Pellet gun for basement range?


December 11, 2009, 10:53 AM
I put my back out today and past experience tells me I will be stuck in the house for about a week. My basement is 20 yards long so I thought I could do some target practice down there with an air gun.

Any recommendations? Something fairly cheap, that won't blow up the water heater if I hit it. How accurate are those airsoft guns?

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December 11, 2009, 11:00 AM
Airsoft guns are amazing accurate actually. I have had several different ones from spring powered pistols, to gas powered pistols, to a sniper rifle. It wont blow up the water heater, but at school my roommate managed to easily punch a number of holes in our plastic window blinds with an airsoft gun.

Just set up a target on a Pillow or something, should be fine. The only concern you have is that youll be finding those yellow airsoft BB's freaking everywhere!

Vern Humphrey
December 11, 2009, 11:03 AM
I use a cardboard box filled with newspaper as the primary backing in my basement, and put that in front of a 4X8 sheet of plywood, just in case. I mostly shoot Speer plastic bullets (driven by a primer only.)

December 11, 2009, 11:03 AM
I use my Daisy bb gun, and gamo pellet gun in my man cave a lot during College and Pro football season.

I have one of those catchers and have even been known to put a .22 collibri or six into it.

December 11, 2009, 11:06 AM
I recently purchased a Russian Baikal IZH-46M ( air pistol for shooting in the basement. Retail is about $380, but they can be found as-new for $250 or $300 on airgun forums or

It is a single-shot, Olympic 10-meter style pistol. It is obscenely accurrate, easy to use, and fairly quiet. With a putty-filled quiet trap (, I think it could be even more quiet.

If you value accuracy above all else, and want to work on your target shooting and trigger control, welcome to heaven. I don't know if I'll ever compete, but I LOVE that after a week, I'm shooting at nickel-size targets across the basement.

If you're more interested in two-hand tactical or SD-style training, those guns are available, too, and at lower cost.

December 11, 2009, 11:15 AM
A cardboard box stuffed with magazines and newspaper will stop a lot more than you think. I used to use that when shooting my pellet gun inside on rainy days and never had one go all the way through after hundreds of pellets. IIRC they were moving at about 425fps.

Call me crazy, but that same bullet stop even took a few arrows from my compound bow pretty well.


December 11, 2009, 11:30 AM
I shoot a RWS/Diana model 34 in my basement.... .177@900fps give or take.... About 200 bucks. Holds under 3/8" at 20yds easily.... Far better than I do!

Lots of options for backstops/pellet traps... The most popular for longterm regular use is a metal junction box packed with a couple inches of Duct Seal compound. I use multiple layers of 2x4 myself, though it generates the occasional low power ricochet. I have 10yds down there.


December 11, 2009, 11:46 AM
I'm about to get a Baikal IZH-53M, and maybe work my way up to the (more expensive) IZH-46M mentioned above. It costs about $50 and is allegedly reasonably accurate.

John Wayne
December 11, 2009, 11:57 AM
I would go the airsoft's cheap and you can vacuum up the plastic pellets (BB's won't be picked up by a vacuum cleaner).

Depending on your budget, a decent pellet pistol would be a better option, but would require you to build a better trap (or buy one).

December 11, 2009, 12:40 PM
I have never spent more then $300 on a real gun except for a DPMS AR which was by far the most expensive gun I ever purchased.

I guess I am not surprised that you can buy a BB gun for $380 but it still amazes me. I must be envious, but I can take a squirrel out of a tree with my Daisy so I am ok with that :)

December 11, 2009, 12:43 PM
I guess I am not surprised that you can buy a BB gun for $380 but it still amazes me. I must be envious, but I can take a squirrel out of a tree with my Daisy so I am ok with that :)

Oh, that's not the half of it. The IZH-46M is considered a bargain, as some other competition air pistols can exceed $2000. :eek:

December 11, 2009, 12:51 PM
Hey, I should be happy that we have people in our ranks with enough disposable income to spend that much on a bb gun. Good for them.

December 11, 2009, 12:51 PM
airsfot, get an echo-1 (full metal if you want, but that's pricey), throw a prometheus or other stainless steel tightbore barrel in it, an upgraded hop-up (greatly increases accuracy) and have fun.

