Qiang Yuan pellet comparison test: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Qiang Yuan pellets
Qiang Yuan is a pellet name that’s unknown in the U.S. Olympic pellets in the red box (200), match-grade pellets in the yellow box (200) and training pellets in the round tin (500). These 3 will each be pitted against equivalent pellets that are well known.

This report covers:

• Qiang Yuan match-grade pellet
• FWB 300S air rifle
• Crosman Challenger PCP rifle
• Summary
• Up next

Let’s look at the second Qiang Yuan pellet — the Qiang Yuan Match Pellet. The test structure is the same as before.

Qiang Yuan match-grade pellet
Let’s talk about this pellet for a moment. As of the publication date of this blog report, this pellet sells for $12.99 for a box of 200. Inside the box there are 4 foam trays with 50 pellets each. They’re arranged in rows of 10, which is the universal way airgun 10-meter competitors want them, because all matches are shot in multiples of 10 targets — 40 targets or 60 targets, and so on. A competitor uses his pellet box to know exactly where he is in the match. This prevents him from shooting at the wrong bull, since only one shot is fired per bull in a match. If a second pellet hits the same bull, the lower score is taken.

Qiang Yuan Match Pellet
Qiang Yuan Match Pellet is well made and looks very uniform.

Qiang Yuan Match Pellet pack
Each box of Qiang Yuan match-grade pellets comes packed in 4 foam trays, with 50 pellets per tray. This is how target shooters want their pellets packed.

At the box price, this pellet retails for $32.48 for 500. That is still a lot less than RWS R-10 Match Heavy pellets in similar 500-count boxes ($47.95), but I bet it’s an eye-opener for some of you! This is not a pellet to trifle with. You buy them only if they’re the absolute best in your target airgun, or you buy a box to try them once.

For the premium match-grade pellet used in today’s test, I selected an RWS Meisterkugeln. That will probably draw a lot of criticism, because Meisters are really for training, but competitors are only interested in the all-out competition pellets. The concept of a training pellet doesn’t work for competitors. They pick the best pellet for their guns, then buy a huge quantity of the same lot of that one pellet. In a serious competitor’s eyes, training with anything less than what you would use in competition isn’t training at all.

But there’s a place for training pellets, because not everyone who shoots 10-meter target rifles and pistols is going to compete. Also, at the junior level, during the time the kids are learning how to shoot, any good pellet is going to be more accurate than they are. And the 75 to 90 percent savings in ammunition costs is well worth it.

However, when a shooter starts scoring above 85 percent in a match (above 340 points in a 400-point match), it’s time to stop saving money and go with the best pellets you can can find. The best pellets will add a couple more points to your score when you shoot at that level. But this discussion is taking us away from today’s topic, which is how well these Qiang Yuan match-grade pellets shoot in our 2 test rifles.

FWB 300S air rifle
First rifle up was the venerable Feinwerkbau 300S sidelever. In the last report, there were several comments that said I should be using a modern 10-meter target rifle to make this test more realistic. Why? The FWB 300S is just as accurate as any of today’s most expensive PCP target rifles. Where it falls short is in ergonomics. The new target rifles are far easier to shoot accurately than the 300S, plus they cock much easier — they’re not more accurate. However, since I’m shooting off a rest, none of that should make any difference.

I warmed-up the action with 4 shots before beginning the test. I used that session to make some small adjustments to the rear sight based on where the groups were printing last time. Then, it was time to shoot.

The first pellet tested was the RWS Meisterkugeln. This pellet comes in 2 different weights in .177 caliber. I used the heavier 8.2-grain pellet. Is it match grade? No. RWS doesn’t advertise it that way. It’s a training pellet at best. I chose it because it costs more than the RWS Hobby I used in the last test, but there’s no guarantee this rifle will like this pellet.

You can’t base pellet performance on cost. That’s like basing scholastic achievement on hair color. You base pellet performance on what I’m doing in this test. So, we can discuss the fact that this isn’t a fair comparison, and I’ll agree with you, but I don’t see any way to make the test fair. It’s always going to end up being the Qiang Yuan pellet against some other pellet, and I don’t know what pellets this 300S likes. So, it is what it is.

What I’m saying is that just because I happened to select this pellet for this test doesn’t mean a thing. The test will show how good this pellet is in the 2 rifles.

Ten Meisterkugeln pellets went into a group that measures 0.381 inches between centers. Remember, there are 10 pellets in this group, not 5. After seeing this group, I now know that this is not a good pellet for this particular FWB 300S. All you have to do is read Part 1, where the same rifle put 10 RWS RWS Hobby pellets into a slightly smaller group that measured 0.328 inches between centers. And it put 10 Qiang Yuan Training pellets into 0.234 inches.

RWS Meisterkugeln target FWB
Shooting the FWB 300S, 10 RWS Meisterkugeln made this 0.381-inch group at 10 meters.

Next, I tried 10 Qiang Yuan Match grade pellets. Ten of them made a group that measures 0.314 inches. That’s much better than what the Meisters did, but still not as good as the Qiang Yuan Training pellets. See how this works?

RWS Qiang Yuan Match Pellet target FWB
The 300S did better with the Qiang Yuan match-grade pellets. Ten are in 0.314 inches at 10 meters.

Crosman Challenger PCP rifle
It’s time to try the Crosman Challenger PCP. I began with RWS Meisterkugeln pellets and did the same warm-up/sight adjustment as with the FWB 300S. Then, I shot for record. Ten Meisterkugeln pellets  went into a group measuring 0.272 inches between centers. That’s much better than the same rifle did with RWS Hobbys (0.424 inches), but not as good as Qiang Yuan Training pellets (0.181 inches).

