Gamo vs. BSA : Three of the Best

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

Gamo Whisper Sting

Key Features:

  • 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.

Specs:

  • Length: 110cm
  • Barrel Length: 46cm
  • Weight: 2.4kg

See the Whisper Sting

BSA Lightning

BSA Lightning XL

Key Features:

  • Break Barrel Design: The Lightning features a classic break barrel for ease of use and reliability.
  • Cold Hammer-Forged Barrel: BSA’s high-quality barrel ensures accuracy and consistency.
  • Quality Build: Known for durability, the Lightning is a sturdy option for hunters and plinkers.

What to Consider:

  • Weight: The Lightning can be heavier than some other air rifles, which may affect portability.
  • Cocking Effort: Ensure the cocking effort is manageable for your strength and comfort.

Specs:

  • Length: 95cm
  • Barrel Length: 37cm
  • Weight: 3kg

See the BSA Lightning

Gamo Maxxim Elite

Gamo Maxxim Elite in Beech

Key Features:

  • 10X Quick-Shot Technology: The Maxxim Elite features a 10-round magazine for rapid shooting.
  • Customizable Cheek Pad: It offers adjustable stock features for a comfortable fit.
  • CAT (Custom Action Trigger): The Maxxim Elite provides a customizable trigger for precision shooting.

What to Consider:

  • Ammunition Compatibility: Magazines can be fussy. Ensure that the rifle is compatible with your preferred pellet type.
  • Maintenance: The Maxxim Elite may require a bit more maintenance due to its magazine system.

Specs:

  • Length: 117cm
  • Barrel Length: 46cm
  • Weight: 3.2kg

See the Maxxim Elite

What Potential Customers Should Consider:

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!

Exploring the Precision Advantage of Richter Optik Scopes for Your Air Rifle

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:

Final Thoughts

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!

Shop the Whole Range

Demystifying Airgun Pellets: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Ammunition

Introduction:

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!

  1. Diabolo Pellets:

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.
  1. 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.
  1. Wadcutter Pellets:

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.
  1. Pointed 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.

Conclusion:

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.

Choosing Between a Spring-Piston and CO2 Airgun: Making an Informed Decision

Introduction:

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!

  1. 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.

See More Spring Powered Airguns

  1. Exploring CO2-Powered Airguns:

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.

See More CO2 Rifles

  1. Factors to Consider When Deciding:

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.

Conclusion:

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.

Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Airgun for Your Needs

Introduction:

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!

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Conclusion:

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!

In our Scope – AGT Vixen

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.

The Vixens’ 250cc carbon bottle

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 custom fill gauge

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 port here.

AGT Vixen – additional accessories


The magazine holder is sold separately

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

Simply stunning…

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.

The Result

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.

The Result

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.

Best .177 Hunting Pellet 2022

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

H&N Baracuda 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.

Hunter Extreme Hollow Point

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.

QYS Domed

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.

Great uniformity in the tin

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.

H&N Rabbit Magnum II

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.

15.5 gr instead of the advertised 15.74 – Weigh your pellets!

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…

RWS Hypermax

And now for something completely different…

RWS Hypermax

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.

Note the lighter colour of Tin

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.

Great Uniformity for the RWS as well

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.

Conclusions

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.

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Best Airgun Pellets for 2020

The range of airgun pellets available to us today is larger than ever before. In each calibre, there’s a massive range of head shape, skirt size, length, material, and weight. There’s a lot of difference in price, too, and it’s easy to make the (sometimes misguided) assumption that the more expensive the pellet, the better quality it will be.

Those shooters who have found the ideal pellet for their gun and purpose will often stick with it, perfecting their shooting performance with the benefit of consistency. Some shooters will have a repertoire of favourite pellets. Others, however, are still experimenting – still searching for the pellet that perfectly suits their gun, purpose, and style.

At Pellpax, we’ve been looking at some of the best airgun pellets on the market, and we’ve picked out what we consider to be the cream of the crop.

Target shooting

For target shooting, a wadcutter (flathead) pellet is ideal, as it will punch a clean hole in the target for clear scoring. This shape of pellet, though, has high air resistance, and will lose speed, causing it to drop. A wadcutter pellet is perfect for shooting over a short distance, for example 10m competition target shooting.

Over longer distances, the wadcutter loses efficacy, and this is where the aerodynamic domed (roundhead) pellet comes in handy. Although heavier than the wadcutter, the domed pellet will maintain a straighter trajectory over distance, thanks to its aerodynamic properties. The domed head and added weight also serve to stabilise the pellet in windy weather.

