JSB Hades Airgun Pellet Review

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Introduction

The Hades is a pellet designed explicitly for air gun accuracy, brought by JSB, which has a long tradition of excellence. Ideal for hunting, the JSB Match Diabolo Hades .22 and .25 caliber pellets feature a fragmented expand-on-impact head that delivers sufficient shock to your target.

Pest controllers and hunters have a favorite in the JSB Hades pellet, due to its accuracy and expansion capabilities.

JSB Hades Comprehensive Description

Specifically designed to expand on impact, the hollow-point fragmented JSB Hades is 15.89 grain and 5.5 mm air rifle pellet. The pellet disintegrates after hitting the target during a hunt, which prevents the round from exiting your game animal. 

Chances of a ricochet are significantly reduced when shooting with the Hades, due to the crumbling of the frangible pellet upon impact. These pellets also share equal weight capacities with another highly sought after pellet by JSB, the Exact Jumbo. 

I shoot JSB Hades 5.5 mm, 15.89-grain pellets using a marauder, and .22 caliber Gauntlet. While I see 31.5 FPE for the marauder, the .22 Gauntlet gives me 27 FPE.

Ten shots at 30 yards, with holes smaller than a dime, is what the marauder shoots with JSB Hades. The same goes for when I fire at 60 yards, resulting in 10 shots for under 1 inch. 

With the Gauntlet, I shoot JSBs 18.13 grain to get the same results. At 30 yards, I get ten shots with a few fliers, all under a quarter’s diameter.

I find the Hades suitable for Eurasian invasive dove body shots at long ranges. You can get ten shots at 60 yards, which causes the Hades to expand to 2-inch diameters with about two fliers.  

This pellet is susceptible to the side winds at longer distances, as opposed to the heavier JSB Exact Jumbo Diabolos. 

What Makes the JSB Hades One-Of-A-Kind Air Gun Pellets? 

The JSB Hades is a new pellet in .25, and .22 calibers from the famed Czech manufacturer. This air gun pellet combines hollow point design and the aerodynamic shape familiar with JSB Exact pellet users. 

I have found that JSB Hades is the best value pellet for your money. For ultimate stopping power alone, this air rifle pellet becomes one of the best hunting accompaniments available.  

Unlike most air gun pellets, this rare find combines stopping power and accuracy at a weight of 15.89 grains. I use any air gun that can deliver from 16 up to 50 pressure joules.

Having tested it at 50 yards, I found superior penetration alongside ultimate grouping. This displays the Hades takedown stopping power when using ballistic gelatin.  

The shape of the Hades is based on the Exact Jumbo Heavy, with the design utterly similar up to the hollow point head.  

Packaged in 500 pieces, the JSB Hades is 5.5 mm in diameter and weighs 1.03 grams.  

Are the JSB Hades Pellets the Real Hunter’s Choice? 

First announced at the SHOT show in 2019, the JSB Hades is in .22 and .25 calibers. The caliber sequence rolling out is designed to appeal primarily to hunters, for whom the pellet is intended.  

A small .17 caliber version was also announced at this year’s SHOT forum, due for a summer release in the US. 

Hunters benefit from the new Hades line up, which includes the .25 caliber 26.54 grain and the .22 caliber 15.89-grain pellets. The anticipated JSB Hades .177 caliber has a grain weight of 10.34. 

These pellets are high impact and dedicated hunting air gun ammo in all the available calibers. Hunters are already reporting praises for the heavier Hades calibers, creating a positive reputation. 

It’s evident, and I am confident that the lesser JSB Hades .177 pellet is bound to be perfect for small game hunting and pest control. 

This airgun pellet is designed for upon-impact expansion, resulting in a devastating wound equal to the one-shot ethical kill.

With its slight waits and long skirt, the Hades features a heavy head design. To promote extra mushrooming within the target, the JSB Hades head is split into three sections. 

When I hunt with each of the Hades calibers, each presents slight variations in their profile. 

Testing it Out with Various Air Guns

Using a Brocock Sniper Magnum XR, a .22 caliber air gun, I shot the 15.89 grain Hades for a recent survey. With the Brocock’s versatile power adjustment at its second level, I proved the pellets to have outstanding accuracy at 30 yards. 

Why didn’t I open the Brocock’s power to full, you ask? At full power setting, the Sniper Magnum proved too powerful for the JSB Hades .22 caliber pellets.

With this .22 caliber air rifle, I found myself exceeding muzzle velocities of 1,000 fps in full power. 

I was able to stabilize the JSB Hades pellets at a 927 fps muzzle velocity at the second regulator setting. This gave me 30.3 foot per pound of power, which I found to be an incredible value.  

Some pre-retail JSB .177 caliber pellets have also come my way for informal tests. I have put them through the cycle with a Umarex Fusion II, a Benjamin marauder, and a Umarex Gauntlet.

These pellets have performed exceptionally across the variety of air rifles that I have fired them from.

As an airgun hunter, the JSB Hades pellet is replacing all others as my primary hunting round. I was impressed with the impact characteristics and accuracy, proving its suitability to any of my air rifles.  

An Exclusive Look at the .25 Caliber JSB Hades Pellet

Available in the US from late November 2019, the JSB Hades .25 caliber pellets are just as dedicated to high impact hunting as the .22 caliber.  

The .25 caliber Hades weighs 25.54 grains, specified as 1.72 grams. I performed a ballistic coefficient test by shooting ten pellets with an FX Impact air gun. 

From standard regulator settings, I got a ballistic coefficient value of 0.026. I recorded a consistent performance by shot-to-shot due to the flexible FPS.