RWS RWS Meisterkugeln target Challenger
Ten Meisterkugeln pellets went into this 0.272-inch group at 10 meters.

It was time to try the Qiang Yuan Match pellets in the Challenger PCP. Ten made a group measuring exactly 0.25 inches between centers — a quarter-inch group! It was the best group shot today, but not the best of the entire test. So far, the Qiang Yuan Training pellets shoot the best in this rifle.

RWS Qiang Yuan Match Pellet target Challenger

Qiang Yuan Match pellets in the Challenger PCP went into 0.25 inches at 10 meters. This was the smallest group of today’s test, though not the smallest group we’ve seen with Qiang Yuan pellets.

Summary
We’re now two-thirds of the way through this pellet test. So far, I think we’ve found that these Qiang Yuan pellets are very good pellets in general — certainly belonging with the other pellets we think of as premium. However, today we have discovered that the Training pellets outshoot the Match pellets — even though they cost only one-third as much! I hope that lesson sinks in.

At the price today’s pellets sell for, they really do have to excel to be worth it. Of course, it’s always worth trying them, but make sure when you do that you have a yardstick for comparison.

Up next
The next test will be with the Qiang Yuan Olympic Pellets. They cost even more than these and are certainly among the most expensive pellets in the world. The same 2 rifles will be used. This time, I’ll select the most accurate premium pellet (based on past tests performed for this blog) for each rifle. I haven’t checked, yet, but I believe that will turn out to be 2 different pellets — one for each rifle.

110 thoughts on “Qiang Yuan pellet comparison test: Part 2

  1. BB,

    Im not coming down on you again for using the Meisters. You already explained.
    About the shooting ranges, theres one thing you should know.
    There ARE 9 meter matches, they are officially sanctioned en governed by the shooting federation. The airguns used are open sights ONLY.
    So, above the crown of the barrel you shoot with a front post. Above the action you use the old skool traditional u-notch. So there is no diopter attached to the rifle. The rifles used are the same match grade rifles as youll see at the 10m Olympic style matches.
    The aiming point isnt 6-o’-clock. Its BELOW 6-o’-clock. You want to leave a small amount of light between the target and the front post. My experience is you need more light at the shooting range, cos of the BELOW 6-o’-clock aiming point.
    When the diopter and ring insert became mandatory on rifles, a lot of the old skool shooters crossed over to the open sight 9m division.


    • LOL! My 1906 BSA was designed for 10 yard competition. I thought it was because the British shot 10 yards and on the Continent they shot 10 meters. So it is still around. How about that. Learn something new every day.


      • RR,

        I thought the 1906 is a rimfire? A far cousin of the 30-06 lee enfield? The rimfires are shot at 12meters and 50 meters.
        Sientiffic research has proven its easier to shot a “10” at 10 meters with an airgun…. than 12 meters with a rimfire. Not because of the distance, but cos of all the variables that come in play (canting error, vision haux)
        There was a discussion between 10m airshooters an 12m rimfire shooters…. about with was more difficult. An architect who also was a Great mathematician, wrote a 12 pages paper about this topic. He went in on all the physics that come in play.




          • RR,

            Remember you mentioning learning every day?
            -that counts for me too!

            That sure is a nice one!! What we of course like to know….. -the famous question-…..
            How does it shoot??


            • Not too bad. I need to do a little more work to the trigger, but it is shooting almost as good as what BB is showing with the 300 and the Challenger.

              It is my go to air rifle when I need to kill a few feral soda cans. I have taken a feral soda can with it at 50 yards.





                • GF1,

                  Well, I guess it is in the eye of the beholder. According to the Bluebook it is probably worth about $200 – $250. I have been seeing similar priced at $300 – $400+.

                  This thing is all machined steel and the stock is walnut. It would likely cost $2000+ to make it now. It shoots as well as most spring piston air rifles.

                  I will happily sell the rest of my collection, meager as it is, as long as I have this one to play with. It just suits me and is such a joy to shoot.


                  • RR
                    Really? That’s all they book for.

                    It seems like I see these vintage guns and scopes show up from time to time and I think they are worth more than what they are.

                    It seems that the times have not caught up to what vintage air guns are or what they will be worth in the future.

                    I guess that’s good in a sense. Look what happen with muscle cars. You can’t hardly buy a original one unless your a millionaire.


                    • GF1,

                      Part of the reason is this is still a pretty small thing in the US. Give it another 10 years and prices for collectables will likely skyrocket. A lot of these guys who have been collecting them are trying real hard to shove the prices up so they can make enough money for their retirement.


                  • RR
                    I can see the prices going up in the future.

                    But I don’t know about 10 years. It could be sooner.

                    That’s definatly something to keep in mind though.


          • RidgeRunner
            I just spent a leisurely hour reading all about the beginnings of BSA’s iconic spring piston air rifles from the link you so generously provided. I’d never seen nor heard of the BSA Goldstar 10 shot under leaver spring piston design. I believe I read somewhere about Diana or Gamo having a repeating cartridge design as well. You would need to have a good memory of your shot count, lest you dry-fire the eleventh shot, thinking it was the 10th. Or was some fail safe designed to prevent dry fires?
            Thanks for a look at what surely must be considered one of the premium airgun makers, and innovators of our time.
            Ciao
            Titus


            • I believe it was Gamo who had one. I am not sure about Diana.

