A Plethora of Pellets



These days almost all my shooting is done with a very few different pellets. For 0.177 field shooting, 7.5 and 10 grain round nosed pellets- Premiers or JSBs. For target guns, 7 and 8gr wadcutters, usually RWS Meisterkugeln. But after 40 years of air gunning I have a pretty big collection of pellets in various calibers, shapes, and weights. Here’s a small selection of interesting ones from my collection.

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These Crosmans, dating from the 60s, I think, are probably the oldest in my collection. They were made for the CO2 and pump-up Crosman guns, probably from dies Crosman had been using for decades. How accurate would they be from a modern gun? Hard to say. They’re so oxidized I wouldn’t put them in a good quality gun. I don’t know much more about them.

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These Eley Wasps look pretty old, but Eley sold the same pellet designs for decades. They also used the same dies to make them for many decades, which is not a good recipe for accuracy.  Eloy makes what is probably the finest .22 caliber target ammunition in the world, but curiously they’ve never made target quality pellets. Still, their line of pellets were very popular in the days of inexpensive spring guns. When the high quality PCP guns started to appear on the market in the 1980s, buyers started looking for better pellets.

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These pellets win the prize for the worst quality pellets in my collection, I think. They came with a 1990s Chinese made TS-45 side lever spring gun I purchased back then. The TS-45 was very popular for a time as they could be purchased very cheaply, and were a good platform for experimentation. What they were not is very accurate. I think they were used in China as basic marksmanship trainers, although I recall the hang tag on the gun also suggested that they were also recommended “for elimination of vermin.”

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Before there was a Beeman Jet pellet there were these Japanese made pellets. A very light pellet with multiple delicate “fins” designed to provide a good air seal with low friction, the Jet was designed for the low power (4-5 foot pound) pump up guns that were then legal in Japan. Beeman later relabeled them and sold them as a general purpose pellet with “good penetration.” I tried the Beeman version in my Beeman R7 (HW 30) with so-so results. This package came from a friend who got to know Robert Law very well, and often visited him.

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These 0.177 round balls were made by H&N and other pellet makers for various repeating airguns like the Hakim military trainer. That didn’t stop airgunners from trying them in guns designed for Diablo-style pellets, and it didn’t stop Bob Beeman from recommending them as a safer, non-ricocheting alternative to steel BBs.  The problem with this advice is that BBs are smaller than .177, and these round balls will quickly jam most BB guns, as many trusting Beeman customers discovered. They don’t work very well in most single pellet shot guns, either,  as solid balls don’t provide as a good a seal  as do hollow base pellets. They’re still useful for the few repeating guns designed to use them.

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Another pellet see by many European shooters and the few North Americans who could get their hands on them in the 70s and 80s. Great graphics, average pellet.