The most common weapon that is used by hunters is an air gun loaded with pellets. These pellets may either be .177 or .22, which are popular among hunters in obtaining their target, whether for sport or food.
Usually, people are quite confused between .177 vs .22 pellets.
Actually, there is no right or wrong pellet. You only have to choose one that can give you the best shot. Various pellets can give you above-average accuracy and performance. Some are made of high-quality, and others are worth the price.
The Key Difference Is the Purpose
Each pellet comes with unique features as well as its pros and cons. If you want to hunt at the farther range, then the .177 may be a good idea. However, you need to consider precision to hit your target, so this is quite difficult to attain, especially if you’re not really a pro.
Indeed, it is light-weight and smaller too. But the difference is not significant when it comes to motility. Well, these features make it even more inferior. On the other hand, the .22 is ideal for short-range targets. This is the most preferred pellet by most hunters.
If you want a sure kill due to its outstanding penetration to your target, you may opt for the .22. This kind of pellet is an ideal choice for a short-range shot and is superior in terms of size, weight, purpose, noise, and more!
.177 vs .22 Pellets With Real Data
This data was collected using a springer gun with 15 FPE power. Depending on this I have a detailed discussion later.
|Muzzle||50 Yards (35 yds zero)|
|.177 vs .22||Velocity||Energy||Velocity||Energy||Drop|
|.177 JSB Exact 7.87||928||15.0||645||7.3||-1.64|
|.177 JSB Exact 8.44||895||15.0||628||7.4||-1.77|
|.177 Crosman Premier 10.65||798||15.0||616||9.0||-2.05|
|.22 H&N FTT Green 10.03||820||15.0||533||6.3||-2.53|
|.22 H&N Baracuda Green 12.35||740||15.0||561||8.6||-2.57|
|.22 JSB Exact 15.89||653||15.0||532||10.0||-3.15|
.177 vs .22 Pellets Consideration
In this guide, we will understand which pellet will work for you best. Let us find out the difference between the .177 and .22 according to the following:
Size and Weight
The .177 is a very light pellet weighing about 6.7 to 10 grains and sized at 4.5mm while the .22 can weigh more than 18 grains at 5.5mm.
Are you still in doubt if you will use .177 or .22 for target shooting? The .22 is designed for excellent penetration. So if you want a sure kill in just a single shot, you should opt for this one! Although the .177 can wound animals, it is so tiny that it often passes through the target.
Since the .177 pellet travels at a higher velocity, this results in a flatter trajectory with a range of about 40 yards. On the other hand, the .22 pellet can travel at a loft angle, ranging around 35 yards at circle top and 57 yards at circle bottom.
Between 177 vs 22 pellet trajectory, the former can shoot long-range targets as it’s superior when it comes to such a feature.
Since the .177 is smaller in size, higher pressure is required when the air departs the muscle. This only means that between .177 vs .22 noise, the former is louder.
Sound level mainly depends on the air gun that you are using. Here’s a list of few quietest air rifles if you do not like loud shots.
Power is very crucial in hunting as it aids in hitting your target from a specific distance. The .22 can provide around 20 percent more power, thus producing more pellet energy compared to the .177, using any kind of air rifle.
This only means that the former has more chances of striking the aim during hunting. But then, the .177 can also be powerful, especially if you use some specific guns. When you are left without a choice, you can always use this to hit your desired target.
Here’s a review of some very powerful pellet pistols available on the market.
Do you know that pellets have a little role when it comes to accuracy? Usually, this depends upon the scope and the gun you are using. They are more responsible for the precision in hitting your target. However, between .177 and .22 accuracy, the latter is still a good option!
Logic would tell us that since it has better weight, it is more powerful than the .177, thereby keeping the level of accuracy constant. Although it provides a slower speed, it is preceded with the power, which makes a bigger impact on your target.
Given that the .177 is light-weight compared to the .22, the former can travel more distance at a higher velocity while the latter does otherwise.
If you opt for shooting at close range, the .22 is a good idea. Using this can give you more accuracy and power in hitting your target. On the other hand, if you want shooting at long range, you can use the .177, as it is superior when it comes to the trajectory.
Since the .177 pellets are light-weight and smaller and come with many choices, it is cheaper compared to the .22. Check out the detailed review of the best .177 pellets in the article.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I use 177 pellets in 22?
Yes. Although there is a difference in barrel shape and size, it can be done. But, there would be no improvement in accuracy or speed. In addition, as mentioned in these BB gun reviews, air gun pellets are not suitable for use in BB dedicated guns.
- What caliber pellet is best for hunting?
There are a lot of selections that you can choose from. Depending on the features that you value the most, any caliber pellet may be a good idea. But if you consider the options of most hunters, then the best pellet is the .22.
- Will a .177 pellet kill a rabbit?
Yes. For as long as you target between the eye and ear of the rabbit and you’re a good shooter, you can kill a rabbit using a .177 even with a range of up to 40 meters.
However, it is worth noting that shooting beyond the legal limit is not only illicit and irresponsible, but it is also dangerous as the wind can affect the movement of the pellet. This makes you prone to hitting off target.
- Can a .177 pellet gun kill a deer?
Yes. A deer can be killed using a small and speedy bullet like the .177. However, if you want to hit your target harder, you should opt for the .22.
- Why should I choose .22 pellet?
If your goal is to reach your target, then you should choose .22 as it provides numerous features beneficial for hunting. Here’s a review of some .22 pellets.
Hopefully, after you have gone through the pages, you already understand the key differences between .177 vs .22. If you intend to use your air gun for hunting, the .22 is the safest and best option. Anyway, the discretion lies to you. Just remember how it will benefit you the most!
1. This article is pure math and number. Check it out.
2. Courtesy of the data and graph Michigander.