Diana Hunter 24.69 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review
Heavy weight pellet for hunting with powerful PCPs.
High Ballistic Coefficient gives heavy hitting at long range.
Manufacturing consistency doesn't justify the price.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Diana Hunter pellets are manufactured by H&N for Diana. There’s nothing unusual in this – H&N manufactures pellets for many other airgun brands. But in this case, Diana makes no effort to hide the manufacturer, crediting the pellets as being “Rabbit Magnum II” – a well-known H&N design.
These Diana Hunter pellets are a very heavy “magnum” pellets, specifically for use with powerful PCPs. They have a “bullet” shape, rather than the wasp-waisted “diablo” shape of most airgun pellets. This gives them a very high Ballistic Coefficient of 0.037 – as measured in HAM testing.
This high BC means that they retain velocity – and energy – well as they travel downrange. This makes them a strong candidate for use in airgun hunting. If you have an air rifle powerful enough to propel them fast enough!
At a selling price of $12.60 for a tin of 200 pellets in .22 caliber, these Diana Hunters are expensive at 6.3 cents each. Obviously a lot of that cost is inevitable as they contain such a large mass of lead.
BUY FROM AIRGUNS OF ARIZONA
TEST DATA SUMMARY
|Price per Pellet||6.3 cents|
|Most Common Weight||25.19 Grains|
|Pellets at That Common Weight||10%|
|Variation in Pellet Weight (Smallest to Largest)||3.3%|
|Most Common Head Diameter||5.57 mm|
|Pellet at That Common Head Diameter||50%|
|Variation in Head Diameter (Smallest to Largest)||0.9%|
|Most Common Length||8.06 mm|
|Pellets at That Common Length||18%|
|Variation in Length (Smallest to Largest)||4.6%|
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
The Diana Hunter pellets are packed in a tin of 200. The sample tin tested by HAM contained 197 pellets – just 1.5% short.
The manufacturer also gives a weight for these pellets of 24.69 Grains. HAM testing found the average weight to be even higher, at 25.21 Grains. (This is probably why the number of pellets in the tin was a little low, if they were packed by weight). In fact, all the pellets in the HAM test sample were heavier than the specified weight, none being as light as 24.69 Grains.
Airguns of Arizona describes these pellets as being “Very heavy hunting .22 pellet with high penetrating power. For air rifles with more than 20 Ft/Lbs.” The HAM Team agrees with this description.
Admittedly, our standard pellet test air rifle – a Beeman 1074 “1,000 FPS springer” is insufficiently powerful to use the Diana Hunter pellets effectively. The average Muzzle velocity was just 483.5 FPS. However, the Standard Deviation of the test shots was fairly high at 11.09 FPS.
There were no damaged pellets found in the tin of Diana Hunters we tested.
Head diameters were large for the Diana Hunter pellets tested by HAM. They started at 5.54 mm and extended all the way up to 5.59 mm. This means that, apart from needing a powerful PCP, they also will work best with one having a barrel that “likes” larger head sizes.
The most common head diameter was 5.57 mm. 50% of the pellets tested were of this size and the average head diameter was also 5.57 mm.
The variation between the smallest and largest head diameters was 0.9%.
The average length of the Diana Hunter pellets tested by HAM was 8.07 mm. The most common length was 8.06mm and 18% of the pellets were this long. As you can see from the chart below, most pellet lengths ranged between 8.00 mm and 8.17 mm.
However, there was one short pellet at 7.81mm. This was clearly an outlier from the vast bulk of the Diana Hunter pellets tested.
With an average weight of 25.19 Grains, the most common weight of the Diana Hunter pellets tested by HAM was also 25.19 Grains. 10% of the pellets tested were of this length.
The variation in weight between the lightest and heaviest pellets was 4.61%.
There was 0.787 Grains of lead dirt and dust in the tin of Diana Hunter pellets tested by HAM. This equates to 0.393 Grains of dirt per 100 pellets. This is quite a high figure, although some dirt, swarf and other junk is inevitable in the production of lead pellets . Some of course makes its way into the tin…
With its high Ballistic Coefficient, Chairgun shows that the Diana Hunter pellets retain no less than 70% of their energy as far out as 56 Yards.
Even with the low power of the HAM test gun – just 13.09 Ft/Lbs with these pellets – the heavy Diana Hunter pellets would give an effectively “flat” shooting range from the muzzle out to 26 Yards. Of course, this would be much further with a high-powered air rifle.
Again, the high Ballistic Coefficient and heavy weight makes the Diana Hunter pellets a strong choice for hunting small game and pests with a powerful PCP air rifle that “likes” their large head diameter. The high energy retention at range gives the shooter much relief from concern over making a humane, one shot kill on the target.
As we can see from the photograph below, penetration into the ballistic soap was considerable at 63 mm. The straight wound channel was narrow – just 7 mm wide – however.
When extracted from the soap block, the Diana Hunter pellet was found to be just slightly truncated in length, as can be seen from the photograph below. The pellet showed no expansion in diameter, however, indicating again that
BUYING AND OWNING
The Diana Hunter pellets are packaged in a screw-top tin of standard size. As a specialist brand, these pellets are not likely to be found in “big box” stores. However, they are readily available from Airguns of Arizona and Precision Airgun Distribution dealers.
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 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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