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Old 02-28-2013, 07:49 AM
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I am looking to get a spring air rifle for hunting. I haven't had one for a few years now and I feel drawn to it again. I am torn between .177 or .22 for calibers. The .22 has a lot more stopping power, but is slower with a loopy trajectory, whereas the .177 is faster, flies more straight, but has less stopping power. What's best for hunting small game?

Also, how about the gun power? Should I go for a really strong one? Or should I go for a medium powered one? I know that even the low power ones can take game, but I would like to be able to do it sniper style, with a scope at a longer distance. Having said that, I need it to be fairly accurate. I read that supersonic airguns are really not accurate because the pellets tumble in flight. So for the really fast ones, one needs to pick pellets heavy enough to slow it down to below the speed of sound. .22 tend to do better with really powerful guns whereas .177 tend to do better with moderate power.

Would a high-power airgun kill the scope a lot faster than a medium powered one?

How about reliability? I'm open to suggestions!
Old 02-28-2013, 04:47 PM
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checkout gamo air rifles on you tube, they come in different powers up to 1600 fps I think, heres a video killing a 250 lb hog with a .177

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Old 02-28-2013, 08:12 PM
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First what's the altitude where you live? That plays a big role.

Second give example of typycal game you intend to havest.

Third what your budget?

Then we can start to narrow this down!
Old 02-28-2013, 10:02 PM
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There is a balance in air rifle hunting. We want speed but we don't want to sacrifice accuracy. I believe to effective, you should be able to hit a 1" circle most every time. So the are several things that come into play.

1. The more powerful a springer is, the more hold sensitive it is. It will take maybe a 1000 shots or more to be consistent out to just 25 yards off hand.

2. To keep accuracy out to a decent hunting distance, say 40 yards you need to stay not only under the speed of sound but also staying under the trans-sonic envelope in which you start getting a buffeting affect. It is roughly 900 to 950 fps. It's kills your 30 plus yard accuracy.

3. Another balance to keep in mind is weight. The are several excellent gun but they can easily be 8# and up. The tend to easier to shoot accurately but you don't want to be lugging a field artillery piece around in the field.

4. Stay away from the cheap guns, Gamo, Crosman, China and the lot. Buy a springer from a German company. This really pays off in accuracy in several ways. Excellent adjustable triggers, smooth shoot cycle, balance in the hand, a lifetime of durability, premium barrels and rock solid lock up mechanics that won't fail. Smooth shot cycles are easier on scopes.

5. I am on the fence with caliber as I have taken game effectively with both. I prefer .177 they just seem to be more accurate but you can be a little more sloppy with a .22. I also like the flat trajectory of the .177, .22s tend to have a exaggerated trajectory especially when shooting up and down hill even just across 40 yards. .177 pellets are cheaper and easier to come by.

6. Scopes are a real issue on powerful springers, the most durable is the Accushot series, I like the Bug Busters for their lightweight and illuminated reticle because most hunting is at dusk or dawn. If survival plays a role I would definitely make sure I have backup iron sights.

Learn the artillery hold and shoot often at varied distances. I shoot at least 100 rounds a week and walk around to do it, pebbles, ends of sticks, dirt clods, and tell myself I haven't eaten in a week and this is the first critter I have seen. I make the kill or go hungry!

With all that said I would take a serious look at the HW80, HW90, RWS34, RWS 350. If I was on a budget, I would go with a RWS34 and drop a Vorteck tune kit in it. In any of these I would go with a .22 if new to springers, you will have better hunting success!
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:56 AM
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I agree with most of what Airgun Sniper had to say. Then again, Ive also had springers from .177 to .25, and PCP's from .25 to .45 in caliber, so I've kind of run the gamut I guess you could say. I you have your heart set on a springer, I'd go with the Diana RWS 54 Air King. I'd use heavier pellets, as it will make the flight path of the pellet flatter for about 50 yards or so. Here's a link for it, and there's a detailed video for you to watch as well.

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Diana_RWS_54_Air_King/398

A.S.'s comment on staying away from cheaper guns is dead on. Gamo is one of the worst, their guns are cheaply made, and their claims are grossly exaggerated, as they test their guns using sub 10 grain flyweight "alloy" pellets for .22 caliber (meaning no lead. No lead = no expansion = no kill shots). 1600 fps my butt!!

