Author Topic: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?  (Read 12009 times)

Offline Roswell

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Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« on: March 03, 2009, 01:06:09 PM »
Ok, I am afraid I screwed up bad.  I bought a new Beeman Air rifle for explicit reason of shooting squirrels.  My mother has a problem with them trying to get into her attic and at my house I want to keep them out of the garden.  So, is my rifle powerful enough to take him out?  I got the air rifle so I could use it in the city limits.  I linked below to the rifle.  It shoots .177 and fires at 500fps.  That is why I am worried.  I need an answer quick while I can still make an exchange.  Thanks everyone!




http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_96808_900006003_900000000_900006000_900-6-3

Offline Dan

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2009, 01:25:02 PM »
While it will do the trick on squirrels if hit in the right place you will want to make sure that it is capable of the accuracy required to do so. My brother had one similar to that , I don’t remember what brand, and we found that the break-barrel on his had enough play in it that with the scope mounted on the action the point of impact was inconsistent with the point of aim. If you held the crosshairs in the same spot consistently the point of impact would move randomly due to play in the pivot point of the barrel. He ended up returning his in favor of a .22 but then he doesn’t live in the city limits so he had that option.

Offline Roswell

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2009, 01:29:41 PM »
yeah, I actually have two .22s that my grandfather gave me, but I wanted this for the city.  It seems accurate enough.  I just started sighting in the scope yesterday, but I ran out of light.  I intend on finishing that this afternoon so I should have a better idea. 

Offline archer

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2009, 03:38:23 PM »
Can you use a .22 with subsonic rounds? i hear they are quiet.

Offline Dan

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2009, 04:45:49 PM »
Can you use a .22 with subsonic rounds? i hear they are quiet.

Not in any city I know of, not legally anyway.

SwampMonster

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2009, 05:10:46 PM »
Gamo make a Raptor round that will increase the speed, My Beeman went from 1000fps to supersonic with them.  If you think you are not going to be happy with it look at the kit that Academy has that has the .177 and .22 barrels. Think it runs $120 or so and pushes 1000fps.

Chuck

Offline Roswell

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2009, 05:35:55 PM »
Sweet! Thanks SwampMonster! I bet that is exactly what I need.  It said something on the box about being capable of 960 fps.  I bet those puppies would do the trick. 

I wish we could shoot subsonics here, but no dice.  I actually tried to pick some up at Walmart this weekend to use in my .22 next squirrel season (outside the city), but they were all out.  I then proceeded to clean them out of 9mm, but I digress.

Thanks for the responses guys.  I'll have a better idea of what it is capable of after the scope is sighted in and I get some of those raptors.  Then I'll post my thoughts

52Degrees

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2009, 06:53:46 PM »
I was just at Bass Pro the day before yesterday looking at their air rifles.  They have nice looking stuff, but for what they charge for a 500 fps Beeman you may be able to get the dual-caliber Beeman from Wal-Mart for only a few dollars more.  It's the same one Jack bought, and I picked one up too.  See the thread he started in this (The Airgun Board) section.

Offline Roswell

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2009, 07:52:19 PM »
I actually looked at Dick's, Bass and Walmart, but at the time I was really trying to do things for less than $100.  The deal at Bass was the best at the time.  I don't know if I like what I heard about the plastic sights on that particular model.

Offline Roswell

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2009, 08:04:31 PM »
Which Gamo ammo do you guys think is better.  The Gold or the non-lead alloy.   here is a link to the ammo in question.  One is obviously more expensive, but both promise to increase velocity up to 25%  or is there an even better ammo i missed?

