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Old August 24, 2013, 10:56 AM   #1
nemo2econ
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Airgun for squirrel shooting? (30 feet max.)

I want to be able to shoot squirrel varmints, with a handgun airgun, at a MAXIMUM distance of 30 feet Firearms are not possible in this situation.

Where does one go on Firiing Line Forums to discuss decent quality airguns and sights with consistent accuracy at short distances of 20 to 30 feet?

I'm interested in building a comparison matrix of, say, 3 to 6 options from various mfg/models that might work for this purpose.

Is headshot accuracy even possible with modern airguns at this distance? Is airshot velocity/mass sufficient for taking out the head of small varmints like this?

I don't see a special forum for airguns, so assume that an airgun question would fit here. If not, please feel free to move this to a better forum.
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Old August 24, 2013, 11:10 AM   #2
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I only have three pellet guns, and I will speak from their experience. I am sure there are much better choices out there since I suspect there have been a lot of improvements from the days of my tiny arsenal.

I have one rifle which I would recommend first and foremost. It is a Benjamin Pump model 397Pa in .177 caliber. It is very accurate and powerful for small game. It takes some effort to pump it up seven to ten strokes.

I have two air pistols. One is a Crossman pump model 1377 also in .177. I have killed squirrels with it, but I would not consider it accurate enough for your needs. The second is a Ted Williams Co2 .22 caliber pellet pistol, model 125.1909. I would say the same about it; although it is nice not to have to pump it up.
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Old August 24, 2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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"I want to be able to shoot squirrel varmints, with a handgun airgun, at a MAXIMUM distance of 30 feet Firearms are not possible in this situation."

Airgun pistols, just my opinion, are not worth much in this situation, squirrels are tougher than they appear. An air rifle is a much better choice, more velocity and more accuracy.

If your choice of an airgun is predicated by your location best check your local ordinances, in many jurisdictions airguns are considered firearms. All you need is some dogood neighbor calling you in when you are shooting at the tree rats.
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Old August 24, 2013, 12:11 PM   #4
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I've hunted just enough squirrels with air pistols to have a word of advice for you: don't. It most definitely can be done, but air pistols simply lack the punch to do it with any kind of leeway. Use an air rifle instead.

For the record, I have used Crosman's 1322, 1377 and an ancient Diana Model 10 match gun, in reverse order of efectiveness.
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Old August 24, 2013, 12:15 PM   #5
Dragline45
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Any kind of hunting should be done responsibly. Just because an air pistol can kill a squirrel doesn't mean you should do it, there are far better options out there. Get a high powered air rifle or just use a .22.
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Old August 24, 2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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I wouldn't hesitate to use a good quality air rifle, but don't know of an air pistol I would use.
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Old August 24, 2013, 05:29 PM   #7
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Pellet pistols are generally, at best, only about half the velocity of even a low cost pellet rifle.
A rifle would be better.
If the sound of the shot is a problem, check out the Gamo Whisper rifle.
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Old August 25, 2013, 07:34 AM   #8
dahermit
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You may want to post to a dedicated air-gun forum.

http://www.airgunforum.net/agf/index.php

They will have experienced air-gun hunters who can answer all your questions. Many of them only shoot air-guns...air guns are a discipline unto themselves. They will have taken into consideration which models will produce the velocity and accuracy to take small game.
There are generally two types of air guns used in the US, kids guns and serious accurate guns of higher quality. Not all high-quality guns have velocity to kill cleanly...accuracy being the priority. They should be able to steer you in the right direction.
Quote:
Is headshot accuracy even possible with modern airguns at this distance? Is airshot velocity/mass sufficient for taking out the head of small varmints like this?
Absolutely...with the correct model. High-quality target air guns would have the accuracy, but lower velocity. But, there are models that shoot higher velocities just for hunting purposes. For instance, There are RWS models for such purposes. Those guns (and other European makes), are not a kids Benjamin or Red Ryder Daisy, guns.
Europeans have an extensive history with making/using air guns because of the historical restrictions on fire arms there.
I have an HW 55 Weihrauch .17 that is considered an intermediately priced target competition gun. However, it is not designed to produce the velocity required for game, inasmuch as accuracy is its primary purpose.
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Old August 25, 2013, 08:55 PM   #9
nemo2econ
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Thanks!

