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Ammo H&N Hornet pellet: Part 2

H&N Hornet pellet: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

We’ve closed down comments on this blog report as of May 4, 2015. When we have a chance to remove the political attack comments, we’ll open this up again for comments.

Part 1

H&N Hornet

H&N Hornet pellets

This report covers:

  • The first test
  • Today’s test
  • On to the Hornet
  • What’s next?
  • 2015 Pyramyd AIR Cup

Readers suggested I test the Hornet in my TX200 Mark III. I could do that, and it would be easier than the rifle I chose to use for today’s test. But is it realistic? Most readers don’t own a TX and won’t buy one. I chose to test the pellet at high power in my Diana RWS 34P — a rifle of incredible accuracy when the correct hold is used. This is an air rifle that many more shooters around the world are likely to own.

The first test

In part 1, we saw the Hornet pellet tested in my Beeman R8 rifle. That rifle shoots the Air Arms Falcon pellet best, so that was the test standard. You can read part 1 to see everything that happened, but the bottom line is that the Hornet is only average. It was okay, but the Falcon outshot it.

Today’s test

Today, I’ll test the Hornet in the 34P against the pellet that it has always shot best — the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain “lite” pellet. I told you in part 1 why I’m doing this: Because I plan to test those bargain pellets in the 34P, and I wanted to get it back into shape for shooting that test. It had no scope, so I mounted one with an experimental drooper base since this rifle’s droop is severe.

It took close to 10 shots to get the shots on paper where I wanted them — not hitting the center of the bull and destroying my aim point. Once that was done, I shot the first group.

I wasn’t on my game today. In the 10-shot group, I failed to exercise a perfect artillery hold twice; and with the 34P, doing that throws the shots wild. Even so, the group I got beats about 50 percent of the good springers on the market — as well as all of the wannabes.

Ten pellets landed in a group that measures 0.696 inches between centers. But as I mentioned, 2 of those shots were made when I wasn’t holding correctly. My off hand wasn’t relaxed. Eight of the shots went into just 0.177 inches (weird, huh?), and that group represents what this rifle is capable of.

I know you’re reading this and saying, “Well, just relax your off hand every time, you fool!” It does sound that easy when I write it that way. But the truth is that it’s far more subtle than just that. This is a technique that has to be applied correctly right down to the last nuance. Those who shoot a lot understand. Those who read about shooting but actually don’t do it will wonder why I can’t get my act together.

Where I place my off hand under the forearm matters a lot with this rifle. This 34P likes the heel of my off hand to be at the beginning of the cocking slot. I actually had to correct my hold several times when I discovered my hand had slid forward by an inch. That’s all it takes to double the size of the group at 25 yards.

When you see the group you’ll see what I’m talking about:

Diana RWS 34P Premier Lite group
Ten Premier lites in 0.696 inches at 25 yards, but 8 of them are in 0.177 inches. This is the pellet for this 34P.

On to the Hornet

Okay, now we know the 34P can shoot. The Hornet is next. Since we also know I’m not shooting that well today, we can also forgive a more open group with the Hornet. But the Premier Lite group does tell us what range to expect.

And, the Hornet did not do well at all. My hold was the same for every shot; but this time, 10 pellets went into 1.89 inches at 25 yards. That isn’t just a slightly larger group. It’s a horrible group. And it was shot from a gun that we know for certainty is accurate.

Diana RWS 34P H&N Hornet group
Ten Hornets went into 1.89 inches at 25 yards from the same gun that shot the first group.

Obviously, the Hornet is not the pellet for this rifle. It didn’t do as bad in the lower-powered R8 in part 1, but it did not stand up in the 34P that’s almost 3 times more powerful.

So what? Do I abandon the pellet? Or do I now try it in every other .177-caliber pellet rifle I own?

What’s next?

Normally, I would not test this pellet any more than what you’ve seen here. I suspected from the beginning that because it has two parts (body and point) that are put together mechanically, it might not be that accurate. Pellets that are composites of different parts (the point of the Hornet is brass) have problems getting things symmetrical from one pellet to the next. They’re almost never good.

But because we have a large number of newer readers, I’ll do one more test with this pellet. I’ll shoot it in a PCP I know to be accurate. A third test — just to be sure. I think the results will turn out the same as these first 2 tests; but as you know — I’ve been surprised before. So, stay tuned.

Pyramyd AIR Cup

I want to announce the 2015 Pyramyd AIR Cup. It will be held September 11-13 at the Tusco Rifle Club in New Philidelphia, Ohio. There’s plenty of time to plan to attend, so start making your plans now. I’ll be there, along with several top shooters.

Last year, attendees found the event to be a wonderful way to shoot as many different airguns as possible. Visit the web page for more information.

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.

136 thoughts on “H&N Hornet pellet: Part 2”

  1. These pellets are a gimmick but my guess is the 12-17 year old crowd will buy them because they look so “evil.” Then we will get to read in all of the PA reviews about how these pellets went “straight through” a 2×4 at 50 yards, and I shot a dime size group at 75 yards…with a Gamo Big Cat.

