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Air Gun Newbie

Discussion in 'Air Guns' started by Spats McGee, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Like virtually every male child in my age and within 100 miles of my house, I had a BB gun, and then later a pellet gun as a kid. I left them behind with my parents when I moved out almost 30 years ago, seeing as how my dad could use them, and I couldn't.

    Anyway, fast forward to a year or two ago, and I started looking at pellet guns again. I figured that if I couldn't find .22LR anywhere, I could still shoot a pellet gun. Ammo is light and cheap, and they're relatively quiet.

    So I got to looking around . . . . Holy Smokes! These are NOT the toys of my youth. 1200 fps?!? Seriously?!? :eek:

    As with, well, any purchase that does not include "wanting fries with that," I've been doing some research. Nonetheless, I need some pointers from some of you folks that know more about modern airguns than I do.

    Gas piston vs. Spring Piston: I think I want a gas piston, but there are a couple of spring pistons (like the Ruger Impact) that have caught my eye. Does the vibration of the spring make that much difference?

    .22 vs. .177 -- Most likely use will be plinking. I live in the city, so the odds of my using this for pest control are slim. That said, I wouldn't mind being able to hunt a few small woodland creatures with it. And if I'm going to do that, I want to at least have the firepower (and hopefully the skill) to make a clean kill.

    If anyone has any experience with any of the following models, I sure would appreciate your input.
    Ruger Impact
    Ruger Yukon
    Crossman Nitro Venom
    Crossman Nitro Venom Dusk
    Hatsan Striker 1000S Vortex Gas Piston Air Rifle
    Benjamin Regal NP Air Rifle Combo

    Are there any models that are not on my list that I just have to consider?

    At least one of these is spring piston (Ruger Impact), and some have iron sights and some don't. I think I'd really like some kind of iron sights, maybe fiber optic sights, but I have seen some for sale, so it looks like those can be added later. Also, some of these things weigh up to 9 lbs. :eek: Is there so much recoil that I should really worry if I go with the 6 lb model? With firearms, I often tell folks to go to the range and rent, but I don't know of any place in the area that rents pellet guns.

    Thanks in advance for any and all advice or information that you can give me.

    Cordially,
    Spats
     
  2. Aguila327

    Aguila327 Member

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    I don't have expierence with all your list of prospects but I can contribute a little. As to the weight issue just go with the weight you desire. Recoil is nonexistent in comparison to a powder burner. I personally feel that a little weight helps me settle in when standing or in non supported positions. As to the caliber I feel that a .22 pellet is the best of both worlds. If your just looking for velocity and paper punching then the .177 is the best choice.

    Whatever you decide enjoy.
     
  3. Aguila327

    Aguila327 Member

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    also. I love the gas piston guns over the springer guns. Less noise and easier to pump.
     
  4. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Lately I have been using a Benjamin 397 pump gun with a Williams receiver sight since I haven't been able to find reasonably priced .22 ammo.

    Not a 1200 fps scorcher, but very accurate and fun to shoot. I have set-up a 25' indoor range and can typically cover a group of 5 shots with a Quarter shooting offhand unsupported with 4 pumps.

    This feels like a "real" gun and is a pleasure to shoot.
     
