.177 or .22: which is better. - AirgunBBS.com
Good discussion.
22trajJPG.jpg (JPEG Image, 1016x674 pixels)
177_22_mil.jpg (JPEG Image, 1024x344 pixels)
Generated with Chairgun using AA Fields 0.177/0.22 @ 11.5ft.lbs, 30 yd zero and scope 2" over the barrel. In Snocks comparison charts there is a zero distance change from 25 to 35 yards which changes the curve profile. The zero change maybe more realistic but for a straight comparison I selected 30 yards for the zero.

It does illustrate the flatter line of the 0.177 pellet with only a small mildot change between a good working range of 20-35 yards, with 0.22 over the same range the mildot change is significant.
.177 or .22: which is better. - AirgunBBS.com
This question, more than any other, dogs a new entrant into the sport. This sticky will try to go some way in making it easier for those making this decision to make up their mind about which would suit them best.

Presuming we're talking about sub 12ftlb rifles, the following applies.

.177 calibre generally use lighter, faster pellets than .22. This gives them a flatter, more predictable trajectory than .22. Target shooters, such as those taking part in FT and HFT prefer to use .177 for this very reason.

For hunting, a .177 will make clean kills, although it's fair to say that it can offer less strike energy than .22. That said, if you put the pellet in the right place, then a .177-sized hole in the head will be as good as a .22-sized one. Plenty of rabbits have fallen to the smaller calibre.

There's also the issue of whether .177 is more or less affected by the wind, being a lighter pellet. It must also be remembered that the .177 pellet is faster - at least 150fps faster - than a .22, so is also flying for less time, so you might as well forget about the wind difference at normal airgun hunting ranges, and allow normal tolerances in each situation in the field. Just learn your ranges and pellet drops, in other words.

The .22 calibre pellet retains more energy at the limit of normal airgun ranges, and because of such will deliver more strike energy at the target or quarry. However, making the shot successful with a .22 pellet can be trickier due to its loopier trajectory.

Target shooters prefer not to use .22 for this very reason. It forces them to be far more accurate in estimating ranges than .177 would do.

.22 is often more efficient in pre-charged pneumatics than .177. This is put down to the slower .22 absorbs more of the rifle's air per blast to reach the velocity needed to maintain the legal energy limit at the muzzle.

.177 pellets are are out the barrel before they have absorbed this blast of air, meaning that, if the gun isn't regulated, the shot count is lower than that of a .22.

In spring-powered rifles shot count isn't an issue.

As you can see, it's a trade off with either calibre. What is important is that you decide which calibre works best for you and your style of shooting.

There is no one 'best' calibre out of these two.

Some folk have turned to the .20 calibre as they see it as a compromise between both, and they may be right. However, in choosing this calibre it ought to be remembered that not every manufacturer makes their rifles in .20, and pellet choice is limited.

The ultimate test would be to try each one out at a club, or on a safe range.
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.177 or .22 fr hunting - Page 2 - AirgunBBS.com
.177 is all you need for hunting. Scale it up to human size- would you rather be hit by a lead golf ball doing 700FPS or a lead cricket ball doing 500FPS? Hit it in the brain/spinal column it's dead- end of. The flatter trajectory of .177 makes this easier particularly at longer ranges. On a still day 50 yards is possible off a bipod.
Shooting Forums General Gun Forum: .177 or .22?
Which calibre air rifle is best .22 or .177? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers
When I lived in up in the Ozark Mountains of Northern Arkansas I would target practice on steel cans, place one inside of another inside of another filling the inside can(3rd) with sand at ranges up to 50 meters.. The .177 would penetrate all three out to 35-40 meters and 2 at 50. So it was very effective on Rabbits out to those ranges. Sorry, I have only used .177s I have no practical knowledge of 22cal air rifles.
Over penetration.Pest Control with an Air Rifle, Free Targets, Hunting Tales, Rats, Magpies, Squirrels,
Make yourself a better hunter. Pest Control with an Air Rifle, Free Targets, Hunting Tales, Rats, Magpies, Squirrels,
At 40 yds a .177 will have lost 47% of its energy, the .22 will have lost 43% of its energy (source: Pellant Airgun V.7) not enough difference to argue about. So as far as 'power' goes .22 and .177 are about equal at hunting ranges.

Both the .177 and .22 can over penetrate at close ranges and the .22 may bounce off at longer ranges (I'm sure the quarry would describe it differently !) Either situation is not desirable.

What does make a difference is whether the shooter can accurately judge the holdover for a given range and hit the 'kill' zone each time.

What is sure, is that .177 pellets fly flatter and faster making holdover easier to judge than .22 and the .177 may be penetrating at ranges where the .22 may not, always assuming that the quarry presents itself as the perfect target. Of course the damage done by the full impact of either calibre will be fatal.

Inside sensible air rifle ranges both calibres will be effective, but there is an old airgunners maxim which says .22 for Fur and .177 for Feather.

