In Search of the Perfect Pellet: Shooting the H&N Baracuda
I received several tins of H&N pellets to try out, and as I'm always on the look out for quality hunting
pellets, was interested in seeing how they work out of several of my favorite hunting rifles. JSB Exacts
and Beemans Kodiaks are excellent performers out of these guns, so I used them to benchmark the
H&N Baracuda Match.
Part I: Close Range Shooting
The Baracuda is a heavy (21.14 grain in .22 caliber)
roundnose pellet that has been designed for field target
and hunting at long range. The skirt of this pellet is
substantially thicker than that on the JSB Jumbo Exact,
exactly resembling that of the Kodiak.In fact I've been
told these are the same pellets Beeman has marketed as
Kodiaks, but I don't know if there is any difference in
manufacturing equipment use for the Beeman branded
pellets. One thing I love about the H&N pellets is the
packaging: for the H&N branded pellets, the tin is
clearly labeled with model, the number of pieces, pellet
weight, suggested application, the suggested range,
caliber, and optimal energy level. Each tin has the
information in the same place â€¦â€¦ what a great idea!
The packaging also protects the contents, out of several
tins used there were no damaged pellets found.
The manufacturer recommends the Baracuda be used in
guns generating 12 â€“ 40 fpe, so I pulled out a number
of my hunting rifles to give them a go. The guns I
selected were all proven performers that Iâ€™d used a
lot in the past, and included the AirArms S410 FAC,
the Beeman Falcon Rs, the Twinmaster Air Hunter
Carbine, the Crosman Marauder and the Crosman
My method of testing was to shoot several groups with
each gun to familiarize myself with the characteristics,
then set up a target and shoot three consecutive 5 shot
groups with each pellet out of each gun at 20 yards.
The results obtained underscored the importance of
trying multiple pellets in your rifle, the Falcon and the
Twinmaster liked the Baracuda the best, The AirArms
shot best with the JSB Exacts, and the Marauder and
the Discovery seemed to digest all three pellets equally
well, but these guns were slightly less accurate than the
much more expensive European guns. Itâ€™s also
worth noting that both of the Crosmans have a marked
preference for their Crosman Premier pellets. The other
point to consider is that all three of these pellets offered
very good accuracy out of all guns. I think the reason
there was a slightly better performance with with the
Baracuda over the Kodiak plellets was that the later
were the double gold plated variety.
The bottom line is that at close range these pellets were
as accurate as any hunting pellet I've used
The Exacts and the Kodiaks are a couple of
my favorite hunting projectiles, and shoot
well out of many of my guns. The H&N
compared well with these heavy hitters.
Predictably, the JSB pellets yielded the
highest velocity. The Kodiak and
Baracuda yielded about the same
velocities, which makes sense as they are
virtually the same pellet (except the
kodiaks are plated)
All pellets were accurate in all guns, and though
certain guns had slight preferences, all provide
more than adequate accuracy for hunting
applications. But for a heavy round nose it's hard to
beat the Baracuda.
JSB Exacts H&N Baracuda
18.1 gr 21.14 gr 21.14
My test platform for evaluating the pellet,
included 5 pcp rifles that span the range of
price, but all excellent performers.
I was out today in the snow and cold getting my AA
S410 FAC ready for the last squirrel hunt of the
season, and decided to give the H&N Baracuda
pellets a go for longer range hunting. I shot several 5
shot groups at 50 yards rested on the door of my car,
and a representative example is shown to the right.
Accuracy like this in a heavy roundnose pellet makes
these a great hunting projectile.