View Full Version : air rifles?

March 20, 2007, 03:06 PM
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?



March 20, 2007, 03:15 PM
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:


March 20, 2007, 03:24 PM
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.

March 20, 2007, 03:40 PM
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


March 20, 2007, 03:44 PM
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...

roy reali
March 20, 2007, 04:25 PM
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.

March 20, 2007, 04:33 PM
True, but that doesn't really help him, since he's asking specifically about hunting with airguns, not .22s.

March 20, 2007, 04:58 PM
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 :D


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:


March 20, 2007, 05:00 PM
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.

March 20, 2007, 09:12 PM
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!

March 20, 2007, 09:23 PM
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

March 20, 2007, 09:53 PM
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.


March 20, 2007, 10:25 PM
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?

March 20, 2007, 10:35 PM
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.

March 20, 2007, 10:41 PM
Well... I don't know if this is real. It is a Gamo air rifle commercial hunting hogs with an air rifle.


March 20, 2007, 10:51 PM
That vid is insane...

roy reali
March 20, 2007, 10:56 PM
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. :D

March 20, 2007, 11:18 PM
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.

March 20, 2007, 11:34 PM
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.

March 21, 2007, 12:00 AM
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. :)

March 21, 2007, 12:41 AM
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.

March 21, 2007, 10:01 AM
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?


roy reali
March 21, 2007, 04:34 PM
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.

March 21, 2007, 07:17 PM
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.

March 21, 2007, 07:42 PM
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.

roy reali
March 21, 2007, 07:50 PM
He shot the pig trough brush. If he was able to direct the pellet through all those limbs and hit any then it should go down as one of the best shots is history.

But it seems as though the pig was facing him squarely. That would make an eye shot to the brain impossible. The more I think of it the more convinced I am that this video is a complete fraud.:mad:

March 21, 2007, 09:04 PM
That would be pretty shady for a company to do. I do think that shot could be done though. I would have to be there to see it.

Here is a vid of the ammo he used:



March 21, 2007, 09:39 PM
Not sure I buy it either. I have shot hundreds of ground squirrels and cotton tail rabbits with a 22 and many of the squirrels with CCI Stingers and never have I have one flip like those in the video. Looks like they were hit with a 223 or there abouts to me.

roy reali
March 21, 2007, 09:40 PM
I still do not buy the boar video. In fact, some of the other game shooting video you posted is hard to swallow too.:barf:

March 21, 2007, 10:24 PM
I hear ya... but you know they weren't hit with a .223 cause they were all in one piece when they flopped in the air, lol.

here is a random airgun hunter flipping a rabbit


March 21, 2007, 11:00 PM

March 21, 2007, 11:06 PM
Stupid kids. They have to much time on their hands,... but this guy.... remote control RC air soft gun with laser sighting...


roy reali
March 21, 2007, 11:08 PM
The last video you linked is another ad. Look at the begining. Again, I don't buy any of this. Espically the boar one.

March 21, 2007, 11:19 PM
Probably, but then quite a few people list the type of firearm, and shooting distance.

roy reali
March 21, 2007, 11:43 PM
If it looks like dung and it smells like dung, then it probably is dung.:D

March 21, 2007, 11:56 PM
Well I know one thing these video ads are gonna do for sure.
Guys or kids will get the idea that pellet will do far more than it possibly can and wounded animals are going to be the result.

Remember these are ads, commercials, made to get you to buy and or use the product, How many takes do you suppose it took for them to get the desired result? How many were wounded and got away? Cause's me to pause when I think of a Gamo product.

roy reali
March 21, 2007, 11:58 PM
Not to mention having airguns reclassified by the Feds. Anything that supposedly can kill a boar can kill a human.

March 22, 2007, 12:13 AM
I agree with you, I don't think it was responsible at all. I don't think it is fair to the animal, or animals... if they used more than one. I just think its pretty wild.


roy reali
March 22, 2007, 01:09 AM
Many years ago I took my son to a movie. This movie took place on an island. The island had dinosaurs running around on it. The people were interacting with the creatures. A T-Rex even chomped down an attorney. It all looked so real. I had to remind myself I was watching a movie about events that never happened.

However, the dinosaurs in Jurassic park were fake. They were illusions made to trick us.

My point is that anyone with a camera and knowledge of special effects can make you see things that do not exist. That boar may have been shot and dropped with an airgun. Or like the movies, it didn't happen or at least the way they want you to think it happened.

Call me skeptical, but I ain't buying any of it.

March 22, 2007, 02:20 AM
"Cause's me to pause when I think of a Gamo product."

EXACTLY rem33.

Talk about irresposible. and as another poster above me stated, its just going to have even more idiots thing their pellet gun will kill something clean when in reality it will not and will only wound them/slow death ect.

i hear enough idiots as is when in a sporting goods department talk about shooting birds and squirrels with their pellet guns.... this will only add to it.

there are some very impressive air gun SHOTGUNS available too. some of the more serious air guns shooting .22 caliber and up pellets using SCUBA tank type refills actually have some okay power. but from what i've seen even those fall drastically short from a .22lr. and a .22lr is the smallest rifle there is (basically)

March 22, 2007, 05:45 AM
Gotta call b^&&^*t on that hog shot, way its head snaps back it was shot from the "hunters" left with 22cf or similar probably fmj bullet so no mess to see.
You got a 17 cal 5.4 gr aluminum alloy bullet travelling at around 1100fps by the time it gets there so 11ft lbs energy or less, fights it's way through the brush hiding the hogs head and kills it so good it snaps its head backwards ( sidewards actualy to bullet path) and its drt.
Yeah B£$%$^t again, if they need that kinda crap to sell their guns buy something else.
Got a Crossman, a RWS and a uk made Airarms, all good lotsa fun on small stuff and pretty accurate too.

