H &N`s new Barracuda 18 grain pellets
- 65 Comments
- Last updated: 25/05/2021
I use a lot of H&N pellets in my air rifles for hunting, as their consistent manufacture and ballistic form are second to none. There is a great choice of calibres and styles to choose from and now H&N have added a .22 cal, 18-grain Baracuda pellet to the line-up.
Dubbed as a heavier weight pellet, the original .22 cal Baracuda Match pellets weigh in at 21.14-grains, however, these new lighter 18-grain pellets are designed to appeal more to sub 12ft/ lb shooters. They have an average diameter of 5.52mm to suit most common barrel diameters and combine a hard-hitting and accurate pellet, designed to retain velocity and thus energy down range. This makes them particularly good for longer range use. They are available in tins of 200 for £5.95.
H&N pellets always have an impressively consistent weight throughout a tin and from batch to batch. This is why they can be relied on to deliver perfect accuracy.
Looking at the screw top tin, the new graphics give all the salient information regarding pellet weight, size and count. Open the tin and the pellets are typically very clean with no swarf and each one is very well-formed.
Weighing 20 pellets revealed the actual average weight to be 18.2-grains.
The pellet tin does state 18.13-grains or 1.175-grams true weight. The pellet dimensions are 5.32mm for the head diameter and 5.52mm for the skirt. The overall length measured in at 7.80mm. They are the traditional diabolo shape with a domed head section and waisted rear end. The length is such that it is designed to fit a magazine system on PCP rifle easily and reliably.
They show a lovely waisted and top-heavy design to add stability to the aerodynamic profile and the soft lead alloy has a very smooth and consistent finish. The waist shows a uniform hollow base section to allow the skirt to expand and fill the grooves of the rifling, whilst the smaller head engages the lands.
I use the Baracuda’s in an FAC rated Theoben Eliminator and their .20 cal equivalents are excellent in several of my Venom customs. However, these lighter weight .22 versions are ideally suited as a medium weight and versatile pellet for target or field/hunting use. On the scales, they sit in the middle of the H&N Baracuda Match and H&N Field Target Trophy pellets.
In house factory specs ensure that the weight tolerances are reduced to a maximum of +/- 0.25% and after production, each lot is tested on a 50m indoor range. After 5-shots, each lot has to reach a maximum shot grouping of 14mm, and after 20-shots a maximum of 21mm centre to centre. Impressive.
I worked out the ballistic coefficient (BC) for an actual figure shot by the Venom .22 Custom Hunter model, as at the time of writing, no BC had been published. The muzzle velocity was 546.1 FPS and at 30 yards this had dropped to 512.3 FPS, so a BC of 0.0584 was calculated. What the chronograph said surprised me. This was also true when I used the pellets in two FAC rated guns and a couple of older classics. The results were achieved in a heated barn and still air. Outside in wet, denser air conditions, the BC would no doubt be less. These impressive velocity and energy values equate to better down range ballistics, so long as you still compensate for the trajectory drop.
In the HW80 Venom Custom .22, we were bang on 12 ft/lbs at 11.92 ft/ lbs with only a 8-10 FPS variation in velocity. Not bad for a 30-year-old Lazaglide system! Zeroed at 30 yards with 0.45” groups, we were down -5.17” at 50 yards, which is my absolute maximum range on a spring gun, and still hitting with 9.68 ft/lbs of energy.
The new FX Impact Sniper achieved less than 5 FPS variation in velocity and printed superb 0.35” 30 yard groups and 0.50” 50 yard groups. Its initial 28.7 ft/lbs muzzle energy only dropped to 24.8 ft/lbs at 30 yards and it still had 20.1 ft/lbs at 70 yards.
I was impressed not only with the accuracy but the down range performance of these Baracuda 18-grain pellets. They do indeed offer a good blend of retained energy and accuracy for hunting at 12ft/lbs and also for FAC use.
Their aerodynamic design gave an impressive BC value in ideal test conditions, I would say 0.040-0.050 as an average figure would be more correct. In use, they generate less lead fouling due to the special alloy mix, so smoother and more consistent shooting for longer. All in all, another great addition to the H&N range of pellets.
Contact: John Rothery Wholesale - www.bisley-uk.com