What Is The Most Accurate Pellet For My Air Rifle?
Ask almost any new airgunner and he or she will ask “What is the most accurate pellet for my air rifle?”
The Best Advice Is Right Here!
So where do you look for this advice?
Fortunately Hard Air Magazine can give you outstanding advice about what is likely to be the most accurate pellet in your air rifle. This is based on the world’s largest database of consistent, independent, published data on airgun pellet accuracy – HAM air rifle reviews.
This article is our “kick off” story. There will be more detail in subsequent posts in the next few days…
Below. There’s a hige number of pellets available!
This accuracy analysis is based on actual shooting test results. This means it represents “real world” potential achieved under real, but controlled conditions. In other words, our recommendations can really apply to you, too!
The Most Comparable Reviews
During the past five years, Hard Air Magazine has conducted a total of 79 comprehensive air rifle reviews in .177 and .22 calibers.
This is by far the world’s largest number of comparable, comprehensive air rifle test reviews. And every one includes seven accuracy test targets – all made with the same types of pellets.
Of these reviews, 43 have covered .177 caliber guns.
35 reviews have been for .22 caliber air rifles.
This huge amount of data means that the HAM accuracy recommendations in this series of posts really have meaning and carry weight.
Of course, we have also reviewed air rifles in other calibers. However we’ve concentrated on .177 and .22 as these are by far the most popular calibers overall among airgunners. There’s also the largest variety of rifles and pellets available in these calibers.
This is precisely where help is most needed in pellet choice!
Choosing The Targets
For this accuracy comparison, we selected the single most accurate target from each test review. Collecting all these “most accurate” targets, we then analyzed them for trends, similarities and differences.
Below is a sample HAM test target – this one’s from our review of the FX Crown.
Analyzing The Data
Obviously we’ve divided the results between calibers. So you’ll find a general, or overall, set of recommendations for the most accurate pellet in each caliber.
As you would expect, the majority of these reviews cover PCP and “Piston” air rifles. So we’ve aggregated spring/piston and gas ram air rifles in this “Piston” group, together with break barrel and underlever actions.
Because of the fundamental differences between PCP and Piston air rifles, we’ve also produced pellet recommendations for both these types of airguns.
Below. PCPs are different to Piston air rifles and often have different pellet requirements.
Given the small number of tested airguns powered by other means – such as CO2 – we’ve included these in the overall general caliber recommendations, however.
We’ll be giving our recommendations based on two sets of analysis. One will be based on pellet weight. The other covers Muzzle Velocity – what FPS will give you the most accurate pellet?
The Importance Of Pellet Manufacturing Consistency
In addition, Hard Air Magazine has an additional 33 airgun pellet test reviews. Again, every test review has been undertaken in a consistent, comparable manner. The HAM Team tests 50 individual pellets for manufacturing consistency in each pellet test review.
That’s a total of 1,650 pellets that have been weighed and measured with great precision for HAM pellet test reviews. These pellet reviews test manufacturing consistency – not accuracy.
However it’s guaranteed that manufacturing consistency is also a significant aspect of precision shooting accuracy. You can check out individual HAM pellet test reviews here.
Below is an example of how head diameter can vary in the same tin of pellets.
HAM accuracy tests are always made with unselected pellets straight from the tin. We do this to represent the way in which most airgun shooters operate.
But bear in mind that we made our choice of air rifle test pellets long before starting our comprehensive pellet test reviews! At that time there was almost no published data on the manufacturing consistency of airgun pellets.
We knew, of course, that pellet consistency would be important. However, we didn’t know then quite how variable some pellets would be.
Every Gun Is Different, But…
So let’s take a look at what we can learn from this data. What does it mean as you look for the answer to that question: “What is the best airgun pellet for accuracy in my air rifle?”
Using our HAM recommendations, you will be able to find that “perfect pellet” for your air rifle much quicker and easier than starting from scratch.
We will save you much time, effort, cost and frustration in your search for the most accurate pellet for your air rifle!
But before going further, we need to admit one thing. Whatever your individual air rifle, it will have its own “favorite pellet” for accuracy. So you’ll still need to make some experiments with different pellet types. However, following our recommendations, at least you’ll be starting in the right place.
First, we’ll take a detailed look into the background of HAM accuracy testing. Then further posts will cover our recommendations for .177 and .22 calibers. In final posts, we’ll publish the raw test data and some general conclusions.
Finding the most accurate pellet for your air rifle is a big topic. There’s going to be a lot to read!
Check out the other posts in this series: