Quackenbush Air Rifle


December 22, 2007, 05:01 PM
Not long ago, I happened upon an article discussing the Quackenbush air rifle, an airgun capable of bringing down medium-sized game. The concept of a powerful, modern airgun fascinates me, and I thought I would inquire about it. Do any of our contributors own one? If so, is it as accurate and as powerful as advertisements claim? Finally, are there other air rifles currently produced that will rival the Quackenbush? Thanks.


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Fast Frank
December 22, 2007, 06:53 PM
Oh yeah, we've got powerful air rifles.

I don't know if the modern stuff is more powerful than a Quackenbush, but my Beeman Kodiak rivals a .22 short with about 30 foot pounds of energy. It shoots a .25 cal pellet at about 700 FPS.

It weighs nine pounds, and is as nice or nicer than all but the most expensive rifles.


Accuracy is good. I can easily shoot Coke can sized targets at 50 yards.

Here's a little vid of me shooting a can of Cheapo Soda in my front yard.

Watch the spray and notice how far it blows the can.

Click on the pic for video.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a184/FastFrank4x4/vids/th_07062502.jpg (http://s11.photobucket.com/albums/a184/FastFrank4x4/vids/?action=view&current=07062502.flv)

Just to give you an idea of the size of those .25 cal pellets, here's another pic.

On the left is a .22 cal Benjamin "Diablo" pellet. Most folks would think of this as a normal size, and it's quite a bit bigger than the 177 stuff.

On the right is a .25 cal "Kodiak" pellet. It was named after, and made for this rifle.


Yes, there's enough power there for raccoon sized animals.

The Deer Hunter
December 22, 2007, 07:09 PM
I think he means the kind that you can shoot a deer with.

December 22, 2007, 07:13 PM
Frank, that video is hilarious! I love the cat "utilizing the facilities" while your giving your demonstration. I think he was referring to these: http://www.quackenbushairguns.com/
No insult to what you've got there, but these are on a whole different level.

lee n. field
December 22, 2007, 07:15 PM
don't know if the modern stuff is more powerful than a Quackenbush,

The Quackenbush (http://www.quackenbushairguns.com/) he's talking about is a modern air rifle.

From the Quackenbush site:


Do I own one? I wish.

BTW, how is the red dot sight holding up on the Beeman?

Fast Frank
December 22, 2007, 07:17 PM
Wow! I wasn't aware of those!

I thought a Quackenbush was a pre- WW2 thing with a skeleton stock.

December 22, 2007, 07:21 PM
There are versions in 9mm and 45. Do a search and you will find all sorts of info. Dennis Quakenbush air rifles are hand made versus the sumatras that are imported from china. Modern PCP (Pre-charged Pneumatic) air rifles are amazingly accurate and powerful. They are charged using either a scuba tank or a high capacity pump that resembles a bicycle pump. Look on airguns of Arizona or airgunsexpress.com. There are many other distributors websites to look on as well. youtube.com also has several videos of folks hunting big game with one of these rifles. The large caliber air rifles don't have the knock down power like a centerfire rifle does. You have to think of them more like a modern bow. They create a large wound channel and kill by massive blood loss. I have more information if you are interested.


December 22, 2007, 07:29 PM
Pyramid Air guns is another importer, and they've got a whole page of PCPs at http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/show.pl?cmd_category=show&category_id=2 ; if you want to "mix up" your hunting, you can even get a version of the Logun called the "Airrow" that fires broadheads, for archery season.

December 22, 2007, 07:31 PM


http://www.adventuresinairguns.com/Africa.html <--- this may interest some of you.

Here's a couple of links for ya'll to check out. I have been wanting a big bore airgun for some time now but have not gotten around to it as of yet.

Fast Frank
December 22, 2007, 07:43 PM
BTW, how is the red dot sight holding up on the Beeman?

That's a Tasco Red Dot. I bought it to solve a problem I was having with some unruly varmints.

I needed to make a head shot while sitting in almost complete darkness, and I couldn't see my sights.

I expected the red dot to live a short life. I bought it hoping I could get it properly sighted and make the kill before the nasty recoil of the big Beeman took it apart.

Here's the surprise...