Springers are a blessing, and a curse. I love that they don't require lugging around and air tank (even if it is one of those mini CF tanks), but I hate the one shot capacity. PCP's are great, quieter (in small bore, as we are speaking), and are generally more accurate, and have a higher shot capacity. My personal recommendation for a PCP is a Benjamin Marauder in .25 caliber. It has a beautiful build quality, unreal trigger, it's super quiet, can easily be tuned to around 60 FPE (enough to take a coyote sized critter down easily and humanely), and has an 8 round clip. Granted, the downside is that you have more to invest (tank, air pump or shoebox style compressor), and refilling air come shtf might be a problem.

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Benjam...Air_Rifle/1774

I know it's a dilemma, but I just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in and tell you what I know based on experience.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by willvape View Post
checkout gamo air rifles on you tube, they come in different powers up to 1600 fps I think, heres a video killing a 250 lb hog with a .177
Wow! That's way beyond my expectations of what an airgun could do!

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Originally Posted by Airgun Sniper View Post
First what's the altitude where you live? That plays a big role.

Second give example of typycal game you intend to havest.

Third what your budget?

Then we can start to narrow this down!
It's flatlands where I live, almost sea level. But I would like to also be able to use my airgun effectively in higher altitudes, such as my BOL.

As for game, I would say the most common stuff would be birds, squirrels, rabbits, hares, and small to medium sized game like that. To be honest, I didn't really think you can take bigger game with an airgun, but looking into this more, I see a lot of people doing it.

Budget... As low as possible. If I can't find anything decent without spending a lot, then I have to wait it out until I can afford it.

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Originally Posted by Airgun Sniper View Post
There is a balance in air rifle hunting. We want speed but we don't want to sacrifice accuracy. I believe to effective, you should be able to hit a 1" circle most every time. So the are several things that come into play.

1. The more powerful a springer is, the more hold sensitive it is. It will take maybe a 1000 shots or more to be consistent out to just 25 yards off hand.

2. To keep accuracy out to a decent hunting distance, say 40 yards you need to stay not only under the speed of sound but also staying under the trans-sonic envelope in which you start getting a buffeting affect. It is roughly 900 to 950 fps. It's kills your 30 plus yard accuracy.

3. Another balance to keep in mind is weight. The are several excellent gun but they can easily be 8# and up. The tend to easier to shoot accurately but you don't want to be lugging a field artillery piece around in the field.

4. Stay away from the cheap guns, Gamo, Crosman, China and the lot. Buy a springer from a German company. This really pays off in accuracy in several ways. Excellent adjustable triggers, smooth shoot cycle, balance in the hand, a lifetime of durability, premium barrels and rock solid lock up mechanics that won't fail. Smooth shot cycles are easier on scopes.

5. I am on the fence with caliber as I have taken game effectively with both. I prefer .177 they just seem to be more accurate but you can be a little more sloppy with a .22. I also like the flat trajectory of the .177, .22s tend to have a exaggerated trajectory especially when shooting up and down hill even just across 40 yards. .177 pellets are cheaper and easier to come by.

6. Scopes are a real issue on powerful springers, the most durable is the Accushot series, I like the Bug Busters for their lightweight and illuminated reticle because most hunting is at dusk or dawn. If survival plays a role I would definitely make sure I have backup iron sights.

Learn the artillery hold and shoot often at varied distances. I shoot at least 100 rounds a week and walk around to do it, pebbles, ends of sticks, dirt clods, and tell myself I haven't eaten in a week and this is the first critter I have seen. I make the kill or go hungry!

With all that said I would take a serious look at the HW80, HW90, RWS34, RWS 350. If I was on a budget, I would go with a RWS34 and drop a Vorteck tune kit in it. In any of these I would go with a .22 if new to springers, you will have better hunting success!
That's really useful information. I've had all kinds of airguns in the past, but that was before I started thinking about survival and I never did any hunting with them, just killed some soda cans and similar objects. I gave them all up a while ago and since I started taking prepping seriously, I've focused on powder-burners. But I'm starting to see how useful it will be to have something more quiet that does not rely on powder/primers/etc.

If .22 has an exaggerated trajectory, and .177 is more accurate, then how would a .22 be easier for someone without much experience of airguns?

I was looking at the Gamo/Crossman lines and wasn't that impressed. I really liked the Diana/RWS series, especially the RWS 350 Magnun, but they sure are expensive. Although I guess something as powerful as the RWS 350 is no good in .177 as it will send the pellets well into supersonic territory. I saw a couple of chinese models that look very well made, and read some reviews on them, suggesting that their quality has dramatically gone up, and the Chinese olympic airgunner team uses them successfully. For the cost of one RWS 350 I can buy 3 or 4 chinese ones. I have never tried them yet though, so I can't say how bad they are. China does not instil much faith in me as a quality manufacturer of precision equipment.. Having plenty of experience with the RWS, yes, it is a great gun. But what a pricetag!

