RANGE TO IMPACT 0 20m/22y 30m/33y 40m/44y 50m/55y 60m/66y
VELOCITY (FPS) / ENERGY (FPE)
905/28.9 (measured) 835/24.6 774/21.1 721/18.3 674/16.0 631/14.0 592/12.4
just two .177 pellets, the bucket started leaking everywhere, disaster! After draining and inspection, I saw no impact damage to the bucket’s base, just a clean crack, so can only assume the shock wave(s) alone of the .177 pellets impacting the water square-on might have caused the damage – school day number1. After hastily emptying and drying the bucket, I repaired the base with duct tape (another Mythbusters staple) both inside and out, before take 3. Finally, for the main event I fired two shots down into the water, from each rifle/power setting. Each time, I carefully recovered, dried and saved the pellets, in pre-labelled Ziploc bags for later examination. Having stepped down through the S510’s
ESTIMATED POWER DOWNRANGE
10m/11y #3.5 #3 #2.6 #2.3 #2 #1.8?
power levels during chronographing, I started at 13.8 ft.lbs., and reversed, gradually raising the power to maximum and nicely ending on a high note, as I think you’ll see from the results.
PROOF OF THE PUDDING
Back to my earlier comment about unwanted fragmentation, I noticed a few tiny fragments of what was presumably lead glinting in the bottom of the bucket. This led to me both measuring and weighing each recovered pellet, to compare against the average dimensions and see if any disintegration had occurred (yes I should have weighed each beforehand).
Your prey won’t be in front of your muzzle, so as ranges increase, a power drop and a subsequent reduction in expansion should be expected. Using Hawke’s Chairgun Pro App, with muzzle velocities entered and the
BC of .22 JSB Exacts used for approximation, predicted the following data (FAC power 5/max).
So, there are more factors to consider than
“a few tiny fragments of what was presumably lead glinting in the bottom of the bucket”
just the power you chronographed your rifle at before leaving home – and no, it’s not a case of ‘turn up the muzzle energy to get optimum expansion energy at the actual target’, either.
All pellets/projectiles have an optimum maximum velocity, above which accuracy can drop off; e.g. for quality .22 pellets like JSB Exacts I believe around 900fps is the ideal.
There was a small amount of expansion from the .177 non-FAC-powered Hades, although there might be some flattening of the previously perfectly diablo-domed head. Perhaps indicating they hit the hardwood. The .22 Hades expanded at all FAC velocities, with the three highest power settings achieving near-identical results. Looking at the photos of the expanded pellets, I’d say they should be very effective against vermin. I believe to get the full benefit of any expansion capability they must be fired at FAC velocities. Going back to the fact they must survive their travels first in the tin and then loading, this isn’t really surprising.
The .177 expanded slightly, but without redoing these tests in a taller bucket, where it’s clear all energy is lost before the pellet reaches the bottom, I can’t guarantee there was no impact with the hardwood ‘backstop’.
The FAC-powered .22 Hades was a different story. As you’ll see from both the
DIA AFTER 4.9 & 5.1mm 6.5 & 6.8mm 7.4 & 8.1mm 7.5 & 7.8mm 7.6 & 7.8mm
AVERAGE INCREASE 0.5mm 1.15mm 2.25mm 2.15mm 2.2mm
“Any impact with bone should also help the pellets ‘mushroom’ further”
measurements and the photos of the recovered pellets, they deformed significantly at the higher velocities. Also, in most cases one of the three ‘petals’ deformed/squashed, so perhaps the pellets also struck a glancing blow off the hardwood, after veering off course.
Only two of the four highest-powered pellets lost weight, 0.5gr & 0.6gr respectively. My own feeling might be backed-up by nothing but guesstimation, but it’s that downrange, no significant, unwanted, meat-spoiling fragmentation would occur within prey (e.g. rabbits). Any impact with bone should also help the pellets ‘mushroom’ further, too, further preventing overpenetration. Either way, I’m very impressed by the expansion performance of the .22 FAC -powered pellets and will certainly be using them with my replacement .22 FAC rifle once it arrives. Speaking of which, I’ll also be carrying out accuracy tests ASAP/postlockdown, with both the .177 Hades’ at 25m and the .22 Hades’ at 50m.
VIDEO EVIDENCE/CLEAN UP
Naturally, I filmed my testing, so have already edited and uploaded a video for you. Checkout my channel or scan the QR code for more on that. One crutch also came in extra-useful at the end because once I’d emptied the still okay bucket, I ‘mopped’ the floor dry with an old towel under it. I contacted J.S Ramsbottom after publishing this video, and Edward is kindly sending me some other pellets for follow-up testing.
I found this testing fascinating to carry out, although a chore to clean up afterwards. I hope you found this interesting and that whichever pellet you discover works best for you, you enjoy both your recreational shooting when possible, and your pest control.
Coming very soon … I’ll be accuracy-testing Hades @50m with my new FAC rifle, watch this space for that! I
I FX Wildcat mk.1, shortened and tuned by Air-Fective tuning.
I AA S510XS (.22 FAC)Blackpool Air Rifles / airgunbuyer.com
I R2A Chronograph £139.00
I JSB Hades .177” 10.34 grain £9.99www.jsramsbottom.com/Hades
I JSB Hades .22” 15.89 grain £10.99
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22 – likewise.
Chrono’ testing FAC .22.
Photos of deformed .22 pellets @27.3fpe.
Minor deformation/expansion .177 non-FAC.