Accurate Airgun Pellets – General Conclusions And Data

Today we’ll finish our Hard Air Magazine series on accurate airgun pellets.

General Conclusions On Accurate Airgun Pellets

Firstly, there are some general conclusions that add to the caliber-specific analysis published in Parts Three and Four of this accuracy mega-test…

Accurate Airgun Pellets - General Conclusions And Data

Muzzle Velocity For Best Accuracy

The results for both .177 and .22 calibers substantiate the belief – widely held among experienced airgunners – that the optimum Muzzle Velocity for accurate airgun shooting with pellets is in the 800 – 950 FPS range.

Although there are a couple of outliers in the 1200 FPS+ for both calibers, the most accurate airgun pellets were almost inevitably NOT the ones with the highest FPS.

This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that the lightest – and fastest – Gamo Raptor Platinum lead-free pellets never achieved a single “most accurate” ranking over the entire set of 79 HAM test reviews.

Also the lightest, and fastest lead pellets, the RWS Hobbys, only achieved three “most accurate” rankings.

So if you’re tempted by extravagant FPS claims – 1,500 or 1600 FPS – when choosing an air rifle, remember that best accuracy is achieved with considerably lower Muzzle Velocities. And they’ll be quieter too at Muzzle Velocities below the Speed of Sound (~ 1,125 FPS)…

Manufacturing Quality For Accurate Airgun Pellets

HAM air rifle test reviews began long before Hard Air Magazine’s pellet test reviews. So there was no publicly-available manufacturing consistency data available at the time the HAM standard air rifle test pellets were chosen.

Subsequent testing showed that RWS Hobby pellets have poor manufacturing consistency. This could be a reason for their poor performance in our accuracy testing. But it’s about 100% certain that flat-fronted wadcutter pellets are less than ideal for use in high power air rifles.

Wadcutters have a huge place in 10 Meter airgun target shooting, but HAM has never tested a dedicated 10 Meter target rifle.

Some dedicated .177 caliber wadcutter pellets do have outstanding manufacturing consistency – like the RWS R10 pellets – for example. We know that they can be spectacularly accurate in low-powered target rifles. But high-power airguns – nah…

Although HAM has not tested Gamo Raptor Platinum pellets, the manufacturing consistency demonstrated by the company’s Match Diabolo and Rocket pellets does not bode well. Again, this could be a reason for the poor performance of the Platinums in HAM testing.

Above an 8.44 Grain JSB Exact pellet in close-up.

There’s no doubt that mid-weight domed lead pellets gave the best results in the overwhelming majority of HAM accuracy testing. H&N Field Target Trophy and Baracuda Match pellets have featured heavily, together with JSB Exact and Jumbo Express, too.

If we look at the individual HAM pellet test reviews for H&N and JSB products, they generally provide very good – or better – manufacturing consistency. So here we have good quality pellets of the most suitable designs for accurate airgun shooting. Hence the results from this study…

So, when making your choice of accurate airgun pellets, don’t forget manufacturing quality. A glance at the HAM airgun pellet reviews will give you much useful advice. For example, you’re looking for good head diameter consistency as shown in this chart below.

Accurate Airgun Pellets - General Conclusions And Data

Lead Free Accurate Airgun Pellets

It’s highly likely that most airgun barrels are not designed for shooting light weight, hard lead-free pellets. Almost certainly different twist rates and choking arrangements could produce better accuracy.

However, the lead-free H&N Field Target Trophy Green pellets were able to achieve “most accurate” status on nine occasions. As other new lead-free pellets types emerge – GTO alloys are a great example – it’s likely that accuracy with such ultra-light pellets will improve with time.

Accurate Airgun Pellet Test Data

Below you can find the hard data used to produce this HAM accuracy test review. The tables are sortable using the arrow keys in the top row, so you can manipulate the data for your own use.

