How to Calculate Pellet Drop in Air Guns

Written by heath robert
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How to Calculate Pellet Drop in Air Guns
You can measure how much a pellet drops at long distances. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Pellet guns typically shoot small, lead pellets at velocities far below most traditional firearms. Because of these slower speeds, the lead pellets drop faster than bullets. It's possible to measure this drop by setting up paper targets at various distances and shooting from a fixed position. Measuring the drop of airgun pellets can help make you a better shooter at long distances, by accounting for how far the pellet drops as it travels.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Pellet gun
  • Pellets
  • Bench rest
  • Paper targets
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler

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  1. 1

    Use the tape measure to set up three paper targets at distances of 10 feet, 50 feet and 100 feet away from the shooting position. Make sure the targets are level with one another and that they sit directly in line with one another.

  2. 2

    Lock the air gun into the shooting rest, aiming at the centre of the first target.

  3. 3

    Load the pellet gun with a test pellet.

  4. 4

    Fire a shot at the centre of the first target.

  5. 5

    Clear the air gun and engage the safety mechanism.

  6. 6

    Use a ruler to measure the distance from the centre of the target on the first, second and third targets. The first target should be shot through the very centre, which the succeeding targets will have impact marks below the centre. This will show you how much the pellet drops at distances of 50 feet and 100 feet. Use this information to compensate for shots at long distances.

Tips and warnings

  • It's critical to align the targets with one another at the same height for best results.
  • Always shoot at a proper backstop.

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