New Pellets Added To HAM Airgun Test Reviews
One of the great benefits of HAM airgun test reviews is the consistency of our test protocol. We test every airgun in the same manner every time. This makes it possible for us to compare one to another in a realistic manner, so that you can make informed purchase decisions.
But all things change with time and this is the case with the standard set of pellets we use for our shooting tests.
First, let’s be clear. There’s two small changes here. However, it’s important that our readers understand that the change has taken place, together with the reasons why…
Change One. Heavy Weight .22 Caliber Pellets
The first is an addition to our standard HAM test pellet suite. As everyone know, there’s an increasing number of very high-powered .22 caliber PCP air rifles in the market now. They are designed to work best with heavyweight lead pellets.
The heaviest .22 caliber pellet in our test suite has been the 21.14 Grain H&N Baracuda Match. This almost always gives great accuracy.
However, it’s clear that we needed to add a heavier pellet. So the 25.39 Grain JSB Redesigned Jumbo Monsters have been added to test reviews of powerful .22 caliber PCPs. We already started to do this in our FX Crown Continuum test review – for example.
So the Jumbo Monsters are an addition that you’ll see in future with our .22 caliber high powered PCP HAM airgun test reviews.
Change Two. The Lightest Lead Free Pellets.
When we started HAM, back in 2014, the “highest muzzle velocity must be best” feeling for air rifles was still at its height. Fortunately, this is now being replaced by an increasing interest in accuracy, power measured in Ft/Lbs of energy, low noise levels and shot-to-shot consistency.
In 2020, most knowledgeable airgunners agree that these are much more valuable attributes for any air rifle than raw FPS. The HAM Team couldn’t agree more!
Below, GTO (left) and Gamo Platinum (right) lead-free pellets compared in .177 and .22 calibers.
So in 2014, to satisfy reader interest in maximum Muzzle Velocity, we chose to use the lightest lead-free pellets available at the time. These were the Gamo Platinum lead-free pellets.
Incredibly light, the Gamo Platinums weigh just 4.7 Grains each in .177 caliber and 9.7 Grains each in .22. They do – indeed – give the highest Muzzle Velocity with just about every air rifle and pellet pistol HAM has ever tested.
Surprisingly however, that speed premium has often not been as great as might be expected compared to our other standard HAM lead-free pellet, the H&N Field Target Green.
The big disappointment with the Gamo Platinums has been accuracy. It’s a matter of fact that, over 150+ HAM airgun test reviews, these have NEVER been the most accurate pellet tested. Check-out all the test targets if you need confirmation.
With the increasing interest in accurate lead-free airgun pellets, we decided that it’s time to make a change.
So, in addition to the H&N Field Target Trophy Green pellets, we’re changing from the Gamo Platinums to GTO lead-free airgun pellets for the lightest in HAM airgun test reviews. We’ll accept – possibly – slightly lower maximum FPS numbers in return for what we hope will be better on-target accuracy.
We already have included GTO lead-free pellets in our standard .25 caliber test suite for airgun reviews. Now, we’ll include GTOs in both .177 and .22 caliber reviews in future. 22 Caliber GTOs earned a Gold Award in HAM testing, so we have high hopes!
Below, the range of GTO lead-free pellets. .177, .22 and .25 calibers.
|.177 Cal||Gamo Platinum||4.7 Grain|
|.177 Cal||GTO||5.5 Grain|
|.177 Cal||H&N Field Target Trophy Green||5.56 Grain|
|.22 Cal||Gamo Platinum||9.7 Grain|
|.22 Cal||GTO||11.75 Grain|
|.22 Cal||H&N Field Target Trophy Green||10.03 Grain|
|.25 Cal||GTO||16.54 Grain|
|.25 Cal||H&N Field Target Trophy Green||19.91 Grain|
The HAM Team will be very interested to see how this change plays-out in long-term accuracy testing over many HAM airgun test reviews. Keep watching to find out…