              These mechanisms were complicated and would require precise machining. That would increase cost dramatically. Also, if I am not mistaken they were prone to breakage when not handled properly.

              My 1906 BSA is all machined steel. The barrel and breech block are machined from a single piece of steel. To exactly reproduce this air rifle today would cost in the thousands.




  2. Was there a measurable difference between the match grade pellets and the practice grade that could account for this?

    One would think that the higher grade pellets should, at least, be more uniform, and it looked like they had the same shape.


    • Tim,

      Differences are measurable as well as optical. The Meisters, if you examine them, have a lengthwise ridge. From the same brand, the r10 match, doesnt have that ridge. Translated Meisterkugeln means Masterbullets. Theres nothing Meister about that pellet. They sell well all over the world, except in Germany…… of all places.

      The match rifle is clamped in a special bench. Permanently fixed with 6 pressure clamps. Theres no movement whatsoever. Different batches and seizes from rws R10 and h&n match will be shot. If you find the right pellet, you buy all the remaining pellets from that batch.


  3. B.B.,

    A question on judging the “best” pellets for one’s own particular gun…..(group size)

    You often mention that 10 shot groups are the best. 5 shot groups give you a pretty good idea,.. and 3 shot groups are a guess.

    ***I shoot 5 shot groups. So, if I shoot (2) 5 shot groups with a pellet,..then do the same with 3 other pellets,…would this not be considered the same as (4) 10 shot groups?

    The largest of each of the (2) 5 shot groups, would be considered the end/best result for each pellet.

    I’m probably missing something here, but it makes sense to me that it would be the same.

    Thanks, Chris


    • Not necessarily. Sometimes you might have two smaller groups that aren’t in the same place. Say, two .5 inch groups, but the centers are a quarter inch apart, so the total ten inch group is 3/4s inch.

      The whole point is to be able to reliably hit your target. If your poi is wandering around then you don’t know where it is going to hit.

      Theoretically, the bigger the group (number of shots) the better, but also the bigger the more chance of you making mistakes.


    • Chris,

      Sure. Just shoot both of those 5-shot groups at the same target!

      I mean it. Shoot one group, then measure it without taking the target down. Then shoot the second group at the same target.

      Do this 10 times and I will bet that 10 times out of 10, the 10-shot groups will be larger than the first 5. In fact, I will bet that only a couple times in a thousand will they not grow.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        I have noticed that in competitive benchrest shooting that the group sizes that occur when you overlay all twenty five shots are typically very good. As good or better than most 10 shot groups I get from shooting at one bullseye. I don’t quite understand this phenomena. Along with the 5 shot vs 10 shot group it’s kind of fascinating. It would be an interesting study if it hasn’t been done already although I’m not sure how one would go about it. That would take some thought. Intuitively I’m not sure that a 10 shot group always being larger than a five shot group should necessarily be the norm although that’s the way it is. Interesting.

        G&G



          • B.B.,

            Sometimes I will continue to shoot at the target after the first 10 shots just for grins. The groups never get much larger. So you are right about 10 shots being the optimum number for determining accuracy. How did you discover that anyway? Were you intentionally experimenting with different shot counts to come up with the optimum number? I’m curious about that.

            G&G


        • G&G
          I know exactly what your talking about.

          Its because you have true pin point spot to aim at on your fresh target.

          When you start getting a cluster of pellets hitting. Its a mind thing to start aiming for the center of the cluster of pellet holes and not concentrating on your true target bullseye.

          That’s why when I practice shooting I take a white piece of copier paper and make nine 1/8″ round black dots on the paper. Then I shoot one shot at each dot.

          To me that represents how I shoot. Like if I set up a little field target range in my back yard. Or if I’m shooting a pest starling or a mouse.

          I’m only taking one shot at that mouse or starling or field target. So when I practice I want to take 9 shots but I want only one pellet and only one shot per target black dot I made.

          I think that way it gives me one precise spot to concentrate on for each new target I shoot at on the paper.


          • Gunfun1,

            I really like your idea of the “shoot once at a dot” method.

            I see that as the “perfect” way to practice……

            “Perfect” that is,…once I have determined the best pellet for the gun, have sighted the scope at a given yardage, and have hold over/under figured out at diff. ranges.

            As you, (and others), know,..I still have a ways to go.

            Right now, I am still focused on group size. I am always aiming at the bull, but do not really care where they hit as long as they group well. Once I determine a good pellet, adjust W/E for it and it’s done. The rest is me.


            • Chris, USA
              Remember I’m still shooting a group of 9 but at individual targets.

              Its still very easy to take those 9 shots and see how far they fall from the dot and at what distinct place. Matter of fact a quick glance at the 9 shots is very easy to determine what the group would be and where the group is located from bullseye.

              And I know what you mean its easier for people to see a group when all 9 or 10 shots are taken at one black target dot in one place.

              But I have to ask this question. If you have your gun and scope zeroed in on the bullseye and you start testing different pellets and let’s say you do a good job of getting the scope dialed in. And you shoot a group of 9 or 10 shots and the group is a one inch group and the pellets fall all around your little black dot that was made. You should still be able to determine your group the same as I do shooting 9 or 10 shots at individual dots.

              And yes when you shoot for groups it doesn’t matter where the group falls as long as you keep aiming at the bullseye.

              But I like my guns to be on bullseye the best I can even if I’m shooting groups.