Offline Roswell

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2009, 09:37:46 AM »
I found this other .177 ammo which also claims the same amount of increased velocity  http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/pellet.pl?pellet_id=243     Has anyone tried these 3 types out?  Which gives the highest velocity?  Which should I use for hunting in city limits?  please help.  thanks.

rickpeterson

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2009, 11:34:57 PM »
Hi Roswell,

The short answer is that your gun is too weak to kill a squirrel humanely.
I used to hunt (and eat) squirrels all the time as a Minnesota-Farm-Boy in the 70's, but it all came to an end when an Air Force buddy and I decided to shoot a squirrel for lunch outside the barracks with his Crossman 760 pump. We must have shot the poor little guy 10 times before stomping on him to end the tragedy and then cooking him in a $29.00 toaster oven. None of the bb's pierced the skin. It was a solemn moment over a sub-chow-hall meal that ended my hunting career for decades.
I think a Crossman 760 makes about 12 Foot Pounds of Energy. Your gun makes 4.4 FPE.

Velocity is hyped to sell low-end airguns, but velocity is not the whole story. 
Velocity is like RPM, pellet weight is like torque, and the foot-pounds of energy are like horsepower. 
You wouldn't buy a new sports car because it revved to 11,000 RPM, a YZ 80 does that; you'd want to know how much horsepower your new ride puts to the rear wheels.

To get a clear picture, imagine I'm throwing a BB at you with both hands like it's a basketball. If you knew it was coming at you about 30 MPH you wouldn't even flinch, right? (Remember, the forum members are watching).

Now, let’s say I huck a bowling ball at you with the same arms. I can only get it moving about 20 MPH because it's heavier.
Are you flinching now?

That's because the medicine ball, though moving with fewer "FPS" is a heck-of-a-lot heavier, and stores up a lot more KNOCK-DOWN-POWER, or Foot-Pounds-Of-Energy (FPE).

The formula is Pellet Weight(in grains)*FPS*FPS/450,240= FPE
A typical .177 pellet weighs 8 grains.
8*500*500/450240=4.4 FPE
The heaviest .177 pellet I've seen weighs 15.5 grains.

The spring-guns that are advertised as "breaking the sound barrier" might shoot a 5.4 Grain Gamo Raptor pellet at 1140 FPS.
5.4*1140*1140/450240=15.6 FPE

They are more powerful than your gun and would probably shoot an 8g pellets at about 950 FPS. They may well kill a squirrel before he has time to look at you like a kitten in a gunnysack but by dancing on "the wall" at 1100+ they are unlikely to be accurate.

A typical .22 pellet weighs 16 grains and a decent springer airgun will spit it out about 750 FPS.
16*750*750/450240=20 FPE
The same gun might shoot a 12 grain pellet about 825 FPS
12*825*825/450240=18 FPE

Notice that the lighter pellet carries less Knock-Down-Power with it. They were both fired from the same gun, but like the BB and Bowling ball, the heavier one took it's time and slurped up more energy.

The medium (Real World) answer is that you want to shoot a pellet that is heavy enough to slow your pellet down to about 850-900 FPS, This is like keeping your RPM in an engine a bit lower, but increasing the torque.  It delivers the maximum foot pounds of energy (horsepower) to the animal while maintaining accuracy. 

Here's the long answer:

The speed of sound is approximately 1140 FPS at sea level.  Just before a projectile breaks the speed of sound it “hits the wall” as Chuck Yeager was first to note, and when it breaks through the wall, the pressure in front of it is reduced just a bit.  A center-fire rifle can maintain this speed for quite a span, but a pellet-gun cannot. When the pellet slows down to less than about 1140 FPS the shock wave that was trailing behind it, catches it. 

If you have ever ridden in a flat bottom V8 boat (the ones with the headers in the air), you know that when your drunk cousin lets off the gas and you’re suddenly moving a lot slower than the wave behind you, bad things happen.  Same deal, when the shock wave hits the tail of a pellet, it knocks it catty-wampus.  Because airguns are incapable of pushing a pellet faster than the speed of sound for any practical distance, it normally works best to keep them sub-sonic by using heavier pellets. Remember that bowling ball in the corner of your eye.
 
