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Old June 18, 2019, 03:36 PM   #1
TrueBlue711
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Air rifles

So I never gave air rifles a glance until recently and I'm pretty ignorant on the subject. I know they're not legally classified as firearms. So here's a question for a potential situation:
I live at the edge of city limits and my backyard borders desert. We got a coyote problem. I would like to shoot at them with a normal rifle, but there's the whole shooting a firearm within city limits thing. However, what about air rifles? Not a firearm. Not sure how loud they are, so not sure if the noise will scare neighbors. Obviously it'll be a problem if I hit something I'm not intending to, but it's open desert.
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Old June 18, 2019, 05:23 PM   #2
Gary L. Griffiths
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First of all, you would need to check the city ordinances. Some prohibit discharge of "firearms" only, others include air guns, pellet guns, etc., as well as firearms, and still others specifically define firearms to include air guns.

That said, there are quite a number of powerful air guns, even in 25 and 30 caliber, that would humanely put down a coyote. Bear in mind, of course, that they ARE powerful projectile weapons, and all the rules about being sure of your target and the background still apply.
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Old June 18, 2019, 05:28 PM   #3
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There are air rifles that have suppressors built in. Since they aren't "firearms" under federal law, the suppressors are legal.

As Gary L. Griffiths commented, check the ordinances. I've been going through local ordinances for municipalities in my state to compile them for the grassroots pro-2A association. Many of them specifically prohibit the discharge of air rifles within city limits. Others define "firearm" in ways that would include an air rifle.
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Old June 18, 2019, 07:37 PM   #4
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In Illinois, an air rifle over .18 caliber, which shoots over 800 fps is considered a "firearm". I was wearing a 9mm legally concealed handgun, but I had to wait 24 hours to pick up my pellet gun.
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Old June 18, 2019, 08:26 PM   #5
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I know next to nothing about anything more sophisticated than a Red Ryder bb-gun, but here's an example of a .177 caliber rifle with a built-in suppressor. It has a rifled barrel and it shoots pellets, not round, steel BBs. Velocity is 1300 fps. Not too shabby. But I don't know if that's enough to dispatch a coyote.

It's also available in .22 caliber, but the velocity drops off. I don't know which would be better. In any case, this is offered just to start you looking, not as a recommendation.

https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Gamo_...Air_Rifle/4791
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Old June 18, 2019, 09:35 PM   #6
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There are pcp air rifles (pre charged pneumatic) that can easily take down coyote. There are 357, 44, and even a 50 caliber models that put up some impressive energy levels. Plenty enough for coyote within 50 yards.

As others have said, don’t assume your town ordinance is ok with air guns. I’m a cop in a town that has an ordinance regarding dangerous missiles. It covers everything from firearms to a kid with a slingshot, absurd as it sounds. It’s typically relegated to firearms only as a matter of discretion, unless someone is attacked with a bow (yes that happened). Then, well... play stupid games you win stupid prizes. Oh, and don’t count on any kind of discretion. It may be there, but you can’t count on it.
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Old June 20, 2019, 08:32 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. I just checked the city (I'm in Albuquerque, NM by the way) ordinances and they only say you can't shoot air rifles in public parks and open spaces (walking trails, etc). The state of NM itself has zero regulations regarding "powderless rifles". Sounds like I found a viable solution to legally dispatching those coyotes hanging out by our property (also, coyotes are considered a nuisance here and you don't even need a hunting license to kill them).

Quote:
There are 357, 44, and even a 50 caliber models that put up some impressive energy levels. Plenty enough for coyote within 50 yards.
From the few websites I searched so far, this checks out. One website asks what size animal you're hunting and then it takes you to the selection of air rifles to do that job. One of the categories was deer! But yeah, coyotes had it's own section and there were like 30 models to choose from. I heard AirForce is a good air rifle company. They aren't cheap though. Costs as much as a normal rifle haha

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Old June 20, 2019, 09:06 AM   #8
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Couple thoughts

-Honestly if your jurisdiction disallows discharging firearms there is a good chance it will also disallow air rifles.

