You just got your hands on a high-powered pellet gun, but it just simply isn’t accurate. Why is this?
The most accurate speed for a diabolo shaped pellet to travel is around 850 feet per second. Issues with accuracy can vary from pellet to pellet, but are caused by a pellet traveling too fast or too slow.
You would think that if the projectile travels faster it would get more accurate as a rule of thumb, but that is not actually the case. There is an optimal speed for accuracy that a calculus student might be able to sit down and figure out, but tests from varying guns and varying people have shown us what that speed is for a diabolo shaped pellet (your typically used pellet).
How Do I Get the Most Accurate Pellet Gun?
This data from airguns we purchased may help when trying to acquire an accurate airgun.
|Gun||Price||FPS at test||Advertised FPS|
|Air Arms TX200 MkIII Air Rifle||$629.99||880||930|
|Diana RWS 34 Breakbarrel Rifle, T06 Trigger||$299.99||681||800|
|Benjamin Trail NP XL Air Rifle||$259.99||1042||1500|
|Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1||$224.99||648||1020|
|Gamo Swarm Maxxim Multi-shot Air Rifle||$179.99||854||1300|
|Gamo Big Cat 1250||$149.99||688||950|
|Stoeger Arms X20S2 Suppressor Air Rifle||$129.99||992||1200|
|Crosman Nitro Venom Dusk||$129.99||828||950|
|Ruger Blackhawk Combo||$119.99||1000||1200|
|Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston Air Rifle||$99.99||661||950|
|Gamo Varmint Velocity||$87.71||888||1250|
|Winchester Model M||$69.86||181||700|
|Daisy 880 Multi-Pump||$45.95||611||715|
|Daisy Red Ryder||$39.99||235||350|
|Crosman Pumpmaster 760||$39.74||412||645|
The wide discrepancy between advertised and tested feet per second could be for a number of reasons, but is most likely because of the shape and weight of the pellets we were using.
Diabolo pellets have a wide skirt-like tail that trails a rounded head, keeping the pellet traveling straight. Other shaped pellets have differing aerodynamics, which will give you differing results, but most are shaped similar to this.
Like pellets and their shapes, air guns do not come with set velocities, instead they come with a stable amount of energy that they give per shot. This energy stays the same no matter which pellet you are using, which means that you can play around with the velocity a bit. If you have a heavier pellet, it will travel slower when pushed at a certain level than a lighter pellet will.
You can use this to help fix your magnum pellet gun. Using heavier pellets will preserve your foot pounds while slowing down your pellet.
Because of the variability of pellet accuracy, if you ask, “Which pellet should I use with my gun,” you will likely get the answer, “It depends.”
Why do Pellets Lose Accuracy Above 875 FPS?
The air around us is a fickle thing. Generally, we never notice it, but when it or us move faster than normal, the air begins to push against us noticeably. Now imagine that you are a pellet moving near the speed of sound. That air resistance is going to spike dramatically.
As a pellet moves faster, it generates a kind of cone around it, compressing the air in front of it and magnifying any turbulence already present in the air before. It is in essence building a wall of turbulence that it pushes against as it travels, which reaches critical mass at the sound barrier. This will throw the pellet off wildly at greater distances.