Gamo Rocket pellets: The accuracy test

by B.B. Pelletier

If it isn’t accurate, it isn’t anything. So, today, I’ll test the Rocket pellets in a couple of rifles of known accuracy. A reader asked if the lead in the Rocket is pure. I believe it is, based on how easy it was to remove the BB from a pellet.

Test guns
I selected a Daystate Harrier and a TX200 Mk III for this test. Both are known to be very accurate air rifles, and both have the power to handle the heavier Rocket pellet. Because of the 9.5-grain weight, I did not do any testing with air pistols. The point of the test was to determine potential accuracy, and for that you need distance. Air pistols are not powerful enough to properly stabilize heavier (longer) pellets at longer ranges.

Daystate Harrier
My Harrier is a very accurate .177 that I’ve used in field target matches for many years. It will group under an inch at 50 yards on a good day. I shot groups with both Rockets and with Beeman Kodiaks, with Kodiaks being the most accurate pellets for this rifle. Kodiaks averaged 872.4 f.p.s. and Rockets averaged 893.4 f.p.s., for 17.92 foot-pounds and 16.84 foot-pounds. respectively.

The test
The best distance I could get on testing day was 33 yards. The wind was relatively calm, but there were some breezes I had to wait out. I did not shoot great bunches of groups and select the best. Each group is the only one I shot that day with that pellet.


My Daystate Harrier likes Beeman Kodiaks. This is about a 0.30″ group of five.

The Harrier clearly did not like the Rocket pellets. It threw them all over the place, but kept nearly the same zero as for Kodiaks, which is interesting. It shifted left only a small amount.


The Harrier does not perform well with the Rockets. This group is slightly larger than one inch.

TX200 Mk III
Sometimes one gun will shoot a pellet real well, while another will not, so I always try a new pellet with at least two guns. This time the TX proved the wisdom of that philosophy, as it shot noticeably better with Rockets than the Harrier. It’s a little less powerful and, of course, a springer rather than a PCP, so the difference must be in there somewhere. It averaged 812.6 f.p.s. with Kodiaks and 869.1 f.p.s. with Rockets, for 15.55 foot-pounds and 15.94 foot-pounds, respectively.


TX200 does very well with Beeman Kodiaks, though it likes 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers best of all. A TX is easier to shoot than most spring guns, because it requires less holding technique. This five-shot group measures about 0.37″.


Not too shabby for a two-part pellet like the Rocket! This groups measures close to 0.75″. Notice that the aim point dropped a little and shifted to the right.

Is my test exhaustive? Obviously, not. But, I’ve tested enough pellets to recognize their performance potential from a small sampling like this. Had I shot at 40 or even 50 yards, the groups would have been larger and the performance of each pellet and airgun more dramatic. This test tells me what I need to know.

Conclusions
1. The Gamo Rocket does indeed generate more shock than a Beeman Kodiak. That is significant because the Kodiak is a trusted hunting pellet.

2. Though the Rocket is not as accurate as the best pellets, it is capable of acceptable groups in some air rifles. Therefore, it is worth trying.

3. The Rocket sells at a premium price (over $3.00 for 150 pellets). Because of that, it should only be used if there is a clear advantage of some kind.

30 thoughts on “Gamo Rocket pellets: The accuracy test

  1. BB,

    have you ever shot at harder surfaces with these Rockets? Something like wood, glass or plastic? I expect a crack or disruption even at thicker material; better than a light BB can do.

    Markus


  2. Why have my previous two comments disappeared? Have I written something illegal or has it been just a computer problem on my side?

    Markus?


  3. Markus,

    Aiurgunners do not shoot at glass and windows. Glass can ricohchet dangerously and not shooting at windows should be obvious.

    The most dangersous thing an airgunner can shoot at is a hard target. The steel tip of the Rocket will PROMOTE ricohchets, not decrease them.

    B.B.


  4. BB,

    this is the crucial point. Why should anybody invent a “target piercing” ammunition, when mice usually don´t wear shooting vests and field-targets gets damaged?

    Markus


  5. B.B.

    Off topic question… have you been able to get your hands on Umarex 850 Air Magnum? If so any thoughts on accuracy and trigger quality…if not when do you expect to test the rifle? Thanks so much for your reviews and great patience with us all.

    ps. shot gamo rockets through a gamo shadow 1000…it spit them all over the place… but my cheap daisy 880 loves rockets…shoots them almost as well as RWS Hobby.




  6. Woozie,

    The Crosman 357 runs on CO2. It can be fired in single or double action. Meaning you can cock the hammer before each shot or just pull the trigger and the hammer automatically cocks back and fires. The gun probably shoots a little faster (more velocity) when it’s fired in single action.

    Jason


  7. OT Great review(s)! B.B. I know you probably have a lineup of guns and things to review but if you get a chance could you please review an Air Arms s400c? I am planning on buying one but I would like to hear or see a review of how good it is from you. Keep the good reviews coming!


  8. Great post, BB.

    Off subject question. How is the accuracy of round balls compare to pellets at distance. Are they not as accurate as pellets? The reason that I ask is that they seem to carry more energy than a similar weight pellet. But if they are not accurate, it’s useless. Could you shed some light on this subject? Thanks.


  9. Air Arms S400C,

    I don’t have a rifle to test, and it could be many months before I get one because of the cost of the gun. I’ve heard nothing bad and a lot of good things about this rifle, so if I were you I’d buy it if I wanted it.

    B.B.


