A Word About Pellets

This Is My Tack Driver

The Gamo Shadow Sport w/ 4X12 Scope
The Gamo Shadow Sport w/ 4X12 Scope | Source

So Many Pellets...

RWS Variety Pack
RWS Variety Pack
RWS Pellets
RWS Pellets
The Destroyer
The Destroyer

Just How Important Are Pellets?

I turned the air rifle above, a Gamo Shadow Sport, into a surgically precise tack driver.

I had to put a decent scope on it, it's a 4X12 with a 40mm objective lens, and some decent scope rings and mounts, but that alone does not make it the killing machine that it is today.

Of course it helps that the Gamo Shadow is a very well constructed air rifle and shoots great with iron sights right out of the box but even with the scope and rings I was getting wide shot groups at a 100 feet.

I had taken back a Crosman Quest Break Barrel that I bought at Ace Hardware earlier that week because no matter how many times I zeroed it in, 2 or 3 shots later it would walk completely off the paper.

I discovered the reason this was happening after I bought the Shadow but really wish I had known more about spring piston air rifles back then because I really liked that Crosman. (Beautiful wood stock)

Anyway, I got the scope thing figured out with the Gamo but I was still getting wide shot groups.(* I will be talking about the scope problem a little later)

I figured that tight shot groups was beyond the limits of the break barrel air rifle and it would be something I was just going to have to live with, until my buddy Ryan started talking about how 'everything' affected a rifles accuracy and suggested I try a different pellet.

A Pellet Is A Pellet, Right?

That is what I thought until I got to Pyramid Air's ammo page.

I had no idea there was any other caliber for a pellet than .177 and just how many shapes does a pellet need to come in?

Well, apparently there is a different shape for every shooting application you can think of; plinking, target practice, hunting, competition, penetration, speed and quite a few more and every one has a different weight.

This is a factor I never considered when choosing a pellet and it makes perfect sense that the weight of a pellet would have a direct and dramatic effect on the accuracy and performance of any rifle, air or other.

You would imagine that a .22 caliber pellet would be heavier that a .177 caliber because the .22 has a larger diameter and you would be correct is assuming that, but the .177's alone can range in weight from 6 grains to 12.5 grains.

12.5 grains is a lot of lead in one pellet.

The Beeman Silver Arrow

Silver Arrow Pellets
Silver Arrow Pellets | Source

Gamo Raptor PBR Ammo

Fast Pellets and Accuracy

There are break barrel air rifles out there with muzzle velocities that go above and beyond 1200 feet per second if you use the right pellets.

Well fellas, a fast pellet don’t mean s**t if you can’t hit anything with it.

I’ve still got every trial container of that gold plated PBR Raptor crap that ‘whoever’ was trying to push (I just realized it was Gamo, sorry Gamo guys).

It probably does go 1200 feet per second out of my air rifle but keeping the shot on paper much less inside a quarter was just about impossible.

8 grains is about the standard weight for an average pellet and I've have had trouble keeping those inside a quarter too.

You would think that heavier pellets would just cause more problems; drop quicker, not go as far, not as much penetration, but I have found the opposite to be true.

The pellets I like the best are the ‘heavy as hell’ Beeman Silver Arrow pellets that I get from Pyramid Air.

They are a little more than 12 grains each, with pointed tips and a ridge around the heavy part (like the edge of a quarter) that make them fit tight in the breech.

These pellets are not inexpensive but they are F’n hammer droppers.

Not much walks away after getting hit with one of those, and they are unbelievably accurate, time after time.

I have put one on top of another enough times now that I stopped looking for that 5th shot on paper a long time ago.

This Hub is one of the topics of my "I Love Break Barrel Air Rifle" blog.


I felt that Pellets were definitely important enough to deserve some special attention so I put this hub together.

This Is A Heavy Pellet

12 grain Beeman Silver Arrow Pellets
12 grain Beeman Silver Arrow Pellets | Source

The Right Pellet For The Right Gun

A Pellet is a Pellet


I wanted to focus a little bit more on that tiny part of the air rifle which basically decides (visually anyway) an air guns quality and performance, and that little part would be the pellet.

The air rifles produced today are a far cry from the single lever action Daisy BB guns we had as kids and the 10 pump BB/Pellet guns we advanced to in our teens.

With the advent of the spring piston comes the Break Barrel Air Rifle.

My buddy Ryan had a break barrel and after I saw him drop two squirrels from about 300 ft I went and got one for myself.

Best decision I had made in quite a while, I love my break barrel air rifle.

A break barrel air rifle is a single shot, spring piston air gun that is charged with a single 'cocking' of the piston.

This cocking action is performed by breaking the rifle in half and continuing the swing until the piston spring locks in place with an audible click.

Comments About Air Rifle Pellets 2 comments

purnimamoh1982 profile image

purnimamoh1982 5 years ago


Its a wonderful hub. A lot of information on the quality of pellets and its impact on shooting. I am very new to shooting in a sense that although I enjoy shooting a lot, I know nothing about it compared to your expertise. Especially, I have never used my gun for hunting. I use paper targets only. So, following you would be a lot of learning experience. But my worries about finding a way to dispose off the used pellets, led me to do something beautiful. I have shared my experiences in a hub http://hubpages.com/art/pelletstatue... kindly visit and please do comment. Nice reading your hub. Thanks

Gunnery Sergeant 5 years ago

12 grain pellets will destroy your non-magnum Shadow.Too heavy.Just wait............

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