mice - is 450 fps/ .177/ 5.1 gr steel bb enough?


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Texan Scott
December 29, 2013, 12:53 AM
Title says it.

Using a 650 FPS single-shot pump to suppliment traps for rodent control (my cats are fairly useless).

A co2 repeater with a laser pointer would be quicker into action and possibly more accurate) or at least faster to aim accurately) but I worry that their stated 480 FPS (real world a bit less) might not do it.

Or will it? Odd question, but does anyone have experience shooting mice at close range?

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JohnKSa
December 29, 2013, 01:15 AM
I'd recommend against the BBs unless you have some kind of soft backstop. They ricochet like crazy. Pellets usually have much better terminal effect and also are MUCH less likely to come back at you if they hit something hard.

Mice are very small and not that tough. I would think that a pellet at 450fps would be pretty hard on one. Rats? That's an entirely different story.

Peter M. Eick
December 29, 2013, 09:30 AM
I would shoot mice in the basement with my target air rifle. I think you will find that lead pellets are much better than BB's for the reasons pointed out above. Also a repeater is not really needed as you rarely get multiple shots.

My technique would be to darken the basement accept for one light (dim) above my desired backstop. I would put out a flat upside down paper plate and put a dab of peanut butter on it. Now get back in a corner (I could move back about 15 m) and get into a good stable prone or sitting position. Line up your shot and wait. Normally the mice would come out quickly. 2 to 3 minutes or so. I would let them get set and then take a head shot and they would DRT. Normally you can tag four or five mice at a session before they would get skittish and you would have to clean up the carcasses and reset the trap.

The problem toward the end is usually getting a good clean shot. Body shots are bad as they tend to run off and die somewhere and stink. You want to drop them right on the spot with a head shot.

Having compared mechanical traps (commonly trapping the animal with a a wound and not actually killing them), poison (they go off and die in the walls and stink) and sticky traps (starve to death squeaking the whole time), I find a precision air rifle shot the most humane way of dealing with an infestation.

When we would get field rats in, I would move up to the Sheridan or 22CB caps in my Winchester 52. That was pretty rare though, but the mice was a yearly thing as the winter set in.

Mike1234567
December 29, 2013, 01:36 PM
What's wrong with traps? They're far more effective... just not as fun. Resetting traps is boring and disgusting but they catch way more rodents. Just put out more traps and maintain them. Keep a map of where they're all placed. ;)

lobo9er
December 29, 2013, 01:40 PM
I use rat shot in my 22 but I used to use a old knock off red ryder. But regular BB worked for me. Not that we have rodents on the regular. But I have had my share of bouts with rats and mice. Rat shot is best in my experience.

Chevota
December 29, 2013, 04:30 PM
I often use a Tempest pistol shooting between 3 and 3.4ftlbs for rats, and being several times the size of a mouse I'd say your co2 gun or a Daisy Red Ryder would be fine for mice.
I've also used my 22 rimfire many times for night hunting because when using Aguila Colibri ammo it's extremely quiet. Something to consider if you have a .22. With "Texan" in your name you were probably born with a 22. I use a Marlin with a 22" barrel because it's quieter than a shorter one, and with the micro groove barrel makes more power. Not Super Colibri, but plain Colibri which is harder to find. The super works too, but they're louder. Being quiet is the whole point of the ammo but it all depends on what your needs are. Just a thought I threw in. I agree what others say about BB's "You'll shoot your eye out!" I've been hit by all kinds of ricochets, but BBs by far and away hold the record for % of getting hit to shots fired. I'd use lead for sure, but if BB's then use safety glasses.
Also what lobo said about rat shot, which I assume he means .22 shotshells, like those blue plastic tipped ones from CCI which are out frikking standing for shooting mice, rats, and even very good on bats. Very short range ammo, but I recommend you try them.

Mike1234567
December 29, 2013, 04:54 PM
I think if I really wanted to shoot mice I'd buy some light load .410 bore shot shell and replace the lead shot with rock salt. For rats, I'd use #9 or smaller lead shot.

