When it comes to choosing an air rifle, there’s a world of options available to suit your shooting preferences. Three standout models in this category are the Gamo Whisper Sting, BSA Lightning, and Gamo Maxxim Elite. Each of these rifles has its unique features and advantages, making them popular choices among airgun enthusiasts. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast these models and provide insights into what potential customers should consider before making a purchase.
Gamo Whisper Sting
Whisper Fusion Technology: This rifle boasts reduced noise and vibration thanks to Gamo’s Whisper Fusion technology.
Reliable Spring Piston System: The Whisper Sting utilizes a spring piston for easy cocking and firing.
Adjustable Trigger: The Custom Action Trigger offers adjustable first and second-stage travel, making it versatile for various shooting styles.
Scope Included: Comes with a 3-9×40 variable zoom Scope & Mounts in the box as standard.
What to Consider:
Noise Levels: While it’s quieter than many other air rifles, it’s essential to know if it meets your noise regulations.
Scope Quality: Consider upgrading the scope for better accuracy.
In conclusion, the choice between the Gamo Whisper Sting, BSA Lightning, and Gamo Maxxim Elite ultimately depends on your shooting style and preferences. Be sure to carefully evaluate these features and considerations before making your purchase to find the air rifle that best suits your needs and provides a satisfying shooting experience. Happy shooting!
Aigle, the revered brand synonymous with impeccable craftsmanship and innovation, has a rich history that dates back to the 19th Century. For over a century and a half, this iconic French brand has been a pioneer in crafting exceptional outdoor footwear and apparel, combining tradition with modern technology to cater to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts. Let’s take a journey through time to discover the fascinating story of Aigle.
The Birth of Aigle: 1853
The story of Aigle began in 1853 when Hiram Hutchinson, an American businessman, set out on a quest to revolutionize footwear. Inspired by Native American footwear, Hutchinson established a rubber manufacturing company in Montargis, France. The company’s founding principle was to create boots that would provide exceptional comfort, strength, and flexibility.
Hutchison had obtained a license 3 years previous from fellow American Charles Goodyear’s patented vulcanisation process. He then emigrated to France where he applied the new process to the production of a waterproof Wellington Boot.
The Rubber Revolution: 19th Century & Early 1900’s
During the 19th century, rubber was a burgeoning industry, and Aigle stood at the forefront of this revolution. Aigle’s boots quickly gained recognition for their superior quality and durability. The brand’s expertise in crafting natural rubber boots earned it a distinguished reputation and positioned it as a leader in the industry.
With the revolution brought about by the introduction of paid leave in 1930’s France, Aigle diversified its offer: sports and outdoor shoes designed to appeal to France’s growing middle class.
Aigle: Post-War Expansion and Global Reach
After World War 2, Aigle expanded its offerings beyond just footwear. The brand began producing various outdoor garments and accessories, further solidifying its position as a comprehensive outdoor lifestyle brand. Aigle’s products were sought after not only in France but worldwide, attracting a global audience with a penchant for adventure and quality.
in 1989, Aigle opened its first dedicated store in Paris marking a significant milestone by introducing ready-to-wear apparel & clothing alongside its renowned shoe collection.
Innovations and Sustainable Initiatives: 21st Century
As the brand stepped into the 21st century, it continued to evolve with the changing times. Aigle embraced innovative technologies and sustainable practices, committing to reducing its environmental footprint. The brand implemented eco-friendly materials and processes, ensuring that their products were not only high-quality but also environmentally responsible.
Aigle’s mission statement is to “Enable everyone to fully experience nature without leaving behind any impact except their footprints.”
Aigle Today: A Legacy Continues
Today, Aigle stands as a symbol of excellence in the world of outdoor apparel and footwear. With its heritage deeply rooted in quality, innovation, and a passion for the outdoors, the brand remains committed to providing products that embody durability, comfort, and style.
The journey of Aigle from a small rubber boot manufacturer in 1853 to a globally recognized brand is a testament to its dedication to craftsmanship, innovation, and a profound love for nature. With each step, Aigle continues to forge ahead, carrying its legacy and heritage into the future, ensuring that adventurers around the world can embrace the outdoors with confidence and style, while still being responsible stewards of our planet.
Are you an avid air rifle enthusiast on the lookout for a top-notch scope to elevate your shooting experience? Look no further than Richter Optik scopes! Engineered to deliver exceptional precision and performance, Richter Optik scopes have been gaining a reputation for their remarkable quality and innovative features. In this blog post, we’ll delve into why Richter Optik scopes should be your go-to choice and how they can transform your shooting game.
