I should have listened

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Dec 23, 2017
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I had some rats move into the chicken coop while I was traveling a few weeks ago and have been trying like mad to get rid of them without killing the birds or dogs with some misplaced poison. Since the coop were on the property line and close to the neighbors house I picked up my first air rifle since I was a wee lad. After several successful "hunts" I can firmly say that I should have listened, these things have come a long way and are a ton of fun. I'm already getting tempted to make the jump to PCP and maybe setting up a little airgun range in the space behind my garage I never figured out what to do with.

A couple of questions if you guys don't mind:
What would be considered an effective backstop for 25 cal and smaller airguns? After sighting in it is clear the plywood we use at the range is not up to the task.
I saw an airpowered shotgun when I was researching and can't find it again, is that really something that works and is it effective for hunting?
Where would be a good place to go to start figuring out which PCP would be a good starter?
 
Cheap, very accurate and very easy to pump if you go the hand pump route. DIANNA STORMII

Diana Stormrider Gen 2 PCP 22 Cal Pellet Air Rifle (midwayusa.com)
very good and can be found cheaper looking at small venders. .22 best for small pest. PCP in the .25 cal range start penetrating far beyond what most shooters think. YES, it will go through 4x4's when trucking.
 
PCP air rifles are a black hole into which you fall and never come out. Yes, you need a compressor, yes you will need a bottle to fill from and yes they are worth the extra effort. Effortless power compared to pump or break barrels and accuracy equal or better than the best .22 powder burner rifles. But, nothing against a .22 air rifle, but the .25 just lays the hammer on varmints with so much more authority.

Personally, I prefer my Benjamin Marauder .25, built mostly from after market parts, 50 fpe for 16 shots, or 60+ fpe for 8 shots:

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Yes, a strong .25 caliber will go clean through a 'dilla, hard shell and all, and keep right on trucking.

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Or the Gamo Urban .22 (made by BSA), also modded, bigger transfer port, removed the plastic pickle and added a threaded adapter, sleeved the barrel with a carbon fiber tube, removed the barrel band as no longer needed, about 26 fpe for 20 shots and super accurate:

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But there is the Avenger, Umarex Gauntlet, Taipan and other mid range guns and then there are the $2,000 bunch like the FX and Brocock and a host of others.
 
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... I picked up my first air rifle since I was a wee lad. After several successful "hunts" I can firmly say that I should have listened, these things have come a long way and are a ton of fun. I'm already getting tempted to make the jump to PCP and maybe setting up a little airgun range in the space behind my garage I never figured out what to do with.....
I don't have the answers to your questions. I bought a Hatsan 87 QE (.22, gas piston) that I really like, and think I've decided not to go down the PCP air gun rabbit hole right now. I am curious as to what you bought, though. And yeah, air guns today are a very long way from what I had growing up.
PCP air rifles are a black hole into which you fall and never come out. Yes, you need a compressor, yes you will need a bottle to fill from and yes they are worth the extra effort. Effortless power compared to pump or break barrels and accuracy equal or better than the best .22 powder burner rifles. But, nothing against a .22 air rifle, but the .25 just lays the hammer on varmints with so much more authority.

Personally, I prefer my Benjamin Marauder .25, built mostly from after market parts, 50 fpe for 16 shots, or 60+ fpe for 8 shots:

View attachment 1161126
View attachment 1161127

Yes, a strong .25 caliber will go clean through a 'dilla, hard shell and all, and keep right on trucking.

View attachment 1161133

Or the Gamo Urban .22 (made by BSA), also modded, bigger transfer port, removed the plastic pickle and added a threaded adapter, sleeved the barrel with a carbon fiber tube, removed the barrel band as no longer needed, about 26 fpe for 20 shots and super accurate:

View attachment 1161128

But there is the Avenger, Umarex Gauntlet, Taipan and other mid range guns and then there are the $2,000 bunch like the FX and Brocock and a host of others.
You have what looks to be a red dot mounted on top of your scope. May I ask why?
 
You have what looks to be a red dot mounted on top of your scope. May I ask why?

