22 cal air rifle vs 22lr


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OH_Spartan
June 18, 2013, 11:14 PM
This ammo craziness has gotten me thinking about a 22 cal air rifle for small game, plinking and varmint control.

How do the ballistics of high-quality 22-cal pellets at 1200 fps compare to 22lr-sv?

I did a search on this a couple days ago and didn't find what I was looking for. If there is already a thread on this I will happily entertain the link.

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jlbraun
June 19, 2013, 12:33 AM
Bump. I have thought this as well since I moved to Airsoft for my CCW practice. Air rifle also way quieter.

allaroundhunter
June 19, 2013, 12:35 AM
I just use Aguila Super Colibri .22 lr ammo. It is quieter than my air rifle and does more damage. Not powerful enough to cycle a semiautomatic, but that isn't a big deal to me.

Now, it is only accurate and effective to about 25 yards or so on small vermin, but that is all that I need.

rcmodel
June 19, 2013, 12:44 AM
How do the ballistics of high-quality 22-cal pellets at 1200 fps compare to 22lr-sv?They don't.

A .22 pellet weighs about 15 grains.
At 1,200 FPS it carries 47 lb/ft energy at the muzzle.

A .22 LR solid bullet weighs 40 grains.
Hollow-points weigh 36 grains.
Look for 120 - 130 lb/ft energy with them.

And longer range, flatter trajectory because the heavier bullets retain velocity much further.

A .22 Air Rifle with flat-point pellets is able to kill small game reliably at 20-35 yards based on my experience.

A .22 rifle at 2 - 3 times that distance.

However, in this day & age, you simply can't beat an air rifle for cheap rifle practice.

You can shoot all day for what it cost to shoot 50 rounds of .22 LR ammo.
If you could even find any for sale anywhere.

rc

JFrame
June 19, 2013, 07:00 AM
Depending on the type of air rifle you shoot, some aren't necessarily that much quieter. Subjectively speaking, my RWS 52 is about as loud as firing a .22 rimfire (different sound signature, but loud).

But shot for shot, yeah -- can't argue with the cost benefit of the ol' pellet gun. And a well-made one is amazingly accurate at reasonable distances.


.

chicharrones
June 19, 2013, 06:35 PM
This ammo craziness has gotten me thinking about a 22 cal air rifle for small game, plinking and varmint control.

Just get one. You will end up getting far more trigger time than you might think and pellets seem to always be available.

BTW, learning to shoot a break barrel springer is sure challenging to accuracy until you get used to it. Plus, some air rifles seem to need a break in until accuracy tightens up. I like the gas piston Nitro Pistons for break barrel rifles so far. They are a tad quieter to the shooter's ear, but not so much quieter to someone listening 100 feet away. Still quieter than standard issue LR ammo out of a firearm, though.

MCgunner
June 19, 2013, 08:14 PM
They don't.

A .22 pellet weighs about 15 grains.
At 1,200 FPS it carries 47 lb/ft energy at the muzzle.

A .22 LR solid bullet weighs 40 grains.
Hollow-points weigh 36 grains.
Look for 120 - 130 lb/ft energy with them.

And longer range, flatter trajectory because the heavier bullets retain velocity much further.

I agree with this except for the last sentence. Tragectory has nothing to do with the weight of the projectile and everything to do with the initial velocity and the ballistic coefficient of the projectile. I've done the math. I don't know what the ballistic coefficient of the pellet is, but I suspect it leaves a lot to be desired vs a .22LR heal seated round nose. So, the answer's still the same, just disagree with the cause. Somewhat moot to the discussion, though.