THREE: H&N Baracuda Power (Domed) .177

The hard copper coating of the Baracuda Power pellet means less deformation during firing and on impact, and less lead fouling in the barrel. Weighing in at 10.65gr (0.69g), this is a heavy pellet for .177 calibre. It’s ideal for target shooting at long range.

Available in .177, .22

TWO: Rifle Premium Series (Flathead) .177

Made from supremely high-grade lead, Rifle’s Premium Series Flathead is an accurate and powerful pellet. The purity of lead and the refined manufacturing processes result in uniformity and consistency among pellets. This wadcutter pellet, which weighs 8.18gr (0.53g) is designed especially for the competitive target shooter.    

Available in .177, .22

ONE: QYS Match Grade (Wadcutter) .177

Zhuhai Qiang Yuan Sports Goods Co. Ltd (QYS) was founded in 1994 by Fu Qiang, who is still very much in the company’s driving seat. QYS operates from Zhuhai City, in the south of China, and exports to more than 50 countries. In the last five Olympic Games, QYS pellets have been used by 19 medal winners.

This flathead match-grade pellet, which weighs just 8.18gr (0.53g), is designed specifically for competition target shooting and high-level training. The pellets are carefully and securely packed, separated by layers of padding and well protected from corrosion and impact.

Available in .177

Hunting

For hunting, a hollow-point pellet is generally considered to be the best option. The hollow-point pellet is designed to mushroom on impact, creating a wider wound channel that’s more likely to result in an instant kill. Alternatively, that jack-of-all-trades of the pellet world, the dome-head, is an effective hunting pellet.

There are conflicting views when it comes to the pointed pellet. Some shooters swear by it, and others won’t touch it.

A wider-skirted pellet will add power to the shot, as the skirt creates a tighter seal in the barrel, meaning that more pressure builds up behind it, increasing the velocity of the pellet.

THREE: Weihrauch Magnum (Domed) .22

In compiling this list of top-performing airgun pellets, I talked to the gunsmiths, sales staff, and shooting enthusiasts who make up the Pellpax team.

One of the gunsmiths, whose work involves zeroing guns before they’re sent out, recommended the Weihrauch Magnum .22. He told me that this pellet is an excellent all-rounder, suitable for most .22 rifles. What my colleague particularly likes about this pellet, though, is that it’s the very best choice for his own Weihrauch HW100 KT.

“It’s brilliant for pest control. But I use it most of all for plinking in the garden with the kids. For my HW100, there just isn’t a better pellet.”

The Weihrauch Magnum .22 weighs 21.14gr (1.37g).

Available in .177, .22

TWO: Daystate Rangemaster Sovereign (Domed) .22

Throughout the manufacturing process, Daystate pellets are carefully checked for quality. Only the very best are selected for packing. This means that there’s excellent consistency in form and performance.

Because the Rangemaster Sovereign is on the heavy side 15.9gr (1.03g), it’s better suited to high-power PCP rifles.

Available in .177, .20, .22

ONE: JSB Hades (Hollow Point) .22

JSB Match Diabolo is based in Bohumín, Czech Republic. The company was established by an experienced shooter and coach, Josef Schulz, whose research into airgun ammunition led to his own developments in the field. Teaming up with some equally knowledgeable colleagues, Mr Schulz began to produce a new line of airgun pellets.

The 15.89gr (1.02g) Hades .22 has a hollow point that’s surrounded by a trio of lead flaps. On impact, the air pressure in the hollow pit forces the three lead flaps to spread outward, creating a wider wound channel. This well-engineered pellet is perfect for hunting and pest control.

Available in .22

Pistol

Pistols often present the problem of jammed pellets. One of the causes for jamming is that the pellet is too long for the magazine, which is then prevented from cycling properly. The other main reason for stuck pellets is that the low power (under 6 ft/lb) of a pistol is not enough to propel a wide or heavy pellet.

So, basically, when you’re choosing a pellet for your pistol, make sure that it isn’t too big in any way: length, weight, or width.

THREE: RWS Superdome (Domed) .177

This pellet is an excellent all-round performer. Whether you’re using it in a PCP-, spring-, or CO2-powered gun, and whether that gun is a pistol or a rifle, the RWS Superdome is a reliable pellet. The pellet weighs 8.3gr (0.54g), and behind the smooth, round head is a ribbed skirt that adds aerodynamic stability and a flat trajectory.

