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May 20, 2010
I have really noticed an increase in the converts from .22RF to airguns!
I know the ecomics of demand have driven .22 prices through the roof but the ammo makers profits are almost obscene! The same ammo thatcost $11 a Box of 100 now costs $20! Why not convert to airguns for just plining and popping paper?
I have long been an advocate of airgun hunting and target work and who hasn't poured at least a tin of pellets at beer cans? This was before the ammo shortage too. Now with the advent of PCP's ranges have dramatically extended as have the calibers AN entire new industry has blossomed from the PCP!
I have noted a huge increase in the realistic BB Pistol market too. Pyramid Air has literally pages and pages devoted in their catalog to them!
High powered Gas spring and steel spring High Power and velocity Pistols have been developed! There's at least 5 that exceed 600fps! That's rifle territory!
The upcoming year ought to be exciting as far as new developments go in airgunning! I can't wait to see what the near future will bring!
I have three airguns, a Benjamin NP2, Benjamin Marauder rifle, and a Maruader pistol...and I don't care if I ever see a .22 LR again.

I thought about buying a new .22 LR rifle last year but as I was looking at a nice CZ it occured to me that part of the reason I was buying it was based on the outdated notion that .22 LR was cheap and plentiful. That is no longer the case. The expensive ammo is plentiful, the cheap stuff is not. So I put the CZ back on the shelf and bought a nice PCP airgun instead (Marauder).

I can buy pellets everywhere very cheaply, I can shoot in my back yard, the Marauders are super accurate and will do everything to a squirrel inside 50 yards that a .22 will do.

I see no point in participating in the panic driven crowds that chase .22LR at stores all over town and standing in lines trying to get some small allotment.

I'd rather be shooting and hunting.

16012718401_950f6c0300.jpg Untitled by scarfam, on Flickr
With rifles ( or PCP Pistols) of the right power range it's true the well placed airgun shot can compete with a rimfire for small game. It's the larger game like Raccoon and Possum where long shots are "marginal".
Over the decades I have taken literally hundreds of pest species with a 705fps .177 Cal Beeman 35! Good clean shots is what it's taken.
A tin of "good" pellets costs between $9 and $21 with many cheaper. Sometimes they don;t give the required accuracy though.
I quit hunting some years back but I do not frown on it for others.
Now I prefer the .22 Cal for almost everything but it's because of the Magnums I own, they are fantastic! I still shoot a lot of .177 still as The target rifles that shoot it are so accurate! I even have a trio ofboth calibers in one action type and still compare the two calibers!
I reserve my opnions on taking larger game to CF Rifles.Airgun Hog kills still bewilder me! I've seen them survive a POOR 30-06 hit! One feral Skunk took 5 of my .22 Mag Pistol shots to kill! Placement is everything!
I totally agree with you, why buy those overpriced RF's and line the manufacturers greedy pockets? Someone is making a killing off us shooters with the inflated RF prices!
I have always grabbed for my air rifle first and will continue to do so for a long time to come!
Ive changed from powder burners to springers but that wasn't cheap. Now own 2 HW 95s, a HW97 and 2 RWS 34s. Having a lot of fun with them to because I can shoot them in the back yard. I still have a lot of 22 shells but was afraid to use them up for fear of not replacing them but now I don't care if they ever come back. A lot of the pellets nowdays cost what .22 ammo used to be but they are available and just as much fun. Don't get me wrong, I still like my powder rifles and pistols but for just plain plinking and targets out to 50 yrds I will take my springers.
I have always enjoyed airguns and own quite a few very good ones. For me it was less about cost and more about the discipline needed to shoot spring guns and the ability to shoot at very compressed ranges just about anywhere indoors or out.

Even at 20-25 feet a spring rifle can be a challenge when shooting at targets the size of the pellet itself or smaller.

Basically I can run my airguns anywhere from indoors at home out to about 50 yards and that makes for versatile, convenient shooting.

