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so as we know there is a growing trend in airgun circles for slugs to be used for hunting .the idea is that they provide high bc s and good expansion leading to  clean kills and long range accuracy .(well that's the theory  ) but unless you have an fac airgun in either .22 or .25 then your out of luck as there are no slugs available  for lower powered guns . Until now .

UK based pro hunter slugs (cottage industry  ) has made some .177 slugs that appear promising .there are a couple of utube vids on line of them being shot out of sub 12 pcps and they show promising results so far.

Well as some of you may know . I'm a MASSIVE .177 calibre  fan  and have a fac pcp in my collection .so i had to get hold of some of these slugs to try .

Prohunter do 3 different weights of .177 slug . 13  , 15 , 18 grn  .in 2 different shapes .small hollow point and big hollow point in the front .

I bought the 13 grn ones .of the small hole type ,called the premium standard  slugs 

Honestly I'm not interested in the heavier ones or the large holed version .I'm after high speeds and high bc.

So current fave pellet of my bsa scorpion  se is the almighty jsb exact 8.44 grn in 4.53 mm head size..this pellet is so good and stable it can handle speeds from 300 fps up to 1030 fps (my gun can literally stack them into a single hole about 10 mm at 50 yds even this fast. )

These slugs are gonna have to do something amazing to top a performance  like that .(especially at 5 times the cost )

And so it was to the range targets initially at 40 50 and 70 yds .(the max range in interested in .177 cal .because my ret runs out at 70 yds and its far enough ) 

The gun was set at 16 fpe with jsbs for around 915 fps. This tune gave 750 ish with the 13 grn slugs .

A few  control groups were shot at the distances with the jsb to gauge weather conditions . 40 yds 10 mm group 

50yds  - 12 mm   , 70 yds - 30 mm 

The slugs (lubed ) gave the groups in the photos below .very promising  but at 750 fps they were too slow for my liking and had a loopier trajectory than the jsb.

A different speed was required 

To be continued. 

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So a few days later after a tweak of my gun had it running around 19 .5 - 20  fpe which is 835 fps with the slugs ..my gun can shoot them faster but shot count has already dropped from 35 shots at 16 fpe  to 20 shots at 20 fpe .and more speed would require either big gun modifications or a different gun .

Now the prohunter Web site give a bc estimation of 0.044 for these slugs .so 835 fps should work out well with my ret on the max 16x I have .

Back to the range and although the accuracy was OK It didn't seam as tight as it did at 750 fps .but one thing I did note was that the trajectory was a lot flatter than chairgun and the 0.044 bc had predicted.  To tally up with what I was seening a bc of 0.07 had to be entered. 

This is high .very high nearly as high as some slugs at 26 grns id put through.my  25 cal .

I used them all up chasing the tight groups id had at 750 fps .

Well some more arrived today.

So back to the range with the gun now set at a slower 800 fps( 18.5 - 19 fpe ) this should work out with my reticle  on the 16x I have .I decided to put targets at 40 ,50,60,70 yds and map the trajectory  all the way to confirm my bc predictions. 

I shot 10 slugs and the targets were pretty good .but i decided to clean the barrel before I did any more .5 shots to lead the bore and settled down to shoot some groups .- 40 yds    amazing 7 mm c/c 

50 great .60 good  70 pretty good  maybe 25 mm 

Trajectory was spot on and confirmed bc of 0.070  .the temp was dropping and light failing (which can seriously affect groups on any gun ) so we (i was with my mate ) switched over to some terminal ballistic testing of these slugs .

To be continued 

 

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so as said at the beginning  of the thread .one of the supposed big advantages of slugs is their ability to expand on impact and impart a huge energy dump in a short distance providing cleaner kills and a much reduced energy pass through theoretically making for a safer round .

Now my preferred ballistic medium is bacon rashers in a packet .I like 2 packs to give around 50 mm of flesh .this is cheap and easy to find .but most importantly its a constant medium thats much more representative than clay or gel or most other things i can think of ,and repeatable .

The 2 inches is just a nice depth that could represent  a pigeon body or rabbit chest (or maybe skull ) basically .any pellwt or slug that can deform its shape inside 50 m of soft bacon will certainly do so in a harder pigeon or rabbit .

So bacon set  at 20 and 70 yds .with a soft rag pellet catcher that does NOT deform the pellets in any way when it slows and catches them .so any recovered projectiles will show any  expansion that happens inside the bacon only .

I shot a jsb pellet at 970 fps and a slug at 800 fps into each bacon 20 &70 yds 

As you will see the pellets didn't deform at all .nil

the slugs however  are VERY  impressive 

Obviously the 7mm slug was the 20 yd one and the 5.5 mm one at 70 yds 

I estimate (cg.) That the speed was 785 fps at 20 yds and 710 fps at 70 yds for the slugs  

The pellet speed is irrelevant  as they don't expand .

Next test is to catch the exit velocity out of the bacon with a chrono and see just how much energy these mighty slugs gave up .

Tbc.

