Most airgun velocities are over inflated. Some companies claim to have 1000fps out of their guns when chrono tests have shown that they really only get 600-800fps out of most. I don't think you need a true 1000fps air rifle for anything. Past a certain speed, the pellet doesn't do any more damage and even 600fps will often go clean through the rabbit, squirrel or bird.
I had an RWS 45 that had claimed velocity of 950fps (which means it was probably more like 750) and it had all the power I needed for killing pest up to a absolute max distance of 50 yards. Beyond that, I couldn't be sure of hitting anything and I took almost all of my shots within 25 yards. I took several English Sparrows and Starlings at about 50 yards and it was fun to see them drop from the power lines or tree branches at such great distances (for an airgun) but I still only took head shots. All airgun shooting should be done with head shots only in mind so it is more important to have a gun that you can hit with rather than the most powerful gun. Also, at 1000fps, spring piston airguns will have more recoil and the pellet is not as stabil in flight so accuracy is deminished.
I took many rabbits, squirrels and birds cleanly with my Benjamin pump pistol. It had a velocity of about 500fps MAX but it was accurate and had no recoil to throw off you aim. I think 600-800fps (real world velocity) is enough for anything that you would normally do with an airgun. If you want to make 75 yards shots or shoot larger animals, you could go to a magnum air rifle in .22cal. 600-800 fps out of a .22cal air rifle would be a real killing machine on small pests.
In short, 900-1000 isn't going to make much difference and the largest animals that can be taken cleanly are still probably rabbits and squirrels. Just remember, head shots are the key and with a more accurate rather than a more powerful gun you will take them clean. Shooting a rabbit in the body can be done if you can hit the spine, it is almost as good as a head shot except that you will have to put another pellet in the head once you get up to the animal.
July 31, 2003, 04:45 PM
I had a RWS 34 that claimed 1,000 fps. Don't know if that was true, but I'd used to shoot pennies with it and it would rip the pennies in half. Pretty powerful in my book.
July 31, 2003, 05:45 PM
I think the claims are based on the lightest pellets available. I had an RWS 48 that claimed 1100fps. It was accurate, and fast. With light pellets, it "cracked" like a rifle, so I'm guessing it went pretty close to the rated speed. Now I'm shooting a Beeman R7 that is far quieter. Of course, it's only rated at 700fps, and it's probably slower than that with heavy pellets.
August 1, 2003, 02:30 AM
My tuned R7 shoots Crosman Premier Lites (.177-7.9grains) at 645fps. Verified with two different chronographs.
That is toward the high end of R7 performance--even after being tuned. An out of the box R7 probably shoots 8 grain pellets at just under 600fps.
My R1 in .20 caliber is advertised as 860fps. It shoots H&N Field Target Trophy Smooth pellets (about 11 grains) at 790fps.
My Sheridan Rifle (.20 caliber/5mm) is advertised as being a 675fps rifle. It shoots the Sheridan "Ashcan" pellets (all that was easily available for years) at 583fps pumped to the maximum 8 times. With Beeman Silver Bear pellets it makes exactly 675fps. They are the lightest .20 caliber pellets I have found.
The FWB65 pistol I own was advertised at 525fps. With R10 Match pellets, it cranks out 412fps.
As to the initial question:
Your ability to kill things with your airguns depends much more heavily on your marksmanship than it does on your airgun.
The thing to remember is that airguns don't kill with shock, nor do they make big holes. They can penetrate fairly well, assuming there is no heavy bone. You can probably count on 3-4 inches of penetration on small game using a rifle that shoots decent weight pellets in the 700fps range.
So, you can kill anything with an airgun that you would feel confident of killing with a single stab of an icepick with a 3 to 3.5 inch 'blade'. Assuming you can place the shot in exactly the right spot.
August 1, 2003, 12:25 PM
how do you like that FWB 65? I lusted after one for years, then when I finally could afford one they couldn't be found. Finally got a Walther LPM-1, a single-stroke pneumatic. It is excellent, but I always wondered how th 65 would have been.
On topic, I have had a Beeman R8 since 1986, shot enough that I've had to replace the mainspring once. Have cleanly dropped squirrels and birds with it but never shot anything bigger. Great air rifle.
