Russ Dou­glas tests JSB Hades pel­let ex­pan­sion, com­ing away im­pressed, with a pro­viso

Airgun World - - Family Values -

I’ve used JSB Ex­act pel­lets for some time, al­ways happy with their qual­ity and con­sis­tent down­range per­for­mance. Re­cently, I no­ticed t’in­ter­web go­ing daft over the new

JSB Hades, es­pe­cially for pest con­trol, so I thought I’d see for my­self what the fuss was about. The Hades do that seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble job; stay in­tact to fly true, right to their tar­get, then some­how ex­pand sig­nif­i­cantly upon im­pact to im­part max­i­mum en­ergy and give a hu­mane kill. Any over-pen­e­tra­tion at all ob­vi­ously means en­ergy wasted, so you don’t want the per­fect pest con­trol pel­lets to pen­e­trate too far.


The es­sen­tial fea­ture is ac­cu­racy, and a well-placed pel­let of any de­sign means a hu­mane kill, pro­vid­ing it ar­rives with suf­fi­cient en­ergy. There are umpteen schools of thought out there on what makes the per­fect pest­con­trol pel­let, in­clud­ing some brands bring­ing out hol­low-point pel­lets for ‘max­i­mum

“this was now a ques­tion of pro­tect­ing and not sac­ri­fic­ing our lone house­hold bucket”

ex­pan­sion’. The truth is that a pel­let’s lead ma­te­rial and de­sign is to with­stand first be­ing bashed about in the tin, then loaded – they’re not ex­actly del­i­cate items. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, this then trans­lates into most be­ing too sturdy ac­tu­ally to ex­pand upon im­pact with our prey, at least at sub-12 ft.lbs. power lev­els, any­way.

I was very kindly given a tin of .22 JSB Hades at this year’s Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show by Air Arms MD, Claire West. Since then, I’d heard Hades were prov­ing quite scarce due to pop­u­lar de­mand, plus due to the na­tional lock­down my lo­cal shops were closed. I paused my plans un­til I saw fel­low YouTu­ber AirRi­flePestCon­trol (ARPC) men­tion J.S Rams­bot­tom stocked them. One email later, Ed­ward there sold me a few tins, which ar­rived very promptly – re­sult!


Upon in­spec­tion, the Hades are out­wardly sim­i­lar in sil­hou­ette to the clas­sic di­ablo shape of JSB Ex­acts, sug­gest­ing JSB have cap­i­talised on what’s al­ready an ex­cel­lent de­sign. There’s one sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence with the Hades, the domed head has three re­cessed ra­dial ‘cav­i­ties’ or cut-outs. The the­ory is, these al­low the head to split open three ways like a blos­som­ing flower, to max­imise the im­pact. One thing we’re not af­ter is ac­tual frag­men­ta­tion, al­though that shouldn’t mat­ter if hu­mane head-shots are used. Yep, it al­ready sounds an im­pos­si­ble job for yon­der Hades.


I wanted to test both com­mon cal­i­bres at dif­fer­ent ve­loc­i­ties, but whereas my .177 Wild­cat Mk.1 is per­fect for most pest con­trol needs, it’s non-FAC. All it’s ‘miss­ing’ for these tests is the FAC ad­justa­bil­ity of the new Mk.3 – maybe one day. On the other hand, my .22


.177/11.4fpe/N/A .22/13.8fpe/#2 .22/21.5fpe/#3 .22/27.3fpe/#4 .22/28.9fpe/#5 4.50mm 5.5mm 5.5mm 5.5mm 5.5mm


DI­AM­E­TER BE­FORE 704/8 380/1 626/1 780/4 880/3 905/2


4.9 & 5.1mm 6.5 & 6.8mm 7.4 & 8.1mm 7.8 & 7.5mm 7.8 & 7.6mm 11.4fpe 5.1fpe 13.8fpe 21.5fpe 27.3fpe 28.9fpe

Air Arms S510XS is FAC, plus thanks to hav­ing a power ad­juster it’s the per­fect test-bench to launch Hades at dif­fer­ent ve­loc­i­ties.

I first weighed a ran­dom sam­ple of ten pel­lets of each cal­i­bre; the .22 av­er­aged 15.90 grains (de­sign = 15.89) and the .177 av­er­aged 10.36 grains (de­sign = 10.34). Hav­ing just sold my S510XS to a friend @Lev Levvin from the Airgun Fo­rum a day or two be­fore (thanks again, that man), this test­ing went on lit­er­ally the same morn­ing I pack­aged it up and took it to my near­est open gun shop, for the nec­es­sary RFD-RFD trans­fer. To­gether with lock­down travel lim­i­ta­tions, this meant I couldn’t see how the Hades shot at 50m com­pared to the ri­fle’s ex­ist­ing zero – yep I’m gut­ted about that, too.


Be­fore record­ing my own pel­let test­ing, I’d watched some from other chan­nels, not­ing some test­ing was more thor­ough than oth­ers, some was fun and some sur­pris­ing. It all left me want­ing more in­for­ma­tion, so I had a go my­self. I don’t have an en­closed back gar­den, so kept things sim­ple and fired pel­lets into a bucket of wa­ter in­doors, on cam­era of course. The ri­fles were held ver­ti­cally, to avoid an­gled wa­ter im­pact de­form­ing the head of the pel­lets at an an­gle, which would skew the pel­let de­for­ma­tion re­sults - lit­er­ally! Ei­ther way, I ex­pected mess, so laid a sheet of dou­bled card­board over the bucket with a cen­tral hole through which to shoot, to re­duce splash-back.



I’d missed ve­loc­ity in­for­ma­tion from some of those video re­views, so af­ter weigh­ing the pel­lets, I test-fired one mag’s-worth (eight shots) from the Wild­cat across the chrono’. I re­peated this with the .22 S510, only with just two shots this time on each of the five power lev­els. Chrono re­sults above:


I once saw a fas­ci­nat­ing episode of awe­some geek-heaven, US se­ries ‘Mythbuster­s’, to­tally dis­pelling the ur­ban myth that bul­lets trav­elled far in wa­ter, be­cause it’s just too dense – hence de­cid­ing wa­ter test­ing was the way ahead. Sadly, with no tall, clear per­spex tube to hand, to film the pel­let progress and an­tic­i­pated ex­pan­sion in slo-mo, a reg­u­lar bucket would have to do. Safety-wise this was now a ques­tion of pro­tect­ing and not sac­ri­fic­ing our lone house­hold bucket. So, I de­vised a pro­tec­tor for the bucket’s base, should any pel­lets hit it with force af­ter pen­e­trat­ing 10 inches of wa­ter.

I found a hard­wood off-cut, weighed it down with some me­tal, then wa­ter­proofed it with cling film. Prob­lem was, af­ter my first two ‘shots’, I re­moved it to help find the pel­lets, only to re­alise the mag’ I’d used had two empty cham­bers. I had won­dered why so lit­tle wa­ter had splashed-back (facepalm).


Take 2 … ex­cept in my haste I for­got to re­place the bucket pro­tec­tor and af­ter fir­ing

WEIGHT BE­FORE 10.36gr 15.90gr 15.90gr 15.90gr 15.90g

WEIGHT AF­TER 10.4 & 10.3 gr 16.0 & 15.9 gr 16.2 & 16.1 gr 16.0 & 15.5 gr 15.4 & 16.1 gr

Hades on board.

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