What's the difference between a .22 calibre and a .177 calibre air rifle? thanks?

What's the difference between a .22 calibre and a .177 calibre air rifle? thanks

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Aside from the obvious difference (caliber), there are a couple big differences centered around pellet weight/power, cost, and animals you can hunt with the respective gun.

    .177 caliber guns shoot lighter bullets at higher velocity (typically .177 caliber pellets range from 4.8 grain Crosman Silver Eagles to 16.1 Eun Jin Round Nose pellets, with the average weight around 7-8 grains). .22 caliber guns sacrifice some velocity to shoot heavier pellets (typically ranging between 9.9 PBA Raptors to 32 Grain Eun Jin pointed pellets with the most common weights being in the 14-20 grain range). As a result .22 caliber guns tend to deliver improved downrange performance (more kinetic energy, greater penetration). The downside is that because of their slower speed, they also tend to have a more pronounced trajectory than .177 caliber pellets (at least inside 30 yards or so).

    I mentioned previously that .22 caliber guns tend to be more powerful. Here's an example of the difference to put it in perspective for you. If you take a .177 caliber gun that gets 1000 fps with 8 grain pellets (which you'll be lucky to do with most budget .177 caliber guns), it has a muzzle energy of 17.8 ft-lbs. If you take a .22 caliber gun that gets 850 fps with 14 grain pellets it gets 22.5 ft-lbs. The extra 4 ft-lbs basically gives you an extra 5-10 yards when hunting most small game. If on a lark you really want to see the difference, a 1000 fps .22 rifle shooting an 15 grain "average" pellet will give you 33.3 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. (Quite a difference from what you see with the .177 caliber guns)

    Another difference is the availability of guns. .177 caliber guns tend to be easily accessible and range from cheap guns like the Daisy 880 to expensive guns like the HW77K. However there are a lot of guns in the budget class ($100-250) from companies like Gamo, Crosman, Daisy, Beeman, etc... .22 caliber guns tend to be more expensive (ranging from relatively inexpensive guns like the Bam B30 and RWS 34 to quite expensive guns like the $2000 Daystate Air Ranger). Most of the .22 caliber guns seem to be in the $200-$700 range (you're paying for the extra power).

    Generally speaking both .177 caliber and .22 caliber guns work fine for most small game such as pigeon, squirrel, rabbit, etc... (.177 out to around 40 yards with the magnum guns and .22 out to around 50+ yards with the magnum guns). The difference is the .22 caliber speaks with a bit more authority and tends to give you a bit more range. Where the .177 caliber stops being a viable proposition is when you move up to larger small game animals (raccoon, possum, nutria, ground hog, etc...). The reason is that the .177 caliber pellets are so light that they aren't guaranteed to penetrate deeply enough for quick humane kills. .22 caliber pellets (especially the 20-32 grain pellets) will deliver the extra power larger species need. So since the .22 caliber guns can hunt anything a .177 caliber can and are more likely to have the extra power for a larger animal, the .22 caliber is a bit more versatile.

    Source(s): If you're still a bit confused about what to get, I suggest taking a look at this page Pyramid Air put together. They use a number of questions to help point people towards guns that should meet the shooter's needs. http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/need_advice.pl
    • C_F_45
      Lv 7
      5 years agoReport


  • 1 decade ago

    The .22 pellet is wider than the .177.

    .177 shoots flatter, .22 is less affected by wind.

    a .22 caliber pellet going at the same speed as a .177 pellet has more energy/knock down power, so say a .22 pellet going at 500 fps has more energy than a .177 caliber pellet going at 500 fps

    Also, .22 pellets are a bit more expensive, but not that much.

    A .22 pellet shot with the same powerplant as a .177 pellet gains about 30% of energy, so If you would change the barrel on a .177 rifle to a .22 barrel, but kept the powerplant as is, the .22 pellet would hit harder.

  • John
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    As everyone said, .22 is a bit bigger, and delivers more foot pounds of energy when hunting. If you're just going to screw around and shoot cans in your back yard, just buy a .177. The pellets are cheaper, easier to find, and shoot flatter. However, they do experience more wind deflection than the .22 because they are lighter. I'd say .177 for plinking, .22 if you want to hunt some varmint.

    Keep in mind, FPS doesn't mean much when hunting. If you know anything about big bore airgun hunting, you'd know what I mean. .45 and .50 caliber air rifles only shoot slugs at about 500 fps, but they deliver a lot of foot pounds. I know several people who take down deer and feral pigs with big bore air rifles.

    If you're target shooting, FPS would be more important, so the pellet would get to the target faster.

  • strate
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    177 Or 22

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 4 years ago

    Go with the .177 cal, its easier to find pellets for, I assume your talking about the .22 cal pellets not the 22 long rifle, both can handle small game. I own both calibers, and I've found the 177 just better for all around purposes.

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    What's the difference between a .22 calibre and a .177 calibre air rifle? thanks?

    What's the difference between a .22 calibre and a .177 calibre air rifle? thanks

    Source(s): 39 difference 22 calibre 177 calibre air rifle thanks: https://biturl.im/7zQ1U
  • 1 decade ago

    The .22 is bigger than the .177 and has more power.

  • 1 decade ago

    The number is the diameter of its ammo. I don't know if you can get .22 caliber BBs but .177 BBs are common.

  • PHIL P
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It is the diameter of the pellett in inches, so a .22 is fatter than a .177 and hence more lethal.

  • size of the ammunition

    .22 is bigger than .177

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.