As you could expect the most frequent topics on airgun forums would be the features and foibles of the dozens and dozens of different models, but following closely behind the model discussions could be the chatter about airgun ammunition or pellets. You might not expect that a.177 caliber pellet from Manufacturer A would perform wildly distinctive from a.177 caliber pellet from Manufacturer B in the exact same airgun, nevertheless they do. To produce it even harder Manufacturer B’s ammo may outperform Manufacturer A’s in an alternative air rifle or pistol.
We shall discuss some of the different characteristics of airgun pellets and how you can use this information to your advantage when selecting a pellet for the air rifle or pistol.
A lighter pellet will leave the barrel of an airgun faster than a heavier pellet and it will also accelerate faster downrange 30-30 ammo. That means less time to target and a flatter trajectory because there is less time for gravity to work its magic. A heavier pellet will generally have a less flat trajectory not because of its weight but because it spends more time to target providing gravity with increased time for you to pull it towards the earth.
The next factor that a lot of affects the flight of an airgun pellet is air resistance. Air resistance increases with the cube of speed. When you double the speed of a pellet moving downrange you increase its air resistance by eight times. Really light.177 caliber pellets lose energy due to air resistance so rapidly that if a 35 yd. or so it will be moving slower than a heavier pellet fired from the exact same gun. Air resistance might be irrelevant for target shooting out to 10 m but it would play a big role in a shopping shot beyond that range. This really is one of the reasons that you intend to hunt with the heaviest pellet your airgun are designed for effectively.
Along with the weight of the pellet air resistance will be different in line with the shape of the pellet. Wadcutters are flat nose pellets useful for paper target shooting. At the 10 m range the upsurge in air resistance is practically negligible but just like with the aftereffect of weight beyond 35 yd. the flat nose will become working like an air brake.
Medium weight round nose pellets offer the very best compromise for both weight and shape for medium powered air rifles. For small caliber air rifles (.177 and.20) the very best hunting ammo is a round nose hollowpoint. This pellet moves through the air as well as a typical round nose and mushrooms on impact significantly increasing the force of the shot.
The very best advice about air rifle ammo is to test a number of different brands, a number of different shapes, and a number of different weights. What you read inside the airgun forums may be true generally but may not benefit your air rifle. If you’re only an unexpected shooter and still want the very best accuracy and range then pick a premium pellet from the exact same manufacturer that made your gun. It is more often than not best to avoid no-name bargains because there may be significant variability between pellets in the exact same package.