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H&N pellets: Terminator and Hornet

PUBLISHED: 13:18 16 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:25 16 December 2016

H&N can be relied on to bring innovations, as these two pellets show

H&N can be relied on to bring innovations, as these two pellets show


The editor looks at the latest pellet innovations from Germany

The grand old name of Haendler and Natermann (H&N) has been part of whole airgunning life, and they’ve made some truly ground-breaking pellets over the years. Their catalogue is, without doubt, the most varied and interesting available.

In recent times, they’ve delivered the deeply impressive Terminator. Designed as a short-range rat stopper, its huge hollow point design has an innovative spike at its centre, and I can tell you this is far and away the most accurate hollow point .177 pellet I’ve ever tried. I simply love these things. Head shots are so much more certain with a magazine full of Terminators, and the rats drop on the spot.

The Terminator's expansion was not as large as expected The Terminator's expansion was not as large as expected

Knowing they work so well in .177, I was keen to know if they’d work as well in .22. I’ve built up my dream ratting rifle, a BSA Ultra Se, so I thought I’d shoot some groups with the Terminators at a typical range, 25 yards. Just as with the .177, the .22 was superbly accurate making easy 1/2” groups, for totally confident head shots.

As much as I love .177, a .22 placed precisely will do an even better job at close range, and with the impact this pellet delivers, it has to be ranked as one of the top rat-busters you can buy.

The brass tip of the Hornet stayed in place on impact The brass tip of the Hornet stayed in place on impact

Another highly innovative pellet H&N has offered recently is the Hornet. There’s a number of hollow points out there, with a pointy tip pressed in, and in my testing their accuracy has been dismal. But H&N has taken a different approach to its competitors by using a brass tip, as opposed to a polymer one. I believe this should bring the centre of balance much further forward, so I was keen to see if this pellet would be more accurate.

With any hunting pellet, accuracy is first priority and terminal performance comes second by a very long way. With this in mind, I shot groups with my most accurate rifles in .22 to see how the Hornet performed. At 25 yards, it produced 3/4” groups consistently, which is much better than any other pellet of this kind I’ve tested.

Next, I shot both into a ballistic gel medium, and the Terminators surprised me by penetrating deeper than some Hornets, despite showing signs of expansion. Some Hornets tumbled, which limited penetration, whilst others drilled straight.

For me, the Terminator is so good it would be my choice, offering excellent accuracy and that big hollow point for maximum terminal effect.

Terminator .177: £11.00 (tin of 400)

Hornet .177: £19.00 (tin of 225)

Hornet .22: £20.00 (tin of 200)


You may also like:

Big Test: BSA Ultra Se

BB guns: Excite Smart Shot lead BBs

Airgun Guru: what are the benefits of lubricating pellets?


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