This is an indication of high-level performance as a result of good manufacturing. For best BC readings, I shot the JSB Hades pellets straight from the tin without cleaning or selecting.

Putting the JSB Hades on Game Hunting and Pest Control

If like me, your intent to get your hands on the JSB Hades is for pest control, you’ll find a terminal performance perfected for the .22 caliber.  

I found the Hade being the most effective, combined with my .22 caliber Wildcat Compact Mk II.  My preferred air gun has put thousands of these pellets through the motions for vermin control.

I was able to push Hades’s pellets with the Wildcat at an average of 921 fps using a clean barrel. Unlike the standard 15.9 grain pellets, the Hades 15.89 grain performed accurately.

At 50 yards, with less than three quarters, I was able to get five-shot groups. This means around 15 pounds of terminal effect against smaller vermin.

This is on par with a .25 caliber pellet from inside of 60 yards. However, its accuracy at .22 caliber means that the JSB Hades is more accurate than any counterpart pellet for hunting. 

When I am seeking lethality as the solution, the Hades has tissue performance and primary termination like no other. I hunt vermin with this pellet without re-zeroing my air rifle, achieving a similar point of impact as the standard 15.9-grain JSB pellets.  

My Impression of the JSB Hades Air Gun Pellet

I am impressed with the JSB Hades performance, and for it being a new 15.89-grain pellet. 

I was shooting out of a .22 caliber Hatsan Airmax, effortlessly making nickel-sized groups inside 50 yards. 

With 940 fps, I was astonished by the accuracy and stability of the Hades at 85 yards. At that speed, I achieved quarter-sized groups before putting them through starling and pigeon control.  

Lately, to burst the boredom of lockdown, I have been experimenting with this pellet and my Daystate Huntsman air rifle. This particular gun is generally fed with the heavier 18.13-grain JSB pellets.

A hard hitter, the JSB Hades, delivers significant damage to vermin due to efficient expansion. The round rarely exits smaller pests, so I am eager to give the Hades a go during squirrel and rabbit hunting season. 

Testing the JSB Hades Pellets Expansion and Anti-Exit Capabilities

I had seen how effective the JSB Hades was at delivering more dump energy and better expansion into a target. This improved the chances for a clean kill, more forgiving while being safer in case of an exit.  

The pellet retains less velocity after mushrooming to less than a quarter-sized hole, and the excited round is mostly harmless.

With accuracy and chronograph data at hand, I set out to prove that more than 880 fps could result in a half-inch at 25 yards. Though I am not the most brilliant shot, I achieved 1 inch at 45 yards on a windy range.

The pellet is helpful as there’s no need to change your rifles zero after a shot. I could read a POI that was similar out to 45 yards as the JSB Heavy pellet. 

I also tested the Hades expansion at 25 yards, shooting a squash bottle full of water end on. While the H&N Baracuda and the JSB Diabolos both exited after impact, the Hades didn’t. 

The Expansion

The round effectively expanded and slightly fragmented to my surprise. 

With that configuration, I decided to down a squirrel with the JSB Hades pellet. I got the unlucky vermin at approximately 36 yards, and the little bugger went down straight.  

I collected the squirrel, and the shot had gone through the heart and lung, causing a lot of bloodshed.

On checking for the exit wound, I couldn’t find it where I had expected it to be. I assumed it was a poor headshot instead of the side into the lungs and heart.
But on scrutinizing the carcass, I noticed that the pellet was lodged inside the far side hide. The Hades had not exited after all, and on retrieving the pellet, I could see the significant expansion and deformation.  

For all my shots under 55 yards going forward, the JSB Hades pellet is going to be my main air rifle hunting round. 

Testing the JSB Hades Accuracy

I did a bit of accuracy testing with the new JSB Hades pellets using an FX Impact air rifle set to 890 fps. Aiming to shoot the .22 caliber 16-grain pellet, I set my Impact on the fourth regulator level. 

My hammer was turned down to a minimum setting so as to accommodate the Hades pellets and get decent groups. While I knew that speeds would be excessive, I managed six-shot groups ranging from .370 inches to .428 inches.  

Another test included a Lelya air gun, set to deliver 900 fps for the Hades 16 grain pellets. The high-velocity muzzle energy gave me 12 groups at 45 yards for 5/8 of an inch. 

I have summarized that a tighter group can be achieved with slower muzzle velocity for these pellets. 

Speed Testing the JSB Hades Pellets

I took out an 18-inch barrel Maximus carbine for the JSB Hades pellets, and the expansion was exceptional. 

A lot of damage was evident at speeds over 930 fps, but this caused the Hades pellets to tear apart. 

Very much mechanical broadheads, you can hear the pellets opening up and slicing through game flesh. 

No pass-through was experienced when I took this same carbine against P-Dawgs and squirrels at 15 to 45 yards. The JSB Hades at .22 or .25 caliber delivers total terminal energy dump. 

What I Found Unappealing About the JSB Hades Pellets

The JSB Hades 15.89 grain, 5.5 mm pellets are good, except on my P-Rod. Using its current settings, I couldn’t get perfect groupings.  

So I took the pellets out on field target trophy, and most I could achieve were dime-sized holes at 25 yards. While most of the group was not tight, I did get a few less than quarters, which showed potential.

I surmised that the speed was inappropriate, and with the right combination, I am sure I can get dimes at 50 yards.

Being keen on their expansion capabilities, I plan to take the Hades pellets out for duck and turkey season. However, I have to make adjustments to the speed for the desired results.  

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