Still enjoy .22 rimfire though, and 9mm and .223 and 12 gauge and ..... Well if it's got a trigger :D
I also enjoy them all, medical issues have taken things slowly away from me, first center fire rifles, then rim fire matches I can't do any longer.
Pretty much anything has to be done from a rest for me now. And let me tell you a Mrod is one heavy rifle (for me). A 22 is much lighter.

My springers are getting to the point where I have great difficulty cocking them any longer, so most of mine is with CO2 guns, and light ones at that.

The only "game" I take any longer are pests, Rats, Starlings, field mice are my targets, and barn cats get the fruits of my hunts anymore. But I do fully agree with you, Hunting a neighbors barn for pests with an airgun is much more friendly then with a rim fire.

Shot placement I do agree is key, you can take a starling with a 177 pellet and it just drops to the ground. Take that same starling with a 17 rimfire and he just goes up in a poof of feathers. Shot placement is key to air gun hunting, and I only hope as more people get into it they take the time to practice.
Glad to hear that others also appreciate the wonderful world of airguns.
Among other things, airguns are a very useful substitute for firearm practice.
Especially for those days when a trip to the range isn't possible.
Just step out into the nice, dry garage and get some trigger time.
As a single category, I now have more airguns than any other type of shootin' iron.
And use them the most, too.
I shot rifle in high school and college and like to think I'm a pretty good shot. I have been shooting squirrels with airguns since I was about 8 years old using a Daisy Powerline Pump with BBs. No squirrel ever complained my BBs were ineffective. For pesting purposes now days I like to use an Anschutz Airgun that has been retired from competition and wadcutter pellets. At only 580 or so fps, I keep the shots short and in the head. For me with that rifle a long shot is around 25 yards. A pointed pellet could extend it maybe 10 yards but the accuracy is less and the effect of a wadcutter is tremendous. For actually hunting with an airgun I like to use a .22 Nitro Piston though a .25 PCP would be my preferred method. Recently, though, after forgetting my airgun to pest at my Grandmothers house, I have found a bludgeon tipped arrow moving at around 280 fps is quite effective.
I think the "hurt" tha the entire RF system put in the American shooter with theRF shortage and price gouge will never be recovered from! Taking America's small game, target, plinking, and "play" roundawsy for nearly 2 years and now sustaining the rouse has nearly killed off the Average RF shooter.
It's no wonder shooters went with other forms of shooting enjoyment .Air and other caliber powder forms the adult airgun has reached a plateau of refinement that allows it to seriously compete against the RF's. Far as ammo goes, airguns shoot nearly free!it'salarming that most RF production is US based though other Country's produce it too.
I can't believe that US companies screwed us so badly!
They forced me to rethink, reequip, andacquire proficiency in other shooting forms.knowing airguns as I do, it didn't take much of a shove todrive me to airgunning!
Likely, I won't go back to RF'sserious as I was in the past. Sure I'll still shoot em but not in the volumes I used to.
I honestly prefer the effort, training, andresulting accuracy of the airgun! Springer's especially!
I'd say their greed backfired on the system
And I actually don't miss the RF as much as I thought.
Given a fine adult airgun any day
I hope that my disguhst shows!
I hear you, not too long ago I went out and shot some rim fire rifles that had been sitting for quite some time. I am going under the knife here soon and just wanted one last time with them before a long time away.

I found that I actually enjoy the air guns more. I am not sure why. I will also say that shooting a few hundred rounds of pellets every day has made me a much better shot.
I'm new to air guns too!

