The New Polymag Short
From Predator International
Jim Chapman
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 over all length
was reduced from
approximately .40" to
.34", which was
achieved by reducing
the narrowest part of
the waist. So the skirt,
hollow point, and tip
are pretty much the
same, but without that
narrow waste the
shorter pellet looks
distinctly chunky.
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!
An initial observation I've made, which I need to prove out in a
quantitative way is that some of the springers I was shooting the
Polymags through, they seemed to group better with the longer
pellets. As soon as I get a chance I'll look at this in a more
formal test..... but if this does prove out,Predator International
was probably wise to continue both configurations in their
product line.
The Crosman P-Rod is a gun that I've employed the Polymag pellet; it is a lower
power gun putting out about 13 fpe. I have mine outfitted with the RArms AR type
stock which turns this gun into a lightweight, accurate, little multishot carbine fore
closer range small game hunting and pest control. I like the Polymags in this gun
because they are accurate and even at the lower velocities provide very good
terminal performance. The magazine of this gun will accept the standard length
Polymag, but I wanted to run the shorts and longs through the gun for a comparison. I
wanted to know if there was a difference in accuracy, and wanted to see if there would
be a noticeable difference in velocity with the lighter "Short" version.

The answer was that the groups generated by the two pellets was virtually identical in
this gun. In any given series of groups, either pellet might edge out the other. There
was a (very) modest increase in velocity with the Shorts, but again that delta was in
the noise. This was only a sample of one and I have not yet hunted the pellet (watch
out Arizona dairy doves!!), but it indicated to me that the primary advantage achieved
with the new pellet is to allow them to be used in magazine fed guns while maintaining
the performance they are known for.
Next Up: Crosman PRod
JSB Exact
H&N Baracuda
JPredator Polymag
So I think the Polymag shorts give us another option for our magazine fed hunting
guns. Based on this limited initial test, I feel confident bringing these pellets out to hunt
with. I also want to take a much closer look at how these pellets work in my springers.
The fact is that there is no problem at all with the longer pellets in springers or single
shot PCP's, but it will be interesting to see if the reconfigured skirt dimensions has any
impact in performance. But in the end, Predator International listened to their customers
problems and found a solution!
The Test Bed: Daystate Huntsman
As an aside, this little PRod RARMS
conversion is a sweet little low
pwered hunting gun. I've been doing
a lot of urban hunting with it.