I've killed squirrel to 25 yards with an old benjamin pump up .22 caliber pellet gun I got for my 7th Christmas...would be 53 years ago in November. That gun quit working, needs refurbishing, but it worked fine when I got my first chronograph 30 years ago and only clocked something over 400 fps. I don't know what a modern .22 caliber air rifle can do now days, but 1200 is a good velocity for a .177 caliber gun. I don't know that a .22 would do that, but I simply don't know what's on the market. I have a cheap .177 and it doesn't clock the 1100 fps it's advertized. Must have tested THAT with a magnesium pellet or something, maybe polymer. :rolleyes:

Anyway, inside 25 yards even my old Benjamin was death to squirrels. Modern stuff just HAS to be better. :D I'll keep my .22s, though. I have some stash and bought a box of Eley Match yesterday for squirrel hunting with my 10/22, really shrank the groups. Head shots at 50 are now possible, hell, eyeball shots. :D It's the only .22 LR I've been able to find and it's 19.95 a box of 50. But, I won't shoot tin cans with it so it should last a while. I've got a stash of about 700 rounds of .22 short I found a few months back that I'm using up in my old Remington bolt gun for plinking.

I'm thinkin' this ammo thing is about to ease up. I keep seeing more and more centerfire on the shelves everywhere. Only a matter of time and I'm hoping to get a few 550 round boxes of Federal, my favorite plinkin' ammo. I'm nearly dry of that stuff.

rcmodel
June 19, 2013, 08:20 PM
Tragectory has nothing to do with the weight of the projectile and everything to do with the initial velocity and the ballistic coefficient of the projectile.It does when they are both .22 cal projectiles, and one is a hollow base 15 grain shuttlecock and the other is a solid lead 40 grain bullet.

No matter how you do the math, the .22 RF solid bullet will have a much higher BC then the air rifle pellet.

Thus a flatter trajectory when started at the same velocity.

rc

MCgunner
June 19, 2013, 08:23 PM
Oh, think about this, saw some CB short online available, forget where. Out of my bolt rifle, CB sort is quieter than any air rifle I've tried. It is accurate to at least 25 yards and pushes a 29 grain pill to 700-800 fps. It is a bit deadlier in my experience than pellets and if there's two squirrels there, one thinks his buddy died of a heart attack. :D

MCgunner
June 19, 2013, 08:24 PM
It does when they are both .22 cal projectiles, and one is a hollow base 15 grain shuttlecock and the other is a solid lead 40 grain bullet.

No matter how you do the math, the .22 RF solid bullet will have a much higher BC then the air rifle pellet.

I agree. I don't think you read my whole post....like this part....

I don't know what the ballistic coefficient of the pellet is, but I suspect it leaves a lot to be desired vs a .22LR heal seated round nose. So, the answer's still the same, just disagree with the cause. Somewhat moot to the discussion, though.

MCgunner
June 19, 2013, 08:33 PM
BTW, regardless, especially if you have nearby neighbors that take offense to gunfire, an air rifle is a good toy to have. :D

rcmodel
June 19, 2013, 08:42 PM
+1

Especially if you live in town.

Air rifle pellets have far less tendency to bounce off the ground and punch out the guy down the streets picture window then 29 grain CB Cap bullets too.

They are so light they run out of steam pretty fast after hitting anything.

rc

silicosys4
June 19, 2013, 08:58 PM
+1

Especially if you live in town.

Air rifle pellets have far less tendency to bounce off the ground and punch out the guy down the streets picture window then 29 grain CB Cap bullets too.

They are so light they run out of steam pretty fast after hitting anything.

rc

Thats that "shuttlecock" shape you were referring to in action. From what I have read, when people who are dedicated and knowledgeable air gun hobbyists (I am not one) look to shoot past 50 yards or so, they usually switch from the wasp waisted pellets to a more traditionally shaped pellet that looks very much like a traditional solid style RN lead bullet. This bullet requires more effort in loading as it must be physically pushed and engaged into the rifling, kind of like starting a conical ball in a muzzleloader. These solid bullets from what Ive read are a bit heavier as well.
The wasp waisted pellets just lose too much velocity too quickly due to their shape, from what i have read

Tomcat47
June 19, 2013, 09:26 PM
I have weighed the air rifle thing myself... even recently posted something regarding large bore air rifles with "zero" response....:confused:

I think the air rifles can fill a role in shooting in lieu of higher prices of ammo, but with that said I think they generally need to be quality air rifles. I have bagged a few squirrels in my younger days with a .177 but at close range, like 20 yards.

