Pellet profile – the H&N Baracuda/Beeman Kodiak

by B.B. Pelletier

Today I’d like to take a close look at one of the best airgun pellets around – the Baracuda Match by H&N. This pellet is also sold as the Beeman Kodiak and as the Webley Magnum in other countries. It’s heavy in all but .20 caliber, weighing 10.6 grains in .177, 13.3 grains in .20, 21 grains in .22 and 31 grains in .25.

A domed pellet with a difference!
Although the Baracuda/Kodiak is considered a domed pellet, it is very different from most other domes. To get the extra weight, the dome is both higher and necessarily sharper, making this domed pellet resemble a pointed pellet with a blunted point. An argument could be made for either description. That’s not important here, except that you acknowledge the difference. It makes the weight distribution very forward-biased, which helps keep the pellet on track as it flies.


Crosman Premier (left) is more of a conventional domed pellet. Baracuda/Kodiak has a higher, semi-pointed dome.

A thick skirt!
The skirt is very thick in comparison to other pellets. That makes the Baracuda/Kodiak a tough projectile whose skirt resists being blown out by the forceful air blast from a spring-piston rifle. That, in turn, makes it ideal for powerful magnum spring rifles like the Webley Patriot, which Beeman markets as their Kodiak rifle.


The skirt on the Daisy pointed pellet (left) is much
thinner than the skirt on the Baracuda/Kodiak.

According to an excellent article I read in the Jan-Feb-Mar issue of Airgun Hobby magazine, the Baracuda pellet was originally developed for the ether-injected Barakuda rifle made by Weihrauch. That gun was so powerful that it blew the heads off conventional pellets, and a tougher diabolo had to be developed.

Which guns can shoot Baracudas/Kodiaks?
Because of the length and weight, the Baracuda/Kodiak is meant to be used only in powerful air rifles. Guns that top at least 20 foot-pounds are necessary to provide the velocity to stabilize the big pellet at longer ranges. You can calculate an airgun’s potential power from the interactive formulas in the article What is muzzle energy?

Out to 20 yards, practically any air rifle and most air pistols should be able to shoot it fine, because the diabolo shape provides the stabilization. But, as distance increases, you need an adequate spin to keep the pellet oriented forward, and velocity is the only thing that can produce enough spin, given the standard airgun twist rate of one turn in 16 inches.

Baracudas are pure lead, too!
Pure lead projectiles are the absolute best for airgun velocities. They slip through the bore because of the natural lubricity of lead, and they seal the barrel perfectly because of lead’s inherent malleability. Also, if you keep the terminal velocity below 1,000 f.p.s. and have a premium barrel, lead is the cleanest material you can shoot. It never needs cleaning, even after thousands of shots.

So, the Baracuda/Kodiak pellet has a lot to recommend it. You should lay in a supply in every caliber you shoot.

14 Responses to “Pellet profile – the H&N Baracuda/Beeman Kodiak”

  • airgundoc Says:

    Dear BB,
    I assume from your statements that the H&N and Beeman are the same pellet. However, Pyramyd list them at slightly differing weights. Also, I note that the Beeman pellet is considerably cheaper. It sounds like a good pellet so I would appreciate clarification.
    CWI

  • airgundoc Says:

    One more question:
    You mention “Airgun Hobby Magazine”
    I checked their website and can’t get a feel for the publication. Do you recommend it and if so why?
    CWI

  • Anonymous Says:

    You will love the kodiaks out of your SS. I just ordered another 8 tins, even with around 3000 rounds of mixxed other stuff sitting around.

    In .22 you can expect about 796 fps top end (around 30ftlb) at the muzzle.

    I plink alot at 50 and 100 yds. they impact higher than anything I’ve tried. even though they may start out slower than a lighter pellet they carry much better.

    what were you using when you started your coon removal?

    Turtle

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    airgundoc,

    Yes the H&N baracuda is also the Beeman Kodiak. I don’t know the reason for the different weights, but I do know they are the same pellet.

    As for the price, at times you’ll find the H&N cheaper. Right now the dollar is so weak that I think that’s driving the price. Beeman buys so many million pellets that they get a huge break in price and apparently some of that is being passed on. Don’t forget the free tin with a purchase of 4 deal here at Pyramyd. That’s how I buy mine.

    As for “Airgun Hobby” magazine, yes, I do recommend it. It’s hard to read at times because the layout looks like a traffic accident and they use every font they have, but the articles are good.

    B.B.

  • airgundoc Says:

    Thanks for the input guys. I have already ordered some Kodiacs so we’ll see if they do any better than the Logun Predators I have been using. Also, Turtle, thanks for remembering that I had a Raccoon problem. The pack has been reduced sufficiently and residuals have been discouraged enough that I presently have minimal problem. However, “eternal vigilence is the price of freedom”.
    CWI

  • Anonymous Says:

    Doc, I’d be very interested in your comparison re: the preditors vs the kodiaks they are one I hand’t tried yet…

    …with all the help you’ve been, BBP how could I go anywhere else.

    turtle

  • Anonymous Says:

    Baracuda pellet was originally developed for the ether-injected Barakuda rifle

    Sounds fascinating – could you cover this unusual rifle in a future post?

    phil

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Phil,

    I can take a stab at it. Give me some time to gather some images, so I can show the injector.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB, hello. I wanted to get back to you about an issue I was having with my Patriot in .25 cal. You told me to do the opposite of how to hold a springer. I don’t know why, but I held it as tight and stable as I could, and I started grouping! This was my main issue. Now, can you tell me why and how do I improve on my accuracy? This goes against all that you taught me about how to hold a springer. I tried this same method on my Gamo and I was all over the place. I mention this response here, because I am shooting the Kodiak pellets. Also, did you know that they make a “match” version of this pellets? Thanks again for your help BB.

    Springerlover

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Springlover,

    I don’t know why this works with the Kodiak but it sure seems to! I don’t have as much experience with this rifle as I would like, so I’m discovering its secrets along with everyone else. I’m glad you are able to group now.

    As for improving accuracy, I would say that the fit of the rifle is probably the most important thing. You need the scope to come to the same place for your eye every thime.

    Yes, I have heard about the match pellets, but I haven’t tried them yet.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    B.B.

    The baracuda match pellet sure don’t look like the kodiak, at least on the tin cover. Are they really the same?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Baracuda Match are identical to Kodiak Match. Baracudas are identical to Kodiaks.

    B.B.

  • Bjørn Says:

    Hmmm.
    I use the kodiak in my CFX .177, and it performs VERY well at around 40+ yards! at 35 yards i shoot 1 cm groups. So it is very usefull for medium power rifles IRL :-)

  • Anonymous Says:

    H&N baracuda`s are also known as Bisley Magnum`s in the UK and have a big following.

    Reagards Steve

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