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They’re heeeere! JSB Hades .25 Caliber

I remember way back in the spring of 2019.  I was just a little lad.  The snow was melting, the birds were chirping, and the JSB Hades .22 caliber pellets had arrived.  The good folks at JSB/Predator had delivered one of the most accurate and terminally effective hunting pellets to date.  Yet, along with the chirping of the birds were also cries of, “When can we get these in .25 caliber?”  Well my friends, that time has come.  They’re heeeere!  Below is a link to the full length video that accompanies this blog post.  I suggest taking them both in for the whole story…

The JSB Hades .25 caliber pellets share the same “radiation warning” symbol shaped cavity as their smaller .22 caliber brethren.  They are advertised as a 26.54gr pellet, which is a just a tad heavier than the venerable 25.39gr JSB Kings.  The .25 Hades are a bit longer than the .25 Kings, but still fit in every .25 caliber magazine that I’ve tried them in.  They have a very deep skirt, which places the center of mass forward of center.  This is very good for the stability of any drag stabilized projectile.  They are available in both a 150 count and 300 count tin.

Let’s first talk about the boring, but very important, stuff.  I took a random sample of 50 pellets from a tin and measured them for both headsize and weight.  Typically I use a Pelletgage to measure headsize, but was surprisingly unable to do so with the .25 caliber Hades.  My .25 caliber Pelletgage has apertures from 6.33mm to 6.42mm in 10 micron steps.  Every pellet in my sample was smaller than 6.33mm, so I could not use my Pelletgage for this task.  While I do not usually condone the practice, I had to use digital calipers to get a rough idea of the head size of these pellets.  While you can be no more precise than a rough estimation using calipers to ascertain headsize, I came up with (roughly) 6.32mm.  All 50 pellets in my sample were (roughly) the same size.  Very consistent, but surprisingly small.  What will this mean for accuracy?  We’ll get there.

I also measured all 50 pellets for weight.  The weight spread was quite consistent, as you can see in the graph below.  41/50 pellets were between 26.50gr – 26.72gr…which is less than a quarter of a grain.  That is VERY consistent, and especially for a hunting pellet.  I’m using a new scale that measures +/- 0.02gr, making this showing even more impressive.

So what do all of these measurements mean to the accuracy of the 25 Hades?  Well, the proof is in the pudding.  I used a Daystate Red Wolf HP with an ART (Safari) barrel for all of my testing.  It is a notoriously accurate airgun.  Unfortunately, the wind conditions during my testing window were absolutely horrid.  I had to limit myself to 3 shot groups at 50 yards.  The winds were too variable for larger samples that reflected only the inherent accuracy of the pellet/gun combination.  Still, even with the wind, the Hades produced sub MOA results.  The pictures below are both the largest (0.389″) and the smallest (0.329″) groups of the day.  Are the 25 Hades accurate?  You better believe it!

 

Smallest 3 shot group of the day at 50 yards with the Daystate Red Wolf HP ART Barrel

 

Largest 3 shot group of the day at 50 yards with the Daystate Red Wolf HP ART barrel

 

Now onto the fun stuff.  Terminal ballistics!  While we may resurrect what I consider to be the best testing medium for pellets, Mr. Leghorn (a whole raw chicken covered in fur), we used Clear Ballistics 10% gel for this testing.  The block is 4″ x 4″ x 18″, and is known as their “Extra Long Airgun Block.”  I am VERY glad that we got the long block.  To help display the advantages or disadvantages of the Hades pellet, I decided to compare the terminal ballistics of the pellet to other JSB/Predator offerings.  I again used the Daystate Red Wolf HP for the gel testing, and shot the block with three Hades, two Polymags, two King 25.39gr, and two King Heavy 33.95gr pellets at 20 yards.  I chose 20 yards because it’s a very average distance for an airgun hunting shot.  The results were astounding!

Below is a picture of the block after I had finished testing.  It was shot indoors at 70 degrees fahrenheit, with optimal gel calibration.  Here is a list of the results:

All flags are placed at the end of the wound track, not where the pellet ended up. The pellets bounce rearward at the end of their forward travel due to the nature of the gel.

 

All pellets retrieved from the gel after Terminal Ballistic testing in the 10% Clear Ballistics Gel

As you can see, the Hades will penetrate deeper than the Polymag…but doesn’t expand quite as much.  This makes it similar to a soft point rifle round compared to a hollowpoint rifle round.  You still get significantly more expansion than a domed pellet (similar to FMJ from a rifle), but not quite as much as a dedicated hollow point.  Naturally, with more expansion comes less penetration.  This makes the Hades a very good choice for a hunting pellet with a good balance of penetration and expansion.  Now, if penetration is your main concern…it’ll be hard to beat a domed pellet…and ESPECIALLY a heavy one.  The King Heavy averaged almost 15″ of penetration in bare gel.  That is incredible.  I can’t wait to try this same test with the 30 caliber JSB/Predator products.  I’m fairly certain that I don’t have enough gel!

The new JSB Hades in 25 caliber is an outstanding choice for a hunting pellet, as is the 22 caliber version.  They’re very consistent, very accurate, and are well balanced in terminal performance.  They fit every magazine I’ve tried them in and are priced right.  As with the 22 Hades, the 25 Hades will be hard to beat.  I highly recommend them, and will be using them myself.

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