Why use a pellet catcher?
When using an air rifle, a pellet catcher -or pellet trap as they’re also called- really is a must. Whether it’s a light springer air rifle or a powerful PCP, you’ll always need something to safely stop the pellets. You might think a brick wall or sturdy wooden panel will do the trick, but these carry the risk of bouncing pellets and you won’t be the first one to (almost) catch one in the eye.
A pellet trap has angled sides under roughly 45 degrees. Most pellet catchers are constructed this way, which is a bit like shooting at the underside of a pyramid. Some pellet catchers are square though, and these feature 45 degrees angled panels. Those panels prevent the pellet from bouncing back. Instead, it will be deflected at such an angle, that it will stay inside the air rifle pellet catcher. The initial impact will deform the pellet, absorbing most of its energy. That’s why it doesn’t keep ricocheting, but simply will drop to the bottom of the pellet trap.
An air rifle pellet catcher is primarily meant to prevent pellets from ricocheting, while also preventing them from flying past the target. The construction also keeps the lead from spreading, collecting it neatly at the bottom. After shooting you can empty the pellet trap, collecting the lead for recycling. It’s not only the right thing to do for the environment, lead actually is worth quite a lot when taken to the scrapyard.
So, a pellet catcher will stop and catch pellets. But as it’s a small box, it’s advisable to place a large panel behind it that’ll prevent pellets from ‘overshooting’ if you miss. Or, when shooting with a brick wall behind the pellet catcher target, to prevent the pellet from coming back with force. It can’t be a hard panel, as a pellet can ricochet from that too. MDF, for example, could be a great option.
What types of pellet catchers are there?
Most pellet catcher targets are designed to hold a paper target. Those paper targets are available in lots of different sizes, which means we also sell the pellet traps in multiple sizes. The most popular size is the 14 cm pellet catcher and the other popular size is the 17 cm pellet catcher, which will hold a 17x17 cm paper target, which will be great for longer distances. The target is slid into slots or is clamped, depending on the model of pellet trap. And as long as you hit the target, the pellets will be caught and safely kept inside the housing.
There’s one pellet catcher that’s a bit different from the rest. It's one that’ll not only hold a paper target, but also has sturdy pins onto which chalk tubes can be placed. You can shoot these one by one, just like on the fairground.
What's the best pellet catcher for my air rifle?
Naturally, the pellet catcher that you’ll buy from us, should match the air rifle that you have. If that’s a low-powered springer for close range, a small pellet trap will do just fine. But if you want to shoot over larger distances, a large pellet catcher is definitely the best option. Not only as a larger target is easier to hit, but also because a small pellet trap is easier to miss, holding the risk of pellets flying past.
Power is another important factor to consider when determining which pellet catcher is best for your air rifle. Most will effortlessly handle the impact of an air rifle up to 24 joules (about 17 foot-pound). However, that’s with sensible use. If you use pellets made from hard lead and if you’re shooting from close range, then air rifles that are near the previously mentioned 24 Joule can cause small dents from the inside. Still, the pellets won’t penetrate the steel and will be kept safely inside.
It’s different when you are shooting with a high-powered air rifle, such as PCP’s. For these, you absolutely need a heavy-duty pellet catcher. Of course, we also sell these and we’ve tested them up to 700 joules (about 515 foot-pound). And just like we’ve mentioned above, that’s with sensible use. It all depends on the softness of the lead and especially on the distance you’re shooting at. Because, let’s be honest, you don’t buy a high-powered air rifle to shoot at close range.
Buying a pellet trap for your air rifle
Let’s sum it up: there are two things to keep in mind when buying a pellet catcher from us. The first thing to consider is the size of the paper target that it should hold. This mostly depends on the distance you plan shooting at. Second, you should know the power of your air rifle. If you know that, you can determine if a heavy-duty pellet catcher is needed. That’s the case with anything above 24 joules.
All pellet traps that we sell feature wall mounting holes in the back, making it easy to hang them on the wall on a height that suits you. The paper targets for these pellet catchers can be bought separately in our shop. We’ve got all relevant sizes with a great variety of visuals (that’s what those circles are called), sometimes even with more than one printed onto it.
In our webshop, all relevant information like dimensions is mentioned in the description of our pellet catchers. And, of course, of the pellet catcher is a heavy-duty one or not. If you have any questions about our pellet traps, please feel free to give us a call or contact our customer service through e-mail or chat. They’ll be happy to assist you in choosing the best pellet catcher for your needs.