I am looking for advice on air guns.


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jrdolall
April 9, 2014, 08:29 AM
I haven't owned an air gun since I was a teenager other than my trusty Red Rider which is a safe queen now so I have little knowledge of the "new" guns. I am looking to get one that will take squirrels out to 50 yards or so and was wondering if the guns I see at Walmart or other big box retailers will do the job. I would plan to scope the gun and shoot just around the house to avoid the noise of using a .22.

I am not looking to spend $300 since I have no intentions of actually hunting with this gun. Just some ideas of what to expect from the different manufacturers and info on what types of projectiles seem to be the most accurate.

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SleazyRider
April 9, 2014, 08:53 AM
50 yards is a stretch for any air gun, especially one under 300 bucks. Squirrels are tough little critters, and I take head shots only, shooting them at every opportunity with my Gamo Whisper break-barrel using domed pellets. I prefer the break barrel because I'm an opportunistic hunter, using the rifle sometimes several times a day or not at all for a few weeks. A CO2 rifle would lose its gas by then.

I think I paid around 200 bucks for my Gamo, but there are plenty of others for around that price. Check out Pyramyd Air (http://www.pyramydair.com) , which has an excellent reputation among air gunners.

Mousegun
April 9, 2014, 10:28 AM
You have to be real careful with air rifles. They carry a disease that is called "Iwantanotheronefornoapparentreason" and it is very catchy.

You may start with a cheapy and read about the results of a top quality gun like a TX200. That is where the virus is generally picked up and there is no cure for it. It can be treated when a new gun is purchased and the symptoms go away for a while but when you least expect it, pow, you get hit again and you need another dose of air rifle to mask the symptoms once again.

I caught the disease and it cost me $700 to get some treatment when I bought my left handed Air Arms TX200. I had to buy the actual drug and not a cheap generic because I am a left handed shooter and that ran an extra $100 for the left handed stock.

It is at the point now that it is almost boring shooting that gun because I get sick of making one hole in a paper target at 35 yards. I find myself going back to my $400 RWS model 48 which is a more difficult gun to shoot accurately.

So what did I do???? I took the 48 apart and tuned it for accuracy by putting in a Vortek spring kit, honing the cylinder and doing a variety of other things that improve the overall shooting capability of that gun. Now it is almost as good as the TX and I can feel symptoms of the disease coming on again calling for another.

So be careful. Buy the cheap gun. Take out a few nutters but when you have one perfectly sighted in and the shot breaks, but the nutter looks at you and gives you the half of the international peace sign, then hops away, you may begin to feel sick with the virus.

It is possible you have natural immunity to the disease but not likely.

JSH1
April 10, 2014, 01:12 AM
I'm confused by your requirements. You want a gun that will kill a squirrel at 50 yards but don't intend to hunt with it. What do you intend to do with it if you aren't going to shoot squirrels?

JohnKSa
April 10, 2014, 02:17 AM
If you plan to do a lot of shooting with it, get yourself a nice one so you can enjoy all the time you spend shooting it.

Think about it. If you only use your hunting rifle a few times a year but you spend lots of time shooting your airgun, which one do you want to be more enjoyable to use?

jrdolall
April 10, 2014, 08:11 AM
Okay guys I am looking for name brands and ammo brands that people are using. I will use it to shoot squirrels and other varmints in my yard which is way over 50 yards long. I don't plan to put up a squirrel stand and wait the buggers out but will occasionally pop one or two from the door step or even an open window.

I know that 50 yards is a challenge with an air gun but the object is to have the reasonable expectation of hitting my target at that distance. I also know that most of the accuracy will be based on my skill. When I was young I killed umpteen squirrels and birds with my Crossman pellet gun by pumping it 10 times and flinging BBs at whatever I saw.

Are the airguns I see in Walmart for $89-$139 decent guns or just a waste of $100? I will check out the pyramid website.

As far as addictions to guns is concerned I am not too worried about that. I stopped buying firearms a while back when I filled up my 3rd safe. Except for that .17 HMR I picked up last weekend. And that .22 WMR I got last month. And that Polish 9x18 I got two weeks ago.....

ole farmerbuck
April 10, 2014, 08:32 AM
I just got a 'Silent Cat' from Walmart. Dont think I'd wanty anyone shooting at me with it. Pretty fast but havent tried it on paper yet.

