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The Super Duper Raptor Pellet
Old 10-24-2006, 11:47 AM
Jay Edward (deceased) Jay Edward (deceased) is offline
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Default The Super Duper Raptor Pellet

I found this information on the web and thought it might be useful to anyone who might be thinking about using this pellet. I have some myself and they seem OK for accuracy but that is about as far as I can take it.

Soooo... for your information:

Gamo Product Description

New Raptor Performance Ballistic Alloy, the first non-lead Alloy Airgun Ammunition that increases velocity up to 25% over lead, while maintaining “match grade” accuracy. Specifically designed as a hunting load, the new P.B.A. enables airguns which normally shoot 1000 f.p.s. to shoot up to 1200 f.p.s., with tremendous penetration. In fact, the ammunition is 50% harder than lead causing penetration to be enhanced by up to 100% in tests in actual hunting situations as well as ballistic mediums. Raptor P.B.A. test results show ballistic stability at super-sonic speeds and up to 90% weight retention using the new semi-pointed design. Comes in a 100 count .177cal rocket package. P.B.A. is the first lead-free environmentally friendly alloy ammunition. Now all sportsmen can extend the effective hunting range of their airgun with confidence.

(Above descripton from South Summit air gun supply)

Gamo's new Raptor hunting pellet!

by Tex Force

Gold-plated pellets! Do they shine as much in the field?

Advertising being what it is, it's surprising when a new product lives up to its claims, but the new Gamo Raptor pellet seems to do at least part of that! The claims are 25 percent higher velocity, increased energy with double the penetration on game animals and ballistic media, and match-grade accuracy. (As I write this, Compasseco doesn't have it in stock, yet. Read more about it through the link I provided above.)

What IS the Gamo Raptor?
For starters, it's a non-lead pellet. They are only available in .177 at present and they weigh only five grains, so whatever they are made of is lighter than lead. The Performance Ballistic Alloy, as Gamo calls it, is plated with 18-carat gold for barrel lubrication, and Gamo claims the new pellet has "match-grade" accuracy. They call the nose semi-pointed, but it looks more like a round-nose to me. It reminds me of the nose on a Beeman Kodiak pellet (bottom of the page). The Raptor is sold strictly for hunting. Gamo even warns not to use them with an airgun pellet trap, undoubtedly thinking of the ricochet problem.

New packaging
The Raptor comes 100 to a pack, in two 50-pellet clear plastic tubes. They will seem very pricey compared to lead pellets; but, if Gamo's claims hold up, they will be worth it. As hard as the alloy is, these pellets should not deform when carried afield.

Let's put them to the test!
What does 25 percent more velocity really mean? Well, Gamo published the following numbers to help you understand. They say pellet guns that get 650 f.p.s. right now will get about 813 with Raptors. Guns that get 1,000 f.p.s. should get 1,250 f.p.s. with Raptors. And Gamo's own Hunter 1250 (second rifle down on the page) gets 1,600 f.ps. with Raptors! They had a segment on the American Hunter TV program that showed them going through the chronograph at 1,608. So, for that claim there's supporting evidence.

Actual velocity
I tested them in a Beeman P1 pistol (third pistol down on the page) and a TX200 rifle. The P1 gave an average of 565 f.p.s. with 7-grain RWS Hobby pellets (second item down on the page). With Raptors, the average jumped to 633 f.p.s., a gain of 68 f.p.s., which is an increase of almost 13 percent. Muzzle energy with Hobbys was 4.96 foot-pounds and with Raptors 4.45 foot-pounds, which is a loss instead of a gain. The TX 200 averaged 1018 f.p.s. with Hobbys and 1,205 f.p.s. with Gamo Raptors, for a difference of 188 f.p.s. That's an increase of more than 18.5 percent. Muzzle energy with Hobbys was 16.11 foot-pounds and with Raptors it was 16.13, which is almost no difference. They didn't quite make the full 25 percent velocity increase, but the increase they did achieve was still very impressive! Being much lighter, they actually lost muzzle energy or remained the same. And, yes, the Raptors did break the sound barrier in the TX, which is cool until your neighbors start coming out of the house to see what's going on.

Gamo says the pellets fly true at supersonic velocities. I shot them in a Gamo Shadow 1000 (third and fourth from the bottom of the page) at 30 yards. The Shadow likes Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets and delivered five-shot groups of a little less than 1" at that distance. With the Raptors, the groups were all between 2.5" and 3". Hardly "match-grade" accuracy! That's just one test with just one rifle, so I'm not ready to say they don't group - but in that gun, they sure didn't.

I read a report last year about shooting pellets into clear bars of soap for comparative penetration testing, so I tried it with the Raptor. The soap bar shows the results. The Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet penetrated the bar slightly deeper than the Gamo Raptor, when both were shot from a Beeman P1.

The Crosman Premier 7.9-grain on the left, Gamo Raptor on the right. This was shot from a Beeman P1 with the muzzle almost touching the soap bar.

So, what do I think?
The Raptor is a new type of pellet that significantly increases velocity in airguns. The claim for good accuracy needs more testing. To be accurate, I think the pellet will have to stay below 1,000 f.p.s. The claim for increased penetration appears to be not true - at least in a bar of soap. Nevertheless, the Gamo Raptor was made for hunting and that's where the most important test will come. Please comment if you have had some experience with this new pellet.

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