What is the best and cheapest way of selecting the right pellet for my air rifle? John Knibbs replies ...

Is your air rifle spring powered, pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) or powered by carbon dioxide? You haven’t stated. So I’ll run through the different models.

Spring-powered air rifles

Most spring-powered air rifles work more efficiently with lightweight pellets, as do CO² rifles, while PCP rifles are more efficient with a heavy pellet.

These rules apply to diablo-shaped lead pellets but there are now pellets on the market of more advanced and aerodynamic design that will give efficient results in most air rifle barrels with regard to bore size, type and direction, pitch of rifling and whether or not the barrel is choked at the muzzle.

As a general rule of thumb, in spring-powered rifles the head of the pellet should be the same size as the bore or land size, and the skirt diameter should be the same size as the groove diameter of the barrel.

Pre-charged air rifles

This is not the same for pre-charged air rifles, where the pellet is sized down to be an exact fit in the barrel when the pellet is chambered by the transfer probe.

I would recommend that you test out several different brands and see how you get on. That way you’ll end up selecting the most efficient and accurate pellet for your air rifle.

  • K

    Obviously, the best way to test which pellet suits you and your gun the best is to try a load of different ones (as has been mentioned).

    But tins of pellets get expensive if they arent any good (and sit in a drawer after testing a few).

    Pellpax do sample packs though so you can test a variety of different pellets and see what works well

    £14.99 in .177 for 38 varieties of pellets (10 of each pellet) with 38 targets to test them on

    £15.99 in .22 for 34 varieties (10 of each pellet) with 34 targets to test them with.

    But for the record, the pellets that I personally get on with (and group well in a BSA Ultra .177, a Air Arms S410 .22, a Weihrauch HW57 .22 and a HW98 .22) are the Bisley Superfields

    Just remember to use a barrel cleaning wire brush after each type of pellet (to de lead the barrel a bit)

    Good luck