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.177 vs .22 for hunting


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#1 Flow

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 03:30 pm

I've been trying to decide which calibre for my next rifle for nearly two weeks now and as I'm buying new I obviously want to make the right decision.

I had a good old think today, which was hard, and wrote it down.

For .22

Less affected by wind
Leaves a MUCH bigger hole (tested by shooting my .22 HW97K and my brothers .177 TX200 into plasticine, the .22 hole was 10mm, the .177 was 5mm)
Easier to load (pellet into breach and cocking)
Less recoil
Retains more energy

For .177

Flatter trajectory (although its only in a 1" kill zone for roughly 10 yards (more like 8 though) more than the .22 in the cross hair both with optimized zero on CG, hardly worth mentioning)
Faster flying (lighter pellets in a .22 make it almost as quick)
Cheaper pellets

So from what I can gather, if you shoot no more 35 yards, or have a range finder/know your ranges for longer shots, there are practically no benefits to .177 over .22 for hunting.

Anyone have anything else to add?

Edited by Flow, 22 June 2012 - 05:57 pm.


#2 Elliott

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:12 pm

That about sums it up as far as I can tell :)

#3 secretagentmole

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:17 pm

The flatter trajectory of the .177 makes roost shooting easier. It is easier to aim through branches! The .177 costs less to feed, .177 pellets are cheaper.

#4 pianoman

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:37 pm

Hi Flow.
Both have their advantages over eachother from my experience of using both calibres to hunt with.

.22 being larger in frontal mass area, has the greater knock-down power thus, there is less chance of inflicting a fatal wound where the animal escapes, unretrievably, into undergrowth.
.22 is as blisteringly accurate as .177 if you put the time in to learn its steeper trajectory curve from your rifle.

.177 is lighter thus flies faster, thus flatter, than .22. Making it very accurate and easier to shoot accurately with.

177 being smaller and lighter has greater penetration power BUT, imparts less impact shock than a .22 round and so requires a more accurate hit into the brain of the animal. Even a hit into the head of a rabbit with .177 is no guarantee of an instantly fatal shot.

.22 is capable of killing all airgun quarry and delivers a more powerful punch, humanely and effectively than .177.

Both are equally effective with accurate shooting into the brain of the animal.

Whichever you decide, ARE YOU UP TO THE TASK OF ACCURACY DEMANDED BY EITHER CALIBRE???

Pianoman
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#5 Flow

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 06:04 pm

Hi Pianoman

You basically just confirmed what I said, .177 really doesn't have many benefits at all.

The trajectory really isn't all that different.

From roughly 7-35 yards, you are going to hit a 25mm target by aiming in the cross hair with a .22.

With a .177 this is extended to roughly 45 yards give or take a yard or two.

The plasticine test was eye opening to say the least. The .22 left a hole nearly twice the size of a .22 pellet, the .177 hole was the same size as a .177 pellet.

.177 is affected a hell of a lot more by the wind so the extra range is all well and good, as long as it isn't windy, and most of the time it is.

I managed to put pellet on pellet at 25 meters with my .22 HW97K yesterday in seriously windy conditions so me being accurate enough isn't a worry.

I think my minds finally made up, .22 it is (again)

#6 ArchieHood

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 06:30 pm

I was always .22, bit the bullet a few months ago and went down the .177 road.I can honestly say im converted now and would never go back.If you can try a .177 give it a go, you will be surprised :thumbs: .
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#7 hotshot2me

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 06:36 pm

Just my two penneth, I have both calibers used for hunting, with .22 there's a lot of adjustment needed if you shoot longer than your zero range, if you have a mildot scope you have to know your adjustment for different ranges. with .177 less of a factor unless say your zeroed at 20 yards and are shooting at 40 yards then the same factors apply, you have to know what you and your gun are capable of, and accuracy plays the largest part in any hunting trip, without this and your own skill with the gun you might as well throw rocks: Dave

#8 Flow

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:11 pm

Archie, I've been shooting my brothers .177 TX, its not convinced me enough yet.

Dave, like I said, PBR for a .22 is roughly 7-35 yards, meaning that you will hit a 25mm target in the cross hairs at these ranges, .177 is roughly 8-45 yards giving you an extra 10 yards or there abouts.

After these ranges you either need to know the distance, or use a range finder for either calibre so it really makes no odds.

#9 Buster321c

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:47 pm

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#10 Flow

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:05 pm

Like I said, know your ranges or carry a range finder and the shot with the .22 will be just as accurate, if not just stalk a bit closer!

Edited by Flow, 22 June 2012 - 10:06 pm.


#11 andyfr1968

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:11 pm

I gave up on .177 vs .22 after nearly 30 years of swapping between the two and not finding either one had much advantage over the other for hunting. I still use both from time to time depending on what side of the bed I wake up on and what type of shooting I'm expecting but I'll not go back to either as a preference over .20 after I started using it a few years back.

It's all bollox though, really. The biggest difference is what's inside the shooter's head. .177, .20, .22 and .25 will all kill cleanly if the shooter knows their kit.

