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Testing new pellets

This report covers:

  • Hy Score 807
  • Walther LGV Challenger
  • The test — Baracuda 18 in the Hy Score
  • Baracuda 15 in the Hy Score
  • Baracuda Hunter Extreme in the Hy Score
  • JTS Dead Center dome in the Hy Score
  • Discussion 1
  • Baracuda 18 in the LGV Challenger
  • Baracuda 15 in the LGV Challenger
  • Baracuda Hunter Extreme in the LGV Challenger
  • JTS Dead Center in the LGV Challenger
  • Discussion 2
  • Summary

Today I’m going to do a new thing. It’s something I have wanted to do for several years. Everyone likes to see tests of new airguns, but how many want to see a test of new pellets? Sure, you want to see what they look like and how they do in the most accurate airgun but after that? Ho, hum.

Today I’m going to drag out a couple of my obsolete air rifles to test a selection of new pellets that I haven’t really paid enough attention to. So grab your coffee cup and let’s get started.

Hy Score 807

In April  of 2021 reader David Enoch contacted me to tell me about a really good buy he saw on eBay. Here is his message.

Tom, there is a nice Hy Score 807 on eBay with a Buy It Now of $125 plus about $30 shipping.  Good price but I don’t need another and once the shipping is added there is not enough left to resell it.  If it were a .177 I would buy it though. 

I thanked him but told him I didn’t need another .22-caliber Diana 27 (the Hy Score 807 is a .22-caliber Diana 27). I almost posted the information on the blog for one of you readers to take action, but as the day advanced I realized that I just couldn’t pass it up. Not at that price. So I broke down and bought it.

I tested that rifle for you in 2021 and eventually got the velocity up into the mid-500s. With a Diana target rear sight mounted the accuracy at 10 meters was 0.328-inches for the best 5-shot group. This new/old air rifle was a winner.

Hy Score 807
Hy Score 807 with Diana target rear sight attached.

So, that became my first test rifle for today’s report.

Walther LGV Challenger

The other rifle I used for today’s report was the Walther LGV Challenger. Like the Diana 27, This air rifle is a classic and is just as abandoned by the company that once made it.

LGV Challenger
Walther LGV Challenger.

Both rifles are .22-caliber and the four pellets I want to test today are also .22. So we have a match made in heaven. Here we go.

The test — Baracuda 18 in the Hy Score

I shot both rifles from a sandbag rest 10 meters from the target. Both rifle have non-optical sights, though the Hy Score has a target rear peep sight. I shot 5-shot groups because there was so much shooting to do. I laid both rifles directly on the sandbag because they are both extremely stable when shot that way.

First up was the Hy Score and the H&N Baracuda 18 was the first pellet tested. Five pellets landed in a 10-meter group that measures 0.568-inches between centers.

807 Baracuda 18
The Hy Score 807 put 5 H&N Baracuda 18s into this 0.568-inch group at 10 meters.

Baracuda 15 in the Hy Score

Next I shot the H&N Baracuda 15 in the Hy Score rifle. Five of them gave me a 0.4-inch group at 10 meters.

807 Baracuda 15
The Hy Score 807 put 5 H&N Baracuda 15s into 0.4-inches at 10 meters.

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Baracuda Hunter Extreme in the Hy Score

The H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme isn’t exactly a new pellet, but it is new to my tests. I recently discovered just how accurate this pellet is. At 10 meters the Hy Score 807 put five of them into a 0.693-inch group at 10 meters. It’s the largest group shot by the Hy Score 807, but it’s the equal of the next group.

807 Hunter Extreme
The Hy Score 807 put five H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme pellets into a 0.693-inch group at 10 meters.

JTS Dead Center dome in the Hy Score

The last pellet I tested in the Hy Score 807 today is the JTS Dead Center dome. This is an interesting new pellet line that we have been looking at. Five of them went into 0.693-inches at 10 meters — the same as the Hunter Extreme.

807 JTS
Five JTS domes went into 0.693-inches at 10 meters.

Discussion 1

All four pellets tested well in this test. The open sights caused some of the groups to grow, but they are all in the same ballpark. Any one of them could have been the best or worst.

This Hy Score 807 is a diamond in the not-so-rough. I had adjusted the trigger that is now just about perfect. It’s no Rekord, but it has a light and smooth first stage and only a tiny bit of creep in stage two. I say in the last report on the rifle that it needs Tune-in-a Tube, but it now shoots so smoothly that I think I might have already done that and just not reported it.

Baracuda 18 in the Walther LGV Challenger

On to rifle number two. The Walther LGV Challenger is one of the nicest breakbarrel spring guns I have ever tested! First to be tested is the H&N Baracuda 18. At 10 meters five pellets went into a 0.485-inch group.

