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Ammo Testing the three new JTS and the new Benjamin .177 pellets: Part 2

Testing the three new JTS and the new Benjamin .177 pellets: Part 2

JTS pellets
Three new JTS .177-caliber pellets. Left to right — 7.87-grain wadcutter, 8.7-grain dome, 10.4-grain dome.

Testing three new JTS pellets
Testing the new Benjamin domed pellets
Testing the three new JTS and the new Benjamin .177 pellets: Part 1

This report covers:

  • Shorten the stock
  • The test
  • JTS Dead Center wadcutter
  • JTS Dead Center 8.7-grain dome
  • JTS Dead Center 10.4-grain dome
  • Benjamin Bullseyes
  • First Bullseye group
  • Why was that group 1?
  • Second group of Benjamin Bullseyes
  • Summary

Today I called on an old warhorse to help deliver a verdict. I refer to the Daisy 853 target rifle. Several days ago I was discussing the 853 in another report and it dawned on me that I hadn’t shot it in quite awhile. Testing these four new pellets seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. So, let’s do it!

Shorten the stock

After that last time I shot the rifle in 2016 I had put the three stock spacers in the butt of the stock, just so I knew where they were. They made the length of pull so long that I couldn’t get close enough to the peep sight to see clearly, so I removed two of the three spacers before starting the test.

853 spacers out
All three stock spacers are out.

853 0ne spacer
I shot most of the test with one spacer in. The spacers don’t fit the butt that well.

The test

I shot from 10 meters off a sandbag rest. Since the 853 is a single stroke pneumatic that doesn’t move when it shoots, I rested the rifle directly on the sandbag. I shot 5-shot groups.

The last time I shot the 853 it was sighted in, so I purposely did not sight in today. I also didn’t adjust the rear peep sight because I knew these pellets are both heavier than the target pellets I normally shoot in the rifle, plus three of them are domed. So they will hit in different places. I just want to see if they shoot groups of a decent size.

JTS Dead Center wadcutter

First to be tested was the JTS Dead center wadcutter. This 7.87-grain pellet has not done well in any test either Ian McKee or I have done. It’s beginning to look like sinker larvae. And today was no exception, but today there was a reason. They did not feed into the 853’s breech. And when I say they didn’t feed I mean it. They simply did not want to enter the breech no matter what I tried. For a couple pellets I had to forcibly jam the bolt forward, just to close the breech.

Five shots made a 0.913-inch group at 10 meters. However, upon examining it I see that four of the five shots are in 0.137-inches. So this pellet is perhaps more accurate than it seems, through with the feeding issue we aren’t going to find out from the 853. That’s too bad because the 853’s Lothar Walther barrel seems to like this pellet. I guess more pellet testing is in order.

853 JTS wadcutter group
Upon examination this group of JTS wadcutters doesn’t look so bad. The one flyer at the top is no doubt due to pellet damage when the bolt was forced to close. It makes the five shots group in 0.913-inches. But the four at the bottom are in 0.137-inches which is about as good as this 853 gets. Too bad they don’t feed!

JTS Dead Center 8.7-grain dome

Next I tried the JTS Dead Center 8.7-grain dome. Being domed I figured these would fit for sure. But they didn’t. They fed better than the wadcutters but I still had to jam the bolt closed a couple times. Five of them went into 0.75-inches at 10 meters.

853 JTS 8point7 dome group
The 853 put five of the JTS 8.7-grain domes into 0.75-inches at 10 meters.

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JTS Dead Center 10.4-grain dome

The final JTS pellet I tried was the 10.4-grain dome. They fed the best of all and five went into 0.577-inches at 10 meters.

853 JTS 10point4 dome group
Five of the 10.4-grain JTS dome pellets went into a 0.577-inch group at 10 meters.

Benjamin Bullseyes

It was now time to try the 10.5-grain Benjamin Single Die pellet that I call the Bullseye. I know these are harder pellets, so maybe they will feed into the 853 breech better.

First Bullseye group

And they did feed better — much better. The first group of five went into 0.34-inches at 10 meters. Now we are getting somewhere!

Five of the 10.5-grain Benjamin Bullseye made a 0.34-inch group.

Why was that group 1?

Why was that the first group of Benjamin Bullseyes? Good question. Remember the report I wrote recently on peep sights? During today’s test I had noticed that the length of the 853 stock’s pull was still a bit too long for perfect placement of my sighting eye. Since the Benjamin Bullseye did so well and also since they went into two slightly different places, I decided to remove that last stock spacer. Let’s see if that does anything for the group.

Second group of Benjamin Bullseyes

The second group of Benjamin Bullseye pellets measures 0.278-inches between centers. It isn’t that much smaller than the first group, so I think we have gone about as far as we can with this test.

853 Benjamin Bullseye group 2
With the 853’s stock shortened to bring the sighting eye closer to the peep sight, five Bullseyes made a 0.278-inch group at 10 meters.


Today was a test of the four new pellets but it was also an opportunity for me to shoot my Daisy 853 again. I have missed doing that. While it will never compare to the FWB 600 target rifle, the 853 represents what is possible when designers want to keep the price on the floor. Sometimes that can be a good thing.

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.

24 thoughts on “Testing the three new JTS and the new Benjamin .177 pellets: Part 2”

  1. Good shooting!

    The 853 not only shows what designers can to do when they want to keep the price down, but also when they want to build it right.

    It’s probably been standing in a corner for 8 years.

    And still shoots well.

    Some designs just do not take being in storage well.

