The vast majority of the snow has melted off, and the local forest roads have dried out enough to drive on without sinking in up to the frame, so I thought I would spend a day getting some sunshine and fresh air.
One of the things I wanted to do while out there, was to try the H&N 12.6 grain Baracuda Green, non-lead, tin pellets in my .22 cal Disco. Normally, in a non-lead ammo situation, I would shoot the DYNAMIC PCP-2, tin pellets in this rifle, but they have become very difficult to come by, so it would be real nice to have a readily available alternative. I wanted to see if maybe the Baracuda Green tin pellets would make for a good second choice.
I've had my .22 Disco since they first came out in early 2008. It has been a really good performer since day one. I currently have it sighted in with the 15.9/16 grain JSB Exact Jumbo pellets, and it is death on tree squirrels out to about 60 yards with those.
We don't have a commercial shooting range in my neck of the woods, so when I want to do some pellet testing, I have to head out into the wide open spaces of the National Forest and set up my own range. Sometimes I go to a familiar spot, and other times I just drive until I find an area that looks like it's a place I would like to spend the day. That's what I did this time.
It took me about twenty minutes to get all of my gear set up. I have a portable shooting stand that I shoot from. A set of wind flags that I shoot over, and a portable target frame that I place my targets on.
I put the target frame out at 40 yards, and set up my wind flags at 10 yard intervals, starting with the first one 10 yards from the muzzle, and the last one next to the target frame at 40 yards. I set them up so that I can see them while looking through the scope on my rifle, yet offset to one side far enough that I won't hit them while shooting.
I checked my wind meter, and it was indicating wind velocities running from 8 to 12 mph. During the lulls, it was dropping down to the 3 to 4 mph range. I did all of my shooting during the lulls, and even then it was a challenge.
I fired a half dozen shots at random targets, to condition the freshly cleaned bore to the tin pellets.
This rifle is currently sighted in with the 16 grain JSB's, so I didn't expect the lighter Baracuda Green pellets to have the same point of impact, and I was right. They are shooting much higher at 40 yards than the JSB's are, but by using the first mildot above the crosshair, I was able to get them to print on my target, although a bit left and low.
Considering the conditions, I'm really happy with the way these H&N tin pellets shoot. Shooting during the lulls, the first five went into a group, at 40 yards, that measured .474 ctc.
I dropped down to the second target, and once again shooting during the lulls, shot five into a group that measured .363 ctc.
Next, just for the heck of it, I dropped down to a Prairie Chuck target and fired one shot, to see if I could put one between the eye and the ear. Below is the result. I'm really pleased with the way these H&N tin pellets are shooting in my Disco.
As a hunter, I'm not one that enjoys shooting groups just for the sake of shooting groups. I've been doing this for a hell of a long time, (about 40 years with airguns) and it doesn't take me long to tell if a particular pellet is going to meet my accuracy standards in a given gun.
These H&N Baracuda Green pellets are obviously shooting quite well in my Disco, and will make for a great alternative to the DYNAMIC PCP-2 tin pellets in this rifle. It would be nice if they were a couple of grains heavier, but if I'm in a situation where I must use a non-lead pellet, they will certainly do, and they are available.
I want to try them in a few other guns as well. I'll try them in my AA 410, and AA 510 carbines for sure, as well as my Marauder pistol.
All of those other pellet holes are from other shooting sessions. I've had this portable target frame for about 45 years, and have replaced the cardboard backer many, many times. This is what the back of it looks like currently. It goes with me on every hunt. I use it to check my zero before heading out into the field, as well as for sighting in, and accuracy testing. It's an indispensable piece of gear.
So, if you are in need of accurate lead free pellets, and are looking for something that can hold it's own, accuracy wise, against some of the lead pellets out there, be sure to check out the H&N non-lead offerings.
When it comes to what pellet a particular gun will shoot well, each one has its preferences, but the Baracuda Green pellets are certainly worth trying, and might be just what you're looking for.