Does caliber really matter?

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Does caliber really matter?

Post by EdLena » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:14 am

Let's start with .177 the most common choice from what I've read. One of the obvious characteristics of this caliber is the lighter weight pellet choices which will result in higher velocities and a flatter trajectory. But is that the blessing some say it is? Regardless of velocity, while there is gravity there will still be a curved flight and adjustments will have to be made for different distances. A really flat trajectory may need less corrections but won't make a difference in the final results.
Some people think the heavier weight .22 pellets give them advantage in windy conditions. Actually it's not the weight but the density that will hold up better against the wind. A 13g .177 is much denser than a 13g .22.
IMO look for the heaviest pellet per caliber that shoots well in your gun to buck the wind and forget the trajectory.
While I'm at it the caliber, pellet, gun or scope will not nearly affect accuracy as much as your ability to hold your POA!

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Re: Does caliber really matter?

Post by Mac » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:09 pm

I can agree with some of your points, but if it were only about the numbers and math, everyone would have this clearly figured out. In my Steyr with the older barrel that many desire, 7.9 JSBs are very accurate and do better in the wind than the 8.4 or 7.3. In a friend's Steyr with the same type of barrel, the 7.3 RS is the pellet that gives the best accuracy and wind performance. There are perhaps a variety of reasons for this, but most often it remains a mystery as to why certain barrels have a different taste in pellets that one that is "supposedly" identical.

With respect to .22 vs .177, there are a couple of things not mentioned that should be considered. The faster pellet not only has a flatter trajectory, but is exposed to the wind for a shorter period of time. Some may dismiss this since the difference is in fractions of a second. If you have been able to tract a pellet through your scope and see how the movement of the pellet increases quickly as time and distance go by, you may be convinced that those last fractions of a second do make a significant difference.

The rifling of the barrel seems to have something to do with the pellet it choses and there are many theories to explain this, but none of them seem to explain all cases.

The shape and length of the pellet certainly factor in to the equation. A good number of British shooters that shoot under the 12 ft/lb limit have switched to the JSB RS, stating in part that the short length helps it in the wind since it reduces the surface that is exposed to the wind. It does not work for everyone, so it certainly is not a matter of math.

Certainly an interesting discussion that will no doubt go on forever. I just mentioned a few more considerations on a topic that has many. Thanks for posting it here. Maybe some others have further points or experiences on the subject.
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Re: Does caliber really matter?

Post by jgoodz » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:33 am

Biggest factor in my mind is ballistic co-efficient, which is exactly why different guns (that are exactly the same model) shoot differently as Tim has mentioned. Your BC is specific to your exact setup and is the real determining factor in how a pellet performs downrange.

You can get better BC's with larger caliber pellets, but due to the power restrictions of FT, your velocity would be a rainbow with a .25cal pellet, even with a much higher BC.

So in short I would say yes, caliber absolutely does matter; given that we must operate at <12FPE or <20FPE. In my opinion the only other choice from .177cal would be .20cal, but one could easily argue that the very limited pellet selection in .20cal almost instantly rules them out

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