Varmits & Scopes


June 7, 2008, 10:15 AM
I have a squirrel population that is tearing up my wifes small garden, and digging into the House soffet to make nests. Tossing small stones hasn't seemed to discourage them much and they only tease our big brown Lab. After having to climb up and re-repair the soffet, they tipped me over the edge so a trip to the local GunShop and rummaging through the racks I found a nice 1000' per sec Ruger. I wanted to put the nice "extra" 3-9x54 Bushnell on it, but the Sales guy said "Don't do it" . He claimed that it could not take the shock from an Air Rifle. Hmmmm sez I, it works ok with my .308 but his rationale was that the recoil on a rifle is back and the recoil on an air rifle is forward and hence the scope won't hang together. Question 1, anybody have any real experience that would back this theory up.

Second question. Are the Feds gonna lock me up if they find me reducing the Grey squirrel population? These days, who knows whats on the endangered species list? Or maybe they can get you for cruelty to animals. Dispatching them with an Air Rifle is certainly more humane than the Huge Rat trap I was gonna use.


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June 7, 2008, 10:25 AM
No clue bout the scope issue, sounds a llil fishy to me. But you should check your states conservation web site for squirrel hunting laws. The season is typically very long and have between 6-12 per day bag limit. You should also b able to go to anyplace that sells hunting tags and get a small book that will have the info you need also.


June 7, 2008, 10:46 AM
Air guns have a different shock affect on scopes than your standard rifle scope. Thats why you needto use one made for air guns.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 7, 2008, 10:57 AM
"Springer" airguns have two-way recoil that can potentially destroy the reticle on scopes that would hold up to the harshest one-way firearm recoil. So you want to use a scope with either (a) bulletproof lifetime warranty (Leupold, Nikon, Vortex, etc.), or (b) specifically designated by the maker as being an "airgun" scope. That way if your springer breaks it, you can seek warranty service. I've used the following succesfully on various springer airguns:

-BSA "Airgun" 2-7x32mm AO
-Bushnell "Scopechief" 6-20x40mm AO
-Burris "Compact" 3-9x33mm AO
-Bushnell "Banner" 1.5-4x32mm
-Swift "Premier" 4-12x40mm AO

So 4 out of those 5 don't even fall into one of my two categories yet none of them have broken, so go figure. Neither has the el cheapo BSA airgun failed yet. A lot of starlings and grackles have fallen to rifles wearing these scopes.

June 7, 2008, 01:09 PM
true, get an air rifle rated scope, they will also have their prrlax adjusted down to about 15 ft, usually. get one that is fixed power 4x32, you will not need any more power than this for shooting inside of 50 yds. they should be fairly cheap as well, between 20 and 60 bucks , max.
You should be perfectly fine in venting any grey squirrels that are damaging your property.

June 7, 2008, 02:05 PM
Air guns will destroy the average scope, if they're not designed for it.

June 7, 2008, 02:55 PM
I believed the "reverse recoil" argument and never mounted a standard scope on my gun. I have purchased a low/medium priced BSA airgun scope ($120?) and then never got around to shooting it.

Some folks frown on anything that looks like a gun being used on any furry creatures. One way to go would be to research the legality in your area carefully before proceding . Another way would be to do the shooting in a manner that no neighbors or passer-by can see you (hide behind the toolshed,garage,or car, or shoot from inside through a window (open !) and deny if questioned.

Be carefull you don't put your eye out! (notice I specifrd YOUR eye, AN EYE would actually be a good place to aim for!)

June 7, 2008, 08:29 PM
I absolutely reject the idea that a scope for a high power rifle could be damaged by a teeny wenny little air gun. That has to be an "urban myth". Otherwise, the slightest jarring of your .30-06 in the case, or of the scope while in shipping from the factory, would ruin the scope outright.

Puh-leeze. Fire a shot from a 300 win mag, let the recoil push the rifle into your shoulder, compressing your shoulder and the butt pad, then start the clock at that moment of full compression. The rifle will now have to push forward again as your shoulder and the butt pad rebound from the intense compression. This alone will result in what, 10x the G force of the "reverse recoil" from an air gun? Or 100x?

Ever see GIs placing the muzzles (actually the flash supressors) of their M-16s on the floor? I have. "Plunk" and I suppose you've just destroyed the scope?

June 7, 2008, 08:39 PM
One of the big makers (Leupold or Burris IIRC) actually says not to use their scopes on air rifles.

There's a big difference between "I think..." and a manufacturer that says "don't do it". I'll go with the guys that make them.

Of course, YMMV, and I have every confidence it will.

June 7, 2008, 11:30 PM
if that air gun is a spring powered, you bet it will eat a hi powered or centerfire scope.

June 7, 2008, 11:54 PM
Ya, air rifles are bad news on center-fire or rimfire scopes 'cause they recoil the opposite direction. If the scope is laser-etched, it probably won't hurt it but many scopes are wire reticles and are installed for heavy recoil to the rear.

Do NOT shoot squirrels out of season or over the limit set by the hunting laws in your state. Doing so will net you a very large fine and possible looss of hunting privledges for a year or more. You might want to check with your DNR to see if there is a "nuisence squirrel" clause that would allow you to remove (shoot) an eave chewing rodent.

June 8, 2008, 03:49 PM
Still don't believe it. Jerk the bolt carrier of an AK, an AR, M-14, et al, to the rear and let it fly forward-- "Whack!"

You're saying that A. This produces significantly less "reverse" shock than firing a little .17 air gun at 1,000 fps, and that B. cycling the action on your semi-auto just destroyed your $1K Leupold.

You can believe what you want of course.

Karl Hungus
June 8, 2008, 06:01 PM
Why don't you just go out and buy an air rifle and mount your most expensive scope to it and find out then?

Air rifles destroy scopes that aren't specifically made for air rifles. Thanks for letting me believe what I want.:rolleyes:

June 8, 2008, 06:13 PM
I made the mistake of mounting a regular rifle scope on a spring powered air rifle Gamo Hunter 440. This was a decent quality Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Yah it didn't take long for that rifle to rip that scope to shreads.

If you are putting it on a pump air rifle or something like that you can use a regular scope. But if you are going to get a high powdered spring powdered air rifle go a head and put that $600 scope on it then watch it fall apart.

June 9, 2008, 06:51 AM
I do have a Bushnell Banner that I was-gonna use. The forward recoil is inperceptable, but the Ruger Airhawk is pumping out 1000'psec pellets. The good news is that for 100 bucks it came with Ruger's 4x scope, which power wise is ok, but it's cheesey diopter ring without a lock was enough to have me consider swapping out and going with the Bushnell. Guess I'll heed Russian Admirlal Gorshkov's advice, "Better is the worst enemy of Good enough."


June 9, 2008, 10:17 AM
This is Karl Hungus speaking to Omnivore :

Why don't you just go out and buy an air rifle and mount your most expensive scope to it and find out then?

Air rifles destroy scopes that aren't specifically made for air rifles.

Ya know, Karl, some people just have a need to re-invent the wheel. It doesn't matter how many people have described the damage that air rifles have done to certerfire/rimfire scopes or that several scope mfg.s say right in their liturature that these scopes are NOT to be used on air rifles........... some people will just HAVE to try it to prove everyone else wrong. Doesn't it kinda remind you of touching the park bench with the "Wet Paint" sign on it just to see if it's really wet?

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