It's been on that rifle for a couple of years now and has gone through quite a few cans of pellets. It holds it's zero just fine and is still working like new to this day.

If this is typical of these sights, then I can endorse it as a real option for this kind of shooting.

It's not as accurate as a scope, but it's good enough for the limited ranges here in my yard.

And when it's dark outside, it rules. If I can see it, I can kill it.

Fast Frank
December 22, 2007, 08:03 PM
OK, it took me a minute to find it...

Here's a link to the original Quackenbush air rifles. (The ones I thought we were talking about)

Scroll down a little bit to see pics.


December 22, 2007, 08:47 PM
I think the waiting list to get a Quackenbush is about 2 years now. The good thing is that he actually sells them at extremely reasonable prices, less than $700 the last time I checked, and he doesn't take any money until he has your gun finished. If you decide you don't want it, he literally has dozens of people that will jump at the chance to buy it from him.

Dennis is also a real stand up guy when it comes to protecting our right to bear arms.

December 22, 2007, 09:48 PM
This is a neat thread. I have wanted a large bore airgun for a long time. I read some of the quackenbush site in particular the .308 caliber gun.

He used a 76 gr bullet at around 750-800 fps. Thats pretty good. But you know what? I have a Marlin 94 in 32 mag and some 76 gr bullets for cowboy action shooting. I loaded some of those with 2.5 grs Bullseye (i think) and shot them. Not only were they reasonably accurate they were very very quiet. No ear plugs needed. Almost like a suppressor.

That sort of satisfies my desire for a 30 cal airgun. And if i remember right the velocity was around 950 fps. Too bad Marlin doesn't make these anymore. I still like air rifles. I've killed a pile of sqirrels and rats with them. Killing squirrels with an air rifle is against the law in Texas but that was my only choice. The police explained it to me personally that should not shoot my 22 in the back yard anymore.

December 23, 2007, 12:11 AM
there is a video of a dude taking down a buffalo with a 50 cal pcp air rifle, so they can deff do the job; prolblem is, you are gonna pay some big bucks for a pcp air rifle. however , if you shoot a lot and go to ranges and such, you can really start to save yourself some money on the ammo.

Roswell 1847
December 23, 2007, 12:41 AM
The Giardoni Military air rifle of 1799 was the first repeating rifle issued for military use. It fired a 12.8 (.499) round ball that fed from a tublar magazine

I've read of modern testing of these guns that indicted lethal velocities out to 120 yards and good accuracy.
Only problem with those guns was the occasional rupture of the air bottle which formed the buttstock, a potentially fatal flaw. The failures were traced to poor quality sheet iron used to make the air bottles.

Large caliber air rifles were used to hunt game as large as wild boar, and Lewis and Clark carried a powerful air rifle on their expedition, they used it to impress the Indians they met, as well as to hunt for the pot while conserving gun powder.

I've seen images of a WW2 resistence fighter's home built air rifle that looks very futuristic in design, someone should produce a repro of that one. It was powerful enough to kill a man at close range, and with great accuracy.

Found it.

The Resistence fighter's rifle is near the bottom of the page.

December 23, 2007, 12:55 AM
You'll save money on ammo if you stick to a small, standard caliber like .22 or .25, but if you want something big like a .50 you won't save anything at all. The bullets are cheaper than standard centerfire cartridges, but for those guns you also need air and lots of it. A handpump will get really old, really quick. With my .22 AirArms S410E, it takes about three pumps per shot or about 150 pumps for a full charge if I'm not being picky about my consistency. For a Quackenbush you'd probably be talking about 40 pumps per shot and those are pumps that require your full body weight and you should pause every 20 pumps or so to allow the pump to cool so that you don't introduce moisture into your rifle. Most shooters quickly decide to use a tank to charge their guns and tanks aren't cheap and you have to pay to have them filled. If I had a big bore I'd probably consider getting a second carbon fiber tank, ($500).

Big bore airguns are mainly for diehard airgun enthusiasts who are into collecting and shooting airguns for their own sake rather than any practical reasons. They're not cheap to buy or to shoot, they're as noisy as firearms and they tend to be quite large. They're really cool though and I've been tempted to buy one in the past. Also, if you buy one from Dennis, you can turn around and sell it for nearly twice what you paid for it.

