by B.B. Pelletier
For many years, the RWS Hobby was the lightest pellet you could buy in .177 caliber. At that time, it weighed just 6.9 grains, but today’s .177 pellet weighs 7 grains even. That light weight made it the defacto test standard for all airguns, because it invariably gave the highest velocity. Today, we have a host of synthetic pellets and, of course, Gamo’s slight-of-hand Raptor that are all lighter and faster than the Hobby. But, while the Raptor has a poor reputation for accuracy, the Hobby has a good one.
In .22 caliber, Hobbys weigh about 11.9 grains, which is also one of the lightest lead pellets. However, to an even greater extent than the .177, the .22 Hobbys are very useful in vintage airguns.
Good for powerful airguns
As light as they are, you might think Hobbys are only for lower-powered guns, but that isn’t the case. They’re light, it’s true, but they also have larger dimensions than many other pellets to better fill the bores of guns, such as older Webley spring pistols and BSA rifles.
Inexpensive but not cheap
The Hobby is also a very uniform pellet. At one time a decade ago, they were the least expensive of the RWS pellet line, but that spot has now been taken by the .177 Diabolo Basic. Hobbys have moved up in the world. Still, they aren’t that expensive and are a definite bargain when compared to the premium brands.
Good for targets
Because it’s a wadcutter, the Hobby is perfect for informal target practice in either caliber. It won’t group as well as special target pellets in a 10-meter gun, but in an informal airgun, such as the Smith & Wesson 586 or the RWS P5 Magnum, you won’t notice the difference. In fact, Hobbys have been known to be the best pellet for some guns.
Perfect for pests
Another good job Hobbys can do is small pest elimination at close range. As long as the range is under about 25 yards and it’s shot from a good airgun, the Hobby has the power and retained velocity to take care of business. As a wadcutter, it’s devastating to flesh, and its high velocity makes it especially deadly. The close-range constraint is because wadcutters shed velocity faster than any other pellet shape.
Hobbys are fairly uniform in weight, though not among the absolute best. They often come with lots of lead flakes packed in the tin, so it’s best to do a little sorting before you use them for anything special. Sort by weight and inspect the skirts for flakes at the same time.
Hobbys are made from pure lead, so there’s no need to lubricate unless you plan on shooting really fast. At 900 f.p.s. and less, they should be fine in a dry bore.
Fountain of youth
And, here is a final truth. RWS pellets are often the best performers in RWS/Diana airguns. That’s true of the vintage models from 50 years ago, as well as the guns sold today. The Hobby, because it is so lightweight in both .177 and .22, gives a new lease on life to those marginal spring guns, such as the Diana model 23 and 25 rifles or the Webley Junior and Senior pistols.
The Hobby is a classic pellet that belongs in your cabinet in both calibers.