Chris Wheeler offers a glimpse into the shooting performance of the Rangemaster Sovereign .22
Pellet name: Rangemaster Sovereign .22
Distributor: Widely available
Type: Round-head Diabolo
Calibre Tested: .22
Advertised weight: 15.9gr
Average weight: 15.93gr
Use: Hunting and general shooting
Supplied in: Tin of 500
The Rangemaster Sovereign .22 pellet is made for Daystate by JSB, using the same high-purity lead as regular JSB Exacts. Provided in 5.51mm head size only, these are selected to suit the Lothar Walther barrels preferred by Daystate. Given the barrel bias, it’s a pity my LW-barrelled Air Arms S200 was out of commission with an air leak, but the show must go on. This is real-world testing!
These pellets arrived in JSB’s signature press-lid tin, with foam lining both the top and bottom. This minimises pellet movement in the tin and hence minimises skirt damage, although there were still a couple of flattened skirt edges from their time in the postal system. I had an exact 500 in my tin, all bright, clean and devoid of any production swarf or flakes. One minor detail to note is that these were the first JSB pellets I have seen with a slight moulding seam.
The stated weight of Sovereigns is 15.9 grains, and weight consistency across a 50-pellet sample was superb, with a variation of only 0.22gr, ranging from 15.84gr to 16.06gr, averaging 15.95gr. Out of curiosity, I weighed 50 JSB Exact Jumbos (15.89 grains) and found them to range from 15.66gr to 16.16gr, or 0.5gr total variation, over twice the error of the Sovereigns.
I gassed up my BSA R-10 and rattled through a few 10-shot magazines to settle in and adjust aim; (2 clicks left and 2 up) 576fps (11.77fpe). All shots were taken at the target centre, 10 shots per target.
As usual I did the ‘30-yard zero’ target first and, as you can see, the Sovereigns aced it. All 10 shots landed on or within a couple of millimetres of the horizontal axis, the slight left-bias being due to a steady R to L breeze. Down at the 20-yard mark, the grouping was confined to one 10mm square, 15mm above and 5mm to the left of target centre. The rise above centre is typical of this weight of pellet at this zero, so no dramas!
With the target out at 40 yards, I took a sighting shot for drop and placed a Birchwood Casey Shoot-N-C dot on the mark to better show the drop, but the breeze carried most of the shots ‘off dot’. With the wind having longer to push the Rangemaster Sovereign off centre and with a drop of around 55mm, the long-range limitations of the .22 pellet became apparent. However, all the impact centres will fit under a two-pence piece, so the Rangemaster Sovereign easily conforms to hunting standards.
Muzzle Velocity: 20
“For hunting purposes, the accuracy gain over the cheaper Exact Jumbo is probably marginal – but for the target shooter, that margin could be the difference between win and lose!”