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OT, which 22cal Air Rifle to buy?

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  • #16
    Over the years I have messed around with all kinds of air rifles, but I'm out of touch with current models. What I will say is that if you go with the PCP system, then you really do need to buy a scuba tank and charging gear. Those hand pumps are an instrument of torture and depending on your state of heath, potentially life threatening. As someone else has noted, that strenuous pumping will get old very, very fast.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by IanPendle View Post
      Over the years I have messed around with all kinds of air rifles, but I'm out of touch with current models. What I will say is that if you go with the PCP system, then you really do need to buy a scuba tank and charging gear. Those hand pumps are an instrument of torture and depending on your state of heath, potentially life threatening. As someone else has noted, that strenuous pumping will get old very, very fast.
      That which does not kill, STRENGTHENS!

      I'm 70 years old. Pumping is not strenuous to me. Pleasant exercise at worst. Use your legs, save your back.

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      • #18
        I second the break barrel Diana. I inherited one from my wife's grandfather and it is a beauty. Simple, precise, no frills, a work of art.

        My buddy dispatches varmints with his Benjamin .22 and is quite happy with it.

        Keep it simple....

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        • #19
          If I may add, There are several attractive features to "airguns" that I did not appreciate until I started in on them 15 years ago.

          First, there are a lot of different "kinds", and the history goes back to Lewis and Clarke era. Even before! They can be very interesting, almost compelling.

          Second, they are NOT FIREARMS, at least not here in the US of A. And so are better considered "back Yard Friendly". especially by the young ones and the fairer gender.

          Third, though a muzzle device may be a "regulated item", airguns can be made very un annoying with regards to sound ;-)

          Fourth, Due to the ballistic coefficient of pellets, the range is greatly reduced in the instance of an errant shot or ricochet. This can enhance the opportunities to use the air powered projectile launcher.

          Then there is the down side. Holding one, in an un-opportune situation, can get you killed by those who do not have the time to consider all factors..

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          • #20
            I guess it depends on the goal of the rifle. My favorite .22 Cal air rifle no longer appears to be available in the USA. That would have bene the BAM-50. Fortunately I already have one. Its an amazingly accurate shooting Chinese knockoff of an old model Daystate rifle. However for pest control its pretty hard to beat a .25 caliber PCP that is well tuned. I have owned a Kalibri Cricket in .25 and still own a much modified Maurader in .25. Both are very capable and accurate. The Cricket is slightly heavier, but being a bullpup was easier to hold on target.

            I started out hand pumping for both the .177 Maurader and the B-50. For continuous plinking it could get old, but for pest work you get plenty of shots between fills. I put a 450CC bottle on the .25 Marauder, and the Cricket filled to 4300 PSI. It would get tiring to fill those by hand. I bought a Freedom8 Shoebox compressor and I used it for a very short while to fill a smaller Benjamin carbon fiber bottle to 4500PSI, but the Shoebox didn't hold up all that well. I might have filled the small bottle 4-5 times, and I was constantly having issues with fill pressure settings. I don't recall exactly now. It finally blew something out and I never repaired it. I do have a couple "repair kits" for it but I never bothered. Instead I picked up an import pump from a mediocre import dealer, and a Great White tank from Joe Brancatto. http://www.airtanksforsale.com/ He also has a selection of high end airguns for sale. He often will give a discount on the airgun if you buy a tank at the same time.

            After going PCP I can't imagine going back to a springer or a pumper. I routinely take collared eurasian dove at 50-70 yards with my .25 marauder shooting 25.39 grain JSB exact kings at about 890-920 FPS. If I hit them they gun down. No exceptions. I've got my gun tuned to shoot about 26 shots starting at just above 890 peaking around 920 and dropping back to 890 before I stop shooting.

            Elevation and windage are an issue with air gun velocities, but learnable. My best shot string was probably a 4 shot string on a dead calm day at the range with 4 on a golf ball at 135 yards with the B-50 shooting 1035-1052 at I think 34 inches of holdover. I was using hand picked 14.3 grain .22 Crosman hollow points. After the 4th shot the ball rolled out of sight. NOTE: Golf balls generally make terrible airgun targets. They do an amazing job of returning the pellets to the shooter at short ranges. The only reason I felt safe that day is... well... it was 135 yards away.

            There are a lot of great guns out there now, but back when I was really getting into it the .22 Marauder had a reputation as being hit or miss as to barrel quality. The .25 has a Green Mountain barrel and is top notch. My Cricket was regulated and shot just a little hotter than the Marauder, at about 930 FPS around 40 shots. I might not recall 100%, but it was close to that. The Cricket might have been able to shoot the infamous 5 on a dime at 50 yards that arrogant shooters brag they can do. It definitely shot groups close to that anyway. The Cricket also cost 3.5 times as much as the Marauder.

            Airguns can get be expensive as machining as a hobby.
            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by skunkworks View Post
              Benjamin? Are they any good still?
              the .25 Marauder has a Green Mountain barrel, and its quite good. The .22 had a rep for not being so great. I felt my .177 was decent and I made one kill shot at 94 yards with it on a gopher when he finally poked his head out. Benjamin makes lots of guns of varying quality these days. You really need to look a the reviews from multiple sources. I had a Benjamin Nitro Piston in .177 and it was universally terrible. I thought it was just because I was bad with a spring piston gun, but my much more powerful Hatson spring piston doesn't wander like the Benjamin Nitro Piston did.