Texan Scott
December 29, 2013, 05:01 PM
Actually, I've been using steel bbs to good effect. (No ricochets unless I miss). Thing is, there's a lot of stuff in my kitchen and laundry that wouldn't react well to pellets, bullets, or lead shot.

Don't really need the co2 for follow-up shots ... just takes too long to pump & load a single shot pump rifle when I need it NOW.

lobo9er
December 29, 2013, 05:56 PM
410 shotshell maybe a bit much inside a bathroom :) little loud.

Mike1234567
December 29, 2013, 06:32 PM
^^^ The OP didn't mention he'd be shooting indoors. I wouldn't shoot anything indoors for rodent control... not even a BB gun or pellet gun.;)

JohnKSa
December 29, 2013, 07:46 PM
He did in a later post.Thing is, there's a lot of stuff in my kitchen and laundry that wouldn't react well to pellets, bullets, or lead shot.I've done a significant amount of my airgun shooting indoors. Albeit with an adequate backstop.

Mike1234567
December 29, 2013, 08:10 PM
He did in a later post.

Yes, after I posted... but we digress.;)

JohnKSa
December 29, 2013, 08:19 PM
:confused:

You posted at 5:32pm that he wasn't shooting indoors, he posted the comment about his kitchen and laundry at 4:01pm, over an hour and a half earlier.

Mike1234567
December 29, 2013, 08:22 PM
^^^ Look again... but this is my last post on that.

I would only use traps indoors. With cats around I wouldn't use poison.

JohnKSa
December 29, 2013, 08:25 PM
Actually, I've been using steel bbs to good effect. (No ricochets unless I miss). Thing is, there's a lot of stuff in my kitchen and laundry that wouldn't react well to pellets, bullets, or lead shot.
Don't really need the co2 for follow-up shots ... just takes too long to pump & load a single shot pump rifle when I need it NOW.^^^ The OP didn't mention he'd be shooting indoors. I wouldn't shoot anything indoors for rodent control... not even a BB gun or pellet gun.Is there something showing up differently on your view of this thread???

rcmodel
December 29, 2013, 09:52 PM
I have killed mice with felt cleaning pellets out of a spring-piston air rifle.

http://www.amazon.com/Umarex-Cleaning-Pellets-177-Caliber/dp/B0002INW5A

Meece are easier to kill then cock-roaches!!

rc

Mike1234567
December 30, 2013, 12:04 PM
^^^ Felt cleaning pellets are hard enough to kill mice? I woodnathunkit. Pretty kewl. I'd shoot those indoors.:)

Chevota
December 30, 2013, 06:58 PM
Cleaning pellets are like a dry fire so you shouldn't do it in a springer unless used with a pellet. I've shot indoors at rats and mice many times, springer rifle and pistol, co2 pistol, and that colibri 22 ammo I mentioned.
Someone mentioned trapping, but shooting is so much more fun. I've spent many nights on the prowl (outdoors) which is just as fun as hunting anything else. That and watching TV or wherever inside with a pistol waiting for that movement to catch your eye.
Rats and Mice: Autonomous lead receptacle devices for use with an ETS (energy transfer system). Transfers the energy cocking the gun into his little vermin body. Unfortunately for the device this creates a very short energy spike which exceeds the specifications of the unit thus rendering it inoperable.

JohnKSa
December 30, 2013, 09:33 PM
Cleaning pellets are like a dry fire so you shouldn't do it in a springer unless used with a pellet.I've seen sources that indicate it's ok as long as you use more than one--up to three for a powerful sporter.

