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More on pellets!

by B.B. Pelletier

Today I want to clear up some things I’ve said about pellets. I’ve had more response from this topic than any other, and several readers have commented in postings that aren’t related to pellets. Unless you take the time to open every message and all comments, you aren’t getting to see what I see. Today, I’d like to tell you what our readers have told me.

Starting with JSB Predators!
I have written at least once, but I think more often, that I think JSB Predator pellets aren’t very accurate. Well, many of our readers disagree with that. One fellow told me he gets half-inch groups with them at 25 yards, which isn’t bad. He also told me that he shoots them in his Condor at full power! They go 1,100 f.p.s., and they kill squirrels deader than dead!

I would not have recommended shooting them that fast, but the fellow who does it likes them just fine. Also, I forgot to mention that when I tested the .177 Predators, I found them to be a lot more accurate than the .22s. There! I told you. They are not my choice, but too many of our readers like them for me to ignore this pellet. I say, give them a try – especially if you hunt.

Next, we go to Crosman Premiers
I always put Premiers behind JSB Exacts, but the truth be told, sometimes they come out ahead. And for you fellows who just don’t want to spend the extra money for these premium pellets, the same company (Crosman) makes the Benjamin Sheridan Diabolos, and it’s a very close copy of the Premier. They aren’t sorted by which die they came from (the Premiers in the cardboard boxes are), but they are a heck of a good pellet. And they are couple of bucks cheaper than the Premiers.

Beeman Kodiak
Turtle asked me yesterday for Beeman Kodiak downrange velocity reduction, and I didn’t give him numbers. Well, here they are. From an AirForce Talon SS with an optional 24″ barrel, a 21.4-grain .22 caliber Kodiak leaves the muzzle at 927 f.p.s. That’s 40 foot-pounds. At 10 yards, it’s going 892 f.p.s. for 38 foot-pounds. At 25 yards, it’s still going 851 f.p.s. for 34 foot-pounds, and at 50 yards it’s traveling 791 for 30 foot-pounds. I can’t always dredge up these kinds of numbers (so don’t ask), but this time I got lucky.

While we’re on the subject of Kodiaks, .177 Kodiaks are one of the best all-around pellets in that caliber. I find that they outshoot heavy Premiers in some guns. I’ve never used the costlier Kodiak Match pellets, and I don’t know anyone who has, so I can’t tell you if they’re worth the extra expense. The ad copy seems to indicate they are more select, but plain old Kodiaks are already one of the very best pellets around.

Finally – Skenco
I was lukewarm on Skenco pellets, but a lot of you like them! From the responses, the folks who like them most are shooting them in lower-powered gas and spring guns. They say the accuracy is all they had hoped for, so there you are.

In the course of my life, I’ve shot many different kinds of pellet. Some were only good for melting into fishing sinkers, but the brands I’ve mentioned today deserve a look. If you don’t have a favorite pellet yet, perhaps this is the time to try out Pyramyd’s pellet sale (buy three and get the fourth one free)!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

24 thoughts on “More on pellets!”

  1. One thing about the Crosman Premiers that turns off a lot of people is how dirty they are. Most FT shooters “wash” them and then lubricate. You can wash with either soap-and-water or (my preference) paint thinner. (The paint thinner can be poured back into the can and reused so no mess and no toxic problems.)

    Lubrication is necessary to prevent the pellets from oxidizing as well as helping to reduce lead buildup in the barrel. Two lubricants are in common use — Krytech (bicycle shops carry this) or 1Lube (auto shops). Just a few drops will do hundreds of pellets. My technique is to put 500 .177 pellets into a tin for 500 .22 pellets, put a couple of drops of 1Lube in the lid, put lid on tin, tumble for a minute or so, and done.

    I lube my JSBs (1Lube is my preference) even though I don’t wash them (they are very clean).



