Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review
April 17, 2018
Supplied by Gamo USA.
Good for hunting
Available almost everywhere
Not for long range use
VALUE FOR MONEY
Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets are a two part dedicated hunting pellet. Effectively, they combine a BB set into a lead skirt. At a typical Street Price of $6.45 for a tin of 100, these are expensive pellets at 6.45 Cents each. Of course, the price can be less if you buy them as part of the “buy four tins, get one free” deals offered by leading retailers.
As these are hunting pellets, the price may not be a particularly important consideration, given that hunters normally make relatively few shots, compared to Field Target competitors, for example.
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TEST DATA SUMMARY
|Price per Pellet||6.45 cents|
|Most Common Weight||14.27 Grains|
|Pellets at That Common Weight||12%|
|Variation in Pellet Weight (Smallest to Largest)||5.10%|
|Most Common Head Diameter||5.53 mm|
|Pellet at That Common Head Diameter||48%|
|Variation in Head Diameter (Smallest to Largest)||1.10%|
|Most Common Length||8.52 mm|
|Pellets at That Common Length||20%|
|Variation in Length (Smallest to Largest)||1.40%|
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
As is common with this manufacturer, there’s many claims made for the Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets.
The front of the hang card says that these pellets have “Superior accuracy and penetration”. Also that they provide “Maximum shock” and are “Ideal for hunting”.
As we can see from the soap block photographs below, the Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets are able to combine considerable shock effect with considerable penetration. The steel BB penetrates well, while the lead part of the pellet expanded from 5.53mm diameter to 7.12 mm diameter in the ballistic soap.
This combination of effects does give credence to the apparently-contradictory claims of “superior penetration” and “maximum shock”. And this would, indeed, make them ideal for hunting.
Judging from the consistency measurements shown below of the Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM, it’s unlikely that accuracy would be “superior”, however.
The back of the packaging makes more claims. These include the statements that “Gamo is the world leading producer of precision lead ammunition for air rifles.” Also “Consistency, uniformity and performance are what makes Gamo ammunition superior to all others.”
So far, this is the first HAM test of Gamo pellets. However, it’s clear that the Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM do not have superior consistency and uniformity, compared to other pellets we have tested.
It would be interesting to know what JSB and H&N’s response would be to the claim that Gamo pellets are “superior to all others”…
Gamo claims that there are 100 pellets in a tin of Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets. The tin tested by HAM contained 102 pellets.
There was one malformed pellet in the tin of Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM.
Head diameter averaged 5.53 mm. 48% of the pellets tested actually had this head diameter. This is lower than average consistency.
However, head diameters varied from a minimum of 5.50 mm to a maximum of 5.56 mm. This variation in diameter of 1.10% is much worse than we have found in other pellet tests. However, this is the first HAM test of “two part” pellets, so it’s possible that this large variation in head diameter may be due to the need to force the steel BB into the lead “skirt” of the pellet.
Unfortunately, as can be seen from the following chart, weight consistency of the Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM was also poor. The pellets tested by HAM varied in weight from 13.87 Grains to 14.58 Grains. The average weight was 14.25 Grains.
The most common weight measured was 14.27 Grains. 12% of the pellets tested had this weight. This is an average percentage.
However, the variation between the lightest and heaviest pellets was 5.10%, which is well below average.
Overall length of the Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM averaged 8.51mm. 20% of the tested pellets had lengths of 8.52 and 8.53 mm. This is an average figure.
The variation of 1.40% between the shortest and longest pellets tested is good, however, in spite of the possibility that overall length could be compromised by insertion of the steel BB into the lead skirt of these pellets.
The tin of 100 Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM contained just 0.32 Grains of lead dust and dirt. This is a good score, these pellets are definitely cleaner than the average. The dirt photograph below confirms this measurement.
The Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets achieved an average Muzzle Velocity of 703.7 FPS when fired from our standard Beeman 1074 test rifle.
Our Chairgun chart, below, shows that the point of impact will be within plus or minus half an inch between 10 and 35 Yards range when fired from this gun. That’s about 25 Yards of effectively “flat” shooting.
They would show better with a higher-powered air rifle.
The Ballistic Coefficient of 0.019, measured in HAM testing, indicates that these pellets would be suitable for shorter-range hunting. Already at 30 Yards range, the Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets have lost 30% of their initial kinetic energy.
However, within their useful range, the Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets do penetrate well into the ballistic soap, with the steel BB separating from the lead skirt and traveling 6mm deeper.
The wound channel was 9 mm diameter at the soap’s surface. This, together with the obvious flattening of the lead skirt on impact – shown below compared to an un-fired pellet – indicates that Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets would have a devastating effect on quarry at medium ranges.
BUYING AND OWNING
Gamo has excellent distribution, so this manufacturer’s pellets are widely available. You can expect to find Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets readily available online and in physical stores.
Notice, however, that Gamo is introducing new packaging designs across their pellets, so the packaging shown here may – or may not – correspond with Gamo Rocket 14.3 Grain .22 caliber pellets you buy in future.
The screw top tin is easy to use. The transparent lid provides excellent visual confirmation of the contents, although these is no confirmation of the type of pellet contained, once the tin is removed from the hang card packaging.
Chairgun is a product of Hawke Sports Optics LLC and is used with permission. Check out http://www.hawkeoptics.com
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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.
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.