  2. Thank you again for your education and thick skin? Reporting on pellets brings up a rumor that’s been going around some of the gun shows? About lead? About the last lead production plant in the USA being shut down? Is this where the lead pellet will be more of an imported item? Or is this the reason for different types of metals etc. being tested or used for air guns future? Recycling lead? Or importing lead for manufacturing of whatever? Pellets, auto parts etc.? How about reply on this subject! Semper fi!

    • J.LEE,

      Right now the anti-gunners are using the lie that lead is a poison to get rid of ammunition. Of course California was the first state to cave. They have a sunset of 2019 for lead ammunition used for hunting.

      Lead is a natural element. Yes, the wrong type of lead (an oxide) can be toxic in large doses, but lead, the element is NOT a poison.

      As far as pellet are concerned, they are mostly made offshore. Only Crosman makes them in the U.S.

      The rest of your questions I am not qualified to comment on.


      • Hi BB,

        There is a bill pending in the California State Assembly (AB-395) that would repeal the lead ammunition ban for hunting, hopefully it passes.

      • You are flatly wrong. Lead is a poison.

        Something being natural does not make it safe. Hemlock and deadly nightshade are natural, plutonium is natural. All types of lead are capable of causing heavy metal poisoning.

        • Plutonium is not a naturally occurring element. It is synthesized by concentrating uranium to make it heavier. Uranium is the heaviest natural element.

          • You are correct, sorry about that! Uranium one will also give you heavy metal poisoning.

            Also I failed to mention in my last comment, lead forms oxides upon exposure to air. That is why pellets turn white. Not that it matters, both the oxide and the non-oxide are poisonous.

          • Plutonium is produced in breeder reactors…

            “concentrating uranium” will not, per se, produce any change… Centrifuges are used to separate out U235 (the common form) from U238 (the rarer heavier form), but U238 is still uranium… the 238 form is more radioactive, hence easier to produce a fission reaction.

            Plutonium is one of the results of running forms of fission reactors.

        • StevenG,

          Le4ad is not a poison. It is a toxin. The difference is subtle, but there.

          Lead oxide is the toxic stuff. regular lead that is pure really isn’t that bad.


        • StevenG!

          I do not agree in your statement that “all types of lead are capable of causing heavy metal poisoning.” because all elements in the nature are capable of poisoning. If someone drinks 5 gallons (20 liters) of water they will get water poisoning, because the balance of salt is disordered. You can also get metal poisoning from lead free ammunition.

          Lead free ammunition is more harmful to guns and to the elements. Accuracy is not as good and the barrels are worn out much faster. I have seen a lot of destroyed barrels – only one shot is enough to destroy accuracy for ever! The killing power in hunting is much less than when using lead ammunition.

          It is completely safe to handle lead pellets with your hands. As long as you wash your hands after handling lead , there is no way that you will get any form of lead poisoning.


          • You can disagree all you like, facts are facts. Yes, water is also dangerous. The dose makes the poison. Not all elements are capable of poisoning. Most are but you can eat as much carbon as you like. Water intoxication/poisoning involves far more than a sodium imbalance, the potassium imbalance and inability to eliminate the excess water are also major issues. At some point the kidneys cannot excrete it fast enough and the water ends up invading everything.

            I am not suggesting anyone use lead free ammunition. Only that we don’t need to lie in this argument. We don’t need to stoop to the level of those who wish to ban lead ammo.

            Yes, as I said before proper handling procedures are what keep us safe. Just like with water.

            That many other common things are also dangerous does not make lead not a poison.

  3. J.LEE
    That lead plant was Obamas doing to limit the ammo manufactures ability to produce sufficient ammo for the civilian masses after all the govt agencies put in orders for million of rounds of ammo like FEMA and the other agencies that have no reasonable need to use any ammo in the first place.

    Its all about to fall apart in this country and the dictator in chief is preparing to be able to control the cattle when the grazing land dries up. He is just to wrapped up in himself to realize we the civilian population have a larger army than all the armies of the world combined the problem will be getting all the people to believe and understand what is taking place and stand united as one unified force.


    • Ditto”The Anti Christ still has until 01/20/2017 to finish the job
      Does anyone see what might be lurking in 2016 I can only
      imagine what this venal oily heinous will do to us.

        That is the root of the issue as not enough people believe that there are people and powers at work right now with the sole intent to destroy this country and all it has stood for now for 250 years.

        America needs to WAKE up and TAKE a STAND or we are lost just like that penny spiraling down the funnel into the abyss never to return again.


    • Please tell me this is sarcasm.

      The lead plant shutdown due to low prices and it not being worth it to make the plant safe for its workers. Lead is highly recycled, you can buy as much as you want.

      The ammo shortage was cause by panicked private buyers.

      We have a president, elected by the majority of americans. Not a dictator.

