Choosing Pellets for Hunting
Wadcutters are designed for target shooting. They are typically light-weight flat-nosed pellets. Many are made to the exacting tolerances required for target shooting. What most wadcutters gain in accuracy, they lose in long range power and penetration. The flat nose creates alot of drag, slowing the pellet dramatically over longer distances. Because of this, wadcutters are usually only effective in hunting small prey at relatively close ranges. Many mid-power springers like these pellets, so don't overlook them.
Domed pellets have rounded noses, allowing them to slice right through the air. This helps them retain energy and accuracy at longer distances. Most weigh a few more grains and penetrate better than wadcutters, making them a great all around pellet for hunting. A close relative of the domed pellet is the pointed pellet. These have remarkable penetration, but often are too inaccurate to use over a long range. My personal favorite out of all the domes I have tried is the Beeman Kodiak. These are one of the heaviest pellets around, and my CO2 airguns love them.
Hollow point pellets are designed specifically for hunting. They have a hollow expansion cup on the nose, which causes them to expand on impact. In theory, this gives them better killing power. They suffer from the drag effects that plague the wadcutters, and normally don't expand enough to cause much additional damage. They do expand well when fired from a higher power gun, making them a great choice with PCPs. I have had tremendous success with the Beeman Crow Magnums through a souped up Crosman 2260.
Personal experience has shown me that lightweight pellets work best in multipump pneumatics and springers. Medium weight pellets work best in CO2 airguns and higher powered springers. Heavy pellets are best left to a hot rodded CO2 airgun, PCPs, and the most powerful springers.