Qiang Yuan pellet comparison test: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

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 box (500) below. These 3 will be pitted against equivalent pellets that are well-known.

This report covers:

  • Qiang Yuan Olympic Grade pellets
  • Test design
  • Sidebar: My large cent
  • FWB 300S air rifle
  • FWB 300S air rifle: Bottom line
  • Crosman Challenger PCP air rifle
  • Comparing all the Qiang Yuan pellets
  • Bottom line

Qiang Yuan Olympic Grade pellets

Today, I’m finishing the test of the Qiang Yuan pellets with a look at the performance of the Qiang Yuan Olympic Grade pellets. I mentioned in Part 2 that the Qiang Yuan Match Pellets were pricy, at $32.48 for 500 (they come packaged 200 to a box). That made them less expensive than the RWS R-10 Match Heavy pellets, which cost $47.95 for 500, but they’re still a costly pellet.

Let’s look at the Olympic Grade pellets that retail for $16.99 for 200. That works out to $42.48 for 500 — still less than the R-10 Match Heavys, but costlier than the Qiang Yuan Match Grade pellets. To be worth that price, these pellets really have to perform, so I’m pitting them against the 2 best pellets in my two test target rifles — the FWB 300S and the Crosman Challenger PCP.

Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets
Qiang Yuan Olympic Grade pellets are very uniform.

Qiang Yuan Olympic pellet package
The Olympic Grade pellets are packed in trays of 100. Two trays to a box.

Test design

All shooting is from a rest at 10 meters. No attempt will be made to target the center of the bullseye. If the group is in the black portion, it’s good enough. We’re looking for repeatability — not a score. Each gun will shoot both its best pellet and the test pellet for one 10-shot group. Center-to-center measurement of the group size will determine the success of every pellet.

Sidebar: My large cent

Reader FrankB asked this weekend if I was the person who purchased the 1792 Birch Cent recently. While it wasn’t me, I do have an old cent. In fact, Edith says I have several!

My cent was minted in 1824, and I keep it in my desk to use as a tool for things that need coins to adjust. My large cent, while not the same as the large scent of Pepe LePew, is nonetheless a standout. Someday, when my eyes and nerves start going, I’ll substitute the famous dime for this cent for target comparisons.

large cent
My large cent may someday replace the famous Louie Roosevelt dime for target comparisons.

FWB 300S air rifle

First up was the FWB 300S. Its best pellet has been the H&N Finale Match Rifle pellet. This rifle has put 5 of these pellets into less than 0.10 inches at 10 meters under these test conditions. Today, I’m shooting 10 pellets, so I expected the groups to be larger. And they were. Ten H&N Finale Match Rifle pellets went into 0.19 inches.

H&N Finale Match Rifle
The FWB 300S put 10 H&N Finale Match Rifle pellets into a group that measured 0.19 inches between centers at 10 meters.

Next, I tried the Qiang Yuan Olympic Grade pellets in the same rifle. Ten of them made a group that measured an identical 0.19 inches between centers! While this is a surprising coincidence, you cannot expect it to happen every time you shoot. All we know for certain from this single group is that the Olympic Grade pellets are very good in this rifle.

Qiang Yuan Olympic Pellet group
The 300S put 10 Olympic Grade pellets into the same 0.19 inches at 10 meters.

FWB 300S air rifle: Bottom line

The bottom line for the FWB 300S is that the Qiang Yuan Olympic Grade pellet was the equal of the H&N Finale Match Rifle pellet in this very short test. Until now, the H&N has been the best pellet for the FWB 300S, so there’s a possibility that the Chinese pellet may be just as good, if not better. It would certainly be worth further investigation if you planned to compete with the rifle.

Crosman Challenger PCP air rifle

Next, I shot the Crosman Challenger PCP target rifle. This is the rifle Ed Schultz of Crosman created, hot on the heels of the launch of the Benjamin Discovery. Once he stabilized Crosman’s PCP production line, this target rifle was a high priority for him.

Crosman had been making a CO2 version of the same rifle, but the barrel wasn’t the same quality as this one. It was a nice rifle to shoot — had a nice trigger, easy loading and good ergonomics — it just couldn’t stand up to a Daisy 853 in matches. But the Challenger PCP turned that around and moved to the front of the pack among youth target rifles. The Challenger PCP was the best target rifle in its price category until the AirForce Edge came along to give it some competition.

