Daystate Howler Slugs Review 20.3 Grain .22 Caliber
Testers: Doug Wall, Stephen Archer
Test Date: June 21, 2021
Source of Supply: Supplied by Airguns of Arizona
Excellent expansion in target
We Don't Like
Some may prefer a heavier weight
Nothing else worth mentioning
- Comparison to Makers Claims:100%
- Most Common Head Diameter 35%
- Variation in Head Diameter 50%
- Most Common Weight 90%
- Variation in Weight 100%
- Most Common Length 40%
- Variation in Length 35%
- Dirtiness 60%
HARD AIR MAGAZINE TEST CONCLUSIONS
This Daystate Howler slugs review reveals a great value product that easily earns a HAM Gold Award in our industry-leading testing.
These slugs have good downrange performance and excellent expansion results in the target. Being relatively light, they could be suitable for use in a wide range of PCP air rifles – not just those from Daystate. The strong expansion makes them ideal for hunting.
Some may prefer a heavier weight slug with a higher Ballistic Coefficient. But for many shooters looking for a .22 caliber slug for their PCP, these Howlers are definitely worth trying.
VALUE FOR MONEY
In this Daystate Howler Slugs review, we find airgun ammunition that’s well priced and consistently manufactured.
Understanding airgun slug pricing is a complex subject, however this HAM analysis found that Howler slugs are extremely well priced in comparison with other brands on the market today. With 375 slugs per tin selling at a price of $19.95, the price per slug is 5.32 Cents each.
In addition, each tin contains a “$2.00 Off” money back “coin” that can be used against future payment for a Daystate or Brocock airgun, an MTC scope. Or more Howler slugs!
At a nominal weight of 20.3 Grains, these are relatively light by slug standards.
Although branded as Daystate and distributed through Precision Airgun Distribution in the USA, there’s no secret made of the manufacturer. Daystate Howler slugs are – in fact – manufactured by Nielsen Specialty Ammunition. It even says so on the tin!
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TEST DATA SUMMARY
|Price per Slug||5.32 cents|
|Most Common Weight||20.25 Grains|
|Slugs at That Common Weight||26%|
|Variation in Slug Weight (Smallest to Largest)||0.59%|
|Most Common Diameter||5.52 mm|
|Slugs at That Common Diameter||58%|
|Variation in Diameter (Smallest to Largest)||0.954%|
|Most Common Length||6.64 mm|
|Slugs at That Common Length||14%|
|Variation in Length (Smallest to Largest)||3.79%|
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
In this Daystate Howler slugs review, we found that the manufacturer’s claims are very closely matched.
The tin is specified to contain 375 slugs. The tin tested by HAM contains exactly than number of slugs.
Slug weight is specified as being 20.3 Grains. The average weight of the slugs weighed in this Daystate Howler review was 20.25 Grains. That’s very close and – if rounded-up to one decimal place – exactly matches the claim of 20.3 Grains.
Unlike many slugs, the precise body diameter is not specified. Howlers are simply described as being for .22 caliber. In fact, the average diameter of the Howlers measured by HAM Tester Doug Wall was 5.52 mm. That’s actually .217 Inches diameter, a very common diameter for .22 caliber pellets and slugs.
As can be seen in the chart below, the diameter of the Howlers tested by HAM was very consistent. 96% of the tested slugs had a head diameter of either 5.51 or 5.52 mm.
Just two slugs were outliers with slightly larger diameters, although the difference was not great. The difference in body size between the smallest and largest slugs tested was 0.54%. This shows excellent manufacturing consistency of head diameter.
The average weight of the slugs tested in this Daystate Howler slugs review was 20.25 Grains. As can be seen from the chart below, the weight of individual slugs varied from a minimum of 20.19 Grains to a maximum of 20.31 Grains. 26% of the tested pellets weighed 20.25 Grains.
As is normal in HAM slug and pellet tests, we find that overall length of the projectile is the most inconsistent measurement. This was true with the Howlers also, although this level of variation is reasonably typical.
To put things into perspective, the difference between the shortest and longest slugs tested was just 0.25 mm – that’s about 10 Thousandths of an Inch!
The average length of the Howler slugs tested by HAM was 6.66 mm.
After the 50 sample slugs had been selected, weighed and measured for this Daystate Howler Slugs review, HAM Tester Doug Wall thoroughly checked the remaining slugs too – as usual. In doing this, he found 6 slugs that had some slight nose defects – perhaps due to incompletely-filled mold during manufacturing. (Don’t forget the tin contains no less than 375 slugs).
Doug’s comments were “Slight nose damage, probably still usable, may not affect accuracy”. These slugs are pictured below. No slugs exhibited shipping or any other noticeable damage.
The Daystate Howler slugs tested by HAM were pretty clean. There was some lead dirt and shavings present in the tin, but this was well controlled at just 0.39 Grains of junk per 100 slugs.
That’s better than average cleanliness.
In HAM testing for this Daystate Howler slugs review, we found a Ballistic Coefficient of 0.060. This figure is – of course – significantly better than that for traditional pellets and leads to greatly-improved energy retention downrange. This is shown by the Chairgun chart below.
Starting with a Muzzle Energy of 35.46 Ft/Lbs in the test gun, no less than 78.9% of that energy – 29.97 Ft/Lbs – was still available at 50 Yards downrange. Even out at 75 Yards, 70.7% of the Muzzle Energy – 25.1 Ft/Lbs – remained available at the target.
As HAM has demonstrated, there is a relationship between slug weight and Ballistic Coefficient for non-boattail lead slugs in .22 caliber. Generlly, the heavier the slug, the higher will be the BC.
So, yes, .22 caliber slugs are available with higher Ballistic Coefficients. However these will undoubtedly be heavier and require a VERY powerful PCP air rifle to use successfully.
At 20.3 Grain weight, the Howlers are actually lighter than some traditional lead pellets. So can be fired with satisfactory Muzzle Velocity from a wide range of PCPs. This means that they could be a good choice to try in a wide variety of .22 caliber PCPs – not just those from Daystate.
Expansion upon impact is very good. The photograph below shows the difference between an unfired slug and the fired Howler slug retrieved from HAM’s ballistic soap test.
Muzzle Velocity was 887 FPS and the slug expanded from an initial diameter of 5.51 mm to no less than 9.18 mm inside the block.
This lead to limited – that’s good – penetration in the soap block as energy was expended rapidly on impact. As can be seen in the photograph below, the Daystate Howler slug created a huge wound channel and started tubling in the soap.
All of this points towards a slug that’s ideal for hunting. The potential is there for a solid, humane, one shot kill in quarry of the right size, providing the shooter does his or her part with a sufficiently powerful air rifle.
BUYING AND OWNING
Daystate Howler slugs are available from Airguns of Arizona and other Precision Airgun Distribution dealers across the USA. This is a relatively limited number of outlets, however online ordering makes this a non-issue for most of us.
And don’t forget that “$2.00 Off” token in every tin. Buy enough Daystate Howler slugs and that saving can being to add up…
The tin itself was sturdy with a good screw-top cap that was easy to open, yet didn’t unscrew on its own. Good!
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Understanding HAM Pellet And Slug Awards
HAM Pellet and Slug Awards come from the most rigorous, professional and comprehensive ammo 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 or slug alone.
This means that no pellet or slug 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 airgun ammo tests.
What HAM Pellet and Slug Awards do recognize is manufacturing consistency. Inconsistent pellets or slugs definitely will be inaccurate, consistent ammo is 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 slug needs to score higher than a 2 cent pellet to achieve an 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.
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