tiamat
April 10, 2014, 01:28 PM
I've heard that Gamo is basically a throw-away brand, given that they don't offer any parts or service for their products, but this seemed like a good deal based on your requirements - even comes with a scope, all for $99.99 with free shipping:
Gamo Big Cat 1250 Air Rifle with 4 x 32 Rifle Scope and PBA Platinum Pellets .177 Caliber (http://www.amazon.com/Gamo-Rifle-Platinum-Pellets-Caliber/dp/B004WMFX22?t=slickdeals&tag=slickdeals&ascsubtag=5N2TRsDMEeOKdW7jEQkWzwUY57_6Ix-3_0_0_0)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61pgalPuw3L._SL1500_.jpg

geneo
April 10, 2014, 04:45 PM
I picked up a RWS-34 in .22 cal a 1-1/2 years ago. The Squirrels are out of control around here.
As of two days ago i've taken out 130ea @ and average of 20 to 25 yards.Using supper-H- -points 14.2 gr. Also this is with open sights. I have a scope coming tomorrow and see if it helps these old eyes of mine, i'm 66.

hawmanai
April 10, 2014, 11:20 PM
I think 22 is best choice, 25 hit real hard but drops faster, 177 pellets costs less but zips thru too easy. having good results with Crossman domed and JSB heavy pellets, polymags work well but cost more.

I picked up a Hatsan 125 and it is powerful but my buddy's Stoeger X20 is more accurate, he since has got a Benjaman Nitro piston. Be sure of what is beyond your target with the new airguns, sometimes the ricochet sounds like 223.

I've bought from pyramydair twice now, they have a good return policy.

Still at the gas springer stage, been eyeing the Marauder, but would have to deal with the pumping it up.

jmorris
April 11, 2014, 12:32 AM
I bought a Gamo a few years ago and returned it, junk.

I picked up an RWS 34 (.22) this year and it impressed me for an air rifle. Killed a crow at 98 yards with it.

Teachu2
April 11, 2014, 01:36 PM
I bought a RWS 34P (plastic stock) .22 cal with a 4x32 scope and scope mount package from Airgun Depot. They had a special going for $239.90 last month - $10 more for the scope and mount than the rifle alone. The open sights are very good, but the scope is great - it even has parallax adjustment. I also ordered a 500ct tin of Crosman Premier HP pellets (for cheap break-in) and some RWS Superdomes (the salesperson recommended the RWS pellets). To my surprise, the Crosman Premiers are very accurate in the gun. I haven't had time to try the RWS ones, but have run a couple hundred Premiers through it and am very pleased with the performance.

The RWS 34 is a quality airgun, with a very good trigger. I bought it to use on squirrels in my yard (I have 5 acres) and I'm delighted with the quality. There are lots of reviews of the RWS 34 online, and it's considered a great value by many. I googled the model # and Airgun Depot had it on sale, $55 off their regular price. I spoke on the phone with them (and didn't spend a lot of time on hold) and was pleased with their knowledge and attitude. By ordering pellets at the same time, they boxed the rifle and pellets rather than kust slapping a label on the rifle's carton. They shipped quickly, and everything arrived in good shape.

http://www.airgundepot.com/rws-34-panther22-combo.html

Hullraiser
April 11, 2014, 01:49 PM
To answer OP , yes the cheapo rifles will work, just not as well as say a RWS model. The 22 cal have more punch but a little slower than 177. Maybe only 200fps though. I have a Steoger 22 cal suppressed with scope and a RWS 177 that will both take chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits. My advise is go with a 22 cal. They make done good hunting ammo for both, but even for practice use good quality pellets. A cleaning kit with the felt cleaning pellets are a good idea too. I paid $200 for the RWS 20 years ago and $150 for the Steoger last year. Look for a used RWS if you're lucky enough to find one. People seem to hold on to them for good reason

Geddinight
April 11, 2014, 06:21 PM
I would recommend to the OP that he check the main air gun sales sites such as Pyramid, Airgun Depot, etc. See what is in your price range and what you like.

Do you want wooden stocks or plastic, does a scope need to be in the package deal, .22 or .177.

I agree with the others that 50 yards is a long distance. I would rule out a spring gun at that distance. I don't shoot spring guns that well at longer distances. I would use my Benjamin 397 at that distance. I would also need a scope at that distance.

For under or around 100, it might limit you to a cheaper spring gun package.

Keep us informed.

Deltaboy
April 12, 2014, 09:18 PM
I would get a used single shot 22 Rifle and use subsonic ammo. I got a Mossberg single shot for 60 bucks and a Scope for another 30 and I killed tons of critters with it in Town.

Hullraiser
April 12, 2014, 11:07 PM
I would get a used single shot 22 Rifle and use subsonic ammo. I got a Mossberg single shot for 60 bucks and a Scope for another 30 and I killed tons of critters with it in Town.