LGV Baracuda 18
The Walther LGV Challenger put 5 H&N Baracuda 18s into this 0.485-inch group at 10 meters.

Baracuda 15 in the LGV Challenger

Coming up next is the H&N Baracuda 15 pellet. The LGV Challenger put five of them into a 0.32-inch group at 10 meters.


Five Baracuda 15s in the LGV Challenger
made a 0.32-inch group at 10 meters.

Baracuda Hunter Extreme in the LGV Challenger

At 10 meters the LGV Challenger put five H&N Baracuda Hunter Extremes into a 0.649-inch group at 10 meters. This was the largest group shot by the LGV Challenger, period.

LGV Hunter Extreme
The Walther LGV Challenger put five H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme pellets into a 0.649-inch group at 10 meters. It’s the largest group shot by the LGV Challenger but not the largest group of the test.

JTS Dead Center in the LGV Challenger

The last pellet I tested today in the LGV Challenger and also in today’s test is the JTS Dead Center dome. Five of them went into 0.3-inches at 10 meters. It’s the smallest group shot by the LGV Challenger and also the smallest group in today’s test.

LGV JTS
The LGV Challenger put five JTS domes in 0.3-inches at 10 meters.

Discussion 2

The LGV Challenger edged out the Hy Score 807 for accuracy in today’s test. It was shot with open sporting sights and yet did slightly better than the Hy Score that had a target rear peep sight.

The trigger on the Challenger is also just as good as the 807’s ball bearing trigger or even slightly better.

Both rifles are smooth, accurate and easy to cock. They are both smooth enough to rest directly on the sandbag when shot. They served well as testbeds for these four pellets.

All four pellets did well today, and we now see where they stand, relative to each other. And my two obsolete springers were a delight. I enjoyed the opportunity to get behind them for today’s test.

Summary

We now have a new way to test pellets and it affords me the opportunity to shoot some obsolete air rifles in a meaningful way. I will continue to use all four pellets in upcoming tests. I’m now thinking of a similar test using obsolete air pistols like the Webley Senior.

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.

35 thoughts on “Testing new pellets”

  1. “I’m now thinking of a similar test using obsolete air pistols like the Webley Senior.”
    B.B.,
    I concur that would be a good idea; I’d like to see it, and I doubt I’m the only one. 🙂
    Blessings to you,
    dave

  2. Nice some oldies got to see the light of day for some exercise.

    Other than the LGV & JTS combination, it seemed these rifles favored the lighter pellets.

    If you need a completely factory Crosman Mk1 to test them in, I will loan you one.

    Ian

      • B.B., I’m curious how you would test pellets in a pistol (or a rifle, for that matter) with adjustable hammer spring tension, like the Mark I. I have sometimes found that with a pellet it likes, as the Crosman Mark I’s adjustment screw is turned in 1/4 increments, the groups can get bigger and then smaller and then bigger again. I have one Mark II, for example, that has 2 sweet spots with one brand of pellet. Then of course, there is high power and low power settings with the trigger feel being different between them. It’s a challenge to find a single spring tension setting that gives best results with both high and low power settings.

  3. B.B.
    I don’t get it! As Ian mentioned, these are relatively heavy pellets.
    As David E. mentioned, both these low powered .22 springers are “better” in .177 caliber.
    Why test heavy pellets in low powered springers? They might shoot well at 10meters, but I bet they all shoot lousy at 25-50 yards. I would have preferred to see you test “average” weight .22 pellets in the 13-14 grain pellets in these rifles or used a stronger rifle for the heavy pellets.

    -Yogi

    • I agree Yogi. 🙂

      I think it would indeed be interesting, to see how JTS .22″ pellets compare in more powerful obsolete long arms and at greater ranges! 🙂

      However, it looks like Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier) has chosen to reduce propelling power for these pellets, by heading to handguns next. And, to be fair, I’m looking forward to that report too! 🙂

      Also, I wonder if Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier) has plans for the other JTS pellets that pyramydair sell, ie the .25″ calibre domes?

  4. Tom,

    There really seems to be an optimal weight to velocity ratio for accuracy. At around 500 fps and below preferring the lighter pellets and 600 fps and above favoring the heavier ones.

    Siraniko

    • Siraniko
      I find your statement very reasonable. Maybe Tom should try them out to 25 yards in order to see if Yogi and you are correct. Otherwise we all will have some new experience about the pellet speed to weight optimal ratio. Of course he must try lighter pellets in these oldies also.

  5. BB,

    It is a real shame that all but the Webley Senior I got from you, my pistols are .177. I guess I am just going to have to do a spiel on my “new” Beeman 800 / Diana 6G.

    If you have not guessed yet, I too would really like to see you test some pellets with a pistol.

  6. BB

    Finally we get to see how the newer pellets compare and in springers that are stable enough to not demand the artillery hold. This removes lots of human variation from the tests. Just as important, you get to shoot some oldies you and many of us love.

