What’s the Difference Between a 177 Pellet and a 22 Pellet?

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Choosing the caliber of your pellet matters a lot. Most people end up choosing between .177 and .22, the two most popular calibers. You’re probably wondering, what’s the difference between a 177 pellet and a 22 pellet?

What’s the Difference Between a 177 Pellet and a 22 Pellet?

The main difference between a 177 pellet and a 22 pellet is in their:

  • Power
  • Costs
  • Uses
  • Loudness

Depending on what you may prefer or what you’re hunting, the caliber matters. Therefore, I’ll dive into more details about these two popular calibers.

Close-up photo of a pellet

Differences in Features

These are how .177 pellets and .22 pellets differ from one another.


The power of a pellet gun depends on:

  • Type of powerplant
  • Quality
  • Length of the barrel
  • Pellet used

The power of a pellet gun is measured through muzzle energy.

If velocity is constant, the heavier the pellet, the higher the muzzle energy will be. For context, .22 pellets are heavier than .177 pellets.

Therefore, .22 pellets are more powerful compared to .177 pellets. Be aware that pellet gun models and brands also matter. So you want a pellet gun that can fully harness the pellet caliber you want to use. 


For costs, the smaller caliber, .177 pellets, is cheaper. The .177 tin also contains more pellets than .22 tins in general.

So if you’re about getting the most out of your money, choosing the .177 instead of the .22 will let you fire more rounds. 625 pellets of .22 caliber will give you 1250 pellets of .177 at the same price point.


If you want something that is effective, the .177 pellet is your best option. They are generally recommended for target shooting competitions. Some people even claim that .177 pellets are made with more attention for accuracy compared to .22 pellets.

However, you should also consider other factors. In very windy situations, the .22 pellets might have better accuracy. Since they’re heavier, they’re less likely to sway with the wind.

Muzzle velocity also affects the accuracy when it’s windy. If your pellet is very light and doesn’t have enough muzzle velocity, it could be easily swayed with the wind. Hence, depending on the weather, you might prefer one over the other.


The .177 pellets are likely louder than the .22 caliber. This is because .177 pellets are generally used by pellet guns with higher muzzle velocities. Fortunately, people found ways to measure muzzle velocity.

Higher muzzle velocity means your pellet gun could produce louder sounds. There are also other factors that affect the loudness. Do take note that the pellets have no control over the loudness when fired.

Other factors include:

  • Silencers
  • Machining quality of the barrel
  • Type of powerplant
  • Recoil effect of the pellet gun
Close-up photo of an air rifle

Related Questions

Is .177 or .22 Better for Rabbits?

The .22 pellet is larger and heavier so it’s better for hunting rabbits if you want a clean kill. .177 pellets have a flatter trajectory so you get higher accuracy.

Will a 22 Air Rifle Shoot 177 Pellets?

A 22 air rifle can’t shoot .177 pellets. Only shoot the allowable caliber pellets on your air gun or pellet gun. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your gun.


While 177 pellets and 22 pellets have their differences, they also have unique strengths of their own. It all comes down to your caliber preferences and purpose. If you’re more into hunting, the .22 might be better. For target shooting competitions, the .177 is more accurate.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created KeepGunsSafe.com with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.