As you may expect the most typical topics on airgun forums are the features and foibles of the dozens and lots of different models, but following closely behind the model discussions is the chatter about airgun ammunition or pellets. You may not expect that a.177 caliber pellet from Manufacturer A would perform wildly distinctive from a.177 caliber pellet from Manufacturer B in exactly the same airgun, nevertheless they do. To make it even harder Manufacturer B’s ammo may outperform Manufacturer A’s in an alternative air rifle or pistol.
We will discuss some of the different characteristics of airgun pellets and how you should use these records 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 the usual heavier pellet and it will also accelerate faster downrange small pistol primer. 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 are apt to have a less flat trajectory not because of its weight but as it spends more hours to target providing gravity with increased time and energy to pull it towards the earth.
The second factor that most affects the flight of an airgun pellet is air resistance. Air resistance increases with the cube of speed. Whenever you double the speed of a pellet moving downrange you increase its air resistance by eight times. Really light.177 caliber pellets lose energy as a result of air resistance so rapidly that if a 35 yd. or so it is going to be moving slower than the usual heavier pellet fired from exactly the same gun. Air resistance might be irrelevant for target shooting out to 10 m but it’d play a large role in a shopping shot beyond that range. That is among the reasons that you intend to hunt with the heaviest pellet your airgun can handle effectively.
Along with the weight of the pellet air resistance will be different according to the model of the pellet. Wadcutters are flat nose pellets used for paper target shooting. At the 10 m range the escalation in air resistance is nearly negligible but just like with the aftereffect of weight beyond 35 yd. the flat nose will start working as an air brake.
Medium weight round nose pellets offer the most effective compromise for both weight and shape for medium powered air rifles. For small caliber air rifles (.177 and.20) the most effective hunting ammo is a round nose hollowpoint. This pellet moves through the air along with a regular round nose and mushrooms on impact significantly increasing the force of the shot.
The 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 within the airgun forums may be true generally but might not work for your air rifle. If you should be only an occasional shooter and still want the most effective accuracy and range then pick a premium pellet from exactly the same manufacturer that made your gun. It’s more often than not best to avoid no-name bargains because there might be significant variability between pellets in exactly the same package.