To be quiet compared to air you'd need CB rounds and they're even harder to find than LR. Plus if you got caught it wouldn't be good. Air rifles are more tolerated by neighbors & LE in city limits

JohnKSa
April 13, 2014, 02:05 AM
I agree. Even in my "enlightened" little part of TX where discharging an airgun is illegal in city limits, I know of at least one case where the cops simply told an offender not to become a repeat offender and left with no further action.

I can't imagine the same kind of consideration being given to someone who was caught discharging a firearm inside city limits.

Part of it is the difference in safety/danger involved. A conventional airgun pellet is typically harmless after about 400 yards, and doesn't penetrate intermediate barriers well; while bullets from a firearm can be deadly past a mile and tend to shoot through things amazingly well. Part of it is that it is common knowledge that discharging a firearm inside the city limits of virtually any city in the U.S. is illegal; while the laws on discharging airguns in city limits vary widely.

FinnComm
April 13, 2014, 09:41 AM
You probably don't know that 50 yards is a bit optimistic for humane shots with a standard run-of-the-mill airgun. Max 35 yards is more reasonable. I've seen people wound rabbits with air weapons at 50 yards, leaving them to crawl back down a burrow to die painfully. These people shouldn't be allowed to own guns in my opinion, it gives responsible shooters a bad name.

But back to good choices :)

I had a Hatsan, complete junk. After a few tins of pellets it basically feel apart. It started by becoming loose at the jaws, and the screws where cheap and soft. The accuracy was terrible due to rough internals.

I have an old BSA about 20 years old, from the time when they were still good quality. It's excellent. Wouldn't touch a new one now that they're no longer made in the UK.

Weihrauch or Air Arms are the only brands I would consider today.

If you're on a tight budget, consider a quality used air rifle, maybe need to replace the spring and seals, but it will easily last a generation or two.

Happy air gunning! It's a great hobby :D

craftsman
April 14, 2014, 11:32 AM
jrdolall,

.177 vs .22 ? Why not spend just a little bit more, and get BOTH (with a case, and rings and a scope) ? $159 +S&H http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Beeman_RS2_Dual_Caliber_Air_Rifle_Combo/1334 This was my first Airgun. It's a springer. I have a backstop setup and a "silent" pellet trap I made. The .177 shoots max at 1K fps and 800 max fps at .22

It is in no way shape or form the "be-all and end-all" for airguns, but for the price, its a great starter, allows you to shoot both calibers, has decent accuracy, and is a lot of fun. Yes, a properly taken shot at about 35 +/- yards (all variables considered) it can take out a raccoon or groundhog. You would need to do a lot of practice at 50 +/- yards to know the gun's and pellets eccenticities - but once done, a squirrel at that range is not out of the question.

oneounceload
April 14, 2014, 09:04 PM
Are the airguns I see in Walmart for $89-$139 decent gunsNO or just a waste of $100?YES

I was looking to day at .22 PCP air rifles, many of which START @ $1200. There is a Benjamin that runs about $400 that will do nicely. if you want a springer just about any of the RWS models (like my 34) will take squirrels cleanly to about 25-30. If you want 50 yard capability, you will most likely be looking at a 22 or 25 caliber air rifle - and you won't find one of them for $300 at Walmart

zoom6zoom
April 14, 2014, 09:19 PM
I can tell you that MY Gamo Whisper works just great, and it has ended the predations of dozens of tree rats.

ZVP
April 15, 2014, 11:19 AM
this is what's so dangerous about airguns!
You can get a 1000fps model for $99 and it's actually deadly to Humans not just Target Squirrels!
a $99 gun is also a throw away cause it'll probablly wear out or break soon. (Yea I know some DON'T) Generally, you only get what you pay for though and German quality lasts and lasts!
I have over 40 air rifles and my collection runs from cheapie Chinese junk to really expensive RWS's and HW's
Several years ago there was a "Fad gun" called a Fast Deer.$39 plus shipping! Man do these things shoot (in.177 cal) Super accurate and they shot at around 630fps with great consistancy! They're great rifles (look em up in Search) and we all bought both calibers, customised em, shot e, stock ( I just lubed mine well and it's still going strong!)
Point is, you can buy a GOOD Springer in any of 4 cocking methods, or buy a QB78.22 and have a nice cheap CO2 rifle that is a great hunting rifle.
You can buy a Benjamin pumper and have a light, handy, and very powerfull .22 pneumatic that's a great hunting rifle! Pumping air is FREE!

