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Ammo The lowly pellet

The lowly pellet

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

common pellets
The four common pellet types (shapes) — dome, pointed, wadcutter and hollowpoint. 

This report covers:

  • The common shapes
  • Wadcutter
  • Semi-wadcutter
  • Dome or round-nose
  • Domed differences
  • Pointed pellets
  • Hollowpoints
  • Trick pellets
  • Summary

Recently we looked at all four smallbore pellet calibers — .177. .20, .22 and .25. Today we look at the diabolo pellets that we shoot in them.

The common shapes

I pictured four common pellet shapes above, but there are really only three — the wadcutter, the dome and the pointed pellet. The hollowpoint is based on one of those three shapes and has been made on all three basic shapes. I will explain that in a bit, but for now let’s look at the three basic pellet shapes.


The wadcutter pellet was perhaps the first shape of the smallbore diabolo (wasp waist and hollow tail) pellet to be created. I temporize with the word “perhaps” because there is still much to be learned about the dawn of the diabolo and we may never know everything. But we see the wadcutter or flat-nosed pellet at the very beginning, sometime just after the turn of the 20th century.

wadcutter pellet
Wadcutter pellet.

wadcutter bullet
Wadcutter bullets.

Wadcutter pellets do the same thing that wadcutter bullets do; they cut perfectly round holes in target paper, which make for easier scoring. As far as bullets go, that is the principal purpose of the wadcutter bullet.

Today there is some talk about using wadcutter bullets for defense because they are slow and won’t shoot through your opponent. And, like wadcutter pellets, they cut large wound channels that don’t close up after the bullet passes through.

Wadcutter pellets, however, do other things. We would never use them for defense, but they are effective on very small game like mice, rats and small pest birds. And, because they are so prevalent, they are perhaps the number one plinking pellet.


In the bullet world the semi wadcutter is perhaps the number one bullet used in all handguns except semiautomatics used for defense. In revolvers they reign supreme. This bullet retains velocity like a round-nose and cuts a wound channel like a wadcutter. It’s even good for shooting at paper.

semi-wadcutter bullet
Semi-wadcutter bullet.

It’s more difficult to define what a semi-wadcutter pellet is, or should be. Maybe the H&N Hollow Point shown on the right of the first picture of this report is one? It’s harder to say for sure because pellets have to be light enough to fly. Unlike the Keith semi-wadcutter bullet, a pellet can’t be that long and heavy.

Dome or round-nose

The domed pellet is the king of long-range shooting and also of penetration. People will argue that pointed pellets go deeper but testing disproves it. They go as deep but not deeper.

domed pellets
JSB Exact RS on the left and H&N Baracuda on the right. The Baracuda is almost pointed!

Domed pellets are synonymous with round-nosed bullets. They are the best pellet we have for supersonic flight, which, by the way, does not lessen accuracy, as I demonstrated back in 2011.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Domed differences

Domes are pellets with differences. There are tall domes and low domes. The H&N Baracuda has what I would call a tall dome. That gives it a lot of weight forward and also increases the weight of the entire pellet. The JSB Exact RS dome is a low dome that is lightweight but has the aerodynamic properties of the dome. It doesn’t fly true as far as the Baracuda, but it flies far enough to call it a long-range pellet.

Domes are great for hunting, plinking and many sports like field target. The thing they are not so good for is shooting at paper. They leave ragged holes that are difficult to see and score. Special things like taping the target paper is done to improve this, but domes are not for targets.

pointed pellet
The Daisy Pointed Field pellet is a pointed pellet.

The pointed pellet is the least popular of the three main types. Domes can do everything pointed pellets can, and they do much of it better, but pointed pellets do continue to sell. Perhaps their shape is a big reason?


I said in the beginning that hollowpoints can be based on any of the three main types. Here’s the proof.

three hollowpoints
These three hollowpoints are based, from left to right, on a wadcutter, a dome and a pointed pellet.