Chevota
December 30, 2013, 11:39 PM
Well, not really. It's best to use with a pellet. Ideally you should (imo) put one lead pellet in backwards, then the cleaning pellet, followed by another lead pellet. Preferably round nose pellets. Aside from having the weight you need it will also smash the cleaner pellet pushing it outwards for a good scrubbing :)
Without the weight there the piston slams harder than normal like a dry fire. Sure you can do it, and even dry fire the gun if you want, but it puts undue stress on the gun, and mainly the scope and its mounts. And of course the more powerful the gun the worse it is. A lead pellet not only has the weight to let pressure build, but also the skirt acts like a cork holding out for more pressure. The more the chamber pressure the softer the piston impact.
If I was worried about shooting lead in the house I would switch to alloy pellets or even plastic pellets. Alloy can be harder on the gun than lead, and plastic harder than alloy, but they both beat a cleaning pellet.
Cleaning pellets for mice isn't good either, the have killing power at very short range, but they peter out extremely fast and are not accurate. I tried them to shoot holes in cardboard before which they can do within say a foot, but then at say five feet they can't even break paper. Don't hold me to those ranges because it was decades ago, I just remember it was extremely short.

JohnKSa
December 31, 2013, 12:21 AM
I certainly agree with the general principle that too little resistance is not good for a spring piston (gas or metal spring) gun because the gun depends on the compressed air to cushion the piston as it slams the end of the chamber.

That is the rationale behind using more than one cleaning pellet since a single cleaning pellet doesn't provide enough resistance. I have a couple of cleaning pellet brands on hand. RWS states that they don't really recommend using the shoot-through method but that if it is employed more than one pellet should be used. They primarily recommend using the cleaning pellets as an alternative to patches--pushing them through the bore with a rod.

The material with the Beeman pellets recommends 2 pellets for pistols and 3 for rifles when using the shoot-through method. Their material doesn't mention using the pellets for push-through cleaning.

Just out of curiosity, I weighed some cleaning pellets. It turns out they have an average weight of 0.7 grains. That's much lighter than I expected.

That probably doesn't tell the whole story because it's been my experience that they are significantly harder to load into the bore than a typical lead pellet. So a little bit of what they lack in weight they probably make up for in bore resistance. I don't have a good way to measure bore resistance, so that's mostly speculation.

It is possible to add weight by oil soaking one or more of the pellets. An oil-soaked .177 cleaning pellet weighs about 2.4 grains--now 3 of them will weigh 7.2 grains and 2 will weigh 4.8 grains. That's in the right general neighborhood (albeit a little bit light in the case of the two cleaning pellets) in terms of pellet weight for a .177 gun.

I think you're probably on the right track in terms of not recommending the pellets (even with multiple pellets loaded) for any kind of routine shooting. Especially if they are shot dry, they're a lot lighter than a typical pellet and will stress the gun.

However, for an occasional quick & dirty cleaning job, I wouldn't feel badly about using multiple cleaning pellets at once (especially with one or more of the pellets oil soaked) with the shoot-through technique.

I'm glad this came up. I hadn't ever bothered weighing the cleaning pellets before. I don't think I'll ever shoot them dry again, regardless of what the enclosed material suggests.Ideally you should (imo) put one lead pellet in backwards, then the cleaning pellet, followed by another lead pellet.This should create tremendously more resistance/friction than a normal pellet. It is my understanding that too much bore resistance in a metal spring gun can cause a more abrupt piston rebound than normal which may eventually kink or break the spring--sort of the same kind of damage that dieseling can cause since it's the same basic mechanical cause. It should not be an issue in a gas spring/nitro piston gun.

rondog
December 31, 2013, 01:16 AM
Make it sporting - use a blow gun and darts!

Mike1234567
December 31, 2013, 01:27 PM
Cleaning pellets are like a dry fire so you shouldn't do it in a springer unless used with a pellet. I've shot indoors at rats and mice many times, springer rifle and pistol, co2 pistol, and that colibri 22 ammo I mentioned.
Someone mentioned trapping, but shooting is so much more fun. I've spent many nights on the prowl (outdoors) which is just as fun as hunting anything else. That and watching TV or wherever inside with a pistol waiting for that movement to catch your eye.
Rats and Mice: Autonomous lead receptacle devices for use with an ETS (energy transfer system). Transfers the energy cocking the gun into his little vermin body. Unfortunately for the device this creates a very short energy spike which exceeds the specifications of the unit thus rendering it inoperable.

