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Best pellet of all?

by B.B. Pelletier

Today I’m going out on a limb and telling you what I think is the best pellet in the world. Actually, there are several pellets, because every caliber needs something different. So I’ll do a David Letterman countdown.

pellet calibers

Starting with .25 caliber
Not as many shooters shoot .25 caliber, so the pellet selection is not as great. But, I know two that deliver the goods for me all the time. Sometimes one outshoots the other and sometimes they both work well in the same gun, but I have never seen another pellet that could compare to either in this caliber.

The H&N Field Target weighs about 20 and a fraction grains, which makes it medium weight in .25 caliber. They are not too uniform in weight, but on target they shine! I have a Whiscombe JW 75 that likes this pellet better than any other, and, because it is so light, it really sails! Buy these for all your medium-powered .25s, such as the RWS Diana 48/52 and others in that power range.

The H&N Baracuda is the other .25 caliber star. In a Webley Patriot or a Beeman Crow Magnum (no longer imported), these are the best. They are 31 grains and can really tame those big springers! They also work well in the lower-powered guns, but the velocity will be in the 600s.

For .20 caliber
In .20 caliber, the Crosman Premier has long been my favorite. At 14.3 grains, it’s on the heavy side of medium weight, and it really delivers the accuracy and power at long range. Another pellet that SHOULD be excellent, though I have no real experience with it beyond shooting them in my Sheridans, is the Beeman Kodiak. At 13.3 grains, they’re lighter than the Premiers and are pure lead, so they won’t lead your barrel like the Premiers.

For .22 caliber
The absolute BEST PELLET IN THE WORLD at this time (in my opinion) is the 15.9-grain JSB Exact domed pellet in .22. At least, this holds true for hunting and general shooting. (I’m not talking about match pellets today.) The reason Exacts are so good is that they’re hand-sorted by the manufacturer. I buy them by the 10-tin sleeve – and I’m usually a cheap guy. This is almost the ONLY pellet I shoot in .22.

The other great .22 pellet is the Beeman Kodiak or H&N Baracuda. This is the same pellet, but sometimes one brand is less expensive than the other, so I shop for the bargains. At 21 grains, this is a heavy pellet, though the extra-heavy Eun Jin has it out-classed at 28 grains. Kodiaks fly true for a very long range.

As a final word on .22 caliber…if you have a REALLY powerful rifle, like a Condor, the Eun Jin pellet is superb. Just don’t try to shoot it long range in a Beeman R1.

Finally – .177
I suspect that JSB Exact pellets are also the best in .177, but I have no experience with them. Therefore, my top choice is Beeman Kodiak or H&N Baracuda. Several years ago, I would have selected Crosman Premier in 10.5 grains for PCPs or 7.9 grains for springers, but I found that the pure lead Kodiaks shade them just a little beyond 35 yards – in some guns. In other guns, the Premiers are clearly the best.

There – that’s what I think about pellets. I’m sorry if your favorite was not mentioned, but this is my opinion. I’d like to hear yours in the comments.

17 years later

This was published in 2005. What would I say 17 years later, in 2022? Well, for starters, the .25 caliber has become very popular, and JSB makes excellent pellets in that caliber. So does H&N, which I said in the text above.

What I said about the .22-caliber JSB Exact still holds true, but the 18.13-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy has joined it. It depends on which airgun you have as to which pellet is better. H&N Baracuda pellets are still quite wonderful and in some airguns they are the best.

The .20 caliber is still with us but not very many pellets are being made for it today. There are more choices in .25-caliber than .20. The .20-caliber Crosman Premier has gone away, and that was a leader in this caliber. Today H&N and JSB are making the best pellets, so if .20 is what you shoot, the best is still available.

You have to remember, I said this report was just my opinion. It still is. That doesn’t make it fact.

51 thoughts on “Best pellet of all?”


  2. Dave,

    Thank you for this feedback! It really helps me when folks tell me how things work for them!

    I like the 350M rifle, too. To me, it feels about like a 1903 Springfield. It’s about the same size and it seems to be as well made.

    If Premiers are the best for you, then by all means continue using them. Try some groups at 35 yards if you can. The longer distance will show accuracy potential much more dramatically.