Trick pellets

I define trick pellets as pellets that are not conventional. That’s just my own definition and it is meaningless, but there is a category of pellets that are just a little different. Take the Gamo Rocket, as an example. It’s a semi-dome with a steel ball in the nose. What purpose does that ball serve?

I can see that I need to start testing all of the “trick” pellets for you. Some I know, like the Predator Polymag, are very accurate and consistent. Others with plastic points glued in their tips may not be as accurate. Until I test them I really can’t say. But in my world they are all trick pellets. Even the ultra light pellets that are used to substantiate velocity claims are trick pellets in my book.

trick pellets
Predator Polymags on the left, Gamo Luxor Cu with the pyramid tip in the center and the Tracer Pell that glows in the dark on the right. All trick pellets by my definition.


I thought this report was going one way, but it changed near the end and gave me several more reports to write. I see I need to test some of what I call trick pellets using an airgun or airguns of proven accuracy, to see what’s wheat and what’s chaff.

138 thoughts on “The lowly pellet”

  1. BB,
    Since you brought in the twist at the end and the Tracer Pell example, I’ll mention the Crosman Powershot Red Flight Penetrator as an example of a pointed pellet but not in Diabolo form.
    On a bit of a tangent, kits I’ve seen for making DIY pellets by casting or swaging seem to be targeted to making pellets for rifled barrels, but it seems to me that making a pellet for a smoothbore might give more consistent accuracy results, if the process produced a nose heavy pellet.

  2. B.B.,
    Domes have proven to be great for me, but that’s because almost all of my airgun shooting these days is plinking, just for fun, and one or another dome (usually a JSB) has proven to be accurate in pretty much all the airguns I have.
    I did have an old Tempest that shot its best with the old Beeman Silver Jet (pointed pellets); but that gun is gone, and the replacement, inherited from Dad, shoots best with JSB RS 7.33 grain domed pellets.
    Thanks for another interesting report. =>
    Take care & God bless,

  3. BB
    We really need some help with pellets.
    There are 140 items listed with P/A under .177 pellet ammo. Granted some are packages of various amounts, cleaning pellets and sample packs so lets throw out 40 or so of them. Could be more or less but that leaves a lot of pellets to choose from.
    Unless we figure out some abbreviated system for finding the perfect pellet for any given pellet gun you will never know which one is the best for your airgun without trying everyone of them.
    Some kind of chart or something to divide them into, ” Best used for” and then divided into sub categories for how it may perform or was designed to perform within that category would be a big help. An assigned sequence of numbers or colors that cross-reference them to the chart would be great.
    There could even be a general purpose or cost listing included for people that make their decision on that alone.
    At least we could narrow down the best pellet for a given category for our airgun easier and there will probably be exceptions all over the place between categories I’m sure and people will report it.

    It would probably involve manufacturers and input from users with some online documentation form. Perhaps one day ?
    And I’m sure some pellets will cross over to other categories.

      • Bob,

        The website designers told me they are considering doing something about this. Here is what they said, “Thanks for sharing this feedback with us, Tom. There’s been some talk about how we can make it easier for customers to shop, we’ll include some of this feedback as well.”


        • BB
          I don’t think Paco’s request is unreasonable. If manufactures want to make so many different pellets they ought to provide some information as to why they designed it as they did and what benefit is to be expected from using it. So information on every aspect of the pellet should be available, Someplace ? And sure there will be deviations within a tin. Probably unavoidable.
          I don’t expect someone to tell me which pellet is best for my airgun unless the airgun manufacturer designed the airgun around it, like FX. I just want some help in narrowing down the choices. As mentioned below not every airgun prefers the same pellet anyway.
          For example, I want to avoid very thin skirted pellets in my SAM because the bolt pushes on it. It may not be any problem at all but how would I know which ones are thin skirted?
          Lets face, when you spend hundreds of dollars for an airgun you don’t want to waste your time on pellets suited for low powered plinkers or ones that were never designed to be used in your high or low powered rifle in the first place.
          If I spend $2,000 on an airgun I want the perfect pellet for it without buying a hundred tins of different pellets to try out. The easier it is to chose the better. We just need to get more sophisticated in airgun performance coordination as we evolve into more accurate airguns.
          Bob M

          • Closely related to Bob M’s comment is a concern I have for head diameters. I have an Hatsan 135 in .25 and went through exchanges with Hatsan due to its inability to shoot accurately. I had one bad rifle, a fair one, and then had the second fitted with a gas ram and it got a bit better. Still it was spray and pray until I read a comment attached to a blog post that lamented the JSB Exact King Heavy Mark II being too tight in a .25 bore of another brand of rifle.

