View Full Version : Air Rifles for a Summer Evening?

February 8, 1999, 12:59 AM
My shooting partner and neighbor has a nice big back-yard, that is ideal for setting up a range for air guns. We're thinking that a evening matches in the summer, while the burgers are on the grill, might be good economical fun!

I think we'd both like a top-notch "field grade" air rifle; possibly with a peep sight or scope mount.

In other words, neither one of us is headed for the Olympics! Personally, I prefer a more traditional rifle; so the exotic, multi-colored stocks don't attract me.

Our first choice is the Beeman R-9 in .177 caliber. Not that we know anything about airguns; but Beeman has a good reputation, the R-9 is tradionally styled, and the price seems about right.

The last air gun I fired was the Red Ryder my Dad bought at Western Auto and it WAS a few years ago! So that gives you an idea of my familiary with the subject.

Any info on the Beeman line or general airgun advice to a couple of tyros would be very much appreciated!

Good Shooting!


February 8, 1999, 01:46 AM
Beeman's are quite good. You might also look in the gun mags, the annual digests.

As for your general concept...DO IT!! Great fun, excellent practice and, it is a fine way of a no-pressure intro to guns for non-gun folk.

Have fun

February 8, 1999, 02:50 PM
had a friend who used to have a couple of the Norinco air rifles. they shot pretty good & we had a lot of fun w/ them. you might look into one of those if they still import them.

fiat justitia

Jeff Thomas
February 8, 1999, 11:17 PM
Kurt, good timing on this question. Do a search for airguns in TFL, and you should find a thread titled something like 'Does Anyone Shoot Airguns Anymore?'. A lot of good conversation there. That is where I found my advice.

One of the recommendations was a Benjamin Sheridan - apparently now part of the Crosman Corporation (check out http://www.crosman.com/ ; also check out Daisy at http://www.daisy.com/ ). I bought a Benjamin model 392 .22 cal - this is a pump gun, not CO2. We have a rabbit problem - darn near herds of them eating the grass, flowers, vines, etc. My wife and I go to Home Depot just to buy expensive rabbit food other folks call 'landscaping'. A number of experienced folks indicated that a .22 was the right choice for rabbits - the .177 was a little too light.

My oldest boy and I sighted it in last night, and shortly thereafter two bunnies ate their last. Called today, and Crosman also sells a scope mount and scope for the gun. I found the airgun at Sports Authority for around $110, and when I add the scope / mount that should come to another $40 or so - nothing fancy. [My eyes are poor, and I want the shots to be true and humane.] Bought the pellets (Daisy) at Wal-Mart - $3.20 for 250. You can clearly spend a lot more on airguns, but this fit my needs perfectly.

As my boy and I sighted the rifle in, it was also clear this was a great tool to teach him the basics of firearms safety, technique and adjustment. Good investment. At 10 to 12 yards the groups were pretty impressive with just the iron sights. That distance works for rabbits, and I expect for plinking too. Only problem is when those wounded rabbits charge ... ;)

A summer range in the backyard would be very practical and fun. Some folks also do this indoors, with the right target equipment. Have a good time.

[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited 02-08-99).]

Rob Pincus
February 8, 1999, 11:29 PM
While at SHOT I arranged for the delivery of a couple Daisy rifles for the kids. The older (13 male) has a Powerline 1000 coming. It is a breech rifle which wieghs in at over 4 lbs (at least). It is .22 calibre and fires a pellet at 1000 fps. It feels great and has a peep sight. That rifle we be borrowed by me occasionally, no doubt.
My step Daughter (10) is getting an 840. This is the classic 1-10 pump variable fps BB gun.

What about my 3 year old you ask?? Well, don't tell the other kids ( who already have "real" guns anyway....), but I secretly ordered the parts for what will be a 26.25" OAL .300 Whisper Contender Carbine with a Holosite (as described elsewhere on TFL). Honestly, I asked her today when I got home if she wanted to go shoot a deer with me and she said (rather cutely...) "Yeah..... but not one with spots on it!" while shaking her finger at me. She gets it from her mother.