Thanks everyone for some really constructive advice. I especially appreciate the advice of dahermit. Good on you all.

I learned a lot. I know that it is okay to discuss the topic here, in the Genl Handgun Forum, although might get even better advice from a dedicated airgun fourm (which I'll look into).

I know to stay away from any of the low-accuracy guns (which was intuitive) but also to stay away from the high-end competition target guns which have the imperative to optimize accuracy over velocity and, therefore, may have significantly sacrificed varmint killing power, even at close range.

I know, and knew, that an air rifle would be better than an air pistol; but it is simply not an option in this case and this environment for where the shots would be taken.

And I now know that is is possible to get sufficient power, even in a handgun airgun, although I may have to look and buy quite carefully to achieve what I need there.

Really appreciate all the help!

Last edited by nemo2econ; August 25, 2013 at 09:03 PM.
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Old August 25, 2013, 09:03 PM   #10
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A great forun for everything airgun.
http://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/...p?action=forum
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Old August 25, 2013, 09:38 PM   #11
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Airgun for squirrel shooting? (30 feet max.)

A RWS rifle would be a good choice in either .177 or .22 cal. Be aware that once they're on to what you doing, you'll have to get up earlier each morning and wait for them to wake up. After first shot they tend to hide on top of tree limbs and hard to see and almost impossible to hit.
The Steiger model also has a suppressor and factory scope as well.

http://m.stoegerairguns.com/products/atac/index.php
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Old August 25, 2013, 10:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Where does one go on Firiing Line Forums to discuss decent quality airguns and sights with consistent accuracy at short distances of 20 to 30 feet?
This is as good a place as any.

The spring-piston/gas piston guns are probably not a great option. They can be very accurate and relatively powerful (for an air pistol) but can be difficult to learn to shoot well. For the person who sees them as a hobby, they're great. For someone who wants to pick one up and make an accurate shot now and then, not so much.

Believe it or not, the Crosman 1322 and 1377 can be very accurate and have reasonable power levels--the problem is that they generally come with very poor triggers and sights which can make accurate shooting difficult.

I'm seeing some decent reviews on the Webley Alecto and Alecto Ultra.

They're multi-pump pneumatics (1-3 pumps). The multi-pump pnematics typically offer good accuracy, good shootability and decent power at fairly reasonable prices. The Alecto design also allows the shooter to mount an optic fairly easily.

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Webley...ir_Pistol/2238
http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Webley...ir_Pistol/2580

Any of these guns is sort of at the low end of what most airgunners would recommend for squirrel. They're going to place a lot of pressure for accurate shots on the airgun hunter who uses them for that purpose.

Be sure airgun hunting/shooting is legal in your area. In my state, it's illegal to shoot a squirrel with an airgun, and in my city, it's illegal to discharge an airgun in the city limits.
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Old August 25, 2013, 10:11 PM   #13
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Once past the handgun go to archer airguns/airrifles.. something. Get a .22 stoeger suppressor in .22. Did I mention step up to a .22. I shot a year with the custom trigger in the box before taking 30 minute to do the install. Get the trigger upgrade if you have any skills at all. I got it with the scope Archer recommends. Very nice. $400 all in. Or buy a piece of junk or two first, up to you. I have about 4 others.

It is spooky quiet and deadly. I bought it for urban kid training. Money well spent.

Last edited by Jeffm004; August 25, 2013 at 10:19 PM.
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Old August 25, 2013, 10:18 PM   #14
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http://www.archerairguns.com/ Stoeger is made by Benelli

http://www.archerairguns.com/Stoeger...ifles-s/45.htm
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Old August 25, 2013, 11:00 PM   #15
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Use an air rifle
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Old August 26, 2013, 07:01 AM   #16
Garycw
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Airgun for squirrel shooting? (30 feet max.)

