What are the best .22 pellets for air rifle hunting?

1 Comment12 April 2024  |  Air Arms

What are the best .22 pellets for air rifle hunting?

When it comes to air rifle hunting, choosing the right pellets can significantly improve your experience. The best .22 pellets are essential for achieving accuracy, penetration, and ethical kills. In this guide, we will explore the top-rated .22 pellets for hunting and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

Air rifle hunting has gained popularity due to its advantages, such as quieter operation, lower ammunition costs, and reduced recoil compared to traditional firearms. With advancements in pellet technology, hunters now have a wide range of options, each offering unique characteristics and performance.

Understanding .22 Pellets for Air Rifles

When it comes to air rifle hunting, understanding the different types of .22 pellets available is crucial for achieving optimal performance. Exploring various sources can give us valuable insights into selecting suitable pellets for our air rifles. The .22 calibre is a popular choice among hunters for various types of game due to its unique advantages. Let's explore the characteristics and benefits of the .22 calibre for hunting.

Explaining the .22 calibre and its advantages for hunting

The .22 calibre refers to the diameter of the bullet or pellet used in firearms or air rifles, which measures approximately 0.22 inches or 5.5 millimetres. Despite being smaller in size compared to larger calibres, the .22 calibre offers several advantages for hunting purposes.

One of the main advantages of the .22 calibre is its versatility. It is suitable for hunting small game with air guns - such as rabbits, squirrels, and birds, where precision and shot placement are crucial. The .22 calibre provides sufficient power to effectively take down these types of game without causing excessive damage.

Another advantage of the .22 calibre is its relatively low recoil. This makes handling more manageable, especially for novice or younger hunters, allowing for better accuracy and shot placement. Additionally, the reduced recoil helps maintain sight alignment and follow-up shots, if necessary.

The .22 calibre also offers cost savings when it comes to ammunition. Compared to larger calibres, .22 calibre ammunition is generally more affordable, allowing hunters to practise more frequently and spend more time honing their shooting skills.

Furthermore, the .22 calibre is known for its quieter operation than higher calibre firearms. This can be advantageous when hunting in areas with noise restrictions or near residential zones, minimising disturbance to wildlife and nearby communities.

It is important to note that while the .22 calibre is effective for hunting small game, it may not be suitable for larger or more dangerous game due to its limited stopping power. It is always essential to adhere to local hunting regulations and choose the appropriate calibre for the specific game being pursued.

Different types of .22 pellets that are available in the market

Domed pellets

Domed pellets are a popular type of ammunition used in air rifles. They are characterised by their rounded head or dome-shaped design, which gives them distinct features and performance characteristics.

Hollow point pellets

Hollow point pellets are a specific type of ammunition used in air rifles. They are characterised by a hollowed-out or concave tip design, differentiating them from other pellets types.

Pointed pellets

Pointed pellets, also known as pointed tip or spire point pellets, are a type of ammunition commonly used in air rifles. These pellets have a pointed tip, which distinguishes them from other pellet designs.

Wadcutter pellets

Wadcutter pellets are a specific type of ammunition commonly used in air rifles, especially for target shooting. These pellets are characterised by their flat-nose design, which creates a rounder and crisper hole in paper targets.

Factors to consider when selecting pellets for hunting

When selecting ammunition for your air rifle, there are several important factors to consider. Here are five key factors to keep in mind:


The weight of the pellet can significantly affect its performance. Heavier pellets generally offer better stability and accuracy, especially at longer distances. Lighter pellets may have a flatter trajectory and faster velocities but might be more affected by wind. Consider the weight that is suitable for your shooting needs and the capabilities of your air rifle.


The shape of the pellet plays a crucial role in its flight characteristics. Different pellet shapes, such as domed, hollow point, pointed, or wadcutter, have varying aerodynamic properties. Consider the intended use of the ammunition and the desired balance between accuracy, penetration, and energy transfer when choosing a particular shape.


Pellets can be made from various materials, including lead, alloy, or even polymer. Lead pellets are popular due to their ideal weight and deformability upon impact. Alloy pellets are lighter and may offer higher velocities but generally have less energy transfer. Polymer pellets are lightweight and can be used for certain applications like backyard plinking. Consider the material that best aligns with your shooting goals, local regulations, and the requirements of your air rifle.

Velocity and Energy Requirements:

Different air rifles have specific velocity and energy requirements for optimal performance. Check the manufacturer's recommendations for your air rifle model and select pellets that meet those requirements. Using pellets that are too heavy or too light for your air rifle's power can lead to decreased accuracy or potential damage to the rifle.