Available in .177, .22

TWO: Air Arms Field (Domed) .177 (4.51)

The Air Arms Field dome-head is recommended by Pellpax gunsmiths for use in pistols.

Air Arms pellets are carefully inspected at each stage of the manufacturing process to ensure that each one is of the highest quality. The perfectly shaped domed head maintains a flat trajectory, adding to the consistency of this super little pellet. Each Air Arms Field Dome .177 pellet weighs 8.4gr (0.547g).

Available in .177 (4.51, 4.52), .22 (5.51, 5.52)

ONE: H&N Field Target Trophy (Domed) .177

Haendler & Natermann Sport GMBH (H&N) have been manufacturing airgun pellets since the 1950s. The business, which started out in the production of lead foil, was founded 100 years earlier by Carl Georg August Natermann. H&N is still based in its original location – the town of Hann. Münden, Germany.

Made of a lead alloy that produces one of the lowest rates of lead fouling, the H&N Field Target Trophy dome-head is lightweight and aerodynamic for a flat trajectory and high velocity. Suitable for air rifle and pistol, this pellet is ideal for competitive shooting and high-level target practice.

Available in .177, .20, .22, .25

Contact us

There are, of course, many other fantastic pellets available, and this list really is a subjective selection of some of the best. Nevertheless, the pellets featured in this article are all excellent products and have been positively reviewed by shooters all over the world.

For more information about airgun pellets or any of the products on the Pellpax website, just give us a call on 01263 731 585 or email [email protected].

Rifles and Shotguns: 5 Frequently Asked Questions

Pellpax is a company well known for a reliable, face-to-face delivery service. Each weekend, our own drivers cover the whole of England and Wales, delivering firearms to the doors of our customers. We’re able to do this because Pellpax is a Registered Firearms Dealer.

The UK has the strictest firearms regulations in the world. Fortunately, shooting sports are surviving Britain’s legislative measures to prevent gun crime. If you’ve ever bought a gun from Pellpax, you’ll be familiar with the procedure.

As a registered firearms dealer, Pellpax carries a huge responsibility. We don’t take this responsibility lightly. In fact, we consider our licence to sell firearms a privilege.

Customers ask a lot of questions about airguns and firearms and their ammunition. Today we’re going to have a go at answering five of the most common questions that people ask about live-fire guns.

1.    Do I need to have a Firearms Certificate (FAC)?

For a start, you’ll need a firearms licence if you own a live-fire weapon.

Firearms Act 1968 Section 1 (1)

It is an offence for a person

  • to have in his possession, or to purchase or acquire, a firearm to which this section applies without holding a firearm certificate in force at the time, or otherwise than as authorised by such a certificate.
  • to have in his possession, or to purchase or acquire, any ammunition to which this section applies without holding a firearm certificate in force at the time, or otherwise than as authorised by such a certificate, or in quantities in excess of those so authorised.

Firearms Act 1968 Section 2 (1)

Subject to any exemption under this Act, it is an offence for a person to have in his possession, or to purchase or acquire, a shot gun without holding a certificate under this Act authorising him to possess shot guns.

That covers all rimfire and centrefire guns and their ammunition. For possession of both a shotgun and a live-fire rifle, you’ll need an FAC (firearm certificate) for each. The licence will specify the calibre and action of your gun, and there’ll also be a restriction on the amount of ammunition you’re permitted to possess at one time.

Firearms Act 1968 Section 57 (1), defines a firearm as

a lethal barrelled weapon of any description from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged.

Clear as a bell – apart from the word lethal, which is a matter of interpretation. For the purpose of this law, a lethal weapon has the potential to discharge a missile with 12 ft/lb or more of muzzle energy. This definition, of course, includes some air rifles.

There’s no central issuing authority for firearms licences. Each regional police force deals with application, issue, and renewal of FACs. Although the Firearms Act 1968 presents clear guidelines, much of its execution is down to interpretation by experienced police officers who have in-depth knowledge of firearms and a clear understanding of firearms law.   

The Firearms Act 1968 Section 27 (1) says

A firearm certificate shall be granted where the chief officer of police is satisfied

  • that the applicant is fit to be entrusted with a firearm … and is not a person prohibited by this Act from possessing such a firearm
  • that he has a good reason for having in his possession, or for purchasing or acquiring, the firearm or ammunition in respect of which the application is made
  • that in all the circumstances the applicant can be permitted to have the firearm or ammunition in his possession without danger to the public safety or to the peace.