4V50 Gary
February 9, 1999, 12:08 AM
You may also want to check out this month's airgun column in Rifle magazine. There a writeup on the Norinco Tech Force 97 ($79.95) (900 fps in .177 & 700 fps in .22) and the bull pup Tech Force 89 ($89.95, 600 fps in .177). Both are spring piston and while not the quality of Beeman, aren't bad values for the money.

February 9, 1999, 08:40 PM
Thanks to all for the airgun advice and anecdotes!

I'll check out the previous thread on the subject and see what else I can learn!

My buddy and I are leaning toward the Beeman R-something rifles, but we've also seen some great sale prices on the Sheridan pump gun.

I'm sure some backyard air-gun plinking will make for easy summer shooting fun. The daughters are interested, now we'll have to see if the wives join in! We hope so!

Good Shooting,


[This message has been edited by Kurt (edited 02-09-99).]

Jeff Thomas
February 17, 1999, 01:07 AM
Kurt, an update with a bit more info, assuming you haven't bought the guns yet. Check Cabela's Shooting Catalog for airguns and airgun scopes - see http://www.cabelas.com/ . Also, check this Gunlinks site for airgun links: http://www.shooters.com/gunlinks/glnk2.html .

Finally, and this may be obvious but it wasn't so to me at first, the velocity of the pellet governs the sound you'll create in the backyard. I believe the speed of sound is 1100 fps at sea level, and if neighbors could be an issue this may be a consideration. The model 392 I purchased is spec'ed at 685 fps. Sound is not a problem with this particular rifle, and that is handy in my situation. YMMV. Good luck.

ps - a few of 'my' rabbits are no longer eating the landscaping, but I don't think I have even begun to dent the population. ;)

[This message has been edited by Jeff Thomas (edited February 17, 1999).]

February 17, 1999, 03:32 AM

I dont consider myself a expert with firearms but I do consider myself a expert with airguns. I have about 15 years of experience with air rifles and air pistols. I have probably owned about 20 different types of airguns. I even own a fully automatic BB gun. I started shooting when I was 10 years old with a crossman pump. Now I currently own 4 air rifles and one air pistol. I own a Sheridan .20 cal pump, .177 cal Beeman C1 air rifle, .177 cal Beeman P1 air pistol, and at last my pride and glory, a .20 cal (wish I would have got it in .25 cal) Beeman Crow Magnum II air rifle. My dislikes of pump guns are: The pump guns are much louder than equivelent powered spring piston guns, the lower priced pump guns ($100 and lower) are tough on a guy when you have to keep pumping to get a decent, inconsistant, velocity where as springs are one cock and your good to go at the same power every time, dont get me wrong, the Sheridan is a great gun, I just never use it. The spring piston or gas piston (gas piston is used exclusively in the Crow Magnum I - III) is the only way to go. I find that when you get into the more powerful and larger diameter pellets the louder sound of the gun is not the gun, its the pellet hitting the target or animal. I have experimented with the Chinese and Russian airguns also (spring pistons only). I have found that the advertized high velocities are innacurate, the velocities are MUCH lower. The seals on these guns are often made out of leather wich wears out very quickly. I would stay away from these guns. They are junk. I have a neighbor that purchased a RWS air rifle. It is a nice air rifle, but I am partial to Beeman. BUY A BEEMAN! dont get a gun that is chambered in .177 or .22 cal. ONLY buy guns that are chambered in .20 and .25 cal. The .177 is to light and the .22 cal has some balistic problems inherit to the diameter of the pellet (it is powerful but not as inheritly accurate as the .20 and .25. I think that I have pretty much covered everything, if you have any more questions send me a email.

February 17, 1999, 02:15 PM

One more thing. I would tend to stay away from CO2 guns also unless you are looking to train with a pistol. GAMO makes a very nice CO2 revolver. I would steer clear of most other CO2 guns though.

If I was to buy a Beeman today, it would be the Kodiak in .25 cal. This is an amazing air rifle. It is the most powerful spring powered air rifle out to date. In .25 cal you have 775 feet per second with 29 foot pounds of muzzle energy. The .20 cal R9 that you were talking about has 800 feet per second with 13.9 foot pounds of muzzle energy. You cant go wrong with the larger .25 cal.

If you want to get a current color catalog from Beeman call: 1-800-227-2477 I just got the most current one and there is allot of really cool stuff in there.

[This message has been edited by Fargo (edited February 17, 1999).]