Looking for in-expensive rifle for pests and winter basement practice.

Discussion in 'Airguns' started by Thomasss, Aug 16, 2022.

  1. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    What do you guys suggest? I'm a muzzle loader rifle guy in late 60's and lives in the city. Had a .22 Crosman 1400 at one time and sold it like a goof. It sat in the closet for 10 years. Well now I have recently acquired several chipmunks and feral pigeons which won't leave the bird feeder alone. I borrowed an old beat up, Benjiman pump .22; sited it in at 25 yards and waited. I hit a pigeon square in the chest, with 6 pumps at 25 feet. It flew off like I just scared it and came back 2 weeks later with a buddy. With my old Crossman, I would be eating squab. 6 pumps was hard to put in it by me.
    I been looking at several new .177 Crossman pump rifles, some with scopes in the neighborhood of 700 fps or more. I was told I can get more out of it by going to alloy projectiles. BUT I like lead for safety being in the city. Not sure how much umph I really need. I don't want to spend a lot of money, maybe $100 or so. So?
     
  2. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    In the sub $100 range you are really limiting your options sad to say. First thing I will say with your winter basement practice in mind that is going to cut out a great many of the spring guns. It does not matter if it has a "normal" old metal spring, or a gas spring, it is still a spring and will shoot on par with the metal siblings. The recoil impulse is very different on a spring gun then ANYTHING else. Not a good practice tool unless is is a sub 700 fps rifle, and going down that far is not going to be ideal for the mammals you want to get rid of.....add to that your price point is going to limit you.

    Really I think the best thing in the $100 range is a Crosman 2100 classic. This is basically the same gun as the old 766 from our youth (i am about 10 years behind you) and is actually a very good gun, not a good gun for the price a good shooting gun.....aside from the trigger....they have a horrid trigger.

    The thing that will wake up this rifle is the pellets, the pellets sold at wally world are really junk, no other word for it. You need to hit one of the bigger online airgun sellers and get some good JSB, H&N, something along those lines and the gun will be deadly inside of 25 yards.....and NEVER EVER SHOOT A STEEL BB IN THIS RIFLE....more on that later.

    Story time:
    I bought two Remington Airmaster 77, same thing as the 2100 only black and at the time sold at wally world. I also bought two decks of cards one for each rifle. In my pellet testing I found that the pellets sold at walmart, bass pro, any big box store that sold airguns, these rifles just flat would not shoot straight, in some cases minute of playing card was asking too much at 25 yards.

    With good pellets both guns would put 10 rounds into the suit of a 10 of clubs for example, so 10 shots all hitting a club at 25 yards. That is very acceptable. The ammo made all the difference.

    Not the pumper, but another air rifle, this is a photo of 10 rounds shot from two different pellets, you can easy tell the difference between what the gun likes and what it does not. Point of aim is the X for the top, and the 8 for the other group, and I think the flyers are me.

    upload_2022-8-17_8-3-34.png

    The BB thing is, that copper coated BB is steel, and MUCH harder then the barrel on these guns, it will destroy the barrel in short order. If you want it to be accurate don't shoot steel BB's There are lead BB's available, and "non bounce back" type BB's, but never ever steel.

    The triggers flat suck, no way around that, you can make them a little better with some universal tricks, but you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. I really wish something higher end pumper had better triggers....and yes I know about the benji's, they are not much better IMHO, and over the posters stated budget.

    Pumping is going to suck, no way around that, it is what it is.....look at it as a workout. Leave one pump in it.

    Oil, it needs oil, penngun oil is the standard, but really anything that IS NOT dino oil will not be an issue. If it is dino oil the seals will swell up....ever put power steering fluid in a brake master cyl....yea that.

    I did my tests to show that these "cheap" guns are actually good guns, I don't have the videos anymore, I should do it again and post them on youtube with a few different camera angles for those that say it is not possible, you never change the mind of those people, even with two guns they will say "you got a good one".

    Let me know if I can help.
     
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  3. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    I forgot, alloy pellets. In general stay away for a couple reasons. On these more "inexpensive" airguns they have a pretty soft barrel, some of the alloys used in the pellets are harder, and will eat the barrel. Many of them are much more light. This will give them a higher FPS number, but for your use that really does not matter. You want FPE on target and you will do better with good ole lead.

    As to your basement practice, get yourself an old cardboard box, I use a computer box, but I work in that area, you want something fairly thick, a couple inches will do. Fill it rubber mulch. This will stop any pellet and not be real noisy or heavy. I have mine on a harbor freight furniture dolly, easy to roll out of the way. When the box starts to get shot up, duct tape. It will gain weight as you shoot it, those pellets get stuck in there, but that is something my kid will need to deal with after I am gone :)
     
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  4. Kookla

    Kookla Member

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    The Benjamin you borrowed should have done the job, maybe it needed to be resealed? Stock 392's should be able to hit 600fps with average weighted pellets. I've used my 392 on squirrels with open sights out to 20-25 yards and works very well.

