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Old 12-20-2016, 10:54 PM
pdmike
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Reason NOT to buy an airgun



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Having the common cold, plus being too cold to shoot outside right now has reduced me to playing around with numbers today as I contemplate buying a PCP (Pre Charged Pneumatic) airgun to add to my varied airgun collection.

So... in addition to reading many online gun and ammo reviews, I punched some numbers into the ballistic calculator program I wrote. I wanted to compare some low-noise, very low velocity (but still accurate) .22 rimfire ammo to a fairly powerful .22 caliber airgun. Here's what I learned.

Comparing an airgun and rimfire rifle both sighted in for 25 yards:
1. A .22 rimfire rifle shooting CCI Quiet-22 ammo at 710 fps muzzle velocity, 40 gr. bullet, BC=.121
2. A .22 air rifle shooting 14.3 gr. pellet at 800 fps muzzle velocity, BC=.019

Surprisingly trajectory is IDENTICAL out to 50 yards, which is pretty much the maximum you'd want to be concerned with shooting either gun with this ammo. However, at 50 yards, the .Quiet-22 bullet hits with almost 4 times the energy (41 ft.lbs.) of the air rifle pellet at that range. The pellet is also blown off course 8 times further than the rimfire bullet at that range, given a 10-mph crosswind. The pellet is blown about 5 inches off target and the rimfire bullet less than 3/4 of an inch.

In addition, given the same barrel length, the Quiet-22 is QUIETER than the air rifle. The 68 db report of the Quiet-22 is quieter than even most suppressed high-power air guns. Even using faster (but still subsonic) ammo in the .22 rimfire can be quieter than a powerful .22 caliber pellet rifle, as long as the barrel of the rimfire is longish, like the 26-inch barrel on my Anschutz.

Accuracy depends on the rifle, but in similar cost rifles, it's a toss-up between the rimfire and an accurate pellet rifle.

To me, all of these are very compelling reasons NOT to buy a PCP air rifle, especially since they tend to cost more than a similar quality .22 rimfire, not to mention the hassle and extra cost of equipment needed to charge the PCP rifle with high-pressure air.

A .22 rimfire is typically less trouble-prone and simpler than an airgun, since the rimfire does not have any seals to go bad.

If legal restrictions prevent you from using a firearm where you would like, that's a good reason for the airgun. Sometimes the lower power of an airgun is an advantage.

Of course there is always the fact that you just LIKE airguns. Plus the fact that you might enjoy having another gun. I certainly don't want to spoil anyone's fun! We don't always have to be pragmatic.
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Last edited by pdmike; 12-20-2016 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:05 AM
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Well, I applaud your efforts - seems like you put a lot into that. Noting your circumstance at the beginning of your post reminded me of why I have a number of air pistols and rifles - some break-barrel, some CO2, some PCP.

I can shoot indoors whenever the mood strikes me. Not living in a rural area, shooting anything outdoors (other than a well-compensated Talon SS) is not a real option. If I could shoot outdoors around my home, I might have far fewer airguns, but weather will eventually force me indoors.

I taught my wife to shoot using air pistols and rifles. She transitioned to 22s and on to center fire pistols and rifles. Being able to shoot at home, indoors vs a public range was invaluable for her. No one watching!

I've never considered airguns to be economical compared to 22s - pellet prices have risen over the past 5 years - some are almost as expensive as 22 ammo was - 5 years ago.

So each to his own. If economics or ballastics are your thing, airguns will fare badly compared to a $99 Savage rifle from Dick's and a brick of CCI SV (if you can find it). But when it's below freezing outside, we can still shoot when we want.

Cheerio
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:40 AM
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to both of the above posts. Air guns are just another source of fun, and if your shooting at 25 ot 50 yards, airguns are great trainers for reading the wind because if you don't, you'll know it.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:27 AM
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Sounds to me that you are very dedicated to what you pursue. RFC is a really a great site.I have learned a lot here.But that has mainly been with Czs.If you truly want the best knowledge on air rifles join GTA.
This a great site for its intended purpose.But GTA has way more to offer you.It seems you would be a good fit over there.Great post here btw.So please stay here as well.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:42 AM
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For me airguns are for inside and firearms are for outside. My favorites for 10m basement shooting are the Izzies. IZH 60 rifle that weighs next to nothing and a 46M pistol that's a handful. Both shooting .177 pellets at under 500 fps and both inherently much more accurate than I am.

