Finding the “best” pellet is a big part of the fun of precision air guns.
Since each air rifle is unique, there is no sure way to tell which pellet will perform best in your airgun without testing each of them in your air gun. Those which work well in another pellet rifle of the same model will likely work well in yours, but you will probably be able to do better by testing. There is definitely not a pellet that will work for all situations — you will need a variety of “bests” to fulfill all of your needs, and they will change with each air gun in your battery.
I believe it was Townsend Whelan who said, “Only accurate rifles are interesting,” and most of us will agree that accuracy sure makes shooting air guns a whole lot more fun.
First: decide what the requirements are: Will you be shooting at long range? short range? ten meter paper target? Will you need knockdown? penetration? or just the most accurate pellet?
Second: test a variety of airgun pellets on paper – shooting at the range you will likely be using most often, selecting the two or three airgun pellets that give the best accuracy.
Third: test other air gun projectile requirements; test knockdown with suitable targets (metallic silhouette or field target). Test penetration of your favorite air gun pellets with ballistic putty, stacked newspaper, or other consistent medium.
Fourth: record your results.
Optional: Pellet sizing can change your results, but with today’s higher quality pellets from RWS and Beeman it’s usually not useful to test each pellet with a variety of sizing dies. If you have cheap pellets, you may find that some will only work best when sized. Pellet Sampler Packs can make testing a lot easier.
TIP: Don’t be fooled into thinking that muzzle velocity it the absolute key. You will be much better off with a heavier, slower pellet that retains down range energy and accuracy than with an ultra-lightweight air gun pellet that sheds energy like a marshmallow and is likely to be intolerably inaccurate. Wadcutter pellets work well for cutting clean holes in paper and for small pests at moderate distances (10-15 yards) while domed pellets like the Crosman Premier and Beeman Kodiak or RWS Super Dome generally are good performers at long range.
RWS and Online gun shop offer deluxe pellet sampler packs which include generous samples of several different types of pellets. These will allow you to test a variety of pellets without buying full tins of each one.
You’ll Have More Fun.