              I guess I been shooting and looking at targets for a long time and it just comes natural for me to see
              the things I want from my shots. And then when I talk about it I don’t think about somebody not see the thing that I’m seeing.

              And as it goes everybody has their own ways of doing something. But what I want to see all the time is where my one shot one kill let’s say hits in relation to the target. If all my shots fall in that kill zone size I determine than that means that pellet is grouping good.

              You know draw 9 half inch circles and fire one shot at each circle and if all shots fall in each half inch circle what size group would I of just shot. Or if I draw .200″ diameter circles and all shots fell inside each circle. What size group would that be.

              What it would be us a group that is smaller than the circle I drew. If one or two shots didn’t make it inside that .200″ circle then obviously the group would be bigger than .200″.

              And I probably ain’t explaining the best I can.


              • Gunfun1,

                Yeah, I get it. I was just saying I like your method. One shot, one kill. If I see a target and pick up the gun, I want to know where that pellet will hit.

                The 4 types I have all group a little different around the bull, so zeroing the scope for a paticular pellet is not a concern yet. Just trying to find the tightest groups from a pellet on a consistant basis.

                And “kill zone as well”. I really like the ring binder reinforcement stickers. They are 9/16 od and 1/4 id. I would say that is a good zone to be in.


                • Chris, USA

                  I really like that idea of the ring binders.

                  By chance are there different colors you can get. Although I guess it would be easy to use a colored marker of choice and color them in while they are still on the the sheet they are on.

                  They do come on a sheet right? And how many do you get and how much do they cost?

                  Let me know I’m interested in them and I’m going to try to find some and try this weekend.


                  • Gunfun,

                    Wally world. I think about 3-4$ for 500 of them. 4 Neon or flourecent colors, what ever you want to call it. They are great.

                    Also trying 1/4″ dots, colored the same. Yellow ones are harder to see on quality graph paper, or any white paper.


                    • Chris, USA

                      Thanks I will be picking me some up.

                      They will work good on my T shaped targets that I made out of 7″ long 2×4’s.

                      I set them out in the yard and use them as my mini field target course.

                      If I get them stickers I should be able to stick a couple to the wood with out having to cut paper and tape it on all the time.

                      I guess that’s if they are sticky enough.


          • Gunfun 1,

            I do the same thing you do for target practice. It’s particularly good when getting ready for a match.

            You might like to know that I use a website named MYTARGETS.COM for printing out targets. There are a variety of dot sizes and configurations plus a variety of misc. bullseye and other target types. I print the one I want on target grade paper. Everything is free by the way. I find it very convenient.

            When I am just shooting groups I use the Gamo targets but I add a “shoot n c” 1″ red bullseye in the center. That way I have a small aim point which as you know is much better than just shooting at a 1/2″ or 1″ circle. I also get very clean holes this way.

            G&G


        • Once you get to 10-shot samples (either “groups” or holes in overlain targets), you are likely to have samples out in the tails of the statistical bell curve(s). Most people can shoot “groups” (shots at one sitting) that are better than the overlain targets because, to put it simply and briefly (but hopefully understandably), they “get in a groove” and can maintain their technique (sight picture, holds, pressures, trigger squeeze, etc.) in that same “groove”–or at least with less variability than they can maintain between broken shooting sessions. When a new session is started, small changes in technique usually creep-in (which can be particularly significant when shooting hold sensitive guns) and the shooter operates in a slightly different “groove.” The phenomena you’ve observed in the results of benchrest shooters’ overlain groups is testimony to their high skill level! The best of them only shoot in “one groove,” all the time!

          -Cal


      • B.B. and Tim,

        Yes,…thinking about air gun topics at work today I realized,.. “what if the the 2 groups were centered at different points?”….. .5 group + .5 group with a .5 center diff. = a 1.0 group.

        I will keep that in mind,.. and give 10 shot groups a try. Thanks.


    • Chris,

      Frankly you’re missing an understanding of statistics.

      Think of groups in this way. I shoot a 5 shot group. Now if I shoot an additional 5 shots at that target. Can the group size get smaller after 5 more shots? Of course not! Additional shots can only only make the group larger.

      The fact is that the largest group and the smallest group are not good statistical estimators. What you are really looking for is the average group size over a number of groups.

      Imagine doing this 30 times. You shoot a 5-shot group, measure it, and then then take 5 more shots at the same target and measure again. You can then get some average measurement for the 5-shot groups, and a somewhat larger average measurement for the 10-shot groups. In the best case the 10-shot group will be 124% larger than the 5-shot group.

      The best case meaning that horizontal and vertical errors are equal and independent.

      If you’re a good student of statistics then you noticed that I fudged a it on making two measurements at 5 and 10 shots. Smaller than average 5-shot groups would get “abnormally” larger with 5 more shots, and larger than average 5-shot shots wouldn’t get “normally” larger with 5-more shots. However to show the difference would require a lot of data. To do the experiment the “right” way you should really take say 20 5-shot groups, and then shoot 20 10-shot groups. Then there would be no correlation between the 5-shot groups and the 10-shot groups.