For more info you should visit www.yellowforum.com or www.airgunadvice.com
You’ll find real-world hunting and equipment selection mixed with an even dose of
Pocket-protector theory and campfire camaraderie. I’ve posted a few links to the Survival Podcast on the Yellow to try to stir the pot.
You'll find much discussion about 10-20 FPE springers as well as 20 to 500+ FPE PCP's (Pre-charged Pneumatic airguns that are filled with a SCUBA tank and shoot 8grain to 600grain "pellets".

Offline Roswell

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2009, 08:05:50 AM »
Wow! thanks for the detailed answer Rick.  I was afraid of that.  Damn, I don't have the box anymore.  I wonder if Bass Pro would still take it back. I wish I had just made myself pony up more money for a .22 air rifle.  live and learn  I guess.  I may get those pellets anyway if I can't return it

Offline Dan

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2009, 01:19:58 PM »
The short answer is that your gun is too weak to kill a squirrel humanely.
I used to hunt (and eat) squirrels all the time as a Minnesota-Farm-Boy in the 70's, but it all came to an end when an Air Force buddy and I decided to shoot a squirrel for lunch outside the barracks with his Crossman 760 pump. We must have shot the poor little guy 10 times before stomping on him to end the tragedy and then cooking him in a $29.00 toaster oven. None of the bb's pierced the skin.

Dang, that must have been one tough little bugger. That or something was wrong with that Crossman 760. I know firsthand what the 760 can do as I was shot in the leg with one when I was a kid. My idiot neighbor who was a few years older than me was screwing around and shot me with it. Not only did it go through my denim pants and break the skin but went into my leg far enough that I had to go to the ER to have a doctor dig it out. I still have the scar to prove it.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 02:17:32 PM by Dan »

Offline Roswell

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2009, 03:07:26 PM »
Dang, that must have been one tough little bugger. That or something was wrong with that Crossman 760. I know firsthand what the 760 can do as I was shot in the leg with one when I was a kid. My idiot neighbor who was a few years older than me was screwing around and shot me with it. Not only did it go through my denim pants and break the skin but went into my leg far enough that I had to go to the ER to have a doctor dig it out. I still have the scar to prove it.

As I recall there is a massive difference between 1 pump or 10 on that gun.  Perhaps that is the discrepancy

Offline Roswell

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2009, 08:48:27 PM »
Has anyone used these? they advertise a 30% in crease in velocity and are super cheap


http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=492896

Offline Dan

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2009, 04:15:59 PM »
As I recall there is a massive difference between 1 pump or 10 on that gun.  Perhaps that is the discrepancy

Or perhaps my neighbors went to 11.  ;D

Juggernaut

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2009, 06:47:04 AM »
I have a grizzly one pump it has about 300 fps. at .177 cal. I would never hunt with that thing! what I would recommend is getting a 22 gun. you can find a one shot 22 for as little as 180$.  otherwise, I would think about getting a 22 air rifle, as the bigger round hits the squirrel harder, and damages more stuff leading to its death... I would also think about getting a gun that has a rifled barrel although this isn't very important unless your shooting at long range

also, I have a friend who has a real nice .177 that shoots like 1600 or something fps. it can't kill a groundhog at long range....

good luck on your air rifle!

      -Grant

Offline Roswell

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2009, 07:13:02 AM »
Well, I have two .22 rifles, but I got the air rifle to use outside my suburban home.  You are right though it just isn't powerful enough.  I actually resulted to snaring rather than go buy another air rifle that 'may' work.  The other day I snared a chipmunk.  I decided to use my air rifle to put it out of it's misery. I shot it point blank and while I saw blood and know it punctured the fur, he didn't die right off. The snare would have killed it by itself, but I saw it get snared and decided to help.  So, it looks like until I can afford a more expensive air rifle I am setting snares and building an owl box. I figure if I can get an owl to hang out by my garden then my rodent problem will be solved.

Juggernaut

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Re: Is my Air Rifle powerful enough?
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2009, 07:35:29 AM »
the owl box sounds like a great idea. snares have always fascinated me  :) their so simple, yet effective