CompareComparing...

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

Overview
Testers

Doug Wall

Caliber

0.177

Model Number

N/a

Test Date

Oct 5, 2018

Serial Numbers

N/a

Source of Supply

Supplied by Predator International.

Condition

New

We Like

Huge skirt expansion in target.
Excellent head diameter consistency.
Very clean.

We Don't Like

Expensive.
Length may cause some mag issues.
Push-top tin.

HAM Rating
Comparison to Makers Claims
80%
Most Common Head Diameter
100%
Variation in Head Diameter
60%
Most Common Weight
60%
Variation in Weight
45%
Most Common Length
50%
Variation in Length
80%
Dirtiness
80%
Hard Air Magazine Test Conclusions

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 caliber pellets show very good manufacturing consistency. They also offer huge expansion of the lead skirt in the target, as is required for a good hunting pellet.

The low Ballistic Coefficient means that they will be most useful for relatively short-range hunting with mid-power air rifles.

At a lower unit price, they would be an easy Gold Award winner. Even at the price being asked, these Polymags still gain a HAM Bronze Award.

70%
HAM Rating
You have rated this
Full Review

VALUE FOR MONEY

As with other two-part hunting pellets, Predator Polymag pellets are expensive. This is understandable, given the obvious extra stages of manufacture involved in making and inserting the polymer tip into the lead skirt.

However, hunters generally take relatively few shots and price may not be so important compared to effectiveness in this case. And, of course, by taking advantage of “buy four, get one free” offers from major online retailers, the 7.24 cents per pellet price can be significantly reduced for many hunters.

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

The polymer tip and lead skirt is intended to give both penetration and expansion in the target, combined with accuracy. This does result in a rather long pellet.

However the .177 caliber Predator Polymag does fit into the common Benjamin Marauder/Umarex Gauntlet type of magazine, as well as that of the FX Impact, for example. (If in doubt, the Polymag Short version fits into all popular magazines and airguns).

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Predator Polymag .177 Cal, 8.0 Grains, Pointed, 200ct
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Predator Polymag 8 Grains .177 Cal 200 Ct

 

TEST DATA SUMMARY

Price per Pellet7.24 cents
Most Common Weight8.15 Grains
8.19 Grains
Pellets at That Common Weight14%
14%
Variation in Pellet Weight (Smallest to Largest)3.11%
Most Common Head Diameter4.53 mm
Pellet at That Common Head Diameter92%
Variation in Head Diameter (Smallest to Largest)0.44%
Most Common Length9.08 mm
Pellets at That Common Length22%
Variation in Length (Smallest to Largest)1.11%

 

COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS

Predator International makes some big claims for these pellets. They say Predator Polymag pellets offer “match grade accuracy  with incomparable penetration and expansion.” They also say that these are “proven the best hunting pellet made” with “superior accuracy and take-down punch”.

As is well-known, HAM pellet tests do not include accuracy testing, as this is a result of the complete “shooting system” of airgun, pellet, scope, shooter and environment. However the good manufacturing consistency demonstrated by the Polymags we tested does indicate that they should be accurate in many airguns.

Expansion into the HAM standard soap block was very considerable and would result in massive target trauma, as claimed. The fired pellet had doubled in diameter to 9.08 mm from 4.53 mm when unfired. This – in itself – will make the Predator Polymag a devastating hunting pellet within its intended range of targets.

The tin of Polymags tested by HAM contained 199 pellets. This compared to the claim of 200 pellets made on the label.

Pellet weight is given as “8 Grains”. The average weight of the Polymags tested by HAM was 8.18 Grains. Given that the claimed pellet weight is given only to one significant figure, the pellets tested by HAM met that claim.

 

CONSISTENCY

Head diameter consistency was a strong suit for the Predator Polymag pellets tested by HAM.

No less than 92% of the tested pellets had the same 4.53 mm head diameter. That is the sort of figure we would expect from match-grade pellets. Variation in length was also minimal at just 0.44% between the smallest and largest head diameters tested.

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

Variation in weight was about average for the Predator Polymag pellets tested by HAM.

As can be seen from the chart below, the most common weights were 8.15 and 8.19 Grains. 14% of the pellets tested were found to have either of these weights. This is an above-average performance.

The variation in weight between lightest and heaviest was slightly worse than usual at 3.11%, however.

As always, weight measurements were made using HAM’s incredibly-precise, laboratory-grade milligram balance.

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

It’s clear that manufacture of two-part pellets like the Predator Polymag carries the potential for more manufacturing variability than conventional, one-piece pellets. However, length consistency was also good in the pellets tested by HAM.

22% of the tested pellets had the same overall length of 9.08 mm – that’s an average figure. However, the variability in length between the shortest and longest pellets tested was just 1.11%, which is an excellent figure!

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

 

DIRTINESS

The Predator Polymag pellets tested by HAM showed less than average dirtiness which – of course – is good. There was just 0.170 Grains of manufacturing junk per 100 pellets in the tin tested by HAM.

As the photograph below shows, the majority of this was lead dust and shavings. However, there’s a few red polymer shavings also.

In spite of this, all normal handling precautions should be taken, as with any other lead pellets.

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

 

DOWNRANGE PERFORMANCE

When fired from HAM’s standard Beeman 1074 test gun, Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 caliber pellets had an average Muzzle Velocity of 872.2 FPS. The low Standard Deviation of 6.18 FPS is a result of the good manufacturing consistency of these pellets.

With a Ballistic Coefficient of 0.012 found from HAM testing, these Polymags shoot effectively “flat” from 11 to 39 Yards, as shown by Chairgun. But, even at 35 Yards, the Muzzle Energy has been reduced by 50%. This makes these Polymags most effective as a relatively short range hunting pellet.

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

 

HUNTING USE

HAM’s standard soap block penetration test showed Predator Polymag pellets to give up their energy very rapidly in the target. This led to limited penetration, but large expansion of the lead skirt.

This limited penetration is by design. The limited penetration is a function of this significant expansion, ensuring maximum shock effect in the target. The lead skirt penetrated 35 mm into the standard HAM soap block. The tip separated inside the target and traveled less far.

The polymer tip separated from the skirt in the target medium and traveled less far. It ended-up pointing backwards, as can be seen in the photograph below.

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

This close-up photograph graphically illustrates the manner in which the central, necked part of the lead skirt expands and flattens on impact. This would lead to devastating wounding of the quarry and a high probability of a humane one-shot kill when hunting.

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

 

BUYING AND OWNING

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 caliber pellets are supplied in small tins of 200 pellets. There’s a foam sheet in the top to provide padding in transit. Tin size and padding are obviously suitable as no damaged or malformed pellets were found in the tin tested by HAM.

As ever, we don’t like the push top tin lid! This is – in the HAM Team’s opinion – always less satisfactory than a screw-top tin. We recommend transferring Polymags to a good quality pellet pouch, or pre-loading into magazines for use in the field.

Finally, you’re very unlikely to find Polymags in your local big box sporting goods store. However, they’re readily available for purchase online.

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

 

TEST DATA

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 Caliber Pellet Test Review

Predator Polymag 8 Grain .177 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
Predator Polymag .177 Cal, 8.0 Grains, Pointed, 200ct
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Predator Polymag 8 Grains .177 Cal 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.