Getting into shooting air rifles can be a difficult and complicated task. There’s legislation to understand, weapon types to wrap your head around and ammunition to choose (to name but a few). So, be it for competitive target shooting, back garden plinking or farm pest elimination, choosing the right air rifle pellet can be a difficult task for a novice.
So, in this blog, we’re going to go through the different kinds of pellet that are available on the market, and give you insight into the pros and cons of their use.
Wadcutter pellets are arguably the most common type of airgun pellet available. They are the quintessential “pellet” shape, which offers a number of benefits. Wadcutter pellets are suited to close-range targets. Their shape and profile give them good aerodynamic properties, however, the flat face also gives a good impact point which leaves large holes in targets.
These pellets are particularly well suited to short range shooting (20-30m), whether it’s target or pest elimination. Accuracy will begin to suffer as ranges increase beyond this.
Domed or “round nose” pellets are a popular pellet also. They are well suited to almost all aspects of air rifle shooting. They have excellent aerodynamic properties, so they are particularly good for target shooting and hunting at long ranges, and the domed tip gives them better penetration than the wadcutter profile.
They are also relatively inexpensive compared to other types, which makes them an ideal plinking pellet. If you’re an all-round air-rifle shooter without a focus on 1 kind of shooting, these could well be the kind you need to cover all the bases.
Hollow point pellets are very similar to domed pellets, but as their name suggests, they have a hollow on the tip. This is a small concave area right on the end. The hollow point has some effect on aerodynamics but encourages the pellet to flatten and fragment on impact with the target. This transfers more energy into the target than penetrating through it.
As mentioned, this design does effect accuracy and range. This pellet is generally only recommended for shorter distance hunting where accuracy is less affected.
Pointed pellets have a pointed tip. This point makes them much better at cutting through material than other types. The ability to cut through things allows them to cut through the air better, giving them the benefit of better accuracy and range. It also allows them to cut through material better, this makes them the ideal longer range hunting pellet.
Solid pellets are almost archaic looking pellets, with more of a “bullet” design than the rest. They have the sole function of being as heavy as possible. A heavier pellet maintains its momentum better than a lighter pellet. This means that it has a much stronger impact down range. Whilst the pellet may leave the barrel at a lower FPS (feet per second), it will be less affected by air resistance and less likely to deviate due to wind.
However, since they’re so much heavier than other rounds, and lower the FPS of your rifle. This means that the round takes longer to reach the target. This may have an adverse effect on your ability to hit moving targets.
That’s the basics of air rifle pellets! Hopefully you have a good understanding of the kind of pellet you should be looking to buy for your air rifle. If you’ve not chosen an air rifle to purchase yet and you’re not sure which to get, look at our recent blog – “What Type of Air Rifle Should You Buy?” to get started.