      This sort of thing is why people call for gun control. These tinfoil hat theories are not helping.

        • No, he is spouting nonsense.

          The lead plant was shutdown for economic reasons.

          Lead being highly recycled is readily available to any buyer.

          Panicked private buyers caused the shortage.

          We don’t have a dictator.

          • StevenG
            So spouting nonsense is having a president that act as a dictator by bypassing congress and using executive orders to enact laws and create new policies with total disregard for this being illegal and has done so more times than any other president in history to this date.

            And I also guess you are ok with your tax dollars supporting millions of illegal alien that he has allowed to enter this country also illegally and have no intention of becoming US citizens or much less working and even paying their share of the taxes but rather just let you work to support them.

            so if you are indeed ok with all this then I guess it is nonsense ,but I myself say that they all should be sent back to where they came from and the people of this country need to take care of ourselves first and if there is any left over then maybe help the rest of the world.

            It is not this countries job to support the whole world,


            • BD & Steve,

              You’re never going to come to a meeting of the minds. This will only devolve, and then I’ll be forced to get out my big stick 🙂 And you don’t want THAT to happen!


              • Edith
                I do believe you are right that we just will have to disagree and I don’t like big sticks but then they did work for Teddy now didn’t they,


            • Like every president in history? I don’t like executive orders, but that is not acting like a dictator. A dictator would not let you say these things.

              Actually most do pay taxes and never claim any refunds. The issue is way more complicated than you paint it.

            • BD,

              A sad commentary on today’s educational system. These are the same people who are voting and will soon be raising little ones of their own. The dumbing down of America.


              • Edith
                That is exactly what has me so worried about the direction this country is heading and it is not for myself but for my adult children and more importantly my grandchildren as it is not the country or world I have envisioned that I would be leaving them to live in.

                GOD help us all.


      • StevenG
        I guess it is a good thing this country is still free and we are both entitled to our opinions because you can choose to believe as you see and I can to so I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

        Our dictator in chief does not even have the right to be in the office he is in since he is not a U.S. citizen to start with and by no means has done one thing since in office to improve this country in any way but just the contrary as he is slowing destroying this country from within by distributing misleading propaganda and leading the general masses to believe the lies he tells to appease the ignorant.

        The Dictator was not elected by the MAJORITY of Americans it was by the electoral vote which has no direct correlation to what the Majority of Americans vote and is just another form of our corrupt govt and multi billionaires using there money to decide how the masses have to live.

        This is exactly why there should be no gun control as an unarmed people cannot defend themselves against threats to there way of life be it domestic or abroad.



        • Even if you want to claim he was not born in Hawaii, his mother being a citizen makes him one. Just like me. I was born in another country to a citizen father and noncitizen mother, I am a citizen.

          Actually he won the popular and electoral vote.

          Surely you notice he never even pushed to renew the assault weapons ban? He has seized no guns at all and his VP advised shotguns for home defense.

          • Steveg
            Well it seems we do have one thing in common as I to was born overseas to a U.SD military father and mother and at the age of 18 had to declare my state of citizenry.

            On all the rest I will still have to disagree with you and will not change my stance on his position of destroying this the greatest country on earth.

            But we both will know the truth come 1/20/2016 if in fact there is another president sworn into office of which I have my doubts will happen.


            • Care to make a friendly wager? A six pack perhaps?

              I heard my liberal friends make the same claim about GWB.

              • StevenG
                I will take you up on that bet. I am no liberal or conservative but just a plain ole Alabama redneck that believes in GOD, GUNS and GUTS


  4. BB
    I was hoping you would test these in a PCP as well since that removes the hold sensitivity aspect of the test, but I believe as you that it is far to much to make every pellet to the exacting tolerances required for them to shoot consistently and accurately.

    I have shot some predator metal mags and poly mags and while they are ok at close ranges of less than 20 yards they do start to suffer at longer ranges.


    • BD,

      It is because Predator Polymags are accurate out to 50 yards that I am giving this pellet a last chance. As I said, I don’t hold a lot of hope for it, but I do want to give it the benefit of the doubt.


      • BB
        The test will tell the story that’s for sure and I don’t hold much hope myself as well.


    • RPM,

      It could. I never considered that.

      I figured the two parts of the pellet are too difficult to assemble consistently. I will measure the length and include that in the next report.



      • BB
        I asked about the legnth in part one also.

        The reason was for loading problems in guns that use clips or mags.

        You do know that Polymag make a short version of the Preditors now for just that reason. They are called Preditor shorts.

      • BB
        twist rate = (150 * bullet diameter squared) / bullet length
        bullet length = (150 * bullet diameter squared) / twist rate

        Is a rough formula for calculating proper barrel twist for stabilizing projectiles. There’s a slightly more complex formula that takes into account things such as sectional density. But anyways, the fact is that bullet (or pellet) length does affect bullet stabilization. Longer heavier bullets need a tighter twist rate. These play a critical role in how your rifle stabilizes the bullet and how well it performs down range.

