Need Advice


Matthew Temkin
October 24, 2013, 11:27 AM
I just bought my first Air Rifle--an Optimus .177 by Crossman.
Nice gun--great price $99, scope included)
Now I am looking for something of higher quality ( especially with a smoother trigger)--say $250-$350, or so.
What do you guys recommend?
I am looking to hunt with it, so would a .22 make sense?
Lastly--what is the maximum range--say to hunt squirrels--for an air rifle?

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October 24, 2013, 02:00 PM
Hard to beat a Diana 34 in that price range. Here is with the adjustable trigger and a 3-9x40 scope for 319.95.

As far as .177 or .22 I personally prefer .22 but .177 will kill any squirrel or rabbit that's ever lived out to about 25 yards if you do your part and shoot good pellets. If you think you might ever shoot anything bigger like a raccoon or opossum the definitely go with the .22 as it will give you more energy on target.

Oh and to answer about the max range with that rifle I would say around 25-30 yards but some air rifles can take 75-100 yard shots easily with a decent shooter. These are way out of your price range though.

October 24, 2013, 03:25 PM
Matt stay with any one of the ones you like in 22cal as long s its pushing at least 500 fps, 177 are ok but they tend to zip through larger small game. it'll kill them but the 22 does better. pop over to here and aks the guys, you will get loads of info. I believe my next one is going to be a "gas" gun instead of a springer,

Dave James

October 24, 2013, 05:51 PM
My break barrel RWS 350 might be on your high side @ $400, advertized as a .22cal 900fps, chronograph at 865fps punches through 1/2 pine at 75yds. Groups nicely out to that range with a 3-9x50 air rifle scope. Use JSB 18.5gr pellets, but have to accommodate pellet ballistics at all ranges mine sighted at 30yd, hits at 2 mil down at 80 yards,also wind will cause you angst if you don't account for it. But it's great practice tool for a real rifle.

October 24, 2013, 06:09 PM
Have you considered tuning the gun you have? Maybe even changing it to .22? You can mod the trigger to be day and night better, and a tune will usually net you about 25% more power, but it varies from gun to gun. I can show you how to do the trigger and a full tune for a couple bucks if you have some tools.
Changing to .22 is about $21 to $30 depending on how you go about it or if you want to install a suppressed barrel. I almost always go suppressed when I change the barrel, and always with .22.
If you're worried about .177 going thru game you can try H&N Crow Magnum pellets, they're one of only a few hollow points that actually work.
Going with .22 is good too, but they're slower with more drop. A tuned Optimus will shoot a standard weight .22 pellet at about 750+. In .177 1000+.
If you buy a nitro gun or convert your gun to nitro you will gain a small amount of power, but only if you tune it as well. Nitro are harder to cock, more expensive, and have a much higher failure rate than coil springs. They're quieter in an unmodified gun, but when properly tuned a coil gun can be as smooth and quiet.

If you want more power, like a magnum then the RWS 350 is hard to beat. Low cocking effort and weight for a magnum, better than average quality, but expensive.
The Trail XL is nice because it is very quiet, but cocking effort and weight are more, also expensive.
The Ruger Air Mag is an RWS 350 Clone, but a poor one imo. They are the cheapest magnums out there, but also the lowest quality imo. I would never trust one to work right without taking it apart first for an inspection.
The Stoeger X50 is like a no frills Trail XL, cheaper than the XL, but still overpriced imo.
I'd seriously consider tuning yours first before deciding on another, but it's up to you. Just throwing some options out there...

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