  3. I have used both RWS Superpoints and Super-H-points. They are good pellets, just not the best I’ve seen. Superpoints are sometimes very good in lower-powered spring rifles because their thin skirts deform with the weaker air blast to fill the rifling grooves better.



  5. b.b.,

    OK, great scoop on the pellets. What I need is some advice on the best rifle for hunting. I am looking for a rifle to hunt squirrels, rabbits etc and am having a hard time deciding between a .177 or .22 350 or GAMO 1250. I am also looking at the RWS Mendoza RM 2003 combo (interchangeable barrels .22 and .177) , but can’t find any info on this rifle. Any recommendations?

  6. Probably not the Best pellet of all, but certainly an excellent value. Especially for sighting in new rifles or scopes where you need large volumes of lead sometimes just to find the target (I do most all my shooting at 115 ft). I shoot Gamo 1000, Chinese SM1000, Crossman Quest 1000, in .177 cal. Once you “find” the target, these pellets maintain a very respectable group of 1.25 in. at 115 ft. (I shake a lot also). And they shoot much better than the much more expensive Gamo Match pellets even in my Gamo Shadow 1000. Crossman Wadcutter Premium Grade .177 . I get them at Academy: 500 for $2.63 or $3.62 at Wal-Mart. I have no financial interest in any of these companys, but I Never want to spend more than I have to for Results.

  7. I am aware of the Greenhill Formula for the twist rate to stabalize a bullet and the fact that velocity doesn’t factor in. How does that work with your assertions that heavier pellets only work in more powerfull guns? I also never see any mention of the rifle twist rate. Are these guns spin stabalized or is it simply stabalized via the diabolo pellet with spin providing a very initial stability untill the areodynamic stabaliztion takes over?

  8. Almost all pellet rifles and pisto9ls have a 1 in 16 inch twist rate – the .22 rimfire rate. They don’t need much because the dibolo pellet shap does about 80 percent of the stabilization at all ranges.

    Heavy pellet go too slow in low-powered guns. They don’t stabilize both because of the spin and because the airflow doesn’t create enough drag.

    The Greenhill formula is for conical solid bullets with flat bases, as far as I know. I do know this, if you shoot a heavy diabolo through a low-powered airgun it won’t be accurate at long range (50 yards). I’m talking about a Diana model 27.


  9. I had a question about Gamo’s pellets. You don’t seem to mention them very much and I was wondering if that was for a specific reason. Gamo claims that their “Match” pellet is the most accurate but from my shooting it appears to me that the “Hunter” pellets are the most accurate. I have purchased a tin of the ProMagnums which are also supposed to be accurate but I am waiting for those to arrive so I can test them out. If you have anything to say on this it is greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch!

  10. Sorry I had one more thing to add to the comment about Gamo’s pellets. I don’t know if this is going to affect your reply but I have a Gamo MultiShot

  11. This is an “Apples and Oranges” question. The reason Hunter pellets do better in your rifle is its power level. Gamo Match pellets are light and do better in low powered airguns.

    Actually, I have said on more than one occasion that Gamo Match pellets are among the leaders in their category – certainly when the price is considered.


  12. bb

    i just bought a benjamin 392 and i was wondering which type of pellets should i get, the crosman premiers, or the jsb exacts.the type of shooting ill be doing is targeting at about 30 yards.thanks


  13. hello i am new to this site but i have a weihrauch hw 90 k and it is very powerfull and i use h.n field target trophy and never fail to hit the target it is a .22 drops rabbits like dropping lead

    • Ok, Tom aka B.B. you no-goodnik! You advised that a shooter could not own just one pellet gun or air rifle and do all they want with just one gun. I took that to heart and now am having fun trying to shoot almost everyday. But the one problem you did not mention is how to keep track of the best pellet for each gun. I didn’t stop at 2 or 3 or 4 or 8 so now I am having a problem trying new pellets on each gun to find the most accurate and must keep track of accuracy by taking pictures of best grouping for a particular pellet and keeping it on my cell phone so I can review if I have not shot a certain gun in a while. Do you have a simpler way of keeping track of the goodest pellet for each rifle that you own?

