Airgun Nation Forum
Before we review the Air Arms pellets it seems that there has been confusion around the AA pellets. Many people just presumed that they were just rebranded JSB pellets. To clear up the confusion Matt Dubber on AGN wrote to Claire Smith (managing director of Air Arms + the parent company NSP Group Limited) asking exactly how the pellets are made.
“Air Arms pellets are different to that of the JSB brand. Whilst JSB do produce them for us, Air Arms have their own dies (purchased by yours truly) which are totally exclusive to us. We are aware that JSB simply re-brand their own pellet, which a number of our competitors sell.
Claire Smith (source)
So to clarify, JSB in the Czech Republic (Bohumin) manufacture the Air Arms pellets using AA owned dies. These dies are exclusive too AA and the pellets are subject to more stringent quality control. But is this actually true ? Further investigation places doubt on this claim.
JSB vs Air Arms
Matt also states in the same thread that their Hunter Field Target Team of 16, 14 of them use the AA pellets. It’s the same for the 20 FT shooters, 18 of them exclusively use AA Pellets. Many a commentator on the thread have said how much more consistently accurate their shooting has become after changing to the Air Arms brand of pellet.
Later In The Thread
However, later in the thread someone living in the Czech Republic said they contacted JSB and their reply, all the pellets we make are from the same die but just rebranded. So what is the difference. This thread started back in 2015 and ended in August 2016.
Now on the same topic the question is raised again in this forum in 2020, one of the posts refers to a video and one of the co owners of JSB pellet manufacturing.
The Myth Of The Air Arms Pellets
Pavel Kolebac, Director of operations and part owner of JSB Diabolo explains exactly what happens for manufacturing the popular 18g Jumbo heavy pellet. Because it is such a popular pellet they have 10 dies for the one pellet design and weight. By the very nature of how these dies are created each and every one will have slight variations to the other 9. They are basically the same pellet but the variations do make each pellet from a different die a different pellet. Pellets produced on each die will have its own characteristics.
Then there are other variations that occur as the dies are used more, natural wear and tear on the dies slightly degrades after each batch. So the performance of the pellets made on the die 1027 batch number 203, would be different from the pellets from die 1027, batch number 722.
JBS Pellets For Different Brands
So all the pellets made for different brands are all made at the JSB Diabolo factory. What happens is that a particular brand will always have their pellets made from the same die number every time. Even though they use the same die is used be aware that each batch will have a minuscule difference in performance.
So in effect each brand that has their 18g Jumbo heavy pellet made at JSB will have different performance characteristics if they are made in a different die.
The Statement From Air Arms
So the statement from Claire Smith bears some truth, perhaps, JSB did have to purchase a new die so they could increase the production to be able to supply AA. It may be exclusive to AA because it is a new die and other brands use there regularly die number and nobody requests the same die as AA.