Unveiling the Excellence of Richter Optik Scopes
Richter Optik has been at the forefront of producing cutting-edge optics for shooting and hunting applications. Their dedication to crafting scopes that cater to various shooting needs, along with their commitment to quality, sets them apart in the optics market. Here’s why Richter Optik scopes deserve your attention:
Crystal Clear Optics: The heart of any great scope lies in its optics. Richter Optik scopes are engineered with precision-ground lenses and advanced coatings that ensure exceptional light transmission, clarity, and colour fidelity. This translates to a sharper and brighter image, enabling you to spot targets with ease and accuracy.
Durable Build: Air rifle shooting can sometimes be demanding on equipment due to the recoil and environmental factors. Richter Optik scopes are designed to withstand these challenges. Constructed from rugged materials and featuring shock-resistant designs, these scopes can handle the rigors of air rifle shooting.
Accurate Reticles: Richter Optik scopes offer a range of reticle options tailored to different shooting scenarios. Whether you’re targeting moving objects or shooting from various distances, you’ll find reticles that provide the necessary reference points for accurate shots.
User-Friendly Features: These scopes are engineered with the shooter in mind. With features like adjustable magnification, parallax adjustment, and illuminated reticles, Richter Optik scopes make it easy to adapt to changing shooting conditions and maintain optimal accuracy.
Affordable Excellence: While many premium optics come with a hefty price tag, Richter Optik scopes offer remarkable quality at a reasonable price point. This means you can enjoy high-performance optics without breaking the bank.
Lifetime Warranty: So confident are Richter Optik about the quality of their optics that all scopes are backed by their quibble-free life time warranty guarantee!
Choosing the Right Richter Optik Scope
Selecting the perfect scope for your air rifle depends on your shooting preferences and requirements. Consider factors such as the shooting range, intended targets, and shooting environment. Richter Optik offers a diverse range of scopes to cater to various needs, whether you’re into target shooting, hunting, or competitive shooting. We’ve listed some of our favourites below:
When it comes to enhancing your air rifle shooting game, a quality scope is an essential investment. Richter Optik scopes combine precision optics, durability, and user-friendly features to provide an exceptional shooting experience without emptying your wallet. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or just starting out, Richter Optik has the right scope to take your accuracy and performance to new heights.
Upgrade your air rifle setup today with a Richter Optik scope and experience the difference for yourself. Discover the world of clarity, precision, and reliability that awaits you. Explore our website for a range of Richter Optik scopes that suit your needs and preferences. Your journey to unparalleled shooting performance starts here!
Are you searching for the ideal air rifle that perfectly fits your shooting requirements? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make an informed decision when purchasing an airgun. From understanding the different types of air rifles to considering key factors before buying, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!
Exploring the Types of Airguns:
Airguns come in various types, each with its unique characteristics and purposes. Understanding these types will help you narrow down your choices and find the perfect fit for your shooting preferences. We’ll cover the three primary types:
Spring-Piston Air Rifles: Known for their simplicity and affordability, these rifles use a coiled spring to generate power and propel the pellet. They are great for beginners or those on a budget.
PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatic) Air Rifles: Utilizing compressed air stored in an onboard reservoir, PCP rifles offer consistent power, accuracy, and multiple shots per fill. They are favored by enthusiasts and professional shooters.
CO2-Powered Air Rifles: These rifles use pre-filled CO2 cartridges to power the shots. They are easy to use, require minimal effort, and offer semi-automatic or automatic shooting options.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Air Rifle:
Before making your purchase, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you find an air rifle that meets your specific needs. Here are the key factors to keep in mind:
Purpose: Determine whether you’ll be using the airgun for target shooting, pest control, small game hunting, or competition. Each purpose may require different features and power levels.
Calibre: Airguns are available in various calibres, including .177, .22, and .25. Consider the target size, shooting distance, and your personal preferences when selecting the right calibre.
Power Source: Decide which power source best suits your shooting requirements—whether it’s a spring-piston, PCP, or CO2-powered air rifle.
Budget: Establish a budget range and look for air rifles within that range. Remember to consider the long-term costs, such as accessories, maintenance, and ammunition.
Research and Compare:
Once you have a clear understanding of your shooting preferences and the factors to consider, it’s time to conduct thorough research and compare different air rifle models. Visit reputable websites, read customer reviews, and seek expert opinions to gather valuable insights. Pay attention to factors like accuracy, ergonomics, durability, and overall performance to find the best airgun that suits your needs.