August 1, 2003, 12:28 PM
My Beeman C1 is about that. I have killed starlings, sparrows, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels and even a couple of crows (head shots) with it.
August 1, 2003, 12:55 PM
I have a beeman R-7 with a 3-9x bushnell air rifle scope. Make sure you buy a scope for any air rifle that is made for an air rifle. While this scope is not fancy it holds its zero well and is fairly crisp. On my .22 rifle I use a Leupold 3-9x Extended focus range scope that is much better. You need a scope with an AO that will focus down to about 10 meters. The R-7 is incredible in the accuracy department. It can make 1/8 inch groups at 25 yrds. Some just one slightly larger than .17 hole for 5 shots. Its velocity is about 700 fps with lighter .177 pellets. They can be ammo sensitive so try a variety of beeman pellets. Mine loves crossman premieres.
I digress. With head shots squirrels collapse. Ditto rabbits. With lung shots they dont. Starlings fall best with front center or back center or head shots, but fly once in a while when shot from the side through the big thick wing feathers. Sparrows die no matter where hit. Ditto gophers etc. Its effective to about 40 yrds on these critters with precise hits, which are easy with its slick light trigger. My brother has a 1000 fps RWS air rifle and his does nail them farther away and drop the same stuff better with less precise shots. So the answer is yes the more powerful guns do make a difference. The more powerful rifles are also nosier if you use them indoors or where noise is important.
A good rifle is not cheap. I bought mine from straightshooters.com Very in the know and very good place to deal with. Beemans are great rifles. The R-7 like I have is really on the light end for hunting. They have slightly more powerful models that are better. Expect to pay 500 bucks and up, and then you need a scope. Some good ones I think the R-9 is like 350.00 for the rifle alone and should fill the bill for you. .177 is plenty. If you move up in power the .20 caliber models may be for you. If your after really big stuff like Racoons, then the most powerful models in .25 caliber. Even .22 long rifle high velocity hollow points will not drop critters in their tracks with bad hits. But the average air rifle is much more accurate than the average .22 at 50 yrds and under. 35-40 for the weaker models. The technique for shooting them is also different than firearms. They are very hold sensitive. They need a little room to move after and during the shot. So a light hold that allows a little give is required. Not real snug into the shoulder like firearms.
August 1, 2003, 03:10 PM
My pellet gun shoots 725fps or something like that and I have killed around 8 or 9 pigeons. Usually only one shot but sometimes two to finish the job.
August 1, 2003, 03:24 PM
Arent the hunting pellets the flat nosed ones even though it would seem to make more sense to use pointed pellets?
August 1, 2003, 03:36 PM
I shoot an el cheapo daisy pump up rifle at my cabin. Observations I've made:
1. you don't need the full velocity to kill small critters like ground squirrels, you just need an accurate shot.
2. Pointed pellets will kill quickly.
3. BB's are worthless on groundsquiirels- I've a single ground squirrel 3 times with bb's with the rifle pumped all the way up and it didn't seem to faze the critter.
4. flart point pellets are only marginally better on critters than bb's.
August 1, 2003, 03:59 PM
When I was a kid, I had a Daisy Powerline 880 multi-pump pneumatic air rifle. I was a kid that was deprived of a .22LR, which everyone else had. In compensation, I put thousands of BBs through that die-hard Daisy. I still believe the foundations of my rifle skills carry over from that cheap-n-accurate air rifle.
Being the foolish kid I was, I killed hundreds (yes, I must of had a screw loose) of birds. I didn't care what kind, if it was in range and no adults were privy, it was fair game. Falling from powerlines, tree limbs and even off the roof of my grandfather's Mercury station wagon, birds were on dangerous ground when I was toting my 880.
QuickSilver BBs made by Daisy if I'm not mistaken.
This was in the 80's and I haven't had much to do with air rifles since, so I don't know what's changed (besides modern 880's being made of cheap plastic these days).
I believe the 880 was rated between 700-800 FPS, and it took down everything I shot at (and hit, of course), with some birds being 30+ yards away. Well, one exception... one die hard squirrel that spoiled (or cured) me of my fun.
