B.B.’s treasure chest – Picking a pellet

By B.B. Pelletier

Selecting the best pellet for your airguns seems like a challenge, doesn’t it? How do you know which one, out of the hundreds out there, will turn out to be the best? You’ve heard that every pellet gun is an individual, which is true; so will your gun develop a craving for some strange pellet that everyone else says is no good? Probably not, and that’s what this is all about.

While different airguns do like different pellets, there ARE some standards you can almost always count on. Those are the ones we will examine today.

For starters, have you ever tried Crosman Premiers in the square cardboard box? They are a domed lead pellet and come in .177, .20 and .22 calibers. In .177 they are available in two weights, 7.9 grains for use in spring and CO2 guns and 10.5 grains for use in pneumatics – both multi-pump and precharged. In the other two calibers (.20 and .22), they only come in the 14.3-grain weight, which turns out to be exactly what’s needed. They have a deserved reputation for accuracy in most airguns and should be on your list of things to buy when you get another new gun.

Incidentally, you will also find Premiers in round tins. What is the difference, if any? As it turns out, Crosman packages Premiers in the cardboard box by die lot, and the die number is stamped on the bottom of the box. You are assured that the pellets in that box all came from the same manufacturing tooling. Shooters believe this gives them a little more uniformity, so the cardboard box is how the winners buy their Premiers. The Premiers in the round tin can be just as accurate as the others, but they may not all have come from the same tooling – at least that is the current belief among competitive shooters.

Another great pellet is the Beeman Kodiak, which is also sold as the Diabolo Baracuda. This is a heavy pellet in all calibers and should be used in rifles that can achieve at least 700 f.p.s. in the caliber you own. That doesn’t mean 700 with Kodiaks, just with any light pellet. These pellets are a bit too heavy for pistols, though at ranges under 15 yards they will do fine in almost any gun.

One final pellet that is fast becoming a legend is the JSB Exact by Josef Schulz Bohumin in the Czech Republic. My opinion is that these are not necessarily that much different in design than other domed pellets; I believe Bohumin holds closer tolerances than the other companies.

We are not finished. ANY pellets you buy, and I don’t care who made them, will have irregularities in the box or tin. So after you open the package, you have to sort through all the pellets to find the best ones if extreme accuracy is important.

Here is the difference between sorting and not sorting. A sorted pellet may shoot a half-inch group at 50 yards when everything else is right. An unsorted pellet may shoot anything from a half-inch to an inch and one-half. Shooting unsorted pellets is a crap-shoot. You won’t know how they perform until you shoot the group!

Sorting – how do you do that? Well, for starters, you pick out all the visibly damaged pellets and discard them. And then? Well that sounds like a good subject for another day.

16 thoughts on “B.B.’s treasure chest – Picking a pellet”

  1. BB, when you test guns do you sort the pellets to help show the guns best accuracy to readers? Seems like it would take a lot of time.


    P.S.- Really appreciate what you do for people like me. It’s gotten me really interested in airguns. Hope someone at Pyramid does something to pay you for your great services.

  2. Kyle,

    Thanks for your kind remarks.

    Regarding pellets, there are two ways to approach it. One is by sorting, which gives the absolute best accuracy possible for a certain pellet. The other is to pick straight from the tin or box with no sorting. Unless I say otherwise in the report, I do it the second way, because I think that’s how most shooters do it. I want my results to be as close to what thers will be when they try the same thing.


  3. Hello B.B,

    Thanx for providing me with some nice information about how to oil my Diana 350 yesterday 🙂
    When it comes to pellets,I have not found better than the Beretta Pointed pellets (.177) .The Diana pellets are on their way to the dealer,but till now i just found Beretta Pointed pellets .They are made in Germany and at the beretta official site,it is said that they are designed for long range targetting (specially designed for CO2 beretta pistols). Are they H&N or RWS pellets? I also have no idea what their weight could be,but they are quite tall pointed pellets.Are these pellets accurate enough to hit targets at 100 yards?



  4. Fouad ,

    We don’t have Beretta pellets here in the U.S. so I can’t comment on them, except to say that Beretta is aligned with Umarex. So they probably get the pellets made by H&N, thought RWS is also a possibility.

    As for accuracy at 100 yards, you’ll have to try them to find out. I have to tell you – 100 yards is an extremely long distance for an airgun. Be happy is you can group anything under four inches.


