Pellet Guns

Pellet Selection for Rotary Mag Guns

Air pistols, such as the HK P30, use rotary magazines and require proper pellet selection to function well.

Air pistols, such as the HK P30, use rotary magazines and require proper pellet selection to function well.

by: Glenn and Danny

Editor’s Note: This articles comes directly from gunsmiths who work at Umarex USA.

When it comes to proper pellet selection for Umarex airguns that use rotary magazines, we time and time again see people choosing the wrong pellets. At best, a wrong pellet will shoot inaccurately, and at worst it can damage the magazine or gun itself.

We recommend that airguns utilizing a rotary style magazine not be loaded with pointed pellets. This is because pointed pellets are typically longer in length than other styles of pellets, and if they protrude from within the dimension of the magazine then it will likely result in the gun not cycling properly. This is because the end of the pellet can “catch” and cause the gun to cycle improperly. Pointed pellets can also damage the internal hand that rotates the magazine, which leads to future problems with the gun mechanism being able to rotate the magazine to the next chamber when you try to shoot.

The tips of pointed pellets can protrude from rotary magazines, causing damage.

In general, if the tip of the pellet is slightly protruding it can make contact with the internal gun surface and create resistance thus not allowing the proper rotation of the magazine. Besides the possibility of causing internal damage to the gun, this situation can result in misalignment of the pellet with the bore and a normal discharge cannot take place.

Umarex 8 Round Rotary Mags work in the HK P30.  Click this image to view the mag page.

Umarex 8 Round Rotary Mags work in the HK P30. Click this image to view the mag page.

If the internal rotating hand is damaged then it will require repair by one of our highly trained gunsmiths. If you have a gun that utilizes this style magazine and it does not seem to be functioning properly, you can check the rotary magazine to see if it has any damaged teeth, which would prove this to be the case. The gun may cycle for several shots and then fail to discharge properly. If one of these teeth gets distorted and the gun cycles to that particular spot on the magazine you will experience problems. That magazine must be discarded to avoid damage to your gun. A high quality, well fitting pellet such as RWS German made pellets are suggested for optimum performance. The RWS Meisterkugeln, RWS Hobby, and RWS Superdome are superior pellet options for Umarex Airguns.

For an overview of the different types of pellets, see the How To Choose an Airgun Pellet article. For a comparison of hunting pellets, see the article, “Best Airgun Pellets for Hunting.

Best Airgun Pellet for Hunting

by: Randall Mitchell

Hunting with an airgun is one of the most enjoyable pastimes that I have run across in the last decade or so. I have been an avid hunter since I was old enough to keep both ends of the rifle off the ground, but in the last several years, airguns have grabbed my attention as the tool of choice for my hunting forays.

Whenever you hunt with a firearm or airgun, one of the more important items you will need is a suitable round of ammunition for the gun of your choice. In airguns, this translates into a pellet. A pellet is a projectile that looks very much like a badminton shuttlecock, or birdie, in that the vast majority of pellets these days have a “skirt” on them. The purpose of the skirt is to engage the rifling of the barrel, and give the air a platform to push as it is routed through the internals of the gun. In a spring-piston gun, the air is quickly compressed by a piston, while in a pneumatic or CO2 gun, the air or gas is released through a valve of one type or another.

RWS Supermag, RWS Superdome, RWS Super H-Point, and RWS Superpoint.

From top to bottom, RWS Supermag, RWS Superdome, RWS Super H-Point, and RWS Superpoint.

In the picture to the left, you can see four different pellets offered by Umarex USA. There are other pellets in addition to these (see ammo page), but for the use of this article, we’ll discuss the top 3. They are, from top to bottom, the RWS Supermag, the RWS Superdome, the RWS Super H-Point, and the RWS Superpoint. The Supermag is the wadcutter-style pellet on the top. The Superdome is the round-nosed pellet, while the Super H-Point is the hollow point pellet.

Now, of the pellets seen here, which one would you use for which hunting scenario? Well, the best answer, of course, is which pellet provides the greatest accuracy in your airgun! Without hitting the target, the type of projectile you use is academic at best. But there will be hunting situations that call on a particular kind of pellet, and I’ll describe a couple of scenarios for you to ponder.

For all-around use, it is hard to beat the domed pellet. It offers great accuracy, carries well at greater distances, and provide excellent energy retention when shooting live targets. I use domed pellets in the vast majority of my hunting scenarios….squirrel hunting, avian pest control, and targets of opportunity while I’m in the field. However, there are certain times when I switch to the Super H-Point.

If the target in question is a bit tougher than my normal air gun prey, let’s say a groundhog or possum, or maybe a nutria rat in the south, I may switch to a hollow point pellet such as the RWS Super H-Point in order to maximize the lethal damage upon impact. One thing I want readers to realize before using a hollow point is that you need to be pushing that pellet along at a pretty good clip before you realize any advantage over another style pellet. Hollow point pellets WILL expand, but they need velocity at the point of impact in order to do that. So use your more powerful airguns in order to gain the greatest amount of usefulness from the design of the hollow point pellet. If you don’t have the required velocity, then you are essentially shooting a wadcutter.

