The 3 Best .22 Pellets for Hunting [2020 Update]

Today I’m going to show you the best .22 pellets for hunting on the market today.

In fact:

I’ve hand-tested over 10 pellets alone for this review.

The best part?

I’ve sorted them by use. So whether you’re on a budget or looking for the most premium pellets, you’ll find it here.

Let’s get started!

The 3 Best .22 Pellets for Hunting

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best .22 pellets for hunting:

  1. JSB Exact Match Jumbo Beast Diabolo: Best .22 Pellets for Accuracy
  2. H&N Baracuda Match: Best for Squirrel Hunting
  3. H&N Hornet Pointed: Best for Raccoons

1. JSB Exact Match Jumbo Beast Diabolo: Best .22 Pellets for Accuracy

The JSB Exact Match Jumbo Beast Diabolo pellets are the most accurate .22 pellets available today.

The heavier weight and aerodynamic design combine to give you consistent long-range accuracy and flying power.

But, are they worth the higher price?

Let’s find out.


Accuracy

These pellets were designed for medium and long-range accuracy.

JSB has proven time and time again that they’re an industry leader when it comes to accuracy, and the Jumbo Beast Diabolos are no exception.

I was able to maintain consistent .5” 5-shot groups, even from distances as far as 60 yards, with virtually no flyers.

This is partly thanks to the shape and size of the pellet. The medium/heavy weight combined with the round nose pellet design increases accuracy, as well as flight stabilization.

Of course, as with all airgun pellets, the accuracy is very firearm-dependent. But, using my Gen 2 Marauder, I’ve achieved better accuracy with these than with any other pellets!


Shape/Fit

The JSB Diabolos have a hollow point design and a rounded nose.

One thing to note is that these pellets are longer than average, so there are some types of magazines they will not fit into.

JSB specifically points out that, unfortunately, they do not fit in rotary magazines, so you’ll want to look elsewhere if your airgun has one.


Reliability

JSB claims these pellets are produced precisely, with hand-picked quality control.

Other than just a couple skirt deformations, this claim seems to hold true.

Most pellets in the tin are very well-formed, and JSB is known to be a reliable manufacturer.


Velocity

The Diabolos are designed with a high ballistic coefficient for intense power at long ranges.

With the right rifle, you can get up to 75 yards of lethal, knock-out power!

There’s significantly less drag than with other .22 pellets, and wind has little effect on energy delivery to the target.

From my measurements across the multiple airguns I’ve tested these with, the FPS is anywhere between 750-850.

Drop off doesn’t even begin until around 75 yards, giving you true long-distance power!


Size

Each pellet weighs about 33.95 grains, and the head diameter is 5.5mm.

The heavier weight of the Diabolos makes them an ideal hunting pellet, and JSB’s best choice for anyone looking for pellets with a weight that can keep up with high-powered airguns.


Price

These JSB pellets range in price from $13 – $26 for a tin of 150, depending on the retailer.

They’re definitely on the pricier side. But, if you want unmatched accuracy and high power at long distances, you certainly won’t be disappointed with the value!


Recommendations

The JSB Exact Match Jumbo Beast Diabolo .22 pellets are all you need for pest control or medium-game hunting.

Whether you’re hunting at night or during the day, you can expect to hit hares, foxes, squirrels, or raccoons with lethal force.

The Diabolos are a powerful, versatile option, made in the perfect shape and size for a hunting pellet.

You get what you pay for, and these are sure to be the most accurate .22 pellets you’ve ever used.

JSB Diabolo Exact .22 Caliber Air Gun Pellets
1,328 Reviews
JSB Diabolo Exact .22 Caliber Air Gun Pellets
  • HEAVY HITTING: Pellets pack a wallop! This pellet’s hollow point design, along with its extremely high ballistic coefficient, means less drag and more energy delivery at the target.
  • INCREDIBLY ACCURATE: Pellet is an intermediate weight, round nose pellet that will deliver improved flight stabilization and fine accuracy.
  • PERFECT FOR HUNTING: If you have a powerful air rifle then this is the only pellet for you! This is our best selling .22 caliber pellet. Why? It performs! A truly no fail hunting pellet.

2. H&N Baracuda Match: Best for Squirrel Hunting

When your target is as small as a squirrel’s eye, having the right pellet can make all the difference in whether you’re feasting on savory squirrel legs for dinner or stomping back through the woods empty-handed.