This squirrel was shot out of a tree in my grandfather's backyard. I noticed it hit the ground running... kinda... and took several closer follow-up shots to finish.
I never attempted a squirrel with my 880 after, despite being tempted on several occasions.
Ah, the memories of the good ol' days before I knew the meaning of "bills" and "mortgage".
Anyway, if you absolutely must attempt a clandestine assault against a squirrel with a BB/Pellet rifle in the 700 FPS velocity class, take extra care in your aim and range; there's nothing enjoyable in maiming an animal.
August 1, 2003, 06:27 PM
I use a Beeman Crow Magnum IV in .22 caliber.
Even with a magnum rifle like this, shot placement is everything. I never take a shot at a distance or in a situation that I don't think that I can get a clean head shot. This limits me to about 40 yards -- a better shot might stretch this out some. With this rig (I use a Leupold 3-9x scope) I can get a clean kill on almost any pest -- crows, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, even possums. Would not try on anything larger for humane reasons. Beware on guns this powerful, they take a lot of strength to cock.
August 1, 2003, 08:18 PM
I've killed 32 pidgeons with a crossman pump. Advertised at about 500fps i think. Wallyworld special.
August 1, 2003, 10:43 PM
Pellet choice should be made on the basis of accuracy in the airgun you plan to use. I've killed critters with nearly every pellet design on the market, and there's not a huge difference in performance regardless of what kind of pellet you choose, IMO.
Pointed pellets do tend to penetrate a bit better than flat pellets, but are rarely as accurate as the flat or domed pellets. The domes generally are the most aerodynamic design and can stretch your range a few yards in a given rifle. I haven't been able to tell much penetration difference between domes and pointed pellets.
how do you like that FWB 65? I lusted after one for years, then when I finally could afford one they couldn't be found.
It's exactly what I expected it would be. Sometimes I love it (when I'm shooting well). Sometimes I hate it (when I'm shooting poorly) because I know there's absolutely no way to blame the gun for the bad hits.
In a word, it's pure precision. Everything fits and moves smoothly. Everything pertinent is adjustable.
Very nice in every way.
If there are any negatives, here they are.
You do have to touch some blued metal during the course of cocking, loading and firing, so a wipedown after every shooting session is required.
It's a touch heavy for a pistol, but balances quite well.
If you want one, you can often find used ones for around $500. They are inevitably in quite good condition as few people buy a $1000 (new price) airgun and then abuse it.
I bought mine just months before they were discontinued.
I always planned to have an FWB300 rifle to go with it, but didn't quite have the money together when they stopped making them.
August 2, 2003, 03:14 AM
Arent the hunting pellets the flat nosed ones even though it would seem to make more sense to use pointed pellets?
Hunting or sometimes called "field" pellets are almost always pointed. Flat nosed pellets are often called "target" pellets. From my experience, the flat nosed "target" pellets seemed to work better on animals. I had several birds fly off and rabbits run off after being hit squarly with a pointed pellet. The flat nose seems to impart some shock effect to the target while the pointed ones don't.
On airgun velocity, a good rule of thumb is, if the pellet will compleatly bury itself in a piece of dry wood, it probably has enough oomph to take out small animals. This is good to know if you don't have a chrono. If the pellet bounces off or only sticks halfway into the wood, it lacks the power to do anything. It is a very general rule because wood hardness varies, etc., but it seems to work as a basic rule of thumb.
BTW, what kind of gun are you thinking about buying? I know you are a big cheapskate just like me so I bet it is something under $100.:D I happen to know a great deal on a certain air rifle that has the minimum power to take small animals and it is accurate and VERY cheap but it is well made.
August 2, 2003, 04:09 AM
Does anyone use the Crosman 1077 rifle ??(it uses Co2 and comes with 12 rounds clip) i plan to buy that to shoot in the backyard for fun...
August 2, 2003, 12:11 PM
Well,i hate to admit it but Firestar has me pegged! CDNN currently has an irresistable deal on the back page of their flyer.They are selling a hammer forged barrel EAA MP512 for $49.99! They are Russian made and rated at 740 FPS.My salesman Tommy said they are unbelieveably accurate as he won one in some contest and was quite surprised at its performance.He said its built like a tank (most Russian stuff is) so i was required by law to pony up the dough and one is currently on its way to my door.What is your good,inexpensive rifle Firestar?