            I tried them in my annoying Hatsan 135 and, voila!, it became a shooter. The increased head size rode the lands so it didn’t “rattle down the barrel” and go the opposite of the last oscillation. I discovered the proper pellet for the rifle and now have several tins of hopeless trials that are all premium pellets that won’t work simply because the Hatsan bore is over-size.

            It might behoove P/A to consider average or medium head size as a qualifier along with several of the other suggestions? Looking back on my adult airgun “career” since 1988 or so, I wonder how many of my failure pellets weren’t them at all, but head diameter to bore size mismatch? The Hatsan taught me that a nice fitting pellet skirt, while obturating the bore, perhaps is not as important as a head that properly rides the lands. Actually, of course, it is both and other factors as well.

            In short, average head diameter might be a good addition AND, if possible, observations of average bore sizes on the air guns might be in order (but time and dollar consumptive, I’m sure).

            • LFranke
              Thankyou for adding a little clarity and supporting my thoughts on the situation.
              The sooner we get to put an end to this hit and miss game of airgun accuracy caused by mismatched pellets and airguns the better off the entire industry and participants will be.
              Education on the subject through blogs and dealerships could go a long way in improving the enjoyment of airgun shooting and increasing participation. So would manufacturers agreeing on exactly the same standards.
              Even a little statement in each airguns instruction booklet about which basic size or ‘Head diameter’ would perform best would help.
              Why is it left up to people like BB and customers to find out that pellets beyond a certain length will not fit in their magazine or may cause problems ?
              Bob M

    • Bob M,

      ROTFL! Boy, did you open a can of worms! You already have Pacoinohio adding hardness and skirt thickness columns. What other variables can we come up with that somebody might be interested in?

      Do not get me wrong, I think it is a great idea. The problem arises that one pellet may work well in this air rifle, but not in another of the same model. Then you have the variances of the pellets themselves. My Gamo CFX really liked the H&N Field Target Trophy in 4.51mm, but would not shoot worth a didley with 4.50mm or 4.52mm.

      I am glad I am not the one compiling that spreadsheet.

      • RR,

        KISS. Get a variety and shoot them alongside regular pellets (for accuracy). Wads cutting cleaner is a given, so no need to re-prove that.

        The statistical variables are endless.


        • Chris, you have a point, one could build a spreadsheet with so many variables that it becomes incomprehensible; a forest of data made up of numerically measured trees becomes just a forest.

          An idea hit me while thinking of the thing. If a random selection of five rifles/pistols were taken out of the box and then tested using a standard set of pellets measured for weights and sizes then utilizing a series of the largest, the middle and the smallest. One would get an idea of what a particular gun series might best utilize in terms of pellets. I suppose one could use wad cutters solely for ease of scoring?

          Such a process would not be exhaustive, of course, but it would give a very rough idea of what a gun series might best shoot in terms of weights, diameters and lengths. The pellet design comparisons could be done by the purchaser having had at least size and weight elements narrowed somewhat.

          Then, if the idea of a pellet spreadsheet had the gross size and weight measurements as part of its construction, the shooter could start making pellet choices based on at least some data rather than having a bunch of, in my case, .25 cal pellets (premier quality) that are excellent in themselves but useless in the bore of my .25 rifle. Had I known of the over-size nature of the Hatsan 135, I would have started my “pellet quest” with over-size pellet choices.

          I think we are on to something, but it would be pricey for P/A or other vendors to do in terms of manhours spent getting the data together. Yet, it would be of service to the serious shooters among us.

