People normally keep asking” Which is the best caliber for hunting air rifle?”. Well, there is no individual name we can mention in answer. It entirely depends on how and in which purpose you will use the caliber. There are several calibers with distinct species and all are well-performing in their respective fields. Let’s have a look in the features of some renowned calibers to get their role in different airgunning then you will be able to decide that which is the best caliber for hunting air rifle:
#1 – 177 Caliber/ 4.5 mm
.177 Caliber is small in size but the most popular caliber in the market. This is best for short distant firing. Normally this is used for target practices, competitions and sometimes in the hunting of thin-skinned animals like squirrels, birds and others. 177 caliber can be launched at high velocity with certain airgun energy. This caliber has different pellets with different weights from 7.0 to 20.0 grams. This caliber is available in the market, especially in airgun shops, and much affordable than others. 177 caliber results in the flattest trajectory which means accurate focusing on the target. So we can recommend this 177 is the best caliber for hunting airguns or target practicing purposes. The limitation of this caliber is that its pellets are light that create problems in gaining stabilization. So we are recommending picking another heavier caliber if you are going to bigger animal-hunting.
#2 – .20 Caliber/ 5mm
.20 caliber is much better than other caliber for all purpose use. It has comparatively more knockdown power and creates flattened trajectory like .177 caliber. Nowadays, there are scarce of this caliber in the market. Because only a few companies like Beeman are manufacturing this caliber. This situation is making it more expensive. Most of the time, you need to order them as it is harder to find them in the market. online.20 caliber pellet can carry 40% more energy than of a .177. A .20 caliber pellet is effective up to 60 yards. This has a heavy pellet with energy retention.
#3 – .22 Caliber/ 5.5mm
.22 caliber is favourite of most of the airgun users. This caliber is perfect for hunting. People who hunt regularly can use this caliber. This caliber has weight ranges from 12 to 30 Grains. .22 hits harder and makes a larger hole. This can cover up to 45 yards. The pellet weight of .22 caliber is 14.5 grain, muzzle velocity is 685 fps and muzzle energy is 15.1 ft-Ibs. If you are going to hunt Jack Rabbit, Crow, Wood Chucks, Racoon and others, a .22 caliber will be your best company. This caliber will support you greatly with its tremendous knock down power.
#4 – .25 Caliber/ 6.35mm
.25 Caliber is one of the popular nowadays. This has the lightest pellet of 19.91 Grains. People use this caliber to hunt Squirrels,Rabbits, Prairie Dogs, Groundhogs, Pigeons,Crows, Turkey, Guinea fowl, Quail, Pheasant, Springhare, Mongoose, Hyrax, Raccoons, Ringtail Cats, Bobcat, Fox, Coyote etc. .25 caliber hasn’t the flattest trajectory like .177 caliber . When hunters go after larger animals or when the shots will be farther, I like a .25 for the added thump. The .25 caliber is very heavy to use. But it’s painfully slow at around 400fps and half of the speed of .177 caliber.
This is tough to judge the calibers as a whole. All are good in their own field. .177 is good for target practicing and competition, .20 & .22 is best for short range shooting and .25 is best to hunt big animals. So, these calibers are not competitors. Everyone has their own place.