Basically, you must have a legitimate reason for owning a gun, and the licencing officer needs to be satisfied that you’ll abide by the law and not put anyone at risk … and you have to be a ‘he’. Just kidding.

2.    How does a shotgun shell work?

A shotgun shell – or cartridge – is made up of the following components:

Case

The plastic casing (or shell) of the cartridge holds everything together and forms a seal within the barrel, allowing the pressure of expanding gasses to build. At the base of the casing, a protruding metal (usually brass) rim acts as an anchor. The crimped top forms a lid to keep the contents secure, and when the gun is fired, the leaves form a sort of funnel for the shot.

Primer

A small amount of primer is contained within a central recess of the cartridge’s flat base. The firing pin crushes the primer, and the impact causes a chemical reaction that ignites the primer, creating enough heat to ignite the propellant. 

Propellant

The propellant is the exploding black powder or smokeless powder (a term used chiefly in the US). When black powder burns, the product is approximately half gaseous and half solid. When smokeless powder (‘propellant’ in the UK) combusts, the product is mostly gaseous, and therefore a lot less smoky than traditional gunpowder.

Wad

The wad, which is made up of three plastic (or fibrous) components, serves multiple purposes.

Wadding separates the explosive from the shot and creates a seal to prevent the propellant gas from passing through the shot and thus losing power. The centre piece of the wad is the cushion, which acts as a shock absorber by compressing under pressure; this helps to prevent deformation of the shot. Another part of the wadding cups the shot, keeping it together as it’s propelled down the barrel.

Projectile

Shot cartridge projectiles come in various forms – from a single slug, to a dozen buckshot pellets, to hundreds of tiny birdshot. Shot pellets are usually made of lead, but can also be of other metals, such as tin, zinc, bismuth, or steel.

3.    How does a rifle cartridge work?

A rifle cartridge is made up of the following components:

Case

A rifle cartridge case is made of metal – usually brass. The case contains the primer, propellant, and projectile.

Primer

The primer is a shock-sensitive substance that combusts when hit by the firing pin. Its purpose is to ignite the propellant.

Propellant

The propellant is an explosive substance that quickly produces hot, expanding gas as it burns. The pressure of this explosion propels the bullet in the direction of least resistance – i.e. down the barrel.  Traditionally, the propellant was gunpowder (also known as black powder), and it’s still used today. However, it’s now more usual for the propellant to be smokeless powder (in the UK, known simply as ‘propellant’).

Projectile

The projectile in a rifle cartridge is a bullet, which is usually a single flat-bottomed dome, made of lead or lead alloy, weighing between 15 grains and around 750 grains. Some are long and narrow, and others are squat. Some bullets have pointed tips, and others have tapered bottoms.

4.    What’s the difference between rimfire and centrefire?

The difference between a rimfire and a centrefire cartridge is down solely to the way in which the firing pin strikes the primer.

Centrefire cartridge

In a centrefire cartridge, the primer is contained in a metal cup within the centre of the base. The primer is all in one place, so when it’s struck by the firing pin, the resulting combustion is consistent and predictable. A centrefire cartridge is more expensive than a rimfire cartridge, but it’s safer to transport, store, and handle, because of a thick metal casing and protective position of the primer.

All shotguns are centrefire.

Rimfire cartridge

With its thin-walled case, a rimfire cartridge is easier and cheaper to manufacture, and therefore cheaper to buy. The rimfire cartridge, though, is not as reliable as its centrefire equivalent. With the primer spread around the rim of the cartridge and struck by the firing pin at just one point, the level of chemical reaction is inconsistent.

5.    What do the numbers on a shotgun shell mean?

Gauge/Calibre

The gauge, or calibre, of the shell case is a measurement of its diameter, which is represented in this way:

Imagine a pure lead sphere that fits perfectly into the barrel of a specific gun. The weight of this imaginary sphere is expressed as a fraction of a pound – e.g. 1/12 or 1/20.

A 12-gauge cartridge is the right size for a barrel that would, in theory, be a perfect fit for a lead sphere that weighs 1/12 of a pound. A 20-gauge cartridge fits a barrel that would hold a lead ball that weighs 1/20 of a pound. So, the 20-gauge cartridge is smaller than the 12-gauge cartridge.

Shot

Pellet size is expressed as a code. Below are a couple of examples.