          • LFranke,

            I was mainly speaking to BB and what I thought might be the easiest way to test odd ball stuff,.. at first.

            As for you and Bob and others (me),…. unless a gun manufacture can hold tight barrel tolerances (AND) pellet/slug makers can hold tight OD tolerances,… it is all kind of a mute point. THEN,… add in different twist rates for pellets vs slugs,.. plus weights and lengths.

            I do believe FX was working towards this concept with regards to twist rates and slugs with their liner offerings. From that,…. using/testing currently available slugs/ammo/pellets and testing them for accuracy,…. you could in (theory) recommend X gun, at X power, with X barrel twist, with X pellet/slug weight, with X head size………. and so on. One and done. No moving off the plan. 1 MOA over and over if you do your part.

            Nope, we want 10 adjustments with 20 different levels of settings for each. 😉

            Unless a manufacturer can say,… “here is X gun and this is what you shoot in it ….” ,… definitively,.. I do not see anything changing.

            And as I imagine,… and so it shall always be.


      • I have a printout of a blog article from the Crosman site titled Elliott on Airguns, Airguns, Pellets, and Accuracy by Elliott Jock or Jock Elliott (I’m not sure which is his first name). This blog article talked about much the same thing regarding the uncertainty of which pellet would work best in a particular airgun. The author’s conclusion and recommendation was “to experiment with different pellets.”

        I took that advice to heart as a new airgunner in 2012 and have been doing it ever since. As you said RR, “one pellet may work well in this air rifle, but not in another of the same model.” I don’t think it will matter how much data you compile about pellets and specific airguns. An airgunner will still have to experiment by shooting different pellets to determine which pellet works best.

        If we are going to discuss pellet characteristics, then let’s do a really deep dive down the rabbit hole and include the following characteristics.

        pellet neck diameter
        grooved skirt or ungrooved
        degree of rounding (or sharpness) of the edges of the pellet head
        compositional purity of the lead used to make the pellet

        For the compositional purity, I can recommend some laboratory instruments for the testing.

        On another airgun related topic, I read an article at airgunwire.com about a chair with an attached monopod. If you haven’t seen it, you might consider checking it out.

        • Cstoehar,

          I have seen that chair used in some videos and just happened to be looking at it on PA just a little bit ago. My thoughts: Not a bad looking little chair. Price seems a little high, but have not seen one in person to determine quality. Is this another one of those things you are supposed to carry around with you when you go hunting? Should it not have extendable legs and swivel mount?

  4. B.B.,

    Who makes those Tracer Pells? They look very similar to a British pellet back in the eighties called Prometheus.

    They had a transparent nylon sabot and were marketed as “armour-piercing pellets” (in case you wanted to go tank hunting with your 10 ft-lb BSA Meteor, I suppose). Looked and sounded very impressive, but they were expensive and alas the accuracy was rubbish.

  5. BB,

    Looking forwards to you trying some odd ball projectiles. I think I would gather as many as you could and combine them in 1 report (or several) instead of random testing within your usual reports.

    “Special things like taping the target paper is don’t (done) to improve this, but domes are not for targets.”


  6. OK all of you folks out there in Curiosity Land. You are sitting there wondering if any of the “trick” pellets will work for you. If you desire to try some of them, let me know. I have a collection of “trick” pellets and for a nominal fee I will be happy to send you some samples to try. These are guarantied to not be worth making into fishing sinkers. The only thing they have in common with fishing sinkers is that most are made of the same material.

    Seriously though, you can look at the trick pellets as being in the same category as fishing lures. Fishing lures are mostly not designed to attract the attention of the fish, but of the fisherman (or is that fisherperson these days?).


    I am certain that you must have quite a collection of “trick” pellets that have come your way over the years.

    “Here, try our Hypersonic Superglow Discumbobulator pellets. They are guarantied to fly faster and do more damage than any other pellet on the market. You can even pick which color you want them to glow with.”