Make Your Purchase:
After conducting thorough research and narrowing down your options, it’s time to make your purchase. Ensure you buy from a trusted retailer or manufacturer to guarantee the authenticity and quality of the air rifle. Take advantage of discounts or special offers to get the best value for your money.
Choosing the right air rifle is crucial for an enjoyable shooting experience. By understanding the different types of airguns, considering important factors, conducting thorough research, and making an informed purchase, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect airgun for your needs. Remember, investing time and effort in the decision-making process will ultimately lead to enhanced satisfaction and improved shooting performance.
To explore a wide range of high-quality air rifles and accessories, visit our website pellpax.co.uk. Our expert team is ready to assist you in finding the ideal airgun that aligns with your shooting goals. Happy shooting!
Introduction: Airgun hunting has gained popularity among outdoor enthusiasts as an effective and challenging way to control vermin populations. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a beginner, proper preparation is crucial to ensure a safe, ethical, and successful experience. In this blog post, we will guide you through essential steps to prepare before heading out for vermin controlling with an airgun. Discover the key factors to consider and equip yourself with the knowledge to make your airgun hunting trip a resounding success.
Know the Local Regulations: Before venturing out into the field, it is vital to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and laws concerning airgun hunting. Research the specific vermin species you intend to target, understand the permitted hunting seasons, bag limits, and any licensing requirements. Complying with legal guidelines not only ensures ethical hunting but also prevents potential legal repercussions.
Selecting the Right Airgun and Accessories: Choosing the appropriate airgun and accessories is crucial for a successful vermin control outing. Consider the specific vermin species you will be targeting and the environment in which you will be hunting. Opt for an airgun with sufficient power and accuracy to dispatch the vermin cleanly and humanely. Additionally, invest in quality optics, such as scopes or red dot sights, to enhance your aim and precision.
Practice Proper Marksmanship: Achieving accuracy with an airgun requires consistent practice. Familiarize yourself with the operation of your airgun and spend ample time practicing marksmanship skills. Set up targets at various distances and practice shooting from different positions, mimicking real-life hunting scenarios. Remember to focus on proper stance, breathing control, trigger discipline, and follow-through. Regular practice will increase your confidence and ensure accurate shots when it counts.
Research Vermin Habits and Patterns: Understanding the behavior and habits of the vermin you intend to control is crucial for a successful hunting trip. Study their feeding patterns, preferred habitats, and movement routines. This knowledge allows you to strategize your hunting approach, increasing your chances of encountering the vermin in the right place at the right time. Online resources, books, and local experts can provide valuable insights into vermin behaviour.
Plan Your Hunting Location: Identify suitable hunting locations where the vermin populations are known to be abundant. Consult with landowners, farmers, or local wildlife management authorities to gain permission and access to private or public hunting grounds. Ensure you have a clear understanding of the property boundaries and adhere to any specific rules or guidelines provided by the landowner.
Safety First: Safety should always be your top priority. Before heading out, familiarize yourself with basic firearm safety practices and protocols. Ensure you have appropriate safety gear, including ear protection, eye protection, and appropriate clothing for the hunting environment. Always be mindful of your surroundings, especially when shooting in areas with potential human activity. Adhere to safe shooting angles and never shoot at targets that may cause a ricochet.
Conclusion: By following these essential steps, you can maximize your chances of success and ensure a safe and responsible airgun hunting experience. Remember to research local regulations, select the right equipment, practice your marksmanship skills, study vermin behaviour, plan your hunting locations, and prioritize safety. With the right preparation, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a skilled vermin controller while enjoying the thrill of airgun hunting. Happy hunting!
When it comes to airgun shooting, selecting the right pellets is vital for achieving accuracy and optimal performance. With a wide variety of airgun pellets available, it can be challenging to determine which ones are best suited for your shooting needs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the different types of airgun pellets, their characteristics, and factors to consider when making your purchase. Let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to finding the perfect ammunition!
Diabolo pellets, also known as domed pellets, are the most common and widely used type of airgun ammunition. They feature a rounded head and a hollow skirt, making them aerodynamically efficient and accurate. Here are key points to consider:
Calibre: Diabolo pellets are available in various calibres, including .177, .22, and .25. Choose the appropriate calibre based on your airgun’s specifications and shooting requirements.