    The crosman 2100 is a great air rifle- used one for a while and took a lot of squirrels out to 25 yards. They can be tricky to load though, that's the only real strike I have against them.

    Crosman released their new 362 and it's gotten some good reviews. Comes in at $99.
     
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  5. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I use my CMP-purchased Daisy Avanti 10m olympic air rifle, and lead pellets, to kill chipmunks around the house. It's spooky accurate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2022
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  6. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    I was wondering no way, they are more expensive then that, then I looked.....oh black plastic now.....thats how.

    Unless other things have changed to hit that price point the old 392 was a fantastic rifle in the old days. I don't know about the new versions.

    In disclosure the 2100's that I am using are at least 5 years old, those could have changed as well.
     
  7. Ascot500

    Ascot500 Member

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  8. Mauser fan

    Mauser fan Member

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    I use a daisy 880 for vermin control. It knocks the snot out of pigeons, squirrels, rabbits and I've even bagged a few raccoons with it at up to about 20 yards with bb's and pellets alike. It's inexpensive and very accurate.
     
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  9. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    I LOVE the old 880's from way back when, now they are all plastic and that is a bit of a turn off.....unless you are a glock fan. (Sorry had to)

    This is one reason I like the 2100 series, they are still metal, not great metal but metal. I like they are still doing that.

    If used is an option the world opens up quite a bit, however things like the old metal 880's and 2200 are collector items now, and command a pretty penny. I have two torn down for parts, need to get them back on their feet, fun guns.
     
  10. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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  11. ford8nr

    ford8nr Member

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    CMP reconditioned Daisy 853 around $ 120 delivered.
     
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  12. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    That won’t kill a pigeon with a chest shot, and their tiny heads don’t stop moving.

    The 2100 Classic is only just barely adequate on pigeons with chest shots. Look at the video on the Ted’s Holdover YouTube channel.

    Multi-pump pneumatic rifles take all the fun out of practice, as you really need the full amount of pumps for a consistent point of aim. Therefore, my advice is to rationalize the purchase of a nicer, more expensive airgun; they really are worth it, due to low ammo cost and the ability to shoot inside and in the back yard. For your use, I recommend a Weihrauch HW50s. It’s a nice German break-barrel spring piston rifle, with enough zing but not too much. Just the one cocking stroke and build quality you can be proud of.

    https://www.pyramydair.com/product/weihrauch-hw50s-breakbarrel-rifle?m=2152
     
  13. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    OP says "I don't want to spend a lot of money, maybe $100 or so. So?"

    Smaug says "I recommend a Weihrauch HW50s." $419.99, seriously?
     
  14. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Why not save up your money so you can move up the good...better.... best chain. Just a thought.
     
  15. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    Ted aside as he blew everything he had over one video. As someone that does a Remington airmaster 77, basically a black 2100 it is fantastic for things like starlings. I think they are a little thinner then a pigeon, not sure don't have issues with those here, it is all starlings. It will do a number on those. Still not a through and through however but it does drop them with a center body shot....so I can comment on that first hand. They are also good enough for mice, I do try for head shots on the mice they do sit still long enough, so that is a bit of floppin as it takes a sec for the body to turn off after the brain has turned off.

    The issue with a spring gun even low powered guns is they are just different, the recoil is different.

    A couple different forums are talking air guns now, not sure why. But I got out a couple of old ones I had not shot in a while, some OLD springers, a Gamo Expo 26 and a Gamo 440 Hunter. The expo is a very low power springer, I did not chrono them and don't remember what the FPS numbers on them at new, but I want to say the expo was 5-800 fps gun, want to say closer to 5, and the 440 was 1000. These guns are at least 20+ years old. The expo is pretty light despite being wood, and it had a bit of a hop to it, so that spring recoil was there, and you can't hold it like a rimfire. The 440 being fatter the recoil was a bit more "tame", but still there.

    Him wanting some pesting action as well as practice, really the best choice is a MSP, yea pumping sucks, but it will do some pesting on the lighter and smaller....pests. Really I think a spring gun is not going to do his "practice" in the basement much good.

    The MSP will not be happy storing 10 pumps and sitting by the door waiting for a bird feeder raider, it is not good on a metal spring gun as well, he will want a gas spring. For basement practice, I guess it depends on his "practice". Both suck if you want to do prone. I use a CO2 or a 12FPE gun for indoor, that way I can lay on the mat and not have to move too much just reach another pellet and keep going.
     
  16. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    You make a good point, and there are some CO2 guns that would work, at least in the warmer weather. There are some now that use two regular CO2 powerlets back to back and send a .22 pellet out at around 600 FPS. There's the CO2 expense, but it's still cheaper than powderburners.

