The best pellets for hunting really do make a difference. Although there really aren’t any “right” or “wrong” pellets for your air rifle, there are positive changes to accuracy and performance that certain pellets are able to provide. You have different calibers to consider, different shapes to think about, and different hunting needs to consider. The best turkey shot might not be the right pellets for other game. This guide will help you locate the best pellets for your needs.
The Best Chart for Pellets
Whether you’re shopping for the best .177 pellets or you just want the best pellets possible for plinking, the chart below has the definitive list of proven products that are available in this category today. Never settle for discount pellets that could get stuck in your bore.
|Gamo Luxor Sharp Pyramid Hunting Pellets|| 4.6 ||0.177|| $$$
|Crosman Field Hunting Pointed Pellets|| 4.6 ||0.177|| $$$
|Benjamin Discovery Ultimate Hunting Pellet Assortment|| 4.0 ||0.22|| $$
|Umarex RWS Superpoint Extra Field Line Air Gun Pellets|| 4.6 ||0.22|| $$
|Gamo Air Gun Pellets Combo Pack|| 4.4 ||0.177|| $$$
|Benjamin Hollow Point Pellets|| 4.5 ||0.22|| $$
|Golden Rod Long Range Pellets Type 3|| 4.7 ||0.177|| $$
|Beeman Crow Magnum Hollow Point Pellets|| 4.8 ||0.25|| $$
|Crosman Hollow Point Pellets|| 4.5 ||0.177|| $$
|Predator Polymag Pointed Pellets|| 4.4 ||0.22|| $$$
How to Find the Best Pellets for Me
There’s one thing you need to do: match the pellet to the bore size of your air rifle or pistol. Once you’ve done that, then finding the right pellets is often a matter of trial and error. Many air rifles come with a recommendation to use a specific type of pellet and good results typically come from that recommendation, but amazing results can come from other pellets. Try to shoot each type of pellet you try from a benchrest so you can see what your potential accuracy will be with each one.
Shape is also an important factor to consider. Although most pellets that are sold today are made in the “diabolo” shape, which means they’re larger on both ends, have a thinner skirt, and a cylindrical shape, this isn’t true of every pellet. There are four different head design categories that must be considered.
- Wadcutters. This type of pellet has a flat head with an edge that is slightly beveled. These are generally considered to be the most accurate pellets that are on the market today and they also tend to best the most affordable.
- Pointed. These pellets have a head that comes to a very short point. The skirts of the pellet are a bit smaller than other designs and work well for short-range shots and provide highly accurate long shots. These pellets are often the best choice for hunting.
- Round Nose. These pellets are very similar to wadcutters except that instead of a flat head, they have a rounded head instead. These pellets provide a maximum amount of range to a rifle, allowing air guns to reach targets at 50+ yards.
- Hollowpoints. If you want a one-shot kill at a short range, then this expanding pellet might be your best option. This pellet works well with rifles and pistols, which have lower overall velocities so that accuracy is not sacrificed for effectiveness.
You’ll then need to match up the power of your rifle or pistol to the weight of the pellet design that you prefer. Some pellets can be particularly “heavy,” so they can only be fired by high-powered air guns. Before finalizing a purchase, make sure your pellets match up to the specifications provided by the rifle or pistol, otherwise you may risk damage or personal injury when firing.
How to Find the Best Pellet Caliber
What are the best .177 pellets? What are the best .22 pellets? The best pellets for hunting really are based on the air rifle or pistol you already own. Many are designed to only fire one caliber of pellet, so you must simply purchase the right design and right weight for the needs you have. Every caliber gives you the opportunity to hunt turkeys, squirrels, or other game pretty effectively.
It’s for those that have an air rifle or pistol that can fire varying pellet calibers where the decisions become a little more difficult. In this instance, the best hunting pellets tend to be those that are designed to meet your specific needs. The best .22 pellets for squirrels, for example, might have a different weight and shape to maximize speed. For other game, accuracy might be the focus of the pellet instead. The best pellet reviews can help you to determine which style is your best option and what kind of reliability you should expect.
This is why testing a number of different pellets that are designed to work with your specific air rifle or pistol is generally your best option. Different alloys can also produce different results as well, sometimes on a gun-by-gun basis. There is one rule that applies to all pellets, however, and that is to avoid the ones that are made from mixed lead for entry-level rifles as this tends to harden the metal and make it difficult to actually fire them.
What Are the Prices of the Best Pellets Today?
You can expect to pay about $120 for about 5,000 pellets. That’s broken down into smaller amounts and packaging, so you can typically purchase 100-500 pellets for around $10-$20. In this category, you’re definitely going to get what you pay for, so invest into the highest quality pellets in your preferred caliber, weight, and manufacturer to lower the risks of a malfunction, of damage, or of an injury occurring.
In contrast: about 5,000 rounds of ammunition for a standard firearm would cost upwards of $3,000 today. Pellets might be one of the least expensive aspects of hunting, but that doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing fun to save money.
What Do Our Reviews Have to Say?
These .177 caliber pointed pellets have a sharp pyramid shape which makes them perfect for hunting. They’re made with a copper layer, which gives you a better overall impact energy rating while firing, improving accuracy and distance for many air rifles and pistols. There is no lead in these pellets whatsoever. If you’re looking for a pellet that can effectively one shot your targets and don’t even deform when they strike. Just make sure you aim a little lower than normal – we found that these pellets tended to shoot high in just about every rifle.
These lightly pointed field hunting pellets did a great job while plinking and other targeting exercises, but may struggle in some rifles or pistols because of their weight. You’ll get maximum distance thanks to its 7.4 grains, but the long-distance accuracy results are difficult to deny. This is a lead-mixed alloy, so it won’t be suitable for every air rifle, but if you have a premium air rifle that you use for field hunting, you’ll want to give this pellet a try to see if they can get the job done for you. The price is right for the value you receive.
If you’re not sure what pellets might be right for your air rifle, then we highly recommend this variety pack. You’ll receive 100 pellets of each head type so that you can see how well your equipment will perform. Be aware that each pellet is 14.3 grain, so it is one of the highest quality pellet choices on the market today. It also means that not every air rifle will be able to fire these .22 pellets. It would have been nice to have these pellets sorted out for you, but that’s our only real complaint about this variety pack.
What are the best .22 caliber pellets? Perhaps these are the solution you’ve been trying to find in this category. They have a conical head design for deep penetration, but it is important to note that these pellets are lead and not silver as it is somewhat implied from the product description. That doesn’t mean you won’t get effective results as these are excellent pellets, but some people do prefer to avoid lead alloys. There’s also a .177 caliber option with this manufacturer if the .22 pellets aren’t suitable for your current setup.
If .25 caliber pellets are what you need, then these hollowpoints are going to get the job done. The 26.23 grains is the perfect weight for the pellet, giving you a flight path that is true and accurate. Each pellet is remarkably consistent, fitting well into the rifle, and they expand well after firing. We found that they work effectively up to 35 yards and do a great job with even larger furred game you might be hunting. Easily one of the best pellets we got to try in this category and we would highly recommend them to you if this is the caliber you need.
The best pellets for hunting will help you be accurate, yet still give you enough power for one-shot success. Whether it’s the best .177 caliber pellets you need or you’re looking for something to help you take down a turkey, make sure that the first thing you do is check to see what your air rifle or pistol can handle. Once you’ve done that, consider each of these high quality options so you can achieve the results you want.