by B.B. Pelletier
Today, I’d like to look at a pellet that many experienced shooters believe is the finest in the world – the JSB Exact domed diabolo.
Who is JSB?
The initials JSB stand for Josef Schulz Bohumin. Josef Schulz started the company in the city of Bohumin in 1992. A former sports shooter, he now trains and sponsors the Sports Shooting Club of Bohumin.
Bohumin is located in the Czech Republic, which has been known for gun-making for more than a century. The Czech city of Brno, second-largest city in the Czech Republic, is as famous as Birmingham or Springfield as an arms-making center.
It’s important to know the name Bohumin because Pyramyd AIR lists that name under the manufacturers listing on the main ammo page. If you want to find pellets by their maker, look for Bohumin, not JSB.
Why do shooters say they are the best?
They say that because in many airguns, if not most, a JSB will perform better than any other pellet. It won’t always be the best, but a lot of the time it is. Whenever I have a new gun to test for accuracy, I try to use JSB Exact domed diabolos.
What makes them the best?
The shape of JSB pellets is good and traditional, but it’s nothing other pellet makers haven’t already tried. JSBs are made from pure lead, which slips through rifled barrels much better than a harder alloy – but many other types of pellets are also pure lead. I believe JSB pellets are so good because of the rigorous inspection they undergo before being packed.
Hand-sorting makes a better batch of pellets!
Clear back on March 10, I had a posting titled B.B.’s treasure chest – Sorting pellets for accuracy. In that post, I discussed how sorting pellets according to weight and visually examining them for defects is the champion’s secret weapon. Pellet makers have done this before. The Chinese make a hand-sorted pellet that stands up to the finest target wadcutters anywhere. So, it comes as no surprise that hand-sorting works for Bohumin, too.
Doesn’t hand-sorting add a lot of cost?
Of course! Take the hourly salary of the employee doing the inspection and multiply by a factor of three (for benefits and mandated personnel costs) and divide that figure by the number of pellets that person can sort each hour. Or, pay them by the number of pellets they sort, but watch out that they don’t go so fast that they cancel any benefits gained from sorting. Either way, you’re adding a lot of cost to the price of a pellet. A time will come when this level of attention will be too expensive for any manufacturer.
What about the other shapes they make?
I’m always talking about JSB Exact domed diabolos, but Bohumin makes lots of other pellets. Are they good, too? Yes, they are. The reason I concentrate on the domed pellet is because I’m usually discussing a sporting airgun. When we get into the world of target guns and pellets, Bohumin has a lot of stiff competition from H&N, RWS and some others. But, in the world of domed all-purpose pellets, I believe they are the clear winner – most of the time.
What about Crosman Premiers? How about Beeman Kodiaks?
For a full decade, Crosman Premiers were the undisputed world leader in domed pellets. Nothing could touch them, and I still find guns that shoot Premiers best of all. As for Beeman Kodiaks, they’re pure lead, very heavy and among my top three picks for almost any pellet gun. I say “almost” because, as heavy as Kodiaks are in .177 and .22, they are only good in medium- to higher-powered airguns. In .22 caliber, JSBs are on the heavy side of medium weight. In .177 they are available in two different weights – standard and heavy.
I have recommended JSB pellets for several years – ever since I saw their clear accuracy advantage. They may not be the best pellet in your airgun, but they are worth a try. I buy multiple tins at a time, taking full advantage of Pyramyd Air’s buy three, get the fourth tin free!