I too have turned away from RF shooting...not for lack of ammo (I have plenty) but for lack of an outdoor shooting range. Here in California it seems they are bent on closing down as many ranges as they can. Three of the closest and best in Southern California have been closed since I moved here in 1985.
I recently bought a GAMO Big Cat 1250, .177 caliber from Cabela's for only $85 with a scope. Replacing that scope with a Nikon EFR, 3x9, made for RF and airguns, I have been able to enjoy indoor shooting anytime I wish. Forty feet is the farthest I can shoot here in the house but it has amazed me with the accuracy of an air rifle. I purchased quite a number of different types of pellets and have begun testing them. So far I've tested six different types and am loving it! (see pics)
My question 40 feet a good indication of this rifles performance?
Thanks for letting me get a bit long winded.
p.s. My bench rest is a couple of sand bags, an old primary school chair and an ironing board!
Adapt & improvise!!!! :)


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I find 25 to 50 feet is a good indicator of accuracy out to about 30 yards for me. The challenge with spring guns is they exacerbate every shooter flaw. Jerk trigger pellet goes flying. Hold too tight pellet goes flying. Wrong cheek weld or head location pellet goes flying. As the range increases these things become exponentially harder with spring guns. Add in environmental factors and you got yourself a real game of skill as the range increases. Frankly that is what I like. It forces you to breath, hold, press the SAME way everytime and even then a gnome sneezes and you could get a flyer from the breeze.

All in all I will take one of my HWs over an average rimfire any day. Better triggers, better quality etc.

Now I like to shoot so they certainly haven't replaced powder just gives me another discipline. No different then black powder being its own shooting subset or discipline.

I don't know how those guys who can print tiny groups at 65 plus yards with a spring gun do it. PCP doesn't count. They cheat, almost all the power of a rimfire with none of the recoil.
If the math in my head is right that is about 14 yards. My home range is 18 yards....and this time of year (wind chill in the negative numbers) I am inside.

I can tell you that the more you shoot the more your groups will tighten up even with that sub $100 rifle, and then your groups at greater distances will be that much better.

The other positive is that when you do pick up that rim fire again you will be amazed at just how well you are shooting.
If anything will help .22RF availability, I'm betting a shift to airguns for plinking will do it.

Recently set up a very rudimentary basement 10m range. Having a ball with it...and this with a good indoor firearm pistol range and outdoor rifle range at the local R&G club a few miles away.

The penny-ante aspect of airguns appeals to me. Don't need to spend the better part of $1000 on a decent gun, don't need high velocity, don't need ammo, don't need a backstop 5 ft. thick to be safe. Just a couple of pump-up Crosman rifles, a few CO2 pistols and a tin of pellets and I'm good to go. Feel like a kid with new toys.

Kicking myself for not getting into airguns earlier.
Same here, and it seems that everyone that you get turned on to them says the same thing. I am working on a convert right now. I have a feeling it would be much more easy if it was not -2 outside and we could go out and do some distance shooting.
It's what I tell most new shooters to buy now. In marlandistan it's a pain for a new shooter to buy a pistol but an air pistol (at least for now) is no issue. Plus, one can shoot it a lot more since it usually doesn't require a range trip.

I have shot more air in the last 2yrs than anything else. Cheaper and I can do it at home.
I am a recent convert to pellet shooting too. Love my rimfires but the long-running scarcity of ammo has made me greatly reduce my rimfire shooting.
So I got back into pellet guns. I am a member of a good airgun forum, learned a lot from them, and now my air gun collection is approaching that of my rimfires. I have over twenty airguns of all different types (no PCP yet) and two more on order. Earlier I inherited a couple air guns from my late father, as well as his powder burners. Dad had a war going on with the small birds and squirrels that would raid his nut and fruit trees. :D
Neighbors got uptight when he used his shotgun, so he switched to air rifles.

I have found that a good air gun can be as accurate as a good .22LR gun, and just as much fun to shoot. And ammo is plentiful and much cheaper! Even the CO2 cartridges are cheap if bought in bulk.
I've been enjoying my Crosman .177 and .22 pump pistols and .22 CO2 pistol and rifle for several years now. The CO2 is around a penny per shot bought in bulk, a small luxury over having to pump, with high velocity on each shot.

Used mostly for target practice, these inexpensive Crosmans are a little rough but well made and accurate. Lots of upgrade parts available, but pretty darn good right out of the box, too.

I've used the CO2 pistol and rifle for pest control and they work well. 1 shot and it's over.
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