  7. BB-

    I think the depth and breadth of the the selection of the ‘odds’ or ‘specials’ just proves the old fishing lure saying. They don’t have to catch fish, just fishermen. I look forward to your efforts to quantify their pluses and minuses.

  8. On taping the back of the target paper, I have tried many things. Medium quality duct tape seems best and cheapest. About a 2″ x 2″ square for each bull. Of course,… more expensive is better,… right? Not so. The stranded and Gorilla type “super” tapes will tear/split along the fibers/strands and take the target paper with it.

    I have not done the aluminum tape that Hank uses. It may work better, but I would imagine that it is more expensive per same square inch.

    Always use a good backer, of course.

    Just some fyi for anyone interested,…… Chris

    • Chris

      I have had good results using double sided adhesive tape found in most paint departments. Golfers use it replacing club grips. It is not expensive and comes in several widths. While it works for pellets, BB’s and even bullets I use it mostly for the 499 and steel BB’s. Helps in collecting shot BB’s too. Mount target paper to a cardboard sheet of thickness that works for you and clamp it to a BB trap.

      Stay safe.


  9. I’ve been working on an idea to mount pellets in a precise array using a panel substrate (thickness about the same as pellet length) line drilled to the OD of the pellet, inserting and mounting pellets using an adhesive, then mill down through the centerline. Obviously, a destructive test to allow close examination of the cross-sectioned pellets. A representative sample could be measured, checked for consistency. I believe this type of inspection would reveal a lot about pellet design and manufacturing. Ballistics are greatly affected by sectional density, and the span between the BC of a slug and a diabolo pellet could correlated in some way. I’d like to know something about the internal shape and profile of the pellet, as it is inherently a major design feature that should be considered.

      • I think I have some valuable cooperation from a key supplier I used to deal with a lot. Back when I was manufacturing circuit board assemblies, one of my suppliers produced fixtures we used to assemble PCBA’s in, then pass them through soldering processes. This type of material is designed to be machineable, and to hold precise dimension. They are somewhat “disposable” after a few thousand passes through liquid solder, they have to be replaced, but the are also precise enough to hold the bare board securely and well located during the placement of components. I have yet to figure out how I can gain any obscene profits from the effort, though. 🙂

    • Jerry,

      Not sure I get your method,…. but if milling 1/2 off,… I would lay them down. Glue as needed. Put them in a bit of a dam/sided mold and flood with some type of epoxy to 45% of height. That way they are firmly held and can then be milled.

      From there? You would have to find a way to measure/quantify what you see.

      Good luck and keep us posted. I wonder if the pellet makers do any of this and model cross section density and other factors? I would hope they do,.. but who knows for sure.


      • Hello, Chris – you are pretty close. But I would have this substrate made on NC machines, all the drilled holes precisely in an orthogonal array, say 100 positions. The substrates would have locating holes and fiducial marks, so that after the pellets are in place with adhesive, the same type NC machine would just mill into the centerline and leave each row of pellets cut in half with the substrate slices holding them. There are relatively inexpensive digital microscopes capable of measurement to at least 0.1 mm, so some measurement is possible. I’d just like to see the profile at about 10X, anyhow. I’ve seen many cases of pellets from the same tin that seem to be produced with different punches at swaging, and I want to see if the depth and centering of the internal contours are consistent. It would also be a revelation for skirt thickness, rotational inertia, and other things no one seems to have much clue about. My Pelletgage suppliers are capable of giving me very precise substrates made from glass reinforced polymers that can be very precisely machined, with consistent drilled holes in known reference position for milling.

    • Great idea Jerry!

      Sounds like a guest blog to me

      Think that the earliest approach would be to line up the pellets in a mold and pot them with epoxy (there are all kinds of molds and epoxy kits – used for making jewelery – on Amazon).

      You would have to take care to use a low cutter speed when milling as heat will cause the epoxy to soften. Maybe there are higher temperature potting plastics available (acrylic?).


  10. BB

    I would definitely like to see a blog to see if the claims for those trick pellets are valid or just marketing fluff.