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so more testing going forward .

I want to confirm the bc of these slugs with my dual chronos .this will be for my gun and my power but I will probably do it for sub 12 speeds also to see if its comparable .

I want to find the speed at which these slugs don't expand .I predict that below 650 fps they won't show any significant expansion in my bacon test  

Accuracy testing with sub 12 .- though although interesting I think really these  13 grn slugs will be a bit heavy ?giving few advantages over a good  pellet .

And finally the last part of the slug promise 

Do they group better in wind and drift less than a pellet .?

Does the high bc help with this or not .? 

Cheers ultra stu 

 

To be continued  .

 

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Thanks .

Yeah I know .177 fac is often over looked  .but .maybe  these  wee slugs might change that .

They promise quiet a lot and im pretty excited  about there prospects. 

The fragility of them seems to be to there advantage. That slug almost doubled its width on impact .at 20 yds .

I'm kind of tempted to run them as fast as I can to see if they will " explode / fragment " on impact with the bacon .

Almost like a mini .17 hmr 😁

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Careful now, I winced when I read you were using one of my favourite foods for your experiments, it was hard reading at times :lol:

One thing of interest for me is .177 FAC is known for its 'pass through' when using pellets, however those slugs certainly were dumping their energy on impact. :good:

Edited by Ttfjlc
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I dont necessarily agree with the. 177 fac pass through statement. 

It depends on the pellet (as always ) ,often a pellet will stop faster in a given medium if driven faster .and penetrate  more when driven slower .this applies to pellets or projectiles that are designed to expand .

So a good hollow point will expand more on impact and go less deep . Id bet  that these slugs fall into that category. 

If you have a pellet designed to penetrate (like a heavy bis mag or jsb heavy ) then more speed will mean more penetration  .and unfortunately  most people tend to use  a heavier  pellet when shooting at higher speeds .

So yes you then get more pass through .

This is the reason I like to use lighter 8.44 grn pellets they don't penetrate as deep as the heavies and the extra speed gives a real slap on the target / quarry .

 

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Yes makes sense when you put it like that, it will be interesting if JSB bring out their knockout slugs in .177 to see how they perform, as I've just been on the site for these slugs and my word 10p a slug for the standard ones. I'm just glad they didn't make a .20 slug as I know curiosity would of got the better of me. :rolleyes:

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Mmmmmm - so over twice the price of a decent .17HMR round (excluding air) and nowhere near the power/range of the HMR = I'm struggling to see the point . Surely, if you want high power/longer range, just buy a £350 .17 HMR?

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I dont want high power .that the whole point  of air guns isn't it .

Its the ability to do the job as effectively as possible with the least amount of energy 

Being as safe as can be and having minimal fallout behind . Giving airguns  access to shots and places that cf and rf dare not go  .a slug that won't go through a pigeon body (yet to be confirmed ) or rat perhaps  means no damage to materials behind it and no ricochet. 

Yes expensive but that's so far the price of a hand swaged  small business production . How about when its mass machine produced .the cost will be halved .

Do you see the appeal? 

It has to start somewhere ..

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But you are trying to wrangle the absolute most from your Airgun at extreme Airgun ranges so power must come into it. You are putting yourself at a disadvantage by the very nature of your choice of weapon - 20 shots till refill? pellets  over twice the price of RF ammo? Lets take your 70 yards example - pigeons on Wheat stubble say at 65-75 yards, 20 shots and your empty. Take a look at .22lr CB Longs - 29gr at 700 fps, more than up to the job. And ,yes, I see your point about prices coming down if mass production takes over - but only down to the price of .17HMR and still more expensive than .22lr. 

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Posted (edited)

Yes bruno I accept that my personal choice of gun is giving only 25 shots at this current tune and energy .(it did 35 at 16 fpe  which has been fine for 6 years so far ) 

A bigger gun (air supply and barrel ) would obviously  extend the shot count .but i don't have one of those yet .

I'm currently working with what i have .I'm also considering a small 1 ltr day tripper  to solve that issue .

As for your example of .22lr 29 grn bullets at 700 fps .

I would expect them to be the absolute  worst projectile to suffer from ricochet and over penetration  on rabbits and pigeons .

Sounds a very dangerous   round .though I've never shot them  

Edited by Ultrastu
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Jsb have some .177 slugs for sub12 ft-lb market. Being tested at the moment. 

Could well be a game changer for .177 sub12 with the .22 brigade.

Might work very well for you to keep your shot count up and still get the better BC of slugs.

Edited by figgy
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Think you'll find that with a muzzle energy of under 40ft/lb and a hollow point to boot, how on earth would over penetration be a problem compared to your  mentioned smaller projectile travelling at a higher speed. If you have pigeons, in a difficult position to shoot, that are causing damage to one small part of a field, might I suggest a couple of shiney carrier bags tied to the top of a few canes would be far more cost effective than spending £50+ on pellets just to see if they would do the job?

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So i managed to do a comparison between  sub 12 and fac on these slugs .