Accuracy and Penetration Capabilities:

Accuracy and penetration are critical considerations depending on your shooting activity. Some pellet designs, like wadcutter pellets, are accurate for target shooting but may have limited penetration for hunting purposes. Hollow point or pointed pellets may offer better penetration for small game hunting. Based on your shooting needs, evaluate the trade-offs between accuracy, penetration, and energy transfer.

So, what are the best .22 Pellets for Air Rifle hunting?

In short, the answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all best pellet. It all depends on you, the environment, the game you're hunting and what type of rifle you're shooting with. Let's look closer at understanding how to choose your .22 pellet for your rifle.

Understanding your hunting needs and preferences:

Consider the type of game you'll be hunting and the specific requirements of your hunting environment. Different pellet designs and weights may be more suitable for certain types of game or shooting distances. For example, pellets with good accuracy and controlled expansion may be preferred if you're hunting small game like squirrels or rabbits.

When selecting the right pellets for your air rifle, several important factors must be considered. Here are four key factors to keep in mind:

Compatibility with your air rifle:

Ensure that your chosen pellets are compatible with your air rifle's calibre and power level. Air rifles have specific recommendations for pellet weight and design, so following the manufacturer's guidelines is essential. Using the right pellets can improve accuracy and efficiency and even damage your air rifle.

Balancing accuracy, impact, and energy transfer:

It's crucial to balance accuracy, impact, and energy transfer based on your intended use. Pellets designed for accuracy may not provide as much penetration or energy transfer on impact, while those designed for maximum impact may sacrifice some accuracy. Consider the trade-offs and select pellets that align with your priorities.

Environmental considerations:

Depending on your shooting environment, you may want to consider environmentally friendly options. Non-lead pellets, such as those made of alloy or polymer materials, are available and offer reduced environmental lead pollution. These pellets may be required or recommended in certain areas, so check local regulations.

Considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting the right pellets for your air rifle and hunting needs.

Tips for Optimal Performance and Success

To achieve optimal performance and success with your air rifle, here are three essential tips to keep in mind:

Proper rifle maintenance and care:

Regularly clean and lubricate your air rifle according to the manufacturer's instructions. This helps ensure smooth operation and longevity. Additionally, check and tighten any loose screws or fittings. Keeping your rifle in good condition will contribute to consistent accuracy and reliability.

Consistent practice and sighting-in:

Regular practice is key to developing your shooting skills and familiarising yourself with your air rifle's characteristics. Dedicate time to practise at different distances and shooting positions. Additionally, perform regular sighting-in sessions to ensure your scope or sights are properly aligned with the pellets' trajectory. This will enhance accuracy and confidence in the field.

Understanding pellet trajectory and shot placement:

Each type of pellet has a specific trajectory, affected by factors like weight, shape, and velocity. Spend time studying and understanding the pellet's flight path at different distances. This knowledge will help you make precise adjustments when aiming and compensate for variables like wind and target distance. Furthermore, learn about effective shot placement for your target game to ensure humane and ethical hunting.

Air Arms Diabolo Field:

There are many options for pellets throughout the air rifle market, but here at Air Arms, we offer The Diabolo Field. One of the key benefits of using Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets is their remarkable accuracy. These pellets are known for their consistency in shape and weight, resulting in tighter shot groups and improved precision. Whether you're targeting small game or participating in competitive shooting, the accuracy of these pellets can significantly enhance your shooting experience.


Selecting the best air rifle for hunting is crucial for achieving optimal performance and success. By considering factors such as your hunting needs, air rifle compatibility, and balancing accuracy with impact and energy transfer, you can make an informed choice.

It's important to remember that proper rifle maintenance and consistent practice are key to maximising an air rifle's potential. Additionally, understanding pellet trajectory and shot placement will help you make accurate and ethical shots in the field.

While some top picks are available, it's also encouraged to experiment and find what works best for your specific needs. Every air rifle and shooter combination is unique, so don't be afraid to try different pellet brands and designs to find the perfect air rifle for you.

As one of the leading manufacturers, we want you to find the pellets and pellet guns that work for you here at Air Arms. From spring air rifles to PCP Air Rifles, pellets, accessories and air pistol, rifle and pest control laws - we're here to help. Contact us today for any information and enquiries. 

Richard Windsor
25 April 2024  |  11:15

I had a TX200Air Arms for three years and love it. Just wanted to learn as much as I could an "FAC" I assume. This was my first springer, a learning experience to be sure. So, I installed a US Vortex tune kit wanting to get as much accuracy as I could. US shooters want speed/accuracy after watching many videos from England accuracy is what I'm after hence the tune kit.