        Not sure if this has ever been discussed on the site. I’m just now getting back into air-gunning.

        • Auronotcs,

          Nice formula, thanks. I have not seen this or anything like it in this blog before.

          The relation between twist rate and length of the bullet has been discussed upon (see for instance November 20, 2012, September 9, 2014) but not exhaustively tested.



          • It has come up a few times but I don’t recall a detailed explanation of exactly how it works here on this blog,for instance my 392 kinda liked the Monsters but my 2400 loves them..like Hiveseeker described them they feel like beercans compared to most other pellets and pack a wallop.I gotta get more of those!

  5. BB,
    Just a thought, as i can see printed on the tin, there is a label that indicates the maximum power to be used is 7.5joules. Perhaps you should test a very low powered air rifle or air pistol with these pellets or even a smothbore because that type of pellets sometimes shoot them better.

    • Bullseye,

      Well, duh! I never paid any attention to that. Now I see it.

      But why create a performance pellet that can’t be fired at a speed fast enough to use the performance? It’s like putting 6-speed transmission and 200 mph tires on a Fiat 500. I don’t get it.


      • BB,

        Because they are more accurate at that speed? That 7,5 joules looks like the small print on a contract, only to be read when you complain,



  6. Pred. Mtl. Mags. in .22 from a TX at 41′ and 25 yds., .739 and 1.518

    Looking at notes, I was only at about 70~80% of my best steady hold for the 25 yd. test, so they may do better.

    • Chris, USA

      Depending on what size animal you are hunting (which is why you got the metalmags I’m guessing). I think that 1.518″ group would be getting just about as big as I would like at 25 yards. The kill zone is pretty small on the smaller animals.

      Didn’t you say you shot them into something to see how they mushroom or what happens to the tip?

      • Gunfun1,

        Yes, I did 3 test. 1) Was firing though a plastic container lid into Duct Seal. 2) Was fired into just Duct Seal 3) Was into just Duct Seal, but….., the tip had been glued in with Super Glue, thin type.

        In test 1 and 2, the tips were not found in the duct seal, but had good expansion. Test 3, I found the tip ahead of the pellet and the pellet had much better expansion.

        You may remember, I decided to glue all tips in and have done so. I was hoping BB would do a similar test to see if the tips, indeed stayed in tact, without any glue.

        And yes, I would at least like to get .750 for 25 yards. Someday when I am doing 25 and I am rock staedy, I will give them another try.

        • Chris, USA
          At what distance did you do the penatration test?

          And what kind of expansion did you get. How big of diameter did that .22 caliber expand to?

          • Gunfun1,

            It was at 41′ indoors. When I read your question, I was sure I had thrown them out.
            But I had not. I had all 3 taped to a card, with some notes.

            As it turns out, (test 1) was through 2 cottage cheese container lids and had the most expansion. (test 2) showed a bit less. (test 3) showed the least.

            .294, .284, .267. As for the 3rd, the head rolled backward as it did for all 3 but did so in such a way that the head also compressed diameter when it hit the duct seal. Also, test 1 was the most and test 3 the least in (height reduction).

            This was a test to determine if the point stayed in place at target. While I will test more, I would conclude that if the tip were in fact to stay in place at target, greatest expansion would be realized, IF it something hard like bone. Thus, it would give better (intitial) penetration.

            A good test would be to use 1~2 screw on milk caps layed back to back (bone).

            If you have never played with duct seal, I would reccomend if. Very easy to recover test pellets. They penetrate less that 1″. Also, all three still clearly showed the tip’s “post” hole.

            • Chris, USA
              Thanks and let me know if you do those other tests.

              Oh and my pellet stop consists of three 2×4’s cut to 7″ long and (duct taped ) together.

              Then I (duct tape ) 1″ thickness of old phone book I tear off it.

              So then I take 4 pieces of masking tape and tape a 11″x7″ sheet of copy paper to my duct tape, phone book and 2×4 pellet stop. Oh and I do still use those round binder stickers as my targets.

              And all I do is keep taping the copy paper over each as my day of shooting goes. When I’m done I tear all the papers off and duct tape over the hole pellet stop again.

              Its a very good trap. Its quiet when the pellets hit. And it gets better and better at stopping pellets the more I shoot. The paper and pellets make a mulch I guess I will call it and get stopped at the wood. They don’t penereate, they just keep denting the wood.

              So yep your right duct tape does help stop pellets good.

              • Gunfun1,

                I used (duct seal), not (duct tape) for the test. Thick putty like substance found in the electrical isle at the big box home improvement stores. I do not use it as a backstop, but many people do. (too much work to recover lead) Also, I have read that it that it is (not) a substitute for ballistic gelatin. This stuff is a very thick clay like substance.

                I wanted to confirm that the tip made it to (and) into the target, and for this, it worked great.

