Thank you so much for dropping in. This is my personal blog site but more importantly, it is used to host the Airgungurus Gear shop. The Articles Menu has a drop down which Links to various shooting related articles. The most popular ones will also appear in the columns to the right.
An age old question that pops up on airgun groups and forums at least once a week and there is no definitive answer to it. “Is .177 better than .22 for hunting and pest control” This question is guaranteed to get loads of varying answers. We thought it would be easier to do a “slightly” more definitive answer that we can just link to it and give people some information on each calibre. We are missing out .20 .25 and .30 and concentrating on the more popular ones and will assume that the shooter is using a sub 12 rifle.
Always remember that the time of day and even the time of the year can have an effect.
There is no doubt that a good shot with a .22 imparts slightly more energy into a rabbit than a .177 however the energy from a .177 is more than enough for a clean dispatch as it only takes around 4fpe to cleanly dispatch rabbits. Now here comes the tricky bit.
.177 pellets have a flatter trajectory and if your rabbit is at slightly longer distances and around 35 to 40 yards you have a bit more leeway if you are not 100 percent sure of the distance. This is a definite advantage over the .22. This is especially true at night when it is far more difficult to range find. Is it a small rabbit close up or a bigger one far away? .177 helps in this case. It all depends how good you are at range finding. The perfect scenario would be using a range finder, knowing your aim points, and using a .22. On a personal note I use a night vision rangefinder and .177 as I have great confidence in it but it’s up to you to be honest and find out your own strengths and weaknesses and adapt to them. You can help yourself by putting out lollipop sticks or anything you like at a known distance where you are likely to be shooting and this is a great help if you don’t have a rangefinder. If you can please use a multishot air rifle for rabbits. Sometime a follow up shot might be needed and a multi shot can be much quicker. There are downloadable targets for each quarry in the files section on the airgungurus facebook group with kill zones that you can print and practice on. https://www.facebook.com/groups/airgungurus/files/
.177 or .22 doesn’t really matter. As long as you know your aim points and the distance Both calibres are perfect. Normally Rats are shot at closer ranges anyway so either calibre is perfect.
Pretty much the same things goes for a grey squirrels.
Corvids and Pigeons
Now this is where it gets really tricky and everyone will have different opinions but here is some information and tips which might help you decide. You will only be shooting these in daytime except for perhaps feral pigeons in a barn or building.
.177 pellets can sometimes go straight through and miss vital organs and leave your quarry in pain. No shooter wants that. If you are good enough to take head shots .177 is very good indeed especially if you are shooting up or down hill and gives a slight edge over .22. (you need to aim lower) Now the REALLY tricky bit. At some times of the year (spring and summer) your quarries chest (crop) can be full of grain or other food which makes the chest very strong. In this case a .177 pellet will penetrate easir and is the tool for the job when going for a heart and lung shot from the front and is better than the bigger .22 pellet which doesn’t penetrate as well. See? I told you it was tricky. At other times of the year or if you are shooting your quarry from the side the .22 is less likely to go straight through and even if it does it will impart more energy into your quarry and thus ensure a clean dispatch.
You can probably see by now why there are so many different answers to the question .177 or .22
The long and the short of it is that it’s all down to the skills and experience of the shooter and it is important to be honest with yourself and then decide which calibre suits you best on each trip. If you don’t own both calibres just take from this article what you can and happy shooting.
Over the next few weeks we will be giving tips on ways to shoot each quarry and how to increase your bag. Please feel free to comment and give your tips and we will edit this article and add the good ones