Echo-1s have poor resale as they are not a trusted name yet, but they are excellent performers out of the box....just beware of their power....many are 400fps or more out of the box using .20g ammo (the lightest you should be using, I used .24g on mine). The biggest downside to them is they can't fit the HK style ICS cocking tube laser (I can help you with modifying an ICS cocking tube to install if you want, just PM me for's pretty easy to do).

Even my airsoft pistol (a double eagle M81, a poor knock-off of the USP) is accurate enough to fire on the exact hole the last round left at about 15 feet....all I did to that was lap the inner barrel and put an upgraded spring in it (nineball, trimmed to fit as the spring I bought was meant for a longer piston action Glock replica).

Just use quality ammo....KSC "perfect" BBs are cheap when bought in 10,000 or higher quantities (about $30-40)....that will last a long time. BTW, don't re-use'll destroy your hop-up at the least, some of the harder ammo will scratch up brass barrels.

December 11, 2009, 12:59 PM
Air guns ARE real guns, folks. Not firearms, but not your daddy's Red Ryder of yore. There are people hunting large game with .50 cal airguns these days, and competition air guns are some of the most (if not THE most) accurate guns on the planet.

The IZH-46M is considered a bargain, as some other competition air pistols can exceed $2000.

For a reason- it's my understanding that, generally, top-level pistols aren't allowed to leave the factory unless then can put ten .177 (4.5mm) shots into a 6mm hole at ten meters. Yikes!

You shoot a top quality air pistol, and you know exactly what you did.

Find a friend who has one and try it. You will not be disappointed. Noise and recoil really can be overrated when your purpose is accuracy, pefection, self-knowledge, and control. Plus, being able to shoot in the basement, with ammo that costs $3.00-$15.00 for 500 shots...Can't beat it in my book.

December 11, 2009, 02:14 PM
I, for the life of me, do not know why everybody doesnt shoot their 22 indoors with aquila 22 ammo. It is very accurate and there is NO noise(less than a bb gun). The only sound is the pin hitting the primer. Marlin rifles work especially well. I have used my romanian trainer and currently my model 49 ithaca saddlegun. The sound from ruger single six is less than a hand clap.

December 11, 2009, 02:47 PM
I recently purchased a Russian Baikal IZH-46M air pistol for shooting in the basement. Retail is about $380, but they can be found as-new for $250 or $300 on airgun forums or

you had me all excited, until i went to that site and found that they are out of stock...i've been looking for one since last year and they keep pushing back the "in stock" date. it really is a bargain at that price

i may have to start checking the airgun forums.

a precision airgun will really take your shooting to another level. it demands superior trigger control and follow through

to the OP: if you're just interested in casual plinking, a gas powered airsoft pistol ( about $100) is an outstanding training tool. don't get a spring powered one, because cocking after every shot gets "real old" real fast

December 11, 2009, 02:50 PM

Lead. The primers are a lead compound, the smoke is lead containing.... Airgun projectiles are generally lead, but they ain't gettin' breathed in.....

That's why you might refrain from shooting powder arms in a poorly ventilated basement.


December 11, 2009, 02:57 PM
yep, I should ventilate. Good important point.

December 11, 2009, 06:01 PM
What kind of shooting are you looking to do in your basement? Pistol, rifle, or shotgun? Just target shooting or more tactical shooting practice while on the move? I really can't begin to comment about airguns as I have no experience with them. Airsoft though is something I know well and as a training aid it could definitely be worthwhile. That was the purpose of airsoft to begin with several decades ago, force on force training with totally non-lethal weapons.

I will not misinform you and tell you they're laser accurate, but they could definitely be useful for target practice inside of your 60ft basement. I have several Chinese clone AEGs(automatic electric guns, basically the main battle rifles of the airsoft world) and with each of them I can fire fully automatic bursts across my 75ft yard and keep all shots within a 6 inch area, and that's without any mods whatsoever like tightbore barrels and high quality hop ups(the two mods most likely to increase your accuracy). Any good quality Chinese clone AEG should serve you well. I'll get to which ones to purchase in a moment.