  4. I like to shoot 2 five shot groups and 1 ten shot group with 10 pellets. Shoot a 5 shot group (target 1) and measure it. Superimpose a second target (#2) over #1 and shoot a second 5 shot group. Now you have a 10 shot group and 2 five shot groups, and you have used only 10 pellets! If you use an assistant (I use my wife) you can remain at the bench and minimize the down time between groups. Walking back and forth to place the second target can affect your blood pressure and breathing rate. When I don’t use my assistant, I do not notice any difference, but the possibility does exist and an assistant will remove that possible variable. Ed



  5. B.B.,

    I think I’m missing something here. Looking at these pellets from a strictly logical viewpoint it seems that by the descending nature of the name and price of these Chinese pellets that the Olympic should always be better than the Match which should always be better than the Training. Although you haven’t tested the Olympics yet this logic has already broken down with the Match and Training.

    I don’t get it. What is the point in the naming system with an increasingly higher price? Beyond that, despite the fact these pellets are very expensive there is a very good chance that in any given gun (rifle) standard Match grade pellets in a tin from makers such as RWS, H&N, JSB,etc. will outperform any of these Qiang Yuan pellets at a significantly lower price. I’m sure the same holds true for any of the pellets in trays in a box made by RWS, H&N, JSB, etc. as well.

    I think the fancy packaging is basically a marketing tool, even if the pellets are better made. There is no way to avoid the necessity of having to try a variety of pellets in any given gun to determine the best pellet for that gun. Name, manufacture and price do not really mean anything when it comes to determining the best pellet for your rifle. As an example, I have a rifle (the Walther Lever Action 1894 replica) that will not group at all with anything but the Meisterkugelns used in today’s test. I have tried over 20 pellets in this rifle.

    Anyway, I’ll go back to my opening statement. I think I’m missing something because I’m not sure what the purpose of this test is. I am not being sarcastic by the way.

    I think it would be great if manufacturers sold a brand of their pellets already sorted by weight and head size then carefully packaged. I’m sure they would be extremely expensive but they would only be used in competitions for that reason. That is really what I would expect from the Match and Olympic pellets by Qiang Yuan given the price.

    I may be way off base here but this is what I am taking away from these specific pellet tests. Really, I’m just thinking out loud.

    G&G


    • G&G,

      Oh, you get it, alright! You just don’t like it!

      THAT IS MY POINT! And that is also one of the big teaching points of this test — besides testing these new pellets. I am showing people how and why they must test their pellets.

      You can’t choose the best pellet by the name, the price or where the manufacturer positions it. You choose the best pellet the way I’m doing it here.

      B.B.



      • B.B.,

        If what I wrote above IS the point of the test then obviously I get it.

        You’re not correct about one thing though. I don’t mind it at all. I do it with every new rifle or handgun I buy. I have to if I want to hit what I shoot at and be competitive in matches. The reason I am puzzled is that after all your previous posts and teachings it seems obvious to me so I was wondering if there was some other objective to the test. Really, I said that I was not being sarcastic.

        Just like anyone else I do get frustrated when it takes a large number of pellet brands before I find the right one. It can also get expensive if I have to buy very many new tins of pellets I don’t already have to find the right pellet.

        That is what happened with the Walther Lever Action rifle I talked about. It’s not likely that I would have ever bought the Meisterkugelns otherwise. Now I keep a couple of tins of these around for that rifle only. I don’t use them for any other gun I have. I was also very surprised that these were the best pellet for this rifle. I get .75″ to 1″ groups at 25 yards with the Meisterkugelns. This is the best I have been able to do with this rifle (I do use the seating tool).Every other pellet I have tried make the rifle look like a shotgun. It was(is) extremely frustrating. I searched every forum or blog I could find to see what pellet others were using in this rifle and what their experience was. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find very much.

        I am with you on this series of tests and find them very interesting.

        G&G


    • The fact is these pellets are well made, they will be weight graded….the olympic and match may well be the same pellet just with more accurate weight grading
      (If H&N’s way of doing things is anything to go by)
      However, that’s not to say every rifle will like them…not to say the Olympic will be any better in the Feinwerkbau than the practice ones, all that match graded pellets really do is give you a guarantee of conformity and condition, saving a lot of time inspecting and weighing
      All other aspects of finding the right pellet for your rifle
      I’m having a puzzle with an HW77 I’ve just bought (1987), it’s lousy with H&N FTT, which though rarely the best with them are normally in the top 3 (Weihrauch use them at the factory) but I can’t get an inch group at 20 yards….time to buy some JSB’s and RWS then….



        • Yes I’m going to give it all a good clean tonight, the groups are round so it’s not the optics, I thought it was me but immediately got just over a quarter inch with the Diana 52 over 5 pellets
          Clean the barrel thoroughly and try a few more pellets, from a bench this time rather than using the yard broom as a shooting stick (wasn’t bad actually)
          I’ve got some RWS pointed and Hobby’s in 22 but that’s probably not the best place to start. I’ll pick up some AA Field and RWS Superfields (often good in Weihrauch springers…my 22 HW35 likes them)


    • Having actually tested all three of these compared to H&N Finale Match rifle out of an Air Arms S400 MPR, I found that the training pellets preformed on par with the H&N’s while the Match and Olympic pellets outperformed them in that gun. Each step up showed more consistent results with their lines. Similar to H&N or RWS, you see similar results when going from H&N Match to H&N Finale Match or RWS Meisters to RWS R10. For a 10m shooter, everything is about precision and consistency. If I am competent enough to shoot 10’s every time and the gun is up to the task, then my pellets need to be as consistent as possible so I can do my best. And in my testing before these became commercially available via PA, the QY pellets preformed better than the current top of the line H&N pellet. There wouldn’t be shooters training under the USA shooting program using these if they weren’t better than H&N or RWS. But there are, so what does that tell you?

