The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 20, 2007, 03:06 PM   #1
stillborn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 30, 2005
Location: North Texas
Posts: 124
air rifles?

Well I am curious to see if there are any air rifle hunters in here. I am in the market for an air rifle, most likely a .22 pellet rifle. I was wondering if any of yall had any experience with the Benjamin or Beeman air rifles on game like squirrels and rabbits. And which pellets did you use?



thanks,



still
stillborn is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 03:15 PM   #2
FirstFreedom
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Location: The Toll Road State, U.S.A.
Posts: 12,451
I've killed an awful lot of starlings & grackles with .177 spring-piston air rifles & air pistols over the years (RWS, Crosman, Weirauch), but I wouldn't call it hunting; more of "pest control", and birds are VERY thin-skinned, so a medium-powered .177 is plenty to kill them.

I've killed a squirrel or two with a .177 springer and I wouldn't call the results very impressive - definitely not instantaneous stops. So I can't help you much with true hunting of rabbits & squirrels, since I grab a .22 or shotgun for that.

However, if I WAS going to hunt as you describe, I would use a .22 cal or .25 cal airgun, and probably use the Air Force Condor - which is the most powerful .22 airgun in the world (though adjustable as to power) - and very accurate with its Lothar-Walther barrel. Good trigger, too. It's a PCP gun fillable from scuba tanks and such. I would go for head shots ONLY, since pellets by comparison are very weak relative to .22lr, and I would use heavy pellets such as Eun Jins, Beeman Crow-Magnums, or Crosman Premier:

http://www.airforceairguns.com/condor.html
FirstFreedom is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 03:24 PM   #3
MDman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 19, 2007
Location: maryland
Posts: 535
i have a 1000fps .177 pellet rifle made by gamo, I belive its called shadow or something and I have more or less commited squirrel genocide. ive taken squirrels at 75 yards with one hit with it. The best pellets are the beeman ones, there yellow coated and move terribly fast.
__________________
I dont have super powers, I have guns.
MDman is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 03:40 PM   #4
stillborn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 30, 2005
Location: North Texas
Posts: 124
MDman, I have been hearing good things from gamo lately. I saw a video of one of their .177 air rifles, shoots the pellet out at 1600 fps, he took a 180lbs hog with it at about 20-30 yards. wild and crazy stuff. Ive also been hearing great things about the beeman crow magnum, supposed to be some good expansion with it in the .22 and .25 caliber air guns.

I like the look of the benjamin air rifles, and from what I hear they are great for hunting. But they are about 400fps slower than the beeman air rifles. Both are relatively in the same price range


still
stillborn is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 03:44 PM   #5
MDman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 19, 2007
Location: maryland
Posts: 535
yea my gamo was great cost 180$ and shot wonderfuly till about 2000 rounds. I dont play with it anymore because its got this terrible wandering zero now and i dont know why. probaly just needs good cleaning but im affraid to open it up cause I know there one real powerfull spring inside...somewhere...
__________________
I dont have super powers, I have guns.
MDman is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 04:25 PM   #6
roy reali
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2005
Posts: 3,248
A Little Experiment

Get a piece of two-by-four. Set it out about ten yards. Shoot one spot with any airgun. Fire a .22 short at another spot. Compare the the two holes. You will see that their is no comparison.
roy reali is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 04:33 PM   #7
FirstFreedom
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Location: The Toll Road State, U.S.A.
Posts: 12,451
True, but that doesn't really help him, since he's asking specifically about hunting with airguns, not .22s.
FirstFreedom is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 04:58 PM   #8
Trip20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2005
Location: WI
Posts: 2,181
I got lucky and knocked one perfectly in the ear canal killing it virtually instantly with a cheap chinese spring-powered .177 pellet rifle. A few kicks while laying on it's side, then peaceful sleep. I don't believe it would have been as graceful had I not gotten lucky with an ear shot. I found the pellet inside the skull.




Looks like I interrupted someone's meal?



Here it is in the freezer



I didn't take a picture of it cooked up with the weekend prior's tree rats from the woods. But those were taken with ye old 10/22:

__________________
Get Involved!
Trip20 is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 05:00 PM   #9
rem33
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2006
Posts: 1,528
Benjamin and Beeman are both good brands or at least used to be. Not up on Beeman but Benjamin bought Sheridan then was taken over by Crossman which owns all three brands now. Crossman, Benjamin and Sheridan. I have heard the sheridans are close to what they once were. That is good news if so as i own a Sheridan I bought new in the early 60's. I rebuilt it once and it has been good ever since.