    There are readers who want different calibers or higher velocity. Fine, that just means more tests.

    I hope this will be a long series of tests and look forward to the Webley Senior and other pistols.

    Hoping you will throw in some slugs along the way. Some of us are already shooting them in springers. Yeah, I know, the twist rate is wrong and the velocity is wrong.

    Have fun! I sure am.

    Deck

  7. Just a heads up,
    Just received an email for pre-ordering the Zoraki HP01, AKA – Webley Alecto & Ultra pump pistol in 4 versions (2 cal. & long or short) with optional shoulder stock and left-hand grip.
    I got my shoulder stock conversion from them a while back. Perhaps P/A will also be in on it? This is a special airgun with a special target grip and a high price. BB did a 4-part blog on the Webley Alecto. Thought it was discontinued?

  8. Tom,

    So David Enoch was an enabler of the Great Enabler. :^)

    It’s very good to see an old gal and a middle-aged gal show what they and these pellets can do. Thanks very much for remembering them.

    Michael

  9. B.B. and Readership,

    I must not have had enough coffee this morning or i’m suffering from the paint fumes as I paint the living room. I’m using a water based LOW VOC Latex paint and have all the widows in the house open!
    I get the joys of shooting an Old Friend from the back of the gun room, closet, or vault…but i’m still seeing no better than 3+ MOA at 10 meters and some way more than that!
    Is it me? Or the fumes or perhaps my Low Coffee Light?
    Why do RidgeRunner and a few others not say something like: What does it matter that they don’t make 12 FPE (Foot Pounds of Energy) and still can’t hit the inside of the toy barn at 10 meters?

    I’m seriously wondering?

    shootski

    • shootski, thanks for your confession of who you would enjoy shooting, and so, I hope that neither I, nor anyone else here, becomes “…an Old Friend…” of yours! 🙂
      (yeah, I know! I’m just deliberately misunderstanding, for fun)

      I think I comprehend how some airguns fail to be of interest, due to their lesser precision.

      However, consider the shooter for whom the achievable accuracy with even a reputedly precise airgun, such as a precharged pneumatic, can only match that of a spring powered one. Yeah, me. 🙂

      I wish I too would consistently hit what I aim at, but I know, for me, that is just a dream, and hollywood. 🙂

      On the upside, I get to appreciate other qualities, that, combined, can outweigh precision! 🙂
      Today’s obsolete air rifles are a good example.

      I actually prefer shooting my non precharged pneumatics. And for me, it’s something inexplicable that goes beyond the faff of charging the air reservoir.

      For an extreme example: despite extensive amounts of diverse ancillary equipment, and extraordinarily time consuming preparation, that is essential, to finally get to the point of actually shooting, what are surprisingly inaccurate guns in my hands, I really enjoy my black powder muzzleloaders. 🙂

      • hihihi,

        You keep your old human friends in your gun room, closet, or vault…! I’m dismayed. I at least put my old human friends up in the guesthouse until it is their turn.
        If a shooter has not as yet gotten training to shoot to some level of accuracy then they should be consigned to shot imprecise airguns? Somehow the logic of that escapes me. I understand that most manufacturers carefully avoid a measurable description of product precision and almost none include a Test Target any longer. Is that why i so often get to read in readers replies: “Only accurate (precise) airguns are interesting.”
        As i said i understand shooting Old Friends of the shooting iron kind but for me they would need to have tremendous other qualities to overcome the disappointment caused by lack of precision.
        I am strictly voicing my individual opinion and in no way intend it to prescribe for others where they should find their contentment.
        I think black powder muzzleloader are shot to make smoke rings, big noise, and big blue clouds of smoke…i get that ;^)

        shootski

          • Remarq,

            I meant No Disrespect in my comment about Black Powder Muzzleloader! I am fully aware that the technology and more so craftsmanship existed/exists that can challenge the ability of the shooters.
            I do however, like the smoke rings from black powder long guns and Canon!

            shootski

    • shootski,
      Have you ever shot an HW30S? Mine is in .22 caliber, and spits out JSB RS pellets at 505 fps (7.6 fpe).
      I mostly shoot it on my 15-yard range; at the distance, it’s a one-hole shooter, and I can hit old .22 hulls with it. No tanks, no filling, no fuss no muss; she’s just a great little plinker that I can cock with just my index finger; the trigger is great, and the firing cycle is excellent (no artillery hold required). With a 6X BugBuster scope and a steel muzzle weight that adds two inches to the overall length (making the rifle even easier to cock, as well as improving the balance…for me), this is like the ultimate all-day plinker. I can sit out and fire hundreds of shots in a session (although dozens is usually the norm). What’s not to like? 😉
      Blessings to you,
      dave
      P.S. And she’ll hit pecans at 40 yards…no shortage of those here; we’ve got 9 pecan trees out back! LOL! 🙂 That’s her hanging right under Jeremiah 29:11 (both gifts from my wife. =>).

