Choosing Pellets

 


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There are different pellets because of their many uses. In essence, everyone has their own reason for using an air rifle or pistol and therefore the pellets should be chosen accordingly. Here are just a few of the general types of pellets.

MATCH PELLETS
Match pellets are generally made to precise weight and dimensions. Their exact dimensions and uniformity make them the choice of marksmen and Olympic competitors. Any variances in shot placement can then be attributed to the marksmen . Because of the exact tolerances that match pellets incorporate in their manufacture; they come at a premium price. Match pellets are usually most effective in guns that have a velocity between 400/600 feet per second. This is the velocity seen in most match air rifles. Because of their lack of aerodynamic design they should not be used  in magnum rifles or hunting where longer distances and more power is needed for a kill.   POINTED PELLETS
Primarily used for hunting, pointed pellets are used in magnum air rifles. The goal is to achieve penetration in the kill zone with power to spare. Hunters have to be careful though that their choice of pellets does not over penetrate and exit their quarry taking most of that explosive power with it. In order to be most effective, the hunter's pellet must deliver a blow that does maximum tissue damage. Because hunting pellets can vary in weight you will find that some of them may act as hollow points, flattening themselves out upon contact with the target and effectively increasing their caliber. That wider profile allows them to do two things. First, because their area has increased they destroy more tissue or there is a larger wound made. Second the drag created by this larger surface area causes more resistance making an exit less probable. All the energy is used in tissue damage.   HOLLOW POINTS
Hollow points are specially made to flatten themselves out or open themselves up to increase their area and cause maximum damage to vital areas. These pellets usually present a forward cup or yaw to the target to facilitate their transformation upon impact. Imagine being struck with a finger that penetrates and then mushrooms into a fist inside. This is the goal of hollow points.   ROUNDED PELLETS
Rounded pellets are the workhorses of the pellet family. They are the most common pellet sold and account for most of the all-around use. Target practice, backyard plinking, and hunting. Their shape allows them to have decent aerodynamics. That makes them good in most guns for practical applications.  

SUMMARY
Remember; choose your pellets based on your application as well as your gun. Pellets traveling at subsonic speeds, less than 750 mph, don't require great aerodynamics. Wadcutters or match pellets will work well. Magnum air rifles can propel a pellet faster than the speed of sound or mach 1. Their shape is important because some pellets such as Wadcutters tend to tumble and leave the flight path as instability becomes a factor at supersonic speeds.

© 2001 JwwoodandSons. Inc
www.jwwoodandsons.com

 

J. W. Wood is a retired City of Atlanta corrections officer. This Atlanta native known as Sarge to his fellow officers has passed a love of hunting, fishing and all sports to his family and friends

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