Yes I know but so-o-o-o-o-o ineffective compared to... traps that are... everywhere... all the time. By all means shoot if you want... in addition to the traps. Make a game of it and try to plink them dead before they find a trap.;)

Chevota
December 31, 2013, 05:30 PM
Still it's so simple to add a lead pellet behind a cleaner. Two pellets don't hurt anything, that theory is complete bs imo, no idea where it started. You can experiment by blocking the breech completely and the gun will be smoother and quieter than you ever thought possible. Heavier pellets are a step in that direction, lighter pellets are a step closer to dryfire. Besides, there's no need to use cleaning pellets anyway, they don't come close to a cleaning patch. Imo the old saying applies here: "There are two kinds of fishing lures, the kind that catch fish, and the kind that catch fishermen." I think cleaning pellets are the latter. I have a box of them that are so loose they couldn't possibly work even if you stacked 10 of them. They'd need to be very tight to both work, tight enough that you'd probably need a tool to insert them. As for shooting one shot being no big deal, for the gun yes, for the scope I'd say no. Imo most scopes are often on the verge of breaking as it is, one dryfire could do it, or start its failure. I don't put scopes on until I've tuned a gun and so far so good, no failures. Any broken scopes I have came that way on an untuned gun.

rondog: I was arrested for that once, not a good idea.

Mike: I can't say about mice, but rats quickly learn not to go near traps. With rats I may get a few with traps at first, but shooting always works and I get more in an hour than traps will in a month.
The two times I had mouse problems I could catch them by hand or shoot with equal ease. Catching a dozen or more in five min was easy. I never tried to trap those, would've been too much work. Only time I've trapped mice was when I had one or two that I never saw. Got one now actually, trap has been out for months, he won't touch it.

JohnKSa
December 31, 2013, 05:52 PM
Still it's so simple to add a lead pellet behind a cleaner.Sure, but with 3 oil soaked pellets, the weight is right in the range for a normal lead pellet. There should be little to no impact if weight is the primary issue.I have a box of them that are so loose they couldn't possibly work even if you stacked 10 of them.Well, I can't claim to be an expert on all brands of cleaning pellets--I've only had experience with 2 or 3 brands. If all the cleaning pellets I had encountered were very loose, I would probably share your opinion. All the ones I've used were such a tight fit that it was significantly more difficult to get them loaded into the chamber than to load a normal lead pellet....that theory is complete bs imo, no idea where it started.The first person I know who noted and publicized the issue was Russ Best, an airgunsmith. He noted a trend and began tracking data associated with spring-piston guns which broke springs. He noted that broken springs were overwhelmingly less common in guns which were shot with midweight pellets, as opposed to pellets that were on the heavier end of the scale for the caliber.

I suppose one could explain that away as a coincidence (in spite of the large volume of springers that Best had exposure to) but it also makes perfect sense from the standpoint that an abrupt stop/reversal of the piston is what causes spring damage in a dieseling springer. Admittedly dieseling creates a much more abrupt stop/reversal (it also causes much more rapid spring breakage)--but the basic theory is exactly the same.You can experiment by blocking the breech completely and the gun will be smoother and quieter than you ever thought possible.I'm sure that is correct (assuming that it doesn't cause dieseling--which is a distinct possibility as the result of blocking the breech). You are eliminating all the muzzle blast and therefore reducing the discharge noise by at least 30%. That's not any evidence at all that it's good for the gun.

Just out of curiosity, what do you think is responsible for spring breakage in a gun that is dieseling?

rondog
December 31, 2013, 06:10 PM
rondog: I was arrested for that once, not a good idea.

For popping mice with a blow gun?

Crashbox
December 31, 2013, 10:56 PM
I find this to be a very interesting thread. Never even thought of some of the methods, e.g., blow gun, in such a situation.