    As for the spring guns, with a metal spring, they can't be left cocked. What we do is to load a pellet, then de-cock it. Then, when a pest shows up, just cock it and you're ready to rock in 2 seconds. Just have to make sure you zero with cold shots, since it changes a bit when the gun warms up from multiple shot cycles. The gas piston ones can be left cocked, just like the gas pistons in a hatchback are "left cocked".

    Pigeons are a lot thicker in the breast than starlings. He probably hit that one pigeon square in the breast bone and it deflected and got caught in the meat. I would be very surprised if that wasn't mortal; just maybe not immediately. A light .177 pellet, maybe even wadcutter? ...moving around 600 fps from the muzzle? I could see that. Sometimes, a bird will be grazed; get some feathers and maybe take a leg off. I see a few one-legged pigeons in the city; maybe one out of every 200.

    Last thing: if you haven't tried a high quality German or British springer, you're missing out on something. They're very different than the $100 Gamos and Crosmans in the store these days. Not more powerful, but more accurate and better made. They're not all made for all-out power; accuracy comes first. Even that takes about a tin of pellets to break them in. My favorite one is a .177 Air Arms TX200, which I had tuned by an airgunsmith. (yes, there is such a thing, and the good ones are quite sought-after!) That one can take squirrels at 25 yards with the pellets it likes. (Air Arms Diabolo Field domes in 8.4 gr.)
     
  17. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    I have several across all different price ranges. The only "high end" springer I have is an RWS 48 side cocker. (forgot I also have that trainer for Egypt based on the Hakiem rifle) It is a very nice but has a bit of meat to it, and shoots quite well. These old Gamos are of a different stock from what is around now. They generally take a lot of bad press now, but all the guns (last I knew) are made in europe. These two are made in spain, but again are quite old, I should have taken some photos of them this weekend, did not. Another forum was talking Techforce and I took that thing out after years and shot a couple groups with it.

    As to CO2 Hammerli 850 is a great gun, I again have an older example, and that I would trust with tree squirrel, don't think I would want to go larger in the mammal range. And I know it will fly right through a starling and make a hole in the roof of a metal barn.....don't ask me how I know.
     
  18. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    I had a Hammerli 850 that was converted to PCP and tuned. Great gun, but front-heavy with the high pressure air stuff on the front. I know a guy in an airgun forum that routinely shoots gray and fox squirrels out to 30 yards or so with it. Beyond that, he goes to PCP.

    I had forgotten that the early Gamos were made in Spain by the original company, before they were either sold or got really greedy. Nowadays, Gamo is doing quite well from selling all these cheap ones in Walmart marked "1400 fps". (with junky .177 alloy pellets and 6" patterns at 5 yards) Well enough that they bought BSA and now those are their better guns.
     
  19. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    I thought they are still Spain, I will have to look them up. I have not bought one in decade or so. You are right, they know what sells and that is huge FPS numbers. Trouble is those are the hardest things to shoot well, and the majority of walmart buyers are going to shoot it like pappies deer rifle, and that is not going to work.

    On a side note, we only have grays here, when we bounced around a bit I was shocked to see black and red squirrels, never knew they existed....we did not have the internet then.
     
  20. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    The black ones are a genetic mutation of grays; they seem to be getting more common despite having worse camouflage...

    I hope the reds don't spread down here. (I have a buddy who lives up near Madison, WI who has reds, but we don't have them down in Kenosha) I don't like the idea of something quicker and more skittish than a gray while also being more mischievous. The bright side is that they're probably not too big for rat traps. (that's just less fun than popping them with an air rifle.)
     
  21. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    This is what I got for chippies, https://www.pyramydair.com/product/crosman-fire-nitro-piston-sbd-air-rifle?m=5228#10467
    along with the Sheridan Blue Streak that I've had for 52 years, which I must admit I grab most times out of habit. The Sheridan is bigger, 5mm compared to .177 caliber, but far handier. Though I can hit quite well with the Sheridan and it's iron sights, I have to give the accuracy nod to the Crosman. Price is a bit higher now-think it was normally about $109 at the time I got mine, but I got it on a Tractor Supply Black Friday sale at $79.
     
  22. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    Personally I think 20 is the perfect caliber till you get to big bore. Not sure why it never took off.
     
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  23. BanjomanMI76

    BanjomanMI76 Member

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    Try finding the ammo for 20 cal !!!
     
  24. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    ammo is out there.... jsb n H&n high dollar pelletts only :(

    I have a Beeman/HW R10, a Air force talon ss and 3 or so Sheridans in 5mm/.20and they all shoot well Iam really dissapointed that Crossman stopped making the .20/5mm pelletts
     
  25. Remington1911

    Remington1911 Member

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    IMHO this is a case where you do get what you pay for. Just about all I shoot are JSB and H&N.
     
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