High BC Benefits For Benjamin Match Grade Pellets
As reported in the recent comprehensive HAM Test Review, the new 10.5 Grain .177 caliber Benjamin Match Grade Pellets have a remarkably high Ballistic Coefficient of 0.033. Let’s look at the high BC benefits for this new airgun ammo…
As everyone knows, Benjamin and Crosman are both brands owned by Velocity Outdoor. So it’s no surprise that most Crosman Premier pellets and the new Benjamin Match Grade Pellets are manufactured in the Velocity Outdoors airgun headquarters in Bloomfield, New York.
Crosman Premier pellets have always had a good reputation for value. They are a great “stand by” as – while not always the most accurate pellets in any particular air rifle, they are almost always acceptably accurate for most uses and rarely – in the HAM Team’s experience – give really bad results.
In particular, the Premiers packaged in a card box with a single die designation have been highly valued by many users. These pellets generally provide accurate shooting in a variety of airguns.
At least from my perspective, the new domed, single die, .177 caliber Benjamin Match Grade Pellets are a logical familial descendant from the 10.5 Grain boxed Crosman Premiers. (The boxed Premiers remain available in 10.5 Grain. The ones I have are marked “Die M”).
The new Benjamins are – of course – a more modern design than the Premiers. The good folk at Bloomfield have also put a lot of effort into further refining the manufacturing consistency and quality of the new pellets – as was evident in our HAM test review.
The result of this effort can be seen in that headline 0.033 Ballistic Coefficient value. Now Premiers have always delivered pretty decent BC values – the “Die M” boxed pellets tested by HAM gave a BC of 0.025.
Although it might not sound like much, the difference in Ballistic Coefficient between 0.025 and 0.033 is actually very significant, as we’ll explore here.
So What Are The High BC Benefits For The New Benjamins?
The main high BC benefits for airgun ammo (both pellets and slugs) result from their reduced decline in speed with distance downrange.
Compared to pellets with a lower BC but fired with the same Muzzle Velocity, these benefits are:
1. Larger retained energy (or “hitting power”) at the same distance.
2. Smaller drop in vertical Point Of Impact (POI) on the target at any specific distance.
3. Lesser susceptibility to “wind drift” caused by crosswinds at any given distance.
These are all good results to have.
As you can see below, both types of pellets look very similar. But the manufacturer explains that there are slight differences in both design and manufacturing and these add-up to create the better Ballistic Coefficient.
In this article – we’ll be looking at the potential accuracy benefits achieved by the Benjamin Match Grade Pellets with their 0.033 BC, compared to the boxed Crosman Premiers with their 0.025 BC. In other words, the POI change and wind drift benefits.
To be clear, a high BC does not – in itself – assure the user of improved accuracy. If your air rifle’s barrel “does not like” the pellet concerned, then it will not shoot accurately, whatever the Ballistic Coefficient.
However the reduced POI change and reduction wind drift effects downrange mean that it’s easier to shoot accurately, particularly at longer distances.
For this comparison we have used the old ChairGun software program. (Yes, I still have one Mac that’s old enough to run it!). In addition, all the calculations were made using these same basic assumptions:
1. Pellet weight 10.5 Grains.
2. Muzzle Velocity 900 FPS giving a Muzzle Energy of about 18.9 Ft/Lbs.
3. Crosswind 10 MPH at 90 degrees. That’s a gentle breeze, Force 2 in the Beaufort scale.
4. Range out to 55 Yards, as in Field Target competition.
High BC Benefits on Vertical POI
Plugging the Chairgun results into a spreadsheet, here’s how the vertical Point Of Impact varies at different distances with the two pellets.
At first glance, the difference doesn’t look like much, although it’s clear that the graphs diverge somewhat at beyond 40 Yards.
Now let’s take the differences in POI between the pellets at specific ranges and plot those on a chart. Now we see a rather more illuminating picture.
As you can see, the difference in POI is really not too significant at ranges out to 40 Yards. It’s 40 Thou or less.
But that difference in POI really climbs beyond 45 Yards, reaching no less than a quarter of an Inch at 55 Yards. So the Benjamin Match Grade Pellets with their higher BC shoot considerably flatter at longer ranges.
For the Field Target shooter, the high BC benefit of this flatter shooting is that it minimizes the effect of incorrect ranging at longer distances. That benefit could be the difference between a hit and miss, should the target actually be at 55 Yards, but I incorrectly range it at – say – 51 yards, compared to shooting a lower BC pellet.
For fun, I drew a .177-Inch diameter “pellet head” on the chart, to emphasize the differences we’re talking about here…
High BC Benefits on Wind Drift
Next, I undertook the same exercise, but focused on the effect of crosswind on the pellets. That’s wind drift.
First we see the Chairgun values charted using a spreadsheet. In this case, the reduction in wind drift effect due to the lower Ballistic Coefficient begins to be significant at much closer ranges.
In fact, the reduction in wind drift effect due to the higher BC is about the same (0.27 Inches) at 25 Yards, as the POI reduction is at 55 Yards (0.25 Inches). Beyond that, it only becomes greater. Make that much greater beyond 35 Yards!
Again, the chart of wind drift differences at specific ranges shows the high BC benefits more clearly.
As you can see, out at 55 Yards, the new domed Benjamin Match Grade Pellets drift away 1.32 Inches LESS than the Crosman Premiers with their lower BC, given our hypothetical 10 mph crosswind.
That’s a HUGE benefit and means that the new Benjamin ammo with 0.033 BC requires much less holdover than the Premiers with their BC of 0.025.
Less need for left-to-right holdover means lesser need for accurate wind estimation by the shooter. That makes it much more likely that I (or you) will hit the target in spite of the wind.
Below, I’ve drawn-in a .177 caliber pellet for comparison. That makes it abundantly clear how large the wind drift benefit can be when using the high BC Benjamin Match Grade pellets, compared to the Crosman Premiers.
Again, a high BC does not – in itself – generate improved accuracy. However the reduced POI change and reduction wind drift effects downrange mean that these Benjamin Match Grade Pellets are easier to shoot accurately, particularly at longer distances.
That 0.033 Ballistic Coefficient could be a “game changer” for Field Target competitors and hunters using .177 caliber pellets. For many, it will definitely be worth trying…
Chairgun is a product of Hawke Sports Optics LLC and is used with permission. Check out http://www.hawkeoptics.com