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#13926 - 12/14/09 06:11 PM Dispatching criters with Air Rifles
fox#1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 76
Loc: monroe north carolina
Would an air rifle(pellet gun) be a good way to dispatch animals with (coon,opossum). The reason i am asking is because they are quiet and cheep to shoot.

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#13927 - 12/14/09 06:35 PM Re: Dispatching criters with Air Rifles
45/70 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/10/01
Posts: 832
Loc: South Georgia, usA
Not today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow.
Nuff said!
45/70,
RKBA!

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#13928 - 12/14/09 07:28 PM Re: Dispatching criters with Air Rifles
fox#1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 76
Loc: monroe north carolina
forgot to add that i no a man that has dispatched at least a hundred opossums and coon with the past couple of years with his.

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#13929 - 12/14/09 09:30 PM Re: Dispatching criters with Air Rifles
2870express Offline
Member

Registered: 03/09/08
Posts: 73
Loc: New Mexico
Depends on the air Rifle, I shoot rabbits at 25 yards (head shots), and have dispatched fox coyote, and bobcat at much closer range. But it is not a Wall Mart speicial. Air rifles are available up tp 50 cal., that are used to take feral hogs.

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#13930 - 12/15/09 04:46 AM Re: Dispatching criters with Air Rifles
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10100
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
There are some very powerful air rifles out there that could work for dispatching critters, but the run-of-the-mill air rifle won't be satisfactory. As for economy, I don't believe the cost of regular .22 ammunition in the quantity needed to dispatch trapped critters would put a person in the poorhouse.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#13931 - 12/19/09 09:15 PM Re: Dispatching criters with Air Rifles
Bobber Offline
Member

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 84
Loc: Arcade N.Y.
There is another thing to consider about air guns used for hunting. Although air arms are not fire arms, and therefore are not subject to the same federal restrictions as firearms . They often fall under the same regulations regarding the discharge and use of legal fire arms that are allowed for hunting ,(or dispatch of wildlife).Be sure they are legal to use for that purpose in your particular location. I have seen posts that infer that you can get around local firearms regulations by using an air gun, because they are, by legal definition, not a firearm. BTW, the hunting pellets I use in the .22 cal airguns I hunt with are actually MORE expensive than average .22 RF fodder. They do, however, dispatch small game as cleanly as a .22 RF within fifty yards , and their short terminal range compared to RF ammo, can be an advantage in some situations.

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#13932 - 12/20/09 07:58 AM Re: Dispatching criters with Air Rifles
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10100
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
For what it's worth, I bought a couple of upscale air rifles a couple of years ago. They were not the real powerful ones, but they were in the middling range. I ran a penetration test with different types of pellets. The pointed lead pellets penetrated much, much better than the flat or round nose pellets.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#13933 - 12/20/09 07:31 PM Re: Dispatching criters with Air Rifles
Bobber Offline
Member

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 84
Loc: Arcade N.Y.
Hal,I'd like to offer a couple more comments on the power of air guns and suitable ammunition for them. It is something that I have more than a little experience at. The the most powerful air rifle I use most often for hunting is a Diana Model 48 .22 cal. It produces around 825 fps with a 15 to 16 gr. lead pellet . This translates into about 22 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. I have found that the pointed pellets are not as accurate as round nosed pellets, especially at longer ranges. Last season, I shot a crow through the breast at a measured 53 yards, and used the Crosman Premier round nosed .22 cal pellet. It completely penetrated the bird, killing it instantly. The gun used for that shot, was a Diana mod 34 .22,(about$175 new) that shoots that pellet at a cronographed 720fps at the muzzle. When it struck that crow it was going a lot slower. The Crosman pellet mentioned above, has a solid nose and short hollow skirt, and is not hollow to the nose as some pellets are. Pellets that are hollow all the way to the nose ,tend to rivet in soft tissue. This will impede penetration. The Gamo raptor pointed pellets which are very light and made of a zinc alloy are not only inaccurate, but also lose velocity very rapidly due to their light wt. They will however, show great velocity and penetration at point blank range. They are useless as hunting ammo, and are falsely over advertised. The best pellets I have used are the Preditor pellets produced by JSB. They have a pointed plastic insert in what is, a flat nosed, hollow pointed pellet. These are quite expensive at $12 to $16 for 250. They have been very accurate in most of my guns, and they work very well. BTW, I own several working air rifles, and air pistols. Some cheap and some expensive. I have tuned many of them, and have cronographed many gun /pellet combinations. I shoot something like 8000 to 10,000 pellets at targets annually, as well as a few at small game every year. The one comment above, that air arms are not ever suitable for dispatch of trapped animals is completely false. With air arms ,it is all about accuracy, and balance of projectile to power plant. The best velocity range for hunting use for .177 cal guns is around 820 to 900fps,with a 7.9 to 8.5 gr pellet. With .22, 14.5 to 16.0 grs., at 650 to 800 fps will get it done. A Wal-Mart Gamo or MSP Benjamin, and good quality lead round nosed pellets will work just fine for quiet, humane dispatch. Just be legal, and don't try to stretch the range to un-reasonable distances.

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#13934 - 12/20/09 08:21 PM Re: Dispatching criters with Air Rifles
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10100
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
For dispatching animals at a range of less than ten feet, accuarcy is a moot point.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#13935 - 12/20/09 08:53 PM Re: Dispatching criters with Air Rifles
Bobber Offline
Member

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 84
Loc: Arcade N.Y.
True, but since a person may also use a trapline gun for more than dispatch , I thought some information on the ballistics of ordinary air guns and suitable projectiles would be of some intrest and use to others. Perhaps I was wrong in posting my experiences. BTW, my first fox, 35 years ago, was killed with a baseball sized, thrown rock. It was accurate enough. Death was humane and instanous.

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