  10. Round ball accuracy,

    There is an article about this on the Pyramyd website. Go to their home page and scroll down to see the Expert Corner on the left. That takes you to all the articles.

    B.B.


  11. BB,

    I saw a weihrauch hw97 with the barrel longer than the underleveler.What is the diffrence with that gun and the hw97k with the shorter barrel?.Wich one is better?

    CF-X guy


  12. on pyramyd air it says that crosman premier hollow point are 7.9 gr. the crosman premier domed are also 7.9 gr. How is this possible if they are the same shape and size, yet one has a hole in the middle? How is this possible?



  13. Pellet weights,

    I can think of a couple of ways one hollowpoint pellet could be as heavy as another domed pellet. Thicker skirts or a shallower skirt. Can you think of another way?

    B.B.


  14. BB,

    Well,

    I think it could be a muzzle weight for better balance.Because you woldnt need a grip like a break barrel.So thats what I think from what I read.But I also read that the new model,the hw97k,has a better balance because of the shorter barrel.Please correct me if im wrong.

    CF-X guy


  15. CF-X guy,

    You are correct – it’s a cosmetic muzzle “weight” just like the “weight” on your CF-X. It doesn’t do anything but make the gun look different.

    As for the carbine (the k model), you are reading advertising copy. What if they said the longer barrel offers superior barrel harmonics? Would that also be true?

    Buy the gun you want.

    B.B.


  16. BB,
    I’ve been looking into PCP airugns for a while, and I am impressed with all of the accuracy claims. I am very intersted in the Air Force Condor rifle. Apparently many people on the web get sub-1″ groups with the Condor. However, all of those claims seem to be with perfect conditions and from a shooting bench. Before I make the choice to spend over a $1000 for a PCP rig, I would really like to hear about PRACTICAL group sizes. I have heard enough claims of the people shooting 1″ groups at 50 yards. I am not planning on sitting around with a bench rest, waiting for pests to show up.

    So, what accuracy can I expect from an airgun like the Condor, unsupported, standing up with light wind at 50 yards? I am very curious… your input is greatly appreciated.

    TB



  17. I’ve found the Rockets to be a tad better than B.B. did – basically the same results but with one big difference.

    SAFETY WARNING!!!

    When shooting them at 20m at a hardwood backstop tilted about 10 degrees one of them rebounded and hit my leg. It wasn’t travelling very fast and I assumed it was a fluke. Then it happened again, and again and once it came back with a fair amount of oomph!

    Upon inspection of the rebounded pellet it was only the lead portion and not the BB. Apparently the hard BB rebounds and transfers the energy cleanly to the lead since it travels back on almost the exact same vector from which it was fired.

    If a rebounded pellet can cause a slight eye injury risk at 20m once every 10-20 shots then the risk at 10m is very significant. A hunting shot at 10m is not uncommon. Even if there isn’t a clean surface to create a perfect rebound, the BB presents a major ricochet risk when fired at high velocities.


  18. Thank you for that report! That’s worth telling everyone about, so I will include it with my next post.

    Thanks,

    B.B.


  19. Here is some of the pellets I have tried with my gamo shadow 1000 with a Tasco 3-9×40 scope.

    Little or no Accuracy:(@ 30 yds)(3″+ groups)
    Prometheus (Black jacket)
    Daisy Precision Max Pointed, domed, and hollow point
    Crossman premier pointed, hollow, & flat
    Gamo Raptor
    Gamo master point, magnum,& match

    Good/acceptable accuracy (@ 30 yds)(1-2″ groups)
    Daisy & Crossman premier domed head
    Beeman Gold
    gamo hunter

    Very good accuracy (approx. 1″ groups @ 30 yds)
    Gamo rocket
    beemen crow magnum
    beeman kodiak
    rws superdome

    Just wondering if anyone has tried the JSB Predator or the Logun Penetrator with the gamo 1000(or any other high power rifle). I am ordering some to see if my gamo likes them.
    Brian


  20. I too was skeptical of the Gamo Rockets,but,You know us shooters..we have to try everything once. To my amazement they shot better than anything i’ve tried in my Gamo Maxima springer. As for the price..If it shoots well, No cost is too high!! I want performance without compromise. We owe that to the critters we’re trying to hit them with.


  21. In my .177 Crosman Quest 1000, I’ve tried about 10 different pellets. Until tonight, it liked Wolverines, Crow Magnums and FTS best, but Gamo Rockets shot tighter than any of them. In my garage 10M range, one not-so-big hole, me sitting in a lawn chair with my feet on a motorcycle engine and the rifle on my knees.

    YMWV, but that’s what my gun does with them.

    Agiyo




  22. I have some decent groups with the Rockets too, but it like any pellet, differs from gun to gun.

    The only real advantage I can see with the Rockets, is breaking glass.

    THAT they ARE good for! ;)

    BBA


  23. I was in a pinch and the Gammo rocket was the only thing that Dick carried in a .22. I was shooting at approximately 35 yards and the grouping and accuracy was horrible. Don't get me wrong I was shooting at Crossman varmint targets and I could readily hit any of the animals pictured at 35 yards but if you are going for a clean kill good luck. I was shooting these through my Remington nitro piston rifle. If its your only option it will work if not buy something else.


  24. Both my AirForce Condor(.22)and my Beeman C1 (.177)love Gamo Rocket pellets. at 25 yards I am able to drop anything and they also group around.33". Post bird examination reveals massive trauma that I have never seen with a pellet before.


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