my favorites, just have a slightly different shape, with three cutouts, designed to provide more rapid expansion.
I generally use JSB Diabolo .30 caliber, 44.75 grain pellets in my rifle. I've tried a few others, including the same pellet in 50 grains, but it seems to like these the best, typically able to put 20 pellets in a row into a group smaller than an inch at 30 yards or 50 yards, and about the same, even at 100 yards.
The initial setup was a 2 lb. Block of Crayola Modeling Clay. Distance about 10 yards away. Expansion and penetration testing is normally done using Ballistic Gel (a 10% or 20% mix designed to mimic the consistency of human flesh). I didn't have any of that handy, and it's a bit of a bother to make, so I settled for a quick trip to Walmart for the Clay instead. This is good enough for me to get some comparison data at least.
(Hades, Entrance side)
I have to admit, I was actually quite surprised to see both pellets blast right through the entire block of Clay (about 6 inches)! I was hoping to capture them after the shot to see the expansion.
(Hades, Exit side)
Here's a quick video view. Holy sschmolies! I need to get this on a tripod to record the impact!
So, next I shot my old favorite, the JSB Diabolo with similar results.
(Here is the JSB Diabolo, Entrance).
And here is the JSB Diabolo, Exit). If you're paying attention, you'll notice the JSB exit a little larger than the Hades was, more about this later.
Here they are side by side. Hades Left, JSB Diabolo Right.
Here's a video walk around of the two of them. Impressive!
Next, I decided to compress the clay back down again, but this time put the two blocks end to end to see if I could capture the pellets afterwards.
And it worked! This time, the Hades stopped about a half inch from exiting the first block.
Check out this wound channel after I split the block open using a piece of wire to cut through it cleanly. The pellet was lodged less than half an inch from exiting, and Wow, did it expand (scroll farther to see).
Next up was the JSB Diabolo. As expected, it got even more penetration, passing completely through the first block and about 2 1/2 inches into the second block.
Again an impressive entrance and wound channel.
Here is where it entered the second block.
Here you can see where I opened up the first block a bit to see the wound channel and you can see where the JSB penetrated further into the second block which I split in half. I was also able to recover this pellet. If you look closely or zoom in, you can see it at the end of the channel.
Now for those of you that know me, you have to know that I couldn't resist testing the larger .35 caliber rifle as well, lol. It also shoots JSB Diabolo Domed pellets, but 81 grain this time. (Nope, they don't make the new Hades for this caliber yet, but I am pestering them!)
Here is the large entrance hole from the .35 cal.
As expected, it passed completely through the first block, here is the entrance going into the second block.
The .35 cal JSB almost went all the way through the second block (only about 1 1/2 inches short).
So, what did we learn? The new Hades certainly has some impressive expansion which would make it a tremendous small game pellet (and how it's advertised). The JSB Diabolo has better penetration capability, so each has it's uses. Here are some pictures of the expansion.
First, is a picture of the recovered (expanded) pellets on the left, and the un-fired pellets on the right. The top is .30 cal JSB Diabolo. The center is the .30 cal Hades, and the bottom is the .35 cal JSB Diablo. The Hades certainly performed as advertised on this test. I wouldn't rely on a single test to determine reliability, but this expansion was certainly impressive.
Next, check out the closeups of the Hades expansion from this clay. Wow! You can't tell from these pictures, but it was down to about 25% of original height, and imagine those sharp edges spinning around, yikes!.
Ahh, but what about accuracy you may ask. That was also my bigger concern.
I took a few shots at 30 yards and 50 yards. Not able to go out farther today, but will eventually. I'm sure it's capable of even better, I was pressed for time today and didn't even get a bench and rest setup, just laid down on our steep, uncomfortable driveway with a bipod. Definitely pulled a few off a bit, but overall very happy with it at this distance.
10 shots at 30 yards for each of the two targets on the left with the JSB Diabolo's, and 10 shots on each of the right side targets with the Hades. That 10 shot group on the bottom right with the Hades is one of the best groups I think I've shot with ANY ammo.
And this one is 10 shots at 50 Yards, left side with JSB Diablo and 10 Shots Right side with Hades. I definitely pulled that one shot really bad low right with the Hades, my bad, not theirs.
I'll take it. Certainly accurate for hunting small to medium game at this distance. Now to get time to test it on the bench and at 75-100 yards and farther to see if it can hold.
Either way, most of my shooting is under 50 yards, so I'll be buying up a good stock of these to have around.
Thumbs up Predator Pellets, better get the presses rolling!