The best pellet for the Challenger is the H&N Finale Match Pistol pellet with the 4.50mm head. Ten of them landed in the group that measures 0.184 inches between centers. Please note that this is slightly smaller than the best FWB 300S group — though the difference is really too close to measure accurately.

H&N Finale Match Pistol group
The Crosman Challenger put 10 H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets with 4.50mm heads into 0.184 inches at 10 meters.

The Qiang Yuan Olympic pellet made a smaller, rounder group in the Challenger. Ten went into 0.158 inches between centers. This is the smallest group of today’s test and, in fact, the smallest of the entire test of all three Chinese pellets.

Qiang Yual Olympic Match Pellet group
Crosman’s Challenger put 10 Olympic Grade pellets into this 0.158 inch group at 10 meters. This was the smallest 10-shot group of the entire test.

Comparing all the Qiang Yuan pellets

I didn’t expect the 3 Qiang pellets to line up as Good, Better and Best in the same way that their prices and titles seem to. And they didn’t. The inexpensive Training pellets shot better than the Match Grade pellets in both the test rifles, but the Olympic Grade pellets shot the best of all in both rifles. Clearly, this is a pellet worth considering for serious competition.

The Crosman Challenger out-shot the FWB 300S, which was another surprise. I knew it was an accurate target rifle, but not that accurate!

You have to bear in mind that these are all 10-shot groups. The 300S has turned in some 5-shot groups that were smaller than 0.10 inches in the past, and I suspect the Challenger is capable of similar accuracy.

Bottom line

The bottom line in this test is that these 3 Chinese pellets have now proven themselves. If you’re a casual shooter, I would certainly try the Training pellets in my target rifle. And if you compete, the Olympic Grade pellets are worth testing.

40 thoughts on “Qiang Yuan pellet comparison test: Part 3

  1. If a Chinese company has figured out the importance of quality control for pellets, can their vision of quality control for airguns be very far behind? Weihrauch and Diana better not be sitting on their laurels.


    • “If a Chinese company has figured out the importance of quality control for pellets, can their vision of quality control for airguns be very far behind?[
      It is not JUST airguns and pellets, believe me.
      I have been dealing with a few Chinese companies of late, and quality control, customer service, and design are improving by leaps and bounds. EG The Cherry automobile company may soon start selling in the US, and before you laugh at that, How many Korean cars have you seen around? Remember when they were thought to be garbage?


      • I believe you, they are our next door neighbors (I’m from the Philippines). Their manufacturing capabilities have grown leaps and bounds indeed. Ten years ago anything Made in China was cheap (probably the same thought existed in the 50’s for things made in Japan) but now their quality has gone up to the point that they are being compared to the Koreans during the 90’s. Give them a few more years and they will be a manufacturing center for everything.


        • An awful lot of people are afraid that China nwill surpass the US in economic development, and become the next superpower, I think that is inevitable, and the Chinese have figured out that war is counterproductive to their purpose
          Look at Japan, they were defeated in WW iI, and today every other car, almost every motorcycle on the road is a Japanese make
          North Korea with its saber rattling had better watch its back IMO


        • I may have missed the “cheap” phase of “Made in Japan”… “Made in Hong Kong” (or Taiwan) OTOH…

          Post WW-II, Japan’s industry basically absorbed the teachings of US “management gurus”
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming#Work_in_Japan
          and did focus on quality.

          Copy-cat — yes, they didn’t really innovate at that time… Cameras and such (copy Germany — Leica, for example)… making small transistor radios (jumping on the silicon [band]wagon while US companies were still based on tubes). Sure, a two/three transistor pocket radio in plastic case looked cheap — but what did the US offer? Carved wood cabinets that had to be powered from the wall socket?


  2. More of an observation than an exhaustve test, I bought a (four for three) set of the Qiang Yuan Training pellets and fired through the fabulous Air Arms S510 Extra FAC Limited Edition to be, at the very least, as good as anything else I’ve tried so far. The only limitation to this combination is me. Someday I might be worthy of the Match and/or Olympic grades.
    My only criticism of the training grade is the rather delicate clear plastic “non-tin” they come in that arrived broken and scattered when I received them. But hey, this is about the pellets, not the packaging. Besides, it would seem I’ve plenty of existing empty tins laying around waiting for legitimate recycling/decanting.
    Now if I could only figure a use for the 1.5 zillion empty CO2 carts laying around, all would be complete.