Purpose: Diabolo pellets are versatile and suitable for a wide range of shooting applications, including target shooting, plinking, and small game hunting.
Accuracy and Penetration: Due to their shape, diabolo pellets offer excellent accuracy and penetration capabilities, making them a popular choice among airgun enthusiasts.
Hollow Point Pellets:
Hollow point pellets are specifically designed for hunting and pest control purposes. They feature a hollow cavity at the tip, which promotes controlled expansion upon impact. Key considerations include:
Expansion and Energy Transfer: The hollow point design facilitates expansion upon impact, increasing the pellet’s stopping power and energy transfer to the target. This characteristic makes hollow point pellets highly effective for hunting and pest control.
Calibre and Velocity: Consider the appropriate calibre and velocity required for your specific hunting needs, as hollow point pellets come in various sizes to match different airgun specifications.
Accuracy: While hollow point pellets may not offer the same pinpoint accuracy as diabolo pellets, they are designed to deliver maximum impact on targets.
Wadcutter pellets are characterized by their flat, disc-like shape. They have a wide and squared-off head, resulting in a clean, round hole upon impact. Consider the following aspects of wadcutter pellets:
Target Shooting: Wadcutter pellets are primarily designed for target shooting due to their ability to cut clean holes in paper targets. They offer excellent accuracy and visibility of shot placement.
Caliber: Wadcutter pellets are available in different calibers, with .177 being the most common choice for target shooting.
Velocity: Since wadcutter pellets have a larger surface area, they tend to decelerate faster than diabolo pellets. Consider the optimal velocity for achieving consistent accuracy with wadcutter pellets.
Pointed pellets, as the name suggests, feature a sharp point at the tip, offering improved penetration and long-range accuracy. Here’s what you should know about pointed pellets:
Penetration: The pointed design of these pellets enhances their penetration capabilities, making them suitable for shooting at longer distances and hunting small game.
Calibre and Weight: Pointed pellets are available in various calibres and weights. Consider the specific requirements of your airgun to select the appropriate size for optimal performance.
Velocity and Ballistic Coefficient: Pointed pellets typically have a higher ballistic coefficient, allowing for better stability and less affected trajectory, especially at longer ranges.
Choosing the right airgun pellets is crucial for achieving accuracy, consistency, and desired shooting results. Understanding the different types of pellets available, such as diabolo, hollow point, wadcutter, and pointed, empowers you to make an informed decision based on your shooting requirements and preferences. Consider factors like calibre, purpose, accuracy, and penetration to select the perfect ammunition for your airgun.
At Pellpax, we offer a wide selection of high-quality airgun pellets to suit various shooting needs. Visit our website to explore our range and discover the perfect pellets for maximizing your shooting performance.
Are you torn between a spring-piston airgun and a CO2-powered airgun? We understand the dilemma! To help you make an informed decision, we’ve created this comprehensive guide comparing the two types of airguns. By exploring their differences, benefits, and limitations, we aim to assist you in finding the perfect airgun for your shooting preferences. Let’s dive in!
Understanding Spring-Piston Airguns:
Spring-piston airguns are renowned for their simplicity, reliability, and affordability. They operate by utilizing a coiled spring mechanism to generate power and propel the pellet. Here are some key points to consider:
Power and Accuracy: Spring-piston airguns generate considerable power, making them suitable for target shooting, small game hunting, and pest control. While they can be accurate, mastering their shooting technique is crucial for consistent results.
Recoil and Noise: Spring-piston airguns have a noticeable recoil due to the spring’s release, which can affect shooting accuracy. Additionally, they tend to produce more noise compared to CO2-powered airguns.
Maintenance: Spring-piston airguns require minimal maintenance, usually consisting of periodic lubrication and spring tension checks. They are relatively robust and can withstand rough handling.
CO2-powered airguns use pre-filled CO2 cartridges to propel the pellet. They are known for their ease of use, versatility, and consistent shot-to-shot power. Here’s what you need to know:
Power and Accuracy: CO2 airguns offer consistent power levels throughout the shooting session, providing reliable accuracy and predictable trajectories. They are ideal for plinking, target shooting, and recreational use.
Recoil and Noise: CO2 airguns generally have less recoil compared to spring-piston counterparts, resulting in improved shot-to-shot consistency. They also produce less noise, making them suitable for backyard shooting and areas with noise restrictions.
CO2 Cartridges: CO2-powered airguns rely on disposable CO2 cartridges. While convenient, it’s essential to consider the ongoing costs of purchasing new cartridges as part of your shooting expenses.
