0.22 VERSUS 0.177    by Dave Mansfield

No, I’m not going to go down the road of which calibre is best for hunting fur or feather, I will leave that to the hunters amongst you. My interest is more in the paper punching metal bunny bopping with the two main calibres.  Suffice to say that given that the two calibres produce the same kinetic energy at the muzzle and that the pellet co-efficient is approximately the same, then power at distance will be similar.

The accuracy of today’s air rifles is far better than earlier models, therefore either calibre should theoretically produce the same “Centre to centre” grouping, the difference being in the overall group size. Now, when this is applied to paper targets then there is a certain disadvantage between the two calibres. Let me explain. If the scoring system is inward scoring i.e. the highest broken scoring ring is counted then the bigger calibre has the advantage to approximately 20%, conversely with outward scoring, i.e. the lowest score is counted then the smaller calibre has the advantage. Therefore should we not “level the playing field” between the two calibres? How to do this?  The easiest way would be to have the firing point different for each calibre dependant on scoring type in use i.e. inward or outward scoring.

 What about bunny bashing? Assuming the rifle is zeroed centre, as it should always be then again there should be no difference! But then what about a near miss, For instance the pellet hits the outer rim with half the pellet hitting the knockdown zone, the smaller pellet will loose more in ballistic mass therefore there will not be enough kinetic energy to activate the release mechanism, on the other hand the larger calibre will stand a better chance of having a near miss but still having enough energy in the remaining pellet part to activate the release. I believe here that the two calibres are on level ground.

The ball is in your court. Let play begin.