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What's the best Pellet

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by i8allthepies, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. i8allthepies

    i8allthepies Well-Known Member

    One of the most common questions asked by people new to the hobby, (or returning to it), is 'what type of pellet should I use?'

    What follows is based on 35 years of shooting airguns, I don’t claim to know any more than any one else on this forum, but I do hope I can give some general guidelines with which most would agree.

    In order to save a lot of repetition, I've asked the admin. guys to make this a 'sticky' so that it stays up near the top of the advice forum, for easy reference.

    I’ll assume you’ve already decided which caliber suits you best, you’ve taken advice, parted with your money, and bought your airgun. Now to the nitty-gritty.

    • What are you going to use the pellets for? – not as daft as it sounds, what I really mean is are you plinking at Coke tins in your garden, shooting paper targets, shooting FT or Hunter FT, or hunting live quarry? This will likely be the most decisive factor in your eventual choice. Plinking can be dealt with most easily – pretty much anything will do, there’s no great science involved in choosing a pellet that will knock over a coke tin at ten paces – my advice here is ‘cheap and cheerful’
    • For shooting at paper / card targets. The traditional choice, especially at closer ranges, is often referred to as a ‘wadcutter’, that is to say a blunt-nosed, or flat-headed pellet. This type of pellet will have the advantage of leaving a clean hole in the target, thus making scoring easier. They will usually be of a medium weight, as they don’t need to carry a great deal of down-range energy to go through thin card, but their stability can be called into question at longer ranges, and for this reason they are sometimes looked over in favour of the ‘dome head’, the nearest there is to a universal pellet. Its shape, as the name implies, is the conventional waisted or diabolo body with a rounded head, a very stable aerodynamic combination.
    • For hunting. This is where the most variety of shapes exists. The dome head we’ve just mentioned is once again the most widely used for its combination of great accuracy, a shape that gives a fair combination of penetration and energy transfer for efficient dispatch of your quarry, and cost, as it is the biggest volume seller. The point, or pointed head, is designed for maximum penetration of the quarry, even though over-penetration is more likely to maim than to kill humanely, a high transfer of energy is generally the more efficient method of dispatch. The hollow-point is designed with this high transfer of energy in mind, the shape of the head intended to deform massively. In general, neither points nor hollow points are as accurate as dome heads. Hunters sometimes favour a heavier pellet so as to maximize the down range energy, but the pronounced ‘arc’ of the trajectory can make accuracy difficult at the longer ranges, and with quarry like the Rabbit, the kill zone is only perhaps 25-30 mm in diameter.
    • Field Target, and Hunter Field Target (FT and HFT) shooters tend to favour the high accuracy of the dome head, it still having enough energy transfer for all their needs.
    • Every airgun barrel is different, so you need to try as many pellets as possible to see which one suits your barrel. Just because one persons gun of the same make as yours likes a certain pellet does not mean yours will like the same.
    In general, try as many types as you can afford to, there’s no need to buy a tin of 500 of every type. Scrounge or exchange pellets with other shooters you know, perhaps at your club, or consider buying a selection of the type marketed by the online company, Pellpax, which contains over 30 types for well under £20, this will probably enable you to narrow your choice down to 3 or 4 types you will want to try more extensively.
    Hope this advice helps, and happy shooting.

    [copyright=Davy lloyd]http://www.airgunforum.co.uk/forums/member.php?u=2262[/copyright]
    PlinknHunt likes this.
  2. jamessuper10

    jamessuper10 Well-Known Member

    Hampton, Middlesex
    well done mate!!!!:up:
  3. i8allthepies

    i8allthepies Well-Known Member

    Thanks James.:)
  4. Andy

    Andy Administrative Staff Member Founder

    Thanks Davvy

    You will still get users asking what's the best pellet. :p
  5. andyhawkx3

    andyhawkx3 Well-Known Member

    Nice one Dave:D:up:
  6. hughie

    hughie Well-Known Member

    Great advice .:up:
  7. i8allthepies

    i8allthepies Well-Known Member

    But I won't answer them any more;)
  8. Rockabilly

    Rockabilly Well-Known Member

    can anyone advise me on a pellet for hunting???
  9. steve410

    steve410 Well-Known Member

    Why should you want to hunt pellets,stick to the normal vermin :p
  10. i8allthepies

    i8allthepies Well-Known Member

    I'd suggest SMK Spitfires, they're made of nice soft lead, so you can creep up behind them with a mallet and flatten them!:up:
  11. Static-Hunter

    Static-Hunter Member

    thats good and sound advise dave........:up:
  12. joey36

    joey36 Member

    excellent bit of info, am off to check out pellpax.Thanks
  13. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

    funny thing is i was just gunna ask this question Lol ta mate
  14. abbas224

    abbas224 Well-Known Member

    of course - this is only a very basic guide to pellets. intended use isn't the only thing you need to think about when choosing pellets - it depends very much on your gun.
  15. sniper09

    sniper09 Well-Known Member

    Hi guys.

    When i had my .22 cal, i use to use hobby flat head (wad cutters). And they were superb and cheap aswell. But now in my bsa .177 i use iver masquito's or diablo elite. And it loves them. But i also use Air arms feild also wich work fine and all these are at a resonable price. Well i think so anyway. Im going to buy a box tho next time i think cous iv been told you get better concistency rather than getting different tins from different batches. Makes sence.

    Anyway hope this helps

    All the best guys

  16. Scaramanga

    Scaramanga Well-Known Member

    It should, indeed, read advice. But advice is a noun, and nouns dont have tenses.
  17. radiofan

    radiofan Well-Known Member

    London, UK
    Small finesse

    Good general advice, but I have a few small points (sorry for the pun):

    Plinking -for some, it's all about short-range penetration, so the harder and sharper the tip the better. Lighter pellets exit the barrel at a higher velocity, which affects penetration into certain materials.

    Paper targets - some say wadcutters stabilise more quickly after exiting the muzzle, increasing short-range accuracy at distances around 10-15M. I can't confirm this, but this is significant if you participate in pistol competitions. For paper targets at 25-50 yards I would almost certainly use a light domed pellet.

    FT and HFT - since the target is not live quarry, I think there is some benefit to using lighter pellets. A straighter and faster trajectory will help with accuracy -in HTF at least, you only get one shot per target.
  18. alanjones

    alanjones Active Member


    using a HW35 [springer] some 25-30 years ago for hunting i tried wadcutters and found the killing power of these pellets to be awesome, and never used anything else after,never had any runners, and accuracy was never a problem only ever shooting out to 30 yards. If i ever get back into hunting i'll be trying wadcutters in my Wolf. ATB Alan.
  19. Pupsi

    Pupsi Member

    Isleworth, Middx.
    I find the Crossman Accupell pellets are excellent for target shooting, the Webley Powapell Pellets for small vermin and the Logun Penetrator 16 grain would be excellent for the bunnies and wood pidgeons as they hit with a good strong solid thump, theyv'e got good knock down power.
  20. andykllhr

    andykllhr Well-Known Member


    I'm following the advice on this forum to try .177 AA fields, however, i went on to the uttings website and they have two types of fields, 4.51 & 4.52, what's the difference? they're both the same weight. does anyone know the difference or which one of the two would be best for my evo carbine? Any help's great, TVM ;)

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