When deciding between a spring-piston and CO2 airgun, several factors can help guide your decision-making process:
Shooting Purpose: Determine whether you intend to use the airgun for target shooting, pest control, plinking, or recreational shooting. Each purpose may favor a particular type of airgun.
Power and Range: Consider the power and range requirements for your shooting activities. Spring-piston airguns generally offer higher muzzle velocities and energy, while CO2 airguns provide consistent power across multiple shots.
Budget: Evaluate your budget, considering both the upfront cost of the airgun and the long-term expenses. Spring-piston airguns tend to be more affordable initially, while CO2 airguns may have ongoing cartridge costs.
Shooting Environment: Assess whether noise restrictions or limited shooting areas play a role in your decision. CO2 airguns, with their reduced noise levels, may be more suitable for urban or backyard shooting.
Choosing between a spring-piston and CO2 airgun ultimately depends on your shooting preferences, purpose, and budget. Spring-piston airguns offer affordability, power, and durability, while CO2-powered airguns provide ease of use, consistency, and reduced recoil. Consider factors such as shooting purpose, power requirements, budget, and shooting environment to make an informed decision.
At Pellpax, we offer a wide range of high-quality airguns to cater to various shooting needs. Visit our website to explore our selection and find the perfect airgun that aligns with your needs.
This month we are setting our crosshairs on the AGT Vixen. Unique, compact, and balanced the Vixen is produced by Czech Manufacturers, AGT, and are imported into the UK by Regael. Released in early 2021 the Vixen soon became one of AGT’s best-selling rifles overtaking the Vulcan & Uragan.
The AGT range has proven very popular here at Pellpax, hence
why we thought we would focus on one of their rifles. Airgun Technology was
founded in 2013 and is based in the city of Praha (Prague), the capital city of
the Czech Republic.
Light, Accurate & Reliable
The AGT Vixen is one of the newest rifles in AGTs’ range.
They are available in two variations, the Vixen or the Vixen Long. The Vixen
has a barrel length of 250mm, an overall length of 770mm, and a weight of
2.2kg, whilst the Vixen long has a barrel length of 400mm, an overall length of
920mm, and a weight of 2.4kg. These specifications make the AGT Vixen one of
the lightest rifles on the market today.
To ensure the high-quality finish is not compromised, the AGT Vixen comes standard with a 250CC carbon fibre bottle which, is fitted with a neoprene sleeve to act as a stock. The butt pad has a height adjustment feature to ensure the rifle fits comfortably in any shooters’ shoulder.
Packed with features
One thing that is worth mentioning is the ability to change
the side of which the cocking arm is on. It is as simple as removing two
screws, changing the side, and replacing the screws. Taking around 3-5 minutes
in total this is a smart move from AGT as it caters for the left-handed market
too. The trigger is incredibly smooth and can have the pull weight adjusted. I
personally prefer a light pull however, it’s nice to have the option. I must
also praise the positioning of the safety switch. Being located just north of
the trigger this can easily be engaged and disengaged whilst you are shouldered
and looking down the scope. Again, just a small design feature that goes a long
way for me. The switch has a red indicator to make it obvious that the safety
is either on, or off.
Filling the AGT Vixen
The compact, custom-made pressure gauge is well located. One
of my pet hates includes pressure gauges that are located under the end of the
barrel, as I feel uncomfortable having a barrel pointed at my face whilst filling
the rifle. The block that the pressure gauge is located on houses the
regulator, and you can also find both the air discharge port and the filling
AGT Vixen – additional accessories
I really like the AR-Grip on the vixen which, is produced by IMI Defence. The magazines are easy to load and are 15 shots in .177 or 12 shots in .22. An additional accessory, that many owners choose to buy, is the magazine holder. This polymer housing will hold two magazines and attaches to the rifle via a small weaver rail located in front of the trigger guard.
The features go on…
The Vixen is equipped with a weaver rail measuring 195mm.
Traditionally, air rifles use a 9-11mm rail, and Weaver / Picatinny rails are
more frequently seen on Rimfire / Centrefire rifles however these are becoming increasingly
popular amongst the airgun community.
A few, final thoughts
Finally, I would like to mention the shrouded barrel. This again is a feature that is becoming more frequent on airguns these days. The sound moderator is built within this and measures around 90mm. Although there is no option for an additional moderator, I don’t feel the vixen needs one. When I took it out shooting, I was very pleased with the level of noise and wouldn’t feel a moderator would provide much more of an advantage.
