Gun Ranges

Ronnie Sunshines - UK's Largest Gun Retailer!

Pellets – Everything You Need To Know

Air Rifle Pellets

Now that you have an air rifle, it’s time to decide what type of pellets you should buy. Pellets are often a confusing subject to many people, because of the vast varieties there are to choose from. Choosing the right air rifle pellets for your needs is vitally important to accomplishing your goal. Keep in mind that every airgun shoots different pellets with varying degrees of accuracy and consistency. It’s important that you try many different brands and styles of pellets to make sure they are accurate and consistent in your air rifle. Below are some pointers that will help you decide which pellets you need:

Pellet Designs

The pellet’s design is one of the most important factors in determining how your air rifle will perform at the task on hand. If you’re hunting, you will want a different pellet design than you would if you were competing in air rifle competitions. Below is a list of the most common pellets:

Domed Or Round Head Pellets

domedThe domed pellet is arguably the most popular pellet in the market today because of its versatility. The domed pellet cuts through the air very well, causing it to lose less energy in flight. These pellets offer a great combination of accuracy, expansion, and penetration, which helps them be great general use pellets. Every airgunner should have some round head pellets on hand because of their great versatility. There are so many brands and variations of the domed pellet that you’ll without a doubt find what you’re looking for.

Wadcutter Pellets

wadcutterThe wadcutter design is perfect for anyone who wishes to shoot paper targets, because the flat nose guarantees a clean, perfect hold in the target. These clean holes are much easier to score when sighting in your air rifle or in any kind of competition shooting. If you plan to use these pellets for hunting or pest control, they aren’t a bad choice, as they will expand plenty. One downside to this style of pellet is that the flat head of the pellet makes them accurate only at relatively close ranges. The wadcutter is also very popular, so you’ll be sure to find many brands and varieties of this design as well.

Pointed Pellets

pointedThe pointed pellet design was created with precision in mind. These cut through the wind with excellence, and will be the most accurate design of pellets out there. These are also great for hunting at longer ranges. The one problem with these pellets is that the point is often damaged before you ever get the chance to shoot them. If the point is even slightly deformed in one direction, this will throw the accuracy way off. These rounds are very good if you want a hyper accurate pellet, as long as the point isn’t damaged.

Hollow Point Pellets

hollowpointThe hollow point pellet design is designed with hunting in mind. A hollow point has, as it sounds, a hole in the point which is designed to make the pellet expand rapidly, causing much more damage to the target. These are ideal for hunting because the rapid expansion causes more shock and creates a bigger wound channel in the animal, causing a more rapid, painless death to the quarry. The hollow point pellet is great for close to medium range, as the pellet can begin to tumble if it goes very long range. These pellets are great for anyone looking to hunt with an air rifle at close range, and there are many brands and varieties to choose from.

Pellet Materials

Once the pellet hits your target, the materials science and engineering of the pellet comes into play. The type of material used in the creation of the pellet is going to largely determine what happens next. Below is a brief summary of each material, and how it can affect your pellet’s performance:

Alloy Or PBA Pellets

Alloys are pushing the limits of what was once thought possible in materials science. Today’s alloys are amazing, as they become stronger and lighter. Alloys used in pellets have created pellets that shoot at higher velocities because of the light weight of the pellets, as compared to lead or copper. These higher velocities also provide more accuracy and range for the shooter to enjoy. While alloy pellets are more expensive, they have the added benefit of being non-toxic. 

Lead Pellets

The most popular material for pellets to be made out of today is hands-down lead. Lead is the cheapest of the materials for the pellets, and the high density of lead lends itself well to pellets. This high density provides more weight for the size of the pellets, which helps put more energy on target. One of the biggest positives for lead air rifle pellets is that they are great for hunting, as the lead expands more, which helps kill animals faster for a more humane death. This deformation also limits penetration, which is particularly useful when you don’t want pellets to go flying everywhere. Keep in mind that lead is toxic, and it can harm any type of wildlife that may be living in streams or lakes. 

Copper Pellets

Copper pellets are not toxic, so this is great news for protecting wildlife. Copper is significantly harder than lead, so it will penetrate more than lead pellets. The downside to this is that copper pellets expand and deform much less, so they are less likely to kill animals rapidly. Copper pellets dent and get deformed less than lead bullets in the packaging, so they’ll be more consistent. Copper pellets will cost you more than lead pellets however.

Choosing the proper pellets for your air rifle may seem like a confusing task, but if you break it down into what you’re looking to use the pellets for, it gets easier. To begin picking out what pellets work the best for you, you should experiment with several brands and variations of pellets. Once you are able to determine which pellets shoot the best out of your airguns, you can continue using those pellets and honing your skills.

For our full range of air rifle/pistol pellets see our website