As for pistols, well, they're usually no where near as accurate in the airsoft world. You have three basic types, spring, gas, and electric. If you go the electric route, make sure it's an AEP(automatic electric pistol) from either CYMA or Tokyo Marui and be sure it has a metal gear box, not one of those completely useless plastic turds that you find at Walmart. These can be fun and are very cheap($50 or so for a CYMA Glock replica which is a good choice) and easy to use(just charge the battery when it dies, no need to refill with gas). However they're performance is rather lacking compared to gas pistols in that they have far less power and thus range.

Gas pistols can be quite powerful for airsoft guns, easily equaling AEGs in sheer power, but they are subject to all kinds of issues like leaky mag reservoirs and of course don't function well in cold temps. Don't buy cheap gas pistols as they will almost certainly give you issues. Expect to pay at least $100 for a quality gas pistol and if you do, you shouldn't have too many issues. I don't have much experience with them myself.

Spring pistols are the lowest common denominator of airsoft guns. They range anywhere from .50c or so(seriously) up to about $20 for the more expensive ones. Honestly though a few bucks can net you a good one. I bought a cheap full metal Beretta M92 replica off a wholesale dealer for $6 and it has been one of my favorite airsoft guns surprisingly. It's accurate inside of about 30ft but accuracy goes all to hell after that. It works fantastically for feline discipline though(it won't hurt them any more than a swat on the nose, just don't aim for their face as you could hit their eyes) and I keep this one on my nightstand for just such a purpose. :evil: Realistically though, avoid these if you're looking for accuracy, especially at 60ft. They're nothing but toys.

As for shotguns, your choices are very limited as there really are no truly realistic shotguns in the airsoft world. If you want safe practice with your shotgun, you'd probably be better served by reloading 12G shells with some cheap walmart airsoft BBs and a very light powder load. If you just want some practice with working a pump and shooting while on the move, then a cheap airsoft shotgun could work perfectly well. Go for a UTG/Double Eagle brand 870 clone. They only fire one BB at a time(see what I mean by unrealistic shotguns) but they work and they're cheap, like less than $15 at wholesalers cheap.

Airsoft sniper rifles are nothing but big spring or gas guns and while they can be quite accurate, lack the fun factor of the AEGs and aren't so much more accurate as to make them worth the money, IMHO. I own a couple though and don't regret it.

I think you'll probably be most pleased if you stick to the AEG route. These are fully automatic(and semi too of course) and come in a variety of flavors that cover pretty much every kind of military rifle and SMG you can imagine. You could easily spend $3-400 on a high quality brand like Tokyo Marui or Classic Army, or even the uber-expensive brands such as VFC, Systema, etc., which could cost anywhere form $600 to well over a thousand dollars. There's just no point to these though for a more casual airsofter as there are a huge number of Chinese clone manufacturers which copy the designs from Tokyo Marui and others(To the point that nearly all parts swap over from different brands) and are usually on par or often even surpass the quality of the higher priced offerings for a fraction of the price, anywhere from about $75 up to perhaps $200 for the very nice full metal construction rifles with all the bells and whistles.

Someone in this thread already mentioned the Echo 1 brand guns, and these are good, however, they are literally nothing more than rebranded JG(Jing Gong) offerings. Just cut out the middle man and buy JG directly as you will probably save $30-$50 in the process. As for what to buy, anything from either JG or CYMA is good and you can't go wrong. The lemon rate among these two manufacturers is incredibly low and almost all their range have 100% compatibility with Tokyo Marui parts, meaning there is a HUGE selection of aftermarket goodies from stuff to make them more accurate to parts that make them look more tacticool. Just a warning though, CYMA used to make crap guns a few years ago, so make sure the model designation you're looking at is at least CM.027 or higher. Anything with a number lower than that has plastics internals and is in fact not a real AEG and is instead on par with the airsoft toys you can buy at Walmart, meaning it WILL break on you, period. Just buy CM.027 and up and you can't go wrong. JGs are just good period. Be sure to buy some low capacity or mid capacity magazines, not the high caps, that way you can get more practice changing mags.