      BB is 100% correct here on testing as well. There is no “silver pellet” that will work well in every gun. I tend to run to JSBs first with new guns, and that has seldom failed me, but I’ve owned countless springers that prefer H&N FTT or Baracuda’s over the JSB’s. Then I’ve had other guns that shoot the RWS Superdome’s lights out and won’t put the JSBs in the same zip code LOL. The gun will tell you what pellet it likes best, you just have to be willing to listen!

      Nice report BB, looking forward to the Olympic test and report! Expecting some impressive results.

      Tyler


      • Tyler,

        “Silver pellet.” I like that. Being as old as I am, I believe I will remember that term and forget where I first heard it! 😉

        I didn’t appreciate how difficult this concept is to get across until I read today’s comments. Apparently the marketeers have a lot of power over the buying public.

        B.B.


      • Tyler
        Read my comment above to BB.

        But you hit the nail on the head.Every gun needs to be tested with multiple brands of pellets.

        And hopefully the pellet that you find that works in your gun is a cheaper priced pellet.

        And then its real nice when you find one pellet that works in multiple guns. I really like when I come across that pellet.

        And then there is those trouble guns that you try multiple pellets, look for things that could be wrong with the gun. Then you decide to give the gun one last chance in the quest to find the right pellet. Then low and behold you find it and the gun turns in to a shooter.

        As they say anything posable if you try.

        But yes I agree with you about pellets.


    • G&G,

      Interesting on the Walther. I would have expected better accuracy.

      Had the 1894 had just a little different looks, it would have been my first choice.


  6. You see lots of shooters say they bought a particular pellet for their airgun, and never try others, because those shoot so well. Maybe they are lucky or they are happy with that particular result. I believe it is part of the fun of owning an airgun, or firearm, finding the right ammo combination. Sometimes it amazes me what works. I tried a good number of the top competition pellets in my FWB-300S, and the one that always delivers the best group, the H&N Pistol Match pellets. Even the Beeman version, HS Match, give impressive results. It is very good advice for all shooters, test different kinds of ammo, and you may find real gem, not only in the ammo, but your gun as well…


    • JCk
      You are right about that.

      But one thing you have to keep in mind is maybe that person has shot for a number of years. And they have tryed too many pellets to list. And they even went as far as what pellet worked better in the wind. Or what pellet worked best at what distance. Or what pellet design worked best for what type of shooting they use that pellet for.

      I know when I say I use one pellet that I know works good I guess I really should say. This is the pellet that works best in my gun after itryed multiple pellets in different conditions and spent multiple hours and days and weeks shooting to find this one pellet that works good in my gun.

      Not trying to sound like I’m being a smart you know what. Because I don’t mean to be at all. Its just that a open mind has to be kept when a person SATs they have one favorite pellet that works.



        • Oh, I keep an open mind. If someone is happy with their combination, then that is good. I might say, you ought to give these a try sometime, but don’t get into a heated discussion over it. The ones that bother me, and there is still nothing I can do about it, are the ones who buy a gun and some ammo, try it out, are dissatisfied with the results and get rid of it. I was at the range once watching a guy with a brand new Browning BAR in 7mm Remington Magnum. He was shooting it as fast as he could, and he was resting the barrel on the front rest. I watched as his shots were hitting all over the target, from top to bottom, left to right. He went through three boxes of ammo in what seemed like five minutes. He went into the gun store bought two more boxes of ammo, and return to shoot it in the same fashion. There was smoke pouring off the barrel and out of the forearm. He was yelling how terrible the gun shot. He put into his foam lined case, and I just had to smile as I watched it sink barrel first down into the case. It was only when the foam began to smolder that I went over and pointed out what was happening. He pulled it out, but the gooey mess on the gun was awful. Later he was trying to trade the rifle in the gun store for something more accurate. I thought he’ll never be happy if that’s the way he test guns. The guy behind the counter was trying to peel off the foam from the barrel. I still wonder what he said was the reason, it was on the barrel. My point, the testing method is as important as the item being tested…



          • JCK,

            Awesome story! I’m sure it was quite the sight.

            Sounds like he got his “How to shoot” instruction from watching all of the Rambo movies.

            How do they get 50 shots out of a single clip anyways? 😉


    • Johnny, I was laughing along with you at the guy with the foam-encrusted Browning. But part of me was wondering whether I could just as easily been that guy. There but for the grace…

      Even though I know full well that ammo selection is so key, I’m always backsliding and trying to cheap out on it. And/or I fail to budget for it when acquiring something that I don’t already have a good ammo selection for.

      I got a stone-cold fabulous Walther LGR-U a couple of years ago. Jumped right to the AA Falcons and got lucky. You just can’t wipe the grin off of my face shooting this rifle+ammo combination at all different ranges. But then I started dabbling in the 6m Zimmer Silhouetten postal matches that Hector M.G. has been hosting the last two years, and found myself really wanting a wadcutter to ease the scoring. Having no wadcutters on hand at all, I did my search in half measures. Invested probably $30-40 in a small selection of well reputed but not-too-premium wadcutters, and totally failed to find a WC that out-shoots the Falcons.

      I probably should have grabbed myself two or three Pyramyd 4-for-3 deals worth of WCs all at once and done a proper ammo search. Then, I could have sold off the remainder, or kept the stockpile if I thought I’d be repeating the drill.