Your comparisons are numerically correct but it wouldn't dissuade me from a PCP rifle if I wanted one. In fact I'm just waiting for old buddy to get tired of his Benjamin Marauder and then I'm going to swoop in and snack up the whole setup. Why? Because they're fun!

Frank
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:47 AM
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You will never get Quiets to shoot with a high end air rifle no matter how hard it hits. I went through the op's doubts before I purchaced my pcp. Advantages over rimfire are simple. They wont carry as far, silencers are legal with no tax or registration, and you can hit a dime at 50 yds with them.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:55 AM
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Op, that is great information you have there... thank you for sharing!
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:17 AM
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But what SHE said "It'll put your eye out!!!" Merry Christmas to all.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:37 AM
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It's a hobby, not an investment. Like most hobbies, they cannot usually be justified on cost. I enjoy both rimfire and air gun shooting. I can only add this, my Daystate Regal and my RAW HM1000 are, as a practical matter, as quiet as the CCI Quiet ammo. That is subjective as I have never measured either. Both of those air rifles have very effective moderators. If compared to the sub-sonic ammo I use for hunting, the air rifle is much quieter. More importantly to me, both of those air rifles are way more accurate than the CCI Quiet ammo, at least from any of my rifles, and they are very accurate rifles. I would have no confidence in them for squirrel shots at 50 yards. The difference in power, as you mentioned, is significant on paper. The reality though, precise placement is required for humane kills with either, so I'm not sure the practical difference is very meaningful. I have total confidence in head shot accuracy out to at least 40 yards with the air rifle. In order to match that accuracy in the rimfire, I have to step up to sub-sonic match ammo, and at that level the noise difference is significantly in favor of the air rifle. Is it worth $1,500 to get a starting level precision PCP rifle and equipment? Absolutely not......unless you want it.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:39 AM
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Pdmike,
Nice chart... but you're trying to use reason... won't work with me
(At least, that's what the wife says)
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:17 PM
pdmike
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Those are all GREAT responses to my original post, and I agree with all of them. That's one reason why I posted this. It's FUN to hear your responses.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:20 PM
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Airguns

I've been a springer guy for well over 40 years. Bought my HW-30S after talking with Bob Beeman over the phone about it. He should be remembered as the guy that reintroduced airguns to the US.

Since then, I progressed on to .22's, black powder, high power rifles, trap, then .22 pistols, big caliber pistols and now that I hit 58, am pleased to report I have resorted to my second childhood, except the toys have gotten more expensive.

After a lifetime of collecting airguns, I'm down to my HW 55's, 35's and the original HW-30. I branched out to pcp but I didn't like them. They shot well for sure but for higher power, I just switched to shooting Sub Sonics and I have 3 dedicated backyard guns.

My favorite is a Browning SA Short which has a few clipped coils and is now dedicated to CCI Mini Caps. She has a Leupold 2x7 and bounces hanging whiffle balls out to 50 yards. That SA rips off 15 shots as fast as I can pull them and the longer barrel and slower twist of the barrel make for some great accuracy.

My Marlin 39a is sighted in for Colibris and I shoot that at hanging whiffleballs out to 50 feet. I tried Quiets in that gun but the 20" barrel on the 39 makes the Quiets a bit to loud.

My third backyard gun is an Anschutz 1416 from the 60's which has a 12x Hawke scope and that thing is my long range quiet gun. 24" barrel makes a big difference on noise and it shoots CCI Quiets out to the 75 yard whiffleballs. I should say Howitzers them out there because the Quiets drop off pretty quickly after 50 yards.

Getting old is kind of cool. No more ego at work or at the range. I can't just be myself and have fun

Merry Christmas
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:51 PM
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For those locales where you can't legally discharge a firearm, an air rifle might be the only legal option. I live in one such town in Vermont.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:55 PM
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Where I live (Edmonton, Alberta) we just finished a 2 week stretch of -20 (the highs) weather. I bit of a respite this week but back in the freezer this weekend.
Sure was nice to head down to my basement, where I have a 10m range and spend an hour shooting after dinner...nice and warm
Primarily springers and single pump pnuematics.
And at $8 for a tin of 500 pellets...well that was my entire cost for the week...$8!
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vt_shooter View Post
For those locales where you can't legally discharge a firearm, an air rifle might be the only legal option. I live in one such town in Vermont.
Spit-wads are the only thing legal in my MI hamlet. No slingshots, arrows, Daisy bb guns, nuthin!
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