Expansion test into my bacon test medium .this time there were 4 packs of bacon back to back .giving 100 mm of meat .with the soft pellet catcher behind . Guns used 

Sub 12 bsa ultra .600 fps at the muzzle  

Fac scorpion  800 fps at the muzzle  

Point blank  .

The 600 fps slug penetrated all 100mm of bacon and was caught  very gentally by the rags .the 800 fps slug penetrated to a depth of 70 mm and was found between the layers of bacon .

Expansion was huge on the fast slug measuring 8mm  and almost nil on the 600 fps slug  

This brings real world proof to the idea of projectile shape governing penetration depth not necessarily velocity..

 

 

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3 minutes ago, bruno22rf said:

Think you'll find that with a muzzle energy of under 40ft/lb and a hollow point to boot, how on earth would over penetration be a problem compared to your  mentioned smaller projectile travelling at a higher speed. If you have pigeons, in a difficult position to shoot, that are causing damage to one small part of a field, might I suggest a couple of shiney carrier bags tied to the top of a few canes would be far more cost effective than spending £50+ on pellets just to see if they would do the job?

I refer you to my pictures above bruno .

Here is your answer .

the faster they go the less penetration  .

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Almost .

Have you shot a pigeon with a hmr ?

It seams almost unfair .the mess is unbelievable  .and not edible .

take another look at the splatterd slug above and tell me of another gun /cal  /projectile that will expand like that at less than 20 fpe .? In as  soft a  medium as bacon .

 

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Well TBH, I could think of a thousand better uses for decent Bacon and, whilst a fair amount of my wifes offerings almost demand that I shoot her, her Bacon Rolls are OK. And yes - I have shot pigeons with my HMR and as long as you dont blat them below around 70 yards, most are edible if you so wished even if some would be in the form of Mince. Shot  a crow just before christmas at, guessing 60 yards, and could not find a mark on it so carcass damage is not always an issue - if the round had passed through then it would shatter on hitting the ground. Noise is an obvious downside with a .17 with silencers being about as much use as a one legged man at a bum kicking party.

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That expansion is pretty severe, and by that very impressive but the price would seriously put me off. I got into airgunning as a cheap and efficient means to do pest control, these seem to counter act the way most see it. For a pro pest controller I can see the benefits of these, clearings in urban environments, but i doubt even they would take a shot a normal pellet wouldn't do. 

Honestly a excellent progression it pellet design and the way forward it would seem. The expansion is pretty amazing plus it seems accurate to boot. 

I wonder if it would fragment upon impact with bone, would it punch through a skull, tho tbh I doubt it needs to with the shock its dumping. 

Just out of curiosity, how soft are these slugs? Would they deform in the pocket? 

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Many thanks for your comprehensive and honest review 👍

thinking that the bacon was a good idea 👍

a lot cheaper than the lamb shoulder I used to test the foxing rounds on and constantly available (you don’t notice the holes) in a bacon butties 😂

thanks again for taking the time to post 

all the best 

of 

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Thanks guys .I've been testing these  over Xmas and still have a fair amount yet to do .

The slugs are very well made and don't deform in pocket  due to having no sharp or fragile edges. 

Yes the current cost is a lot ,and when testing  im getting through a few hundred  so far. I didnt feel £2 .50 s worth of bacon was gonna break the bank when I've spent £30 on slugs so far .

Is 10 p a slug a lot of money .? 

Not compared to a shot gun cartridge .or a cf bullet .or even a 17 hmr .

I've always said I dont go shooting to save money  .you pays your money you have your fun ... 

Yes I'd like them to be cheaper .and I hope large scale production will bring costs down .until then I'm happy to promote and champion  a small  uk  business  who is trying to make a difference .

Ps Ive no professional connection to prohunter slugs .

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Fail to see any advance in design whatsoever - it's a bullet, identical to any other bullet in that calibre - take a look at a .22lr bullet then a .22 slug - mmmmmm, see any similarity? Amazing facts yet to be discussed is that they are mosr effective at higher velocity - mmmmmm, is that the sort of velocity that powder burners produce? and have been for decades. Firing a slug (bullet) through an FAC Airgun is no different to firing one through a RF Rifle, the only difference is noise and when you get down to FAC Airgun power levels you can use subs and a mod on a .22lr - cheaper, quieter and you dont need a tank in your handbag. The OP was using .177 slugs - now, fair enough, nobody makes a sub .17 round but there's a very good reason for that - you need velocity to get the full benefit of the small calibre hence the .17HMR or the even more inpressive .17 Fireball ambling along at mere 4000 fps. Now theres a round to shoot Bacon with - if you could find the remains they would most likely be ready cooked.

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Well I have tried pro hunter slugs .25 absolutely awful. All So tried wildman .25 slugs , another Uk shed slug maker , but the best group 600 mm . At the moment best .25 slug I have tried are the new JSB mk2 34 gr slug , followed by H&N. Daystate are releasing slugs very soon , which are made by NSA (neilson slug ) 

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