Any good options for buying American? With weapons I generally trust American companies much more than anything else. For powder-burners, I really don't like most european firearms. Cheaply made, and I was reading the other day that most european companies test them on cows and pigs, because it's cheaper for them than using ballistics gel! Might be complete BS, but still, doesn't sound very promising. I know Germany does have a tradition on airguns, and I know the RWS series is tried and tested and indeed really good. But if there's a close contender made in the USA, I'd probably trust it more. Besides, Europe is really on an economic meltdown. I really don't have much faith that any parts for these airguns will keep on being produced there for long. Also, since wherever you're buying from, a part of your money goes to that government in the form of taxes, I'd rather not give my support through tax money to governments who restrict the right of their people to bear arms. Ok, I guess if they start making up such laws in the USA too, I'd be hard-pressed to find somewhere to spend my money.

I would say weight is not so much of an issue for me, as long as I can have good accuracy, reliability (which most of my airguns in the past suffered from, which why I gave up in the first place), and easy to find replacement parts. Whatever I get, I will probably get a full rebuild kit to go with it, to make sure I can keep it working for the foreseeable future.

As far as my understanding of ballistics goes, the .177, being lighter, also loses its energy sooner. So for maximum distance, a .22 would be more ideal? Or does the .22 have such an exaggerated trajectory, that although it retains its energy for longer, it will be impossible to put it on target?
Old 03-01-2013, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by messiah View Post
I agree with most of what Airgun Sniper had to say. Then again, Ive also had springers from .177 to .25, and PCP's from .25 to .45 in caliber, so I've kind of run the gamut I guess you could say. I you have your heart set on a springer, I'd go with the Diana RWS 54 Air King. I'd use heavier pellets, as it will make the flight path of the pellet flatter for about 50 yards or so. Here's a link for it, and there's a detailed video for you to watch as well.

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Diana_RWS_54_Air_King/398

A.S.'s comment on staying away from cheaper guns is dead on. Gamo is one of the worst, their guns are cheaply made, and their claims are grossly exaggerated, as they test their guns using sub 10 grain flyweight "alloy" pellets for .22 caliber (meaning no lead. No lead = no expansion = no kill shots). 1600 fps my butt!!

Springers are a blessing, and a curse. I love that they don't require lugging around and air tank (even if it is one of those mini CF tanks), but I hate the one shot capacity. PCP's are great, quieter (in small bore, as we are speaking), and are generally more accurate, and have a higher shot capacity. My personal recommendation for a PCP is a Benjamin Marauder in .25 caliber. It has a beautiful build quality, unreal trigger, it's super quiet, can easily be tuned to around 60 FPE (enough to take a coyote sized critter down easily and humanely), and has an 8 round clip. Granted, the downside is that you have more to invest (tank, air pump or shoebox style compressor), and refilling air come shtf might be a problem.

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Benjam...Air_Rifle/1774

I know it's a dilemma, but I just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in and tell you what I know based on experience.
I think PCP is way out of my budget range. Also I would like to keep it as simple as possible for post-SHTF compatibility. The thing I like about airguns is that with a decent gun, some spare parts, and a pellet mould or a good stock of pellets, it's pretty hard to run out of something to hunt with.

The RWS 54 Air King is a remarkably beautiful gun, but is also way out of my price range. I think the RWS 350 is as far as I can stretch it, and it still hurts.

The RWS 34 is closer to what I'd like to spend, but I'm afraid it might not be powerful enough..? Can I use it with 20 grain .22 pellets for example? Or would I need to use lighter ones? Or is the RWS 34 better suited to .177 with heavier pellets?

Will an RWS 350 with heavier .22 pellets be kept below 900 fps for accuracy?
Old 03-01-2013, 05:23 AM
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I think PCP is way out of my budget range. Also I would like to keep it as simple as possible for post-SHTF compatibility. The thing I like about airguns is that with a decent gun, some spare parts, and a pellet mould or a good stock of pellets, it's pretty hard to run out of something to hunt with.

The RWS 54 Air King is a remarkably beautiful gun, but is also way out of my price range. I think the RWS 350 is as far as I can stretch it, and it still hurts.

The RWS 34 is closer to what I'd like to spend, but I'm afraid it might not be powerful enough..? Can I use it with 20 grain .22 pellets for example? Or would I need to use lighter ones? Or is the RWS 34 better suited to .177 with heavier pellets?

