Pellet test: Bisley Super Field

Mike Morton shoots the Bisley Super Field – a pellet that looks like it was born to hunt, but reckons it can cut it for competition use as well.

It’s always good to find a pellet that manages to rock the boat, and the Bisley Super Field could tip over an ocean liner.

These have been around for quite some time, and are an absolutely brilliant reminder that diabolo-shaped pellets are definitely not all the same.

This projectile is very distinctive, and I imagine the designers had just finished playing a game of cup-and-ball when they came up with this rather unique acorn-shaped hollowpoint diabolo.

Two things that make this pellet stand out from the crowd are the shape of the hollowpoint itself – which looks like a very crisply formed inverted cone – and the raised ridge that runs around the circumference of the head, giving the Super Field its acorn-like profile.

According to John Rothery Wholesale, which owns the Bisley range, it offers “improved drive in the barrelI”, and indeed it’s this ridge that engages the lands and grooves of the rifling when the Super Field makes its way down the barrel.

Key Specs

Pellet: Bisley Super Field
Manufacturer: H&N for Bisley (www.bisley-uk.com)
Type: Hollowpoint diabolo
Calibre tested: .177 (4.50mm)
Supplied in: Tin of 500
Price: £11.95
Advertised weight: 8.64 grains
Measured weight: 8.66 grains
Uses: Hunting and outdoor target shooting 

While this H&N-made pellet looks like full-blown hunting ammo, it’s described as offering first-class accuracy for competition and hunting with a very flat trajectory for medium ranges.

That’s quite a bold claim, so it was time to put it to the test, beginning with the usual inspection of the contents of the tin of 500. These pellets are made of quite a hard lead alloy: none arrived damaged and no swarf was present. So far, so good.

Super Fields are available in .22 and .25 calibres, as well as the .177 ones being tested here. There’s no indication of the pellet’s weight on the tin, but the John Rothery website lists it as being 8.64 grains.

My sample of 50 pellets came up with five weighing 8.4 grains, 26 measuring 8.6 grains and 19 weighing 8.8 grains, giving an average of 8.66 grains, which is incredibly close to the stated weight. 

These acorn-shaped pellets are a very unusual design, featuring a hollowpoint tip and a ridge around the head to grip the rifling in the barrel

Test Conditions

This shoot was carried out at an outdoor range, but from a covered firing point, and on an unseasonably mild and utterly windless day. With the rifle zeroed at 30 yards, all shots were taken at the centre of a 1” Birchwood Casey Target Spot at 20 and 30 yards, with me holding over at 40 yards so the group would fall on the target and offer a better comparison. The Super Fields were taken straight from the tin, and five shots were taken at each of the three Target Spots.

Downrange

I used a Daystate Red Wolf for this test, with the rifle supported up front and under the butt by Dog-Gone-Good bench and wedge bags. As always, the test began with 10 pellets being put over my Shooting Chrony F1, yielding an average muzzle velocity of 756 feet per second, a muzzle energy of 10.99 foot pounds and a spread of 12 feet per second over the 10-shot string, a little surprising considering the pellets’ consistent weight and the rifle’s consistent muzzle energy.

At 20 yards, I managed to get a group size of 2.7mm centre-to-centre, with the group falling 5.8mm above point of aim. This is a fantastic result for any pellet, let alone a hollowpoint hunting pellet, so my misgivings about the higher-than-expected velocity spread were put to one side now shooting had begun in earnest.

At 30 yards – the set zero with this pellet – I managed a two-hole group. The first group of four pellets were 2.5mm centre-to-centre, while the fifth pellet enlarged the overall group size to 13.7mm, though this was still great.

With the target placed back at 40 yards, the group fell 32mm below point of aim, and group size was 21.5mm centre-to-centre.

The Royal Mint is a wonderful institution for airgun shooters, making a series of handy group size-checking devices for our use (coins!). The 40-yard group fell within the 24.5mm diameter of a 10 pence piece, making it a good performer for its relatively un-aerodynamic shape, while the 20- and 30-yard groups were both tighter than the 18mm of a five pence piece. 

These results really do justify the pellet’s claim to fame of being good for hunting and target shooting – as long as they’re matched to the right barrel, of course.

Test results and analysis

The Bisley Super Field is a medium-weight pellet that’s been made from a hard lead alloy – there was no lead detritus whatsoever in the tin
Weight consistency was good across the 50-pellet sample, with the average weight of 8.66 grains comparing very favourably with the advertised 8.64
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