      For now, if I want to punch paper for score, even at 6m, I’ve still got to deal with vague domed-pellet holes…

      Sigh,
      Jan


  7. Love these discussions.

    I have to admit that it is only in the past 18 months or so that I have really been paying close attention to group-size on paper. After looking at hundreds of perforated target faces (thank you BB!) I’m starting to think of the two components that determine the group size: PRECISION and ACCURACY in detail.

    Pardon if I ramble while putting my thought in order…

    PRECISION to me is the consistency in the projectile manufacture, the power-plant performance, the delivery system (barrel harmonics) under specific atmospheric conditions to REPEATLY put the pellet in the same hole every time. The deviation from “exact” is caused by variation in tolerances and results in our (theoretical) group size.

    ACCURACY is the ability of the shooter and alignment system (scope/sights) to place that group on target but inconsistencies here will also affect the precision (group size).

    So, in theory, we are using a ten-shot group as a reasonable reflection of the combination of the precision and accuracy of the hardware and the shooter. Makes sense to me.

    Once we have matched pellet and rifle the main considerations for accuracy are the shooter’s skill and the pellet manufacturing consistency. Buying premium pellets or doing our own sorting by weight and size should yield the best results providing we control barrel leading and such.

    Frequently it is pointed out that there is a cluster of holes with a number of strikes outside the cluster.

    Would it be reasonable to presume that the cluster is the “real group” representative of the possible precision and the other “fliers” showing up pellets that are outside of “normal” size and weight?

    Was thinking, when picking pellets randomly from an unsorted can that I could consider 10% of match pellets, 20% of quality pellets and 40% of economy pellets to be “non-conformists” and ignore them in the group.

    Anyway, too much thinking. Obviously suffering from cabin-fever and need to get out and do some shooting!

    Vana2


    • Vana2
      I do believe that the pellets that fall outside the cluster is because of the variables of the pellet itself if the other pieces are in order like you also said in your statement.

      And of course if I know absalutly that I did not pull that shot. Then that could definitely be a big part of having a flyer.


    • Vana2. I thought I had managed to understand precision and accuracy at one point, but the blog has convinced me that I do not. I think the problem is that the abstract definitions of these ideas are clear, but in practice in airgunning, they become inextricably intertwined as you point out.

      My understanding is that precision is exactness and accuracy is repeatability. So a precise group is a tiny group that might be anywhere on paper. An accurate group is one that is at point of aim. On the other hand, with accuracy defined as repeatability (rather than correctness), then the tiny group could be considered accurate as well. I don’t think a large group centered on point of aim could be considered precise.

      I think this gets back to what a match pellet is anyway. It must be one that is made to exacting tolerances so that all the pellets are uniform without reference to any particular gun. Accuracy may lie in the fit between the pellet and the gun. On the other hand, the degree of fit here could constitute a kind of precision of its own. So it is possible that an RWS Hobby, despite generally looser tolerances, could on average have a tighter fit to my gun than a match pellet that is more uniform but deviates from the fit of my gun. One can only conclude that either accuracy and precision are semantics. Or they need to be very clearly specified in any discussion.

      As far as excluding fliers, I think you are only allowed to exclude called fliers where you know you have screwed up. 🙂 Otherwise, it is impossible to determine whether the fault lies in the pellet or your technique.

      Matt61


      • Hi Matt,

        This blog is a gold-mine of information and real food for thought isn’t it!

        I work in a technical industry and we draw clear distinctions between precision and accuracy. I understand what you are saying if I might present the four conditions in point form…

        Precise and accurate – a small group centered on the bulls-eye

        Precise and inaccurate – a small group off the bulls-eye

        Imprecise and accurate – a large group centered on the bulls-eye

        Imprecise and inaccurate – a large group scattered all over the target

        And then we have Flanagan’s rule of accuracy which states: Measure with micrometer; mark with chalk; cut with axe. I try to remember this rule any time I focus too tightly on one aspect of something and lose my perspective.

        I think that terms, in this case accuracy and precision, need to be defined and understood by all in the discussion or there will be a lot of confusion. Kinda like a computer program – all the variables have to be declared before you start.

        B.B. points out what works, works and cost is not the deciding factor. I agree completely, finding the right pellet for the gun is critical to the precision of the system, without it we have no chance at achieving any accuracy.

        That being said, I always wait and buy the best gun I can afford – my justification being that the price of the gun is insignificant compared to the cost of all that ammunition that you will be putting through it. 

        While we are talking about definitions… to me “fliers” are when everything is solid/stable, the shot looks good and feels good and the pellet inexplicably hits somewhere unexpected. I call the other “off target” hits “misses” LOL!

        Have a great day!


        • Vana2,

          You gave the correct definitions of accuracy and precision as the terms are used in statistics. Unfortunately shooters are sloppy and tend to interchange the two terms which leads to all sorts of confusion. So if you’re going to write an article about precision and/or accuracy for shooters, then you need to include the definitions!


    • Vana2,

      A while back you got a scale and were going to weigh pellets. How did this ever turn out?

      I agree with you and Gunfun about “off” shots being attributed to wieght and head size varience 100%. While still new,..I KNOW I have shot 5 perfect shots, only to have 1 be off from the rest.

      I still have yet to weigh my “premium” 4 pellets and head sort them, but it is on my priority list of things to do.

      If I can verify improvement, I will give weight and size uniformity much more consideration.


      • Hi Chris,

        I did an initial check of several brands of pellets that I had and found that in a tin there is enough variation in weight to make me wonder how it will affect the POI at longer ranges.

