big bore airguns


May 21, 2009, 03:31 PM
I have a few of these. The production guns are mostly from Korea. My big bore airgun collection includes the Sam Yang 909 in .45 caliber (200 foot pounds of energy), Shin Sung Dragon in .50 (180 fpe), and the Career Ultra in 9mm (140 fpe). The last gun mentioned is a six shot, lever action repeater. Some of the non production custom guns can top 700-1000 fpe. I hunt mostly medium game such as raccoons, nutria, and coyote. I find the ammo cheaper than .380 (.454 hornady rounds for the 909) with the same energy and better accuracy. Although I have firearms to fill the home defense roll, I suspect any one of these guns could fill this roll for persons who cannot legally own firearms. What do you think?

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May 21, 2009, 03:35 PM
I thought you meant blowguns.

The largest airgun I was aware of before your post was a .22 caliber. I didn't know they came bigger!

May 21, 2009, 03:42 PM
yes, some people have taken buffalo with a .58 caliber single shot compressed air rifle made by Dennis Quackenbush. These will generate 800 fpe. All of these airguns only will shoot 900 fps max. It is the heavy 300+ grain bullet that give them so much energy.

May 21, 2009, 04:33 PM
First off, welcome to THR!

I have had a bit of an interest in big bore airguns, but haven't 'pulled the trigger' yet. Still kind of in the researching my options phase... saw you posted in my thread re:PBA ammo.

How do you compare the Sam Yang rifle and the ShunSung Dragon? Price wise they are same ballpark, how would you characterize the workmanship quality and performance of the two head-to-head? Any advice or warnings to a potential buyer?

I don't doubt the ability of some of the air rifles out there to do harm to another human, just never heard of one being used in a SD situation. I've never heard of them recommended for that role, but if you've exhausted your other legal options or live somewhere like the UK? why not... though now I say that I think that they regulate the amount of energy you can have on your air rifles there as well.

Carl Levitian
May 21, 2009, 07:04 PM
There's a guy here in Maryalnd, Gary Barnes, who makes exquisite big bore air guns suited to hunting large game. His .58 Bison will take down a deer easy. His .45 Hoss pistol would be a very bad thing to be hit with trying to enter his home in the wee hours of the morning.

Big bore airguns held their own with firearms until the 1800's. Lewis and Clark took a large bore air rifle with them on their trip. In the 1800's, the English airgun makers had an air cane, an airgun concealed in a cane, that was a very deadly weapon. The handle concealed the air reservoir that was pre-charged, and the barrel was in the shank of the stick.

During the Napoleonic war, Austrian snipers with air rifles were so deadly on French troops, that it became summery execution to be caught with one by the French.

They weren't your daddy's Daisy!

May 21, 2009, 08:20 PM
Lewis and Clark took a large bore air rifle with them on their trip

Not only that, but it was a repeater!

Click on the "An Airgun of the Girandoni Type" button for some slick little animations of the gun...

May 22, 2009, 03:28 PM
In comparing the Dragonslayer with the 909, I must say the 909 is more powerful and easier to modify to produce more powerful shots (280fpe) and more efficient use of air. The Dragonslayer is more accurate out of the box and is very quick to load, making for easy follow up shots. The 909 is somewhat akward to load. The Dragonslayer is more difficult to modify. While I can shoot both roundball and bullets from both, I feel the Dragonslayer is better suited to the roundball (Hornady .495"), while I use cast lead bullets for the 909 (cast lead). Will all of this said, I give the nod to the 909 as a hunting arm. Despite being less accurate, it still has enough accuracy for medium game out to 70 yards. The .45 slug has a better BC at these longer ranges. And yes, both large caliber compressed air and Co2 guns have been used for self defense in parts of the world where all firearms are illegal (such as the Philipine islands). These compressed air and bulk fill CO2 arms are well designed and show excellent craftsmanship. Many of these guns are multi shot repeaters in calibers ranging from .25-.50 caliber and beyond. They can shoot bullets, shot, round balls, harpoons, spears, and even shaped charges! If Obama decides to outlaw firearms, we should look no further than the Philipines for inspiration! For more information, I recommend the "Blue Book of Airguns".

May 23, 2009, 09:51 AM
As attractive as these are, I for one would love one but air rifles over 12 FPE in the UK are classed as firearms, air rifles can be held on a firearms certificate (section 1) and even then your only looking between 30-80 fpe but air pistols over 6 FPE come under Section 5 which is the similar to Class 3 in the U.S. but a lot harder to get, only about 400 section 5 certs currently issued between a nation of 60 million.

Funny old laws we have over here..... :mad:

May 23, 2009, 11:15 PM
The biggest I've gone so far is .25. I've got a couple of PCP conversions in .25 and a Webley Patriot. I've thought of getting a big bore in the past, but I've opted for black powder muzzleloaders instead.

September 16, 2011, 12:27 AM
I recommend a tuned SamYang 909/909S if you don't go all the way and buy an XP Ranger, or "The Fifty Eight". Fully capable of taking anything in North America.

September 18, 2011, 10:08 PM
wow! how does one charge those monsters? i assume the nipple up front is how, but does it just use compressed air? makes my crossman i used to hunt squirrels with my dad as a kid look a smidge tame....

September 30, 2011, 06:44 PM
Crosman has a nice one they've just released in .38 caliber.

You generally charge them from a SCUBA tank, although there are hand pumps (better for smaller calibers) and electrically powered compressors, which aren't cheap.

Mauser lover
October 1, 2011, 01:11 AM
I am not sure that I would want to leave one of those extremely high pressure things pressured over extremely long term, but I wouldn't want to be hit by one either. I just don't know how good that that pressure would be on the internals of the gun... I really do want one though. Anybody had bad experiences with the Sam Yang Recluse? Or what about the Benjamin Rogue?

