From Predator International
A few years back, Predator International release a new line of pellets called the Polymag, which were a hollow point pellet with a bonded polymer tip. Unlike the experience I’d had with pointed field pellets, these were fairly accurate in many of my guns. The exception being that they did not like exceedingly high powered PCP’s. But even in these cases if you had a gun with an adjustable power setting, you could dial down the power from say 30 fpe to 22 fpe of energy and often times pull the accuracy back. I used these pellets extensively for squirrel, rabbit, and medium sized quarry with good results. The terminal performance could be devastating, and I considered them a solid mid range hunting pellet,
The primary disadvantage however, was that many multi-shot rifles could not cycle these pellets, they were too long and at best would jam up the magazine, and at worst (or maybe not worse, but equally unusable) would not even fit the magazine making loading impossible. As many of the rifles I use are either high powered or multi-shots with magazines that could not accommodate the length of the Polymag, I was limited in when I could use them.
But last January while at the SHOT Show I stopped by to visit with Dick Dixon, who heads up Predator International, which is also the importer of JSB pellets. Every year I stop by to see what new products are coming to market, and this year especially as they are stepping up their game on larger caliber ammunition, but I’ll speak about that one at some later date! What caught my eye were the Polymag pellets on the table, it was obvious that there were a couple calibers, but there was some variation within these caliber offerings …. some were long and tall and some looked a little chunky. As we were talking I kept looking at the pellets and Dick kept watching me looking at the pellets. He finally decided to clear up my questions, and explained that while the pellets had made strong inroads into the hunting market, there had been one recurring complaint …. many magazine fed guns couldn’t digest the pellets.
So as a company that listens to the voice of the customer, Predator International started to look for a solution, and conceptually it is not rocket science. Make the pellets shorter: but how do you do this and keep the performance of the pellet, in flight and on target, at the level of quality expected with these pellets.
The Test Bed: Daystate Huntsman
One of my all time favorite hunting rifles is the Daystate Huntsman Classic. This beautiful gun has it all going for it; accurate, moderately powerful, and in my eyes the prettiest line of any PCP ever built. But it is one of those guns that will not digest the standard length Polymag, unless you want to use it as a single shot. But one that first pellet is in, the magazine can’t be forwarded. So this is one of the guns I decided to use as a test bed.
The results I got on my 20 yard range were interesting; first the Daystate Huntsman Classic is an accurate gun and pellet agnostic. But the results using the Polymag shorts was quite close to the JSB Exact Heavies and the H&N Baracuda Heavies, both of which are at the top of my list for ubiquitously accurate pellets in a wide cross section of guns. This is demonstrated on the targets to the left. These were ten shot groups, but again in any given series and of the three pellets could have come out slightly ahead or behind. What is important to note though, is that the Polymag is a hollowpoint with a synthetic tip stuck in, and is hanging with the dome topped big boys, at least at closer ranges. When I can go out with out my hand and cheek being frozen to the gun, I do some longer range testing as well, I don’t expect them to continue to hang with the roundhead pellets at 50 yards, but we’ll see.
The two targets at the top were shot while doing my chrony work, and are 40 and 30 shot groups respectively. This is very solid performance in a hunting pellet. I want to use this gun and these pellets on game, but squirrel season went out and I’m on hold till I get to Texas and Arizona next month!