Back to Air Power


October 18, 2008, 11:25 PM
I'm tired of paying $.50 per bullet, when I can obtain premium pellets for a penny-a-piece, with no primers or powder added into the cost of shooting. The enjoyment of shooting does not decline with far lesser potency. Game-size, of course, becomes miniscule by comparison, regarding centerfire rifles. Since I've never eaten a squirrel or chipmunk, this concept is all new to me. I doubt I could muster the desire to eat a woodchuck, but .177 diameter air power should not be used to hunt Marmots anyway. "MINI-HUNTING" may involves vicious owls and hawks, I merely need to read my Michigan game laws before proceeding. I've always been a predator hunter, in preference to killing pretty Bambi fawns. Will a subsonic .177 caliber pellet kill a coyote? cliffy

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October 18, 2008, 11:27 PM
I wouldn't try it on a coyote..

October 18, 2008, 11:38 PM
Neither would I try it on an owl or hawk, but for other reasons. Namely the legal type.

October 18, 2008, 11:38 PM
Not big enough for Coyotes and marginal for chucks.
Harvest a 'hawk or an owl and you'll be violating Federal game laws.
Stick to squirrels, rabbits and non-migratory game.

October 18, 2008, 11:45 PM
I've witnessed the extreme velocity drop from muzzle to forty feet. Yet, even at 40 yards, razor-sharp accuracy is difficult to argue against. Yea, a coyote seems an awesome target at 40 yards. I doubt a pellet would more than ruffle its hide. Some pellets harbor more energy than others, so a Beeman Kodiac Match has much going for it. The Beeman Field Special retains velocity very well, yet it's no .22 LR CCI VELOCITOR by any stretch of the imagination. My RWS Diana is as potent as a .177 caliber air rifle can get. Yet I fully realize its ineptness regarding Raccoon-sized quarry. cliffy

October 18, 2008, 11:56 PM
A penny vs $1 a shot made me cost-conscience for a few minutes. Sorry! I was ready to deer hunt with an air-rifle! An air-rifle is a toy gun designed for indoor accuracy practice. It has little purpose outside the basement and I don't want to shoot at my beloved Chipmunks. Even death by Hawk has to be swifter than death by .177 pellet. cliffy

October 19, 2008, 01:24 AM
You seem a bit confused

October 19, 2008, 02:11 AM
Airguns are plenty powerful enough for small game. You just have to keep your hunting in perspective and take a lot of headshots. Rabbits, squirrels, crows, pigeons and starlings can all be cleanly taken with an airgun. Raccoons and possums are pushing it and IMO, taking coyotes with one is unethical.

October 19, 2008, 02:26 AM
I have a .22 cal. air rifle that will easily take most small game... I would not attempt a coyote with it even though it hits a lot harder than the .177 variety.... (and it is one of the best)

October 19, 2008, 03:31 AM
You could hunt deer with the right airgun, but the cost of the gun would outweigh the ammunition savings.

Deus Machina
October 19, 2008, 04:24 AM
I wouldn't trust a .177 for anything larger than squirrels or quail, and only with a good shot for those. I'm of the opinion that a little overkill can make the difference between a good kill.

I'd use a .22LR rifle, but if you do need air, a .22 air rifle will hold its energy much better than a .177, sometimes well enough to actually mushroom HP or flatpoint pellets.

And as the last poster pointed out, the right airgun can take down anything. A .50 pellet with 3500 PSI behind it has some punch.

I'd have to dig up the site (it might be Beeman), but one of the makers boasts that one of their pre-charged long-barreled pistols took down a bison, or something of the sort.

October 19, 2008, 12:37 PM
I have a Gamo with the scope, laser and flashlight. A major rat problem in our barn and feed room was my main reason for it. I figured trying to hunt them down with a air rifle would be a helluva lot more fun than setting a few traps and poison. Well, I never got to hunt rats due to several black snakes I had released in the barn for that very reason.