    I’m particularly interested in the Polymags as I have seen some pretty incredible claims about their (alleged) performance.

    I find it hard to believe that an assembled two-piece pellet can be as accurate as a conventional swaged pellet.


    • Hank,

      I have tested the Polymags several times and they have made a good showing for themselves. The other pellets do need to be tested, BUT — Gamo has already discontinued making the Luxor Cu pellet, so do I still want to test it? I think I do.

      And, as several readers have said, there are other trick pellets I didn’t even mentiuon.


      • Thanks Tom,

        Being billed as a hunting pellet, cost of the Polymags (13.3 cents each) is not a big factor but still I would be interested is seeing a comparison (penetration/expansion) to something like the Hades (6.4 cents each).


          • BB
            Here so people know what I’m talking about.

            I used these way back a little bit after the Benjamin Discovery came out. I actually got good groups at 50 yards with them in my .177 Discovery back then. But to say I would occasionally get a flier or two every once in a while. Not every 10 shot group though.

            But they was great for pesting. The steel ball would usually separate from the pellet inside the pest. If you did your job and hit, it was pretty much guaranteed the pest was doa.

            The only thing that really stopped me from continuing to use them is they are expensive. I did finish up the supply on other guns throughout time and they did perform as I mentioned.

            If they was cheaper I would still buy them. There how was that for a explanation? 🙂

  11. B B,
    The Daisy Pointed pellets look very much like Scalemead Hustlers that were very commonly available in the UK in the 1980’s, but seem to have died a death sometime since.
    Pointed pellets have a bad reputation ever since those days of inferior quality ones commonly available in the 70’s and 80’s and many people consider all pointed pellets rubbish, still. Even the RWS Superpoint weren’t great back then but I rate the modern Superpoint Extra highly. The H&N Superpoint/ Spitzkugel was and is a very good pellet. A lot of people won’t deviate from domed pellet so will never try the two aforementioned.
    I have always been curious about the old .20 Sheridan slugs. Are these still produced in the U.S. for the famous pumper?


  12. When I was a kid, my dad splurged and got us a FWB 124 and a bunch of Beeman Silver Jet pointed pellets. That was the only pellet I used growing up because it was all I had. It worked good though. I still have a half box left, that I dont shoot. I think the domes became a lot more popular when field target took off in popularity. I only buy RWS wadcutters and Crossman or JSB Domes now.

    • Jimaok,

      I remember reading about many airgunners that swore the old Beeman Silver Jets were turned on a lathe LOL! They were certain of it.

      H & N silver points are still made and look a lot like the old silver jets. The Beeman Silver Jets never shot as well out of any of my FWB 124’s as the Beeman FTS pellets did. Can’t find the Beeman FTS pellets anymore and the copper coated ones don’t shoot well in a FWB 124. The H & N Field Target Trophy pellets are still made and are very similar to the old Beeman FTS pellets but don’t shoot as well. The old Beeman FTS pellets in the all blue tins sell for absurd amounts on places like ebay. Shame they’re not made anymore.

  13. B.B., and Readership,

    If you haven’t SLUGGED your barrel(s) WHY bother!

    Projectile diameter, the Brinell Number, diameter at the head, carry rings, skirt, major diameter, ogive, Center of Mass, Center of Balance, Center of Pressure, Coefficient of Drag, and length is a minimum start.

    Lot Number!


  14. Well the silver jets were all made in Japan, and I always found a vestigial xtra bit of lead on the point of the pellet,
    but the silver bears were just domed. I use dome style pellets with thin skirts but 13 grn monsters do well at 13 ft/lbs
    out of a pistol too. Would a piece of clear acetate in front f the target paper make scoring a little easier? Sometimes I just like the pop sound on steel tho. If pellets are like gyroscopes, then then weight on the outside of the shape should be lighter than the mass at the center of the pellet, so a hollow base shape may have all it’s mass around the circumference, but a pellet like a prometheus has a rod at its center, and a very light weight polymer skirt. I havn’t read much good about those high velocity pellets but they are a two piece design like the polymags, I think the poly mags shoot pretty good, but i prefer to just use mid weight JSB Kings overall, or I like the barrel design of the heavys.
    cool subject, thanks BB

  15. B.B.

    Do the tracer pellets really work? You HAVE to test those.
    Does anybody make any “fireworks” pellets. Would be great on the 4th of July!
    How about Exploding tip pellets? Can you put some of your reloading slurry on the hollow of a hollow point and shoot it at rocks? That would make me feel 10 years old again!