        I haven’t sorted any tins yet so I don’t have a feel for what percentage of the pellets are significantly different than the average. I might spring for a can of the Qiang Yuan pellets for “special use” and to see how consistent (well sorted) they are.

        I just installed the Hawke Chairgun program and will be using it to look at the theoretical (dangerous word that!) change in velocity cause by weight variation and try to put that into perspective relative to other factors (head size, power plant, barrel condition etc.) that affect POI.

        I expect that at “close” range the straight-from-the-can pellets will be fine for most use. Both my AR20 and the HW100 have the power and accuracy potential at 50 + yards so the whole purpose of the exercise is to determine the range where sorting pellets is worth the time and effort.

        I use plus/minus a centimeter – about three-eighths of an inch – as my tolerance to determine my effective accuracy range so pellet consistency is important. If I can’t keep the hits in a three-quarter inch circle then I am shooting beyond my range and need to do more practice or move closer.

        Depends on what you are doing as well, casual shooting (my style) or serious FT or target competition.

        Fun stuff!


        • Vana2,

          I like your style. By doing this, it eliminates just one more variable in the equation.

          And yes, it takes time. I have done 500+ easy on cheap .177 Benjamins and ended up with 6 weights with 6 head sizes per weight. .1 on weight and .001 on size.

          I do believe there was discussion on physicaly expanding and then re-sizing skirts awhile back as well.

          If I was serious into FT or any Meter competition, I would do all 3 without question.

          Bottom line…you don’t know what you got unless you do it yourself.


  8. B.B., the high dollar pellets are way over my skill level. But even if they weren’t, I think as a proposition, the exacting tolerances are much outweighed by the fit of pellet to gun. So, unless one is willing to do super-exhaustive and expensive testing, match pellets are not economically worth it.

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      Everybody says that until their scores start rising. Then they start to wonder. “What if…?”

      I’ve seen the most frugal person shell out hundreds of dollars for premium pellets because he thought a certain pellet gave him more points.

      B.B.


  9. Hi guys…

    Speaking of pellets… Here’s something odd I noticed. Maybe some of the more experienced shooters can make sense of it:

    When playing with my Diana 31 yesterday, I noticed something interesting:

    After shooting Gecos and Umarex Cobras, I tried some JSB Exacts. The went into the breech very easily, indicating a fairly loose fit. I don’t know what happens when they’re fired… Maybe the blast of air presses them into the rifling pretty firmly.

    Interestingly, the rifle had a sharper and louder crack when firing the Exacts. My first idea was that some air was escaping around the pellet, but the shots seemed to be fairly powerful, at least by judging the dents the pellets put into a piece of metal (compared to the Cobras, which are pointed, though). I don’t have a chrony.

    Accuracy with the JSBs was always very good in all the rifles I tried them in as far as I can judge.

    Is this a good thing? What exactly does it mean? Any ideas?

    Kind regards,
    Stephan



    • I have noticed the same in an hw 35. 177 Exacts do fly faster hit harder than Crosman premier lites. The are also heavier, but not as accurate in fact groups at my small range of 26 ft the groups are pretty large. The premiers make a thimble sized hole, the exacts a quarter dollar size. Always trying to top the premier and I have yet to find it.


  10. BB: I don’t think so. I have heard detonations and I don’t think it was one. I have the weaker mainspring installed and I just used a little moly grease on the piston and very little silicone spray on the piston seal. I’ve never had a detonation after doing this.

    It was just a *little* louder and sharper (still much quieter than the rifle is with the powerful spring).



    • I have the same results with the JSB 10.34 exacts. They do fit loose. They usually chrony faster than a different brand pellet of the same weight. They are no louder when fired if not quieter. Shot cycle on spring guns is actually better also.

      And most of all they will group equal to or better than other pellets I have tried. Again that is in the guns I own or have owned.





    • Oh no Reb.

      You mean you got one of them dumb smart phones.

      Watch out. Before you know it. It will be arguing with you and telling you what to do.

      Hmm. Maybe they are clever little devices.


      • Most definitely a learning experience! This is actually my second Android and I’ve got an I -phone I never messed with. My main problems are physically trying to work the keyboards one-handed because I still can’t trust this left and reading the small text.

        Reb


        • Reb
          I use one hand or I should say thumb to type. And my other hand to rest the phone in.

          And back to guns. I asked you the other day and I don’t think you replied back. Or you may of and I missed it.

          Did you get your Crosman custom shop gun yet?


  11. Oh and BB

    Thanks for putting the type of pellet your shooting in the picture along with your dime for target and pellet hole size references.

    I remember when somebody asked you to that a while back. 🙂


  12. G&G—My typical results using my method is two 5 shot groups that are close in size and one 10 shot composite group larger than either of the two 5 shot groups. My atypical results are one 5 shot group larger than the other, and as large as the 10 shot composite group. I get more typical groups than atypical groups. Ed


  13. This was a very interesting report, I’ve been wondering about those pellets.

    I noticed the group sizes from the 300…..they seemed a bit large. I pellet tested one, and it’s favorite pellet (tested standing, so there’s a little bit of debate) was champions choice green tin. It shot a better group than the ones you are showing, and since I shot mine standing I think it would be even more accurate on a rest, like you shot yours.

    I’m not trying to brag, if I had those targets I would show them but sadly I don’t have them anymore. I guess it really doesn’t matter though, as the same gun was used so you still get a very good comparison.

    Is there any way you could test it in a FWB 700 or P70 action gun? Maybe in a vise? Make it super scientific!

    Great report, thank you for testing!


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