The red dot is for pop up close range engagement at night time with armadillos or whatever. It is sighted at exactly 15 yards. I do not need a cheek weld, just place the dot on the critter and pop him. When I can afford a NV or Thermal scope then I will get rid of the red dot. But that red dot has about 6 kills thus far. Not an ideal position, but it works good enough.

The 'dilla in the photo above was the first kill with the red dot. In fact, I was sitting on my shooting table sighting in the red dot and getting it to co-witness with the scope. As I was finished and stood up to go inside the rifle swung around and to my amazement there was one of the digging buggers right at exactly 15 yards and the rifle was already pointing at him. I did not even bother to shoulder the rifle, put the dot on him and pulled the trigger and there is the result. The performance of the JSB Hades pellet at 50 to 60 fpe is similar result to the CCI Quiet or Subsonic segmented round. :)

I have early cataracts in my right eye, I can sort of see the scope cross hairs with the flashlight on but the red dot is much quicker for me to acquire at night.

Edit to add, PCPs have no recoil and certainly no reverse recoil, I seriously doubt the red dot would live long or hold zero on a break barrel spring gun. But on a PCP, no problem.
 
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I had some rats move into the chicken coop while I was traveling a few weeks ago and have been trying like mad to get rid of them without killing the birds or dogs with some misplaced poison.
As long as there are chicken feed accessible to rats, you will always attract rats. (Like bird seed feeders and squirrels)

You should consider addressing the "root cause" instead of addressing the "symptoms" of predators getting into your chicken coop, including rats. (FYI, rats won't just eat chicken feed but at night, when chickens are roosting still, rats can do physical damage to chickens)

We raise chickens and learned early on that chicken coop must be predator proofed, including from rats. Using chicken wire will not work to keep rats out and 1/2" welded wire fabric is a better option. Also, rats can chew through openings in wood/plywood so use thicker wood/plywood without openings.

Once you "predator proof" your coop/housing, then you won't need to worry about rats - https://backyardchickenproject.com/predator-proof-chicken-coop/

Now, if you want to/enjoy shooting rats, then you can always bait some food outside of chicken coop for your shooting enjoyment.

This is our chicken coop enclosed on all sides except the front and opening is covered with 1/2" wire fabric and we haven't seen any mouse/rats inside the coop - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...3/&temp_hash=44a6a0071614d4d4af38d641cb4d1a1b
 
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I am curious as to what you bought, though
I got a Gamo Swarm Magnum. It was the nicest thing they had locally I could get. After buying real steel for so long I didn't even think twice about that price. I'm really surprised with both the power and accuracy. Unfortunately my shooting techniques don't transfer over perfectly onto the springer. I was thinking a PCP would allow for more applicable training on form for my firearm shooting, like a quieter rimfire.

@LiveLife the rat issue is being addressed on all sides. Complete overhaul on the feeding routine, new coop was easier than patching the old one, cleaned up junk that accumulated, and active removal of pest by multiple methods. Part of applying yourself is making the occasional mistake, something that often paralyses my generation. Only the airgun was the silver lining in the endeavor.
 
Back stop:

You will find a great number of people that suggest duct putty. Personally I find that to be a little expensive. What I do for my indoor range is a computer tower box, a box, a box roughly 20" tall 10" wide and 15" thick. Fill this with rubber mulch. I can tell you that my box, roughly this size will stop a 9mm bullet. I have a feeling it would stop more but I never tested it, I should do it it would be fun to see, perhaps tonight before the rains. I can assure you that it will stop the pellets. I do strongly suggest putting it on one of those Harbor Freight dollies as it will get real heavy real quick. Mine is roughly 5 years old and still going strong. When the box gets shot up use duct tape to hold it all together. It is nice and quiet. I like this as you can just "jostle" the box and not really worry about shooting a "hole" in one spot, the rubber mulch is easy to shuffle around and fill any voids in there, it will start to turn to dust, just top it off. My box is more tape then anything else anymore.

Any Rimfire bullet trap will also work just fine, but those can be noisy.

The duct tape and really any box to hold it will also work, breaker boxes are popular. I find this solution a little less ideal. You can "shoot a hole" in one spot, and it is more expensive.