The real test
After doing all my research on this gun, I decided to take it out to see what all the fuss was about. I wanted to know whether the Vixen really was worth the £1499.99 price tag and what made this rifle, one of AGT’s most popular. My set-up was kept simple, I used a 3 ltr hydrotec bottle to fill the Vixen, mounted a Hawke Fast mount 6-24×50 AO IR using Hawke Weaver mounts, and set out to see if the Vixen, really lived up to what I had read.
Testing with target shooting pellets
Firstly, I thought I would try a target pellet for those looking to do some casual plinking either at home or down their local gun club. I used the H&N field target trophy .177. I love H&N as a brand simply because I find their quality is always top-notch and they perform in any rifle I put them through. Weighing 8.64 gr I set my targets up around the 25-yard mark.
Although I’m not Chris Kyle, I managed to get a 25mm grouping, which for comparison is about the size of a 2p coin. Considering I’m a clay shooter and don’t tend to do much airgun shooting, I was very pleased with this result. I’m confident that a dedicated shooter could get this grouping down to a 20mm grouping, which is around a 1p coin. For those of you, who prefer a larger calibre the H&N field target trophy is also available in .22.
Testing with hunting pellets
Next, I thought I would try a hunting pellet for those of you who carry out pest control. For this, I went for my go-to hunting pellet, the H&N Baracuda Hunter .177. Now as I previously mentioned I’m a clay shooter and only shoot airguns a handful of times outside of work however, even with my lack of practice I still manage to hit rabbits at good distances with these. Weighing slightly heavier than the H&N field target trophy, the Baracuda hunters are advertised at 10.49gr. I like these pellets as the hollow point ensures enough stopping power to counter the higher velocities of the .177 without affecting the flight of the pellet too much.
Once again, I set my target out at the 25-yard mark, and the results were the same. This time I got a 28mm grouping however, this could be down to the hollow point creating drag or could be down to the absents of my skills with an airgun. Like I mentioned previous I’m confident when I say a more experience airgun shooter could lower this group, but even at 28mm, it’s accurate enough to headshot a rabbit and/or rat. Once again for those of you who prefer the larger calibre, these pellets are available in a .22 calibre here.
My conclusion of the AGT Vixen
Overall, the Vixen is packed with many attractive features that any airgun enthusiast would be looking for when purchasing a rifle. Ok, the price for one is £1499.99 but this is really an investment as the rifle will last you years to come, and the quality of the AGT Vixen easily warrants the price tag. As standard AGT provides 2 magazines, a filling station, spare O-rings, a user manual, some souvenirs, and a soft case. If you would like to check out the Vixen and the Vixens’ accessories, please click here.
We put some of the best 177 hunting pellets to the test to find the best airgun ammunition.
The smaller 177 calibre has long been neglected by hunters as an ineffective pest pellet. The reasoning behind this is easy to understand, more mass = more power but this not strictly true as power is actually a relationship between mass and speed. Think about it this way, if I were to throw a tennis ball at a window, chances are it bounces straight off but if I were to launch a steel ball bearing at that same window through a sling shot it would punch a hole clean through despite the BB having much less mass than the tennis ball. This is because of the greater speed.
The UK limit for muzzle energy on an air rifle is 12ft/lb no matter what the mass of the pellet is. This equates to ~500fps in a .22 and ~700 – 750fps in a .177, around 50% higher! This added speed means that under the right conditions a 4.5mm pellet can be just as, if not more effective than a .22.
OK, with that out of the way, what criteria are we actually looking for? What makes an effective hunting pellet? When hunting any live animal, the most important factor to keep in mind is respect for the quarry and to minimise suffering. Therefore, the most important thing we are looking to achieve is a reliable one shot dispatch. This is usually achieved via a head shot but can also be possible via a heart and lung shot with the right pellet. Let’s see if we can find it with some of the options below.
All pellets tested with .177 Zbroia Hortitsia running at between 11.5 – 11.7 ft/lb at ranges between 20m – 35m.
