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Mark Camoccio reveals the new range of airgun pellets from BSA, which includes a non-lead "green" pellet alternative...
Think BSA, and you don’t instantly associate the brand with quality pellets. Indeed, the last effort of Red Star and Blue Star, the brand-related ammo released a few years back, is a project best forgotten if you ask me. Just look at the classy hardware that now leaves the famous old Armoury Road factory, and it really is hard to equate the two. Put your name to something, and it reflects on you, one way or the other, and BSA have long needed some decent ammo in their portfolio.
BSA's new range of pelletsWell, I’m pleased to report that the moment has finally arrived. BSA has now launched a range of pellets manufactured by a top German company, and they really do seem to deliver on all counts, suitable for all disciplines. There are four different pellet types for starters, so let’s get an overview and then see how they shape up on test.
BSA Goldstar | 4.52mm .177 8.64gr | 5.53mm .22 14.66gr | BC 0.021/ 0.019This pellet is aimed at outdoor competition – as in field target and HFT – and could be looked upon as the flagship in the range. Unsurprisingly, it’s a dome head, medium weight, and a relatively flat trajectory should be on the cards. It has an aerodynamic profile and apparently plenty of penetration. Add in the fact that it’s made from a special mix lead alloy designed for minimal barrel fouling, and the credits are stacking up nicely. As usual, what is beneficial to competition will often transfer into hunting scenarios, so this pellet should be an excellent all-rounder
BSA Blackstar Pellets | 4.5mm .177 10.49gr | 5.5mm .22 18.21gr | BC 0.023/ 0.026A heavyweight design incorporates a rounded hollow nose, designed to be aerodynamic. That hollow nose means it will deform nicely on impact, imparting maximum energy and with superior penetration, so this smooth little number should prove to be an excellent hunting pellet.
BSA Silverstar Pellets | 4.5mm .177 7.25gr | 5.5mm .22 16.36gr | BC 0.016/ 0.020Next comes the Silverstar, and this is a lightweight design intended for medium-range hunting. There’s a hollow-nose configuration with a central spike protruding, so serious penetration and deformation on impact is again on the cards. One things for sure – it definitely looks the part!
BSA Greenstar Pellets | 4.5mm .177 6.64gr | 5.5mm .22 12.96gr | BC 0.013/ 0.029Finally, there’s the Greenstar and as you might have guessed, the clues in the name. Whilst a fervent anti-lead lobby continue to exert pressure on the shooting sports, it pays to explore alternative mediums, and this lightweight option could be part of the answer. Made from tin alloy, these pellets are environmentally friendly for sure, but also astonishingly consistent in weight on test. Apparently, they also result in little to no fouling in the barrel. Lightweight means high-velocity, and a fairly flat-trajectory, too; the makers specify their suitability for all disciplines, so they are well worth exploring further.
BSA pellets weight checkSo, we have quality pellets on the table here, but just because they look uniform and well made, doesn’t always mean they are. I had to see for myself just how consistent the weights were, so I weighed 20 of each, and rounded the figure up or down to the nearest tenth of a grain – just to get a basic idea.
Look at those figures in the tables below! All four pellet types were excellent and the Goldstar’s were amazing. They were all within one tenth of a grain, and likewise, the Greenstar was nearly identical over the scales! To be frank, in the real world, you simply wouldn’t notice any variation with a tenth grain either way.
Accuracy Test ResultsAccuracy tests were conducted using a BSA Scorpion SE Tactical, supplied by BSA for the review, and I was a little nervous. One gun simply doesn’t have to like any of the ammo, let alone all of them, given the vagaries of barrel rifling, and pellet compatibility. However, relief all round because the results were really rather satisfying.
Over 30 yards – considered the bare minimum for the top-class ammo on offer here – groups were impressive with all four pellet types. I’ll start with the Blackstar (hollow nose), and whilst these were the least favourable in this barrel, I still managed sub-half-inch groups – perfectly acceptable. The Goldstar loved the Scorpion’s BSA barrel, and with near single-hole clusters, it would be an easy choice for many.
On to the Silverstar, and with sub-quarter-inch groups, again easy to come by, this would prove a formidable hunting pellet – super accurate, yet with that clever nose configuration to add real punch.
So to the Greenstar, and here I was perhaps most impressed, given the unconventional lead-free credentials. Lead remains the ideal medium in theory, given it’s relatively soft and malleable properties, mating with the rifling and providing a natural air seal, and so on. Yet look at those groups with the visually perfect, shiny little Greenstars, and who can question this pellet’s suitability for serious disciplines? Easy, quarter-inch clusters, time after time, and all with minimal fuss.
So yes, if I sound impressed, that’s exactly the case. A classy line up of top class ammo, from the BSA brand, and not before time! Coming to a gunshop near you, any day now.For more info, visit: www.bsaguns.co.uk
PRICESBSA Goldstar Pellets 4.52mm/.177 8.64gr/500pcsRRP: £10.50
BSA Goldstar Pellets 5.53mm/.22 14.66gr/500pcs RRP: £12.50
BSA Blackstar Pellets 4.5mm/ .177 10.49gr/400pcs RRP: £10.50
BSA Blackstar Pellets 5.5mm/.22 18.21gr/200pcs RRP: £8.50
BSA Silverstar Pellets 4.5mm/.177 7.25gr/400pcs RRP: £10.50
BSA Silverstar Pellets 5.5mm/.22 16.36gr/200pcs RRP: £7.50
BSA Greenstar Pellets 4.5mm/.177 6.64gr/400pcs RRP: £12.50
BSA Greenstar Pellets 5.5mm/.22 12.96gr/200pcs RRP: £16.50
BSA Premium Pellet Sampler .22 (at least 40 of each) RRP: £11.50
BSA Premium Pellet Sampler .177 (at least 60 of each) RRP: £11.50
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