We spend a lot of time discussing hunting pellets and slugs, but we seldom discuss precision pellets and which deliver the best performance. Today we’ll take some time to look at what makes a “precision” pellet hit the mark. Let’s get started.
10-meter Precision Pellets
Some of the most accurate pellets in the world are used for 10-meter competitions. These pellets are typically “wadcutters,” which means they have a perfectly flat face. This also helps when using physical paper targets because they will cut very clean holes for the target software to get a clean read.
Wadcutter pellets like the Olympia Light and Heavy Match .177 options are ideal for rifle and pistol precision shooting. While wadcutter pellets are great at close range, their poor ballistic coefficient takes them out of the running for long-range precision shooting.
Domed Pellets are Best for Long-Range Precision Shooting
If you want to shoot precision past 10 meters, you need to look at domed pellets. The basic difference is the head of the pellet. Where wadcutter pellets are completely flat, domed pellets are rounded. Some of the most popular options come from JSB, like the 10.3 in .177 and the 18.13 in .22. But, H&N and other pellet manufacturers also have their offerings. H&N precision line starts with the Field Target Trophy Pellets and transitions to the Baracuda and Baracuda Match varieties.
What Makes Precision Pellets Stand Out?
While airgunners typically look at wadcutter and domed pellets for the best accuracy, the real secret sauce comes down to how these pellets are made and their sizing variations. Consistency is everything. Pellets must weigh the same and be sized correctly if you expect to get competition-grade accuracy. Even the slightest variation can be the difference between a win and a loss.
To help shooters find the best possible pellet, companies like H&N offer options in various head sizes. For example, the H&N Field Target Trophy pellets come in different head sizes in both .177 and .22 calibers. While one .22 cal airgun may prefer a .217 head diameter, another may prefer the .218 or .219. It all comes down to finding the perfect fit for your barrel. Precision pellets from H&N, JSB, and others, help shooters make that happen.
Exceptions to the Rule
There are always some exceptions to the rule about wadcutter and domed pellets. We’ve seen airguns prefer hollow point or pointed pellets over “precision” pellets. Some of the most consistent come from H&N and JSB.
On the H&N side of the ledger, you’ll find the Baracuda Hunters, the Baracuda Hunter Extremes, and the Hornets. If you are having trouble with the traditional precision pellets, giving some of these a chance may just pay off.
On the JSB side, we have the Hades and Polymag pellets. It’s crazy how many airguns love PolyMag pellets. They are expensive, but if they shoot the absolute best in your airgun, they may be the right call. The .22 cal 15.89 JSB Hades are very close to the 15.89 domed pellets, so it’s no wonder they shoot so well. They also have the added benefit of having a nearly identical POI as the standard 15.89s. So if you want to sight in and target, shoot with the more affordable 15.89s and save your Hades for the hunt, that works without having to resight your optic.
What’s the Right Pellet for You?
In the end, it will all come down to the right pellet for your airgun. The best way to research this is to spend a lot of time on bench testing. If that’s not practical, then looking at what others have found using the same platform is also a great starting point. And if you have questions, call us, and we’ll be more than happy to help you get started.