    • Doc
      I was going to answer first before I read your link. I read the link and my answer is still the same.

      Lead is soft. It will a actually tair and gum up the cutting tool ad smear the lead so to speak for many different reasons.

      Now if the anatomy of the pellet was a little harder it would probably be a very nice finish on the projectile.

      One of the best machining steel is 12L14. Yep the L stands for lead. Now take some 1215 and see what happens when you try to machine it.

      But also the bullet they are talking about machining out of lead could turn out nice. But I bet the cnc machine would have a slow cycle time. In other words it would produce. But it would produce the projectiles slow. That ends up relating to a more exspensive product.

      I like to see where that all goes.

      • Doc Holiday,

        Turned bullets all over the place in Long Range shooting/hunting! Many are Copper or a copper alloy…some are depleted Uranium shot from large bore rifles, canons, and “Mini-guns.”


        • Shootski
          Probably not unless they came up with a water jet lathe. A laser lathe maybe also.

          Who knows. Maybe that is the next type of machining that will be introduced in the future. Maybe it’s out there now. I don’t know. Never thought about it or thought to research it.

          If it could be done I could see a wave of CNC verticle and horizontal lathes deriving from it in the future.

            • Shootski
              I know about plasma and water jets.

              But is there lathes that use the water jet or laser to cut the metal like a cutting tool would do. In other words actually turns down the outside diameter of a piece of bar stock.

              • Gunfun1,

                This is the best I can do this morning:

                Waterjet machining: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/water-jet-machining is a different animal; it isn’t so much of a turning at speed as a multiple pass of the waterjet with and without abrasives. With a cool material removal process not a chip making process on spinning stock. If you look at the bullets that Altaros is making it looks exactly like the reverse of 3D printing.

                Wish I could share the Classified stuff. It is just beginning to really click in the civilian shops.


                • Shootski
                  Looks like they are using the laser-plasma lathe as a cutoff just. More or less like you would use a band saw to cut a tube. The wall thickness wasn’t that thick from what they was saying. And definitely they wasn’t using it to turn the diameter on the outside smaller. Now that would be cool for the laser to make a shape on the outside since it is CNC controlled.

                  And the same with the water jet with the additional laser assist.

                  All in all pretty cool stuff. And I bet if I had one of each I could make some stuff. I already know how to program horizontal cnc lathes and vertical cnc’s.

                  • Gunfun1,

                    As you well know from all your experience the machinability of Materials is always the issue. The level of operator expertise is high for the difficult jobs which adds expense because of pay and all the work that winds up in the Scrap Bin. Wish I could find more in Open Literature to show you what is currently being done at various Skunk Works. Making chips will probably go the way of discrete elements soldered to a Mother Board.

                    Oily Swarf will hardly ever need to be cleaned up by the new guy/gal!


                    • Shootski
                      We do R and D with different cutting tools and such.

                      My favorite toy at work is the 3d printers we have. They are even talking about getting into metal 3d printing. I’m ready to see it happen. What we have been doing is working with the plastic printers just to get some ideas about where they can go and not go. But looks promising. Maybe one day I can print up a pellet made of some sort of metal on the printer if we get one of the metal printers. I will definitely suggest it to them. Now days almost anything is possible.

                    • Gunfun1,

                      We ran out of reply thread so I moved back up one post kid of like running a Buttonhole Route!

                      Yes, metal 3D printing could build some interesting pellets or bullets. I think from a manufacturer’s perspective it would be too slow compared to casting or swaging and drive up the cost/price per unit. But that will likely change in time.


