RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review
9 September, 2017
VALUE FOR MONEY
RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets are a long-time favorite for many airgunners. The domed design makes them suitable for use as a general-purpose pellet. Many use them for airgun hunting.
RWS pellets are, of course, manufactured by RUAG Ammotec GmbH in Germany.
At a typical Street Price of $9.95 for a tin of 250 pellets, RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets cost 4.0 cents each. This puts them in the premium pellet price range for .22 caliber lead ammo. Of course, as the leading retailers offer “buy three tins, get one free” promotions, the actual price per pellet can be lower than that.
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TEST DATA SUMMARY
|Price per Pellet||4.0 cents|
|Most Common Weight||14.63 Grains, 14.66 Grains|
|Pellets at That Common Weight||12%, 12%|
|Variation in Pellet Weight (Smallest to Largest)||2.9%|
|Most Common Head Diameter||5.51 mm|
|Pellet at That Common Head Diameter||74%|
|Variation in Head Diameter (Smallest to Largest)||0.4%|
|Most Common Length||7.09 mm, 7.10 mm|
|Pellets at That Common Length||12%, 12%|
|Variation in Length (Smallest to Largest)||3.9%|
COMPARISON TO MANUFACTURERS CLAIMS
RUAG Ammotec claims that RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets are packed in tins of 250. The tin tested by HAM contained 257 pellets.
None of the pellets tested actually met the claimed weight of 14.5 Grains. The average weight of the RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM was actually 14.63 Grains, that’s 8.9% higher than the claimed weight.
The manufacturer also claims that these pellets offer “extreme knockdown power”. Well, if we equate “knockdown power” to Muzzle Energy, then the RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets will have more knockdown power than lighter pellets – by simple physics. But they will also have less knockdown power than heavier pellets of the same caliber.
RWS claims that the Superdome is a “rifled pellet”. The HAM testers have no idea what this means! Presumably this is a reference to the longitudinal “flutes” in the skirt. But these are very unlikely to contribute any practical “rifling” to the pellet in use, particularly as they do not extend to either the head or extreme skirt of the pellet.
Other claims are that RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets are excellent for hunting and target shooting. And that these pellets use an “English bulldog design”. Superdomes have a good reputation as a general-purpose pellet and so could, indeed be suitable for both hunting and target shooting. As for the English bulldog design, again, the HAM team have no idea what this means.
No damaged or malformed pellets were found in tin of RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM. This was in spite of the external card blister pack showing signs of delivery damage and there being no foam padding in the tin. That indicates that .22 caliber Superdomes are a pretty robust pellet.
The head diameters of the RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM varied from 5.50 mm to 5.52 mm. That’s a variation of just 0.4%. The most common head size was 5.51 mm, as can easily be seen from the chart below. 74% of the tested pellets had this head diameter.
The average weight of the RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM was 14.63 Grains. and 14.66 Grains. 12% of the tested pellets had this weight, as also did those weighing 14.66 Grains.
As you can see from the chart below, none of the pellets tested by HAM actually weighed 14.50 Grains. All were heavier, except for one. The variation in weight between the lightest and heaviest pellets tested by HAM was 2.9%
The length of the RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM was an average of 7.10 mm. The longest pellet measured had a length of 7.22 mm and the shortest was 6.95 mm. This means that the variation in length was 3.9%.
The most common pellet lengths were 7.09 mm and 7.10 mm, with 12% of the sample tested having each of these lengths.
As always, the RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets were washed. The weight of the dirt measured using HAM’s incredibly-precise, laboratory grade milligram balance.
Lead dirt and dust is an inevitable accompaniment of lead pellet manufacture. The tin of RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM contained 0.71 Grains of lead dirt. That’s 0.003 Grains per 100 pellets.
The photograph below shows what this dirt looked like when caught on the standard towel material used for these tests.
As always, we have charted downrange performance of the RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets using the ChairGun ballistics program. The Ballistic Coefficient of .160 is used as that was given in the ChairGun database.
With a muzzle velocity averaging 725 FPS using the standard Beeman 1074 air rifle, Muzzle Energy is 17.08 Ft/Lbs.
ChairGun shows that – when sighted-in at 32 Yards – the .22 caliber pellets would have a point of impact within plus or minus half an inch from 10 to 32 Yards. That makes 22 Yards of effectively “flat” shooting.
Range POI Drift Time Vel. Vel. Energy Energy Drop
(Yard) (In) (In) (sec) (Ft/s) (%) (FtLbf) (%) (In)
10 -0.33 -0.28 0.043 673.0 92.8 14.71 86.16 -0.3
15 0.10 -0.63 0.066 648.9 89.5 13.67 80.10 -0.8
20 0.33 -1.14 0.089 625.8 86.3 12.72 74.50 -1.5
25 0.33 -1.79 0.114 603.6 83.3 11.83 69.32 -2.3
30 0.09 -2.60 0.139 582.4 80.3 11.02 64.53 -3.5
35 -0.40 -3.58 0.165 562.0 77.5 10.26 60.09 -4.8
40 -1.17 -4.72 0.192 542.3 74.8 9.55 55.95 -6.5
45 -2.23 -6.03 0.220 523.2 72.2 8.89 52.08 -8.4
50 -3.61 -7.53 0.250 504.7 69.6 8.27 48.47 -10.7
55 -5.33 -9.21 0.280 486.8 67.1 7.70 45.09 -13.3
60 -7.42 -11.10 0.311 469.5 64.8 7.16 41.93 -16.3
When a RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellet was fired into a a standard soap block using the standard Beeman 1074 air rifle, penetration was 47 mm.
The entry hole of the wound channel was 10 mm in diameter. The fired pellet was removed from the soap block and can be seen at left in the photograph below. It’s compared to a typical unfired pellet.
The Chairgun data shows that RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets still retain 70% of their Muzzle Energy at 24 Yards. They also retain 50% of the Muzzle Energy out at 47 Yards.
This performance and the domed head design mean that RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets would likely be effective for hunting small game with an air rifle of suitable power.
The diameter of the unfired pellet was 5.51 mm. This had expanded to 5.64 mm in the fired pellet, an expansion of 2.4%.
BUYING AND OWNING
RWS Superdome 14.5 Grain .22 caliber pellets are packed in a push top tin. They are fairly widely available online and at big box sporting goods stores.
Although these RWS Superdome pellets are fairly clean to handle, all appropriate precautions associated with any lead product must be taken in use.
Chairgun is a product of Hawke Sports Optics LLC and is used with permission. Check out http://www.hawkeoptics.com
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