Wadcutter pellets, such as the RWS Supermag, are fantastic pellets for target shooting. They cut nice, round holes in the cardstock targets used in competition, making the scoring that much easier. But there are hunting scenarios that call for wadcutters, making them the best pellet for the job.

From time to time, I have the chance to eradicate avian pests such as English sparrows and European starlings from barns, store fronts, and other areas that don’t qualify for the term “hunting afield”. In situations like this, over-penetration is the enemy of the shooter. There isn’t a farmer alive that will appreciate your shooting holes in his barn roof because you used the wrong ammo in the wrong gun! So when I have delicate shooting opportunities that call for precise application of force to a light-bodied target, I use the RWS Supermag, or wadcutter. The broad frontal surface of this pellet helps in containing the over-penetration of the pellet in the body of a sparrow, starling, or rat. Coupled with a lower-powered airgun, you can select your shots with more confidence since you are less likely to shoot a hole in the roof. It takes some practice, but if you work at it, you will be able to do some amazing pest control without any collateral damage to property or merchandise in a store, barn, or other public venue.

The cleaned skull of a raccoon after being shot with an RWS Superdome (pellet still lodged in the skull)

The cleaned skull of a raccoon after being shot with an RWS Superdome (pellet still lodged in the skull)

It wasn’t long ago that I had a raccoon raiding my bird feeders. I finally caught up with him one evening, and used an RWS Superdome to end his raiding forays. On the right, you can see a picture of the cleaned raccoon skull, complete with the pellet still stuck in the bone structure of the head. The kill was clean, quick, and effective. The raccoon didn’t suffer needlessly, and I wasn’t left with a wounded, upset animal on my hands to deal with. Combining the right pellet with the right hunting or pest control situation makes your airgun shooting just that much more enjoyable. So pick the right pellet, and head out to the field!

Or, if you want to try a variety of different pellets at the same time to see which kind best suits your different scenarios, think about trying the RWS pellet sampler package (4 types), which contains the Superdome and Super-H Point mentioned in the above article, along with the RWS Meisterkugeln (match grade accuracy), RWS Hobby (balanced for all shooting situations), and RWS Superpoint (increased penetration). This would give you the opportunity to try a mix of pellets for shooting situations that might come up in the future.

Every 1000 Shots

The lubrication of any mechanical device is critical for long-term enjoyment. Lubrication of moving parts and seals ensures proper function and extends the life of the product—be it a vehicle engine, circulating fan, or a door hinge. Without proper lubrication, moving parts and seals will be subject to excessive wear and a shortened life. Your air rifle is no exception. Following are five points on an air rifle that should be lubricated at 1000 shot intervals (or after every two tins of 500 count RWS pellets). Remember, before doing any maintenance always make sure your airgun is unloaded and un-cocked.

Watch the Video: Every 1000 Shots – Proper Lubrication of Your Air Rifle.

The lubrication of any mechanical device is critical for long-term enjoyment. Lubrication of moving parts and seals ensures proper function and extends the life of the product—be it a vehicle engine, circulating fan, or a door hinge. Without proper lubrication, moving parts and seals will be subject to excessive wear and a shortened life. Your air rifle is no exception. Following are five points on an air rifle that should be lubricated at 1000 shot intervals (or after every two tins of 500 count RWS pellets). Remember, before doing any maintenance always make sure your airgun is unloaded and un-cocked.

View the RWS Shooter’s Kit.  It is helpful for maintaining your air rifles.

Piston Seal

The piston seal requires regular maintenance in order for your air rifle to achieve optimum performance. With proper lubrication the seal moves smoothly in the compression chamber, experiences less wear and therefore an extended life. If the pistol seal becomes worn, air is allowed to escape from the compression chamber, which will reduce pellet velocity. After every 1000 shots, apply two drops of RWS Chamber Lube down in the compression chamber port. You can use a 3-1/2 inch applicator needle that attaches directly to your RWS Chamber Lube bottle to ease this application. Regardless of brand, be sure to us a non-petroleum based lubricant. Regular types of petroleum-based oils will cause your gun to diesel. Dieseling is the explosion created by the igniting of petroleum-based oil in the compression chamber due to the extreme air temperature created when the air rifle is discharged.

Breech Seal

The breech seal is a rubberized O-ring located at the back of the barrel where the pellet is seated. If this seal dries out, air can escape which will diminish the velocity of your air rifle. Apply one drop of RWS Chamber Lube to the outer edge of the breech seal after every 1000 shots.

Main Spring

The main spring should be lubricated to maintain proper flex and free movement. Some air rifles require the stock be removed to access this area. We recommend applying 6 drops of RWS Spring Cylinder Oil to the main spring. Again, every 1000 shots is key.