One thing I will probably NEVER do: back in the 1960's my brother and I knew this family a couple of blocks down the street. The father saw a rat one day in their house and took a .357 Magnum to it. Not sure if the dad went to jail for that one (it was illegal even back then)...

I like the idea of using other, SAFER methods for rodent disposal.

rondog
December 31, 2013, 11:17 PM
There's also some pretty powerful airsoft guns out there that would probably mess up a mouse pretty good.

rcmodel
January 1, 2014, 12:50 AM
The father saw a rat one day in their house and took a .357 Magnum to it.Tell me about it!!

My next door neighbor used to be a parole officer for the county.
So one night, he goes to take out the garbage, and a possum ran in his garage while he had the door up.

Six shots from his .38 Special later???
His garage wall had five holes in it, and so did the neighbors living room wall on that side of his house!!
We never did figure out where shot #6 went??

The possum got away without a scratch as far as I could tell!

rc

Chevota
January 1, 2014, 11:38 PM
John: I didn't mean quieter as in muzzle blast, I mean quieter power plant, like pull the trigger and it's virtually silent because the piston did not slam into the breech. Heavier pellets reduce piston slam, they also reduce dieseling. I'm sure I'll get argued on that one, but I call it like I see it. I've never broken a spring but I imagine cheap over tempered steel is the problem. Yes dieseling would send a harsher shock thru it, but if heavier pellets are used then less dieseling so.... Now guns with no real transfer port like a B3 is a different story, so it depends on the gun. I suppose guns of yesteryear had both crummy springs and no real port which I imagine is how this thought came to become "fact", kinda like the 6" rule :o

rondog: Not for shooting mice, for owning it period. Check local laws b4 ordering your "Jivaro Survival Blowgun" from the back of a comic book! Police in my town were anal and bored. Got popped many times for airguns, also illegal. Fireworks, sling shots, too much to name. I was a busy kid, Dennis the Menace I suppose, but fun!

JohnKSa
January 2, 2014, 04:29 PM
...because the piston did not slam into the breech.Well, it will be quieter for that reason too, in addition to eliminating the muzzle discharge noise.

The added resistance stops the piston earlier than normal and, it is my understanding, causes a more abrupt rebound which can be hard on the spring.

In the really powerful sporters, it's probably less of an issue because the springs tend to be very robust in those guns. But especially in older guns or guns that aren't as powerful, using very heavy pellets can lead to early spring failure.Heavier pellets ... also reduce dieseling.Do you mean that dieseling stops faster when heavy pellets are used?

Obviously, more resistance means higher pressure and that, just as obviously, means that dieseling is more likely to occur since dieseling is directly related to pressure.

HOWEVER, there's generally only a limited amount of "stuff" in the chamber to ignite in the dieseling process, and the use of heavy pellets will tend to burn that material out of the chamber. That will eventually (after several shots) result in reduced dieseling when there's no more "stuff" to ignite.