          • Correction in paragragh 4, the tip would give the penetration to break bone and the same time, pushing the tip back into the pellet, giving better expansion for a larger wound channel. But only if it hits bone. If it did not, I would suspect that it would just penetrate and possibly have more of a chance of a complete pass through.

  7. BB and all,

    As has been pointed out before, these are for the ignorant masses who have yet to learn that things such as this are merely marketing ploys. Most camouflage is designed to catch the eye of the hunter, most fishing lures are designed to catch the eye of the fisherman and so on.

    As for the rave reviews that will be posted, we all know that the actual results are usually exaggerated. “That trout was this big!”

    Even we who know better will on occasion get sucked in by the new shiny. Maybe this will be THE pellet that will enable my sproinger to hit that tree rat in the head at 250 yards and rip it clean off. I know with the right pellet I can do it. Just look at that thing, it is so awesome! With that pointed, hard metal tip to provide deep penetration and that wide, soft lead base that is obviously designed to mushroom out and create a large wound cavity, I’ll bet I can drop a charging grizzly bear with a well placed shot!


    • It’s been known for 100+ years that domed pellets are the best pellets for accuracy, range and take down power, but look at all the pointed and hollow point pellets for sale. Unless you are shooting paper at 10 meters there’s not much use for wad cutters either. Who builds the best pellets in the world? JSB. How many pointed pellets does JSB sell? Zero. How many hollow points does JSB sell? Zero. As you said, “the ignorant masses.”

      • John
        I do agree I have tryed different lead pointed pellets and wadcutters in the past (not metal tip pointed pellets). And the domed pellets have always out performed the pointed ones.

        But I will say this also. That is in the guns I had and tryed them in. Other people may have different results. And what they think is accurate may be different then what I think accurate is.

        • GF1,

          I shot the JSB sampler pack the other day and on that particular day out of that particular air rifle, the Straton did the best at 25 yards. I was very surprised.

          • RR
            That’s why I used the word (but) above when I replied to John about that was in my guns and what my idea of accurate is.

            Yes I would never make a bet anymore on what I think a pellet will shoot like in a paticular gun. That would be a way to go broke quick.

      • John,

        I have to call you on a couple of the points you have made here. JSB does sell a pointed pellet. It is called a Straton. I have a sampler tin with them in it and though I am not finished testing and would not at this point give them my personal endorsement, so far out of one of my air rifles they grouped better at 25 yards than the other three that are in the tin. I was very surprised as the other three are domed.

        My personal experience has been that H&N makes excellent pellets. The Field Target Trophy and the Baracuda Match have always produced the best results for me in most air rifles I have shot. JSB Exacts have been a very close second. In one air rifle I have, RWS Superdomes and surprisingly RWS Hollow Points work best. You just never know.

        My personal experience has also taught me to stay away from the gimmicks. I would not mind if someone was to buy a tin of these Hornets and send me a few so I could try them out, but I would never buy a tin. H&N does have some other gimmicky pellets they have just come out with though that I might break down and try. I keep having visions of going grizzly hunting with my Edge. 😉

  8. G’day BB,
    Sounds a bit like the chicken and the egg. Do I buy these pellets and keep buying rifles until I get them to work or buy a rifle and find out which pellets work best.
    The latter seems a sane approach.
    Cheers Bob

  9. Okay. so its not accurate does it expand and the tip separate? next best thing will be ballistic gel its for hunting .

  10. I have the same problem with predator pellets in every rifle I own (around 15)
    A quick fix is to take the tip off. You don’t get the penetration but the accuracy is better and the pellets mushroom inside out.

  11. I think that bowth H&N and RWS have taken a strange direction in the last years. It used to be a reliable producer of top-notch pellets. Their “Match” line is among the best pellets one can buy, and many FT matches are won with pellets such as the Barracuda and Field Target Trophy. They also have good hollow pointed pellets, such as the Crow Magnum and the classic “hollow point”.

    Now it appears they try to cash in on novelties. RWS offers the “power ball” that is a lead diablo with a steel BB sitting on front. H&N sells the “Terminator” which is basically the Crosman destroyer. I don’t really see why we need these types of pellets.

    On the other hand, I think it is interesting to note that more and more pellets depart from the classic Diabolo design, and aquire a bullet-like shape, with or without a skirt at the back and a guidance band at the front. Check out RWS’s and H&N’s porduct line to see what I mean…

  12. I tried these out in my R9, and they shot as well as JSB Exacts – meaning that my own skill was the limiting factor. I was getting right around .5″ groups at 25 yards with them, and I am hoping to take them squirrel hunting this summer. Last year, a baracuda 10.65 failed to pass through a fox squirrel skull (it stopped inside the far side). I’m hoping with the sharper, harder point, I’ll get a little more penetration out of my 15 fpe rifle – making me a little more comfortable taking shots between 40 and 50 yards.

  13. BB and readers:

    Regarding the .177 jsb rs.
    Do you think the weihrauch 85/95 or beeman r10/r9 will have piston slam with the very light jsb rs?