        • B.B. I figured that is what you might say. I was hoping that there might be a faster method. Maybe even an app that would accept info when at the range in my backyard. Since I am a “wobble shooter” as I found out when I read an article from back when someone wrote it in the Newsletter from Airgun Express, everybody is a “wobbler shooter” to some degree, I bought one of those shooting tripods. My groups went from silver dollar size to nickel size and on a good day some of those dime size groups that you always show us to make us cry. But, but, I must admit. With diligent practice I am getting better. The red squirrel that was chewing on my house, tore holes in the patio furniture covers, and was digging up the flowers now sleeps with the worms.

        • Jan, well that would be true except that the ship was like a cruise ship. Made numerous stops and just kept coming back. However; the comment “beware the man with only one gun” because he probably knows how to use it could very well be true. But he is so limited with only one. It can only be one caliber (unless of course it is the Beeman two barrel unit) and according to Tom, one caliber just cannot do EVERYTHING a person that is actually using air rifles wants his gun to do. I guess it just depends on how involved a person is with the toys he enjoys. Are they wall hangers or tools? As I look toward retirement, I hope to shoot so much that people will think it is my job! And as we both now know, I do have a choice of a toy for that day, and maybe a different one the next day, and ditto the next day and so on and on. And with as much as I am practicing, I am actually getting to be a better shot. And I am really enjoying my hobby!

  14. When browsing .22’s would you all consider a Diana RWS 350 Feuerkraft to be a “higher powered” .22 ( in relation to springers at least)? I’ve just ordered one and I am planning to test a spectrum of various weights/tips, but is there a good starting point for this gun? 14-16 grain(diabolo or JSB preds)? and would Kodiak 21 be too much?(and any advantage to double gold??? hmmm)- PS does anyone have any experience with this rifle? ( I ordered the leapers 1-piece accushot mount but have yet to select a scope)- sorry to bomb you guys out with questions but once I get my bearings Im good,I am just relatively new to “magnum” airguns, and I am very much looking forward to hunting with them this year

  15. Among the spring guns the 350 Mag is definitely higher-power. Of course it isn’t compared to the PCPs.

    Try all the heavy pellets. I don’t think the Predators will group well, but the Exacts will and maybe the Kodiaks, too.

    To get answers from everyone, post your comments on the current blog page. The topic doesn’t matter.


  16. dear mr.B.B.Pelletier
    i am new in air-rifles
    i bought diana 350 Mag superior
    caliber .177″
    my question is what are the most accurate pellets for said air rifle
    i bought diana high-power and diana-magnum pellets but i think they are not that accurate i bought them assuming they are compatible (same brand)
    what do you recommend as you have a great experience!
    for medium range so for long range since it is a magnum rifle
    And please what do you think of:
    DIANA 4 x 32 MAGNUM plus Scope developed especially
    for powerful air rifles, with glass reticle
    thank you
    Spiro M.

  17. Spiro M.,

    Best pellet for your diana 350 Mag. .177 caliber may be different that the best pellet in your neighbors diana 350 Mag. .177 caliber.

    My diana magnum springer likes heavier pellets. The jsb heavies and heavier crossman premiers (that come in a cardboard box). Think of buying a pellet sampler that is availble on numerous airgun sites (google pellet sampler) and trying several different pellets until you find the one your gun likes best. Might be/will probably be differenct pellets at different ranges.

    Please join us on the current/active blog where great information is being exchanged between airgunners, like you, with lots of questions and answers. Here’s a link:


    Hope to hear from you on the current forum.


  18. I've tried several types of pellets in my new Crossman Sports XT .177. I bought an assortment "4 pack" of Gamo's and a can of Daisy Pointed Precision Max. I get BY FAR the best grouping from 33' on out to 50 yds with the Gamo Hunter. They give a 1/2" group at 33'. The Gamo Match, Magnums, & Master Points are FAR less consistent and the Daisy's are trash. ALL are inconsistent in the base diameter and cause lead clogging. What's the best "coated" pellet? The consistency of the gun seems directly related to the number of lead pellets fired since cleaning. The pattern changes after only 15 or 20 lead rounds.