  5. Hey B.B,

    Have just found that my beretta pointed are actually H&N Diabolo pointed pellets (8,64 grain)….THEY look exaclty the same( Long pellets,perfored on the skirt and exactly the same nose).
    Check this link :http://www.hn-sport.de/engl/index.htm
    Yes 100 yards is long distance but i have seen some guy shooting coffee cans with the 350 magnum without sights on youtube….But i wonder what pellets have been used…i think either crosman heavies or H&N Diabolo Baracuda which are also know as Beeman kodiaks.4 or 5 INCHES at 100 yards will be GREAT for a newbie like me LOL.Perhaps a PCP like the CONDOR would likely get 1 inch at 100 yards .
    I am going to the field tomorrow morning! 🙂


  6. Hello B.B thanx for being interested …and shooting at long distances became without any doubt,one of my best things to do 🙂

    What can i say….Amazing gun ! This is my first REAL try of my 350 magnum classic ….I shot a bottle of beer which is real thick at 40 yards USING OPEN SIGHTS (fiber optic sights) and suddenly ,i just saw that bottle break into small pieces!! I was so happy about it and my friend was really shocked lol It took me 4 attempts on that bottle….the first 3 were not into the bottle,but just pretty close 🙂 This shot really made my day….i’ll show you the movie later when i’ll first get it by e-mail from my friend …amazing explosion :D….
    But then came the bad news :S After about 3 hours of shooting…i finally decided to mount the scoop because hitting another bottle of beer from 50 yards and up without a scoop would be insane, as i could barely see the bottle at 40 yards!… I didnt know the scoop would take so much work to calibrate! i mean at just 10 yards,i coulden’t hit anything with the scoop! It just always passed 8 INCHES UNDER the target :S (No problem at all with LEFT/RIGHT but just with the UP/DOWN)…but all i could do at the end was get the hit 6 INCHES UNDER the target…a 2 inch improvement….(I rotated the UP/DOWN calibration about 220 degrees) ..but there is still a huge difference !
    In short i cant wait to go again and continue calibrating the scoop…
    -Is that normal? I rotated almost 3/4 of the circle and still have 6 inches to catch up. How many times do you usually turn the circle? Can it be a 2*360 for instance? Or it will just reset when the 360 degree cycle is finished?

    Good shooting

  7. Fouad,

    All Diana spring rifles are bad when it comes to mounting a scope. Yes the scope adjustment will turn around completely MANY TIMES, but that still won’t be enough.

    Use a one-piece scope mount and put thin plastic or metal under the rear of the mount before you tighten the mount to the gun. You want the scope to slant down, to bring your shots up. Use as much material under the mount as you can fit and still get the mount to clamp to the gun.

    Hang the scope stop pin in the mount IN FRONT of the rifles scope base, so the mount will not be able to back up when the gun fires. Don’t use those two small shallow holes on the rifles mount base for anything, or they will rip out from the recoil.

    I am working on a new scope mount base to fit all Diana spring rifles that will solve this problem. I expect it to become available in the first half of 2008.


  8. B.B,

    Merry Christmas to you and family! 🙂

    As for the scoop ,i haven’t noticed that the scoop went back..But i’ll be more carefull to the position of the scoop next time i shoot,thx for advice 🙂 This one is a chineese made scoop(2-6x),but it seems to be of a good quality.Maybe i’ll go shoot today and put some ajustments to the scoop.
    I will probably order from you some RWS or Diana lubes if they are available + the cleaning rode and cleaning pellets,and probably a Diana 3-9x scoop.Can you deliver these by mail? I will just let you know when….And about airguns….do you think it is possible to ship an airgun without the use of a Dealer ?(just from you/pyramydair to me). I would also like to get the airforce condor(later),a chrony….etc.Where can i find chronographs? the gun dealers here don’t have..
    Good luck on your new mount base!


  9. Fouad ,

    Pyramyd Air can ship an airgun to anyone. But when something comes into a country, it first goes through a customs inspection. If they determine it could be hazardous or illegal, they open the box and examine it. If it appears to break the laws of the country, they test it, and if it does break the law, they seize the shipment.

    Pyramyd Air has a notice on their website that says anyone who orders an airgun must know the laws of their country. Pyramyd Air does not take responsibility for any shipments seized by customs and they do not refund the money for a seized shipment.

    So it is your responsibility to determine whether you can legally receive an airgun from Pyramyd Air.

    You can email them directly and ask them yourself. They are at:



  10. B.B,

    If it is about fps,i live in Lebanon and we dont have restricted fps rules….we dont even need to carry a lisence to get an airgun….i bought an airgun without having any lisence.
    But i dont know if it is possible to ship from pyramyd air directly to me (without passing by a dealer in lebanon)
    I sent pyramyd air an e-mail asking them if they usually encountered problems shipping an airgun to other countries.Maybe they have some ideas.
    Got any e-mail?


  11. Fouad,

    I am not located near Pyramyd Air. I have to deal with them by phone and email.

    So please provide your email address and I will se that the Customer Service Representative manager gives your request her personal attention.


  12. B,B.

    It is : cobra_32x@yahoo.com
    I prefer to send the money by Mail if it is possible….And if shipping an airgun is not possible,i can still order some Crosman and H&N pellets,a Diana 3-9X scoop, some RWS lubes and finally cleaning tools.These lubes come in closed from the inside?

    Okay that’s for now ,and i really appreciate your help.


  13. I got a reply from Pyramyd air ….I think it would be much easier with the help of a dealer.Many things to do.Charges include INTERNAL USA transport of 150-250.If the airgun costs 500$,i will have to pay like 900-1000 overall.


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