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First Air Gun- what should I choose?

Discussion in 'Air Guns' started by TTv2, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I took a friend to my range last year and all he had were air guns to shoot. I'd never shot them before and after some trigger time, I became a fan, but because they were .177 caliber and it was a windy day, the effective range was about 10 yards.

    I'm not interested in a .177. I don't think they are worth it.

    As I've been trying to educate myself on air guns, it looks like .22 caliber is the best option for low cost, pellet availability, and a bit longer range and power. I'm down for that, but I've also seen that there are .25's, .30's, .35's, and even .45 caliber air rifles.

    Questions:
    1. If I were to buy an air gun larger than .22, which is going to be the lowest in cost over the long term? Which pellets larger than .22 are most common and easy to find?

    2. Is it worth it to buy an air gun larger than .22? Is the cost that much more?
     
  2. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    I would say that .25 cal will probably be the most common and lowest cost if you want to go larger than .22.

    I don't own any airguns larger than .22 so can't really say if going big is worth it. I've read reviews where they say .25 hits harder, which sounds reasonable.

    The larger calibers are more serious hunters I believe, where they are capable of achieving .45 ACP like performance (200+ grain large bore bullets moving around 750 fps). So I guess if you wanted to hunt deer with your air rifle at close range, then this would be your choice.

    For a first air rifle, I would go with the .22. But that's just me and I admire your willingness to explore options with increased performance.
     
  3. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I'm not much into hunting at the moment, I hunt when I need to eat and I have .22 rifles for that. I was merely curious about the larger calibers because I don't like to say absolutely not to anything until I know more about it.

    I'm still open to the .25 caliber, but the .22 probably is best for a first rifle. Between Ruger, Crossman, and Gamo, is there a clearly superior brand to get over the others?
     
  4. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    Are you looking at the pre-charged pneumatic rifles or were you thinking of another type? I'm guessing pcp since you mentioned larger calibers.
     
  5. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    Your choices of Ruger, Crosman and Gamo seem to indicate that you are looking at spring piston air rifles. I own a Crosman Optimus in .22 cal and with a trigger job, I find it a great platform to practice standing unsupported/off hand shooting in the back yard. I can't speak to the Ruger and Gamo rifles.

    But consider what Kookla mentions regarding pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) rifles. PCP's don't have any recoil so you can use any scope. A springer air rifle, on the other hand, will quickly destroy any scope that is not specifically rated for spring piston air rifles. PCP's are also easier to shoot; whereas springers are usually very hold sensitive.

    I, however, prefer springers due to their self contained power plant and that fact that it's good enough for me. If you do choose to get a springer, consider something like a RWS 34. The higher quality makes a big difference with springer air rifles.
     
    Jeb Stuart likes this.
  6. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    I think you should start with a .177 quality break barrel springer ... rws 34- beeman r9 etc... for shooting pleasure and learning airguns they are great. Flatter offers flatter trajectory and great for target and plinking. 10 yards is the olympic bullseye distance- ya can shoot quite a bit further and have fun.
     
    Bushpilot likes this.
  7. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    Disclaimer : " I'm not an air gun expert".............. Got my first ever air gun 2 & 1/2 years ago. Looked like 22 cal. was the best for me based on my research. Which also led me to believe 22 cal. would be better for stuff like squirrels. Wound up getting a .22 cal. Benjamin Trail by Crosman with that Nitro Piston 2 for power. I like it and have even successfully squirrel hunted with it, ( always wanted to do that just for the challenge) So IMHO, it's a good starter rifle. Thought about stepping up to a .25 cal. PCP from Crosman but it's also a good step up money-wise. In the meantime I'm satisfied with this one for now but eventually a .25 cal. PCP might be in my future now that I've seen some of them and what they can do. My gun club hosts a few air gun matches every year and some of the guns that show up are impressive! Now that I have at least some experience with these things I'm glad I bypassed the .177 and started with a .22. There's nothing at all wrong with .177 but for my usage the .22 was a better choice. For small game a PCP .25 cal would be better yet.
     
  8. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Well, IMHO for a .22 cal airgun I got a Beeman pistol, 3 or so pumps and you're ready to go.

    Stay away from CO2 guns, they're toys.