    • DryCreekRob,

      Welcome to the blog.

      I usually put a dime next to the targets I shoot and several years ago I wrote a report about that dime. Click on the link to The famous dime in the report to read the story about that incredible coin.

      B.B.


  3. You should test match-grade pellets with match air rifles – which surely neither the FWB300 nor the Crosman are. It’s like testing Formula1-tyres on an old Dodge… From a clamped rifle (but within the stock!) the Qiang Yuan pellet are capable to group under 6 mm with 10 shots, best group I know of has been 5.3 mm (measuring the outer diameter, not c-t-c) with a Walther LG400, but also (to be fair…) with some Feinwerkbau 700/800’s. You won’t be able to experience the real quality with leisure-time-rifles, but some people light their cigars with dollar bills, too…


    • My Dear Ulrich,

      I know this is going to start an argument, but the FWB300 IS a match grade rifle. The only thing the latest and greatest have over it is ease of operation and ergonomics. Oh, and a very large price tag.


  4. Ulrich, if the FWB isn’t a match grade rifle I’ve no idea what is, it may not be modern, but has been the cause of more Olympic medals than just about any air rifle I can think of…..and the scores are no higher these days 🙂


  5. Hi BB!
    One guy told me that the Chinese pellets are a waste product from their power industry, and that the pellets may contain some sort of radiation. I do not know if this is a rumour or if it is true. Do you (or any on the blog) have a meter available to check if there might be any radiation from these pellets?
    Eddie


    • This is utter nonsense.
      What part of a power industry generates anything like lead as waste?
      The only thing that comes close is depleted uranium, which is far more valuable than lead. Lead is literally the cheapest product they can use.


      • Decommissioned nuclear power plants…

        Though the more likely source of “radioactive lead” is recycling the shielded doors from the local hospital X-Ray facility. (My father once got his hands on one of those doors — had to be a few pounds of lead in it; took some time to melt down using propane torches and an old pot).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_decay#Decay_chains_and_multiple_modes

        Note: the above documents a naturally occurring decay chain that happens to pass through a radioactive lead stage. I haven’t dug through Google deep enough to find a paper on making lead radioactive (though i did see a mention that the shielding uses do eventually decompose from the energy that is absorbed — some forms may involve induced fission).


  6. Interesting results. Those of us of a certain age can remember the days when “Made In Japan” meant junk for the most part and it seems China too is beginning the transformation to a nation that provides high quality manufacturing under its own brand names instead of being just an ultra-low cost supplier of material to be branded with an established name.

    Also, you’ve given me a great idea for my own target shooting: instead of continuing to try and improve I will just try to find a bigger dime to measure my groups with!


    • I have made this comment here and many places, many times. People refuse to believe this is a normal part of modernization.

      The USA was once a source of cheap and illegally produced stuff. We stole loom designs from the british and violated their patents without any recourse for them.


  7. Okay, I really don’t want to argue about the definition of “match”, especially because I’m working for a Feinwerkbau competitor. Let’s say it as neutral as possible: since the days when the FWB 300S or the Walther LGR were top in the UIT (today ISSF) competitions – which has been until the mid-1980’s – , the size of the target/the ten has been reduced in 1989, the matches are now 60 instead of 40 shots, the time is comparably shorter, the scores are in tenth rings, and the top scorers, both male and female, have reached 400 of 400 or 600 out of 600 (or 420 or 625 and more with 1/10 points).

    Maybe my memory fools my, but, Dom, can you name only one Olympic Gold Medal winner in air rifle with a FWB 300? (Hint: Olympic Air Rifle shooting began in 1984).

    But anyway, of course Tom had chosen an excellent air rifle with which he could compare the groups. The FWB 300 is still very popular in Germany, for Field Target. I just wanted to remark, that all three pellets are capable to shoot ten-shot-groups under 6 mm (0.24 Inch) if you use a, hm, state-of-the-art PCP rifle. And that the high price of all these top-level pellets nostly don’t pay if you’re not a ten-meter paper-puncher.