  5. Chevota

    Chevota Member

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    The Impact and Yukon are the same except for the spring. Both guns only exist because of gas springs because the base model gun, the Diana 34, cannot accept a gas spring and Umarex wanted on the gas bandwagon. So they redesigned their Chinese clone of the Diana 34 to accept it. The result was the Yukon, but to make an extra buck they also made a coil spring version which is the Impact. The main mod to make it happen was the trigger, which was rather nice in the 34 and 34 clone, but the new one not so much. I think they just slapped it together as fast and cheaply as possible to start selling. So with the Impact you get the worse trigger, no gas, but they both have a suppressor and nice new stock. The Impact and Yukon also have barrels ~3" or more shorter to make room for the suppressor, which may not cost much if any power in .22, but will in .177. The power range of all these guns works better (imo) in 177, but with the short barrel I'm not so sure I'd want it. Btw, the claims of 1200fps in 177 or 1000 in 22 are not really true. With the normal pellets that people buy it's more like 900 +-50 in 177 and 700 +-50 in 22.
    The Crosman/Benjamin guns you mentioned are all the same base model and all parts are interchangeable. The advantage to the Regal is it has a suppressor/shroud and imo a nicer stock. The suppressor Crosman uses on most guns only costs you ~1.2" of barrel so it doesn't hurt power much.
    The Hatsan works good, but I just don't like the looks.
    The trigger on the Yukon/Impact cannot be improved much, and I doubt the Hatsan can either but I never tried. The Crosman trigger can be greatly improved with a little work. Without any work the Crosman is probably the worst of the bunch, with the work it'll be the best of the bunch.
    The Crosman Vantage is on sale at Airgun Depot right now for ~$85, and is also the same base gun as the others but with open sights. One nice thing about Crosman is you can buy parts from other models, and dirt cheap. Like if you wanted the suppressor barrel from the Regal to put on the Vantage it can be as little as $24 delivered.
    Gas springs tend to leak so they aren't the greatest thing as claimed. Negatives about coil springs are mostly lies to boost gas sales. Gas are usually not easier to cock either, and are usually harder on scopes and mounts. They're great when they work, but don't expect it to last like a coil spring. The real negative for coil springs is the noise, which is terribly annoying to me, but controllable. I can make them as quiet as a nitro, but remain easier to cock and will no doubt long outlast the gas, maybe even outlast you. It takes some work to quiet a spring so it's up to you. So if considering a coil spring I'd add Ruger Blackhawk and/or Umarex Surge to the list.
    I'd also add the Crosman Titan to the list of nitro guns because like the Vantage it's often available as a referb for cheap. If shooting near neighbors then you should probably consider a suppressed model because even suppressed they will hear you shoot. If it were me I'd probably get the Regal, which is easy to buy a replacement gas spring if needed, and can be converted coil spring if you want. The other brands are either impossible to get parts or too expensive.
    So I suppose if you're unwilling to do any work to the gun then I personally would not get a coil spring because of the noise. If gas then I would not buy referb because the warranty is too short, and I'd probably only buy Crosman because you can get a replacement gas spring after the warranty.
    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Thank you, one and all. It looks like I've still got some research to do, but this has been a big help.
     
  7. Chevota

    Chevota Member

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    This is one reason most airgunners have more than one gun. Typically people buy a cheapie first, like one of those referbs for <$100 would be great. Then you can get a feel for what they're like. If you have a friend(s) with these guns I suggest you try those first if possible. You may find a typical gun has plenty of power for you, or it may be too weak so maybe a magnum version would be a better choice. Magnums shoot .22 pellets much better, more power/flatter trajectory, but the guns are rather larger and heavier. With scope ~9.5-10lbs! Or maybe they're too loud for your neighbors. Pay more attention to customer reviews than mfg claims. The mfg's will stretch the truth into flat out lies.
    If you want even more power then you'll need a pcp, but that's usually a lot more $ and filling them can be a real pita or very expensive. If I switched to pcp I'd want an elect pump and 4500psi fill tank which is probably ~$1700. Then add a good but inexpensive pcp and scope plus all the needed crap and you're up to $2500. This is why most people don't have them... Pcp are better, just more $, and some models can also be extremely quiet.
    Meanwhile, look for sales and coupon codes, plus I always add stuff to hit the free shipping mark which isn't hard with pellets. Another gun I recommend to everyone is the Beeman P17 pistol, it's ~$35, and outstanding for the $. If you're into pistols at all. Last time I ordered from Pyramid Air I bought a referb rifle, P17, and pellets to hit $150 free ship, then my 10% coupon = $135 delivered! Be sure to buy pellets in sets of 4 because every 4th is free from Pyramid or Airgun Depot.
    If you plan on doing any work, like tuning or want to know how to quiet a coil spring just let me know and I'll send the info which which explains it with pix. chevota at hotmail and remind me who you are and I'll send it. It's a lot of info but it may also help you decide what gun and scope to get, and if you're up for working on them.
     
  8. Mousegun

    Mousegun Member

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    If you have the funds and you only expect to get one air gun, take a look at the Air Arms TX200Mark111. A lesser cost model is the Walther LGU. It shoots as well but the trigger is not quite as good.

    These are examples of two fine air rifles.