  2. I take luck as it comes BB!!!

    thanks again for digging up yet more great info.

    to anyone it may help: Airforce, the maker of the talon and condor are offering to upgrade the original models (at least those bought from Cabela’s) to the newer vers. w/ external powere adj. and reversed saftey switch (Iv’e slipped and accidently fired even after reading it was a problem!!!) for $100. can’t wait to get mine back in action.

    tanks again BBP,

  3. Just a comment on the service from airforce on the upgrade.

    It came back yesterday. With very little propting. Tom Gaylord preformed the upgrade. He repaired my stripped power set screw FREE, replaced my oldstyle one piece filler FREE. and personally cronied it and included the info. The screws he used to replace the handle had a little rust but they may have even been mine from the orig.

    all in all I’m very impressed with thier buisness, product and now service.

    with your info here I’m feeling like I’m really getting the best the sport has to offer.


    ps. just came back from remounting the scope….had to be honest, I went downrange to check and those chips Ive been shooting are closer to quarters.

  4. Turtle,

    I’m glad AirForce took care of you. They are building a fine reputation for standing behind their products. I don’t doubt they reuse some of the old parts in the guns they upgrade because, as I understand it, they loose money on the upgrade.

    Also glad to know the size of those chips you are hitting. A quarter is about one inch in diameter, so to hit that at 100 yards is pretty phenomenal!


  5. As long as you are talking about Airforce I must add my 2 cents. When I ordered my Talon SS I also ordered the pump. Unfortunately they were out of stock and I waited for a couple of weeks to get it. During that time I was kept up to date on the process and when it finally came they had included an accessory extension for free! Good ole American commercial good will cultivation at its finest. The gun is not only excellent but the service is equally fine.

  6. B.B.

    Do you have any preference over the Crosman Premiers vs. Benjamin Sheridan Diabolos vs. Gamo Pro Magnum. I am currently using the Pro Magnums in my Gamo MultiShot (.177) and they are working pretty well. All of the pellets have the exact same weight and seem to be pretty similar.


  7. B.B,

    I just got my lever pump Benjamin 310 back from Rick Willnecker after a complete service and hammer/sear replacement. What a difference!

    While the Benjamin 310 is obviously not a match grade target rifle, it’s a lot of fun to shoot, and a good way for me to get back into shooting. I was wondering if a good grade of pellet will make a difference in this gun as it does in the newer ones.

    I see that Pyramyd sells the JSB Exacts and Crosman Premier domed (boxed) in different weights in .177. I don’t know the energy produced by the Benjamin 310, but I’m thinking the 7.6 gr JSBs or 7.9 gr Crosmans would be best. What do you think? I’ve been using the discount store Crosman 7.9 gr wadcutters since there’s nothing better available locally. I was surprised the other day to find out that the Benjamin 310 will put a pellet completely through a steel can at 10 yards (six pumps).

    One other question…are the Crosman Premiers in the tins the same as the ones in the boxes? Thanks for your time B.B.


  8. Clarke,

    I wouldn’t spend the money on great pellets for a smoothbore. They really won’t perform any better than average pellets.

    Discount Crosman wadcutters are fine. The Premiers in the cardboard box are madfe on the same dies as the pellets in the tin, but they are sorted by die number. Hence, they are a bit more uniform.


  9. B.B,

    My wife and I enjoy competing against each other in friendly target matches using my Benjamin 310. I realize that, being a smooth bore, the 310 isn’t exactly a target rifle. However, I would like to know, aside from human error, what causes the phenomenon of the “flier” pellet. You know, you’re shooting nice groups, then out of nowhere, a pellet hits the target an inch or two from where you’re aiming.

    Please excuse me if you’ve covered this before, but there are so many posts in this blog.


  10. Clarke,

    read this and concentrate on the last topic


    There was a scientific study of the flier done and a book was published about the findings. It was copyrighted in 1914, and to date it remains the finest study ever done of exterior ballistics as they relate to rifles.

    The book is

    “The Bullet’s Flight From Powder to Target,” and it was written by Dr. F. W. Mann. His research took 35 years.

  11. B.B.

    Can you tell us anything about the new Beeman pellets PA has now?

    The – Beeman FTS Double Gold .22 Cal 14.66 Grains Domed

    And the – Beeman Kodiak Double Gold .22 Cal 21.14 Grains Domed

    Also, I’ve had a few people rant about the regular Beeman FTS pellets, but I couldn’t find any posts about them from you.
    Could you share your thoughts on those too.