Don't discount CO2 rifles like the QB cause Powerlets are cheap (it takes 2 at a time) and it shoots far, accurate and anchors rabbits and squirrels on the spot! That's right out of the box too!
See. it's really tricky to buy a "Good" airgun.
Read everything you can, ask questions and most of all, rember these guns have enough power to kill someone in an accident so BE CAREFULL!
.177's shoot flat and far and penetrate well..22's shoot almost as flat, hit hard as hell and they will feed ya bunnies all day long if ya buy a good German gun!
Plan what you really want to do with this thing and how much you want to spend for a "keeper" and when you're done, please feel free to e-mail me at dnemanic@sbcglobal.net and I'll try to help ya along. OK? No problem helping you out. I love talking airguns and want YOU to get a good gun and have fun with it!
Remember, read everything and you'll learn the models. Don't worry if you don;t know all the names, ya learn em easy!
Good luck!
BPDave

Taurus 617 CCW
April 15, 2014, 11:42 AM
I just ordered a Ruger Air Hawk from Walmart. They are currently on sale for $75.00. For that price, its hard to pass it up.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ruger-Air-Hawk-Combo-.177-Break-Barrel-Rifle/21125105

max3
April 15, 2014, 12:02 PM
If you're torn between .177 and .22, Beeman makes a rifle with dual calibers. (Model RS2) Interchangeable barrels come with the rifle. I believe Walmart sells it for roughly $129.

d2wing
April 16, 2014, 10:14 PM
I agree with ZVP. I also use a QB78 22. Mine has been tuned for more power and a better trigger by Mike at Flying Dragon. I also advise strongly against GAMO. Very poor quality, poor trigger and inaccurate. You can by directly from a tuner like Flying Dragon. He has Springers and CO2 guns, the QB79 can be converted to PCP or bulk fill but I don't know much about it.
Mike will test each gun and for a small fee will tune the gun of your choice. They are better quality Chinese copy's of good guns. The Industry brand he sells makes gun that are rebranded for some American companies like one Ruger model. Usually the Walmart guns that are branded Winchester or Ruger are pretty good for cheap. But as other s said a RWS or other name brand is going to be better. The CO2 and PCP are easier to shoot accurately than Springers. Good luck.

Ohen Cepel
April 16, 2014, 10:26 PM
I have a Benjaman Nitro Venom in .22 and like it a lot. Would recommend it.
It's powerful while still being pretty quiet.

Had a Gamo and I am just not a springer guy. A nitro Gamo may have been OK so I won't lump them all together.

I would get a nitro these days. Go with .22 in part for more thump and for the fact that a strong .177 will break the sound barrier making more noise and decreasing accuracy.

I'm a Pyramid Air guy myself. Sign up for their emails and wait for a good sale. Get several pellets to test when you get the gun (4th one is free). Mine likes ones around 18gr. Crow Magnums in particular.

Some don't like the scope which comes with the combos, so far mine has been fine and I'm living with the trigger.

Charlie the Tuna makes a replacement trigger for $30 if you hate the one you get. The Venom was adjustable and I got it to a point where I like it.

SleazyRider
April 17, 2014, 05:27 AM
I agree with ZVP. I also use a QB78 22. Mine has been tuned for more power and a better trigger by Mike at Flying Dragon. I also advise strongly against GAMO. Very poor quality, poor trigger and inaccurate. You can by directly from a tuner like Flying Dragon. He has Springers and CO2 guns, the QB79 can be converted to PCP or bulk fill but I don't know much about it.
Mike will test each gun and for a small fee will tune the gun of your choice. They are better quality Chinese copy's of good guns. The Industry brand he sells makes gun that are rebranded for some American companies like one Ruger model. Usually the Walmart guns that are branded Winchester or Ruger are pretty good for cheap. But as other s said a RWS or other name brand is going to be better. The CO2 and PCP are easier to shoot accurately than Springers. Good luck.
I've been looking at the Flying Dragon website for quite some time now, and they don't seem to have any of the QB family of rifles for sale. The only two suppliers I could find are E. Arthur Brown and Archer Airguns. Besides, the tinkerer in me prefers to "tune" the rifle hisself. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

I agree with your assessment of the Gamo trigger, so replaced mine with the Charlie DaTuna setup---what a difference! Using Gamo Match ammo, I've nailed squirrels with head shots at 30 or so yards. I'm finding that selecting the right ammo is key to air gun shooting.

d2wing
April 18, 2014, 12:37 AM
I haven't talked to Mike in awhile. He has a shop in Iowa. Give him a call. He is very helpful and will tell you what he can get. He did have classes and info on tuning. I don't have any experience with Archer but he is reputable and has accessories as well. I don't know anything about the other guy. I don't know anything about tuning. Mike showed me how to disassemble my gun and do things when I bought it in person, but my memory isn't so good. It didn't seem all that hard. There is a Chinese gun forum.

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