Fastest air gun muzzle velocity ever reached??


November 25, 2013, 06:14 PM
What is the practical limit?


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November 25, 2013, 07:19 PM
It's been proven time and time again that oellets are most accurate between about 550-800 fps. Anything more and the pellet becomes ever more unstable. But just like most things faster is always better right? Not in this instance


November 25, 2013, 07:37 PM
With lightweight pellets, I have seen manufacturer specs of up to 1600 fps.

As for stability, there's nothing says an airgun has to shoot a "pellet." Some air rifles are powerful enough to shoot rotationally stabilized solid pellets or even real bullets (eg 125 gr 357 bullets).

November 26, 2013, 02:46 PM
Never try to shoot a bullet out of an air rifle. Too many variables (first, no firing pin ... 2nd, barrel is not meant for firearm ammo ... I could go on, but I won't) to go wrong.

fps has nothing to do with accuracy or effective knock down power. Lightweight plastic pellets will hit blazing fast speeds - enough to break Mach-1 and you'll hear the same crack of a firearm, but no popwer at the receivng end because of the low weight of the pellet. Also, after a certain distance, the light weight pellets capable of achieving these muzzle velocities do not have sufficient "oomph" to stay on course and drop down or can be blown off course by a breeze.

There are plenty of conversion tables on the web that will give you the combination of pellet weight and muzzle velocity needed at a specific distance (key here) to provide the force needed at the target (penetration) with accuracy.

November 26, 2013, 03:21 PM
Craftsman i think you misunderstood the previous post. There are several large bore air rifles that due in deed fire lead bullets. Not the whole cartridge, just the lead bullet. If you are unfamiliar look up the DAQ Dennis A Quakenbush rifles. They truly are a work of art.


November 26, 2013, 04:29 PM
The practical limit is the speed of sound. Due to a pellet's profile, the shock waves affect accuracy significantly.

November 26, 2013, 05:42 PM
Chicken Farmer,

I guess I did. Thanks.

November 26, 2013, 05:58 PM
Pellets come in many profiles so shape isn't the limiting factor. Not all pellets have skirts either. The stability issue seems to occur when the pellet transitions from supersonic to subsonic.

EDIT: THIS IS THE BEST .22 CALIBER PELLET PICTURE DATABASE ( I've ever seen. There's also a .177 caliber database on the same forum.

November 26, 2013, 06:29 PM
Pump-up pellet guns are limited by the tolerances and necessary volume within the check-valve in the system. The fastest air guns take advantage of the inertia from a weighted piston driven by a spring, which I'm sure you already know. I'd say the limiting factors are the practical weight and size of the compression chamber, as well as using a spring that can be compressed without having a hernia.
I have an idea that I don't think has been utilized: use a a really heavy spring and compressing piston, and fairly large compression chamber, but use a ratchet system, so that each stroke of the lever compresses the spring, say, 10% (assuming a linear compression spring) It might take ten 'pumps' to fully compress the spring, but you could get some serious velocity from the resulting 'slam' compression! Of course you'd be supersonic with the resulting 'crack'.
They've made some pretty crazy air guns to simulate small scale crater impacts in space that have gotten up to 6000 m/s! Of course the things take a building to house.

November 26, 2013, 07:18 PM
Jstein, such a powerful spring piston air gun would have a very unmanageable recoil, and would be incredibly difficult to keep on target.

The way to get truly crazy speeds out of an air gun would be higher pressures and longer barrels in a PCP gun. For the most part no one bothers with that, because given a certain amount of air out of the valve, you can get higher FPE with a larger and thus, slower, projectile.

November 26, 2013, 08:17 PM
Oh, I know the recoil issue would be a problem for sure. PCP gun?

Pete D.
November 26, 2013, 10:48 PM
"Never try to shoot a bullet out of an air rifle." Bullets are fine. Its the cartridge that you dont want to fire as noted earlier
I have a .45 Cal PCP air rifle and I use the same bullets that I shoot in my 1911. Just the bullets.

November 28, 2013, 06:40 PM
Sorry - new to all this ... thought "bullet" mean shell and powder included. I sit corrected!

Highest I've found ... 1,650 fps Gamo Hunter Extreme .177 $440 Breakbarrel.

November 28, 2013, 09:24 PM
Sorry - new to all this ... thought "bullet" mean shell and powder included. I sit corrected!

Highest I've found ... 1,650 fps Gamo Hunter Extreme .177 $440 Breakbarrel.
Just a note, if you read the review on Pyramyd Air by Tom Gaylord, (in the blog) he gets a maximum velocity of closer to 1350 with the PBA pellets.

November 29, 2013, 01:04 PM
Frankly, unless I can reach a "true" 1500+ FPS at 20+ yards I'd rather stay subsonic and heavy. Lightweight pellets lose velocity very quickly and are inaccurate after passing transonic. I can't state anything with any authority regarding long-term knowledge but I can tell you that my Benjamin Trail XL-1100 HATES some pellets. While the Dynamic XP2 isn't a lightweight pellet, it is a bit long for its 14.5 gram weight. They tumble the moment they leave the barrel. The ultra-lightweight plastic skirted pellets aren't much better. If I shoot short heavy pellets they stay subsonic and this rifle is extremely accurate.

December 1, 2013, 07:42 PM
Fastest ever? I think it was NASA that used an airgun and pellet to simulate meteor impacts to observe the ejecta pattern and what happens to the meteor. I calling on memory from a long time ago, but I think it was over 20,000fps. Nice... I know that's not what you meant, just thought it was interesting.
As for realistic store bought stuff you're probably looking at closer to 1500fps as a max using useless super light pellets. My Benjamin Titan for example can hit 1290 with a 5.2gr pellet, corrected to sea level it would break 1300, and that's not even a magnum, just a standard $90 gun.
For realistic usage everyone stays under the speed of sound. Most guns are stuck there anyway, but if you break it you lose accuracy and noise goes way up so there's no point. Super accurate air guns usually stick to 500-550fps, guns for hunting are usually more accurate at 900fps or less, but it varies on the gun. No point in having a magnum hunting gun and tuning down to 550 for accuracy, but if an 18gr pellet shoots at 850 and a 14gr shoots at 950, chances are the 18 will be better all around for a variety of reasons including the weight and BC.
So I guess it all depends on what you mean by practical. I have several that shoot .177 at 1000 to 1050 and they're fine for hunting, but using a heavier pellet to bring then down to 850 is probably better for most applications as long as the gun likes the pellet. Airguns, especially springers can be finicky so what works on most might not work on your gun so not just velocity and weight, but the make/model of pellet is a factor too. The best thing is to try as many different pellets as you can to see what works for you and yours. I even saw a website once that has a pellet exchange program where people exchange small numbers of pellets rather than waste $10-20 per tin. I usually stick to JSB and H&N pellets, but RWS and Crosman Premier are also good. If your gun can't shoot any of those then chances are there's a problem that needs to be fixed before you can continue.
So basically ~550 for max accuracy, ~900 for max hunting accuracy, and supersonic for max period unless you're just goofing off.
Hope this helps

December 3, 2013, 06:20 PM
If you have an interest in what an air rifle will do velocity wise for curiosity sake, go for it. As has been stated before air rifle are much better in the lower velocities under 900fps. I have two PCPs one 22 and another 25 cal that will kill a coyote and both are under 900 fps. I stay away from air rifles that shoot over 1000 fps.

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