Harve Curry
December 23, 2007, 02:04 AM


Curious, I did a search for military air rifles and came up with lots of stuff including the above two links.

Someday maybe there will be an affordable Lewis & Clark repro!

December 23, 2007, 05:25 AM
I am glad to see that I am not the only person interested in truly powerful air rifles. Given the lateness of the hour, I will examine the links out contributors have provided after sleeping.

Chicken-Farmer, I would like some additional info about the Quackenbush and other comparable air guns when you have the opportunity. Thanks for the offer.


December 23, 2007, 03:29 PM
There is a gentleman who calls himself Big Bore Bob. He takes the quakenbush rifle's and mods them to be even more powerful. His website is bigborebob.com. Another brand of big bore rifle is the Dragon Slayer imported by cobraairguns.com $620. A cheap alternative that is decent is a Career 707 in 9mm. Many deer have been taken with these
As far as the scuba tank refills go. Most tanks are 3000 psi and after each fill the tank has exponentially less psi in the tank. So the first couple of fills off a fresh tank will be 3000 psi. But after those initial fills the next may only be 2800 psi and so on. For this reason of diminishing fills off the tank, many people purchase high pressure tanks some going as high as 4500 psi. This way you get many more fills from the tank. The big bore rifles use a crazy amount of air and usually get 5 consistent shots off of one fill from the scuba tank. Some folks fill the rifle with a scuba tank and then finish it off with a hand pump. This method makes a scuba tank last longer before refills
I used to have a scuba tank, but got tired of hauling it the range or getting it filled at the scuba shop. I now use a hand pump exclusively. I have an FX Tarantula .22 PCP rifle. With my power turned down i get about 70 consistent shots between fills. With it turned all the way up to 35 FPE I get around 30 full power shots before i fill. The rifles guages don't register PSI, they register BAR. I fill my rifle to 200 bar off the pump. It takes me about 15 minutes and i go in spurts. I shoot my rifle down to 150 bar before i re-pump. Unless maintenance is required on the air reservoir, you should never shoot the gun empty because after a certain point the shots are no longer consistent. So you hardly ever have to pump the rifle up from zero.


December 23, 2007, 03:47 PM
Chicken-Farmer, I appreciate the firsthand accounts of what is involved in using a large caliber air rifle. Obviously, I am grateful for any information about this subject. But stories gained from direct experience are the most useful, at least in my opinion. Later this week, I will explore these websites in greater detail. Thanks once again.


December 24, 2007, 02:14 AM

If you want to really see something, try googling big bore bob and 20mm. Some years ago he made a 20mm airgun that produced something like 2000 fpe.

December 24, 2007, 02:28 AM
Not long ago, I happened upon an article discussing the Quackenbush air rifle, an airgun capable of bringing down medium-sized game.

They will bring down big-sized game as well. I have an issue of Shotgun News from earlier this year, and there is a pic and article about a guy that shot a buffalo with a Quakenbush.

December 24, 2007, 06:47 PM
Wow!! I had no idea...now I have to ask the question are air powered automatic rifles, legal? Why not a 9mm MP-5 air powered machine gun?

Roswell 1847
December 24, 2007, 07:00 PM
The PM16 is made for training but its .22 round balls come out at a pretty good clip.

The Soviets tried out a .50 gun that was powered by a small gasoline or deisel engine. it fired half inch ball bearing through a curved tube to spray down any enemy infantry that tried to swarm over a stalled tank.

Of course the mightiest airgun of all was the Vesuvius Gunboat of the Spanish American War. Its steam boilers powered a piston which propelled a shell loaded with dynamite.
Propelents of the day wouldn't work with the relatively sensitive high explosives like dynamite, they'd set them off in the bore often as not.
A smaller gun deployed by US Calvary or Mounted Infantry fired a dynamite loaded steel dart to defeat adobe bunkers with walls four feet thick.
It used a blank shotgun shell to drive its air piston. The high pressure air went through a valve that ensured that the projectile didn't get a stiff jolt as it accelerated.

December 24, 2007, 07:25 PM
There has been a fair amount of air artillery in the past and some of it is still in use. LoCat makes pneumatic cannons used for avalanche control and some of the pneumatic punkin chunkers are basically giant air cannons.

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