    • Ulrich,

      Im a 10m Olympic style shooter, and have won numerous tournaments in standing position and 3 positions.
      I own a 1976 fwb 300s. If I buy a new batch of rws r10 pellets, we take different samples of different batches. The 300s is clamped rock steady in a schooting block. With the best pellet batch, 10 shots literary fly trough the same hole, without enlarging the hole. How more accurate can a rifle be?
      No doubt you know what youre talking about. But im talking about my experience. In a 120 points match (12 shots) my 300s will shoot the maximum score. If I were to shoot 60 shots and a finale shootoff, then ergonomics come to play and a pcp will have an advantage. I was born and raised shooting the 300s, this I can tell you…. with the right pellet batch…..its accurate as can be


  8. Ok.. a couple problems here.. 1 I don’t buy competition pellets to shoot groups.. you buy them to score.. I think group size plays to much of a role in tests.. 2 since each gun performs different with a given pellet how can a side by side comparison be legitimate?? This test could of been concluded in 1 part with a scale and micrometer and 3 random boxes of pellets.. weight and size consistent.. check.. done..


    • Leadchucker,

      You may have, or have not seen my post to BB this weekend. While I have yet to test sorted pellets for accuracy,…I did test them with a chrony.

      The sorted one’s shot a GREATER spread than the randomly picked ones. I tested 3 types and the spreads INCREASED by 1.5,2.0 and 11FPS. Yes, that make no sense.

      As I stated to BB, I think that only the best regulated PCP’s would show the sorted pellets doing better on a (consistant) basis. I also stated that the power plant must be (more) of a variable, as within the TX springer that I have.

      I sorted weight and head size.

      Chris


  9. B.B.
    Is the only difference between a “Match Pistol Pellet” and a “Match Rife Pellet” the weight?
    For a low powered rifle or pistol, would the lighter pellets shoot better, everything else being equal?

    Yogi


    • Yogi,

      The difference is the weight. They used to say heavy and light, but apparently were concerned that shooters wouldn’t understand that, so the dumbed it down a level.

      It is still prudent to test all pellets in all target guns.

      B.B.


  10. I have seen the Pilkington guys consistently shoot one hole 10M groups from their plexiglass enclosed fixture at Camp Perry. You can’t evaluate real Olympic quality pellets until you have such a facility. You have described your test procedures and the reader may make their own conclusions and perform their own tests. I think the old recoilless match air rifle barrels are capable of shooting on a par with todays rifles, except for the advantages of the PCP system rifles in loading and cocking in 3P shooting, and some advancements in ergonomics.


  11. I am extremely pleased to see my own match rifle,, the Challenger 2009, used in a comparison test. I bought mine several years ago, when I decided to compete in that event in the Veterans Wheelchair Games. I have since then participated in a number of other competitions, more often than not, NRA sponsored. I have found that I am able to,, with adequate practice, hold my own against much more expensive equipment,, including FWB, Anshutz, and Walther. To insinuate that the Crosman is not a “match” grade rifle is to make a serious mistake of underestimation. In the hands of a superior shooter,, this rifle will give superior results.
    Thank you BB, for giving it the chance it deserved.



  12. Hey BB,

    Nice groups!!!

    I am reviewing the OnTarget software ( http://www.ontargetshooting.com/ ) for measuring up my targets. Thought I would include a link in case you wanted to check it out. Looks interesting.

    I just bought a computer tablet for my shooting studies. It has a big high-resolution color display, is the size and thickness of an average magazine and has a built-in camera. I plan on using it for keeping notes and reference materials and to take pictures of targets for the OnTarget program. Loaded the android version of the ChairGun program on it so all in all it should be pretty convenient to have on the shooting range.

    Now if I can just get some decent weather I can stop messing around with this stuff and get to some serious shooting!

    Vana2


  13. B.B.,

    Just for your info, I recently bought the new JSB Match Pellet Wadcutters @ 7.33 grains. I have not done any formal testing of these pellets yet but in informal shooting they seem to be every bit as accurate as both the H&N Match Pistol pellets and the RWS Match Pistol. Only a formal test will tell the truth though.

    G&G


  14. I always rejoiced that my favorite pellet, RWS Hobbys, were 1 penny per round. The Chinese Olympic pellets increase that by a factor of 10. That would be well into rimfire costs if not for the appalling ammo shortage there. The only rimfire available at Midway USA is the super expensive Eley brand. I read somewhere that 9mm is the new .22LR for cheap plinking.