    Thanks in advance,

    – The BBA –

  12. BBA,

    I haven’t tested THESE copper-plated pellets, but I’e been using copper-plated lead pellets for 30 years. They should work as well as the unplated ones.

    I have found Beeman FTS pellets to be of good quality, but not up to Premier or JSB performance. More in the same class as RWS Superdomes.


  13. B.B.

    Thank you, that's good to know.

    So then I'm guessing that the benefit of copper plated pellets, is no lead to be left in the bore, & maybe a little better penetration?

    – The BBA –

  14. B.B.

    I didn't know that about lead being the best penetrator for flesh. That's good to know.

    I wonder if it's becuase they're slicker?

    Also, if the harder alloys like the Skenco pellets penetrate better in wood & metal?
    (Grain for grain of course, knowing the Skencos are lighter.)

    As for the lack of lead on your hands with the coated pellets, I'm surprised that Beeman doesn't offer them in more styles of pellets?

    Especially in wadcutter pellets, since I'm guessing that most people will go through more while 10 meter paper target shooting or backyard & basement plinking, than hunting.

    For the price they're charging, I don't see them being a big hit with the styles they chose, taking into consideration what you said about lead being the best flesh penetrator & my theory on 10 meter paper target shooters & backyard & basement plinkers going through more ammo.
    Call me crazy, but I think the best market for the coated pellets, would be a reasonably priced good performing wadcutter for 10 meter shooters & multi shot guns, where shooters are handling the most ammo, not to mention perfect for the husband plinking in the basement right before dinner. lol

    I see Skenco has a new pellet out.
    The Predator Big Boy .22 cal 26.2 grains.

    They don't say much about them, so I'm wondering if this is their answer to the Kodiack EH, the Eun Jin, or the extinct Logan Penetrator?

    Judging buy the price, I'd lean towards the Logun, but the shape looks a lot more like the Kodiack, so maybe they're trying to corner the market on PCP owners who want a heavier Kodiack style instead of the Eun jin.

    Any thoughts?

    BTW… Since I'm in here & talking about wadcutters, can I bounce one more thing off you? 😉

    I know it differs from gun to gun, but in general, for .177 & .22 C02 pistols around 400-600fps respectively…
    What do you think are the two best overall wadcutters (for the price) in .177 & .22, for shooting paper targets in the 5-10 meter range?

    Thanks again,

    – The BBA –

  15. Depleted uranium is denser than lead, as is gold.

    specific gravities
    Lead = 11.34
    Uranium = 18.9
    Gold = 19.3

    I’d venture to guess though than no one will use gold pellets. A might pricey, even for Bill Gates….

  16. So then it's the density, & the weight it's carrying (due to the density) that accounts for the penetration I assume?

    Makes sense.

    In other words… Two projectiles that are both the same in size & shape (same velocity of course), the heavier/denser one will penetrate better in living tissue.

    So with the info in the above post, gold would be the best then, huh?

    BTW… I'm betting Bill Gates could afford to have quite a few mags or clips of gold bullets! lol

    Personally I've always liked the .40 cal 146gr hydrashock or the good old Black Talons that I used to keep in my 627 Classic Hunter before I sold it. 😉

    – The BBA –

  17. I use the Kodiak Match Heavy in .177 and I've used the regular Kodiak Heavy. Here's the reason why I use match in my RWS 350 Magnum…

    * The match always slips into my breech without a fight.

    * The match has a uniform and clean shape compared to the non-match. Its subtle but important.

    * The match never seems to have deformed skirts compared to the non-match. Maybe this was packaging.

    * If I hand sort non-match I throw away approx 33% and get match grade performance. There's a big time and money saving buying match.

    * And best of all, buying in bulk means every single tin is from the same batch. Once you've test fired the first tin you know the next x1000 will be exactly the same. Factor in Pyramid Air's buy three get one free and you're really saving.

    The Kodiak Match pellets are great for precision target shooting, pest birds, and long range shots.

    I use Beeman Crow Magnum in .177 and they are devastating inside 25 yards for squirrels and similar sized fur pests.

    PS. I use Heavy in my 350 Magnum due to the amount of energy it carries, 21/fpe. I would recommend trying the regular Kodiak in 1000fps guns.

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