H&N Barracuda Hunter Extreme
Made by H&N, these pellets are some of the most effective one shot pellets that money can buy. Normally in sub 12ft/lb airguns, expansion of hollow points is something that is actually quite hard to achieve as the velocities involved are not high enough to deform the lead, even in the faster .177 calibre. With the H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme all of this is flipped on it’s head thanks to the cross shaped hollow points that these pellets feature. The ingenuity of this design allows the pellet to mushroom out upon impact as contact with the target creates a pocket of air that, instead of pressing against a thick wall of lead surrounding the hollow point, instead is forced against four thinner walls and allows for rapid expansion even in lower velocities. This leads to a much larger wound channel and more of the pellets energy being transferred into the target. This is what we want and what this translates to is, not only will a head shot be enough to reliably kill vermin in our desired one shot, but also a heart and lung shot will be more than capable.
The sacrifice that is made with this shape is long range & potential accuracy. The hollow point of the pellet whilst perfect for dispatch actually works against the pellet in flight and increases the air resistance, reducing range and causing the pellets to drop sooner than some of the more traditionally shaped diabolos. This has to be factored in whilst aiming as your point of impact might be slightly lower than expected, even if zeroed with domed pellets at the same weight.
Something else to consider is these pellets are not the cheapest on the market and they also only come in tins of 400 as opposed to the usual 500 for other .177s. Still a potential of 400 pigeons in the pot so I’m not really complaining.
For this test I am using the lighter 8.18 grain QYS Domed pellets as opposed to the 9.56 version. My reasoning for testing these is to try something with a lot higher velocity in an attempt push the effective range as far as possible in a .177. Again, our main priority is the quick and consistent one-shot dispatch but a lighter pellet should carry more velocity out of the barrel and therefore maintain that power further downrange.
The uniformity of these pellets surprised me somewhat. The “Made in China ” slur is a brush that QYS are, I think, unfairly tarred with as the consistency in shape, weight and skirt size is absolutely fantastic. The weight deviation in particular was minimal with a maximum deviation of 0.1 grain either side of the advertised 8.18. This consistency is replicated in your shot placement and I found that these QYS pellets were by far the most consistent when zeroing. Now I am not by any means a professional shooter but whilst zeroing these pellets I was able to achieve just over a 25mm (about the size of a 5p) grouping at 30m. Not Bad.
I found the same thing with the pigeons. The trees I camped up in front of were around 35m from me and, when putting the crosshair of the scope on top of the birds head so that the first mill dot lined up with the eye, I was able to reliably one-hit kill birds with a brain shot. Thanks to the lack of expansion and higher speed, there was a degree of over penetration with these pellets though and I could foresee that, unlike the Hunter Extremes pellets listed above, a chest shot would not be enough to kill a pigeon instantly. If you are not confident of hitting heads then I don’t think these are the pellets for you.
H&N Rabbit Magnum II
On the other end of the spectrum are the H&N Rabbit Magnum II pellets that weigh in at a colossal 15.74 grain. Advertised on the tin as being for guns of around 25J these pellets are recommended for FAC power level guns but I know people that shoot the .22 versions of these pellets in 16J guns and swear by them so I thought they’d be worth a shot. Now, my Zbroia Hortitsia is tuned to around 11.7ft/lbs with 10.6 grain Bisley Magnum pellets so just under the 16J limit and way under the recommended level for these pellets and that issue was clearly thrown up by my testing.
These pellets are domed but are shaped more like slugs than traditional diabolo pellets and that added lead at the neck of the pellet is the reason for the increased weight. This design does allow more lead to make contact with the rifling and hopefully increase accuracy, but I was finding that the weight of these pellets was just far too high. I was almost running out of elevation to zero the pellets on my scope (a Hawke Airmax AO 2-7×32) and had to reduce my range to 20m just to reliably hit the target.
The variance between each pellet was OK, the build quality of H&N products is always very good but there was quite a large weight difference between pellets with some being almost half a grain lighter than the advertised 15.74. Now this weight change might not make much of a difference in a high powered gun but when I’m already pushing the limits of my rifle to zero, this variation plays into shot placement quite a lot.
Owing to the unreliable point of impact, I didn’t use these pellets on any birds and I cant recommend you do the same Unless you are using an FAC rated airgun and might have to have a word with my friends using the .22 versions as whether those guns are 16J or not…
And now for something completely different…
So there has been a growing movement in ballistics towards going lead-free. Lead is quite harmful to the environment, even excluding the animals being shot, and has a tendency to build up particularly in water animals and cause severe damage to the food chain. As of 2022, lead shot is not allowed when hunting ducks and other birds and I imagine it won’t be long before this legislation affects pellets. Nothing concrete or confirmed, but call it a hunch. Anyway, thanks to this many pellet manufacturers offer “lead free” pellets in a variety of shapes and sizes. These RWS Hypermax are made from tin and moulded into a pointed shape.
