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Thread: Differences in 3 different pellets

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Differences in 3 different pellets

    After finding that cheap 22 Daisy wadcutters shoot really, really well in my rifle, I decided to do some measuring on my pellets.

    in 22 cal, I only have 3 pellets.


    THE LINEUP

    1. CP 14.3 gr domes
    2. JSB 18.1 gr Exacts
    3. Daisy 22 wadcutter (I weighed at 13.6 gr)


    ACCURACY

    In order of accuracy, I think CP and the Daisy shoot about equally well in my rifle. The JSB's are not quite as accurate, last I checked, but they aren't bad.


    PELLET HEAD DIAMETER and CONCENTRICITY

    As far as I can tell, one of the most important things for pellet accuracy is a good fit of the head of the pellet to the bore. So I measured multiple points on the heads of many samples, and this is what I noted.

    CP's are measuring the most consistent in diameter, and they are about tied for concentricity. Almost all pellets are measuring 0.216" minimum measurement and 0.216 1/2" maximum measurement when taking multiple measurements around the circumference. Samples were taken from 3 different tins from 3 different purchases in time over about 3-4 years.

    The Daisy 22 Wadcutters are the least round, with all pellets showing at least a 1 mil spread between the smallest and widest point on the head. About half the pellets measure 0.214 1/2" on the narrowest point and 0.216" on the widest point. The other half measure 0.215" on the narrowest point and 0.216" on the widest. There are a few pellets that measure up to 0.216 1/2" on the widest point. Pellets were sampled from 10 different tins spanning two orders, but which were close in time. (Once I found out how good these cheap pellets shoot in my rifle, I stocked up!)

    The JSB exact were about as concentric as the CP's. Most of the pellets were within a half mil of round, with a few rare ones with a 1 mil flat spot. But the heads had the most variation in head size, and all were much smaller than expected. Most measured 0.214" around (more or less perfectly round with maybe a flat spot at 0.213 1/2"), while there were also a good number measuring as much as 0.215" all the way around. So the JSB probably had the largest variation in diameter with nominally a full mil difference in diameter between some of the pellets (within the precision of my calipers).

    Full disclosure: I bought two tins of the JSB in the same order and at some point I mixed them together. So maybe these pellets were from two different lots - a 0.214" lot and a 0.215" lot. But in either case, these particular pellets are plain small. In metric, this is 5.44mm and 5.46mm, respectively. Ted of Ted's Holdover Youtube channel did some measuring on his JSB 18.1 gr pellets, and he had batches at 5.50mm on up to some at 5.53mm. And apparently, in some places in Europe, JSB labels the exact head diameter to a 100th of a millimeter with a sticker on the bottom of each tin. My JSB pellets did not come with that information.

    Subjectively, the JSB drops into my rifle's chamber under gravity. The Daisy pellets are a push fit with almost no resistance. The CP's have to be stuffed in.


    SKIRT SIZE

    I will also note that the CP's have a much bigger variation in skirt diameter than the JSB's. I have segregated my CP's by skirt size, and it doesn't seem to make any significant difference. It seems like the skirt just as to be bigger than the bore by at least a couple, and even the smaller skirted CP's shot fine. I didn't measure the Daisy skirts, because at this point I don't feel like skirt consistency in diameter is very important.


    THOUGHTS ON CONCENTRICITY

    It seems to be that the lack of concentricity of the Daisy pellets is not making a huge impact on accuracy, probably because the overall size of the pellets is pretty consistent and is the right size for my particular bore, as are the CP's. I wonder if pellet heads shouldn't be oval on purpose. That might make them work better in a variety of bore sizes. If the pellet head were a little too big for the bore, only the ends of the head would have to engrave into the lands, causing less resistance and potential for bending the pellet at the waist. And in a larger bore, the widest portion of the pellet would ride the bore tightly, even if the narrower dimension was slightly small. On another note, I feel like the CP's are still accurate, even though the heads are so tight in my rifle, because the waist is so thick and stocky and the skirts are so beefy. I think the CP's are less likely to tilt the head in the bore and bend the waist if the fit is too tight, compared to a narrow-waisted, delicate skirt design, such as is how I would describe the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy 18.1, in comparison (if one were to get a tin with too large a head for their rifle, anyway, which is the opposite problem I seem to have with mine.)


