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- Last updated: 20/09/2021
I’m a big fan of the modern BSA operation, and an energized marketing and design team has really seen the famous old brand define its place in the market over the last couple of decades.
But any honest assessment has to conclude that quality ammunition has not really been associated with BSA over any of that time. Obvious links with the Gamo stable haven’t helped the cause, and whilst they produce a remarkable range of pellets, very few have made the grade for enthusiasts pushing for top class results. As for the Red Star and Blue Star brands from BSA themselves, ‘rather disappointing’, is a carefully chosen understatement for the occasion!
Indeed, given the quality of the hardware now leaving the famous factory, BSA deserved better, and I’m pleased to say that they have now well and truly seen the light. For this new range of pellets are about to hit a gunshop near you and having had a serious dabble with them, I have been left properly impressed.
Let’s start by saying they are precision made in Germany by a famous ammunition maker, to extremely high standards and tolerances, so we are now talking top-class ammo here. There are four different pellet designs in the line-up, so before I delve deeper, a quick overview of what to expect with each is perhaps in order.
This is arguably the flagship pellet since it is aimed at outdoor competition HFT/ FT shooters. It’s a medium-weight pellet, designed for maximum accuracy down range. Of course, it’s equally applicable to hunting, the flat trajectory is a big advantage. Dome headed, supremely aerodynamic, with apparently plenty of penetration too. Made from a special mix of lead alloy, it is also designed for minimal barrel fouling.
This is a heavyweight hunting pellet with a rounded hollow point shape, designed to be aerodynamic, yet hit hard, with superior penetration. The hollow nose means the pellet will deform on impact, imparting maximum energy to the quarry. A smooth exterior helps airflow.
This is a fairly lightweight pellet (especially in .177) intended for medium range hunting. The elaborate nose configuration here features a hollow point and central spike, again intended for high impact, expansion and penetration. A tapered tip assists the end result, which should be high deformation on impact.
And so we come to the Greenstar, which as its name suggests, is environmentally friendly (being lead-free). The low mass translates into high-velocity and a relatively flat trajectory too. These pellets are formed from a special tin alloy, and as such, there should be no fouling in the barrel. The manufacturers specify they are suitable for both competition as well as hunting, plus with apparently high impact and penetration, these shiny projectiles are certainly worth a try.
So, we’ve established that this new range of pellets hails from a top German ammunition manufacturer, where quality is assured, but I was still keen to run a check, and hand weigh a sample of each – just to gauge weight consistency and see all was as it should be. 20 pellets of each were weighed, with the results (rounded to nearest .1-grain) as follows:
In conclusion, all four pellets were admirably consistent, with the Goldstars within one-tenth of a grain, and the Greenstar proving near identical. Very impressive. You really won’t notice a tenth of a grain variation either way in any case, as far as accuracy goes, believe me!
BSA loaned me a Scorpion SE Tactical to use for the accuracy evaluation and it proved remarkably responsive with all four pellets. I shot over 30 yards since this is perhaps a favourite hunting distance and a minimum challenge for this grade of ammo.
The weakest results were produced by the Blackstar (hollow nose), yet these still printed sub 1/2” groups. The Goldstar loved the BSA barrel and were superbly accurate, with near single hole clusters. Similar with the Silverstar, with sub 1/4” groups easy to come by. For me though, the biggest revelation came with the Greenstar tin alloys and these banged in easy 1/4” clusters too, with minimal fuss. Since these may well represent the future, as we get squeezed to ease lead from our grasp, the results are at least encouraging.
Barrel compatibility is of course key with any pellet testing but one thing is for sure, I can certainly vouch for the quality on offer here. All the types look precision formed and the results speak volumes for the pedigree operation behind the scenes.
If you are thinking of running your own tests, then BSA’s premium pellet sampler packs are the ideal solution. They include a quantity of each pellet type in the pack.