Testing H&N Baracuda FT pellets: Part 3
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Scoped the Edge
- The test
- 4.50mm heads
- Discussion of the 4.50mm heads
- 4.51mm heads
- Discussion of the 4.51mm heads
- General discussion
Today’s report combines two reports, as you can see by the links, above. I’m testing the H&N Baracuda FT pellets that I was given last year, and today I’m testing them in the AirForce Edge target rifle that I got from reader RidgeRunner. That’s why I baselined the Edge in Part 1 that’s linked above. We know from that report that this pellet moves out at 685 f.p.s. in the modified Edge, which is 10 foot-pounds on the nose.
Scoped the Edge
I scoped the Edge for today’s test with the vintage UTG 8-32X56 SWAT scope I got from Leapers years ago. I last used this scope on the Benjamin Fortitude I tested last year. This scope adjusts for parallax down to 25 yards, but since today’s test was at that distance, there was no problem. I ran it at the full 32 power and the target image was crystal clear.
After mounting the scope I shot it at 12 feet once. Then 10 meters one time more, then 25 yards three more times to get it zeroed. Since I didn’t want to waste the test pellets I sighted-in with RWS Superdomes. Then I confirmed the zero and adjusted slightly with 2 of the test pellets.
I shot off a sandbag from 25 yards. I filled the rifle to 3,000 psi and knew I had 25 good shots before needing to refill. For best results I kept the number of shots under 25 per fill.
I will say that the small reservoir on the Edge fills really fast! I had to watch it very closely to not overrun the fill pressure. Some people might think that because there is a regulator it’s okay to overfill the gun, but that is one of the things that cause regs to fail early.
I also had to get used to the extremely light trigger again. It’s only a pound and that’s a little too light for me. I fired five rounds at each bull, keeping track of which lot number they were.
I will show all the targets from the pellets with 4.50mm heads first. After that I will discuss them.
First up was Lot 38. Five of them made a group measuring 0.494-inches between centers.
Next came lot 78. This group was much better. Five went into 0.274-inches between centers at 25 yards.
Lot 79 was next. Five of them went into 0.298-inches at 25 yards. This group also shot a half-inch lower than the first two lots.
Lot 80 went into 0.189-inches at 25 yards.
Lot 83 is the last lot of BaracudaFT pellets with 4.50mm heads. Five went into 0.233-inches at 25 yards.
Discussion of the 4.50mm heads
As we have seen in past tests of this pellet, there was wide disparity between lots. Lot 80 was the most accurate in this test and, in fact, it was the most accurate of both lots shot today. It was also the smallest group of 4.50mm pellets shot by the Beeman R8 in the first test. But in the test shot with the TX200 Mark III it was only average.
Notice that lot 79 was the only pellet to drop down by half an inch. The other 4 lots remained centered on the bullseye for elevation. Curious.
Also note that lot 80’s group is the smallest of all the groups in the first three tests. That’s a precharged rifle surging ahead of spring-piston guns.
I will also say that there were no shots that were called as pulls in these first 5 targets. The Edge, with its light trigger, is easy to shoot well.
Now we’ll look at the lots that have 4.51mm heads. Lot 17 is first.
The Edge put five pellets from lot 17 into 0.233-inches at 25 yards. In contrast to lot 79 that dropped by half an inch, lot 17 raised up higher than the rest of the pellets by just over a quarter-inch.
Five lot 29 pellets landed in 0.342-inches at 25 yards
Five lot 31 pellets went into 0.381-inches at 25 yards.
Lot 69 pellets were next Five of them went into 0.271-inches at 25 yards. Like lot 17 they impacted the target about a quarter-inch high.
The last lot to be tested was lot 71, and they also impacted the target slightly higher than the others. Five went into 0.354-inches at 25 yards.
Discussion of the 4.51mm heads
In the Edge the 4.51mm head is a little less accurate than the 4.50mm head. The average group size for 4.50mm heads was 0.2976-inches between centers. The average group size for 4.51mm heads was 0.3162-inches between centers.
This lot had more pellets whose impact moved than did the 4.50mm pellets. I don’t know what that means, but it’s the case.
The modified Edge rifle is a wonderful testbed. I need to test it for accuracy with some other pellets. It would be nice to know just how accurate it is.
I will also now compare the results of the three tests I’ve done, to see if anything is becoming apparent. If so maybe it will suggest additional things to test.
There is one more test to be conducted. I will mount a scope on my FWB 124 and test these pellets in that. After that I will go over all the data and try to make sense of some of it. You can be doing the same thing.