Shot Pellet Size Pellet Diameter Pellet Weight Count per 28g
7 Shot 2.5mm 0.08g 340
6 Shot 2.6mm 0.1g 270

In a Hull Cartridge Imperial Game 6 shot cartridge, with a 26g load, there’ll be approximately 250 (270/28 x 26) to 260 (26/0.1) pellets.

A Hull Cartridge ProSteel 7 shot cartridge, with a load of 19g, will contain approximately 230 (340/28 x 26) to 237 (19/0.08) pellets.

Load

The load is the combined weight of the shot.

A birdshot cartridge containing approximately 460 pellets might have a total weight of 492 grains (32g); each pellet weighs 1.07 grains (0.07g). Nine 60-grain (3.9g) pellets in a buckshot cartridge will have a combined weight of 540 grains (35g). And a single slug weighing 383 grains (24.8 grams) carries the shell’s total weight in one unit.

Length

The measurement given is the length of the cartridge with crimps open – its length after being fired.

Using a shell that’s too long for the chamber can cause serious bodily injury and considerable damage to a gun A shorter shell, though, is fine.

There’s usually a manufacturer’s warning on the cartridge box – e.g. Use only in guns with a minimum chamber length of 76mm or These cartridges are suitable for use in guns with a chamber of 2 ½” (65mm) or longer.   

Contact us

These are just a handful of the questions that people ask about live-fire guns. For more information about firearms or any of the products we sell, just give us a call on 01263 731 585 or email [email protected].

What are Airgun Pellets Made Of?

The diabolo airgun pellet

Airgun pellets are usually made in the diabolo form – a shape named after the traditional juggling game. The game of diabolo – from Latin diabolus (devil) – involves the tossing and manipulation of a two-headed bobbin, using a string stretched between two sticks. An earlier name for the game was “devil on two sticks”.

An airgun pellet takes on the general shape of the two-headed bobbin, with a solid head, wide skirt, and narrow waist. The rim of the skirt engages snugly with the rifled bore, creating a strong spin for a flat trajectory. The pellet’s head is slightly narrower than the skirt, so there’s less friction between the head and the gun’s bore, while the waist portion doesn’t touch the bore at all.

H&N Match Green lead-free pellets

Traditionally, airgun pellets are made of lead (Pb from Latin plumbum) or lead alloy. In recent times, manufacturers have made airgun pellets from alternative metals, such as alloys of bismuth and tin – or iron, zinc, and tin. Some modern pellets are even made of plastic.

Why are airgun pellets made of lead?

Lead is a soft, heavy metal, and it’s cheap.

Lead is softer than the steel of a gun’s barrel. This is important because it means that friction doesn’t cause abrasion to the inside of the barrel. Being the softer of the two metals, it’s the lead that’s worn by friction. Consequently, brushing lead residue from the gun’s bore is a routine part of airgun maintenance.

The softness of lead comes into play again when the pellet makes impact with the target, which is particularly important for hunting or vermin control. When the airgun pellet makes impact, it crumples, unable to retain its shape. The crumpled head of the pellet creates a larger wound and a quick, humane kill.

Lead’s most common alloy partner in airgun pellets is antimony (Sb from Latin stibium), a metalloid that adds hardness to lead.

Crosman Premier domed pellets

The heaviness of lead is also significant. With a density of 11.34g per cm3, a small lead pellet carries a proportionally large amount of momentum. Speed may be top priority when it comes to target shooting, but when you’re shooting live quarry, you need some weight behind your shot. The Crosman Premier domed pellet is an example of a reliable lead airgun pellet.

Copper-coated airgun pellets

Apolo Air Boss Barracuda Copper

Copper (Cu from Latin cuprum) is also quite a soft metal, but it’s harder than lead. A copper-coated pellet engages well with the airgun’s rifled bore, but, being softer than steel, it causes no abrasion to the inside of the barrel. Being harder than lead, copper creates less friction with air, so velocity is maintained.

Lead-free airgun pellets

Gamo Lethal plastic pellets

Bismuth (Bi from Latin bisemutium) is a heavy metal with physical characteristics in common with lead. However, unlike lead, bismuth has a low level of toxicity. Bismuth is commonly alloyed with tin (Sn from Latin stannum).

A lightweight pellet maintains velocity, and consequently keeps a flat trajectory, so for target shooting, a plastic pellet like the Gamo Lethal, which has a copper tip, is ideal for those who are concerned about lead pollution.

Contact Us

For more information about airgun pellets, give us a call on 01263 731 585 or email [email protected].