Benjamin Match Grade Pellets 10.5 Grain .177 Caliber Test Review
Testers: Doug Wall, Stephen Archer
Caliber: 0.177 cal.
Model Number: BD17
Test Date: Aug 3, 2023
Source of Supply: Supplied by Velocity Outdoor
Outstanding Ballistic Coefficient
Excellent head size consistency
We Don't Like
- Comparison to Makers Claims:100%
- Most Common Head Diameter 50%
- Variation in Head Diameter 90%
- Most Common Weight 90%
- Variation in Weight 80%
- Most Common Length 60%
- Variation in Length 70%
- Dirtiness 80%
HARD AIR MAGAZINE TEST CONCLUSIONS
These new 10.5 Grain, .177 caliber Benjamin Match Grade Pellets are an easy HAM Gold Award winner!
In HAM testing, they offer excellent manufacturing consistency, combined with a potentially game-changing Ballistic Coefficient of 0.033.
That high Ballistic Coefficient will be of huge interest to Field Target competitors looking to squeeze the best results out of their shooting. It could make that one-hit difference between winning and “just” placing second…
For hunters, the high BC allows .177 caliber users to obtain lethal hits at longer ranges than they have been used to.
VALUE FOR MONEY
At a MSRP of $19.99 for a tin of 500 these domed-head, 10.5 Grain Benjamin Match Grade Pellets work out to a price of 4 Cents each. This is a fair cost for heavy, domed .177 caliber airgun pellets at the time of writing.
Of course, if you order in bulk from Pyramyd Air, Airgun Depot or other leading online airgun dealer, you’ll be able to buy four tins for the price of three, reducing the individual pellet price to 3.3 Cents.
Many shooters will be happy to know that these Benjamin pellets are manufactured in the USA, at Velocity Outdoors’ headquarters in Bloomfield, NY.
TEST DATA SUMMARY
|Price per Pellet||4.00 cents|
|Most Common Weight||10.48 Grains|
|Pellets at That Common Weight||22%|
|Variation in Pellet Weight (Smallest to Largest)||1.63%|
|Most Common Head Diameter||4.51 mm|
|Pellets at That Common Diameter||56%|
|Variation in Diameter (Smallest to Largest)||0.122%|
|Most Common Length||6.67 mm|
|Pellets at That Common Length||26%|
|Variation in Length (Smallest to Largest)||1.51%|
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
Domed .177 caliber Benjamin Match Grade Pellets have a claimed weight of 10.5 Grains. HAM testing showed that the average weight of the pellets we sampled was also exactly 10.5 Grains.
The company claims there to be 500 pellets in a tin. The pellets tested by HAM were from a pre-production packed tin. This tin had been filled manually and actually contained well over 500 pellets.
Benjamin confirms that full production packaging will contain “500 pellets or a few more”. HAM’s test results from other Velocity Outdoor-manufactured, Crosman-branded pellets is that this is, indeed, the case.
A big claim for Benjamin Match Grade Pellets is that they are manufactured using a single die and that this assures precision manufacturing. Judging by the HAM test results listed below – especially for head diameter – this claim is justified, too.
The “single die” concept will resonate with long-time airgunners, who have loved the “card box, die stamped” Crosman Premier pellets for their consistency and quality. In a sense, the domed Benjamin Match Grade Pellets are the lineal descendant of these previous-generation “boxed Premiers”.
The manufacturer is not making a specific claim for the Ballistic Coefficient value for these pellets. It’s just described as “radically improved”.
In HAM testing, we found a Ballistic Coefficient of 0.033. Given that the BCs of previous Velocity Outdoor (Crosman-branded) .177 caliber, 10.5 Grain pellets is in the 0.022 to 0.025 range, the HAM Team agrees that, yes, the BC for these domed Benjamin Match Grade Pellets is, indeed, radically improved!
Let’s be clear. The manufacturing consistency of the domed Benjamin Match Grade Pellets tested by HAM is excellent.
In fact, the consistency of head diameter has only been bettered by one other pellet in our many years of testing! All the pellets had a head diameter of either 4.51 or 4.52 mm.
So the difference between the largest and smallest head diameters measured in this HAM test review was just 0.01 mm. Using measurements more familiar to US readers, that means that the larger pellets had a head diameter of just about one third of one thousandth of an inch smaller than the others.
