Types of Air Gun Pellets

types of air gun pellets

An air gun is only half the fun. In order to use it, you’ll need pellets. For those unfamiliar with air guns and air gun pellets, there is the misconception that all pellets are the same.

This misconception is not accurate. While there are types of pellets that are rounded, there are also other types of air gun pellets. The two main classes of air gun pellets are: diabolo and rounded ball.

While the rounded ball pellets are self-explanatory, the diabolo pellets have a head that is attached to a narrow waist that then flares out in a “skirt.” The bottom “skirt” portion is hollow. The different kinds of diabolo pellets are characterized by their unique heads.

Below is a brief description of the different types of air gun pellets:

Diabolo Type Pellets

Domed Pellets

Domed pellets are just what they sound like. They have a domed, or half-rounded head. Domed pellets are ideal for hunting, general shooting and field target shooting because of their great aerodynamics. These pellets come in a variety of sizes and shapes and work well with air guns of all power levels.


A wadcutter pellet has a flat head that creates a perfect circle when it penetrates target paper. The Wadcutter pellets are best for use in low-velocity air guns. These pellets are used exclusively in competition and short-range hunting. Wadcutter pellets lose their accuracy beyond 25 yards, making them a poor choice for long-distance shooting.   

Pointed Pellets

Pointed pellets offer the best penetration, but lack accuracy and good aerodynamics. These pellets are ideal for higher velocity air guns and can travel at higher speeds.

Hollowpoint Pellets

Hollowpoint pellets feature a head (or point) that is hollow. These air gun pellets are used exclusively in hunting. Hollowpoint pellets expand rapidly and are accurate until 25 yards, when the accuracy drops off. Some Hollowpoint pellets are accurate at longer distances, but these don’t rapidly expand.

Novelty Pellets

There are unique air gun pellets with customized coloring, shapes and designs. These pellets, however, are not functional and are only for the purpose of looks. These are rarely purchased or used.

Round Pellets

Round Lead Ball Pellets

Round lead ball pellets have great penetration and are extremely accurate when used with certain air guns. These pellets are safe to use with any air guns, including vintage BB guns and high-powered submachine gun.

When choosing pellets, you must be mindful of what kind of air gun you have, whether it is a low or high velocity gun and what you want to achieve with your shooting. If you’re only interested in competition shooting, for instance, you’ll need different pellets than if you’re aim is to use your air gun for strictly hunting.

Each pellet has a specific size, shape and weight to match its purpose. Each pellet type also has pros and cons. If you’re new to buying air gun pellets, it is suggested that you talk to a professional. He or she will be able to help you find the right pellet type for your shooting goal.

At Kiehberg, we have a variety of air gun pellets to choose from and our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be pleased to help you find the right type of air gun pellet for your shooting needs.

Contact us today for more information about the different types of air gun pellets or to make an order.