Panther ultra-heavy airgun pellets - test & review

There are two sizes available - .22 and .25

There are two sizes available - .22 and .25 - Credit: Archant

Dave Barham takes his first look at the Panther range of ultra-heavy airgun pellets from The Shooting Party

Quality control seems good

Quality control seems good - Credit: Archant

Produced under their ‘AirForceOne’ brand name, The Shooting Party has produced a range of ‘Panther’ pellets, including Smooth Pointed, Smooth Domed and the ones I’m particularly interested in, these ‘Heavy Metal’ beauties.

They are heavyweight and domed

They are heavyweight and domed - Credit: Archant

TWO CALIBRES

There are currently two different calibres available in the ‘Heavy Metal’ range, which are .22 (5.5mm) and .25 (6.35mm). The .22 pellets weigh in at a whopping 21 grains or 1.35g, whilst the larger .25 pellets are 31 grains (2g). For a sub-12 ft.lbs. rifle they provide an awful lot of stopping power over close range and will be perfect for close-quarter rat busting, for sure.

If you shoot FAC, then these pellets will most definitely be of interest. I don’t have the means to test the .25s, but judging by the .22 performance I have no reason to believe that these larger pellets won’t perform just as well.

FASTER FLIGHT

I know that speed can be a deciding factor when combined with accuracy for a lot of airgun shooters. If your pellet is travelling quicker than another there’s less time for wind to take effect and thus affect the accuracy.

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Right there on the tin in capital letters are the words ‘Faster Flight’. I don’t know what the criteria for this is, but on average these .22 Heavy Metals gave me around 25fps more over 50 shots through the chronograph than the Bisley Magnums I put them up against (although the Magnums do weigh 0.4 of a grain more).

How far they carry that extra speed down range is a different matter, though, and at present I have no way of testing that without taking pot shots at my trusty chronograph – which is something I’m not prepared to do.

As far as accuracy goes, I set my zero range to 25 metres and was consistently grouping within a half-inch, so I’d be more than happy to use these on live quarry at that range.

QUALITY MANUFACTURE

Now then, trying to cram all that weight into a finite space is always going to be tricky. The only way it is possible is to reduce the inner diameter of the skirt cavity, and as you can see the skirts on these pellets are super thick. With just a couple of mm of space inside they are fast approaching slug status.

I had a really good root around the other tins of both calibres sent to me, and I was pleasantly surprised to find only half a dozen ‘damaged’ pellets. It seems that their quality control is on point, for sure!

PRICES AND INFO

You get 500 pellets in the .22 tin, which has a RRP of £10.99, while there are 150 pellets in the .25 tin costing £6.99.

For more details on these and other pellets in the range, visit: www.shootingparty.uk