Speedy Pellet Inspector Instructions
by Joe Peacock
I inspect the skirts and heads of all of the pellets that I shoot just to get rid of the 2-3% or more that have dents or dings in them from the manufacturing process. It is necessary before shooting a Field Target match and the ethical thing to do before hunting any kind of game so that you are insured that you have the best quality pellets to send down range. I have ALWAYS found some flawed pellets in any tin of pellets I have purchased. Some of them have a thin skirt on one side, they are out of round with one mashed in side and some of the heads show wrinkles or “cold flow” in the head area. Assume just 2% out of 500 and you will have 10 pellets that if just randomly picked out of the tin can cause you problems in a match or on a hunt.
I was picking up the pellets one at a time and looking at them with a 3X magnifier (drugstore magnifying glasses work well too) that goes around my head and it was taking a long time to pick up every one and look at the head and the skirt. I had an inspiration to make an inspection “jig” on my laser CNC cutter. Now I can look at 100+ at a time both top and bottom! With the Speedy Pellet Inspector it takes around 15 minutes to do a tin of 500 pellets. If you will also be weighing your pellets you will be saving yourself time by using the Inspector to get rid of the bad ones before you start the weighing process.
Here is my routine:
I make 3 piles. The “A” pile is for ones that are nearly perfect, the “B” pile is for ones that are “OK” and you probably know what the C in the “C” pile stands for.
Put a bunch of pellets onto the “inspector” and roll them around until most of the holes are filled then dump the excess pellets back into the uninspected tin for the next go round. The pellets will go in head first.
Put the clear retainer disc over the pellets that are left and holding it down, turn the Inspector over and inspect the heads and reject them or accept them based on your criteria. Use an old towel or cloth to keep the pellets from rolling around. Dump the “A’s” into their pile and go again. Next, remove the paddle and gently set the Inspector on a flat surface with the skirt side up, press down a little to get all of the pellets up out of their holes and then pick it straight up so they fall as straight as possible back into their holes. Then look at the skirts and check them. When you find a bad one for the “B” pile or “C” push it out from the underside and put it in it’s respective pile.
During the whole process I will look at the pellet group from one angle, pick out the “A” ones and then rotate it 90º so I am looking at all “sides” of the pellet.
One other thing you can easily inspect is the “cavity” of the pellet. I sometimes find them malformed or incomplete and sometimes some “trash” in that hole that might throw a pellet out of round upon firing. If you have a good light behind you it is possible to get the light to shine down in the hole to see if there is anything weird going on down there. Fluorescent light works best for me but any light will do.