Hinges and Pivot Points

Anything that moves is subject to sticking or squeaking if not lubricated. After every 1000 shots use RWS Spring Cylinder Oil to lube the hinges of triggers and pivot points on break barrel rifles. Just one drop is all it takes. Oil the hinges of cocking arms on under-lever and side-lever air rifles as well as the bolt on bolt-action models like the 850 Air Magnum. Don’t forget to occasionally lube the threads of the exchangeable barrel retainer or the hinge of the pawl on the Hämmerli X2 dual caliber air rifle.

The Barrel

Without cleaning and lubrication, your air rifle’s barrel can experience a build-up of debris or even worse, rust. Any obstruction in the barrel will result in diminished velocity and very poor accuracy. Apply this solution to a clean patch and pass through the barrel from the breech end if possible. Then, use a bore brush with nylon bristles to further loosen remaining deposits of lead and debris. Next, run clean patches and the cleaner/degreaser through the bore until they appear clean upon exiting the barrel. Do not allow the bore cleaner to make contact with any seals/o-rings. Finally, run a patch, lightly oiled with RWS Spring Cylinder Oil, through the barrel. Always push the patch from the breech end if possible. An RWS Flexible Cleaning Rod may help with this process.

One final note: Too much lubrication can be damaging to your air rifle. Apply only the recommended amount.

 

Paying attention to these five areas on your air rifle should provide you with many years of air rifle shooting. Should you have any questions, you may contact Umarex USA’s service department by phone or e-mail. Watch this YouTube video by Umarex USA on how to clean your air rifle’s barrel after every 1000 shots.  Visit Umarex USA’s YouTube channel for other airgun videos.

How To Choose an Airgun Pellet

Every airgun is unique. Here’s a guide on choosing a pellet for your airgun.

There are several different airgun pellet styles available to use with your airgun and each rifle is unique in that every one has an “ideal pellet” for accuracy and/or speed. Your desired result will dictate what kind of airgun pellet you’ll want to use.

Choosing An Airgun PelletAirgun pellet weight is important because it can affect velocity, trajectory, terminal performance and flight stability. Heavier lead pellets tend to be more stable in breezy conditions and retain their energy better over longer distances. Heavy pellets also hit the target with more force. Heavier isn’t always better, it is important to match the weight of the pellet to your airgun’s unique characteristics and your desired result.

If you’re desired result is accuracy, a convenient and inexpensive way to find which pellet is uniquely perfect for your airgun is to try several different pellet shapes. One product made specifically for this is an RWS Pellet Sampler. It contains five different premium pellets that are made to the strictest quality standards. There’s a good chance you’ll find one of these pellets to provide a very high level of accuracy.

If velocity is what you’re after, a non-lead, very lightweight “hyper velocity” or “alloy” will likely provide your air gun’s maximum speed.

For specific shooting activities, some shapes may be better than others. Read further to help you determine which air gun pellet will be best for your shooting objectives.

For fun shooting or informal practice, an inexpensive, “7 grain basic pellet” will do. However, choose a quality pellet, like RWS Diabolos, that will leave minimal lead residue in your airgun’s barrel.

For accurate practice and general plinking, a lightweight 7 grain rifled sport pellet will provide you with an inexpensive and accurate pellet. One such pellet is the RWS Hobby which is very economical to shoot, but still leaves minimal amounts of lead in your air gun’s barrel.

Choosing An Airgun Pellet2For an airgun hunting pellet, choose one with excellent knock down power and accuracy. A heavier rifled English bulldog design provides such performance. English bulldog pellets, such as the RWS Superdome, are great general use pellets as well. They have very aerodynamic heads and are good for shooting at longer distances. The shape causes these pellets to have more knockdown power at the target than other pellet shapes. Hollow point pellets are also good hunting pellets because they really expand on impact. Hollowpoints, like the Super-H-Point by RWS are popular for pest control, however, the hollow mouth can catch wind and cause the pellet to create open groups at longer distances.

If you’re looking for a pellet with penetrating power, a pointed pellet is what you’re looking for. A quality pellet that has a uniform cone can also enhance performance and accuracy of medium powered air guns. They have good penetration capabilities for pest control, but may not work as well as a Superdome pellet in a high-powered air rifle.

For accuracy at longer distances, consider a heavyweight wadcutter style pellet that’s perfectly balanced for accuracy. A pellet of this type, like the RWS Supermag, is ideal for modern ultra high power air rifles.

Extreme accuracy can be achieved with a match grade pellet. These professional wadcutter pellets are perfect for competition and training as well as accuracy and sighting in. The flat head design makes clean holes in paper targets. These pellets, like the RWS Meisterkugeln, can also be used for pest control, but they are not specifically designed for longer distances. They generally perform best at about 20 yards.

Airgun competition shooters desire the highest match accuracy possible. For this, a pellet that is consistent in size and weight from pellet-to-pellet is extremely important. RWS’s R 10 Match Pellets are optoelectronically verified and have a spotless surface finish. To ensure consistency, many air gun competitors desire R10 Match Plus pellets, which are packed in holders that do not allow the pellets to touch each other, thereby ensuring every pellet is flawless.