Chevota
January 2, 2014, 06:29 PM
You sure like to call me out on everything don't you John....
For blocking the port I'd hardly call a soft stop on air harsher than hitting the breech which would send a shockwave up the spring.
The heavy pellet this goes like this (in my mind). And keep in mind that this varies on the guns design. The heavier pellet holds the pressure longer reducing piston impact on the breech. If I have a freshly oiled gun the dieseling is less violent with heavy pellets, the heavier they are the greater the effect. It will diesel for more shots since each firing is less powerful, but better to have 5 low powered than 2-3 violent ones. Now, once violent (loud) dieseling has stopped with heavy pellets I can shoot a light pellet and it will diesel again which tells me the pressure was higher than with the heavy. I don't believe this has to do with port pressure, but pressure at the piston face which increases dramatically the closer the piston is to the breech or the force at which it hits. Lighter pellets allow the piston to hit harder therefore they diesel more. If the dieseling were in the transfer port alone then yes a heavier pellet would be worse, but if it were in the port alone I doubt it would be a problem. Another item to show dieseling is all about the piston face and not the pellet, you can take a gun that has stopped dieseling with light pellets, dry fire it and it will diesel again. It does so because you sent pressure at the piston face even higher than before because it hit harder. Dieseling in the port would be impossible without a pellet. All this tells me that piston impact is what causes dieseling just like clapping your hands harder = louder. Another point is guns that I've increased the compression ratio diesel less. I know that doesn't sound right, but it reduces piston impact and thus hot spots that ignite the oil, kinda like how a poorly designed cyl head in a car will ping or diesel before a well designed one will, even when the better head is higher compression. It's not the same principles, but being designed better is the key.
Now like I mentioned before it's all about the design of the gun. The relation between the bore and stroke is a factor, the smaller the bore the more likely it will diesel, but it's not as harsh on the spring when it does. Piston speed is a factor, a heavier spring increasing piston speed also increases dieseling. If you have a gun like a cheap chinese model with a large diameter but very short port then a heavier pellet will cause a bump in pressure and also put more dieseling pressure on the piston. And due to the small volume of the port the pellet starts moving sooner in those cheap guns than with a modern gun so pellet weight is an even bigger factor because the lighter pellet has moved sooner thus decreasing pressure. Since those cheap guns don't usually have nearly the power, and no real volume to the port it makes all the difference and the two guns cannot be compared.
If you have a gun where the piston doesn't hit the breech then that too will change things and the lighter pellet will be slightly better at reducing dieseling (in my mind). But since most all efficient springers have pistons that hit the breech, and most all guns sold are like that, then my idea of what's happening covers most all modern springers. That's my story and I'm stickin to it :)
I urge you to experiment, including plugging the barrel to simulate the heaviest pellet.

JohnKSa
January 2, 2014, 10:09 PM
You sure like to call me out on everything don't you John...Being questioned is a readily forseeable consequence of making public assertions. ;)

Seriously, if everyone had exactly the same opinions and knowledge/experience base, what would be the point of these forums? There would be no need for them to exist.

The way I look at it, is if you say something that doesn't align with my knowledge/experience base, I have two options.

1. I can ignore it, in which case we both go on as before, neither of us knowing any more than we did before.

Or

2. I can ask about it and create the potential for one or both of us to learn something new through the resulting exchange.For blocking the port I'd hardly call a soft stop on air harsher than hitting the breech which would send a shockwave up the spring.I don't believe normal operation involves the piston hitting the breech with significant force. Normal operation is for the air cushion to decelerate the piston significantly, before it hits the breech. Perhaps even stopping before it hits. Plugging the breech, or dramatically increasing the bore resistance as with very heavy projectiles causes a more abrupt piston rebound that wouldn't normally be experienced except with dieseling, or perhaps with a dryfire when there is a significant impact between the piston and breechface.

I like your discussion about dieseling due to isolated pressure "hot spots" between the breechface and piston face as opposed to having the entire chamber reach a high enough pressure to diesel. It's hard for me to visualize having significantly different areas of pressure in a single, relatively small, chamber. I will have to think about that for awhile.

Chevota
January 2, 2014, 11:05 PM
First off I believe (fully) that most of these modern high powered guns do impact the breech, and hard. If they didn't there wouldn't be a scope problem, but there is a severe scope problem. If you block the breech so the air stops the piston, surprise, no impact shock. Instead you get a normally soft recoil, and an equally soft reverse recoil that will never hurt a scope.
So, if that is true then having a piston slam into the breech can cause spots to hit higher pressures, maybe the center of the seal or the groove, but also consider any air trapped between the flat parts of the seal and breech that have just been smashed at insane pressures which also shoot off into the center or groove areas to further bump their pressures. One way or another the pressure is skyrocketing in there. Now consider that a little ignition in one spot can bump pressure to cause a cascading effect to light everything up. This is why I do what I can to reduce piston impact. If I didn't mention it before, I've also never broken a scope and I fully believe this is why.
Block a breech and it'll make sense when you feel the difference.

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