by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

• Test structure
• The pellets
• The test — starting with Crosman pellets
• H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
• Daisy Precision Max pellets
• RWS R10 Heavy pellets
• The results

A lot to cover today. Let’s get started. Remember what I’m doing is testing the accuracy of bargain pellets that can be bought at discount stores and sporting goods stores against premium pellets that are usually purchased online.

Test structure
I found out of the batch of pellets I bought that there were 2 different wadcutter pellets to test today and there are 2 good premium pellets for the gun I’m shooting. That means a total of 4 pellets will be shot, so I decided to shoot one 5-shot group, followed by one 10-shot group with the same pellet at 10 meters. The rifle was rested on a sandbag. Since there are 60 shots in this test with each rifle, I decided to shoot only one rifle at a time. Otherwise, I’ll tire and the later targets may not be representative.

I did not season the bore between pellets. This might have changed the results, but I can’t prove it either way.

Crosman Challenger air rifle
Crosman Challenger air rifle was used for today’s testing.

The pellets
The two pellets I bought came from a large chain sporting goods store. The same pellets were available at the large discount store, but no other target (wadcutter) pellets could be purchased. They were Crosman Competition pellets and Daisy Precision Max pellets. From the tests I did with the rifle I was shooting (the Crosman Challenger PCP), I knew that RWS R10 Heavy Match pellets and H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets had performed best in the past. I actually shot a 7.7-grain R10 that’s no longer offered, but it’s closer to the heavy pellet than to the light.

The Finale Match pellets have heads sized 4.50mm. The R10 pellet heads are also sized 4.50mm. Neither of the bargain brand pellets have their head sizes printed on the box.

pellets
These are the pellets used in today’s test.

The test — starting with Crosman pellets
First, the rifle was sighted-in. After that, I never touched the sights again. We’re interested in group size today — not in where the pellets land.

Following sight-in, I started with the Crosman pellets. First 5 and then 10. Five landed in a 0.198-inch group, and 10 made a group that measured 0.331 inches between centers.

Crosman Competition pellets
Five Crosman Competition pellets (left) went into 0.198 inches, and 10 went into 0.331 inches.

H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
Next, I shot 2 groups with the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellet. The first 5 made a group measuring 0.116 inches between centers. Ten went into 0.157 inches. This proved to be the most accurate pellet in this test, for both the 5-shot and 10-shot groups. There’s your consistency!

H&N Finale Match Pistol
Five H&N Finale Match pistol pellets (left) went into 0.116 inches — the smallest group of this test. Ten made a group that measures 0.157 inches between centers.

Daisy Precision Max pellets
Next I tried the Daisy Precision Max wadcutter. Five of them made a 0.169-inch group, and 10 went into 0.215 inches. This was the best performance of the 2 bargain pellets.

Daisy Precision Max
Five Daisy Precision Max pellets (left) went into 0.169 inches, and 10 made a 0.215-inch group.

RWS R10 Heavy pellets
This is the last pellet I’ll test today. Once again, I didn’t actually shoot the heavies. The pellet I shot is a discontinued 7.70-grain pellet that’s closer in weight to the 8.10-grain Heavy pellet than to the lighter 7-grain R10 Match Pistol wadcutter. Five went into 0.138 inches, and 10 made a 0.228-inch group. That straddles the Daisy’s results — with the 5-shot group being smaller, and the 10-shot group being larger.

RWS R10 Heavy Match
RWS R10 Heavy (actually 7.70 grains) pellets put 5 into 0.138 inches (left) and 10 into 0.228 inches.

The results
From the standpoint of accuracy in this test, H&N Finale Match pellets were the clear winner. RWS R10 and Daisy Precision Max pellets just about tied, and Crosman Competition pellets gave the largest groups. What does all this mean?

If your youth shooters are just beginning their careers in shooting, any one of these pellets is good enough. Your shooters won’t be able to hold as tight as I did here (I shot from a rested position) for some time. None of these 4 pellets will be a disadvantage to them.

But when your shooters start posting offhand scores above 90 (out of 100), they might want to rethink the ammunition they use. A shooter who can shoot a score of 285 or better out of 300 might make 2-3 extra points if they shoot the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets in the rifle I’m using today.

As I mentioned in Part 1, things may all look very good at 10 meters. It really takes a 25-yard distance before you start to notice one pellet’s performance over another’s — that is, unless you’re a top competitor and can really use every point your rifle has to offer. When that’s the case, then thousandths of an inch start to matter.

One  final lesson — please notice that the 10-shot groups are all larger than the 5-shot groups shot with the same pellet. There’s your illustration of what I’ve been saying for many years. Ten-shot groups give a clearer picture of a gun’s accuracy than 5-shot groups.

This was only the first half of the test. We still have to see how all these pellets perform in the RWS 72.