  2. B.B.

    What are the head sizes of the pellets that do not fit? Or the ones that do fit?
    My Hw 50 likes the 4.52 JSB 8.44 grain better than the 4.51 head size 8.44. Any misses are due to pellet variation, or so I claim…lol.

    “plus three of them are domed. So they will hit in different places. ” Huh????? Another blog topic?


    • Yogi,

      “these pellets are both heavier than the target pellets I normally shoot in the rifle, plus three of them are domed”

      When you read or quote something it’s important to read or quote the entire message and not take a part of it out of context. They didn’t hit in different places because they are domed. They hit there because they are heavier AND they are domed.


    • Yogi, your question occurred to me. My friend Ron Robinson received a large order of pellets this month, while I was there for a match and to observe the solar eclipse. I used a Pelletgage to check head size on two versions of .22 cal (16.08 gr, and 22.07 gr). Both those had pretty consistent head size, although the 22 gr were 5.57 mm, and the 16 gr were 5.53. The heavier pellet had a much thicker skirt.

      I also checked 30 pellets from a tin of JTS .177 (my notes don’t show whether they were 8.7 or 10.4 gr). They were all >4.55 mm (largest aperture of the .177 PG0, and not even close. Ron said those pellets were tight in his gun’s leade, and shot very poorly. He said the .22 pellets had shot well.

      JTS pellets seem to be well made Chinese manufactured pellets that are close to the designs of JSB. The head size variances I’ve seen are surprising, though.

      One observation – if you find pellets that require much effort to seat in the rifle breach, beware.

      • The .177 JTS pellets I mentioned were their 8.7 gr. Seeing any quality .177 pellets with such a large head size is unusual. I know that Pelletgage customers would be telling me about it if their favorite pellets were running that large – with the possibility in their mind that the PG had a poorly limited aperture range (4.55 mm).

        • JerryC,

          “I know that Pelletgage customers would be telling me about it if their favorite pellets were running that large – with the possibility in their mind that the PG had a poorly limited aperture range (4.55 mm).”

          I would suspect that the Chinese continued using the same DIE(s)/MOLD(s) even though it was Clapped- Out….


  3. I’m surprised that you didn’t use the FWB 300 or the FWB 600 since they’re pretty much capable of one hole groups while that is not necessarily so for the Daisy 853.

  4. Thanks for the interesting report (and good shooting). The raggedness of the holes, especially in the last (Benjamin pellet) target, looks like it would make it difficult to measure the actual pellet holes. Also, it is good to know that the Benjamin pellets fit the breech better.

  5. One of these days I will learn to copy my comments before I post. I love WordPress, I love WordPress, I love WordPress…

    Nice blog. I appreciate your testing these pellets for us. I have the .177 and the .22 Benjis in my Wish List. I will have to try them in these “old gals” hanging around here and see if they like them.

    One of these days I am going to have to break down and pick up a .20. I guess I could get a barrel from AirForce or PAIR for my Talon SS or I could just go whole hog and get an HW90 or that new HW97K in walnut stock. The barrel would be less expensive (3hi, read cheaper 😉 ), but I sure would like another Weihrauch around here.

    • RR

      There are Blue Streaks still around if you like their open sights. Beautiful wood on mine and a sub one incher at 25 yards. But you can’t have too many Weihrauchs.


    • Funny you should mention the HW90; took out the .25 yesterday and put 25 pells thru it, just shooting for fun, not accuracy which is a good thing because seems FM can’t hit nothin’ at 25 yards using the one-legged resting/shooting stick living here. The targets were steel can bottoms ranging from 3.25 to 3.5″ – managed to CREASE one of the cans and that was it – but it was fun and a good workout. Fed it H&N FT 20.06 gr and RWS Super-H-Point 25 gr pellets; seems these were hitting low. The H&N domed pellets loaded pretty tight but the rifle appeared to “like” them better.

      Next time will shoot it resting on the shooting bag; google-eyed FM does better that way. Need to diversify the .25 pellet stocks around here too.

  6. B.B. and Readership,

    OFF TOPIC…a little bit. Regulators have been getting a bit of chatter (Pun Intended) on this and other blogs recently…
    The stability of their operation can be a huge challenge for the airgunner choosing to do some tunning this linked white paper might help: https://blog.mensor.com/blog/what-is-a-pressure-regulator-and-difference-between-various-types

    Doug over at HAM is perhaps seeing some or one of these issues with the BSA R10.


  7. Another off-topic question (for BB). I have been reading some of your older reports regarding the AirForce Edge rifle. In one report (https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2010/01/airforce-edge-part-6/) you were cleaning several barrels that you were testing. At the end of this report you recommended a different cleaning compound for Crosman Challenger PCP barrels (Birchwood Casey’s Gun Scrubber for synthetic guns) due to “the design.” I am hoping that you might could please expand on that explanation and perhaps tell us if it applies to the current version of the Crosman Challenger rifles. Thanks for all you do, we are blessed.

    • Elmer,

      This is a context thing. The Crosman Challenger PCP whose barrel I cleaned has a lot of synthetics on it. Therefore I recommended against using the original formula Hoppe’s Number 9 because it is not recommended for use on synthetics.Hoppes has reformulated that product to be safe on synthetics now. That’s what I was talking about.

      If Crosman’s current version of target rifle has synthetics on it be sure you use a product that’s safe for them.


  8. I enjoyed seeing the old 853 pulled out and given a mission today. I bought mine and a 499B Champion Avanti on the same day a few months ago. I reallllly like the 853 for the money, but the Avanti is the biggest piece of crapola that I may have ever bought.

    These new pellets look promising in most tests but good to see the other side as well. No companies products are all perfect and this may help them to improve the poor performers.


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