For hunting you want at least a 20 caliber which is 5 MM or a 22 caliber.
MY old Sheridan is 5MM and the heavy pellets are a OK small game round. They are 14.5 grains if I remember right, and if you can find them the older style with a Semi point they work great. Never would go thru a 2X4 but would punch right on thru a one inch pine board. I have killed many ground squirrels cottontail rabbits, crows, and a couple of other small sized animals with it.

Get a pump as you can control the amount of power you want from a little bit to chase a dog off you don't want to hurt to killing power.

If a firearm is legal where you are but noise is a concern use CCI's CB Caps. They are more powerful than a pellet gun and quieter in a long barrel.

If I was to lose this Old Sheridan I would go to gun broker and buy another vintage one like mine.
rem33 is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 09:12 PM   #10
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,259
Airgun hunting is about precision more than power.

Pick the pellet that provides the best accuracy--usually round nose pellets work best.

Practice enough to be able to place your shots. Remember, a head shot is not always a brain shot!
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 09:23 PM   #11
MDman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 19, 2007
Location: maryland
Posts: 535
sorta on topic. I know my main reason for using an air gun is that its quiter then my 22. But have you ever tried aguila rounds? their humming birds are actualy silent, i hear the hammer hit and what ever the bullet hit. theres still enough force for squirrels. doesnt repeat in semis though
__________________
I dont have super powers, I have guns.
MDman is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 09:53 PM   #12
stillborn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 30, 2005
Location: North Texas
Posts: 124
I like the aguila sniper sub sonics, they work fine in my marlin 60, all you really hear is the action slapping back and forth. I don't really know how I got turned on to the whole air rifle thing, but Im in the market for one now. Probably because it is quiet enough for some squirell target practice. I have held the Beeman, it felt like an ultra-lite hunting rifle, very nice. I would like to shoulder the Benjamin before I make my decision. And Walmart seems to have a huge selection of .177 pellets, but not many .22 pellets..... so that may have something to do with the caliber I end up picking.


still
stillborn is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 10:25 PM   #13
chemist308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2005
Location: Pocono Mtns, PA
Posts: 587
I've wacked my share of small things with a Crossman .22 cal CO2 pellet and pointed (cone headed) pellets--I forget the brand, but I'm sure if you get good accuracy brand shouldn't matter.
When I was a kid, there was nothing small that could withstand one well placed bb from my Crossman 760. For quite some time in my youth the number of small things that fell to it convinced me that larger/tougher things (groundhogs through small deer) could have been dropped with an ear shot. Never tried though.

That said, I think just based on the numbers Benjamin air rifles are a good pick. A clean shot with .22 cal pellet at about 700 - 800 fps would be even more lethal than steel from a Crossman 760. The break open Beemans and RWS rifles would be great too.

Not that it's ethical, but just for academics would an RWS 22 or 177 head shot on a deer drop it?
__________________
critters: the other red meat
Live in PA? PA Firearms Owners Association
chemist308 is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 10:35 PM   #14
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,259
Quote:
Not that it's ethical, but just for academics would an RWS 22 or 177 head shot on a deer drop it?
After seconding your caveat about ethics, I will answer that it's possible. People get killed with pellet guns on occasion.

I'd say it depends on a lot of things. Which is to say that it would be extremely unethical. If I were going to try something like that, I'd want a heavy round nose pellet, a very powerful airgun, a perfect setup and a lot of luck.

On the other hand, if you're talking about the newer pre-charged pneumatics, they can be as powerful as a black-powder rifle. My above comments referenced "conventional" airguns shooting diabolo style pellets.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 10:41 PM   #15
stillborn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 30, 2005
Location: North Texas
Posts: 124
Well... I don't know if this is real. It is a Gamo air rifle commercial hunting hogs with an air rifle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVX0y2Pcj_s
stillborn is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 10:51 PM   #16
Trip20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2005
Location: WI
Posts: 2,181
That vid is insane...
__________________
Get Involved!
Trip20 is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 10:56 PM   #17
roy reali
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2005
Posts: 3,248
My Experience

I grew up on small family farm. My job as a kid was to protect my dad's garden and fruit trees from marauding birds. My weapon, a .22 Benjamin pump pellet rifle. I shot and killed hundreds, if not thousands of birds and other small creatures.

An airgun is effective and deadly used against small animals at reasonable range.

I remember that once in awhile I would head a bird solidly and it would fly away or hit the ground alive. On the rare occasion my dad let me shoot a bird with his "real" 22 rifle, the bird would blow up. A squirrel shot with an airgun might take multiple hits if the head wasn't hit. I have shot them with rimfire too. Unless you hit the head, you might not have enough left to eat. We had pheasants on the property. Several tries with the pellet gun were useless. I would hit them, I could hear the pellet impact, but they would take off flying or running. My dad once took a shot at one with his 22 rifle. The shot caused the pheasant to drop instantly in its tracks.

