Airgun pellet penetration test – JSB Hades vs JSB Exact

Can the shape of your airgun pellets really make a difference to stopping power? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to carry out a ballistic wax test. The results will reveal how far a pellet penetrates, as well as the size and shape of the channel it makes in the wax. An expert eye can deduce how it will perform on live quarry in the field.

Tin of dreams: JSB’s Hades Diablo


Today, we are putting two pellets head-to-head. JSB’s Hades is a diablo pellet with a triple slot in the head. The JSB Exact is a standard round-nosed pellet.

We know what out viewers think of them. in March 2020, we surveyed 3,500 viewers about the kit they used. JSB has 20% of the Fieldsports Channel viewer pellet market, with the Exact its runaway most-popular pellet. The Exact has 17% of the pellet market all by itself, only losing out to the Air Arms Diabolo, on 21%.

Out of the top ten airgun pellets available, the Exact comes middle of the rankings for killability. First place for killability goes to the H&N Baracuda.

Fieldsports Channel viewers place the Exact third out of ten for reliability, only beaten by the Crosman Premier and H&N Field Target Trophy.

JSB Exact case studies

Dave from the UK uses the Exact in his BSA R10 Mk2 for plinking, target/competition and pest control. He says: “Best all-round pellet for this gun. Tried many.”

Peter from the UK is a backyard plinker with a Daystate Harrier. He says: “Tried lots of pellets They’re the best.”

Guy from the UK has an FX Cyclone which he uses for both competition and pest control. He calls the pellets: “Consistent, accurate and hard hitting”

The Exact is middle of the rankings for value for money – it is not a budget option, but nor is it the most expensive. However, it places second for accuracy, just behind the similarly round-headed Crosman Premier.

Johnny Muston of R&K Stockcraft has heard good reports about the Hades. It looks as if the cutout head should provide better shock effect on impact. And according to our research, they bought exclusively by pest controllers.


“Lots of people are buying them but, up to now, I haven’t actually got out and tried them myself,” he says.

Johnny Muston from R&K Stockcraft

He compares the pellets with the Exact, weighing the same 16 grains in .22 calibre, shooting both into terracotta ballistic wax from an Air Arms S410 carbine.

At first glance there’s little difference between the entry holes, but it’s what’s inside that counts.

Wax target

The JSB Exact has penetrated more than 50mm into the ballistic wax, leaving a neat, straight channel. The JSB Hades, on the other hand, has made a much wider channel, penetrating 10mm less as it has dumped its energy faster and turned sideways on the way through.

Hades top, Exact below

“Basically the JSB Hades is dispersing more energy in a shorter distance. When you’re shooting rabbits that’s going to be a good thing,” Johnny says.
So the conclusion is that the JSB Hades is going to hit harder, and produce more certain kills – definitely worth a look if you’re doing pest control with an air rifle.

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