The pellets make the rifle, it is as simple as that, and Gamo Platinum PBA Maximum Velocity Pellets will make all the difference.
I know that I have written about Gamo Platinum PBA Maximum Velocity Pellets before. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the pellets, here follows a short review.
The thing about pellets to get is that you get good pellets and you get crap pellets. The more precision engineered and designed pellets that are made from better materials will enhance the performance of your rifle. That is the simple bit to understand. I have written in the past about some of the technical aspects and I suggest that if you are interested you go and dig up the posts, they are filed under pellets.
what I want to get to today, more than anything else, is a new discovery. I have never really seen the term Varmint Rifle used in South Africa. Now that may be for a whole lot of reasons. For one thing I am not aware of too many people that use air rifles to shoot vermin (Other than Indian Minors – another subject on which you should not get me started). That may go some way to explaining why the term is not used. But what does it mean?
It turns out that a Varmint Rifle is an air rifle, specifically a small calibre air rifle, that is specifically used, because it is typically very high powered, for shooting vermin. It follows, and now we get back to the Gamo Platinum PBA Maximum Velocity Pellets, that there are pellets that are specifically suited for the purpose. Gamo Platinum PBA Pellets fit the bill because they are able to give you maximum punch with a high velocity air rifle.
If you have not shot with them before, they are certainly worth spending a little money on an firing off a few shots. You will almost certainly be impressed. You can buy them online.
Velocity is not everything, what you want to know is the Muzzle Energy of the pallet as it is fired.
The velocity that a pellet that you have fired, ultimately, is only one factor in determining the destructive force of that pellet. Two things need to be taken into consideration, the first is the velocity of the pellet and the second is the mass of the pellet, expressed in grains. The aim is to determine the muzzle energy of the pellet, expressed in foot pounds.
Muzzle energy is the kinetic energy of the pellet. This is effectively a measure of the destructive force.
It is generally accepted, even in South Africa, that we express the velocity of a pellet in feet per second. While there are instances where meters per second are used, it is generally rare. My own preference is to use the first.
This goes some way to explaining why it is that when we measure muzzle energy we still use the American standard and express that as foot pounds of energy. The SI [The International System of Units (abbreviated SI from French: Système international d'unités)] unit would be Joules. For interest 1 foot-pound is equivalent to: 1.3558179483314 joules.
Ultimately there are going to be other factors that play a role in the degree of penetration that the pellet is going to achieve. While the muzzle energy of a pellet is one measure, assuming the same foot pound output, it will come down to the material and design of the pellet. For one thing a pellet that has the same mass as another but is made of a harder material should in theory deliver a higher penetration.
It is here where you will have to get out the Chrony, check the mass of the pellet, and then do some experimenting.
To help you along I have included in this post a handy calculator, which has the added advantage of stepping you through every detail of the calculation.
Pellet guns can be very disappointing if you are shooting with the wrong pellet.
I have seen it so many times. You go out to have a fun day with some friends, or head somewhere to go and do some plinking, and your mate is shooting with the wrong pellets. Sometimes the pellet guns get blamed. Sometimes the shot has the sense to blame himself, but mostly the pellet guns get to walk the plank.
So we know that pellets are going to influence your shooting. There is no need to go into the details of how and why. Lighter and heavier, materials etc. Everything ultimately has a bearing on what happens.
I have a fried that is so meticulous about his pellets that once when he had some delivered the chap bringing the delivery dropped the bag containing the tins of pellets on the table. He immediately shot into a rage explaining that if you dented a pellet in any way it would ultimately affect what happens when the pellet leaves the barrel.
Pellet guns also vary in their rifling. For this reason it is essential to experiment. If you don’t believe that if can have such a great effect on the shooting then go and do some serious target shooting. Take a piece of paper, or better get some targets, and experiment. It is also worth getting a Chrony because it will give you an idea of the velocity and how a change in that can change the performance.
Anyhow, I thought that it would be worthwhile posting this video below. While it is by no stretch of the imagination scientific, or even precise, and even though there are really no conclusions that you can draw from what he has done. What it does show you and convincingly at that, is that different pellets do different things to apples.
The pellets that you shoot with can make all the difference, take Gamo Platinum PBA Pellets, which are the best from Gamo.
Gamo Platinum PBA pellets.
There are a number of posts already about pellets. What you should understand about them is that they come in different calibres, firstly, that they come in differing weights, expressed as grains, and that they vary in shape and materials used to make them. From a performance point of view, you may be perfectly happy shooting standard lead pellets. But if you are looking for something more, more velocity, a greater degree of accuracy, or a pellet that can do a specific job, like hunting, you will have to look around. Gamo produce a whole range of pellets, but the ones that I rate best are the Gamo Platinum PBA Pellets.
For one thing they crank up a bit of speed, increasing the firing power of the average rifle by as much as 25%. That means that with an ordinary high powered rifle capable of shooting at 1000ft/s, you go to 1250ft/s and consequently go supersonic. Now that may not be great for accuracy, although I need to still to the work on that theory, but with a properly sighted rifle, you are still going to see results.
