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H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

Overview
Testers

Doug Wall

Caliber

.22

Model Number

N/a

Test Date

26 August 2018

Serial Numbers

N/a

Source of Supply

Pyramyd Air

Condition

New

We Like

Great for hunting.
Fair price.
Good screw-top tin.

We Don't Like

Weight rather variable.
Really needs a powerful PCP for best results.
Average weight lighter than spec.

HAM Rating
Comparison to Makers Claims
80%
Most Common Head Diameter
60%
Variation in Head Diameter
70%
Most Common Weight
50%
Variation in Weight
50%
Most Common Length
40%
Variation in Length
35%
Dirtiness
60%
Hard Air Magazine Test Conclusions

With in-target expansion like this, H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets have to be a top choice for airgun hunting!

The price is fair, enabling these pellets to earn a HAM Bronze Award. Just a little more manufacturing consistency would have earned a Silver Award...

If your air rifle is accurate with these pellets, they will make a devastating combination if you do your part.

58%
HAM Rating
You have rated this
Full Review

VALUE FOR MONEY

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets are – as the name implies – an out-and-out hunting pellet. They combine heavy weight with a significant mushrooming effect on impact.

At a price of 4.99 cents each, these are about 1 Cent per shot above the Median (average) price of 4.00 cents per pellet in the US market. And – of course – the primary online resellers such as Pyramyd Air and Airgun Depot offer “buy three, get one for free” deals, meaning that the price you pay may be even lower.

This pricing, combined with the obvious benefits of mushrooming for achieving that ethical one shot kill, means that H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets offer great value for the hunter.

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
H&N Baracuda Hunter, .22 Cal, 18.21 Grains, Hollowpoint, 200ct
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
H&N Baracuda Hunter Hollowpoint Pellets 200 Ct

TEST DATA SUMMARY

Price per Pellet4.99 cents
Most Common Weight17.95 Grains
17.96 Grains
18.01 Grains
Pellets at That Common Weight12%
Variation in Pellet Weight (Smallest to Largest)3.02%
Most Common Head Diameter5.54 mm
Pellet at That Common Head Diameter76%
Variation in Head Diameter (Smallest to Largest)0.36%
Most Common Length7.31 mm
Pellets at That Common Length14%
Variation in Length (Smallest to Largest)3.89%

 

COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS

The manufacturer claims that H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets offer maximum impact, high penetration and controlled deformation.

It’s clear from HAM testing that maximum impact is certainly achieved with the deep hollow point configuration. Also, pellet deformation is clearly very well controlled, as we can see in the Hunting Use section of this review below.

Depth of penetration into the standard HAM soap block is lower than average, however this is entirely what we would expect taking the massive mushrooming effect into account.

HAM counted a total of 205 pellets in the tin of H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets in this review. That handlily exceeds the claim of 200 per tin.

That over-delivery of pellets in the tin was probably facilitated by the average weight of the tested pellets being 18.03 Grains – 1% the claimed weight of 18.21 Grains.

The label on the underside of the tin claims these pellets have a 5.50 mm head diameter. As HAM has consistently found with heavy pellets, the actual head diameter of the H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets was larger than this claim.

In HAM testing using a Pelletgage, the average head diameter of the pellets we measured was 0.73% larger at an average of 5.54 mm.

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

H&N publishes a Ballistic Coefficient of 0.026 for the H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets. In HAM testing, we achieved 0.024. These are reasonably close numbers, with the variation probably explained by differences in test protocol.

 

CONSISTENCY

Head diameter of the H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM was good. 76% of the pellets tested had a head diameter of 5.54 mm, with most of the remainder being 5.55 mm.

The variation between the smallest and largest head diameters measured was just 0.36%. This makes pellet-to-pellet head diameter consistency somewhat better than average.

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

Pellet-to-pellet weight variation was also around average for the H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM. The average weight was 18.03 Grains, with 12% of the pellets each being at closely-spread common weights of 17.95, 17.96 and 18.01 Grains.

However, the test sample also included a number of much heavier pellets, as we can see from the chart below. This drove the variability between lightest and heaviest pellets up to 3.02%. That’s still around average, but it could easily have been very much better!

Notably, we found no pellets in the HAM test sample with the claimed 18.21 Grain weight.

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

Length is always quite variable among the pellets tested by HAM. This was also true for the H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets, as we can see from the chart below. Average length of the pellets was 7.34 mm, with the most common length being 7.31 mm. 14% of the tested pellets were of this length.

The difference between the shortest and longest pellets was 3.89%. This is quite high and may be a result of the aggressive domed design of the Baracuda Hunters.

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

There were no damaged or malformed pellets in the tin tested by HAM for this review.

 

DIRTINESS

The H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets tested by HAM contained an average amount of lead shavings from the pellet-making process. Many of these are moon-shaped, as you can see from the photograph below of the dirt that was washed from the pellets.

In total, there was 0.818 Grains of lead in the tin, that’s 0.409 Grains per 100 pellets.

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

 

DOWNRANGE PERFORMANCE

As always, the following information is generated using Chairgun software.

The data fed into this program comprised the Ballistic Coefficient of 0.024 determined in HAM testing, together with the average weight of the pellets tested in this review and the average FPS of our standard Beeman 1074 test air rifle.

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

At a zero range of 29 Yards, the H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets shoot effectively “flat” between 9 and 32 yards, even using our low-powered Beeman 1074 standard air rifle. Of course, this performance would be improved using a more powerful airgun.

With 70% of the pellet’s kinetic energy retained out to 37 yards downrange, it’s clear that the H&N Baracuda Hunter pellets are well suited to long range airgun hunting.

 

HUNTING USE

Of course, hunting is what the H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets are all about!

The photograph below shows that the penetration into the soap test block was limited, the entry hole was 8.0 mm diameter as the pellet mushroomed out immediately upon impact. This means that the full kinetic energy of the pellet is transferred very rapidly into the target, helping to assure clean, single-shot kills.

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

And did we say “mushrooming”? Just take a look at what happened to the fired pellet! It’s compared to an unfired sample on the right. That would create a devastating wound in whatever it hit – within the power capability of the air rifle, of course.

The fired pellet expanded from 5.54 mm to 8.13 mm  diameter in the soap target. This represents an increase in area of 2. 15 times. That’s huge! At the same time it compressed in length from 7.31 mm to 5.42 mm.

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

 

BUYING AND OWNING

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets are readily available online from the usual favorites.

The H&N screwed lid is – as always – excellent. It’s better than the push-fit JSB lids and not so incredibly tight as Crosman screw lids often are.

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

If your air rifle “likes” H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 caliber pellets and shoots accurately with them, this is clearly a “go to” pellet for airgun hunters.

 

TEST DATA

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

H&N Baracuda Hunter 18.21 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review

For background details on HAM’s Pellet Test Review methodology, check out this link.

Chairgun is a product of Hawke Sports Optics LLC and is used with permission. Check out http://www.hawkeoptics.com

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
H&N Baracuda Hunter, .22 Cal, 18.21 Grains, Hollowpoint, 200ct
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
H&N Baracuda Hunter Hollowpoint Pellets 200 Ct

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.