By the way, a 22 short will completely penetrate through a 2X4 at short range. An airgun's pellet can be dug out of the wood with a knife.

I get a kick out of this forum. We are know contemplating the effectiveness of a pellet gun on deer and boar. In another thread it was concluded by some that a 30-30 would be useless against elk.
roy reali is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 11:18 PM   #18
stuckon308
Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2007
Location: Backwoods of Manitoba
Posts: 86
I used to feed my dog squirrels. We had so many, sometimes I would kill one a day for him in the summer. Took them down with my .177 Crosman. Normally a head shot would at least knock them down out of the tree so he could grab them and finish them off. Sometimes I would have to hit them twice though. I don't think any of them suffered too much.
stuckon308 is offline  
Old March 20, 2007, 11:34 PM   #19
trooper3385
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2005
Location: South Texas
Posts: 797
I'm not much of an airgun hunter, but I have a Benjamin .177. I occasionally take it out in the back yard and shoot the black birds and squirels when I get bored. My Lab gets a kick out of it in the off season. It's real accurate with some cheap hollowpoint pellets that I bought at Walmart. I've heard the yellow coated Beeman pellets are really good though. I bought this one off my uncle for $20. But if I was to buy another, I would probably get one of the Benjamin's in either the 20 cal or 22 cal. I've heard that the 20 cal are more accurate than the 22 cal. The pellets supposedly stabilizes better than the 22 cal. Just what I've heard. I don't have any experience with them.
trooper3385 is offline  
Old March 21, 2007, 12:00 AM   #20
skeeter1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 11, 2006
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 3,403
I love my expensive firearms, but I still have my pellet guns from ~40 years ago. Crosman rifle and Benjamin pistol, both in .22cal. Many a chipmunk and rat met their maker at the receiving end at one of them. An airgun is a great start and a fine addition to the safe.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg airguns.JPG (229.2 KB, 34 views)
skeeter1 is offline  
Old March 21, 2007, 12:41 AM   #21
rem33
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 31, 2006
Posts: 1,528
Air guns have been around for centuries. I have read of noblemen hunting game such as deer in Europe, in times past.
Lewis and Clark Had a air gun on the Corps of Discovery's trip to the Pacific ocean in 1803. There is a interesting article in the 2006 Oct. issue of American Rifleman. They think they have the original gun that went along. Good read if your interested in air guns and get to take a look at it.
rem33 is offline  
Old March 21, 2007, 10:01 AM   #22
stillborn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 30, 2005
Location: North Texas
Posts: 124
Im kinda leaning towards the Beeman, I have been reading a lot of good things about them on the Rimfirecentral forums. Ill probably get it after my first paycheck, unless I get wifed. In that case I will probably have to wait a week or two.

What did yall think about that video anyway?



still
stillborn is offline  
Old March 21, 2007, 04:34 PM   #23
roy reali
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2005
Posts: 3,248
Doubting Thomas

I looked at the video linked above. The one that shows a hunter dropping a boar with an air gun. It might be legitimate, but something doesn't seem right.

I have witnessed butchers kill pigs and cows with a .22 rimfire.

With the cows, the guy would put a bucket of oats on the ground. The animal would walk up to it and drop its head to sniff. The guy was standing about a dozen feet back. When the cow's head was down he would pull the trigger.

When he shot a pig, he would put the rifle's muzzle a few inches above the hog's skull to kill it. I asked him why.

He said that the angle of a pig's skull is such that to hit the brain you have to shoot almost straight down. Or you could go for a behind the ear shot.

The hunters in the above mentioned video seem to be facing the boar. The shot seemed to drop it instantly as if the brain had been hit. If I understand pig anatomy correctly that could not have happened. They might have hit another vital organ such as the heart. But even a centerfire rifle doesn' drop a heart shot pig instantly everytime.

They should have at least pointed out an entrance wound. It would have been nice to see where the pig was hit. But I realize this video was made by the company that wants to sell airguns and airgun ammo. As I said before, something isn't Kosher about this.
roy reali is offline  
Old March 21, 2007, 07:17 PM   #24
MDman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 19, 2007
Location: maryland
Posts: 535
about the video, I just wonder how many pigs they tried that on before it came out like that. the skull is a prety thick bone.
__________________
I dont have super powers, I have guns.
MDman is offline  
Old March 21, 2007, 07:42 PM   #25
Trip20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2005
Location: WI
Posts: 2,181
For some reason I doubt the video showed a head-shot whereby the projectile broke through the skull. I was thinking along the lines of a well placed eye shot with a direct path to the brain...errrr something along those lines.

With an accurate rifle, with a good optic... it's possible I guess.
__________________
Get Involved!
Trip20 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13621 seconds with 10 queries