    CONSISTENT GARBAGE

    One day I will sit down and sort my JSB pellets by head diameter and see if the larger ones will shoot better in my gun than the smalls. I have to say, I feel really lucky that my rifle likes Daisys. They are about 1/4 the cost of JSB's and barely more than half the price of CP's. I bought 10 tins, and I measured some samples out of each tin, and they are all essentially the same garbage concentricity but at least consistent in the size of said garbage.
    Last edited by gloob; 05-19-2015 at 09:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    TCLouis's Avatar
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    What distace are you shooting to determine the most precise shooting pellet?
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Short range. I compared the JSB and CP's at about 25 yards. I only tested the Daisy at 10 yards.

    I know the JSB might regain some of its initial loss if it flies truer. Kinda like a boat tail bullet might be more accurate than a flat base when you stretch the range, even though the flat base beats it at 100 yards. But the diameter of the pellet head certainly seems to have a bearing on accuracy.

    This is what got me to whip out the calipers and start putting thought into it. He explains it a lot better than I.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRN1Am8RBgs

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Update.
    I had the change to stretch things out today and my opinion of the Daisy has certainly changed. Out to 40 yards the drop is quite a bit more than the other two pellets, and accuracy was grossly poor.

    I rate the Crosmans as the most accurate at 40-60 yards. JSB is second and pretty close. Daisy isn't even a contender past 25 yards and the pellets drop out of the air like boat anchors.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Silver Eagle's Avatar
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    Flat point (wadcutter) pellets will generally lose accuracy at 20+ yards. Best bet for longer ranges is round nose.
    Get a variety of pellets and find out what your rifle likes the best. Some off the shelf store pellets are OK. Generally avoid the non lead alloy pellets.
    Silver Eagle

    TANSTAAFL
    There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    - Robert A. Heinlein from "The moon is a harsh mistress"

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks. I didn't think wadcutters would be that bad at long range. Velocity loss, yeah, but they really dropped off the map in group size.

    More fun: I scoped my 1377 to see what it could do. I was sorely disappointed with the Daisy 177 wadcutters. The Daisy 22 wadcutters have been very accurate at short range, at least, in both my Crosman rifle and Crosman 1322 pistol. But I couldn't get the Daisy 177's to group smaller than 1/2" at 10 yards, other than by sheer repetition and luck, and even the best groups were spoiled by a flier. The heads seem to be too small, since they can be inserted into the crown with a little play.

    So I ordered.... Crosman Premier wadcutters and Croman Premier Domes. The Crosman wadcutters were also a disappointment. They also seemed pretty random. I found they, too, were loose in the crown. So now, I was pretty worried that my Crosman Premiers 10.5 gr domes would be no different.

    First good sign was the CP domes fit tight in the crown of the gun. Second good sign was that the very first 5 shot group clustered into 0.260". That's good enough for me. This is already the best group I have shot with the gun, and I am pretty satisfied that the pellets were holding up their end. I guess I should shoot some more, but I think the search is over.

    The Daisy's measure 174. The CP domes measure slightly out of round at 175 min and 176 1/2 to 177 max. The CP wadcutters are measuring 175-176, which is pretty darn close to the domes, which is surprising. I will be giving these pellets a more thorough workout. But it looks like my gun needs 176 1/2 mil pellets at a minimum.

    If the pellet manufacturers supplied this info, it might save some folks a lot of money looking for pellets. I understand they do this in Europe. I would like to try different pellets, I am not going to spend the money on an unknown. I already have enough short range plinking pellets for the rest of my life; and at least most of them were cheap. My system of working up from the cheapest pellets to the more expensive has so far landed me square on Crosman, lol. If I bought a tin of 5 cent pellets that turn out undersized, I would be so pissed I might have to buy some new airguns to try and salvage them.
    Last edited by gloob; 05-25-2015 at 05:32 PM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check