-Air rifles capable of putting down a coyote quickly and humanely will be EXPENSIVE and also very loud if Not suppressed as they are largely fairly powerful pre charged pneumatic guns. (PCP)

-Filling a PCP gun requires specialized equipment. A shop compressor or bike pump will not do it. You need gear to handle pressures in the 3000 psi range. This gear is not cheap. If you have a place near you that can fill a reservoir that is probably your best option. Pumping a large cylinder by hand will be a chore.

-Shooting a PCP Gun is EASY. Very little recoil. Shooting any kind of spring Gun is HARD. They recoil like a sonofabitch (relatively speaking) in all directions and follow through and a light hold are paramount. The more powerful the more pronounced.

At any rate those are a few of my thoughts.

Maybe, if legal, a crossbow would be a more cost effective, quieter option? Just a left field thought.
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Old June 20, 2019, 09:09 AM   #9
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I want one

I've spent a little time on their site, they get good reviews overall. Getting in to the PCP type rifles is an expensive proposition if you want to shoot a lot.

The budget can quickly go to 1.5 or 2 k by the time you buy the rifle and a high pressure air compressor to fill it up. AFAIK we don't have a scuba shop in my little town.
The alternative is buying a spare air tank or two. Paintball shops may also offer refills. It is a few bucks to get the tank filled with high pressure air.

Lewis and Clark brought an air rifle with on their journey. They enjoyed shooting it for the natives. Note I said for, not at. High power air rifles have been around for a long time.
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Old June 20, 2019, 09:12 AM   #10
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One clarification before I do a dis-service to competition air gun shooters.

When I say shooting a PCP gun is easy I mean that relative to firearms or spring Guns and in the application of hunting/plinking/shooting for fun.

The literal one hole accuracy required of competition air gunning is MIND BOGGLING in the amount of skill it takes even with the best equipment.
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Old June 20, 2019, 10:25 AM   #11
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Some municipalities, like San Franciscograd, prohibit airguns. My dad drove me across the bridge and I bought one from Oakland. Check your laws.

I'd use a 25 cal pellet gun and do lung shots on them. They go away and die.
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Old June 20, 2019, 02:43 PM   #12
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Also, consider how your neighbors might react to you shooting and/or killing animals in your backyard. I have a few acres in suburban Atlanta and my immediate neighbors could care less, but some others in the community would most certainly call the Police. Even if legal it could cause you unnecessary harassment or create a bad impression in the neighborhood.
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Old June 20, 2019, 02:59 PM   #13
TrueBlue711
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Quote:
Even if legal it could cause you unnecessary harassment or create a bad impression in the neighborhood.
I don't mind. I'm more concerned about protecting my pets and can care less what my neighbors think about it (so long as I'm legal). If somebody calls the cops on me and they come to make sure I'm not using a firearm, no problem.
Thankfully, I know all my neighbors within 4 houses in each direction and they all hate coyotes too. Many lost cats and small dogs to them.
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Old June 20, 2019, 04:33 PM   #14
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Unless you are shooting a higher end PCP in a larger caliber, Shooting a Coyote sized animal with an ordinary .177 or .22 air rifle would be considered cruel. It doubtfully would kill the animal, or certainly not quickly.

Oh, and by the way regarding PCP compressors, the prices have come down substantially. You can find small compressors (made in china, of course) for about $230- lots of new ones on ebay. From what I understand, you need to be careful using them and you need to run water through them to keep them cool while running. But, I've been told they work pretty good. Because these pumps are readily available, I am seriously considering getting into a good PCP rifle.
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Old June 20, 2019, 05:00 PM   #15
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I bought my grandson a nitro-piston break barrel 22 caliber air rifle and it works great on squirrels, rabbits and the like but I don't know about larger. https://catchthemeasy.com/best-nitro...rifle-reviews/
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Old June 21, 2019, 01:59 PM   #16
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"...coyote problem..." No you don't. You have a location and fencing problem. However, any air rifle powerful enough to kill Wiley humanely will be very expensive.
"...can't shoot air rifles in public parks and open spaces..." That says no shooting 'em. Discharge laws nearly always cover air power and archery.
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Old June 21, 2019, 07:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir
"...can't shoot air rifles in public parks and open spaces..." That says no shooting 'em. Discharge laws nearly always cover air power and archery.
An individual's back yard is not a public open space.
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