      • thedavemyster,

        “And she’ll hit pecans at 40 yards…”
        That is better than 3+ MOA that your HW30S and you are getting; even if you grow some giant pecans!
        Dave i know B.B. knows how to shoot and has demonstrated it often enough (even in public) that his groups like in todays report are reflecting on this/these particular guns and not on the pellets that have shot far better in guns with perhaps better barrels, powerplants, and tuning for a particular projectile.
        I’m just not understanding the merit of testing projectiles without the full effort (bore size determination/projectile matching, tune, and the rest of helping them shoot the best they can.
        IF i want to just shoot a bunch I will do that with a 10 Meter PCP air rifle and it will provide at least 80 or so shots before it needs to be refilled; if I wanted to tether it to a big CF cylinder i would need to order more pellets and probably still run out of spousal understanding of time limits for shooting. ;^)

        As I told hihihi i’m just relating my opinion with no intent of prescription or proscription…i’m too much of a Libertarian to do that.

        “Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.”
        Inscription on the Liberty Bell

        Sadly i couldn’t take my children or now my grandchildren to climb all over that Grand Old Bell as i was able to so often as a child. These days she is imprisoned in a glass box and you would probably be shot if you did as we did back in the 1950’s!

        shootski

        • shootski, OK, I hear you, man, I see what you’re saying.
          That’s really sad about the Grand Old Bell.
          Yeah, sadly, there’s lot of cool stuff we did as kids that would never be allowed today! 🙂

      • P.P.S. shootski, I did this just for you, man, in case you might ask. 🙂
        I used to shoot .38 SPL hulls, but that got too easy; so, I tried .22LR hulls, but the shiny silver
        ones (from Federal Punch ammo; I believe it’s a nickel finish) are easier for me to see.
        Anyway, I just went out and shot 8 of them, 4 standing up, and 4 lying on their sides.
        Hitting a .22 hull with a .22 pellet at 15 yards…not bad for a little plinker! 🙂

    • I am of the opinion that consistency in a gun’s grouping contributes equally if not more to a shooter’s enjoyment than absolute accuracy. If the results are within the expectations, then the shooter is having a good day. If the results are randomly hit or miss, frustration at the equipment rises to the surface. I can always strive to improve my shooting skill up to the limits of the gun. As my father in law said when he introduced me to bullseye pistol with a revolver and I questioned whether or not a semiautomatic was considered more accurate, “It’s (the S&W K38) more accurate than you are”. It only becomes an issue when we start comparing our results with our equipment to the results of others with “better” equipment. They may or may not be better shooters if all things were equal.

      • Remarq,
        You’ve got a great point here, although your reference to the S&W K38 made me want to cry; I had an awesome one about 30 years ago, but my friend who shot it LOVED it, and raved about it so much that I finally gave it to him. It was a tack driver and it could group! I miss that gun dearly.
        However, my friend is now a pastor, and helps all kinds of people, so how can I begrudge him having my old K38? Thanks for the memory of good days from the past with my K38. 🙂
        Blessings to you,
        dave

  10. Nice to see the good-looking vintage “ladies” doing so well. FM likes to stick to his age group though his pellet groups have not improved with age. 😉

    • B.B.,

      Seriously!
      Coffee Low Light was back on so i decided to take a break and say so.
      I look forward to what awaits tomorrow.
      The paint is hitting the walls too!

      shootski

  11. If I see a gun for sale at a good price and don’t want it myself I often know someone who would be interested. I just like to see good guns go to people who will appreciate them. I knew BB likes the Diana 27 in 22 caliber. I have gone to all .177 for my springers. I don’t hunt and only shoot steel or small plastic pill bottles. Well, that’s not true. I do have paper targets at 20 yards for my low power springers.
    David Enoch

    • “I have gone to all .177 for my springers. I don’t hunt and only shoot steel or small plastic pill bottles. Well, that’s not true. I do have paper targets at 20 yards for my low power springers.”
      David,
      I must confess to developing a fondness for .177 low power springers, especially after Frank (from this blog) sold me his old Haenel model 1. It took me a while to get used to the tapered post front sight and v-notch rear sight, but now I can hit some pretty small pill bottles with her.
      Hence, I say “thumbs up to old low power springers”! 🙂
      Blessings to you,
      David
      P.S. I told my wife I heard an ad on the radio for a place out in the midwest that was being built, the Museum of Davids, for all the great Davids of history, starting with King David of Israel.
      Me: “That sounds like a worthy cause…I think I’ll send them some money.”
      Wife: *rolls her eyes*
      I still think it’s a good cause! 😉

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