H&N Sport’s Brass Tipped Hornet Pellets

Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve never really spent much time with a pellet gun.  But after watching the below video, my interest is piqued. The existing line (which was available in .177 and .22) is now available in .25 caliber.  For hunting medium sized birds and game they say.  Rupturing apples and potatoes, I would say so…

The Hornet is designed for penetration, and incorporates a brass tip (which is obviously much harder than the polymer tips found on other tipped pellets). This specialized tip also makes the Hornet much sharper than polymer-tipped pellets (as you can see from the top image).  I seriously had no idea.  I had always imagined pellets as “big BB’s with a flat back”. Apparently I need to get out more…

But the Hornet is designed for more than just accuracy and penetration. Unlike many pellets found on the market today, H&N’s Hornet is designed to fit in most rotary magazines for PCP airguns. This means more powerful shots, and faster follow-up shots in addition to the pellet’s excellent penetration.

Rotary magazines?  Wha?!?  Heck, even SIG is making airguns.  As an alternative to shooting .22lr, maybe I should invest in an airgun for “my grandkids”.  I mean, I’d have to test fire it of course.  And supervise.  But it would totally be for them.  That said, the cost of these pellets is actually higher than I would have thought:

  • .177 is $29.99 for 225 rounds (~$0.13)
  • .22 is $29.99 for 200 rounds (~$0.15)
  • .25 is $29.99 for 150 rounds (~$0.20)

So, are any of you air gun enthusiasts?  Is this a good pellet? This definitely resets my opinion on air rifles.

Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


  • Gabe

    Pellet weight is very important and not mentioned here. Most guns tend to shoot heavier pellets better, a lot of the new pellets coming out are lighter hoping to increase the FPS. However, more FPS does not equal better performance in a airgun.

    H&N make great pellets and I would assume these will perform fine if the gun you have likes them.

    • Gabe

      I just watched the attached video and there is mention of the weight, 8.8 grains in .177. Which isn’t heavy but isn’t light like an alloy pellet. So these will probably be better in lower power guns, springers with a advertised FPS of 1000 FPS or lower.

      In my experience, keeping the pellet below 1000 FPS is the sweet spot for most spring / piston guns. You never really want to hear the sonic crack of a pellet breaking the sound barrier, pellets just are not designed for it and you won’t be able to hit anything at 25 yards.

      These probably are not going to be used by serious airgunners. There are plenty of pellets out there that already work fine. However, they wouldn’t be bad if you had a lower power spring gun and a squirrel problem.

    • iksnilol

      Yeah, but an ad with 1300 fps looks way better than 800 usable fps.

  • The price is reasonable considering the brass penetrating tip.

    However for low cost shooting you can’t beat an gas blowback airsoft gun – 5,000 BB’s for $18 ($0.0036 per shot, or 100 shots for 36 cents.)

    • Blake

      I think I just found my next bottle of BB gun ammo: http://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/Hornady_Black_Diamond_Steel_BBs_177_Cal_5_1_Grains_Anodized_Finish_1500ct/1193
      I had no idea Hornady makes BBs…

    • All the Raindrops

      Airsoft doesn’t compare with pellets for accuracy and whatnot. You can get good plinking airgun pellets for a little more than a penny each

    • iksnilol

      Yeah, but airsoft guns aren’t nearly as precise as a decent pellet gun.

      • Frankly most centerfire handguns are not as precise as a decent pellet gun 😉

        Within 7 yards though my airsoft Glock is pretty much as accurate as my centerfire Glock in my hands – keeping 10 shots in a 2″ hole.

        Where they really shine is in draw and shoot drills from a holster, multiple target drills (soda can plate rack) and for Force on Force training.

        Essentially they serve as a modern version of the Wax Bullets that Bill Jordan and other trickshots used to practice when away from the range. Only cheaper and much safer.

  • ozzallos .

    Interesting how the brass penetrator separated in the last aluminum sheet test.

  • Pete M

    I’ve taken my share of Woodchucks (ground hogs, whistle pigs) with a suppressed .25 Daystate PCP. Effective and lots of fun. If I still had it, these pellets would make an awesome combo.

  • Bub

    H&N typically make some fairly good pellets. I don’t know about these as I stick mostly to traditional domed stuff myself. On the subject of Airguns if you haven’t tried a higher end ($300-$3000) it might be worth your time and money for that matter. The Europeans mostly rule in this area, but two USA companies Crosman and Airforce Airguns have some very interesting PCP guns which BTW can be super accurate. .22 cal is a good all around size and good for small game. Plus you can fine many of these with built in suppressors without ATF issues.

  • Jules Whicker

    Nothing works better than a traditional domed lead pellet of the correct weight. That doesn’t stop companies with margins to make trying to make shooters think otherwise, of course. The worst offenders for empty marketing gimmicks of this sort are Gamo. This sort of thing used to be beneath H&N. No longer, it seems.

  • Sulaco

    Heck I have seen video’s where they hunt large animals a deer like in Africa and New Zealand I think with the .25 and .45 caliber air rifles powered by compressed air tanks…

  • Kyle

    Awe, no .20 cal? No love for the old Sheridan Blue Streaks I see.

  • All the Raindrops

    This should not “reset your opinion on airguns” anymore than a particular bullet would reset your opinion on firearms.

    There are many less expensive pellets that do the job. I haven’t used these pellets, but usually you just want a decent quality lead pellet. These may work well, but at the same time they’re sort of a gimmick due to cost.

  • Edeco

    Been looking into an airgun, drives me nuts when they say something like “975 fps with alloy pellets” but don’t give the weight of the pellets. It’s like hey, I’m trying to consider buying your product here, but you’re resisting me. The inflated non-committal number might sell a few more guns in the short term, but come on, Hatsan and so forth you still plan on being in business in 10 years right? You’re the industry leaders, you improve your stuff periodically, why not give meaningful data.

  • Marcus D.

    My very first gun was a Crosman single shot .22 cal CO2 target pistol with rifled barrel, target grips, adjustable sights and adjustable power. Very accurate, and very effective against birds and small mammals. My second was a pump air rifle, not as accurate, but great for teaching the kids (except that I had to do the pumping). My brother bought an Anschutz at the PX in Germany, a springer, that was out and out awesome. I think I should buy another air rifle, since it is something I could shoot in the back yard without scaring the neighbors.

  • Scott

    I got the pcp bug a couple weeks ago and lucked into an FX Wildcat well set up with a Hugget moderator and a pretty good Hawke scope. What an effing blast! I have solved our squirrel problem, wasted a bunch of evil cowbirds and absolutely confirmed my Lacy dog a fully addicted squirrel dog. %^)

    I’m mostly shooting off hand or maybe rested on my truck door and my hit rate is over 90%. Shooting from 20 to 60 yards. Youtube airgun aficionados kill out to and beyond 100 yards with alacrity. I’m hooked. My 22 magnum for which I can not buy ammo is gone to the closet. There to suffer its lonely banishment.

    Silent pest shooting is definitely the way to go. When I first started in on the squirrels I got 6 in quick succession and they had no idea what was going on. They didn’t have a chance.