Air ArmsFTP 9000.177PCPBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.6572312.35
Air ArmsFTP 9000.177PCPJSB Exact 8.44 Grain8.4478611.58
Air ArmsHFT 5000.177PCPBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.6571812.2
Air ArmsT 2000.177PCPFTT Green 5.56 Grain5.566304.90
Air ArmsPro Sport0.177PistonJSB Exact 8.44 Grain8.4483112.94
Air ArmsTX 2000.177PistonBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.6582716.17
Air VenturiBronco0.177PistonJSB Exact 8.44 Grain8.445505.67
BeemanQB78 S0.177CO2Hobby 7.0 Grain7.06456.47
BeemanChief0.177PCPFTT Green 5.56 Grain5.56107714.34
BeemanLonghorn0.177PistonFTT Green 5.56 Grain5.56120217.82
BeemanMach 12.50.177PistonBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.65104925.99
BeemanModel 1051 GP0.177PistonFTT Green 5.56 Grain5.56122218.43
BeemanR9 Elite0.177PistonFTT 8.64 Grain8.6485714.09
BenjaminDiscovery0.177PCPBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.6587318.02
BenjaminWildfire0.177PCPFTT 8.64 Grain8.646387.80
BenjaminTrail NP20.177PistonPremier HP 7.9 Grain7.9105219.39
Black OpsSniper0.177PistonJSB Exact 8.44 Grain8.4490515.35
BrocockConcept Lite0.177PCPBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.6588118.37
Crosman10770.177CO2Baracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.654184.13
DianaStormrider0.177PCPFTT 8.64 Grain8.6493916.9
FXCrown0.177PCPBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.6589518.93
FXStreamline0.177PCPBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain8.4481315.6
GamoWhisper0.177PistonJSB Exact 8.44 Grain8.4486313.95
GamoWhisper Fusion Pro0.177PistonFTT 8.64 Grain8.64101419.73
GamoWhistper G20.177PistonBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.6589415.32
HatsanGalatian QE0.177PCPBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.65101224.2
RemingtonExpress0.177PistonHobby 7.0 Grain7.095214.08
RugerAir hawk0.177PistonPremier HP 7.9 Grain7.993915.45
RugerYukon0.177PistonPremier HP 7.9 Grain7.994715.68
RWS34 Meisterschutze Compact0.177PistonFTT 8.64 Grain8.6487513.68
SIG SAUERMCX0.177CO2FTT Green 5.56 Grain5.565844.2
SIG SAUERASP 200.177PistonJSB Exact 8.44 Grain8.44105320.77
Stoeger X5X50.177PistonJSB Exact 8.44 Grain8.445996.71
UmarexFusion0.177CO2FTT Green 5.56 Grain5.567046.1
UmarexForge0.177PistonBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.6585717.38
UmarexSynergis0.177PistonBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.6581915.88
UmarexNGX APX0.177PumpBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.655046.01
WaltherLGV Competition Ultra0.177PistonFTT Green 5.56 Grain5.56103913.32
WaltherTerrus0.177PistonJSB Exact 8.44 Grain8.4481712.52
WeihrauchHW1000.177PCPJSB Exact 8.44 Grain8.4499217.20
WeihrauchHW 800.177PistonBaracuda Match 10.65 Grain10.6575613.48
WeihrauchHW97K0.177PistonPremier HP 7.9 Grain7.983413.69
WinchesterM140.177CO2JSB Exact 8.44 Grain8.444172.98
Hammerli850 Airmagnum0.22CO2JSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3561011.9
UmarexGauntlet0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1463118.72
DianaRegulated Stormrider0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1465019.84
WeihrauchHW50S0.22PistonHobby 11.9 Grain11.967011.86
WeihrauchHW100 BP Carbine0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1467221.18
BenjaminMaximus0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1470621.14
FXImpact0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1473125.12
American TacticalNova Liberty0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1473525.97
AtamanBP 170.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1474025.69
BenjaminFortitude0.22PCPJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3575017.93
GamoMach 1 Pigman0.22PistonFTT 14.66 Grain14.6681321.53
DianaOutlaw0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1481431.1
American TacticalNova Freedom0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1482431.91
Crosman Custom ShopRegulated Marauder0.22PCPPremier HP 14.3 Grain14.3083021.88
DaystateRenegade0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1483432.66
WaltherParrus0.22PistonJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3584422.71
FXRoyale 4000.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1485134.03
FXDreamlite0.22PCPJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3585929.73
KralPuncher Armour0.22PCPJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3586134.81
UmarexOctane0.22PistonPremier HP 14.3 Grain14.3088124.64
BrocockCompatto0.22PCPPremier HP 14.3 Grain14.3088624.93
Air ArmsS410 TDR0.22PCPJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3589625.28
GamoCoyote0.22PCPPremier HP 14.3 Grain14.3090225.83
DaystateRegal XL0.22PCPJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3591026.36
Air ArmsGalahad0.22PCPJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3592327.1
BrocockSniper0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1492440.12
BSAR10 SE0.22PCPJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3593227.66
KralPuncher Mega0.22PCPJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3593627.89
BenjaminMarauder0.22PCPJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3594228.26
Air ArmsS 510 Extra FAC0.22PCPFTT 14.66 Grain14.6695329.5
EvanixRex0.22PCPBaracuda Match 21.14 Grain21.1495943.18
FXWildcat0.22PCPJSB Jumbo 14.35 Grain14.3596029.37
DianaPanther 350 NTEC0.22PistonFTT Green 10.03 Grain10.0397321.64
GamoSwarm Maxxim0.22PistonFTT Green 10.03 Grain10.0398021.41
Sumatra25000.22PCPFTT 14.66 Grain14.66123249.4

I hope that you have found this HAM Accuracy Review series to be useful. Accurate, safe shooting fun is what we all want. Finding the most accurate pellet for your air rifle is a huge part of that. Have fun!

Check Out the other posts in this series…

Part One.

Part Two.

Part Three.

Part Four.