    Both nitro piston and spring guns have a double recoil. Back on initial kick and forward as the piston hits a wall of air at the end of its stroke. You MUST get a scope that is designed for air guns or you will destroy anything less.

    You better check on the cocking force of the nitro piston you are looking at. Some of the more powerful require considerable force.

    177 pellets do best at 900 feet per second or below. When you push them to the sound barrier, no only do they make noise in flight, they become unstable and inaccurate also. The good part is that most manufactures post those high numbers when they used a very light weight pellet often coated with a slick substance in order to stimulate the power hungry users. It makes for good advertising.

    177 pellets fly straighter with less arc but give up energy when it comes to pest eliminating power. An accurate 177 pellet gun can often be as good as a 22 with proper shot placement.

    177 pellets are more cost effective than 22's.

    Even the best spring and nitro air guns do better when "tuned" by a competent gunsmith that has airgun knowledge.

    A good trigger that can be fully adjusted is very important to gain full airgun accuracy. The higher end guns comply. Many advertise a two stage trigger but there are a few out there that are head and shoulders above the others. A Rekord tigger is one of them.

    Good luck in your final choice.
     
  9. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Reasonably priced springer would be the RWS 34; .177 running about 1000 fps
     
  10. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Once again, thanks to everyone who contributed. I've been thinking about this some more and I'm on the path to narrowing this down. I'm going to stick with spring piston. I'm not particularly handy with a wrench, but that's a solvable problem. I don't have to get out with the cheapest rifle on the market, but I am trying to stay under ~$150 for the rifle alone.

    So, with that in mind, here are a few models that I'm eyeballin'
    Crosman Vantage -- Seems like a decent place to start.
    Crosman Optimus -- Again, seems like a good place to start. It's not much more than the Vantage, but if it's not worth it, I'd rather keep the $20 in my pocket.
    Ruger Impact -- This one's still on my list, and I like the idea of the rifle being suppressed. I think that the doohickey on the end of the Crossman barrels is just decorative?
     
  11. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    oneounceload's remark about the diana is a good one, though over your budget. I've read good things about dealings with Flying Dragon Air Rifles. They have a model that is a chinese copy of the diana 34, called the Xisico Bam xs25 that I've also read good things about. I believe this is the same model as the ruger airhawk.

    Looking at the air hawk, it's cheaper than the xs25 and has a scope included to boot.
     
  12. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  13. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Oooh, I like the looks of that Hatsan! I think you just added another to my list.
     
  14. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I'm even debating on buying one of the springers so as to have one of each. Can't beat that price. I do like the open sights, as I shoot very short range in my garage, and so far my eyes are still good. Even talked the eye Dr. into just a slight step up just for shooting.
     
  15. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    Something I have not seen brought up....and you talked about in your opening post.

    1200fps....those numbers really grab you don't they.....but like most things, MPG on a new car sticker.....there is a story behind those numbers.

    First those numbers are reached with pretty darn light pellets.....that really can't hit the side of a barn if you shoot it from inside the barn. To really get an accurate air gun you need the pellet to stay sub sonic.

    Two, those mondo powered spring guns....and by spring really any spring....metal, or gas are a real bear to shoot well. It is flat hard to do....there is so much going on in that rifle...so much spring force....and all that spring force is pretty hard on optics.....I have one rifle that has ripped 2 scopes clean off the gun....forget it I just shoot it with open sights now....and that is hard as these old rotten eyes have a choice front sight, rear sight or target....I can't have two of any....sucks.

    There are some real good spring air guns out there, MSP guns are not for everyone...all that pumping for each shot can get old, and PCP....well that is a chunk of cash for your first air gun....or first "adult" airgun.....whatever that is.

    You live in the city you say....I would lay odds that your city (most do) count an air gun as a firearm....so keep that in mind and do some checking....but fear not....got a basement, garage.....hell a long hallway in your house....boom air gun range.

    Have fun and stay safe....and yes modern air guns are pretty darn powerful.
     
  16. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    This is not the case with Hatsan air rifles, they are tested with std. Lead pellets, the type we all use and data is published from that.
     
  17. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Yeah, I know that most of the "1200 FPS!!!" is basically advertising puffery, and done with the fastest pellets that the company can find. I did not know that Hatsan used standard pellets, but I'll keep that in mind. I'm willing to give up some speed for accuracy. I suspect that a .22 caliber pellet gun still has enough oomph at subsonic speeds to do everything I need for it to do.

