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Which caliber is best for you? .177? .22?

By B.B. Pelletier

I really don’t have to write this report; Pyramyd AIR already has a whole article on the subject of pellet calibers. After reading that article, though, I thought I’d add my two cents.

I agree with the author, Tom Gaylord, that .177 caliber is best if you just want to shoot a lot and you want to save money on pellets. A tin can doesn’t know the difference between being hit by an 8-grain wadcutter from a .177 and a 14.5-grain round nose from a .22. The .22 smacks harder, but if hitting is all you’re after, go .177 and save money.

Speaking of saving, are you guys taking advantage of the pellet special on Pyramyd’s site? They offer four tins or boxes of pellets for the price of three. This is their message and I think it’s on every page selling pellets: Buy 4 tins of pellets and one of them will be FREE! One of 4 pellet tins in your shopping cart will always be FREE. 9mm, 0.45 and 0.50 pellets are excluded from the promotion. I would take advantage of that one every time!

I’m a hunter, so I like .22 caliber airguns. I also like .25 caliber in a powerful gun, though I admit that the pellets are much more expensive. I think it really delivers the knockdown power I need – even more than a .22. My ideal hunting airgun is the Webley Patriot in .25 caliber.

But, between .177 and .22, I tend to go with the .22 more often because of the type of shooting I do. My pellets do cost more, but I buy so many at one time that I don’t think about it the rest of the time. Imagine what you’d pay if you were shooting a firearm!

Now, here’s a crock that’s been passed around for too many years. Some people say a .177 is more accurate than a .22, to which I reply, “Bullfeathers!” Prove it! They can’t! To my knowledge, there’s never been a test published that proves any caliber is more accurate than another. People just like to talk, and I guess this provides some of the fodder.

“But they shoot .177s in the Olympics!” Yes and they drive Formula Three race cars in Europe and NASCARs here in America. So what? There is NOTHING about one caliber that makes it inherently more accurate than another – I don’t care what anyone says.

If you’re going to use your gun to shoot targets or plink, pick .177. If you intend to hunt with the gun, get a .22 caliber. If you are a really serious airgun hunter, consider a big .25-caliber rifle, as well. But whatever you do, do what seems right to you. All airgun calibers are good because they all work in airguns!

6 thoughts on “Which caliber is best for you? .177? .22?”

  1. All the English-made Webleys are good rifles, so, yes, the Stngray is good. However, there aren’t many left. In the near future, Webley will be bringing out several spring rifle made in Turkey. The jury is still out on their quality.


  2. I just bought a gamo varmint hunter with the intentions of using it for squirrels and the occasional raccoon. The rifle seems powerful enough, but can a .177 kill a raccoon? I have noticed the raptor pellets are extremely accurate out of my gun if that helps.

  3. The Gamo Varmint Hunter is not recommended for raccoons. It can do the job with a brain hit, but few airgunners can shoot that well. I cannot recommends it.

    When you say your rifle is extremely accurate with a Raptor, what are you talking about? I would say if your rifle can keep 5 shots on a dime at 30 yards, that your be extremely accurate. Is it that good? Because that’s how good it should be for a precision shot.


  4. Some say the .20 is a great all around caliber and sits between the .177 and .22. I like .22 as an all around caliber. If you take .25 cal. in consideration then the mid point is probably around .2135 which leaves the .22 closer to that number than .20. Also, I like the selection of pellets in .22. Another point is the pellets can deliver more power with less velocity and can be quieter than smaller cals.

    If I buy an air gun that is for plinking or targets only, then economically .177 is most likely the better choice and high end target pellets are mostly found in .177.

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