    These folks will do you right: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/

    Same with these folks: https://www.pyramydair.com/

    Now, once you get serious you have a choice of the very few pump airguns worth a while, or refilling or getting a pump.
    I got this one (.25 cal), works great and I don't have to refill or buy a pump:

    fx-ind177.png

    http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/precharged-pcp/fx-independence/

    If you want to go pre-charged, you pretty much can't go wrong with Air Force:

    afa-texan45.png
    http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/big-bore-airguns/airforce-airguns-texan/

    but you're limited to a scuba tank and filling station unless you get a pump:

    hil-pumpmk4dry.png

    http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/pcp-accessories/hill-mk4-air-pump/

    http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/pcp-accessories/hill-mk4-air-pump-with-dry-air-system/
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    theboyscout likes this.
  9. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Idk what the terminology is, Idk what the difference between PCP rifles and spring piston air rifles are. I know that at my local Walmart they have mostly .177 air rifles and a few .22's. I'm not specifically looking to buy them at Walmart, but that style of rifle around $200 max would be up my ally.
     
  10. bnolsen

    bnolsen Member

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    I'd say go with a crossman 1322, do the steel breech kit, rear peep sight and a carbine stock. The 2289 backpacker or bugout kit (I forget offhand) has the stock already, you just need the steel breech kit and rear sight. With the breech kit you could do an optic and also put in a longer barrel + sound suppressor. You might end up a couple hundred into this if not careful...

    For just a simple 177 pistol its hard to beat a beeman p17 which is 33usd. Amazingly great pistol you can shoot in a garage or basement.

    Both are pump. As you mentioned above, if you want power use a 22lr rifle, subsonic loads are great. I had a breakbarrel for a short while but realized the 22lr is simpler and just does it better. Same for anything needing c02 or an air compressor.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  11. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    Spring piston is the break barrel design you see at Walmart. A spring us compressed when you cock the gun and when you pull the trigger the spring is released and the piston compresses the air and propels the pellet.

    PCP’s are filled like a scuba tank with compressed air and each pull of the trigger bleeds the built in air tank. These guns are repeaters and are usually more powerful than springers.

    Go to Pyramid Air or a similar website and compare the different types of air guns. It’s worth the time because there are significant differences.
     
  12. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    I don't think you're going to find much above .22 caliber for under $200. I believe the largest caliber that a spring gun goes up to is .25, then you're in the realm of pcp.

    In .22 for spring guns under $200, you could look at something like a Ruger Air Hawk.
     
  13. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

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    If you get a PCP, get a .22 (more shots; lighter weight, cheaper pellets, best trajectory balance), and save up for a good one - since Matadors are almost impossible to get, get this one - the Walnut Wildcat .22:

    http://www.fxairguns.com/rifle/the-wildcat/

    If you get a springer, then that opens up .25 as a decent choice (no shot count issue), but I'd skip the springer and get one of the uber-accurate bullpup PCPs such as the FX Wildcat.

    When I had springers, I was fairly happy with my RWS / Dianas, but haven't kept up with them in 15 years. I had model 34s, a 45, and a 350.

    To my way of thinking these days - if you don't get a high end PCP airgun to get incredible accuracy, then getting an airgun doesn't make sense, as it's simply much easier to use a much lighter & handier .22lr single shot rifle with Aguila Super Colibris or CCI Quiets and get equal or more power than a springer or less-accurate PCP.

    Oh yeah, and if you do get a high end gun, use JSB Diabolo Exact Match pellets - such as the accuracy king: the 18 grainer in .22. You won't be sorry.
     
  14. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    If your looking to stay in the $200 range I'd get one of the, break barrel, gas piston rifles. In this price and power range I'd rather have the extra velocity and flatter trajectory that goes with a .177 then the extra size and weight of a .22 pellet, especially if, as you said, you're not planning on hunting with it. All airguns in this class are going to be significantly affected by the wind. I have both and I use the .177 the most.. Or, you could get a gas piston rifle that comes with both the interchangeable .177 and .22 barrels and see for yourself which one you like best.

    For example,
    Beeman Sportsman "Silver Kodiak X2" 10774GP Gas Ram Dual Caliber Air Rifle Combo with 4x32x 40mm

    $145 on amazon....
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  15. Gadsden2A

    Gadsden2A Member

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    Questions:
    1. If I were to buy an air gun larger than .22, which is going to be the lowest in cost over the long term? Which pellets larger than .22 are most common and easy to find?

    .25 caliber is the only caliber that you will find as many different pellet options as in .22 caliber. Maybe even more. This would be your most economical choice above .22 caliber.

    2. Is it worth it to buy an air gun larger than .22? Is the cost that much more?

    The costs for a 22 caliber alone vary greatly.
    You could spend $100 for a break barrel, or thousands for a PCP. What is your budget, what do you intend on shooting, and at what range?
     
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