  19. Anonymous,

    each rifle or gun will like a different pellet or pellets. It's due to manufacturing tolerances of the barrel and the pellet.
    Even rimfire and centerfire firearms exhibit this behavior. I've found that unless you shop at stores that cater to airgun enthusiasts,
    you will only get the low end pellets at the box stores ("Sprawlmart", "Dorks" and so on). Most of us have
    had excellent results with RWS, JSB's and Crosman Premiers – both in the tin and especially in the cardboard box.
    All are the domed type, not pointed or hollow points but I've gotten very good results with the RWS and Crosman hollow points as well.
    Try those, too. Check out this URL:


    One other thing, the blog you and I are posting to was written 5years ago. Only a handful of us monitor these blogs.
    For the most current blog, go to:


    for posting your comments.
    You'll get much wider exposure and off-topic comments are always welcome. By all means, read these older blogs as there's a wealth of
    information to be gleened from them. Hope to see you at the current blog!

    Fred PRoNJ

  20. Here's a question for all of you. i have a crosman sierra pro (.177 1000fps) and i've knoticed that it is somewhat tempermentail to certain kinds of pelets. For example if i shoot a gamo hunter series pelet or one of thoes expensive gold plated pelets its on the money at 60 yrds easy. However if i use a Crossman Primere super point or any flat tiped pelets it could be off by a foot or more in any given direction (up,down,left or right). So what i am asking is what kind of pelet would increase the guns accuracy but still keep them squirls falling dead out of my neighbors tall pine tree about 50 to 60 yrds away?

  21. You have answered your own question. You have to hit the target before anything happens, so don't use wadcutters for long-range shots. They simply aren't accurate. Use the pellets that hit the target.

    The "expensive" pellets are likely going to be the only ones you want to use. But if they work they are not expensive. You just don't want to waste them.

    My recommendation is to try JSB Exact domed pellets in your Sierra Pro. Try both the 8.4 and 10.2 grain varieties. Also try Crosman Premier hollowpoints.


  22. A poor mans pellet gun a Crosman 1.77 cal. phantom 1000. $86 dollars and some change. The only pellets I have shot are the super sonic aluminum hollow cup pellets. Those pellets break the sound barrier, sound like a .22 cal. fire arm. And are so accurate that you can put a hole in a whole several times at 30 yards. I do not shoot led and never will the poison. Thanks my two cents worth. WR

  23. Hi Everyone… I just came across this site and perhaps you guys can help me. Im from South-Africa.. Im looking for a good airgun that offers me acceracy.. I have 2 airguns in mind. Daystate air ranger or Weihnraugh HW 100. What is the best? Price class are the same. Can anybody please help me? Whats good and whats bad?

  24. Hello,

    I have not tested the Air Ranger, but I have tested the HW 100 and it is a marvelous air rifle. Both rifles have great reputations and I don't see how you can miss with either one.

    Remember this — accuracy and not power is what counts. In this case I would go with the rifle you feel best about.


  25. hi B.B
    thanx for the help. Can you perhaps tell me at what distance you can reach more or less with the HW 100.
    Also what caliber wil be better for hunting doves, patridges and rabbits?

  26. Anonymous with questions about HW100 and caliber,

    B.B. is on the road so I'm going to offer my answer to your questions.

    I shot my .22 caliber HW100 out to 100 yards often off a bench with front and rear bags. It would regularly put 10 shots into a group that measured 2 inches on windless days. Off a good rest I wouldn't shoot doves or partridges beyond 50 yards with the HW100 since that's the furthest distance I can keep every shot inside an inch. You may be a better shot than me but I would suggest that you don't shot game beyond the distance you can consistently place pellets inside a 1 inch circle.

    A good all around hunting caliber is .22 in my opinion. .177 will kill doves and partridges and a well placed shot will kill a rabbit since rabbits aren't that hard to kill.

    ps-The Air Ranger is an air hog. Very wasteful design since all Daystate did was put in an oversize hammer. You can tune an Air Ranger to be more conserving of air but they still have extreme spreads of velocity between shots and a poor shot count. Daystate's later versions have electronics. I had a Daystate MCT (latest version) for a short time. Great shot count, so so accuracy and an electronic trigger that was about 3 ounces that I hated.

