Picking the Right Pellet

There is no easy way to find the right pellet for your air rifle, it’s not as simple as picking a box off the shelf. Finding the right pellet for your rifle is trial and error.

To find the right pellet for your rifle and the purpose you intend, whether it’s hunting, plinking, pest control or target shooting, buy a selection of quality ammunition and test to see what the results are.

Shoot at a reasonable range to reflect your own skill level and the furthest distance you’re most likely to be taking shot.

Make sure you give each brand enough shots to settle down in the barrel before committing the results to paper.

Ammo that groups well at a distance will do so at close range but not necessarily the other way round, so always undertake comparative testing at the ‘long end’.

Some of the better pellets also come in a range of head sizes – 4.51mm, 4.52mm, for instance – so you may even be able to refine your choice further, once you’ve settled on a shortlist.

There are four pellet shapes:

  • Domed/Round pellets – Good for pest control and hunting, the rounded head means the pellets are aerodynamic and good for shooting over longer distances.
  • Wadcutter pellets – Best for short distance pest control and excellent for target shooting, making clean holes in paper targets.
  • Hollowpoint pellets -Great for hunting and pest control, these pellets expand on impact.
  • Pointed pellets – Another great pellet for hunting and pest control.

As a final tip remember to match the weight of the pellet to your gun’s design capabilities and power level.

The Air Arms range of pellets were developed with world pellet leaders JSB; resulting in accurate, consistent, top quality pellets. Click here to view the range.

Tags: , , ,

Posted in: Academy, Shooting Skills, Workshop

Leave a Comment

Items marked * are required

Your details


6 Responses to “Picking the Right Pellet”

  • John Smith

    November 2, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    I’m a little confused over what pellets to use for my two guns.
    I have a FTP900 which I am currently using for 25m bench rest for which I’m using Diabolo Field .177 8.4 grains and I have just got a MPR Precision which I use for 10m Target shooting. I’m using an R10 Match 7.0 grains pellet for that.
    Don’t really understand the difference in weights and what weight is suitable for what sort of shooting. Could you recommend what I should be using please.



    • airarms.co.uk

      November 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Hi John Smith!

      Generally speaking the flat headed pellets like the R10 are used for 10m shooting as they cut a clean sharp edged hole in the target paper and make scoring more accurate.
      In our experience flat pellets are good over short distances and can become a little unstable at the longer ranges.
      The Air Arms Field pellets have a domed head and are very accurate for all ranges. We offer two head sizes in the Field pellet, 4.51 and 4.52 both weighing 8.4 grains. These sizes were found to offer the best in terms of accuracy and consistency and allows people to choose which size they find best for their rifle.

      Kind Regards

      Team Air Arms!

  • geoffrey millward

    November 7, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    why am i only getting 10.6 ft/lb in .177 5.1 8.4 aadiabolo pellets what is the expected ftlb with my hft 500

    • Team Air Arms

      November 9, 2016 at 9:42 am

      The rifle should exceed 11 ft lbs, on the Air Arms pellets. Please return to the place of purchase for them to check and resolve as necessary.

  • kevin Selfe

    January 25, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    SOOO confusing, Ive bought a 510 fac xtra in 22, and havent got a clue what pellet to use. The www really doesnt help. Probs just stick a pea in the breach

    • Team Air Arms

      January 30, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Hi Kevin, we hope you are pleased with your new rifle. We set and test the rifles at the factory on the Air Arms Diabolo Field pellet, standard 16 grain, and these will give the best results.