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blackwaterstout
December 8, 2013, 09:36 PM
I looked for an appropriate forum to post this and couldn't really find one. So I'll stick it here and if its not applicable the mods can just delete it or move it.

I realize we all like to shoot guns that use real ammo here but I'd like something I can set on my porch and plink with. I have a hundred dollar in cabelas bucks that will expire soon and thought of use it on an air rifle. Looking at their site there are a few in the $125 range that have good reviews. I'm not looking for a competition grade gun. Just something I fun to shoot and better than the red rider I had as a kid.

Can anyone recommend a solid gun in the <$150 range. A few that caught my eye in that range with good ratings and around 1200fps are the

Indeed Surge XT $119http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=1619562&type=product&WTz_l=sp_dynban

Gamo Bigcat 1250 $129http://www.cabelas.com/product/Gamo-Big-Cat-1250-Air-Rifle/1220284.uts?No=0&destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fair-rifles%2F_%2FN-1100283%2FNo-0%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104185980%3FrecordsPerPage%3D18

Anyone familiar with these? Thanks

JohnKSa
December 8, 2013, 10:18 PM
Don't get caught up in the velocity figures if you're just interested in plinking.

Assuming we're talking about spring- or gas-piston airguns, you're going to pay for that velocity in additional cocking effort and increased vibration and noise during firing. In addition, the more powerful the gun is, the more difficult it is to shoot accurately. Finally, once you get significantly above 850fps, accuracy tends to drop off. Typical airgun pellets don't seem to work as well when you start pushing up into the 900fps and above range.

The problem is that Cabelas is selling the type of airguns that people usually buy when they buy their first airgun which means that they're stocking guns with maximum power and as low a price as possible.

If I were buying an airgun in the price range you list and from what Cabelas stocks, I'd probably buy a Benjamin Titan Nitro Piston in .22cal. It seems to get decent reviews on other airgun retail sites.

The reason I'd go with .22cal is because it drops the velocity down into a range that's likely to provide better accuracy performance. The .22cal pellets are also a little easier to handle (they're not quite as tiny) and are a better choice for most kinds of pest control if you ever decide to go that direction. They're not as widely available and cost more than the .177 pellets.

The other option is to go with .177 cal but use heavyweight pellets in the caliber. You can shoot any .177 pellet, but you'll probably see much better accuracy with pellets on the heavy end of the spectrum. The upside of .177 is that pellets are cheaper and more widely available--an advantage that is somewhat offset by the fact that you probably won't get your best accuracy performance with commonly available pellets because they are typically mid-range in terms of pellet weight.

In that power level, you need to understand it's going to take some effort to cock it for each shot. A lot of shooting can be a workout.

blackwaterstout
December 8, 2013, 10:33 PM
Thanks! Excellent info.

I had no idea that the higher velocities would decrease accuracy. Its funny you mentioned that Benjamin because I was actually looking at that gun on Cabelas website. However I was primarily thinking the .177 ammo simply because that is what seems to be so commonly available. I can't think of a single time when I saw .22 caliber pellets at my local sporting good retailers. Although admittedly I haven't really put any thought into an air rifle until now.

I admittedly don't know that much about the types of firing mechanisms that airtime use so ill try to find some good reading materials. Back in the old days my friends and I would shoot bb guns that would require 10 pumps or sometimes only a single pump. Not really sure what is common these days.

Anyway, appreciate the info. Ill let you know what I decide.

9ballbilly
December 8, 2013, 10:57 PM
I'm really enjoying the Remington (Crosman) Black magic .177 spring piston rifle I bought last year for about $100. As said above, don't get stuck on advertised velocity. Many times these ratings are only achievable with light alloy pellets and accuracy suffers greatly. My rifle, rated to 1,000fps, actually gets between 850-900fps with lead pellets and will consistently shoot ragged one hole groups with them at 10yds. The alloy pellets look like a shotgun pattern on the target. I think the best advice I can add would be to suggest you buy a rifle with an adjustable trigger. I found the airgun trigger pull considerably different than on any of my cartridge guns and it took some adjusting before I was comfortable with it.