    • Dutchjozef,

      No, you won’t have piston slam.

      Depending on how round your tube is, how well your seal fits and the type of spring installed your R10 and/or R9 will likely have a harsh firing behavior.

      It’s important to not only see on target how a pellet performs in each gun but listen and feel the gun during the shot cycle to learn if your gun likes certain pellets.


      • Kevin
        Just got to give a +1 on that.

        Listen to what your gun feel’s and say’s. It will talk to you.

        • All my guns talk to me – some much LOUDER than others 🙂

          Kidding aside, agreed whole heartedly… guns like tools and other mechanical devices usually communicate to us through vibration, feel, temperature and smell, we just have to “listen”.

          • Vana2
            Ain’t that the truth. That’s one thing your learn real quick working in a machine shop.

            And I know you know what I mean. 🙂

            • Yeah, was taught that very young – around 8 or so I guess.

              I wanted to thread a piece of steel and asked my father how to do it. After his explanation of drill sizes and thread percentages for different tasks he gave me two taps and a bunch of drills. His instructions were that I was to make three properly tapped holes and break a tap – then he went for a coffee.

              Did that… about 30%, 60% and 90%, broke the tap as I learned that in being tempered so hard the taps are quite brittle and a 4-40 tap has very little “give” before it snaps.

              Rarely break a tap – listen real close to them!

              Dad always gave detailed lessons.

              • Vana2
                Your forgetting the feel part of the equation also.

                I usually rest my finger on the shank of the tap as its cutting when cutting different threads.

                Also if I’m milling or drilling on a vertical mill I rest my finger on the part or the vise the parts clamped in. Or the mill table. You can tell real quick how much pressure your putting on the cutting tool that way.

                And can you imagine hand sharpening a .020″ diameter drill by hand and then splitting the tip. That’s all about feel and sound.

                So yep everything tells a story if you just learn to listen.

                • Gunfun1,

                  Good advice that!

                  .020 is pretty small to be sharpening by hand! Would try sharpening on one of those small cutting disks on a Dremel if I was going to attempt it!

                  In my industry (printed circuit boards) we use tungsten carbide drill bits anywhere from 0.004”-0.259″, most being in the .008” to .040” range. The bits are extremely brittle and are used in specialized high precision CNC machines that drive them at insane speeds – some of the top machines have a Position Accuracy +0.0002” will do 180,000 rpm! Awesome to watch them work!


                  • Vana2
                    We use carbide mosyly. And we make some parts that have orifices. Some are as small as .010″.

                    And if you hold a drill in your hand with your thumb and finger you will find that when you rotate your wrist back and forth from left to right. You have a natural movement in your wrist to make a perfect back clearance on the cutting edge of the drill. Now splitting the chisel point gets a little more tricky by hand. Got to be very steady.

                    And yep we have everything from vertical and horizontal cnc’s to Hydromats and screwmachine’s.

                    Pretty amazing stuff those machines can do.

                    • Thanks GF1!

                      I have a collection of drill bits that would benefit from sharpening. I’ll give that method a try on the weekend… the bits may end up begin rather short LOL!


                  • Vana2
                    I think you will be surprised at how easy it is once you give it a try.

                    Start out with a biiger diameter drill a 1/4″ or bigger. That way you can see what your doing better.

                    And yea ok maybe a few short drills at first. But I think you will be surprised.

                    Let me know if you try it.

  14. As mentioned above, poly mags have two different materials and can be accurate in some rifles, my .25 marauder shots them almost as well as JSBs. I’m sure these Hornets can be accurate in a rifle, but which! RR makes a great point with all the fancy pellets, but without innovation we won’t ever find better designs, most maybe gimmicks.. but there’s also a chance a tornado could build a house.

  15. BB,
    Any comments as to why pointy head pellets are not as accurate (in general) than dome shape pellets?

      • I’d be tempted to also consider the mass distribution…

        If the pellets have the same mass, and the same length, a round nose likely packs more mass in the nose, where a pointed has more toward the skirt. More mass in the skirt likely means less aerodynamic stability as there is less “badminton bird” effect.

        Sounds like an excuse to try a real extreme — but I don’t think a thin lead column would support firing in a powerful gun
        solid conical tip, long thin shaft, and short broad skirt.
        Hmm, maybe if the tip was sized to engrave the rifling (hard loading) and the "skirt" is replaced with a set of vanes… That way the forces of firing aren't pushing the back end of the pellet — but pulling the vanes by the tip end.

        • Wulfraed
          That’s exactly what I mean about the C.G. or center of gravity with a pellet.

          Look at air planes. If you start moving the C.G. back towards the tail of the airplane on the wing like say the half way mark the plane will be real responsive on the controls with very little movement of the control surfaces. And the plane will be hard to control.

          But if you start moving the C.G. more forward on the wing towards the nose of the plane it will become more stable in flight.

  16. BB,
    well pardon me, i have to correct myself. The official h&n page states that 7.5 joules (5.5 ft.lbs) is the minimum recommended muzzle energy for .177 and 16 joules (12 ft.lbs) for .22 pellets.