My other suggestion would be to stay away from multi pump rifles and Co2. Multi pump are a hassle and scare small game away. When you run out of Co2 cartridges there useless. If you're wanting a scope, get one that's already with the rifle. They're different than center fire rifle scopes and a little pricey. They have to be specifically air rifle scopes. Personally I like the open sights.
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Old August 26, 2013, 07:30 AM   #17
dahermit
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Quote:
I want to be able to shoot squirrel varmints, with a handgun airgun, at a MAXIMUM distance of 30 feet Firearms are not possible in this situation.
If "Firearms are not possible", it begs the question why not. If it is because you live in a city (Denver, Colorado Springs?), and you go out in your yard with a handgun air gun, you may attract unwelcome attention from law enforcement, depending upon how much your air gun looks like a cartridge (real) handgun. Most air rifles, are more recognizable as air guns (not "real" guns) by most people and most law enforcement. Envision yourself sitting in a lawn chair with your handgun air gun waiting for a squirrel, and Old Miss Mofit freaks out and calls the police with an "armed man" report. That scenario may or may not be relative to your situation, but it is something to consider.
When I was a kid, there was a pellet hand gun that was a dead ringer for a Colt 1911. With todays hysteria over mass shootings, etc., you can see where there could be a potential problem. Even with an air rifle, I would suggest a barrel cocking style so that the barrel can be left on the down stroke until squirrel is sighted, because fewer people will be freaked out (and it is readily apparent that it is an air-rifle), by the sight of a man with a gun that has a broken-barrel .
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Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

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Last edited by dahermit; August 26, 2013 at 07:37 AM.
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Old August 26, 2013, 08:52 AM   #18
Garycw
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Airgun for squirrel shooting? (30 feet max.)

At 20-30 ft a slingshot would work too. Either with that or a pellet rifle shooting 1200fps, be very careful of you backstop in a urban/ suburban setting or you may be in for an expensive lesson
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Old August 26, 2013, 09:10 AM   #19
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Definitely get the air rifle. It doesn't require huge power, but shot placement matters.
+1 on the break barrel, but for the simple reason that you spend more time shooting and less time working your arms. One cocking/loading stroke, full power, every time.
Also, with any spring piston air rifle, if/when you decide to scope it, seek out a scope specifically engineered for airgun use. It matters.
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:25 AM   #20
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Unfortunately I live in "tree hugger Heaven". We have incestuous gray tree rats in the trees and the power lines. (so far this year I found 4 of them blown to pieces after they hit that breaker). I also had an air rifle and was shooting them up to about 5 yrs ago then got turned in. Ended up getting a couple of live traps. I "liberated" between 30 and 40 every year.
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:32 AM   #21
micromontenegro
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Quote:
but also to stay away from the high-end competition target guns which have the imperative to optimize accuracy over velocity
Not quite. Target air pistols my not be THE most powerful ones, but are almost always quite near the top (around 500 FPS in .177), as it has been found that lower velocities keep accuracy down. I think that Crosman sole target offering, the 1720T PCP, is also their most powerful one, at around 750 FPS.
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:40 AM   #22
monoxide
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Airgun for squirrel shooting? (30 feet max.)

I use a cross man 880 I believe the model number is it was like 50 at Walmart. Does the job well.
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:43 AM   #23
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the benjamin marauder pistol in 22 would definitely work, also comes with detachable shoulder stock that turns it into a carbine.
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Old August 26, 2013, 12:41 PM   #24
dahermit
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Quote:
Quote:
but also to stay away from the high-end competition target guns which have the imperative to optimize accuracy over velocity
Quote:
Not quite. Target air pistols my not be THE most powerful ones, but are almost always quite near the top (around 500 FPS in .177), as it has been found that lower velocities keep accuracy down. I think that Crosman sole target offering, the 1720T PCP, is also their most powerful one, at around 750 FPS.
It is generally held by dedicated air-gun hunters that the velocity produced should be about 1,000 fps. The velocities you mention are way below that.
I have a HW 55, which is a intermediately priced target rifle. I tested it on chickens that I normally killed by shooting in the head with a .22 long rifle. I found that even with a head-shot, the HW55 did not produce a fast kill. I was told on a Air Gun forum that my rifle was likely only to produce about 850 fps inasmuch as it was a dedicated target rifle. Air Gun Digest likewise recommends 1000 fps or more, for hunting squirrels.
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Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
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Old August 26, 2013, 03:32 PM   #25
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Dahermit, if there's a mainstream air pistol that comes close tho 1,000 FPS, I've never heard of it.
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