.177 / .20 / .22
Caliber selection is about as personal of a choice as pizza toppings. Everyone has a favorite and an opinion. I can’t say that I can offer much more on the subject other than to share what I like on my pizza and in my barrel.
Conventional wisdom picks this for paper only; I would have to disagree because in low to medium powered rifles, the larger .22 will lack the needed penetration in prey. In fact, Dr. Beeman advised strongly in the 1970’s that .177 was the only viable choice for hunting due to the lower power of the day. So .177 can get the job done in these rifles, just never forget pellets need exact placement like the arrow from a bow.
Top pick for pistols, CO2, and Springer’s under 12 foot pounds and the only choice for most target rifles. .177 is very economical due to more pellets per tin, and lots of variety. However, like a pretty girl, they can be hard to pick up and even harder to hold on to. Flatter trajectory in modest powered guns means a better chance of hitting what you aim at.
The famous queen bee??
Now this is the most fickle of the choices. I’ll be the first to admit I thought this was just a marketing ploy by the good Dr. Beeman. Then I finally picked up an R-7 in .20 caliber and I love it. Flatter shooting than the .22 and a better smack than the .177, who knew?
Excellent in the middle range Springers, really is the best of both worlds. Not as many choices, and forget about getting .20 cal at Wal Mart. Close to the .22 in size, so easy to load. The only thing that works in your Sheridan Silver Streak.
Once up to adequate velocity, this is the most common hunter. Abundant selections and good availability, it is hard to argue with the versatility of the enduring .22
While most Springer’s favor a middle weight pellet for the best usable energy, PCP’s tend to thrive on heavy weights in this category. As a basic rule of thumb, a PCP that makes 21 ft lbs in .177 will make 30 ft lbs plus in .22
Best in a PCP’s and higher powered springers.
spice of life
Not really worth the expense and limited selection in mid powered rifles like the BSA Lighting which favors sub 20 grain pellets, (that is .22 cal territory, why bother?) it is best in the now defunct Patriot \ Kodiak. While the Patriot was not an all day plinker, mine was an amazing hunter offering close to .22 short rimfire power.
Unsurpassed in the highest power PCP’s or Springer’s. A must try in the Marauder if you need the energy for bigger varmints.
At the end of the day, shoot what tastes best to you…