              Spring piston guns can be a bit of a learning curve. Particularly with more powerful ones.
              *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Doc Nickel View Post
                AOne "fill" lasts quite a while, and while I never chronied it, I was given to understand that at full power, it was just over 1,000 FPS. For a .22, that's approaching Long Rifle territory.
                LOL. No, it's probably not. Not unless you were shooting a 40 grain bullet at that speed. I can see shooting a 14.3 grain Crossman hollow point at that speed. My B-50 drops the first 5-6 shots at over 1000 FPS with 14.3 grain pellets. That's only about 35ft/lb at the muzzle. More than adequate for small and medium rodents and squirrels or even cotton tail rabbits (head shots) at shorter ranges, but nowhere near .22 LR territory. Your average 36 grain generic bulk .22 ammo is giving you closer to 110-115 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle and has a much better ballistic coefficient than a pellet to carry that energy down range.

                The other thing is most airgun manufacturers give the best number they ever saw shooting down hill with a tail wind. Either that or they almost all lie just a little bit. To get the most out of your airgun you do need to chronograph some shots and look up your pellets. Chairgun from Hawke Optics used to be a great resource for plugging in the numbers to see what your airgun can do, but somebody told me its not available anymore. It used to be a free download off their website, with paramters for tons of common pellets already in the database.

                I use a ProChrono. Some guys wear by Chrony, but I owned two of them and they were both SH!T! My ProChrono works great.


                *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                • #23
                  I realize you are looking at an air rifle and many have good reasons for wanting one. Chief among those is usually the low noise signature.

                  May I also offer an alternative that is equally quiet if not more so, yet way more powerful and faster to reload.
                  The 22LR loaded with CCI's Quiet-22
                  These rounds are loaded to a muzzle velocity 710 FPS driving a 40 grain projectile and are extremely quite, much more so than my high velocity .177 air rifle. They are unbelievably quiet.

                  Follow up shots are much faster and if the need for more power is required one can incrementally climb the velocity ladder one step at a time as the need arises.
                  For under $500 you can obtain a pretty decent 22LR in the action style you prefer. Just remember that the ammo I linked to will not cycle a semi-auto action, they will have to be cycled manually with that particular ammo. However CCI does make a quiet ammo for semi-autos that propels the 40 grain bullet at 835 FPS at a very modest increase in sound.
                  Also keep in mind most air rifle will be physically much larger and heavier than a 22LR which may be a factor if you need to pack it in the field for any length of time.
                  Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                  Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                  Location: British Columbia

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                  • #24
                    General reply. Air gun moderators are absolutely NOT regulated under federal law, and there is even a federal appellate court case to set precedent. There may be a couple states that regulate suppressed airguns, but the vast majority do not.
                    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Willy View Post
                      I realize you are looking at an air rifle and many have good reasons for wanting one. Chief among those is usually the low noise signature.

                      May I also offer an alternative that is equally quiet if not more so, yet way more powerful and faster to reload.
                      The 22LR loaded with CCI's Quiet-22
                      These rounds are loaded to a muzzle velocity 710 FPS driving a 40 grain projectile and are extremely quite, much more so than my high velocity .177 air rifle. They are unbelievably quiet.

                      Follow up shots are much faster and if the need for more power is required one can incrementally climb the velocity ladder one step at a time as the need arises.
                      For under $500 you can obtain a pretty decent 22LR in the action style you prefer. Just remember that the ammo I linked to will not cycle a semi-auto action, they will have to be cycled manually with that particular ammo. However CCI does make a quiet ammo for semi-autos that propels the 40 grain bullet at 835 FPS at a very modest increase in sound.
                      Also keep in mind most air rifle will be physically much larger and heavier than a 22LR which may be a factor if you need to pack it in the field for any length of time.
                      I do have some boxes of CCI LR subsonic ammo, and an old Stevens single shot bolt action rifle laying around...

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                      • #26
                        Out of curiosity, why an air rifle instead of an actual rifle? Maine is pretty open as far as firearms restrictions, and as has already been mentioned here, an air rifle wont be much quieter than a 22lr rifle. If youre worried about the neighbors seeing you with a rifle, i doubt that most people will be able to identify the difference between an air rifle and an actual rifle, so itd be the same problem either way

                        Only reason im asking is because $500 doesnt get you very much beyond the .177cal break-actions that are glorified BB guns, but $400 will get you one of the best 22s you can get

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                        • #27
                          Perhaps my single shot .22 would be better with subsonic ammo... It's free too.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by CalM View Post
                            ...
                            Second, they are NOT FIREARMS, at least not here in the US of A. ...
                            ...
                            I suppose that you are referring to federal regulations. The states all have their own regulations and I won't be surprised if some of them considered airguns to be firearms. First to mind is Massachusetts.

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                            • #29
                              If you want ease of use and zero recoil, then a PCP is the way to go. Just subsonic would be quieter and with 22 or greater caliber would be good to 50 yards. It is much easier in the USA for powerful airguns to be bought, it is worth researching to find the most accurate. In the UK, A 12ft pounds limit is imposed, higher requires a firearms certificate. Even 12ft pounds is lethal through the temple or eye socket, they are not toys.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by old mart View Post
                                If you want ease of use and zero recoil, then a PCP is the way to go. Just subsonic would be quieter and with 22 or greater caliber would be good to 50 yards. It is much easier in the USA for powerful airguns to be bought, it is worth researching to find the most accurate. In the UK, A 12ft pounds limit is imposed, higher requires a firearms certificate. Even 12ft pounds is lethal through the temple or eye socket, they are not toys.
                                They aren't toys, in fact they are more dangerous than firearms. With a firearm it is easy to check if the gun is safe. Harder to see if an airgun has a charge or is loaded.

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