Luckily, H&N’s Baracuda Match pellets give you the accuracy, consistency, and power you need to fill your game bag every time.

Here’s why the Baracuda is my top choice for hunting squirrels…


The Specs

The H&N Baracuda Match is a high-quality German-made pellet that is perfect for use in your .22 caliber air pistol or rifle as long as its minimum muzzle energy is over 18.5 ft.lbs.

This model is on the heavier end of the spectrum when it comes to airgun pellets, weighing about 21.14 grains.

How is that a good thing?

Though it won’t have as much energy out of the barrel, a heavier pellet will hit much harder at the target making for deeper wound channels and more humane kills.

The Baracuda Match has a well-formed domed nose and aerodynamic rear skirt, giving the pellet a stabilizing effect that vastly improves accuracy.

And, bonus, there isn’t a ton of lead dust in every tin I’ve broken into, which means you’re not paying extra for dirty pellets.


The Stats

This H&N product is one of the most consistent tins of pellets out there.

When I looked through my tin of 200, there was only about a 2% variation in both weight and length. Most pellets came in very close to 8.66 mm in length.

Consistency is a great advantage because you don’t have to worry about if one pellet’s going to hit bullseye in practice and then the next veers way off course when you’re actually trying to make a killshot.

Every time I’ve taken this pellet out in the field, I’ve made my shots with quarter inch groupings or less at 50 yards.

I’ve even made kill shots on squirrels out past 125 yards thanks to the extra weight of the Baracuda Match.

The stats I’ve tallied up with this pellet don’t lie: Its weight and design give the Baracuda Match the advantage in accurate and consistent shooting.


The Shot

Perfect for longer-range air rifle hunting, this pellet hits prey hard, giving you a through and through kill nearly every time.

This means less time picking lead out of your dinner and more time coming up with new ways to bring down the quick little boogers.

Once you’ve called in your squirrels (try calling them in by rubbing a couple of coins together—seriously, it sounds just like two squirrels chattering!), just line up your shot and the Baracuda will do the rest.

One of my favorite features of this pellet is the larger (5.53 mm) head that expands on impact and takes the target down quicker.


Is the H&N Baracuda Match worth it?

So, if you’ve got squirrel on the menu tonight, the H&N Baracuda Match is the best choice for you.

Here’s why. It’s:

  • Accurate
  • Consistent
  • Powerful

And, be sure to pick up a few containers at a time. If you’re like me, you’ll love these pellets so much, you’ll burn through them in a breeze!

Haendler & Natermann H&N Baracuda Domed Airgun Pellets .22 Caliber / 21.14 Grains (200 Count), PY-P-18
108 Reviews
Haendler & Natermann H&N Baracuda Domed Airgun Pellets .22 Caliber / 21.14 Grains (200 Count), PY-P-18
  • Excellent for hunting / Long range hunting pellet
  • Content: 200 air gun pellets
  • Pellet Caliber/Weight . 22 / 21. 14 Grains

3. H&N Hornet Pointed: Best for Raccoons

H&N’s Hornet Pointed pellets aim for vicious penetration and rock-solid stopping power.

They have high claims that the Hornets are the supreme pellet for small to medium game hunting.

Are they worth the hefty price tag?

Let’s take a dive into the H&N Hornet Pointed pellets.


Construction

H&N has a history with quality construction so it comes as no surprise that the Hornet Pointed rounds have an above-average construction.

For most of their products I have nothing but good things to say about their build quality, but there is a formidable issue with the Hornet Pointed pellets; we’ll get to that in a second.

The Hornets build is primarily lead, like most other pellets on the market, unpolished lead specifically, meaning the material may seem a little bit more “dingy” than the packaging and advertising pictures suggest, but this is nitpicking and really a non-issue.

The shape is typical of hollow point pellets with a stylish exception, a pointed, real brass tip.

Don’t go crazy with hype just yet because there is one minor issue to keep an eye out for.

On a few occasions, I had some shots go way off-target. I had no idea what was going on until I saw a small speck of brass fly of the side while the lead portion of the pellet flew out into the distance.

Everyone should keep in mind that this was very rare, maybe two duds per tin, not excessive, but worth noting.

Everything else seems to be in order, the lead is, well, lead and the brass tip does its job of assisting in penetrating effectively.

I really do like the construction of the pellets, they feel solid and are super effective while hunting, but those 2-3 duds made me feel critically wary with how high the price was for these pellets.