Ok so first thing to say about these pellets is, like most lead alternative pellets, they are extremely light. Weighing in at just 5.2 grain, these pellets are almost half the weight of the Hunter Extreme pellets and through the chronograph the speeds were mind boggling. The hunter extremes were getting about 740fps but some of the Hypermax were getting over 1000fps. Not that far off the speed of sound! I also found that, possibly due to the added hardness of tin compared to lead, the pellets in the tin had low variance in weight and almost no skirt or head deformation, something that can happen to softer lead pellets.
In practice, these perform much like the QYS pellets in that, a head shot is consistent, predictable and effective but the incredible speed and high penetrative power of the pellet means body shots are just going to fly straight through the bird and likely not kill straight away. Also, while testing these pellets the air was relatively still, but lighter pellets tend to be far more affected by the wind which is something to bear in mind.
Tin & alloy pellets are also more expensive than their lead counter parts with this tin costing similar to many others but containing just 200 pellets rather than the usual 500. I understand these tin pellets are relatively new but that’s just not enough for me.
Ok the best performing pellet was the Baracuda Hunter Extreme by H&N but I was surprised by a few, particularly the RWS Hypermax. I do wonder if these lead free pellets become the norm then peoples approach to airgun hunting might change. No longer will you be able to blast a bird or small mammal with a huge lump of lead anywhere in the body and be assured a kill. Instead you will be forced to use a lighter but faster moving projectile that requires a more skilful shot and this would encourage more accuracy and patience when hunting which is always a good thing.
one Friday evening in June, Jack, from the Pellpax Sales team, set out with an R10TH .22 calibre
hoping to bring back a few rabbits.
R10TH, which was released in 2019, has proved to be a popular airgun for pest
control. The 280cc buddy bottle will give you up to 340 shots in .22, and the
ergonomic thumbhole stock, with adjustable butt stock, is supremely
comfortable. The R10TH is also available in .177 calibre.
The best time to
shoot rabbits is probably at dawn, after a rainy night. The rabbits have been
in their burrows for hours, sheltering from the rain, so by the morning they’re
hungry. They’re so intent on feeding, they’re not so quick to bolt!
shooting, though, you don’t have to wait for the perfect time. There are
usually plenty of them about, especially at morning or evening twilight. If you
know what you’re doing, you’re sure to bag a few.
I spent most of
the time in a prone position, which can get pretty uncomfortable. But with its smooth
thumbhole design and adjustable cheekpiece, the R10TH is a great gun for prone
The scope gave me
a fantastically clear view, and the adjustable objective focused perfectly at
ranges of around 23 to 36 metres. I set the magnification to x12 for a good
view of the field, and adjusted the AO as I went.
I took my first
shot at what looked like a young jack rabbit, about 30 to 35 metres away. I was
lying close to the hedge, but facing into the sun, so I used the scope’s
sunshade. The sun was dazzling, and I missed the rabbit, sending the pellet low
and to the left.
My target fled,
but the shot didn’t seem to alarm other rabbits, who were grazing further away.
The R10TH is fitted with a customer-configurable shroud (CCS), which makes each
shot incredibly quiet. I decided to move to a better position before attempting
a second shot.
This time, I made
sure my back was to the sun, and ducked down behind a fallen tree,
approximately 25 – maybe 30 – metres from the hedge. I re-zeroed for my next
shot (the fine adjustments on the turrets were fantastic) and removed the
I don’t think the
rabbits were aware of me creeping about on the outskirts of the field. I was
wearing Huntsbury camo clothes, which are great not only for keeping you out of
sight, but also out of hearing! The few rabbits I could see were too far away
to take a shot at, so I lay still for a while and waited.
rabbits started wandering closer to me. Fortunately, the little bit of breeze
was coming my way, so they couldn’t smell me.
My second shot was
spot on – bang in the middle of the crosshairs. The sun was getting lower now,
and the light levels were dropping, so I turned on the illuminated reticle to a
low-level green setting. A rabbit ran from my right and stopped to feed, less
than 10 metres from my hiding place. I hit the rabbit clean in the back of the
I loved using the
R10TH, and, as always, I was more than happy with the JSB pellets. I found the
London Armoury scope to be a great piece of kit – a fantastic all-rounder – but
its security and steadiness were totally down to Hawke’s top-quality mount.
Oh yes … and I was
very pleased with my three rabbits!