      • But they may be recommending the minimum for whatever intended target is indicated on the cover (is that a metal silhouette crow, or a pest removal crow?)

  17. BB

    Keep that dime. It’s a 1962 silver Roosevelt. The silver value is $15.94. You can either keep it or sell it and but a tin of those magical pellets.

  18. I’m still curious about how these pellets would perform when shot into a medium like ballistic gel. Penetration and expansion.

    Seems to me that mediocre accuracy with a pointed pellet is a given but what potentially would redeem or in other words sell this pellet is penetration and expansion for hunting. Sure appears that the design is going head to head with the predator polymags but does it perform similarly?


    • Kevin
      I was just relating the metal tip that the metalmags have to the metal tip the hornets have.

      The polymags have the polymer tips. Same design in a sense. Just a different category.

      The polymags from what I hear seem to be a pretty accurate pellet. But I honestly don’t know because I never shot them in anything.

      My thought is another reason the metal tip pellets might not be as good as the the poly tip pellets is weight distribution. I would think the metal tip pellets would have a different C.G.(center of gravity) then the poky tip pellets. And that’s another reason I believe that the new polymag short just may end up being a real good pellet. The balance point of the C.G. just mat work out to be in a better location on the pellet body.

      Well again only one real way to find out is shoot them and see.

      • Gunfun1,

        You need to take everything I say about pointed tipped pellets with a grain of salt because I have a bias against them. Most I have shot do not perform well at distance.

        I suspect it’s because it’s so easy for any tip, metal or polymer, to be slightly off center and cause precession in flight. For this reason I don’t believe center of gravity or length of pointed pellets is as important. No added length, shortened length or ideal center of gravity can correct a pellet in flight when the tip is off center IMHO.

        Predator polymags are the exception to my bias since they shoot very accurately, for pointed pellets, in many of my airguns. Like someone said earlier today in a comment, for those guns that don’t shoot the predator polymags well if you remove the tip you usually gain some accuracy and still have the benefit of an expanded wound channel.


        • Kevin
          I just replied to John above saying that I haven’t had that good of luck with lead pointed pellets. So I’m always kind of skeptical about them.

          And I really should try some polymags but I have had such good luck with the dome pellets in terms of accuracy, penatration and expansion. The dome pellets seem to have multiple good qualities about their design.

          And yep as far as the tips being assembled consistently I can see that to be the biggest drawback of the design. And would explain why they work better if you take the tip out. But I do believe the balance or C.G. of the pellet makes a difference. And I’m not only talking about these pointed pellets. But all pellets. I do believe that plays a part in why some pellets of the same design work better than others.

      • John
        I just checked them out. They have that design I like that resembles the JSB Exact10.34 grain .177 caliber pellets.

        But they are much longer and the inside of the skirt has a interesting design of the sniper pellet. And a heavier pellet.

        I see the sniper pellet being a good longer range pellet to use in higher power pcp guns.

  19. Why spend so much effort on this particular pellet in the first place? Maybe I missed that in earlier discussion. B.B., I know what you mean in failing to do simple things. I have just climbed out of a long slump by realizing that I was neglecting my follow-through, a day one mistake. Am I really that clueless? Sometimes, it seems less of a mental shortcoming and more like Original Sin. All I can think is that the small distances and time scales make the process much more difficult in the same way that brain surgery is more difficult than preparing food with a meat cleaver.

    Mike, the Vickers numbers are a little different from what you concluded. Vickers claims that top shooters will only attain 50% of a gun’s accuracy in combat. So for a 5 MOA AK, we are looking at 10 MOA! This principle in reverse is how he got a 2.5 MOA out of 5 MOA combat accuracy. However, there are a number of qualifiers that return things, more or less, to the picture you painted. A combat situation for Vickers means running around when the bullets are flying. And 50% accuracy is what Delta Force operators can get out of their guns. For everyone else, 10 MOA is the best that they can manage anyway so an AK would do fine.

    And there are cases where you might be able to get a rest in a combat zone and get more accuracy out of the gun. The bottom line is that Vickers has also said that an AK is plenty accurate for what it was designed to do. The accuracy of the AK platform is yet another variable. Didn’t you say that you own an Arsenal AK? Those are supposed to be the best, built on the Saiga platform that I own. I would expect their accuracy to be much better if not quite up to the 1 MOA that people have claimed for them. It is one of my missions with the new gun to put this to the test. But it won’t be for awhile since I have a backlog of shooting at the range. My trip this weekend will be devoted to my Lee-Enfield and the ongoing saga of my Garand.

    On another note, Derrick tells me that my super-light trigger on my Daisy 747 is probably the result of a trigger adjustment screw backing out not because of wear or excessive stoning. He seems to think that I can actually adjust this by myself! I’ll give it a try.


