Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy 17.6 Grain .22 Caliber Pellet Test Review
Testers: Doug Wall, Stephen Archer
Test Date: April 7, 2022
Source of Supply: RUAG Ammotec USA Inc.
Generally good consistency
We Don't Like
Limited distribution at present
- Comparison to Makers Claims:100%
- Most Common Head Diameter 60%
- Variation in Head Diameter 70%
- Most Common Weight 60%
- Variation in Weight 60%
- Most Common Length 45%
- Variation in Length 70%
- Dirtiness 80%
HARD AIR MAGAZINE TEST CONCLUSIONS
Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy pellets are a relatively new entry into the market. However they earn a HAM Gold Award due to their combination of consistent manufacturing, fair price, cleanliness and conformance to the manufacturer’s specifications.
There’s no real stand-out feature with these pellets – or disadvantage either. They’re just a good overall product that tests pretty-much as you would expect.
Norma pellets are becoming available at more locations, but distribution is still relatively limited. Expect to see that improve in future.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy 17.6 Grain .22 caliber pellets are priced exactly at the Median price for .22 caliber lead pellets. That’s 4.0 cents each at the time of this review.
That’s a very fair price for pellets that – while not outstanding in any particular respect – offer a solid basket of benefits, combined with good overall manufacturing consistency.
Norma recommends these pellets for use in air rifles with a Muzzle Energy of greater than 17.7 Ft/Lbs (that’s 24 Joules in the metric system). So they’re more likely to be popular with PCP users than springer shooters – these are the “Heavy” version, after all.
There’s also a lighter version that weigh-in at 15.9 Grains, but which are not a part of this review.
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TEST DATA SUMMARY
|Price per Pellet||4.00 cents|
|Most Common Weight||17.53 Grains|
|Pellets at That Common Weight||14%|
|Variation in Pellet Weight (Smallest to Largest)||2.58%|
|Most Common Head Diameter||5.50 mm|
|Pellets at That Common Diameter||62%|
|Variation in Diameter (Smallest to Largest)||0.36%|
|Most Common Length||8.06 mm|
|Pellets at That Common Length||18%|
|Variation in Length (Smallest to Largest)||1.50%|
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
Let’s start this section with some basics. The manufacturer says that there are 200 Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy pellets in a tin. The sample tin tested by HAM contained 205 pellets. We’re OK with that!
The weight specification is 17.6 Grains per pellet. The average weight of the 50 pellets in HAM’s random sample weighed an average of 17.65 Grains. That’s very close to the spec, in spite of the fact that no single pellet actually weighed 17.60 Grains.
Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy pellets – what a complicated name! – are also claimed to be suited to small game and pest hunting out to 55 Yards where accuracy and knock-down power are required.
This would be a fair claim for the appropriate quarry, due to the relatively high Ballistic Coefficient and where penetration, rather than mushrooming, is required for a clean kill.
As we can see from the chart below, the Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy pellets tested by HAM have been held to an above-average level of manufacturing consistency for head diameter.
In total, 62% of the tested pellets had a head diameter of 5.50mm, when measured using a PelletGage.
What was even better was the very limited variability of just 0.01 mm – that’s less than 4 Thousandths of an Inch – between the largest and smallest pellets tested. That’s a diameter variation of just 0.36%: very well controlled.
As always, the Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy pellets were weighed using HAM’s ultra-sensitive, laboratory-grade milligram balance. Here we found that – unusually – there was little indication of a typical “bell curve” distribution, such as is usually found in our testing.
Fourteen per cent of the pellets tested weighed 17.53 Grains and the variation between smallest and largest pellets was 2.58% in this case. However, this is still better than average for HAM’s structured measurement protocol.
Pellet length control was close to average. However the 1.50% variation between shortest and longest pellets tested by HAM was somewhat better than average .
Here, it’s interesting to notice that – as with the head diameter measurements – we are back to a typical “bell curve” distribution of variability.
HAM Tester Doug Wall wshed a total of 0.463 Grains of lead dust and junk from the Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy pellets tested by HAM. Again, this is better than average and continues the story of solid, if unspectacular, manufacturing quality we have seen already.
The Ballistic Coefficient determined by HAM testing of Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy pellets is 0.023. This is a reasonably-average value for a mid-weight, domed .22 caliber airgun pellet.
Downrange performance reflects that with 57% of the original Muzzle Energy retained at 55 yards range, as is shown by the ChairGun chart below.
Also we can se that the PBR (Point Blank Range) is from about 7 to 36 Yards – meaning that these pellets shoot pretty-well flat over that distance.
When fired into the standard HAM ballistic soap test block, the Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy pellet penetrated a total of 50 mm into the target. The entry wound was 8 mm in diameter.
After retrieval from the soap, the pellet was found to have expanded in diameter from 5.50 mm to 5.56 mm. It also had compressed in the target from 8.05 mm to 7.83 mm in length.
So there was little evidence that the FT heavy pellet distorted or mushroomed on impact – that being a normal indication of energy transfer into the target.
However it is fair to note that the Muzzle Energy used for this test with HAM’s standard Beeman 1074 air rifle was 17.34 Ft/Lbs, compared to Norma’s minimum spec of 17.7 Ft/Lbs. Yes, more power would undoubtedly increase the knock-down power of this pellet, but the HAM Team doubts that it would be by much…
At precisely 5.50 mm average diameter, this pellet was slightly smaller than the 5.51 or 5.52 mm diameters that we normally see in these tests. The result is that both head and skirt show relatively little evidence of contact with the barrel’s rifling.
BUYING AND OWNING
At this time, Norma Golden Trophy FT Heavy pellets are available from Airguns of Arizona. They also have the other members of the Norma pellet range in stock too.
So they are available if you know where to look, however broader distribution obviously would be welcomed by many airgunners.
The pellets themselves are packed in a convenient screw-top tin. The lid is not too tight and not too loose.
There’s no foam disk to cushion impacts in transit. However, none of the pellets in the tin tested by HAM showed any damage from their journey to us.
Chairgun is a product of Hawke Sports Optics LLC and is used with permission. Check out http://www.hawkeoptics.com
BUY FROM AIRGUNS OF ARIZONA
Norma Golden Trophy Heavy .22 Cal 200 Count
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.