    Since you're considering a HW100 and Air Ranger don't overlook the Rapid MKII.


  27. Hi Kevin..
    I am quite new to airguns. I have a .22 rimfire. The reason i want a airgun is because we have a Game lodge and the doves are messing up the chalets. And the noise of the .22 will not accomodate with the clients and bird watchers. Haha. Kevin what other airguns will you suggest? Thank you for your help.

  28. Anonymous new to airguns,

    I think the best buy in a pcp for your application is either an Air Arms S410 or Air Arms S500. The actions on these guns are identical only the stocks are different. The S410 has several stock options: Beech, Walnut, Thumbhole, non-thumbhole etc.

    These are a best buy in my opinion since they have a wonderful reputation of being trouble free out of the box, have one of the best barrels in the world (Lothar Walther), have an amazing trigger that can be adjusted by an idiot like me to mere ounces, have a 10 shot magazine that is easy to load, have a side lever for cocking that is smooth as butter and have an external power adjuster that can be dialed down to around 500fps (in .22 caliber, don't know about .177 since I've never owned a S410 or S500 in .177) or dialed up to over 900fps. They're very quiet on low power and quieter than a Air Ranger or HW100 at the equivalent high power setting.

    Don't buy the carbine version of these models buy the rifle. The length and weight are very similar but the shot count on the carbine is terrible even if you install a classic air tube which I did on a carbine version I owned. Stay away from the carbine. Look into the rifle versions. Pyramyd AIR has some deals on these guns right now for less than I paid for mine years ago.


  29. Thanx Kevin…
    1 last question.. Will a silencer affect my speed or accuracy?
    I am leaving for Johannesburg right now because today are D-day and boy oh boy i am really Exited about my new toy…
    Thank you for this page and help.
    You can invite me on Facebook . Its
    Tanto Hunting Saffaris. Regards from South-Africa.

  30. Anonymous "will a silencer affect my speed or accuracy?",

    Silencers in the USA (where I am) are strictly regulated. The additional paperwork and extreme expense make them rare.

    There is a general attitude among airgunners that they are exempt from laws regarding silencers since they feel the laws are directed at firearm owners. This has resulted in many homemade devices in the USA but has kept out the better made/factory silencers that are common in European countries.

    Our homemade devices often are poorly designed and result in pellet clipping and/or a restriction of airflow both of which can affect velocity and accuracy of a pellet.

    The short answer to your question is maybe.


  31. I have a crossman quest 1000x. I do not like the scope. Where can I find another scope for this air rifle? I'd like to have the mil-dot scope. Thank you. I love to read all this stuff BTW

  32. Hello again,

    I have recently bought a diana panther 350 magnum in .22 and I have found that 22 cal winchester pellets were too small in the barrel. When shooting in the late afternoon, I noticed sparks. But thats just my observations and experience.
    What would you recommend in the 350 magnum?
    I generally use the rifle for pest control and odd plinckering.

    • 350MAG,

      I definitely would not use Daisy pellets in a Diana 350 Magnum. That rifle needs a good premium pellet to shoot its best.

      I recommend either Crosman Premiers of, best of all, JSB Exact Jumbo pellets that weigh 15.89 grains in .22 caliber. You can’t get the JSBs at any store. Order them online, or if you are lucky enough to come to the 2015 Texas Airgun Show Airgun Depot will be selling them.


  33. Concerning the H&N Baracuda .22 @ 21.14 grains: I have a Diana 460 Magnum .22. My scope is a Leapers 3-12×40 sighted in on the JSB Exacts. Using a bench rest, I get decent patterns (under 1″) with Gamo Rocket, JSB Exact Jumbo and RWS Super H Point pellets, all near 15 – 16 grains, at 20 yds. However, the Baracuda shoots about 4 inches high consistently with the pattern at about 1.8 inches. Is there a reasonable explanation for this?

    • JimW,

      Welcome to the blog.

      The Baracuda pellet is the heaviest pellet you are shooting, so it is also the slowest. It remains in the barrel longer than all the others. So when it leaves the muzzle, the muzzle must be elevated or angled upward to give that higher trajectory.


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