    • I would tend to agree. With fire and maneuver tactics you don’t need a height degree of accuracy. You need a high volume of fire. When the maneuver group makes contact, it will be at close range. The series “Band of Brothers” shows a fair representation of this during showing #2 during the attack on the German artillery position at Normandy.


      • Incidentally, do you have any advice for getting the dust cover of the AK to snap into place? I have been studying the disassembly process with maximum caution, trying to practice each step before going on to the next, and I’m still on the dust cover. There isn’t an obvious guide to getting it into position while fighting the extremely powerful recoil spring. Both of my attempts took a considerable time and seemed to succeed by accident. If this gun is designed for Russian peasants, I would say that they are winning so far.


        • Matt,

          Position the cover on top of the receiver with the spring-loaded catch aligned with the square hole.

          Now, smack the rear of the cover down and forward with the heel of your hand as hard as you can. The cover will pop in place.

          These guns aren’t designed to be babied.


        • 1. Position the front of the cover in the grove in the receiver. Make sure it is centered.
          2. Align the square hole in the top cover with the recoil spring cover lock stud so it is above it. The cover will be at an angle with the front in the grove as noted in No. 1 above.
          3. Now, while keeping forward pressure on the cover, push straight down hard.
          4. The cover should snap into place.
          5. You are done!

          This is the way I do it. As always, you mileage may varie!


        • Thanks, both of you. This is a heck of a lot easier than what I was doing. I think I need to get into the peasant mind-frame…


      • Mike, I agree with you on most parts. But it also depends what regiment youre in. Infantry and marines have different kinds of engagement (accuracy-by-bullit-numbers) than your typical special forces operators.
        Infantry and marines are ‘storm-troopers’.
        SF normally have different ops.
        -and no….personally I do no see USmarines as special forces. In some countries marines are considered SF.

        22 years ago, I was a international judoplayer and boxer. I also was a several 3position and 5p rimfire and airgun tournament winner. So the greenberets came to my school and asked if Id liked to joint their regiments, cos of my pedigree. They told my I could retire in my early 50’s. I said ” hell yeah” …. getting paid for legitimately doing what you like to do. To make a long story short…. I quit the SF cos of the chopper jumps…… theyd literally ruin you knees. I didnt wanna retire at 50, with both knees waisted. Sorry for the long story…. my point was, it all depends on your tactics, regiment and environment. When driving through a street, while under fire….or when enforcing a compound requires more bullets fired than a quick-in-and-out operation.

        • You are correct. I was describing the commonly use infantry tactic known as a “Holding Attack”. From your background, I’m sure you are very familiar with that.


  20. A recent Shotgun News article covered new airguns at this years Shot Show. Sig was mentioned in the article about their new line of airguns. I was at the NRA show in Nashville a few days back and they had their airguns of display. Luckily this time someone was there who knew a little about airguns. Overall what I saw looked promising. The guns are made of plastic and metal and look to be quality made. They are semi-auto pellet guns fed by a plastic belt (30 round if I recall correctly) inside a box magazine similar to the system in an Umarex Storm Carbines. The ones I saw will use 88g CO2 cartridges contained within the buttstock. The guns will be on the market later this year with the CO2 power-plants, but the exciting news is they have PCP guns in the works. Details on the PCP versions were somewhat sketchy, but how much fun would an affordable semi-auto PCP airgun be? The guy I spoke with was talking about list prices starting at around $211 for the CO2 guns.

    It appears from my limited conversation these products are being done in house. Sig generally makes high quality firearms. However their branded accessory lines have had mixed reviews. We will have to wait and see how the airgun line turns out, but based on what I saw someone at Sig has gotten the airgun bug in a bad way.

  21. BB,
    Thanks for the answer, I know you test mainly with .177 which is why I was asking what the performance would be in .22. I put the cart before the horse asking the suitability of 18 grain pellets on the Diana 34 because of the difficulty of getting proper pellets for it. Most of our locally available pellets are .22 around 18 grains in weight. Shifting to .177 caliber does not make much sense over here as that the cost is the same as .22 caliber. Obtaining imported pellets to find out what works best for break barrel rifle is relatively cost prohibitive as that current prices over here are three to four times the sales price over there. Getting a pellet sampler would be ideal but importing one would take a lot of time and money. Seems like I will have to stick with pneumatics for now.

  22. Took the 2400 out to stretch legs @ 20-25 yds and witnessed a goofball sized chunk of saturated sod get blown about 2′ straight up after passing through the beer can we had as our target.Terry couldn’t see through the Tasco 4×32 so when we went for the next co2 cartridge I pulled it off,slide in a new one but didn’t have pellgon oil,I fired a piercing shot and got an immediate hiss of co2 from what seemed to be everywhere.for some reason I guess I suspected a stuck piercing pin and went into rapid-fire mode in an attempt to get it free..all co2 exhausted and a frozen gun latermy best guess is I didn’t get the endplug tight enough(I’ve been living the threads too as mine fits rather snug after a pliers incident I don’t like remembering.

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