  16. B.B.

    Good stuff, and you have great readers and contributors.
    My addition is minuscule.
    1. CPHP pellets definitely appear to be a modification of the(ir) dome pellet.
    2. Was the Sheridan slug mentioned different from the 5mm ammo in the yellow plastic. I still have some of those and some 5mm Silver Streak pellets.
    3. I have doubts about adding parts to a pellet not integral to the design and manufacturing. I so have some and I gladly shoot them for 10 yard plinking.
    4. I hope you and your readers are doing well, or getting there quickly. We were fortunate at our house. It got a little concerning, but power was restored and sustained. No problems seen with the thaw My one neighbor has a Generac with a large tank of propane. He could do a testimonial on their commercials. Zero problems at his house.


  17. Ok sorry can’t take this anymore.

    This is from AGD which I thought was affiliated with PA.

    I had something a week ago or so that said check out these full auto pellet guns. So I’m all excited cause I like that kind of shooting especially if it shoots pellets. Guess what I see. All full auto BB guns. Like how did they advertise pellet guns.

    But check this one out. Its a advertisement about pesting guns. The only one I see worthy of the title is the Air Arms gun. Its probably the only accurate gun of the bunch. Maybe the Origin.

    Either way I don’t think someone is thinking and understanding what they are advertising.

    “Airgun Depot
    Best Pest Elimination Airguns
    It is time to draw a line in the lilacs!

    Forget your house, your yard makes up a bigger portion of your property by far. Time to secure the perimeter and protect it!
    Great Airguns to Defend Your Garden
    Umarex Origin, Pump Combo
    SAVE $50
    Umarex Origin, Pump Combo
    Available in .22
    Starting at $349.99 | $399.99

    Gamo Swarm Whisper
    SAVE $10

    Gamo Swarm Whisper
    Available in .177
    Starting at $189.99 | $199.99

    Crosman Diamondback SBD, NP Elite
    SAVE $40

    Crosman Diamondback SBD, NP Elite
    Available in .22
    Starting at $149.95 | $189.95

    Ruger 10/22
    SAVE $19.96

    Ruger 10/22
    Available in .177, Realistic CO2 Replica of The Iconic Ruger 10/22 Semi-automatic Rifle
    Starting at $129.99 | $149.95

    Air Arms T200 Sporter
    SAVE $70

    Air Arms T200 Sporter
    Available in .177, CZ Made PCP Air Rifle with Target Sights
    Starting at $579.99 | $649.99”

    But then again who am I to say. Maybe the others are accurate. Or maybe none of them are.

  18. B.B. and Readership,

    You all owe it to yourself to see what the Chech at Altaros are doing with a bunch of things shooting related. They do have a Long History in the Sport. In English too!


      • Shootski
        It would be nice to know that all that information was available … someplace, if you needed it.
        But converting it into words like relatively thin skirt or oversized head and extended length followed with an explanation of why could direct the customer to further investigate it for specifics, if they wanted to.

        LFranke gave a good example of the pellet size problem he had and I responded to him as well in the early entries area above.
        Now where did I leave that ladle?
        Bob M

  19. Hi BB.

    I recently purchased a Weihrauch Hw50s and I really like it. I was bench shooting it to find the most accurate pellets, and after I had narrowed it down to a couple–i fired several from a standing position (no rest). Of course, it was not nearly as accurate standing as it was from a bench.

    That gave me the idea to target shoot several of my rifles and pistols from the standing position. Wow! What a surprise. Standing–several of my cheaper rifles and pistols outshot several of my more expensive rifles (in my hands). Just to be clear, generally the more expensive rifles outshoot the cheaper ones at the bench rest.

    I am wondering if you might talk a little about which pistols and rifles you favor from positions other than bench rest. Or, you might even test a few.

  20. BB,

    Thank God for the edit feature! I remember when we did not have it and begged for it. I modified my last post at least 4-5 times since posting. Nothing major,… but I think we all want it (our post) to be right. After all,… when done, it shall live on forever on the net.


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