DennisCA
December 10, 2013, 04:35 PM
http://carryoncitizens.com/files/ralphie-christmas-story-red-ryder-bb-1.jpg

blackwaterstout
December 10, 2013, 05:42 PM
Got to fondle the Titan and the Gamo today at the store. I've never owned or shot any rifles with the thumb stock "or whatever its called". Felt a little odd to be honest. But nothing I cant get used to. I think I'm gonna order the Titan in .177 and also pick up a http://www.cabelas.com/product/Simmons-Mag-Series-Riflescope/748362.utsSimmons .22 magnum rimfire scope to replace the scope that comes with it.

Cheapshooter
December 10, 2013, 05:57 PM
A TFL thread from a few weeks ago with lots of information. Click on the various links in the threads for even more info.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=536984

imthegrumpyone
December 11, 2013, 02:32 AM
Sold my Gamo several years ago, bought a .22 Air Arms TX 200, GREAT is all I can say about this rifle. ;)

gundog5
December 11, 2013, 12:55 PM
I have had several air rifles over the years and my advice is DON'T buy a pump up style of air rifle where it takes 8-10 pumps to build the pressure. Pay a few dollars more for a single break open rifle. I have a crossman quest 1000 and it came with a crossman 4x scope and nice open sights. We had a real pigeon issue here, not any more, the crossman is break open barrel once, load pellet snap shut and fire. very accurate.

blackwaterstout
December 11, 2013, 03:01 PM
Went to Cabelas today and bought the Benjamin. It was on sale for $119. I planned on getting a cheap Simmons .22 magnum scope but thought of give the centerfire scope a try first. Picked up a pack of Crosman Premier hollow points and went home to shoot. Its cold out so didn't spend too much time outside. I dialed the scope in some and it seems fine for now. The target on the left was my first shots. From 50' it shot low and to the left. The target on the right is after I started getting it dialed in. Not bad.

Overall I'm impressed with the gun. I think ill have a lot of fun with this thing.

Cheapshooter
December 12, 2013, 10:43 AM
Airguns have a different recoil signature in that thay react in both directions. Although I can't say I have personally heard of It, It is said a rimfire, or centerfire scope could be damaged if used on an airgun.
Also, for best accuracy a different style of hold, the artillary hold, is needed when shooting airrifles.
Check this forum. Kind of a TFL of airguns.
http://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/index.php?action=forum

blackwaterstout
December 12, 2013, 01:21 PM
Airguns have a different recoil signature in that thay react in both directions. Although I can't say I have personally heard of It, It is said a rimfire, or centerfire scope could be damaged if used on an airgun.
Also, for best accuracy a different style of hold, the artillary hold, is needed when shooting airrifles.
Check this forum. Kind of a TFL of airguns.
http://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/index.php?action=forum

Thanks for the link. I've read the same thing about rifle scopes. Seems hard to believe that a scope designed to take the brute recoil of a 30-06 or 7mm mag could be effected by a gun with less recoil that a .22lr.

I think I'd take my chances with that :)

blackwaterstout
December 12, 2013, 07:38 PM
I tried the trigger mod that has become very popular with crosman and Benjamin guns. In my first attempt I used a m5 washer that was slightly too large. The trigger was really light and crisp but the mod disrupted the guns safety. I didn't have a smaller washer but I did have the small ring from a usb flash drive that worked perfectly. The safety now works properly and the trigger is 10 times better than stock. I'm interested to see how much my groups improve with the crisp trigger.

JohnKSa
December 12, 2013, 10:56 PM
Seems hard to believe that a scope designed to take the brute recoil of a 30-06 or 7mm mag could be effected by a gun with less recoil that a .22lr.It's not the magnitude of the recoil, but the character of it. A spring or gas piston airgun recoils first backwards, like a firearm, then forward when the piston comes to an abrupt stop at the end of its travel. If the scope isn't braced to take the two-way recoil it will come apart internally.

It's more common to find that good quality scopes are double-braced these days, but it's not a given.