Even though the pellets are lighter, they are obviously harder, which makes them pretty good for hunting vermin. Although there are of course pellets that are made for that purpose. The Gamo Platinum PBA Pellets are 4,7 grain and are round nosed. They are unfortunately not cheap but even though they cost about three times what standard pellets do, they are hyper-velocity and they do deliver on their velocity promise.
It is easy enough to buy them, you can get them from the Gamo online store. Go on, give them a try, you won’t easily regret it.
Pellets have advanced dramatically over the years, we have come a long way from the box of lead slugs you bought at the corner cafe, and will make a difference to your shooting.
The most obvious thing that pellets can effect is the velocity of your shooting. The heavier the pellet, your standard lead variety comes to mind, the slower it is going to go. That would also go for the heavier purposed pellets that are designed for hunting.
Gamo Pro Hunter Pellets.
I have written before about the fact that the speed of pellets, the velocity that they are fired at, can change the trajectory of the shot. So your accuracy can be impeded. If you have a high powered air rifle and you are trying to fire accurately, it may be sensible for you to opt for a heavier hunting type pellet in that situation. Having said that there are instances that you would like the lighter hyper-velocity pellets. Hunting vermin comes to mind, but at greater distances you will be less accurate. You will have to field test your rifle to get to the optimum choice.
It is not always clear to people to what extent to which the velocity of pellets vary. The best way to test is still to set up a Shooting Chrony and to test your rifle. Fire a few shots, actually around ten per type of pellet will be sufficient, with a few different types and you will very quickly get a sense of what I mean here. A Chrony is a great addition to your collection of accessories, and if you are an enthusiast it really is well-worth getting one.
To illustrate the extent to which the velocity of pellets vary check out this video below. I know it was about field testing a Gamo Whisper IGT, but the point is made. Note the huge difference between the Hunter pellets versus the Gamo PBA Platinum pellets, you will be surprised!
You come across the term BB all the time right, and you’re probably like most people, and simply don’t know what the term means.
It’s interesting how you come into contact with things you should know and often just don’t. I have an old friend – from just beyond Clan William – who once said to me that either you know something, or you don’t. Now that does sound silly, unless it is something like this: who knows what BB actually stands for?
Actually it is an acronym for ball bearing, now who knew that? It was a general term used to describe all sorts of shot up and until the point that Daisy opted to bring it to a standard calibre.
It was only then that the other manufacturers decided to standardise their BB’s to the same diameter. Incidentally that was .175 inches (or .175cal). Since then, that would be around 1900, BB has come to mean something much more generic and refers to round shot, or sometimes non-round shot, made of varying materials and of many different materials.
Sometimes you just don’t know something until you know it, and I bet there is something still to learn on the subject. Perhaps you have some ideas on that?
Hyper-velocity pellets achieve ‘hyper-velocity’ because they are lighter. It really is as simple as that.
The Skenco Hyper-Velocity field pellets are a brilliant example of this. Not only are they brilliantly orange, the orange is in fact a plastic casing into which the alloy – these pellets are entirely lead free and thus environmentally friendly – tip is placed. When the pellets are fired, they come in .177cal you’d be pleased to know, and hit the target the tip dislodges from the casing. To give you an idea of how light these pellets are they come in at only 5,4gr this translates to a mere 0.35 grams.
If you are looking for a pellet that will fly at hyper-velocity then check this one out. It will grab your attention.
You will frequently see lead pellets, and for that matter any ammunition whether it be the powder charge or the projectile, referenced in both grams and grains.
The grain measure (gr) has been in use since antiquity and is literally derived from the weight of various grains. Since 1958 the weight measure has been codified and standardised as 64,79891 milligrams. A grain is 1/7000th of a pound.
So simply put there are roughly 15,5 grains in a gram. The advantage of the grain measure though, is that it is that much more accurate.
You’ve bought your first air rifle, or perhaps you have two, but you are convinced after reading about super sonic pellets that your pellet gun (which is listed as capable of firing ordinary lead pellets at 1000ft/s) is just not breaking the sound barrier.
Let’s accept that there can be a whole host of things wrong with the air gun – unfortunately that is not the purpose of this entry, but we will get there eventually!
The thing you need is a Shooting Chrony, chrony being short for chronograph. You put the chrony on a tripod, if you don’t have one, a small table will work. Set it to zero and then fire your pellet through the arches of the chrony. It will then spit out the reading for you in either ft/s or m/s depending on the setting capability of the one that you have. Generally you would fire a number of pellets, that would be to accommodate any anomalous readings, or even poor pellets. After ten shots you should get an accurate enough average. Some chronographs will even do the averaging for you.
A chrony is a tool, but it is also great fun and can help you understand not only your rifle but also the pellets that you are using.
If you are looking for the kill pellet then this is it. Metal tip pellets – these come in at 0.72 grams (11,12 grains) – are designed and manufactured to make a larger wound channel thus improving the chances of killing vermin or small game. Pundits argue that this is quicker and thus much more humane.