My choice for squirells has always been Remington .22 Short Golden, but they are a high velocity short: (muzzle 1095 / 77) (50 yards 982 / 62) (100 yards 903 / 52) which is impressive for a short and accurate.

I dont think we can see those types of ballistics from pellets... the rifles can produce the velocity, but the projectile has to produce the energy.

I still want more from an air rifle.... and the most impressive results I have seen come from Quackenbush Large Bores which seemingly produce no interest with THR members?

A Air rifle that can accurately take down large game impresses me.... :cool:
860 f.p.s. velocity with 128.6-grain bullet develops 211.25 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle from a .308 caliber rifle!

As far as .22 Cal Air Rifles I like the offerings from Gamo in the Big Cat 1200 and the Stoeger X50 .. They have high ballistics stated but no energy stats that I have seen. They use plated and alloy pellets, and I believe these higher end air rifles would give impressive results.

These Condors are prob most impressive boasting 1 inch groups at 75 yards and offering a .25 caliber bore down to .177, but they are pre charge operated rifles and knock on the door of $700 ..... :eek:

http://www.airforceairguns.com/AirForce-Airguns-Condor-Air-Rifle-p/u104.htm

mr.trooper
June 20, 2013, 08:06 AM
You need to realize strait off the bat, the velocity "increases" you have seen in recent years are bogus - they are recorded in factory tests with fly weight LEAD FREE pellets that weight 10 graints or LESS in 22 cal.

You will never see super sonic velocity with ANY spring / piston / gas ram powered .22 airgun. You need a $1,000 PCP airgun, PLUS an expensive SCUBA air tank and filling station to achieve that.

I LOVE airguns - I really do. I have several high end pellet rifles that I shoot often ... but in reality, they are second string equipment. A .22LR with a $6 box of CBs or colibris will do everything a $400 Walther gas piston pellet rifle will do, and offer you more versitility in doing in.

Seriously - spend the money on the budget model Savage MKII, and a box of CCI CB Long. The $200 you spend on that will be more usefull than $500 on airgun equipment.

OH_Spartan
June 20, 2013, 08:43 AM
this is a great thread. it has drifted a bit, but I'm glad it did. This is very helpful.

question about high-velocity air rifles that have a refillable air reservoir....

Can those be filled with a home-owner grade pancake compressor? Mr. Trooper mentions a SCUBA filling station. Is that just an attachment to a homeowner-grade compressor, or is it a stand-alone unit?

chicharrones
June 20, 2013, 10:23 AM
You need to realize strait off the bat, the velocity "increases" you have seen in recent years are bogus - they are recorded in factory tests with fly weight LEAD FREE pellets that weight 10 graints or LESS in 22 cal.

In my trial of those flyweight pellets, the accuracy is not even close at 20 yards compared to lead pellets. It's like the flyweight pellets were developed solely to boost muzzle velocities in air rifles for marketing purposes.

chicharrones
June 20, 2013, 10:42 AM
I dont think we can see those types of ballistics from pellets... the rifles can produce the velocity, but the projectile has to produce the energy.

For squirrel sized targets, I'm only looking for penetration not energy transfer.

I still want more from an air rifle.... and the most impressive results I have seen come from Quackenbush Large Bores which seemingly produce no interest with THR members?

A Air rifle that can accurately take down large game impresses me.... :cool:
860 f.p.s. velocity with 128.6-grain bullet develops 211.25 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle from a .308 caliber rifle!

Those are pretty cool, but I think the problem with most people in America is we can do that with a standard firearm for less money spent on the rifle. The cost of ammo might favor the large caliber air rifle, if you take out the cost of the equipment to fill up a PCP air rifle.