Instead, I used it to control the rabbit population around here. They were everywhere, and raiding the veggie gardens every night. I used the Predator Polymer tipped pellets. VERY effective on rabbits.

I've heard of guys taking coyotes and groundhogs with the Predators.

October 19, 2008, 01:54 PM
Where are you in SW Michigan? Thats where I'm from, and want to steer clear from ya:D Just kidding, but no, really:scrutiny:

Maybe you'll make the news, and I can say "Hey, I know that dude" :evil:

October 19, 2008, 02:14 PM
there's some air rifles that use .32 and .50 pellets! Yes..

Those rifles certainly could kill a coyote and other game.

Lewis & Clark expedition, they only used air rifles -- .50cal I believe and they took buffalo with it..!

Forgot to add, those are very spendy.

October 19, 2008, 02:36 PM
what you need is a 22 cal benjamin discovery. it is a pcp air rifle, which is what you need. I would def take a coyote with this, out to about 25 yards. After that, I don't believe it would be inhumane, just pop him in his A@#$% with it a few times, and they will learn not to come back.
But others are right, you can find air rifles for all your game needs. there is video fo dudes taking buffalo on youtube, with an air rifle. But just know, the bigger the game you wanna take with your air rifle, the more ouchy to your wallet. What you want is the above benjamin, with accessories; if this is too expensive, then get a break bbl, that shoots 22 cal bullet, as close to 1000 fps as possible. Then when you get a yote in your sites, take a under/behind the jaw neck shot.

October 19, 2008, 02:37 PM
You could hunt deer with the right airgun, but the cost of the gun would outweigh the ammunition savings.

This is good information. I thought serious air rifles were illegal because they were too quite. Thanks for the input.

Marcus L.
October 19, 2008, 02:41 PM
Hiaboo is right. There are some larger caliber air rifles out there that could get the job done. The most popular are the .177, .20, .22, and .25. ( (

Here's a site that sells larger caliber air rifles and pellets.

I used to hunt jackrabbits as a kid with a .20 caliber Sheridan. The .22 caliber is probably going to be the best overall caliber if you want more power. The .25 caliber is better, but you need a good rifle to make it have a decent trajectory and usually the rifles are a little more high end. A good rifle in .25 would be the Beeman Super Magnum Kodiak:

October 19, 2008, 03:16 PM
There are large caliber airguns out there, but they're anything but common. Dennis Quackenbush is actually quite reasonable with his prices, but last I heard he has a 2 year waiting list.

And while you could easily take a coyote with a Quackenbush or a Dragonslayer, the only real reason to get one is because you are seriously into airguns. They are as noisy as firearms, they cost more and they guzzle air like you would not believe. You don't shoot one of those things using a handpump unless you're a triathlete. Instead you get a couple of carbon fiber tanks at $500 each.

For 99.9% of us, airguns are in .25 caliber or less and produce 50 ft lbs or less energy and if you're talking about a springer much less energy.

To put things in a little perspective, the most powerful spring guns produce just under 30 ft lbs of energy, (some Whiscombes go a little higher, but they're very expensive custom guns). That's less than 25% of the energy of a standard velocity .22 rimfire. I don't know about the rest of you, but I wouldn't even take a coyote with a .22 rimfire unless it was at 25 yards or less and I had a headshot.

For me, .25 is about as big as I want to go. Spring guns can barely push those big pellets fast enough, (even a Webley Patriot, (AKA Beeman Kodiak), can barely manage 800 fps with the lightest pellets available), and those that can are very large, heavy and hold sensitive. Typical velocities with a Beeman Kodiak and slightly heavier pellets are more like 700 fps and if you've ever handled one, you know that the Kodiak is a massive airgun. PCP's can do the job with a .25 pellet, but they use a lot of air to do it. Once you go bigger than that you start getting guns that only get a few shots per charge and have very inconsistent velocities. A power tuned DAQ or Dragonslayer might only get three shots per charge with each shot losing considerable velocity.