    Every review of the Crosman Challenger seems to get better. And that’s quite an antique coin. It looks like it’s from the era of the saying about pinching the nickel so hard that the buffalo screams.

    Wulfraed, I will concede you are correct that rifle recoil is described by the conservation of momentum wherein the momentum of the speeding projectile is equal to the momentum of the gun-shooter system moving in the opposite direction. But this is entirely compatible with force mechanics. Force is actually defined as the change in momentum. While the initial blast of powder in the case goes in all directions, it meets differential resistance which determines where the force is directed. In one direction, only the force of friction between the bullet and the case stands in the way of daylight at the other end of the barrel. But on the other side, the force has to work its way through the gunstock and the body of the shooter. No question which way it will move. In summary, the variation between different loads will affect point of impact, but it will probably not affect follow-through technique in a perceptible way. It is hard enough to execute follow-through at all.

    As for accuracy out of a drooping barrel, it seems to me that such a shape will apply a continuous downward pitch to the bullet. Would all that disappear when the bullet exits the muzzle with the bullet only remembering the angle at which it leaves? A force can only be stopped by another force, so my expectation is that the pitch rotation downward would continue in flight. And since accuracy is all about the bullet retaining the proper orientation relative to flight path, I would expect some effect on accuracy. But given the magnitude of bore droop, it might be very small.

    Matt61


    • If using a “straight-wall” cartridge, wherein the base inside the cartridge is the same diameter as the bullet, the pressure pushing the case backwards is the same as the pressure pushing the bullet forward. If the bullet is not moving, the two cancel out. If (as expected) the bullet is moving, it becomes a matter of the relative mass of the bullet vs the gun.

      Bottleneck cartridges do compound the matter… Say a 35000PSI peak pressure, and a cartridge case that is twice the diameter of the bullet (.45 and .223?)
      1367 pounds on the bullet, 5567 pounds on the base of the case.
      50gr bullet vs 8-9lb (56000-63000gr) rifle…

      As for the drooping barrel paragraph — you are still describing it as a continuous curve; which isn’t what is found in practice… At the level where it is visible, it is still practically a straight line that just isn’t coaxial with the line of the receiver… That is, instead of

      (
      |

      reality is

      /
      |


  15. Hi everybody…

    Interesting discussion. In case you don’t know, Ulrich Eichstädt used to be the editor-in-chief of VISIER magazine in Germany 🙂

    BB seems to think the FWB 300S shoots as accurately as any modern rifle and Ulrich disagrees.

    It could be interesting to compare the 300S with a modern PCP match rifle. Maybe putting them in a clamp would be the best option because it would minimize the influence of the human factor.

    I own a ’73 FWB 300 S that I serviced a while ago (new springs and seals). It shoots a lot more accurately than I do and that’s probably all I can say about this 🙂

    Stephan




  16. Interesting reviews but a couple of points I am not clear on or disagree either with the test method or conclusion.

    First of all, am I being dumb – you keep saying that the RWS R10 Match Heavy pellet is $47.95 for 500, but pyramidair has them for sale for $15.79 for 500 (in fact this is still expensive as I used to shoot these in the UK and can still buy them here for £6.99 for 500) –

    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/RWS_R_10_Match_Heavy_177_Cal_8_2_Grains_Wadcutter_500ct/288

    Second – there is still the human factor involved in these tests – ok – you’re off a rest, but that doesn’t eliminate wobble – why are the guns not clamped in order to remove that factor – last week I tested pellets in my new steyr air pistol and found one of the cheaper pellets put 10 rounds through a hole that was 4.9mm diameter measured with callipers when clamped.

    The bottom line has to be that these pellets have proven themselves in YOUR rifle – not in anyone elses – and as usual it is down to the individual rifle as to what pellet will perform best in it.

    As for my Steyr air pistol, it seems it absolutely LOVES the RWS Geco pellets – far more accurate with them than the RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets which grouped at 6.3mm for 10 rounds. However even that isn’t the whole story – I’ll be using the second best pellet I found in my test – the MeisterKugeln – as it is more likely to be repeatable 10 shot for 10 shot with those than with a cheap pellet like the Geco.


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