As you may expect the most typical topics on airgun forums will be the features and foibles of the dozens and dozens of different models, but following closely behind the model discussions may be the chatter about airgun ammunition or pellets. May very well 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, but they do. To produce it even more difficult Manufacturer B’s ammo may outperform Manufacturer A’s in an alternative air rifle or pistol.
We shall discuss a number 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 light pellet will leave the barrel of an airgun faster than the usual heavier pellet and it may also accelerate faster downrange 30-30 ammo. Meaning less time to a target and a flatter trajectory because there is less time for gravity to work its magic. A weightier pellet will tend to have a less flat trajectory not due to its weight but because it spends more time to a target providing gravity with more time to pull it towards the earth.
The 2nd factor that most affects the flight of an airgun pellet is air resistance. Air resistance increases with the cube of speed. Once you double the speed of a pellet moving downrange you increase its air resistance by eight times. Really light.177 caliber pellets lose energy because of air resistance so rapidly that if a 35 yd. roughly it will undoubtedly 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 one of the reasons that you wish to hunt with the heaviest pellet your airgun are designed for effectively.
In addition to the weight of the pellet air resistance will vary in line with the shape of the pellet. Wadcutters are flat nose pellets employed for paper target shooting. At the 10 m range the upsurge in air resistance is almost negligible but the same as with the aftereffect of weight beyond 35 yd. the flat nose will begin working such as an air brake.
Medium weight round nose pellets offer the best compromise for both weight and shape for medium powered air rifles. For small caliber air rifles (.177 and.20) the best hunting ammo is a circular 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 best advice about air rifle ammo is to use a number of different brands, a number of different shapes, and a number of different weights. Everything you read in the airgun forums may be true generally but might not benefit your air rifle. If you should be only an occasional shooter and still want the best accuracy and range then choose a premium pellet from exactly the same manufacturer that made your gun. It is more often than not best to avoid no-name bargains because there might be significant variability between pellets in exactly the same package.