When I was a kid, shooting airguns at tin cans and plinking targets, I never gave a second thought to what kind of pellets I was using for ammunition. Heck, I’d have used rocks if they’d have fired out the barrel! And that’s still an understandable mindset for young shooters these days, even though there are a lot more options when it comes to pellets. For older and more serious airgun enthusiasts, the ammo you put into your pellet gun can make a surprisingly big difference in terms of accuracy and distance. Here are a few of your options.
Pellets generally come in three calibers: .177, .20, and .22. Larger sizes are available, but typically only for competition-level shooters or specialty airguns. Virtually any pellet gun sold today will fire .177 rounds, and many will take all three sizes, but you should check before you buy the airgun you’ve got your eye on. Generally, the larger ammunition will reduce muzzle velocity, but will make a larger impact on the target. (Less distance, more oomph!)
There are many styles of pellets these days…more than you would probably imagine. While some are specifically made for one particular pellet gun (usually for world-class shooters who compete), The vast majority can be fired from any standard airgun.
There are four standard designs of pellets. The first is the Round Nose design. This ammunition works well in just about any type of pellet gun as a multi-purpose projectile.
Beeman 'Ram Jet'' Round
Pellets made with a Pointed leading end are a great choice for those who use a pellet gun for long-range shooting. They are also often preferred by hunters seeking maximum penetration into the game’s body.
Wadcutter pellets are designed for target shooters who want to improve their scores with a pellet gun. They feature a flat, sharp leading edge, which cuts a nice clean hole in paper targets.
Crosman Wadcutter Pellet
Finally, hunters love Hollow Point pellets! When fired from a pellet gun capable of high muzzle velocity, this ammunition expands on impact, causing much more destruction inside the target animal. Note: this ammo is probably not worth the expense for uses other than hunting or pest killing, and will not work as designed in a slower airgun (less than 500 fps).
Hollow Point Pellet