This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Shooting Science

By Blake Egan Owner of Podium Pellets

The Importance of Pellet Testing: Part 1 of a Series

Hold onto your lead skirts

folks, this article is going to be a technical start to a se- ries about pellets. If you’re an elite-level, you probably know the importance that the

new decimal scoring

system has on both Qualifi - cation and in the Final. Rifl e and pistol shooting are al- ready precision sports, but decimal scoring leaves no room for errors, and that in- cludes everything down to the pellets that you shoot. Compromising on improper- ly-tested pellets can leave points up for grabs – it is im- portant to ensure that your pellets are properly lot test- ed and matched to your gun. In this article, we will ex-

plain what makes up a pellet and how to prepare to prop- erly pellet test. Our next se- ries will cover the details of testing. First off, let’s review the

anatomy of a pellet. Yes, it is essentially a piece of 99.97% pure lead molded into the form of a pellet. But every time a new batch of

lead is used, components of a tool are changed or a dif- ferent assembly line is used, the pellets change ever so slightly. Pellet manufactures have devised a “lot” num- ber system to group pellets created under the same conditions. This number varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but in gen- eral it comprises the tooling information, date and other items. For example, pel- lets manufactured by the Czech company JSB have lot numbers such as Lot #36560814. This tells us quite a bit about the pellet. “36” is the die number (com- posed of multiple parts), “56” is the machine opera- tor and inspector team, “08” is the month, and “14” is the year. If any of the tool- ing or production aspects change, the pellet will most likely shoot differently. Since no gun barrel is exactly the same, and since no batch of pellets is exactly the same, this leaves

shooters with a gun that may or may not

shoot the best “lot” of pel- lets for their gun. Matching your pellet to that ever-so- expensive gun is nearly as important as the gun itself. A quality gun that is not shoot- ing matched pellets does not allow the gun to perform at its optimum ability. So, how do you prepare your equipment for testing?

Ensure the Gun is in Optimum Working Condition The fi rst step in testing

your air gun is ensuring that the gun is in optimum work- ing condition. This means that the seals are not dam- aged, the cylinders hold pressure and that the regu- lator is working properly. We recommend that you shoot the gun through a chrono-

The group refl ects a nice 5.8 mm diameter group, a solid group for pellet testing. Most electronic target systems will measure group diameter.

44 USA Shooting News | May 2015

Place your chronograph within a few feet of the gun barrel and keep it as centered as possible.

graph and ensure that the feet per second (fps) match- es the feet or meters per sec- ond that the manufacture recommends for the gun. In general, the fps should not vary much over 10-15 fps. To test this, simply set the chronograph approximately two feet away from the end of the barrel and shoot a large enough sample size of around 20 pellets and record each number. If you want to really get precise, you can calculate your stan- dard deviation. The higher the level of competition, the more precise you’ll want your testing results to be.

Set Up Your Testing Area You need a secure vise and a sturdy target frame or paper holder for testing. A fi rmly-held vise does no good if the target moves on a loosely-held frame. If ei- ther moves even a few mil-

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68