Air powered shotguns are a thing, and have been for a while. Not really popular, I personally don't think they are quite there yet.
 
So I was looking at my property more and I have a 3' wide by 20' long strip between my garage and my neighbors fence that I don't use for anything else. That would be a nice spot to set up a shooting lane. I'll have to see if I can find a source of the rubber mulch locally, maybe I could just mound some up and then shovel it up from time to time.
 
A nice thick slice of log lasts a while set on end to expose the growth rings... cleap easy and fairly guit for outside use.... n a quality German or English spring gun is also a nice to have option... but I won't be much help I like n own most types of airguns.... :p
 
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The Gamo at 17 yards. Five shots in total. The first three were a boring single hole. I tried to wrestle the recoil on the forth just to see how much that did change POI and that is the flyer. Went back to letting the bronco buck how it wanted on the fifth to verify the gun was still capable of shooting well.
 
If and when you go PCP. Get a Young Heng compressor. If taken care of, it will last a long time.

Go to Pyramyd Air web site and read yourself crazy with what they got.

Sign up at Air Gun Nation web site. Most there are biased in favor of FX rifles, but you can find information on many others with a search.
 
If and when you go PCP. Get a Young Heng compressor. If taken care of, it will last a long time.

Go to Pyramyd Air web site and read yourself crazy with what they got.

Sign up at Air Gun Nation web site. Most there are biased in favor of FX rifles, but you can find information on many others with a search.

This is when I bought mine, still just fine.

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Honestly for your needs/distances you don't need to go with a PCP (but they are nice).

If you could find a Sheridan or Benjamin pump up pneumatic cheap, and get it rebuilt, it would be awesome for your needs. The blue/silver streak with 7 pumps has enough power to do a lot more than rats!

If it is nothing bigger than rats, there are CO2 options that have been doing the deed for a long time.
 
Update: rats are gone and back to managing the usual mice. Honestly I miss having something to hunt in the evenings off my back porch but it is worth not having the headache of vermin. I haven't moved on to any other airguns but have been swinging by garage sales looking for a deal. I already keep CO2 12g cartridges on hand for my paintball stuff.
How are the CO2 air pistols?
Are there any air pistols that would work well for practicing holster draws that are a bit more useful than an airsoft gun?
If I were to get a beat up pump where would I go to find parts and information to rebuild them?
 
Update: rats are gone and back to managing the usual mice. Honestly I miss having something to hunt in the evenings off my back porch but it is worth not having the headache of vermin. I haven't moved on to any other airguns but have been swinging by garage sales looking for a deal. I already keep CO2 12g cartridges on hand for my paintball stuff.
How are the CO2 air pistols?
Are there any air pistols that would work well for practicing holster draws that are a bit more useful than an airsoft gun?
If I were to get a beat up pump where would I go to find parts and information to rebuild them?

There are TONS of CO2 pistols out there that have the look and feel of the "real deal". They will fit in your firearms holster, controls in the same places, really fantastic for holster practice.....but....

I found rimfire to be more inexpensive.

That is likely due to the air gun I bought. It uses gas to move the slide "just like the real one" but that also uses gas faster. You get things like lock open on empty that might or might not help. I have little doubt if I had bought a different air gun the shot count would be higher.

Quite a few modern and popular choices out there. I did mine years ago when I was doing different games, mine was a 1911, and would take the same sights and safety my "real" gun had so it was pretty darn close to the real deal.
 
I have a Desert Eagle CO2 powered pellet pistol, apparently now discontinued. It is big so I put a 30 mm tube type red dot on it. It is very accurate with a surprisingly good trigger and certainly up to small vermin duty. It's drawback it is a gas hog. You get 35-37 shots and power falls off very quickly after that. I built a pellet trap from 14 guage steel and lined it with HD outdoor wiping mat cut to fit. I quickly shoot holes through the layers of mat when shooting groups. I would go with 10 guage for the back of trap and some sand in the bottom if I ever build another. My 14 guage one has a bulge in the back from shooting through the lining material.
 
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