Sorry for the long post as I know it's a lot to swallow at once, but I haven't even scratched the surface yet. For far more in depth info about airsoft guns, check out It's the best airsoft forum around, IMHO. I have dealt with several retailers and can happily recommend which is a wholesaler and sells mostly Chinese clones at very reasonable prices and has exceedingly good customer service in my experience, but has a $100 minimum order, and is just a normal retailer but has good prices and a good selection of both Chinese clones and name brand guns, as well as a very large selection of accessories.

I highly recommend getting into airsoft. Airsoft guns could serve your purpose of target practice in your basement, but they go so far beyond that. Once your back heals up, I would suggest finding a club to go play airsoft with. It is incredibly fun, offers lots of good exercise, and it's pretty cheap to get into as well. Figure a couple hundred bucks for an AEG and some mags, maybe a cheap tactical vest at your local surplus store, some decent boots, GOOD protective eyewear, several thousand BBs(only a few bucks) and you're good to go. It could also be a useful training tool in it's own right as you are shooting at real people who are shooting back at you, and that type of training is hard to come by.

Be warned though, airsoft is a slippery slope. Start cheap and the next thing you know you're ordering yet another AEG because you "just had to have it", another new set of camo BDUs because the scenario game you want to play requires it, a new pistol sidearm "just in case", and before you know it you've got dozens of the bloody things and more gear than you'll ever need and your carpet will be forever embedded with hundreds of BBs. Nobody can resist firing off a few shots here and there at random targets in the house. :D

Airsoft. Go for it.

December 11, 2009, 06:33 PM
Indoor target practice is a great substitute when weather prevents a trip to the range. Picked up a Crosman turning target trap years love it too.

December 11, 2009, 06:43 PM
Yep, my M81 was a knock off of the Cyma Glock, which is a knock off of the Tokyo Marui Glock.

You'll find you can attach real firearms accessories to many of my M81 takes the HK rail adaptor so I can fit lights, pistol bayonet (just kidding! :p ) to it.

I agree with the sniper's been found barrels longer than 14" in airsoft add little if any increase in accuracy....possibly due to the low overall energy level of the projectile. However a 400FPS model will make short work out of pop cans and cardboard boxes.

December 11, 2009, 06:46 PM
Back in the mid 70's when in base housing while active duty USAF, I purchased a Feinwerkbau sporter, a pivoting barrel spring loaded air rifle in .177, that propelled a heavy hunting pellet at a little over 1000 fps. It was powerful enough to penetrate a 1" pine board at about 3 feet from the muzzel. I made a pellet trap to hold old magazines, phone books and shot it from one bedroom down a hall into another bedroom. It was not what I called quiet, but not so loud as to awaken my infant son sleeping in the same room.

December 11, 2009, 10:19 PM
How about a .22 revolver? Practical to shoot at the range. And if you buy shorts and pull the lead with a set of pliers, you can fill the case with wax (just shove the case into a candle and twist. I use birthday candles.). At short ranges, fairly accxurate and little penetration.

December 11, 2009, 10:46 PM
I use a ruger 10/22 with Aguila Colibri rounds. A lot of fun, quite, and always take it to the range whenever I shoot the xd.

tasco 74
December 12, 2009, 04:49 AM
i have shot my rws mod 34 in my basement every winter for years...... i got one of the daisy inclined backed traps to shoot into but i had to get a piece of steel to beef it up.... my friend also got me a trap that is a box with a piece of steel backed by a spring to dampen the pellet and drop it into the bottom....... i don't know how well you could cock a break barrel springer with a screwed up back though.... and pak29 is right .... these things are real weapons of a sort..... i bet the rws mod 34 would put a pellet clear though your hand so be careful!!..........


December 12, 2009, 08:02 AM
I use a ruger 10/22 with Aguila Colibri rounds. A lot of fun, quite, and always take it to the range whenever I shoot the xd.

I do the same except I use a SA revolver with a 9" bbl.... I find the colibri's dont cycle the action reliably on my 10/22.....

December 12, 2009, 09:57 AM
Thanks a lot guys, now I have to go find an air gun to shoot inside. Just what I needed another expensive hobby! :mad:

Having said that:
Rembrandt - I've built something like that using a wooden frame and the thicker gauge roofing valley metal, and it took thousands of rounds out my dinky Crossman and when it did finally go it was snap to replace the valley metal. Cost about 1/4 of what the store bought trap would've cost me.

