Pellet test with Mike Morton

Mike Morton takes part in a slugfest with the heavyweight Weihrauch Magnum – a quality hunting pellet that thinks it’s a sledgehammer.

Should you be looking to deliver a super smackdown on your next hunting trip, look no further than the Weihrauch Magnum. These pellets, which are available in .177 and .22 – as tested here – are made for Weihrauch by H&N, and whichever calibre you choose they are a true beast of a pellet.

These pellets are a regular waisted diabolo shape with a fairly thick skirt, but the domehead comes to a sharper tip than usual, looking very much like H&N’s classic Baracuda Match. The .22 (5.50mm) variety come in a tin of 200, each weighing nearly 22 grains. This makes them perfect fodder for an FAC-rated airgun, but I wanted to see how they would perform in a standard sub-12 foot pound rifle.

I anticipated that their sheer weight meant huge knockdown potential – especially at shorter ranges. I weighed a sample of 50 pellets with my electronic scales; they only weigh to one decimal place and in increments of 0.2 grains, but are nevertheless very consistent. Of the sample I weighed, there were just two main variations in weight.

25 pellets came in at 21.8 grains, and there were 23 at 21.6 grains. This is an excellent result, with a variation of just 0.2 grains. However two pellets spoilt the results, these both coming in at a surprising 21.2 grains, making an average overall weight of 21.68 grains.

In general, the pellets I’ve tested over the past few months have been of extremely high manufacturing quality, and the Weihrauch Magnums were no different. There was absolutely no lead detritus to be found in the tin, and the pellets themselves were uniformly made.

 

Test Conditions

This shoot was conducted outdoors on a still and overcast winter’s day. All shots were taken at the centre of a 1-inch Birchwood Casey Target Spot, regardless of distance, to show how much their flightpath altered at range, with my BSA R-10 SE zeroed at 30 yards. The pellets were taken straight from the tin, and 10 shots taken at each of the three targets.

 

Downrange

The R-10 was shot with a Harris bipod up front and a Dog-Gone-Good shooting bag at the rear. With a cleaned and leaded barrel, the R10 had the Weihrauch Magnums flying over the chrono at 489 feet per second, with a variation of six feet per second over a string of 10 shots.

My normal testing ranges are 20, 30 and 40 yards, but when shooting the Magnums at 40 yards it became clear that these pellets were just too heavy for a sub-12 foot pound rifle to handle. They were not only dropping massively, but group size was opening up as well, so I decided to shoot the Magnums at a revised set of ranges of 15, 20 and 30 yards, which I feel is a fairer test for this uber-heavy pellet with a legal-limit airgun.

At 15 yards, the Magnums created a 10-shot group of just 5mm centre-to-centre. Due to the set-up of my chosen scope, mounts and 30-yard zero, the group showed a rise of 18.5mm above point of aim. At 20-yards, the Magnums served up another one-hole group, this time with a centre-to-centre group size of 7.6mm. The middle of the group was 11.2mm above the aim point.

Back at 30 yards, I was left with a nice one-hole group of eight shots, measuring 6.8mm centre-to-centre, with two separate pellet holes expanding the 10-shot group to 13.6mm centre-to-centre. A five pence piece is 18mm wide, so all three groups easily passed the 5p test, which is my personal yardstick for measuring accuracy when shooting a rifle rested.

I had some ballistic gel left over from my Terminal Ballistics article in issue 118, and at 20 yards the Magnums travelled a massive 17.5cm before coming to a stop, creating a good deal of temporary cavitation (secondary damage) in addition to the main wound channel along the way. Any airgun quarry put in harm’s way would never know what hit it.

Because these pellets are so heavy, I’d like to repeat this test with an FAC-rated rifle. In the meantime, they definitely proved their worth at all ranges, out to and including 30 yards, in my legal-limit rig. If I was taking shots at shorter distances I’d re-zero the gun and use them as a squirrel sledgehammer.


Key Specs:

Pellet:  Weihrauch Magnum

Manufacturer: H&N for Weihrauch (www.weihrauch-sport.de)

UK distributor: Hull Cartridge (www.hullcartridge.co.uk)

Type: Domehead

Calibre tested: .22 (5.5mm)

Supplied in: Tin of 200

Price: Around £5.50

Average weight: 21.68 grains

Uses: Hunting


Verdict: 

Quality: 19

Weight: 17

Muzzle Velocity: 19

Accuracy: 17

Suitability: 18

Overall Score: 90


 

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