Something like a .22 Magnum rifle comes to mind if you are talking muzzle energies in the 200 to 300 ft.lb. range. Plus, a firearm usually doesn't have seals and o-rings that fall to pieces in 10 years.

mdauben
June 20, 2013, 11:14 AM
How do the ballistics of high-quality 22-cal pellets at 1200 fps compare to 22lr-sv?

Others have commeneted on the ballistic comparison, but I wanted to add just one thing. In my experience, few .22 air rifles are capable of 1200FPS with lead pellets. A velocity of 900FPS is much more common for even the more powerful spring piston air rifles. To get 1200FPS you are talking about an exceptionally powerful PCP rifle, and power = expensive.

This ammo craziness has gotten me thinking about a 22 cal air rifle for small game, plinking and varmint control.

Certainly, though, 1000PFS for .177 pellets or 900PFS for .22 pellets are more than enough for small game up to bunnie size.

rcmodel
June 20, 2013, 12:06 PM
Can those be filled with a home-owner grade pancake compressor?No.

All of them I'm aware of run 2,000 - 4,000+ PSI pressure.

A 120 PSI home air compressor won't get-r-done.

rc

jmorris
June 20, 2013, 04:20 PM
Many moons ago a buddy of mine hooked up and old pump BB gun to a compressed CO2 tank (big one for shielding gas for mig welding) around 2300 psi. Wish I had a chronograph back then, it would shoot a bb completely through one of thoes backyard steel buildings.

FWIW shooting steel at steel is a no no. He's lucky that it did go through and not shoot his eye out.

Bushpilot
June 20, 2013, 06:21 PM
Air rifles have their place, are economical, great for target practice and can do a lot of jobs, especially in the more populated areas. However, most don't come close to a 22 short or even a CB cap power-wise. Advertised velocity numbers for airguns are often misleading. These numbers are frequently attained with ultra light, alloy pellets. Typical velocities with common, off the shelf lead pellets are usually about 100-200 fps less than advertised. 800-900 fps for 22 and 900-1000 for 177 are typical for decent quality springers today. These power levels will cleanly take rabbits, squirrels and other similar sized game and varmints out to 35-40 yards or so. I don't consider most airguns powerful enough for raccoons, woodchucks and possums although I know it has been done. There certainly are larger and more powerful airguns available such as large caliber and bulk fill models but prices rise dramatically beyond this point while the availability of off the shelf pellets and equipment decrease.

tallpaul
June 20, 2013, 06:47 PM
While I find RCMODEl to be correct most of the time... his assessment of the ability for clean kills with a high end airgun are sorely on the short side- especially for pesting.

Airguns are a whole nuther world and worth having but start here
http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/

and look around there is a lot of stuff on the web anymore about the practicality of air guns etc

splithoof
June 20, 2013, 07:36 PM
I recently got into shooting pests with a RWS Diana model 48 Magnum, in .177 cal. It is very accurate, and has saved much grain from squirrels who raid the chicken pen. Because it is not legally a firearm in the area where I use it, it is classified more like a BB gun. While not as strong as a .22 with CB caps, it gets the job done with less ammunition cost. Check out Air Guns of Arizona; their service is excellent.

chicharrones
June 21, 2013, 09:39 AM
Airguns are a whole nuther world and worth having but start here
http://www.network54.com/Forum/79537/



I wonder if they could ever get all the old posts into a more current and easy to use forum format?

zdc1775
June 21, 2013, 11:35 AM
No.

All of them I'm aware of run 2,000 - 4,000+ PSI pressure.

A 120 PSI home air compressor won't get-r-done.

rc

Not entirely, you can hook up a shoebox to them and they will get you to 3,000-4,500 PSI but the shoebox alone is $649.00 + shipping

http://www.shoeboxcompressor.com/

Also just so every one knows the BC for a Crossman Premier 14.3gr pellet is .019 and at 900 fps has 25fp of energy at the muzzle, 15fp at 50 yards, and an approximately 2.4 MoA drop at 50 yards with a 25 yard zero.

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