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A Guide to Air Gun Ammunition

Manl shooting targets with air rifle

The options and variety when it comes to air gun ammunition can actually be quite astounding, with various sizes, shapes and materials it can sometimes be confusing which will be best for your gun. To help you decide which ammunition you should be using, we have put together this article that will look at some of the options that are out there, along with how you should and shouldn’t use them.

First of all, it’s important to know that in truth, there is never one clear choice as there are various things to consider. Firstly, you’ll need to match your ammo to the size of the gun barrel, not doing this could cause you to damage your gun. You’ll also need to consider what you’re going to be using the gun for and whether you need small or large, sharp or blunt pellets.

Man with air rifle

Understanding Gun Calibre

When talking about the calibre of a gun, we are referring to the internal diameter of the gun barrel and the size of ammunition it shoots. These measurements are typically given in hundredths or thousandths of an inch which is why the majority start with a decimal point (unless larger than an inch). The most popular and common pellet calibres are:

- .177 Calibre: This size is perhaps the most popular available on the market and offers good accuracy over longer distances. These are well suited to back garden plinking but could take down very small animals (rodents etc.) if necessary.
- .20 Calibre: A rare calibre that’s purported to balance the pros and cons of both the .177 and .22, but the trade of is much harder to get hold of pellets.
- .22 Calibre: A larger size of ammo that offers greater stopping power; normally these will be used for small game hunting.
- .25 Calibre: Again, the larger size offers higher stopping power but suffers when it comes to accuracy at long range. Bigger and closer targets are a good rule of thumb for .25 pellets.

Brands

There are a large range of brands available on the market today, some that specialise in different types and shapes, and others than offer a wide range. We’d suggest sticking to quality brands such as:

RWS
JSB-Exact
H&N
Bisley

Air Rifle Ammo

Different Types of Ammunition

Older air guns typically use round or cylinder shaped pellets, however, more modern models have been adapted to make use of the diabolo shaped ammunition now being made. This has been seen to offer greater efficiency along with a great ability to self-stabilise. The diabolo shape is defined as being larger at either end and thinner in the centre of the pellet. Within the diabolo shape bracket, there are various different designs that are available:

Wadcutter – Their flat nose is what identifies them and accuracy at shorter distances means that they are a very common choice for target practice in most forms of air gun.
Round nose – Preferred for shooting over long distances, these pellets have been designed with a rounded head to improve aerodynamics making them ideal for hunting.
Pointed – Similarly designed to a directional arrow (like on a road sign), the pointed pellets offer maximum penetration ideal for small game hunting, but do increase the risk of the pellet going straight through.
Hollow point – Similar in shape to wadcutters but with a hollow centre section at the point, these are designed for hunting, creating good stopping power and giving you more chance of a humane kill.

There is also the option to use metal BBs when shooting airguns (just not through a rifled barrel!), which have been designed to be fired from higher power rifles and pistols. Some guns are specifically designed as hybrids which allow them to shoot both pellets and BBs, whereas some only allow for pellets. Make sure you know whether your gun falls into this category or not before firing BBs!

We stock a wide range of ammunition that is perfect for your air rifles! Different brands, shapes and sizes are available, click here to see what we can offer.

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