H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review
Testers: Doug Wall
Test Date: 30 Nov, 2017
Source of Supply: Supplied by Pyramyd Air
Great reputation for accuracy in powerful PCPs.
HAM Publisher Stephen Archer really likes them.
We Don't Like
Too heavy for most springers.
- Comparison to Makers Claims:90%
- Most Common Head Diameter 60%
- Variation in Head Diameter 70%
- Most Common Weight 60%
- Variation in Weight 70%
- Most Common Length 40%
- Variation in Length 45%
- Dirtiness 35%
HARD AIR MAGAZINE TEST CONCLUSIONS
H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain .22 caliber pellets have an outstanding reputation for accuracy. Check out HAM air rifle test reviews and you’ll see they’re often among the most accurate pellets!
So what holds them back from a higher HAM Award than bronze? Well, they’re fairly dirty, the lengths vary quite widely and they’re fairly expensive.
If you can live with this and shoot a PCP, Baracudas could well be the pellet for you.
VALUE FOR MONEY
H&N Baracuda Match pellets have an outstanding reputation for accuracy, particularly in PCP air rifles that produce enough power to work well with their heavy, 21.14 Grain weight.
Hard Air Magazine has used Baracuda Match pellets as one of our standard test suite for our comprehensive test reviews. Often they give the best accuracy – it’s very rare to find an air rifle that doesn’t “like” these pellets in HAM testing.
Because of their weight, Baracuda Match pellets have relatively low Muzzle Velocities. However, they have a correspondingly high Muzzle Energy.
These German-manufactured pellets sell in tins of 200 for a Street Price of about $9.95. This makes the cost per pellet 4.98 cents each. This is not cheap, but the quality results justify the price for many shooters.
Of course, leading online retailers offer “buy four tins, get one free” promotions which lower the cost of these pellets further.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
H&N Baracuda Match Pellets 22 Cal 21.14 Grain
TEST DATA SUMMARY
|Price per Pellet||4.98 cents|
|Most Common Weight||21.37 Grains|
|Pellets at That Common Weight||16%|
|Variation in Pellet Weight (Smallest to Largest)||2.02%|
|Most Common Head Diameter||5.54 mm|
|Pellet at That Common Head Diameter||78%|
|Variation in Head Diameter (Smallest to Largest)||0.36%|
|Most Common Length||8.66 mm|
|Pellets at That Common Length||14%|
|Variation in Length (Smallest to Largest)||2.43%|
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
H&N says that there are 200 pellets in the .22 caliber tins of Baracuda Match. The tin tested by HAM contained 203 pellets. Thanks H&N!
The company specifies the .22 caliber Baracuda Match pellets with a weight of 21.14 Grains. The average weight of the pellets tested by HAM was 21.40 Grains. That’s 1.2% heavier than the claimed weight.
As can be seen from the label on the underside of the tin, the Baracuda Match pellets tested by HAM were specified as having a head diameter of 5.51 mm. In fact, the average head diameter of the pellets tested by HAM was 5.54mm.
The overwhelming majority of pellets were of 5.54 mm head size when measured on our industry-standard PelletGage “go/no go” gauge.
The manufacturer claims the Baracuda Match pellets are very accurate and produce tight shot groups. Dozens of HAM air rifle tests confirm that this is, in fact, the case.
The tin of H&N Baracuda Match pellets tested by HAM contained no damaged or malformed pellets. That’s good!
Head size was very well controlled. It varied between just 5.53 and 5.55 mm. As can be seen from the chart below, 78% of the pellets tested by HAM had a head diameter of 5.54 mm.
This means that the variation between the largest and smallest head diameters was just 0.36%. That’s very good consistency. However, none of the pellets actually met the 5.51 mm head claim diameter of the manufacturer. All were larger.
However, weight distribution was less well controlled in the H&N Baracuda Match pellets tested by HAM.
The average pellet weight we found was 21.40 Grains. Individual weights of the pellets tested by HAM varied between 21.27 Grains and 21.70 Grains. This means that no pellets actually weighed the claimed 21.14 Grains: all the H&N Baracuda Match pellets tested by HAM were heavier than the claimed weight.
Overall lengths of the H&N Baracuda Match pellets tested by HAM varied from 8.61 mm to 8.82 mm. That’s a variation in length of 2.43%. The average length was 8.68 mm, while the most common length was 8.66 mm. 14% of the pellets tested were 8.66 mm long.
Inevitably, there’s an amount of lead dust and shavings in the tin that result from pellet manufacture. The photograph below shows the amount of lead “junk” in the tin tested by HAM.
That represents 1.64 Grains for 203 pellets or about 0.04% of the weight of the pellets in the tin.
The Ballistic Coefficient of H&N Baracuda Match pellets was measured by HAM as being 0.033. This high figure indicates that these pellets hold their velocity well downrange. Although they may not start out with a high Muzzle Velocity, it holds-up well out to the target!
Of course, the Baracuda Match pellets are too heavy for our standard Beeman 1074 test gun. They loped out of the barrel at an average of just 580.6 FPS. However, this produced 16.02 Ft/Lbs of Muzzle Energy due to the heavy pellet weight.
Taking this data and using the BC of 0.033, we see the following downrange performance using the Chairgun software from Hawke Sports Optics.
As we can see, trajectory is effectively flat out to about 31 Yards. beyond that, the H&N Baracuda Match pellets drop fairly considerably. However, the high Ballistic Coefficient means that 70% of the Muzzle Energy remains in the pellet as far as 51 yards out. This makes for excellent long-range hunting performance with a powerful PCP air rifle.
The heavy domed-head design of the H&N Baracuda Match pellets can be expected to offer good performance for long range airgun hunting.
In our standard “ballistic soap” test, the H&N Baracuda Match pellets penetrated 56mm into the block, with a wound channel of 8 mm diameter.
When retrieved from the soap block, it’s possible to see that the pellet expanded from an un-fired head diameter of 5.54 mm to 5.58 mm.
The photograph below also shows the pronounced rifling marks in the pellet’s head and skirt (left), undoubtedly due to its large head diameter.
BUYING AND OWNING
H&N Baracuda Match pellets are packed in a convenient screw-topped tin.
H&N tins are without doubt the best that the HAM team have found. They are not too loose or too tight. And they’re easy to open.
This is a not insignificant benefit, as it much reduces the chances of dropping – and therefore losing – the contents of a tin of pellets. Nothing is worse than fumbling with an unsatisfactory pellet tin lid, then dumping the whole lot on the ground by mistake when trying to open the lid. Been there, done that!
There’s no padding in the tin, however no shipping damage was found in the H&N Baracuda Match pellets tested by HAM.
Finally, be sure to take all appropriate precautions associated with any lead product when handling H&N Baracuda Match pellets.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
H&N Baracuda Match Pellets 22 Cal 21.14 Grain
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.
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.