October 19, 2008, 08:52 PM
All this talk about coyotes and airguns. When's the last time any of you were within 40 yards of a Coyote when carrying a gun?

October 19, 2008, 09:51 PM
Fastbike thats what I was thinking. This sounds like everyone thats worried about groups at 400 yards when most animals can be stalked to less than 100 yards.

I have a couple of Benjimin 22 pumps and think they are just fine for hunting. I have killed a pile of squirrels, rats, birds and one possum with my guns. Some people don't like the pump feature but I do. I like to regulate the power I want.

Four pumps kills squirrels at a range of 20 yards just fine. The pellet makes the most difference. Soft wadcutter target types don't penetrate very well. The Bejimin dome pellets are hard and will shoot through a squirrel to the far side and sometimes all the way through when using the max amount of ten pumps.

I don't like the new guns with the hardwood stocks. I look for used guns in pawn shops that are nearly always priced around $50.

Lewis & Clark did have an air rifle with them that really impressed the indians. They also had 54 caliber flintlocks made by springfield armory just for that trip. They had their black powder in lead canisters so they could empty the powder and melt the lead for round balls. The powder and lead were such that when made into balls the powder was the correct amount for the quantity of balls cast with that canister. Pretty smart huh?

October 19, 2008, 10:55 PM
Try barbecuing that Ground Hog you will thoroughly enjoy it! after all they are exclusively herbivores. Big deal they hide from predators in a hole. Don't most bears hibernate in a hole?

October 21, 2008, 11:00 PM
i killd lots of ground hogs with my 177 rws, never needed a second shot,i killed them out to 40 yards,with the rws power points,and rabitts as well.not tp mention tree rats,
I watched that guy on TV use a gamo on a big bore,lung shot then a follow up head shot.i would say it was the 22 cal.not the 177,

October 22, 2008, 08:35 AM
A coyote with a .177 pellet? Forget it unless you're using some out of the ordinary air rifle.

Back the first of September, I shot at a squirrel with my Beeman .177 pellet rifle, from about 10 yards. I thought I missed.

A week or so later, I shot a squirrel in the same area with a 22 short. When I skinned the critter, you guessed it, there was the .177 cal pellet, just under the hide. That squirrel looked as healthy as ever.

Now, I admit that one example doesn't prove anything. A head shot probably would have killed him DRT, but I did hit the animal, in the vital area of his chest, just behind the front leg. The lack of penetration impressed on me not to use .177 cal pellets anymore for hunting though. YMMV.

November 16, 2008, 12:28 PM
Even the more expensive PCP airguns are cheaper than the centerfires in the long run if you shoot a lot.

With my modified .454 airgun (cost me $550), I get 250 slugs for $36, and my Hill Pump (runs about $275) provides a lifetime supply of free propellant. Yes it is exercise every time you fill the gun with air this way, but I can handle it. If lazy, just use the scuba tank.

I am going to begin hunting predators (coyote, bobcat, and raccoon especially) with this set-up in a couple weeks. Hoping to call them in to within 50 yards.

I have killed a small wild boar (around 80 lbs), and a corsican ram with this air rifle. On the airgun hog hunt I put together, 4 of us killed 4 hogs. All with one shot to the brain. One was a 142lb sow.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 16, 2008, 12:34 PM

There ya go! :)

Coyote with .177 pellet is insane - definitely a no-go, as mentioned. A big bore PCP is a whole nuther story, however.

November 18, 2008, 03:58 AM
Lucky lot you are in the U.S.
I'm limited to 12 ft lbs worth of power in the UK and the worse set of gun laws in the world! I do a lot of vermin shooting though, rabbit, rats, pigeon and the occasional pheasant but anything larger is a no no with the available power. We have foxes here but even with a licenced powerful airgun (i.e. 30 ft lb +) I wouldn't dream of loosing off at one. 22LR or .17HMR is the usual load for them (limp wristed government laws permitting)

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