Accuracy and Practicality

Saying I was impressed with the accuracy is a severe understatement. Dumbfounded more accurately describes my emphatic reaction to the groups I was hitting.

On a paper target, I was shooting at less than a quarter-inch group at 35 yards. Pellets were just smacking one on top of the other, mag after mag after mag.

H&N went hard on their claims of accuracy; master craftsmanship and careful design really made these pellets live up to the hype. I’d personally never used a pellet that was quite as accurate as the Hornets.

Accuracy is the name of the game in hunting and the H&N Hornet Pointed pellets have that in spades.

I’m addition, these pellets are a great choice for hunting small to medium animals, or just pest control if you want to go a little overkill on garden pests.

The Hornet will blow a hole clean through most small game and have a good chance to one-shot drop medium game. I was even able to bag a small pig with a well-placed headshot.

Do keep in mind that you probably don’t want to use this in suburban areas, or if you live relatively close to someone because that brass point is effective.

Your neighbors will not appreciate pellets embedded into their siding or cracks in their windows if you whiff a shot or just shoot through something.

Otherwise, you’ll be stacking pests left and right. These pellets are both extremely effective and accurate.

There is a major downside though, and that’s the price


Price

A tin of 200 pellets is gonna put you out 27 bucks.

Now if you’re new to pellet guns, this does not seem like a significant amount, but in the airgun arena, this is a lot more than most are expecting.

To be clear, you can get similar, not identical, results with cheaper alternatives.

I’m a pretty frugal dude so I like going a little cheaper. I’d also seriously discourage anybody from using the Hornets for plinking.

If you’re going to drop that amount of cash on 200 pellets, use them for actual hunting.


Are the H&N Hornet Pointed Pellets worth it?

It’s tough to decide really.

I’d love to say these are an insta-buy because I absolutely love these pellets, but the price is just a little bit high for a full recommendation.

If you’ve got 27 dollars to blow through, pick these guys up; you’ll have a great time.

If you’ve got some real problem animals, pick the H&N Hornet Pointed pellets up to make sure the job gets done right. But if you can’t just drop $27 on 200 pellets, look into cheaper projectiles with similar performance.

H&N Hornet Pointed Airgun Pellets, .177 Caliber / 10.03 Grains (225 Count)
1,425 Reviews
H&N Hornet Pointed Airgun Pellets, .177 Caliber / 10.03 Grains (225 Count)
  • Excellent for hunting/ Maximum piercing power
  • Content: 225 air gun pellets
  • Pellet Caliber/Weight: .177 / 9.6 Grains

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best holsters for running guide.

So as a recap:

In case you’re searching for the most precise .22 pellets, get the JSB Exact Match Jumbo Beast Diabolo.

JSB Diabolo Exact .22 Caliber Air Gun Pellets
1,328 Reviews
JSB Diabolo Exact .22 Caliber Air Gun Pellets
  • HEAVY HITTING: Pellets pack a wallop! This pellet’s hollow point design, along with its extremely high ballistic coefficient, means less drag and more energy delivery at the target.
  • INCREDIBLY ACCURATE: Pellet is an intermediate weight, round nose pellet that will deliver improved flight stabilization and fine accuracy.
  • PERFECT FOR HUNTING: If you have a powerful air rifle then this is the only pellet for you! This is our best selling .22 caliber pellet. Why? It performs! A truly no fail hunting pellet.

Or if you are looking for accuracy, consistency, and power, I would recommend the H&N Baracuda Match.

Haendler & Natermann H&N Baracuda Domed Airgun Pellets .22 Caliber / 21.14 Grains (200 Count), PY-P-18
108 Reviews
Haendler & Natermann H&N Baracuda Domed Airgun Pellets .22 Caliber / 21.14 Grains (200 Count), PY-P-18
  • Excellent for hunting / Long range hunting pellet
  • Content: 200 air gun pellets
  • Pellet Caliber/Weight . 22 / 21. 14 Grains

But what if you would like to go raccoon hunting? Then the H&N’s Hornet Pointed is what you are looking for.

H&N Hornet Pointed Airgun Pellets, .177 Caliber / 10.03 Grains (225 Count)
1,425 Reviews
H&N Hornet Pointed Airgun Pellets, .177 Caliber / 10.03 Grains (225 Count)
  • Excellent for hunting/ Maximum piercing power
  • Content: 225 air gun pellets
  • Pellet Caliber/Weight: .177 / 9.6 Grains

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which one will you pick for your holster?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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