Chris Wheeler tries the Weihrauch F+T Special, a domed diabolo with the potential to appeal beyond its specified audience
Pellet name: Weihrauch F+T Special .177
Manufacturer: Haendler & Natermann
Type: Domed diabolo
Calibre Tested: .177 (4.51mm head size)
Advertised weight: 8.64gr
Average weight: 8.63gr
Use: Target competition and hunting
Supplied in: Tin of 500
Made by Haendler & Natermann for Weihrauch, the F+T Special is a smooth-sided diabolo pellet with a near hemispherical head tapering down to a waist slightly lower than mid-way, giving a forward weight distribution. They are the same design as the H+N Target Trophy, but made to a 4.51mm head size to Weihrauch’s specification. They’ve been shown to give exceptional accuracy in spring-powered HW rifles; but what about in a PCP?
The test tin contained an exact 500 count, and even though there was no foam insert, every pellet was in perfect condition, possibly due to the harder-than-average lead alloy used. Also noteworthy was the total absence of any lead dust, swarf or excess manufacturing lubricant, leading to a high level of confidence in the ammo. This was added to by the weights of the sample of 50 tested: the average was 8.63 grains, only 0.01 lower than advertised.
The test day was cold (about 2°C), dry and bright, with hardly a breath of wind – which benefits an accuracy test. During the leading-in session, the F+T Specials impacted fairly randomly with the target, until half a dozen 10-shot magazines had been expended, at which point the grouping tightened up.
My Compatto was doing 700 feet per second (11.54 foot-pounds) with 10.6gr Bisley Magnums, and the F+T Special went downrange at 737fps (11.26ft-lb). The zero range was 30 yards, with 10 shots being taken at the centre of each 10mm grid target.
The first card shot was the 30-yarder, which yielded a group of 20mm c-c – not as tidy as I’d expected. This was mirrored by the 20-yard test. Weirdly, the best centre-to-centre group was the 40-yarder, at 18mm.
The drop below the horizontal axis of 28mm is in line with typical performance of .177 pellets at this range. With no rise above the horizontal centre at 20 yards and a half mil-dot correction on my scope at 40 yards, it should be an easy job to keep the F+T Special on target at typical hunting ranges.
As you can see in our modelling clay test photo to the right, the penetration into the ‘ballistic medium’ was only 11mm, less than might be expected in normal circumstances. The conditions were cold, though, which undoubtedly hardened the modelling clay somewhat, yet the F+T Special displayed only moderate signs of expansion.
While the pellets did not perform through my Compatto with the laser-straight flight of my beloved Bisley Magnums, there was only a slight hint of looping as they travelled downrange, and it has to be allowed that not all barrels perform equally. The F+T Special is specified for Weihrauch barrels, and I think that the Compatto’s Lothar Walther tube was not the perfect match for them. The end result is still satisfactory, however, and all groups are within hunting tolerances.
Muzzle Velocity: 18
“If you own a Weihrauch rifle in .177, you owe it to yourself to try this ammunition. Even if you don’t, this is a classy pellet that’s well worth a go.”