March 22, 2007, 05:54 AM
dang double post

March 22, 2007, 08:37 AM
FWIW, I've chronoed one of the more recent Crossman .22 pump-up guns, similar to Benjamin .22 that I had as a kid. I used it to take many crows and cottontails, even a few jacks - but, as stated above, shot placement is most critical with any of 'em. With (max recommended) 8 pumps, I get right at 600 fps out of current 22 Crossman.

But, technically speaking, with some critters (such as squirrels and quail) being "game animals", not legal to take with (even powerful) airguns in some states, so check your regs ...

March 22, 2007, 09:13 AM

Do you still use yer Benjamin in your HSC class?

roy reali
March 22, 2007, 09:43 AM
Crows are tough birds to take with a pellet gun. A few times I would hear the pellet hit the bird. Then the crow would take off as if nothing happened. Every crow I've hit with a rimfire came down with a thump.

March 22, 2007, 10:35 AM
What kind of rig/cal do you normaly use on the crows and such roy?

March 22, 2007, 02:00 PM
I seen that on OLN or VERS, can't remember what channel, but it looked legit and was part of a hunting show not a commercial.

March 22, 2007, 02:12 PM
I was talking to guys on the air rifle forums, they said it has been around for a while and that it was a skull shot. Wild and crazy stuff.

roy reali
March 22, 2007, 02:37 PM
Straight on skull shot on a pig, one word, impossible!

March 22, 2007, 04:28 PM
If hurricane with winds traveling about 318 mph (466.5 fps) can shoot a piano wire straight through a tree, why is it so hard to believe that a metal pellet traveling at 1600 fps (1090.46 mph) can pierce a hogs skull? Im not saying its an everyday occurance... but it is definately possible.


roy reali
March 22, 2007, 07:00 PM
It is not a matter of wether a pellet or even a bullet can penetrate the skull of a pig, it has to do with a pig's anatomy. To hit a pig's brain from the front you need to be standing over him. You need to look down on his head. The brain is located in such a way as making a frontal brain shot almost impossible. The pig would have to bend his head way down to expose the brain. A pig can't bend its head forward enough. A similar problem exists with cows. But a cow can be made to bend its head far enough down to allow the bullet a direct path to the cranium. Our butcher walked right up to the pig and held the gun so as the barrel was point almost straight down over its skull. He would stand in front of cow to kill it. A pail of oats on the ground would cause the cow to cooperate.

Now a behind the eat shot is easier on a pig. But the hunters in the above video were facing the pig. Unless the pellet had some kind of computer guidance system in it to redirect its flight, it could not have hit the pig behind the ear.

I have seen movies that have blood thirsty zombies eat humans. That wasn't real. It sure looked real, but with a camera and good special effects, anything can be made to look real.

March 22, 2007, 07:16 PM
im prety sure the video is real, people do get killed from air rifles, its just not a common thing. like this guy killing this pig.

March 22, 2007, 07:31 PM
Some think it entered the sinus cavity. And about the zombie thing.... I have the Zombie Survival Guide... so Ill be ready for that one. It is a great book and a very fast read.

roy reali
March 22, 2007, 07:38 PM
The video showing people on an island interacting with dinosaurs is also real. What is potrayed is not real. I grew up on a farm. I saw cows, pigs, goats and also sorts of farm animals get butchered. When the animal was being cut up I would look. It was a great anatomy lesson.

The brain of a pig sits quite a ways back and down. Look at a pigs eyes and ears. Its brain sits between them. I suppose a shot up the snout may reach the brain. But the projectile would have to travel a couple of feet of bone and tissue. Plus the your angle would have to be exact. Your aim would have to be right at the nostril and with them facing you almost perfectly horizontal to the ground.

Sure, the accuracy part is possible with an airgun, a rimfire, or any other weapon. But to penetrate that much tissue would take a centerfire.

March 22, 2007, 07:47 PM

roy reali
March 22, 2007, 08:29 PM
Even if the video is legitimate. Even if they managed to somehow kill a boar with a pellet gun. To show that in order to sell products is irresponsible. I will never purchase any Gammo product.

March 22, 2007, 08:35 PM
totaly agree, that it is wrong to kill a pig with a air rifle, on the other threads people are saying its wrong to kill a big with 204. anywho, I think the littel pellet went in somewhere and bounced around till it came to rest in the brain. I just dont see gamo making a fake video. but as far as ethics go gamo is fallin quick in my book.

roy reali
March 22, 2007, 08:54 PM
I wonder what would happen if some knucklehead actually tried to hunt a boar with an airgun. Who would be liable if the idiot ticked the hog off and was attacked and injured, or worse?

March 22, 2007, 08:55 PM
eh... that would be darwinism at its best. i doubt he would be able to outrun an upset hog. i bet the same thing happend back in the day when inept hunters tried to use the .220 swift on everything.

March 22, 2007, 09:15 PM
We have a squirrel problem with the critters running off with unripened fruit from the trees. The cat is ineffectual against them, though she gets lucky like once a year. I don't go "hunting" per se, just once in a while. So I got a Daisy Powerline 1000S (0.177). The 3-9x variable power scope it came with is adequate. I used to use the Crosman pointed pellets, but they sometimes took an follow-up shot on a timber doodle. Last year I found Crosman now has hollow point pellets, so I bought a can of those and they worked extremely well COM or head shots. Either that, or I got better at shooting them. It's all about placement with such a light arm.

March 24, 2007, 09:49 PM
there are so many things in this world that i want to buy!