Edited by andyfr1968, 22 June 2012 - 10:13 pm.

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#12 ghillies

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:35 pm

I gave up on .177 vs .22 after nearly 30 years of swapping between the two and not finding either one had much advantage over the other for hunting. I still use both from time to time depending on what side of the bed I wake up on and what type of shooting I'm expecting but I'll not go back to either as a preference over .20 after I started using it a few years back.

It's all bollox though, really. The biggest difference is what's inside the shooter's head. .177, .20, .22 and .25 will all kill cleanly if the shooter knows their kit.


spot on!!


if you carefully xccalculate you can ffind a 5 inch kill zone if you want to, but allas that means you'd never hit a kill zone.. du dahhh.

the diference in wind of .22 and .177 is yes .22 is slightly better..as in a farts whiska on a passing bufalo, and of course you'd have to be shooting past 50 yards for it to be a concideration.

on impact, that larger 22 has naff all penatrasion on a peice of wood compaired the .177 that passes on through.. thats a solid..
on soft the .22 in book language actualy penatrates much further..
so in shrt off you go and find ahh yes cracking big bangy loud nailed um down killed 4 times bigger 22 head shots on rats has the same end game as the suttle laydown n die quitly heat shot on rats.. bodshots eghhhh forget .22
rabbits heads yup both still work but bod shots in .22 again..lacking

now we go to the 6 yard matrix sinario where a rat looks at the pellet, watch's it come on in and side steps, screems like a banchie and stamps on the floor, looks and sounds like the impact from hell in true .22 fasion... only, ermmm? theyre casualy dodging the pellets.. i've witnessed it more than enough, so what ever on that front.

.177...wamp-its-arrived-already


.22...200 pellets in a tin
.177 500

.22 pcp ooo 5 more shots...compair it to yu lead cost


nar then..aparently .20 is the caliber, if you can get a good pellet/barrel combo.. and can still get that brand.


think i'll stick to .177 thankie kindly. (eather does..but where it counts, i.e. past the 40-50 yard mark ooo can you still see the target on the hold over in .22? no? yu dont say lmao!! so that minute 'better in wind and accuracy' is actualy afairytail...unles you zero beyond the usable range.. but..go FAC things start to change all over again lol).

which do 'you' like?? theres bugger all in it bar preference.

and yes its wats in your head........................................

Edited by ghillies, 22 June 2012 - 10:42 pm.


#13 robwelsh

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:58 am

Whenever some says a good point about .177 you keep going back saying about .22..I think your mind was already made up about calibre

#14 ghillies

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:21 am

my mind was/is tbh, the only .22 i ever got on with for the full 50 yard stuff was a bsa super 10.. dont get me rong here, .22 really does have some useful quolities but, well, 30 years now of .177 to some silly degree's i'm mind set on a .177 'path' of angles and shots. (.22 for 20 yard or under woodies is a peach, silent bod shot and drop stone dead..with the right lightweight pellet, but i can do that at 40 in .177...as in me, i can).

i had a good succes on rats with a .22 falcon, but..eghhhh well.. just wasnt a .177 and yes watching rats stamp and screem i honestly thought there was a problem untill i forgot about the safety catch and left it on, my first reaction was 'shit' another runner, the noise was exactly like a good body wack, then in the same instance i thought hu? safeties on..aimed up again, leaving the safety on just to see the rat smack the ground with its back leg and squeel the masive bod hit squeel.. so yes a big yes, the .22's are way to slow for my liking for what i do, yes you can adjust to it but again..well..erghhhh yu know...why put up with it lol.(opertunaties at shots are more in .177 to me, so a higher faster succes rate).

my choise was made from succesive trying of .22 and .177 over the years.. always turned up the same results bar the super ten on a range.. but in the same breath i've know blokes do the same thing but like .22 over the .177 for similar reasons.

hense..yes its whats in your head, which do you prefer.


( a ps...the picture from the airgun mag compairs the two for hold over/under, if you know your tragectry, again, it makes didly squot difference to worry about what joe soaps gun is doing, your not using it lol. if on the other hand you've gone through the learning stage of starting with utter crap guns to good guns and gone from opens to others to scopes, your learning curve is from a diferent angle and the diferences in caliber on your ret is suddenly not the difference, but..it's still preference, what/how you learned and what with so whats in your head. and of course learning from a scope its the other way on your learning curve the ret thing is a big be all, untill you suss it, then its 'ahhhhh diddly squot' lolol i've hit stuff plenty using a small section of airiel tube elastic banded on as the back sight..)

Edited by ghillies, 23 June 2012 - 01:38 am.


#15 Mawders

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:55 am

I think you just need to watch the newish episode on verminhunterstv with Si. It's called long range springer shooting. Si goes out to like 62 yards and is hitting spinners and a hft rat at those distances with .22 and it's a recoiling rifle.

Im a great believer in .22 as used it all my hunting life. Know your distances and your sorted! There are those that grew up with .177 and won't convert. Nothing wrong with that, each to their own. Go with what you want mate as if you make the wrong decision you can't take it back!


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