Author Topic: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles  (Read 15994 times)

Offline carltonh

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Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« on: July 01, 2010, 08:25:27 AM »
This could have been posted in quite a few different forms and it was hard to guess where best to put it, but here it is.

My wife heard the chickens bawking at 1 am and went to check on them, and found an opossum in the chicken coop on a nest, explaining a string of broken eggs.  This is in a quiet suburb and we decided even the 22 rifle would be too loud.  We thought about trying the live trap, but had never had success with that so decided on pellet guns.

Being in our coop, this was a simple 6 foot shot.  My wife and I simultaneously fired pellets into its head, and it appeared blood was gushing out of its brain or at least its head.  It stopped moving after 15 seconds.  I added another pellet to its head to try to make sure it was a clean kill.  It didn't react to that.  Then my wife said, "I hope it wasn't a mommy." And that set her off bawling for 30 minutes.  I wasn't expecting my wife's reaction. She previously killed a rat with a pellet gun and was happy with that.

Anyway since I ended up comforting my wife for 30 minutes, I decided to just bag it up in the morning. We had no intention of eating it and tend to avoid non-kosher foods, even pork, anyway.

Well, opossums not only play dead, but can play dying and seemingly seconds from death and not respond to a finishing pellet shot, as it was gone in the morning, and so apparently not dead.

I guess my lesson is that I should not trust a pellet gun, even a high powered break barrel one and a 10 pump pellet/BB combo rifle.  need to actually try my Aguila brand "sniper subsonic" ammo in my 22 rifle to see how quiet it is.  I had so far only tried it in pistols where it isn't much quieter than standard ammo, but that was a 2.5" barrel Baretta.

Additionally, I have since read a fact sheet that says heart and lung shots are preferred because they have small brains and thick skulls.  Oops.

I hope the opossum wandered off and still died soon, but at the least, I hope it doesn't return to steal chicken eggs.

So are there additional lessons I should learn?  I'm listening.

I'm also not as certain I should still get my wife a Glock and a concealed handgun license, given her reaction to the opossum.  I probably still will, because shooting a human in self defense of yourself or your kids should be easier than shooting a nuisance animal.  At least I hope so. And she didn't have a problem with doing it till afterward anyway.

Another thing, if I shoot a 22, I might risk getting my chickens taken away as they aren't technically allowed in my city.  Sort of a don't ask, don't tell.  Some neighbors have some too at least.  I don't really want to get a suppressor and pay for the Class 3 license and be put on the NFA registry.

Any thought or advice?

Offline Crusher13

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 09:08:46 AM »
I agree with the heart and lung shot. I think animals do have thick skulls and head shots will bleed alot becasue of all the blood vessels so close to the surface.

As far as using a 22. I have thought about this at my house too. Never had the need to but if you are confident of the backstop and no one can see you I wouldn't worry about the noise to much. If it is one shot most people will not notice it or if they do just explain it away and not do anything. Do you call authorities about every loud bang you hear? If you do what do you tell them. I think I heard a gunshot? Where at maam? Around my house somewhere?

Last the CCW permit. Yes shooting someone in self defence should be easier than an animal but the phycological trauma could be immense. I think it would take a toll on anyone to take another humans life no matter how big a scum bag. You can always get the permit it doesn't mean she has to carry. My personal opinion is don't carry if you aren't positive  you would use the weapon or else you are just carrying around a potential weapon for the bad guy that may not be there in the first place.

Offline donaldj

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 09:13:35 AM »
This close to 4th of July, just pop off a whole clip. They'll be dismissed as firecrackers.   ;D

Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 09:24:14 AM »
Try the .22 Colibres from Aguila. they look like a normal .22LR but are a 20gr bullet just powered by the primer. Very quiet out of a rifle. Prolly quieter than your air guns.

I'd still go with the heart shot. Craniums are tough and curved. Unless you go into a prexisting hole, your bullets are probably going to not penetrate.

Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2010, 09:26:52 AM »
This close to 4th of July, just pop off a whole clip. They'll be dismissed as firecrackers.   ;D

the '4th' of July is just a date on a calender.
Independence Day is a Holiday

Sorry for being :offtopic:

Offline donaldj

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2010, 09:38:58 AM »
the '4th' of July is just a date on a calender.
Independence Day is a Holiday

Sorry for being :offtopic:

Lame pathetic forum snipe....  I can play too.

Independence Day is not a "Holiday". It is a time for reflection on how our country was created, a time to pay respect for those who fought for our independence, and those who envisioned this great country based on Freedom.

Leave the forum sniping elsewhere.


Roknrandy

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2010, 10:40:21 AM »
Lame pathetic forum snipe....  I can play too.

Independence Day is not a "Holiday". It is a time for reflection on how our country was created, a time to pay respect for those who fought for our independence, and those who envisioned this great country based on Freedom.

Leave the forum sniping elsewhere.


the '4th' of July is just a date on a calender.
Independence Day is a Holiday

Sorry for being :offtopic:

Gentlemen please relax.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2010, 11:54:12 AM »
Try the .22 Colibres from Aguila. they look like a normal .22LR but are a 20gr bullet just powered by the primer. Very quiet out of a rifle. Prolly quieter than your air guns.

They also have this warning on the box:
Quote
These priming mix propelled projectiles must be fired only in handguns.  When fired in long-barreled firearms such as rifles, bullets may remain lodged inside the long barrel.  A subsequent firing of a regular .22 rimfire cartridge may result in injury or death to the user or others.

They're not very loud out of a handgun, but probably still audible to nearby neighbors if fired outdoors.

Offline Roswell

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2010, 01:08:06 PM »
May I also recommend trying some different pellets.  I use either GAMO PBA Armor Piercing Pellets which offer 20% increase in your guns power vs a normal pellet or you can try Gamo PBA Raptor Power Pellets for a 25% increase in velocity or even my favorite RWS HyperMAX which boast a 30% increase in velocity.

Offline Twarner

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2010, 01:18:42 PM »
May I also recommend trying some different pellets.  I use either GAMO PBA Armor Piercing Pellets which offer 20% increase in your guns power vs a normal pellet or you can try Gamo PBA Raptor Power Pellets for a 25% increase in velocity or even my favorite RWS HyperMAX which boast a 30% increase in velocity.

agree, this works for me

Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2010, 01:25:19 PM »
They also have this warning on the box:
They're not very loud out of a handgun, but probably still audible to nearby neighbors if fired outdoors.


They work very well out of my AR (with .22 conversion) and my 10/22. I tried them in an older, long barrel Remmington single shot. The loudest sound, when shooting from a rifle, is the bullet hitting the target. When I tried the Remmy, there was no bullet hitting the target sound. ..
Just pushed the bullet out, and don't use the Colibres in the Remmy anymore.

Offline koyote

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Re: Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2010, 10:36:50 PM »
3 things:

slightly off topic- the SSS rounds from aguila are ridiculously quiet in my 24 inch barreled .22 rifles. they are really fairly quiet in my Sportsman 6 inch .22 revolver.  I would always choose these over the colibri 20 grain as the 60 grain projectile hits devastatingly hard for a .22 at close range.

Second-  I have little experience with the superlight "fast" pellets, but all bad. Squirrels, raccoons, and a few other critters have ridiculously thick and hard skulls, but I haven't had nay luck with lighter weight ammo penetrating them any better.  Generally speaking, you get more foot pounds and better energy transfer going heavier and losing some velocity. If you really want to penetrate thick skulls specifically, the high velocity .177 guns with 10.7 grain crosman heavies seems to do best. In .22- ~14 grain DOME pellets seem, to me, to be the best ones. the hollowpoints are better for the chest shots in general

Third- heart and lung. For a finishing shot, that's probably best, if you made a head shot initially. Even then, you'll want to make sure it's bled out.  But a pellet at the base of the skull will do it, too.