A lot of veteran and high experienced hunters could remember an era when the best hunting expedition did not involve the use of a shotgun or a center-fire hunting rifle, but shooting some hunting pellets via a trusty air gun. As youngsters, they learned proper shooting and gun-safety techniques from their grandfathers or fathers using some air gun pellets and the best air rifle. As they developed and became more experienced with the art of hunting and shooting, they graduated to more potent center-fire firearms and rimfire.
Air gun pellets and air guns have been in existence for a long time since the era of the Red Ryder BB gun. While kid’s air guns were very effective for imparting a love for hunting in a lot of young hunters, the smooth-bore barrel and low muzzle velocity of such models make them unfit for adult-level hunting.
While cheap to purchase and shoot, air rifle pellets and modern air rifles are powerful and sophisticated enough to penetrate a hide as tough and thick as a squirrel’s easily. All air rifles are not made equally, however. Majority of the serious hunters make use of either a spring piston model or a pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle.
A PCP air rifle appears to be the best option for small-game hunting. They are constantly accurate, produce very small recoil and are easily put to use.
Hunters have to be selective about their choice of ammunition as well. There is a high variation of energy in air rifles. Since the best air rifle could produce over 40 foot-pounds of force at the muzzle, accurate and stable hunting pellets have to be used. Pellets are valued by hunters who demand superb killing power and accuracy.
Since there appears to be a balance between impact power and penetration as a result of the shape and weight of a pellet, hunters have to experiment with the different ones to arrive at the one that’s the most effective for the kind of small-game hunting they plan to carry out.