Mike Morton tests Training Grade pellets from QYS – but instead of using them to prepare for a 10M competition, he rates their worth as a ratting round.
Qiang Yuan Sports made a name for itself with its range of indoor competition pellets, the current line-up consisting of three types: Training Grade, Match Grade and Olympic Grade, and indeed I saw the latter pellet being put to good use in the recent British Open Airgun Championships at Bisley.
But while these .177 pellets are designed for punching clean holes in paper at 10 metres, flat-headed pellets often find their way into many an airgun hunter’s kit bag, and that’s the way I’ll be evaluating the Training Grade pellets for this test.
The idea of using a wadcutter pellet in a hunting scenario is to avoid over-penetration while delivering as much energy to the quarry animal as possible, making for an immediate and humane kill.
But while wadcutters are incredibly accurate at the short ranges over which they’re designed to be shot, their decidedly non-aerodynamic profile usually means they are a poor choice for shooting at longer ranges.
This isn’t so much of a problem for rats, however, because while they can be engaged at any sensible airgun range, the majority of rat shooting is done over shorter distances.
QYS Training Grade – specifications
Pellet: QYS Training Grade
Manufacturer: Qiang Yuan Sports (www.qiang-yuan.eu)
UK Distributor: The Shooting Party (www.shootingparty.uk)
Head size: 4.49 and 4.50
Supplied in: Tub of 500
Advertised weight: 7.8 grains
Measured weight: 8.16 grains
Uses: Close-range target shooting, hunting and plinking
Training Grade ammo costs £14.99 for a clear tub of 500 and are the cheapest per pellet of the QYS match competition line, and that’s why I chose to test these, reasoning that most hunters probably wouldn’t want to spend more money to buy gold medal-winning ammo when targeting some scaly-tails.
In terms of external ballistics, I expected these pellets to be no different from any other wadcutter, and instead of my usual test distances of 20, 30 and 40 yards, I thought it would be fairer to shoot them at a reduced 10, 20 and 30 yards.
And while I shouldn’t have tried to second-guess my own findings, I predicted 30 yards would end up being way too far for any decent degree of accuracy.
Training Grade pellets are available in head sizes of 4.49mm and 4.50mm, with the pellets tested here being the 4.50. Putting a random sample of 50 over the scales yielded some very consistent results: 11 pellets measured 8.0 grains, while 39 came in at 8.2 grains, giving an average measured weight of 8.16 grains compared with QYS’s advertised weight of 7.8 grains.
This shoot was conducted outdoors in my garden on a humid and sticky, but completely overcast and totally wind-free day. While this was not particularly comfortable for me, the conditions were otherwise very good for the test.
After leading the barrel and zeroing the rifle at my usual 30 yards, all shots were taken at the centre of a 1” Birchwood Casey Target Spot to check group size at 10, 20 and 30 yards. The pellets were taken straight from the tub, and five shots were taken at each of the three Target Spots.
I used a Brocock Bantam Sniper HR for this test, with the rifle supported up front by an Accu-Tac BR-4 G2 bipod and a Dog-Gone-Good wedge bag under the butt.
As usual, the test began with me shooting 10 pellets over my Shooting Chrony F1, yielding an average muzzle velocity of 781 feet per second and a variation of only 4.7 feet per second over the string, with a muzzle energy of 11.05 foot pounds.
At 10 yards these pellets delivered a near one pellet’s width five-shot group measuring a minuscule 1.4mm centre-to-centre, with the group falling 10.9mm below point of aim.
I suppose I shouldn’t really have been that surprised by how well they performed as these pellets are designed to be used by competitors who are in training for 10 Metre Sporter, Precision and Pistol after all.
At 20 yards, the group size was a very pleasing 6.9mm centre-to-centre, with the group falling 5.0mm above point of aim. Twenty is probably the optimal range for most ratting scenarios, and I’d zero at this distance if I was setting up a dedicated ratting rig.
Back at 30 yards I assumed the shots would be all over the place due to the flat face of these pellets giving them the aerodynamic performance of a brick, but I was only too pleased to be proved wrong. One shot sneaked low and right, but even then the group size was still only 8.8mm centre-to-centre.
So the old hunter’s trick paid off. Not only that, but these pellets proved themselves to remain accurate at ranges far beyond what the maker intended. I’m impressed, and I reckon you will be too.
More pellet tests from Airgun Shooter
- RWS Super Field: Pellet test
- Pellet test: Bisley Super Field
- Pellet test: Weihrauch Magnum
- Pellet test: Webley Mosquito Express
- Pellet test: QYS Pointed