“Shoots Like Heaven, Hits like Hell” was the title of a press release that arrived in my inbox a few weeks ago. I was instantly intrigued and, it turns out, for good reason.
Umarex USA is a family-owned business that innovates, develops and markets air-powered products under brands owned or licensed by its parent company, UMAREX GmbH & Co. KG. Some of those brands are well-known in shooting circles to include Beretta, Browning, Colt, Elite Force Airsoft, GLOCK, Heckler & Koch, Hornady, IWI, Prepared 2 Protect, REKT, Ruger, RWS, Smith & Wesson, T4E, UMAREX, Walther and others. With a resume like that, I knew I had to get my hands on those pellets. Luckily, Umarex sent me some .22-cal. pellets and slugs to try just in time for our spring squirrel season.
The pellets were put through a variety of .22 airguns I had on hand but I primarily tested them through a GAMO Swarm 10x Gen 2 rifle. I also tested the slugs in a PCP Stoeger XM1 Suppressed rifle. I had recently reviewed both rifles, and I knew them to be top-notch guns.
I decided to see what feet per second (FPS) the slugs would fly out of the Stoeger. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the fully charged XM1 pushed the 28.24 grain slug at an average of 751 fps. Having less experience with airgun slugs than with pellets, I decided to test accuracy and put some slugs downrange … and started scratching my head a bit. The second and third shot appeared to miss the ShootNC target completely, but upon the 4th and 5th shot I noticed the hole getting bigger and bigger. I realized then that at 25 yards the pellets were punching one big hole. Just to be sure, I plinked around at other cans, targets and objects on my range and sure enough, the slugs were drilling everything in sight!
Then it was time to do some accuracy tests on the pellets. I had the exact same experience with the pellets as I did with the slugs. The experience was memorable because the pellets and the slugs printed a big hole out of both rifles just high of 12 o’clock, putting them pretty much dead on at 45-50 yards. I did not even bother moving my scope at all. The pellets are 18.67 grains, which is hefty compared to pellets off the shelf from big box stores. I was instantly impressed with both the pellet and the slug due to the accuracy.
Another observation I made when shooting these is that the sound of them impacting the target was noticeably louder. More mass, more energy on target! It was time to put the pellets through a hunting scenario and see what happened.
Since spring squirrel season was in, I decided that a few of my fruit-tree thieves needed to be transferred to the freezer for stew at a later date.
A quick walk around my garden gave me opportunity to begin reducing fruit loss; I put the crosshairs on a squirrel and pressed the trigger. The squirrel sounded like it was walloped! It fell from the tree and was pierced through and through. A half hour later another squirrel made the mistake of taking a small unripe pear while I was speaking with my father. I put the conversation on pause and had Dad watch the squirrel while I quickly retrieved the GAMO Swarm rifle and sent a pellet downrange. Dad thought I was going to use a .22 rifle and plugged his ears. I remember him turning to me and saying, “I never heard the gun go off but I heard the round (pellet) hit that squirrel which fell right over!”
Later that evening I used the gun again to rid myself of a blueberry thief as it scampered up a tree about 45 yards away. I plan on keeping one of the rifles in the barn and one in the house so I can quickly remove the rest of the squirrels with these Brimstone pellets. Given my experience so far with them I would say that they do indeed live up to the slogan!
I was curious what drove Umarex to create these pellets. Justin Biddle, VP of Umarex marketing, sent me a reply.
“Umarex Airguns offers a terrific line of RWS pellets that are exceptional for precision 10-meter shooting, CO2 airguns, and many of the most popular break barrels found at retail. Through technology advancements and innovation we now offer more powerful air rifles like the Gauntlet PCP (pre charged pneumatic) series. When shooting a rifle that moves more air more rapidly, you typically want to utilize a heavier projectile. That's what drove us to introduce the Brimstone pellet. Our RWS line didn’t have heavier weight offerings in .22 or .25 and nothing in .30. So we needed something PCP shooters could rely on.
Slugs are very popular among airgunners and we wanted to fill that void in our lineup. They have a better ballistic coefficient and heavier weight as well. They are perfect for hunting as well as target shooting.”
I can say that I know these pellets and slugs work in other brand airguns as well! I also asked why the pellets are so much more accurate and hard hitting than the pellets you typically pick up on the big box store shelves. Biddle pointed out that the Brimstone pellets are heavier and have a precision shape that gives them a stable trajectory and more energy on impact. I have to say that my tests are backing that up solidly, and I hope they make some .35-caliber pellets or slugs for the bigger-bore airguns soon.
If you are in need of some hard hitting and extremely accurate pellets in .22, 25 or .30 caliber, I would very seriously consider trying these pellets. UmarexUSA.com