The weight of the Benjamin Match Grade Pellets tested by HAM was also well-controlled. While – paradoxically – none of the tested pellets actually weighed 10.50 Grains, that was the average of the tested sample. The most common weight was 10.48 Grains.
The difference between the lightest and heaviest pellets tested was just 1.63%. Again, this indicates well-controlled, consistent manufacturing.
As always, weights were measured using HAM’s incredibly precise, laboratory-grade Sartorius milligram balance. Head diameters were measured using our standard Pelletgage.
Average pellet length was 6.67 mm. In this case, that was also the most common length tested, as the chart below shows.
The difference in length between the shortest and longest Benjamin Match Grade Pellets measured by HAM was 1.51%. Again, this was well above average.
These Benjamin pellets scored well for dirtiness – or actually the lack of it!
Yes, there was a fair amount of the inevitable lead dust and debris present in the tin of Match Grade Pellets pellets tested by HAM. However, it should be remembered that this is from a total of 500 pellets.
In fact, the level of dirt per 100 pellets – the way we measure it at HAM – was actually fairly low at just 0.22 Grains.
As can be seen from the photograph below, most of this was dust, with almost none of the relatively large semi-circular lead shavings that we sometimes find in pellet tins.
In HAM testing, we found that these domed, 10.5 Grain, Benjamin Match Grade Pellets had a remarkably high Ballistic Coefficient of 0.033. This is very high for any .177 caliber pellet so we tested them again…
The result was the same BC. 0.033!
We’ll be looking further at what this high BC may mean for – say – Field Target shooters in a separate post. However, it’s likely that this high BC could result in match-winning benefits, particularly for longer range shots.
The fact that around 60% of the Muzzle Energy remains available out at 60 Yards range – as the Chairgun graph below shows – means that hunters will find them useful for shooting small critters, should they use .177 caliber for this task.
When undertaking HAM’s standard “soap penetration test”, tester Doug Wall found that the domed Benjamin Match Grade Pellets penetrated no less than 72mm into the soap block.
At 7 mm, the wound channel was the same diameter as the .177 caliber 10.5 Grain Crosman Premier Ultra Magnum Pellets tested by HAM. However that 72 mm penetration distance was no less than 20% more than for the other pellets. (It was 60mm for the Ultra Magnums).
We’re going to say that this significant penetration was not unrelated to the outstanding Ballistic Coefficient recorded in other aspects of our testing!
BUYING AND OWNING
Domed Benjamin Match Grade Pellets are a new introduction into the marketplace. The manufacturer tells HAM that they will be available for purchase at retail from September 2023.
Look for them to be available from Airguns of Arizona, Airgun Depot, Pyramyd Air and more, together with the Benjamin Airguns website.
The pellets themselves are packaged in a typical Crosman/Benjamin 3-Inch diameter screw-topped tin. There’s a foam disk in the tin to limit movement and damage in transit.
There were no damaged or mal-formed pellets in the tins tested by HAM. These domed Benjamin Match Grade Pellets share the traditional Crosman/Benjamin attributes of using a hard lead alloy, together with a fairly thick skirt design.
Both of these factors mean that damage in transit is relatively unlikely to occur. You – the user – benefit from a very high percentage of usable pellets in the tin.
Chairgun is a product of Hawke Sports Optics LLC and is used with permission. Check out http://www.hawkeoptics.com
Understanding HAM Pellet Awards
HAM Pellet Awards come from the most rigorous, professional and comprehensive pellet testing by any independent publication. They are the result of much precise measurement and analysis using high precision measuring devices and highly-experienced testers.
Note that accuracy is a product of the complete “system” of airgun, scope, atmospheric conditions and shooter ability – not the pellet alone.
This means that no pellet test review can predict the accuracy of a particular pellet with YOUR individual air rifle. That’s why we do not measure accuracy in these pellet tests.
What HAM Pellet Awards do recognize is manufacturing consistency. Inconsistent pellets definitely will be inaccurate, consistent pellets are much more likely to be accurate.
HAM Awards also recognize value. There’s considerable variation in the price of airgun pellets. This means that an 8 cent pellet needs to score higher than a 2 cent pellet to achieve an equal award.
For full details of the HAM Pellet Award scoring methodology, please check out our Pellet Testing page.
For a full listing of HAM-tested Ballistic Coefficients, please see our Ballistic Coefficients page.
This entire article including scoring, data etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.