December 12, 2009, 09:17 PM
ive been shooting airguns in the basement for 35 years. its great, especially on a day when your snowed in & have nothing to do. i currently have among other guns an hw97k, it is so accurate & smooth you just cant believe it. it was over 500.00 so it should be. i shoot plastic army men,plastic farm animals,just about anything i can find. ive shot rifle primers & they blow up.another goodie if you can find it are old flashbulbs. they burst with a flash when hit. almost started a fire with one so you have to be careful.its cheap ,too 500 pellets for about 8.00 for rws. not bad.

December 12, 2009, 10:40 PM
I switched from the 10/22 to the RWS 34 for garage/bullet trap shooting a month ago because i went in for a blood test, and it came back that i had elevated levels of lead...the doc thought it was really odd, but i knew immediately.

Goes to show that a 50rd/day habit of subsonic over three car bays is not healthy...i'd highly recommend an exhaust fan to anyone shooting indoors.

December 14, 2009, 12:21 AM
crossman 760 pump $20-25 @ walmart. .177 cal bb or pellet at over 600fps (625 i believe) very accurate and deadly. best for the money.

December 14, 2009, 08:34 AM
i went in for a blood test, and it came back that i had elevated levels of lead...the doc thought it was really odd, but i knew immediately.

In my "man cave" I have two large ceiling fan vents for brandi and cigar nights. They go on when I clean my guns, shoot the .22 (Which I admit is very rare....) and as mentioned, enjoy a cigar.

Tim the student
December 14, 2009, 10:25 AM
I am also interested in this, but I am looking for an airgun with good iron sights. Does anyone have any relatively inexpensive recommendations? (As in sub $200?)

December 14, 2009, 10:34 AM
My air rifle is a RWS that shoots around 1000 fps. I use a cardboard box that will hold 6 lids from 5-gallon plastic pails vertically. Even at 20 FEET, not yards, they never make it past the third lid. Keeps all the pellets tidy - works great

December 14, 2009, 10:45 AM

Gamo and RWS, among others, make excellent sub-200 air rifles. Check out Pyramid Air for a bunch to look at.....

As a rule with air rifles, barrel quality goes German, Russian, British, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese.... It's a loose rule, though...

RWS (Diana) is a german maker. Gamo is Spanish. Both make nice guns. My money would be on RWS for better average accuracy.

Many of each of their lines is available with iron sights. The ones on my RWS M34 were quite useable, though I run it scoped these days.


December 14, 2009, 01:57 PM
CZ/ Slavia also makes very good quality air rifles. I have a Slavia 631 (it does have a custom <1# trigger job) and it is a real tack driver at 10m- even offhand (no sling) with the factory iron sights. It has no felt recoil (many spring guns have a snap/vibration to them) and a very comfortable stock. The CZ's tend to be very good for the money and are really solid.

wooly bugger
December 14, 2009, 04:58 PM
Any worries about lead dust from the pellet splatter against backstop?

December 14, 2009, 05:53 PM
7X57 - what scope do you have on your RWS 34? I have the same one and am looking for a decent scope to increase my success on tree rats

December 15, 2009, 07:49 AM

If you use a steel backstop, then lead splatter is an issue. Best for an indoor range is a backstop that absorbs the lead... And a junction box stuffed with electrical duct seal putty will absorb thousands of rounds, and is easy to clean out in the long run. It would be wise to keep kids away anyway. Pellet splatter doesn't create a lead inhalation hazard, just a particle issue.


I've got a cheap Bushnell Sportsman 3-9x32 scope on mine on cheap 2 piece mounts...... It's got its good and its bad.... The optical quality is decent, and the eye relief forgiving below 7x.... Gets a bit critical above that... It's held its zero for about 6000 rounds now, no small feat...

It lacks an adjustable objective, making parallax an issue under 20yds... My 20yds groups tend to be smaller than my 10yds groups as a result... Best 20yds groups for me are about 5/16" for 5 shots. A 1 piece mount with some droop would be a good thing. I shimmed my rear ring to get the required elevation.... Diana barrels tend to "droop" a bit...


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