The right ammunition can make all the difference in the performance of your air rifle. .177 pellets come in many shapes and designs, but you can rely on our 10 Best .177 Pellets list to get the right ammunition for your gun.
Whether you’re looking for the best .177 pellets for target competition, plinking in your backyard, or small game hunting, this handy guide will explain pellet types, purchase considerations, and review our top picks.
Ten Best .177 Pellets Table
How to Pick Your Pellets
You can narrow down your choices by understanding the differences in pellet design, as well as what type of shooting each is best suited for.
- Pellet Shape. Most of the pellets that retailers offer today are made in the “Diablo” design. Sometimes referred to as “wasp-waist” pellets, the Diablo shape has a thin waist in between a fatter head and skirt. The head section, which is rounder in shape than the skirt, is inserted into your gun first; this is the end that will strike your target. The thinner skirted end is designed to expand and fill the gun’s chamber upon firing; this creates a type of seal and causes the pellet to engage with the barrel’s rifling, creating a spinning effect. The design of this type of pellet creates a higher level of accuracy than a standard BB.
- Material. Traditionally pellets are made of lead. The combination of malleability and weight have made it an excellent material for rifle projectiles for hundreds of years and it is still the standard. Some pellets will incorporate additional materials including copper jackets for accuracy or steel tips for penetration. Today, there are an increasing variety of lead-free options which are environmentally friendly and many people also consider lead-free pellets to limit the exposure of young shooters to lead. The drawback is that they tend to be lighter, so range can be limited.
- Head Design. Pellets are separated into four main categories according to their head design. Some head designs work better for different shooting scenarios. Each has a set of advantages and disadvantages.
- Wadcutter. The wadcutter head has a slightly beveled edge. Lightweight and economical, this head design is often considered to be the most accurate pellet design available. Wadcutter pellets are capable of carving large wound holes and are therefore a favorite choice of small game hunters. Since this design loses power and accuracy at long distances, they are most effective for close range hunting and target shooting.
- Pointed. Designed specifically for hunting small game, the pointed head creates deep wound penetration. The design is incredibly accurate, and many experienced hunters recommend them as the best pellet choice for small game.
- Round Nose. The round head of these pellets helps resist wind deflection, especially when firing at long ranges. They are accurate out to 50 yards or longer, making them a smart choice for target shooting or hunting where distance may be an issue; this is the design most often used in target competition.
- Hollowpoint. The lightweight hollowpoint pellet is designed to expand upon firing. Because of the design, they have a lower level of penetration; this is a useful design option for pest control within city limits, where a stray pellet could do unintended damage.
- Don’t Go Cheap. Purchasing bargain pellets is a gamble. What you save in money may cost you in accuracy or even damage to your gun. Cheap pellets are more likely to jam in your pellet gun.
- Check the Factory Recommendations. Since manufacturers know their guns better than anyone, it’s a good idea to start with the specific pellets recommended in your gun’s owner’s manual.
- Not All Guns Are Created Equal. While one brand or style of pellet may shoot well out of one gun, it may not work as well in another. You’ll need to find which pellet works best in your particular gun.
Our 3 Best .177 Pellets Reviews
Accuracy, range, and compatibility with most guns, the Crosman Copper Magnum Domed Pellet has everything. The substantial weight of these pellets improves range and penetration, while the copper provides superior accuracy. That makes these pellets an ideal choice for hunting small game and target shooting.
With a range over 50 yards, we highly recommend these for more powerful, high velocity airguns, but they will work in just about anything.
A true utility player. Crosman may be the most trusted brand name in air gun equipment and they really deliver with their Premiere Hollow Point Pellets. Great for plinking, target, shooting, or hunting small game, these American-made pellets offer dependable quality.
The expanding hollow point head assures more one-shot kills without over penetration; this makes them great for pest control or short range small game hunting. You’ll find that these are great .177 pellets at a surprisingly affordable price.
Perfect for backyard plinking these precision-made pellets work well with many gun types. The performance of lead-free pellets can be a mixed bag, but Field Target Trophy Green Lead-Free Pellets from Haendler & Natermann proved to load smoothly and are highly accurate, a trademark of the H&N brand.
These pellets are on the lighter side, making them safer for more populated areas. The lower weight does reduce range and penetration, so they are not a top pick for hunting.