What you need to know about Air Rifle Pellets

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Air rifle pellets can be a minefield,what with an increasing number of different air rifle pellets available and for various disciplines. Having the ideal airgun pellets for your specific airgun can have the effect among hit and miss. So how might you choose?

The big four pellet types are:
  • Flathead
  • Hollow Point
  • Pointed
  • Dome

While each of these projectiles is designed for specific tasks, all are fairly versatile and can be conscripted for other shooting aims.


Flat Head Airgun Pellet

Flat-headed Pellets are favoured by target shooters who have cardboard and paper targets in their sights. These pellets act as a kind of hole punch, popping a nice clean circle out of such targets.Even when shots are closely grouped, Flatheads tend not to shred the target, so shooters can better tell if their aim is true. Pointed and Domed pellets, in contrast, can really tear up paper targets - think of those carnival cards with the red star at centre. Flat-headed airgun pellets can also be used for close-range vermin control, as they compress well upon impact.


Hollow Point (pest) pellets

The Hollow-point pellet is often regarded as effective airgun ammo for close-rage pest control. Its usefulness in this regard is due to the maximum compression of the projectile upon impact. The hollow body of the pellet flattens out, resulting in the efficient dispatch of your prey. 


Pointed Airgun Pellets
Pointed Airgun Pellets

Pointed Pellets are ideal over short distances, about 25 yards or fewer. These are a favourite of bird hunters, as pointed ammo passes through feathers with its shape largely intact, resulting in a cleaner kill. Contrary to popular belief, pointed pellets are NOT the most accurate air rifle pellet shape. * Its a common misconception that pointed pellets are the most accurate air rifle pellet shape however due to the speed a pellet is shot from a sub 12ftlb airgun its just not the case especially over longer distance and the average air rifle range.

 Domed Airun Pellets

Domed Air Rifle Pellet

As the name suggests, Dome Pellets are rounded on the business end. This airgun ammo is aerodynamically sound and hold trajectory well. With a functional range of about 45 metres, Dome Pellets are accurate and widely regarded as the Swiss Army Knife of airgun pellets. They serve well for a multitude of shooting disciplines. From target shooting to hunting in the field, to plinking in the back garden at tin cans - Domed airgun pellets have you covered.


Weighing your options. Heavy vs. light pellets.

The general concept to keep in mind about pellet weight is that heavier pellets mean lower velocities, but greater force upon impact. The converse is also true with lighter airgun ammo. Simply put, the impact power of a projectile is determined by its speed and weight. The heavier and faster the pellet, the more power it exerts when striking the target. This force is measured in ft lbs.

This comes with a warning *WARNING* if you were to fire a rifle using a mid weighted pellet that reads 11.9 ft lbs on a chronograph and you then fire a heavy weighted pellet chances are the difference in pellet weight will mean your rifle reads higher on a chronograph.

A side story about pellet power: Let’s say you’re stopped for a traffic offence, and the police find an air rifle in the boot of your car. Even if properly stored, they might confiscate it temporarily for testing. They’ll do so using three pellet weights - a lightweight, mid-weight and heavy projectile, in that order. And if any one of the three clock in at over 12ftlb on the police chronograph, the firearm is considered illegal, unless you hold a special licence. Think of this as a speed limit of sorts in terms of your airgun’s power. While you may be regularly using ammo that keeps your shooting power below the legal limit, the potential for that higher velocity and impact exists, and therefore the firearm is considered illegal.

Our pellet verdict:  Pick the Dome style, the all-purpose airgun projectile. This pellet will provide great results across a wide range of uses such as the

Air Arms Field Diabolo

As always, keep your aim true, your spirits and expectations high, (and your pellet power just under the legal limit). Happy shooting!


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