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Choosing the Right Airgun Pellets: Most Common Types

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If you’ve just bought your first airgun and started shooting you may be a little bewildered by a great choice of different airgun pellets. It may seem pretty difficult to choose the right one from a variety of pellet types, its calibers, and weights. When picking pellets, you have to answer the main question: “What are you going to use your airgun for?”

Depending on whether you are planning to hunt, practice target shooting, or just do casual planking in the backyard, there will be a particular type of pellet. And in this article, we’ll try to cover all the basic types of airgun pellets and what they are meant for to help you opt those ones for your needs. We’ll also offer you the best pellets of each type from such brands as Crosman and Umarex. Both these manufacturers produce pellets of the highest quality with supreme performance. Be sure you’ll find the pellet that meets all your requirements.

Table of Contents

Diabolo Pellets

Today there are many different forms of ammunition, including bullets and round lead balls, but we would like to focus on the diabolo bullet and its variations. The Diabolo pellet shape is probably one of the most common pellet designs nowadays. Also known as a “waisted” or “wasp-waist”, it features a waist that is narrower than its head and skirt. The head of the pellet is usually solid, while the skirt is hollow. This specialized design contributes to the main qualities: stability and accuracy. These pellets are available in all popular calibers such as .177, .22. and also in .20, .25.

Types of Airgun Pellets

Airgun pellets are further divided into different groups according to their head design. The basic of them are wadcutter, round-nose, pointed, and hollow-point pellets. Below there’s information about all of these head designs, how they differ and what usage is considered best for that particular design.

Wadcutter Pellets

flathead pellets

Wadcutter airgun pellets are primarily designed for close-range shooting, target-based competitions, and plinking. They are very popular as they are lightweight, precise, and provide maximum velocity. These pellets are also called flatheads because of their shape – they have a flat head with a slight bevel on the edge. They are made this way to leave a round sharp-edged hole on paper targets, making scoring easier and more accurate.

This type of pellet is ideal for short-range shooting, as it has a good impact on targets shot and performs at its best at a distance of around 10 meters. When shooting from greater distances, flatheads lose their stability, velocity, and accuracy. So if you’re mainly shooting targets then Wadcutter may be the perfect choice for you. You might also choose flatheads for small game hunting if you want to make sure your pellet does not penetrate through. The only condition is that the game should be quite close.

Crosman .177 Wadcutter Pellets are a great choice for the 10-meter air rifle competitions or just plinking with your friends. You’ll discover the highest quality at a reasonable price.

Domed Pellets

doomed pellets

The Domed pellet is also known as round-headed, because of its rounded nose. It is generally accepted as an excellent all-around pellet for most applications such as hunting, clinking, target shooting, or just messing around in the backyard. Roundhead pellets are more aerodynamic than other types. So they are able to cut through the air straighter and maintain their velocity over longer distances. One more advantage of this pellet is that it is much more accurate than other types in windy conditions.

The round-nose pellet is quite a versatile one and is ballistically superior to all the other Diabolo head types because of its accuracy and high knockdown force.

Umarex Superdome Field Line .22 airgun pellets are a good example of round-nose pellets. This medium-weight pellet has an aerodynamic design providing high impact and penetration. Extremely accurate and featuring a flat trajectory for medium ranges, it is ideal for competition and hunting. Also available in .177 caliber.

Pointed Pellets

pointed pellets

The Pointed Pellet is another great variant of diabolo pellets that many airgunners choose for small game hunting and field use. The head ends in a sharp point that helps increase penetration capabilities. What is more, these pellets are very precise. But keep in mind that they may go through the target and it results in reducing some of your knockdown effects.

Most pointed pellets are quite aerodynamic, so they retain velocity and fly much better than flatheads. But still, they can’t beat round-heads in this criterion, particularly at great distances. They are also not so forceful as domed pellets but enhanced penetration level can make up for its lesser impact.

We have to mention that there isn’t only one kind of Pointed pellets. Different manufacturers add their own features to them depending on what they want from pellets to achieve.

Crosman pointed .22 airgun pellets are perfect for long-range applications – hunting and plinking.

Hollow Point Pellets

hollow point pellets

The hollow point is a conventional waisted pellet but the tip as the name suggests is hollow. Having a hollow tip means reducing the chance of over-penetration. As a result, it maximizes possible energy dumped into the target with the outer rim of that tip expanding to cause maximum damage. For this reason, hollow points are designed as a hunting pellet. They are really effective and do their job well.

However, hollow points are practically unbeatable only at a close or medium range. If the target is at a long distance, the velocity may drop off too much for expansion to occur. In such cases, you’d better use either domed or pointed pellets instead.

Umarex Super H-Point .22 pellets will be excellent for hunting. They are quite heavy and will expand to create a large wound channel. Being accurate, they are a great choice if you want to hit your prey with the first shot. Also available in .177 caliber.

Hybrid or Variation Pellets

Hybrid airgun pellets are aimed to combine the best elements of two or more pellets or tweak existing designs for a specific purpose. One of the most popular types of such pellets is the ballistic-tipped hollow point pellet. It looks like a regular hollow point pellet, but it has a sharp spike in what would just be a hollow cavity for hollow point pellets.

The purpose of this combination is to maximize the penetration capabilities of pointed pellets and the expansion properties of hollow point pellets. Such pellets are great for hunting due to their excellent penetration and improved flight characteristics.

Crosman Destroyer airgun pellets are accurate hunting pellets for medium ranges providing high impact, excellent expansion, and deep penetration. Ideal for small game and small bird game.

Round Lead Balls

Round lead balls are much less popular than diabolo pellets. They may be used in most air guns and are good for shooting sturdy targets such as wood. They can even take down small-sized rodents. However, it’s hardly possible to take down a large game with lead balls, especially from a far distance. Besides, they are far less accurate than pellets


Slugs differ significantly from the usual pellets due to their bullet shape. Like diabolo pellets, slugs may be domed, flatheads and hollow pointed. This type of ammo is designed for high-powered guns because of its weight and the increased contact with the barrel. Slugs have a good ballistic coefficient, and some shooters may get excellent results with them at extreme range. But don’t be surprised if conventional pellets will give better results and outperform slugs.

You can explore a wide range of airgun pellets, slugs, and round lead balls from Crosman and Umarex at Here you’ll discover the most accurate high-quality airgun ammunition for any purpose whether it is hunting, competition, target shooting, or plinking. Choose your airgun ammo and succeed!


Choosing the right pellet depends on what you want to use your airgun for. If it’s for target shooting, wadcutter pellets are a good choice. For hunting, domed or pointed pellets may be better.

It depends on the type of shooting you are doing. Heavier pellets are generally more accurate and better for long-distance shooting, while lighter pellets are faster and better for short-range shooting.

No, it’s not recommended to reuse airgun pellets. After being fired, a pellet deforms, and using it again could damage your airgun.

Airgun BBs and pellets are both types of ammunition used in airguns, but they have some key differences. BBs are typically round and made of steel, while pellets are usually made of lead and come in several shapes, including domed, pointed, and hollow-point. BBs are generally cheaper and less accurate than pellets. They’re often used in repeater guns because they can be easily loaded into magazines. Pellets, on the other hand, are typically used in single-shot airguns because of their greater accuracy and power.

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