October 12, 2011, 07:59 PM
Don't worry about the pressurized air reservoir (not in a production SamYang, and most other bigbores anyways). After all, they are designed to take it. Many bigbores can be left charged indefinitely, as most are safety tested to over 2-3X their recommended fill pressures.

With the SamYangs it is recommended to reduce the charge to about 1500psi before storing for long periods of time due to the material/design of the exhaust valve stem. It won't blow up or anything if stored at a higher pressure.....still safe; it just might develop a leak in the exhaust valve, and leak the air out (usually very slowly).

Main problems I had with my tuned 909 was the breaking of SEVERAL cocking levers. An enthusiastic machinist took the problem on, and after I tested a few prototype lever designs he sent me he ended-up building a boolit-proof, quality one piece steel lever he is now offering for sale.

I also had a one-off custom stainless steel breech sleeve cover made due to the extra power of the tune blowing out the stock sleeve about 4-5/1000's. I was blowing a lot of o-rings out from under the sleeve, and in order to fix that you have to take the barrel off to get to it, and re-sight in and everything. I don't know anyone offering aftermarket breech sleeves.....might be best off having the machinist doing the work have the barrel on hand for precision measurements/adjustments.

I have always used a HillPump to fill mine with air. For about $275 you get a rebuildable pump that will provide a lifetime of propellant. If you don't want to work that hard, 4500psi CarbonFiber SCBA tanks make things much easier (if you know a firestation/paintball/scuba shop nearby that will fill tanks that large to 4500psi, or own your own $400? ShoeBox air compressor).

Hunting with bigbore airguns is a hoot. Plus target practice/plinking is 12cents a round in .45 (750shots .45Colt shipped to my door for $90). .357 is even cheaper than that.

I've killed ram, boar, coyote, bobcat, nutria, etc with my power-tuned SamYang 909 .45 bigbore airgun using slugs anywhere from 154-260grains. Check my post history for more info on bigbore air rifles, and some hunting stories.

Pete D.
October 12, 2011, 09:26 PM
I have had a Sam Yang 909 for some years now. Used a pump at first then went to a SCUBA tank.
I use the same bullets that I load into my 1911. I do swage them up to . though.
I cannot use it for hunting....Pennsylvania game laws prohibit airguns of any caliber.

October 13, 2011, 12:03 AM
About the accuracy of the 909.......groups of 1inch or less c-to-c at 50 yards is typical with the right size/design ammo. I've measured as good as .45inch c-to-c@50yards shot off of steady stix with the 174grain .45Slim design. For a lightweight boolit, the EPP/UG is commonly reported to be a solid performer in most SamYang rifles that try them out......"amazing" is another way the accuracy of this slug shot from the 909 has been described more than once. I have lots of confidence shooting the EPP/UG.....killed a Bobcat at 38yards offhand with a neck shot, and a coyote at 50 yards using that slug.

I've had pretty good luck finding accurate designs on the heavier side (230-250grains) as well. Try diameters anywhere from .454 to .458 and see what your rifle likes best. I've been shooting near-pure lead un-sized EPP/UG's from Ironmule that measure right at .456 in diameter (perfect for many 909 barrels).

November 12, 2011, 08:21 PM
Have any of you guys got any ideas of a company that do an AIR RIFLE TUBE GUN KIT. I want to make or have made a tube gun air rifle (CO2) and with 2 barrels, one for hunting and the other for field target work.
If you have any contacts or know of some one that could point me in the right direction I would be very gratefull.
Cheers ALAN

November 15, 2011, 04:15 PM
Love my 909. I sent Butcher a PM regarding the cocking lever. I would like to get a better one than stock. Thought about making one, but haven't had time to get out in the shop.
Guess I need to send mine to LeRoy Roduner or Will Piatt for a power tune. I hear they're both good tuners.
I have one of Leroy's QD fill nipples on mine. It's much better, IMO, than the factory fill probe. I need to make or buy a cap to cover it and keep debris out.

Pete D.
November 16, 2011, 07:53 AM
LeRoy Roduner or Will Piatt for a power tune

Got addresses for them?
About bullets - can't really call them pellets - I cast them at 200 grains out of pure lead, .452" diameter and then swage them up to .458".The swaging operation also puts a cup base in the slug.
They chrono at 600 fps or tad faster for the first five shots.


November 16, 2011, 09:09 PM
I want a bullpup pump action PCP airgun in the general shape of Kel-tec's KSG shotgun with 4,5, 6 and 18,5mm easily exchangeable barrels with short rifling

November 16, 2011, 10:29 PM
This is the air rifle believed to have been carried by the Lewis & Clark expedition of 1803-1806. .44 caliber, 20-shot repeater with muzzle speed of up to 1000 FPS!

It is the same model used by Austrian skirmisher units during the Napoleonic Wars.

Air rifles have been around for 500 years and have always been popular.

November 18, 2011, 05:34 PM
I love the Lewis and Clark air gun story. It's interesting that most historians think the air rifle is the only reason many of the native tribes didn't try to capture/kill them because Lewis and Clark would not reveal if they had only one of these or several--apparently they even got into a squabble when one chief wanted to inspect their cargo. Very interesting story.

Big bore air guns are pretty amazing to me. I've been into air rifles all my life, but only really mess with .177. The Sam Yang rifles especially look absolutely beautiful, I wish I could afford one.b

November 24, 2011, 09:20 AM
The Lewis and Clark rifle is cool and these big bore air rifles look like fun. :D

December 4, 2011, 01:50 PM
They are lots of fun.

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