I have used both calibres over the years and I have stayed with .177 rifles, mostly because they were more accurate, but the latest pneumatic rifles are equally accurate - which just leaves the question of holdover!

Now - if I owned a .22 air rifle producing 20 ft lbs of power - that would solve the question for me, but as the legal limit of 12 ft lbs still remains very low (a .22 rimfire produces 110 ft lbs) we have to take all of our shots at sensible ranges and make them accurate!!
.177 and .22 Compared
I now believe that both calibres are almost as accurate as each other, I noticed no peculiarities with the .22 pellet's flight. So that brings me back to the holdover and penetration. Not all .177 shots are successful, so the .22 can't be said to be worse than the .177 and the performance on the squirrel hunt showed that against the right quarry and at the right range, there is no reason not to take the .22 when going hunting.
Is a .177 better than a .22 for killing small animals such as rabbits and crows? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers
So long as you're comparing the same model airgun (say a Gamo Big Cat, RWS 34, etc...) the difference in energy between calibers is minimal since the gun's power-plant, not the projectile determines how much energy is imparted to the projectile.

Both .177 and .22 caliber pellet rifles can take small game (rabbits & squirrels), vermin (mice & rats), and nuisance birds (English sparrows, starlings, feral pigeons). After all, x ft-lbs of impact energy is x ft-lbs of impact energy regardless of whether its delivered by a .177 or .22 pellet. That said each caliber has advantages and disadvantages. Which to get really comes down to your personal preference about which compromise you prefer. Just remember, when using airguns accuracy is extremely important and that for the best accuracy you want to keep the pellet's muzzle velocity under the speed of sound (around 1100 fps).

.177 caliber guns produce higher muzzle velocities. That's because they shoot a smaller diameter, lighter weight pellet. This produces a flatter trajectory which makes range estimation less important inside the gun's effective range. However because the pellet is smaller diameter it will produce a smaller wound channel and may actually over-penetrate on small bodied animals like birds. However if you're taking head-shots this a non-issue since a .177 pellet through the brain will kill pretty much any small game animal.

.22 caliber guns produce a larger wound channel and are less likely to over-penetrate on light bodied animals. This is because they shoot a heavier, larger diameter pellet. However they also produce a more pronounced trajectory. This means that range estimation, particularly on a small target like the head (brain) of a nuisance bird or squirrel, becomes much more important since a difference of a few yards can and will result in a miss or a bad hit instead of a clean kill.

As I previously said, which to get really comes down to personal preference since both calibers will take game. Some folks like .22 caliber pellet guns for hunting. Some folks prefer .177 caliber pellet guns. Personally I subscribe to the rule of thumb which pegs the transition point where the advantage shifts from .177 to .22 caliber at 20 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. Basically what it says is that in guns producing under 20 ft-lbs of muzzle energy, the flatter trajectory ans ease of accurate shot placement .177 caliber pellet guns offer gives them the advantage for hunting. However in guns producing over 20 ft-lbs of muzzle energy, you're better off with a .22 caliber gun since its tossing the pellet fast enough (in the high subsonic range) to produce a trajectory flat enough for accurate shot placement while delivering the larger diameter, heavier pellet. Its also worth noting that in guns with over 20 ft-lbs of muzzle energy, .177 caliber guns toss pellets at trans-sonic/super-sonic velocities which is not conducive to good accuracy.
.177 cal or .22 cal???? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers
.177 is generally used for target shooting although it is suitable for small birds etc. The problem with .177 is this and Im making assumptions that a) you live in the UK and b) you dont have a firearms certificate. If I'm wrong about either feel free to correct me. .177 is a tiny pellet with very good penetrating qualities. However they tend to pass all the way through many targets including rabbits pigeons etc. Whilst that may sound good it actually means your wasting energy that needs to be transferred to the target in order to achieve a clean quick kill. As a limit you only have 12ft/lbs of muzzle energy to play with unless you posess a firearms certificate(and even less by the time the pellet strikes its target) so its important that all its energy is expended on the target not just some as it keeps on travelling out the other side. .177 is excellent for target shooting because of the higher velocities achieved (approx 800 feet per second at 12ft/lbs) giving a flatter trajectory over a given distance.

.22 on the other hand is a bigger pellet with a slower velocity (600fps ish at 12ft/lbs) it has less penetrating capability but as mentioned this is a good thing when hunting live quarry as the pellet is less likely to pass through the target and therefore delivers all its energy to the target making a clean quick efficient kill more likely. On the downside as pellet velocities in .22 are lower the pellet presents a more curved trajectory making accurate shooting more difficult as greater compensations for elevation have to be made when shooting above or below the range for which the rifle is zeroed. There are pros and cons to either calibre but as a generalization I would say if you intend shooting pepsi cans and chalk targets buy a .177. If you enjoy flattening rabbits and crows etc buy a .22.
Gamo Rocket .177 Cal, 9.6 Grains, Ballistic Tip, 150ct

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