As you might expect the most frequent topics on airgun forums would be the features and foibles of the dozens and a large number 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 make it even more difficult Manufacturer B’s ammo may outperform Manufacturer A’s in a different air rifle or pistol.
We shall discuss some of the different characteristics of airgun pellets and how you should use these details to your advantage when selecting a pellet for your 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. That means less time to a target and a flatter trajectory because there is less time for gravity to work its magic. A heavier 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 increased time and energy 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. 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 due to air resistance so rapidly that if a 35 yd. roughly it will soon 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 huge role in a hunting shot beyond that range. This really is one of the reasons that you want to hunt with the heaviest pellet your airgun are designed for effectively.
Along with the weight of the pellet air resistance can vary in line with the shape of the pellet. Wadcutters are flat nose pellets useful for paper target shooting primers in stock today. At the 10 m range the escalation in air resistance is practically negligible but exactly like with the aftereffect of weight beyond 35 yd. the flat nose begins working such 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 in addition to a typical round nose and mushrooms on impact significantly increasing the force of the shot.
The most effective advice about air rifle ammo is to try a number of different brands, a number of different shapes, and a number of different weights. That which you read in the airgun forums might be true generally but may not benefit your air rifle. If you should be only an unexpected shooter and still want the most effective accuracy and range then select a premium pellet from exactly the same manufacturer that made your gun. It is more often than not best to prevent no-name bargains because there might be significant variability between pellets in exactly the same package.