As you might expect the most frequent topics on airgun forums are the features and foibles of the dozens and a large number of different models, but following closely behind the model discussions could be the chatter about airgun ammunition or pellets. You might not expect that a.177 caliber pellet from Manufacturer A would perform wildly different from a.177 caliber pellet from Manufacturer B in the same airgun, but they do. To make it even harder Manufacturer B’s ammo may outperform Manufacturer A’s in an alternative air rifle or pistol.
We shall discuss a few of the different characteristics of airgun pellets and how you should use these records to your advantage when selecting a pellet for the air rifle or pistol.
A light pellet will leave the barrel of an airgun faster when compared to a heavier pellet and it may also accelerate faster downrange 30-30 ammo. Meaning less time to focus on and a flatter trajectory because there is less time for gravity to work its magic. A heavier pellet will are apt to have a less flat trajectory not due to its weight but as it spends more time to focus on providing gravity with increased time for you 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. 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 as a result of air resistance so rapidly that after a 35 yd. or so it is likely to be moving slower when compared to a heavier pellet fired from the same gun. Air resistance might be irrelevant for target shooting out to 10 m but it would play a large role in a hunting shot beyond that range. That 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 will change according to the model of the pellet. Wadcutters are flat nose pellets useful for paper target shooting. At the 10 m range the upsurge in air resistance is nearly negligible but just like with the effectation of weight beyond 35 yd. the flat nose will become working like 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 along with a regular round nose and mushrooms on impact significantly increasing the force of the shot.
The most effective advice about air rifle ammo is to test several different brands, several different shapes, and several different weights. Everything you read in the airgun forums may be true generally but might not work for your air rifle. If you are only a periodic shooter and still want the most effective accuracy and range then choose a premium pellet from the same manufacturer that made your gun. It is almost always best in order to avoid no-name bargains because there could be significant variability between pellets in the same package.