Made to last? Simon Everett tries out the H&N Field Target Trophy .20, a pellet that has truly stood the test of time
Haendler & Natermann has been making quality airgun pellets since 1950 – and its Field Target Trophy is one of the most successful pellets ever designed, especially in .20 (5.0mm) calibre.
The pellets come out at 5.05mm, which gives a good fit in all .20 barrels, regardless of maker, and with the special lead and antimony alloy used, this is one pellet that any .20 rifle user should try. I have never heard of a barrel that didn’t shoot them to a very acceptable standard of accuracy.
The FTT is the perfect weight for a .20 pellet, so its advantages can be made best use of. The dimensional balance between the rounded head and the length of the skirt is roughly in keeping with what the early pellet designers found to be the most useful pellet shape. The pellets are made from a soft alloy of lead and antimony that fire-forms to the rifling, giving a tight seal and travels easily down the barrel.
I have used FTTs, as they are generally known, in .20 since I first ventured into the calibre in 1994. The terminal ballistics on quarry is highly effective – these pellets hit hard, with a sizeable impact. Despite being pliable in use, the 502 pellets in the tin used for this test were completely undamaged and clean. As with all H&N pellets, they come in a secure screw-lid tin rather than a push-fit one.
It isn’t much use trying to test pellets and shoot accurate groups when there is any wind. Finding a still day isn’t easy, but if you get up early and conduct the shooting aspects in the first few hours of daylight, very often the wind hasn’t got going
Having a slightly overcast sky yields better results than a beautiful, cloudless sky: the chrono sensors record the flight more consistently, even with the infrared screens fitted. I have to take advantage of every decent day there is!
For most airgun shooters, accuracy is what matters the most, and the FTT is a very reliable performer, right out to 50 yards, thanks to that time-honoured shape. We stayed within our usual 40-yard boundary for this test, but experience over many years tells me that the pellet’s 50-yard performance is every bit what you would hope for. These groups are all a full magazine of 12 shots. Why my closer range groups are no better than the one at 40 yards I can’t explain – but that has to be down to me, not the gun or pellet; and at 40 yards, one tight cluster of less than 10mm across of 12 shots is excellent in anyone’s book. Maybe with a smaller aiming mark, the closer range groups would have been tighter.
Interpolating the performance of the .20 between the more commonly used calibres doesn’t work in practice. The difference is not linear, and the .20 inherits more of the .177 in terms of trajectory, with very little deviation until you get out to 40 yards – and even then, it is still well within the standard 2p piece-sized circle of acceptance.
The H&N FTT is a tried and tested pellet that has stood the test of time. What our test doesn’t show, but feedback from a wide variety of users does, is that this pellet shoots well out of virtually any .20 barrel and should be one of the first pellets to try through a new gun.
Overall Verdict? 92/100
Muzzle Velocity: 17
“Any .20 shooter should try the FTT first and foremost: it’s made with high precision that shows through in the results. This is the benchmark pellet for the calibre.”