    Yeah, I've read that about dealing with scopes on air guns. I'm leaning towards something with open sights, preferably something in fiber optic. My eyes aren't getting any younger either, but I do alright with fiber optic sights.

    Just in case this makes any difference in anyone's opinions on this, proposed uses include, in no particular order:
    1. Teaching my nephews to shoot, with their parents' permission. I have a BB gun, and that's OK, but I'd like something a little nicer and more accurate.
    2. Plinking. Because who doesn't love plinking?
    3. Possible (but fairly unlikely) pest control. Yes, I live in the city, and the neighbors get antsy if I use a 12 gauge in the back yard. ;)

    I do live in the city, so I'll have to read our ordinances pretty closely to see if shooting a pellet gun in the city is prohibited. Here's the good news on that: (1) I'm pretty handy with ordinances. (2) I've got a good spot in our yard that I can shoot an airgun without much danger. I'll have to assess it more closely, but it's surrounded on 3 sides by hedges and 1 side by the garage. (3) If it is prohibited by ordinance, there's a decent chance I'll know the dudes the city will send to tell me to stop. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  18. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    Got ya.....you might also look into just how quiet the air gun is.....PA makes some video reviews of things that are pretty good at giving just how loud they really are.

    Read some reviews on the Hatsan guns....on as many different sites (not just air gun or gun sites) and see real world reviews. I know one guy that gave the two he had away.
     
  19. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Not to get into an argument, but just what is that supposed to mean? They sell them by the thousands and one dude gives his away. Pay attention to the reviews at Airgun Web.com on U Tube. He reviews most everything.

    BTW, I sure agree with your sig. line!
     
  20. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    Spats- rereading (should have paid more attention the first read), you mention that it will mostly be used for target shooting. Some of the higher powered spring guns can tire out the arm after a bit.

    CMP sells used daisy 853 target rifles for $100. They are awesome for the money.
     
  21. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Yeah, "target shooting" might be too strong a word. "Plinking" is more like it.
     
  22. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    OK. So we're just over a year and a quarter since my last post to this thread, and I FINALLY got around to buying an airgun. I hemmed and I hawed, I read dozens of reviews, and kept thinking "well, I really need to buy X for the house instead . . . .," and just never got around to buying a pellet rifle.

    Until this weekend. :D I'd had my eye on a few refurbs from Airgun Depot (one Ruger Impact and a Crosman model, primarily), but I know of at least one Christmas package that disappeared from my porch this year, and one last year. While I often have packages shipped to my office, it didn't seem like a great idea to have this one shipped there, as I work in government. By the time I figured in shipping (with insurance, which I felt would be necessary) and the headache factor, I just decided to buy locally. As I don't know of any good sources (read "airgun shops") in my area, I headed to Wal-Mart and picked up a Ruger Impact in .22. It came with a scope, but I think I'll hold off on installing it. It's got fiber-optic sights (which in fact were one of the reasons I chose it over a Beeman that they had at the WM) and I think I'll just stick with those for a while.

    Next up, I guess I'll need to get some airgun cleaning and maintenance supplies. I had no idea that I was supposed to clean the barrel on an airgun before shooting! Of course, the last time I had an airgun, I was still living at my parents' house and that ol' Daisy got absolutely zero cleaning or oiling.
     
  23. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    basiclly you dont clean ariguns, Ill usually run a pull thru without the brush in it (they make em special for airguns, but i just took the brush out of an old one)when i get one, then every 5K rounds or so...basically every time i reorder pellets.

    Im not sure whos making the rugers, but im sure it will be pretty decent, and i hope you enjoy joining us airgunners!
     
  24. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    I'm really looking forward to shooting it. It was made in China and distributed by Umarex in Ft. Smith, AR.

    The instructions say I should clean the barrel before use & show a couple of lubrication points, but I'm glad to know that cleaning is minimal.
     
  25. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    Yeah you just need to get the preservatives out of the barrel. I use a good grease on the metal/metal linkage and a light film of SuperLube on the barrel seal.

    Ive seen a few of the umarex guns, good quality for the cost.
     

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