August 2, 2003, 01:27 PM
You ought to be good for anything up to mule deer with that. Some hunters claim its enough for Elk, but I think that's pushing it a bit. :D
August 2, 2003, 10:17 PM
If you are planning on using it for hunting/pest control, get the most powerful you can afford.
I have a gamo 220 rated at 1000ft/second and a Daisy powerline rated at about 650 with pellets. On small birds (starlings etc.) its kind of like the difference between a .22LR and a .22 centerfire on a ground hog, both will kill it but only one makes it go POOF! :D 1000ft/sec is much flatter shooting and makes holdover neglible out to about 20 yards depending on your zero.
On more stout targets the difference is incredible. The 1000ft/sec packs a lot more punch, and pellets have much better terminal performance at that speed. For animals like squirrels, and rabbits etc. the pellet will completely penetrate at either velocity most of the time. At 1000 though, the pellet deforms a great deal more which is a big deal when your talking about a projectile that size. Even if the pellet performs perfectly penetrating and transfering energy, you still have to have very precise shot placement. You want as much as possible in your favor for making it a humane kill.
August 2, 2003, 11:12 PM
I ''teethed'' on air weapons and they still have a place for me. My old HW35 in .177 used to be my regular rifle for years ... now, spring a tad tired!
Coupla years back tho got a ''Eurolux'' .... (I fear this may be Chinese.... not sure) ..... but Sportsmans Guide advertized it as ''1000 fps''. I use a domed pellet and chrono'd it at 950 fps ... not bad IMO. It hits HARD ...... and up to 25 yds it's down entirely to my ability to place shot. Head shots are invariably the first choice .. clean miss or definite kill.
Taken many a squirrel or rabbit with this ...... and despite energy figures seeming ridiculously low .... it sure works well. Best fun I had years back with the HW35 was when a chicken farmer had too many rats ..... settled into place with good view of feed hopper and zapp ..... and again zapp ...... took em out no trouble!:)
This is the Eurolux ..... there is so much shock from spring release i have yet to successfully keep a scope in place! Sorry about rather poor pic.
I almost ashamed to admit it, but I just bought a $25 chinese air rifle that I have heard rave reviews about. It is called the Fast Deer. It is made by Norinco and was supposed to sell for about $80 but they discontinued it and now are on clearance. It is a very nice gun for the money and the velocity is claimed at 850fps but I doubt it gets quite that much. Reports range between 550-750fps from people who have chronographed them. I think mine is somewhere around 700fps but I can't be sure. It is powerful and accurate but had a very heavy trigger. Very nice gun for the price and I think I can take rabbits and birds with it if I need to.
In my experience with Russian air guns, they are well made and accurate but are a little crude (so are the chinese guns) and I think they lie about the power as much as anyone. I have an IZH-46M that is super accurate (this is the gun that the Russians won the gold medal with) but it is also no where near the claimed velocities. I think they claim 460fps but I think it is more like 350. Fine for punching paper but worthless on anything else. You can't ever kill sparrows with it as any distance.
August 3, 2003, 06:10 AM
I have been using a RWS 52 that does pretty much the same as a .22lr on cats for head shots. Its not very good for body shots but if you shoot the head it will go tru a cat head and go up the skirt in plywood behind the cat.
August 3, 2003, 01:00 PM
OK now,whos selling the "Fast Deer"?
August 3, 2003, 04:46 PM
SOG has them in .177 and .22cal for $39.95 = shipping each but South Summit has the .177cal only for $25 + shipping. As far as I know SOG is the only place you can get the .22cal version so if you really need .22, it would be worth the extra few bucks. I am happy with my .177cal because it has more velocity and I alreadly have many, many tins of .177cal pellets. The .22cal hits harder on small game but I think it is best for the magmun air rifles.
An air rifle that claims 1000fps in .177 (which really only gets maybe 850fps) would have an even lower velocity with .22cal pellets but I think that would be just the ticket on rabbits and birds.
If you enjoyed reading about "750 fps air rifle-good enough for what?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!