Will an RWS 350 with heavier .22 pellets be kept below 900 fps for accuracy?
Yep, the .22 heavier pellets will be under 900 FPS. Most manufacturers "amp" their ratings up a bit anyway, just to compete.

Check out the airgun classified page here, I've had good luck both buying and selling:

http://www.airguns.net/classifieds/classifieds.php

You'll find some good deals. I see some already, but have no affiliation to any. The Benji Marauder at 330 is a good deal, but like I said, you'd have to get a pump at minimum. At that price, I might take it. Just be patient either way. Give it 2 or 3 weeks, and you'll find something good.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:35 AM
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Well I hope I picked out a good one Gamo Bone Collector Bull Whisper .22 to use on tree rats an other small game.
Old 03-01-2013, 01:24 PM
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If .22 has an exaggerated trajectory, and .177 is more accurate, then how would a .22 be easier for someone without much experience of airguns?
A .22 has a lot of whack and tissue damage. For example when hunting with my .177s it takes head shots and shortens my effective range to about 25 yards on birds for a clean kill. On rabbit sized game this moves out to 35 yards or so for a clean kill.

Using one of my .22s I take heart/lung shots out to 50 yards and the bleed out quickly.

In short .22 does more damage and your shot does not have to be as precise. So it is easier to bag more game and larger game if you wanna go above rabbit sized game.

As far as the RWS 350 Magnum, it's a beast! I have a RWS 350 in .22. The learning curve on this gun, trust me velocity is not everything in springers. Not only do they get heavier for field carry but the recoil really starts getting ugly not only straight back and a forward slam but also a hard twist to the right or left when the spring unwinds. All of this takes place while the pellet is still inside the barrel, NOT good. I only use it when I need to kill a coon or similar critter in the garbage. The same goes for the .25 calibers!

That's why I would give the RWS 34 a serious look. It has plenty of instant killing power on the critters you mentioned. It's relatively light handling for its size. In it's stock form they can be twangy and take a while to smooth out, they shoot like a dream with a Vortek tune kit. I use mine with Crow Magnum pellets at shorter ranges and Crosman Hollow points for shots beyond 30 yards. I have found the mid-weight pellets work better than heavier ones.

This is just my .02 from 20 plus years of tuning and shooting these contraptions. I have a small machine shop and tune about 100 a year and pretty much know them inside and out
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:31 PM
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If .22 has an exaggerated trajectory, and .177 is more accurate, then how would a .22 be easier for someone without much experience of airguns?
A .22 has a lot of whack and tissue damage. For example when hunting with my .177s it takes head shots and shortens my effective range to about 25 yards on birds for a clean kill. On rabbit sized game this moves out to 35 yards or so for a clean kill.

Using one of my .22s I take heart/lung shots out to 50 yards and the bleed out quickly.

In short .22 does more damage and your shot does not have to be as precise. So it is easier to bag more game and larger game if you wanna go above rabbit sized game.

As far as the RWS 350 Magnum, it's a beast! I have a RWS 350 in .22. The learning curve on this gun, trust me velocity is not everything in springers. Not only do they get heavier for field carry but the recoil really starts getting ugly not only straight back and a forward slam but also a hard twist to the right or left when the spring unwinds. All of this takes place while the pellet is still inside the barrel, NOT good. I only use it when I need to kill a coon or similar critter in the garbage. The same goes for the .25 calibers!

That's why I would give the RWS 34 a serious look. It has plenty of instant killing power on the critters you mentioned. It's relatively light handling for its size. In it's stock form they can be twangy and take a while to smooth out, they shoot like a dream with a Vortek tune kit. I use mine with Crow Magnum pellets at shorter ranges and Crosman Hollow points for shots beyond 30 yards. I have found the mid-weight pellets work better than heavier ones.

This is just my .02 from 20 plus years of tuning and shooting these contraptions. I have a small machine shop and tune about 100 a year and pretty much know them inside and out
Old 03-01-2013, 01:46 PM
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If .22 has an exaggerated trajectory, and .177 is more accurate, then how would a .22 be easier for someone without much experience of airguns?
A .22 has a lot of whack and tissue damage. For example when hunting with my .177s it takes head shots and shortens my effective range to about 25 yards on birds for a clean kill. On rabbit sized game this moves out to 35 yards or so for a clean kill.

Using one of my .22s I take heart/lung shots out to 50 yards and the bleed out quickly.

In short .22 does more damage and your shot does not have to be as precise. So it is easier to bag more game and larger game if you wanna go above rabbit sized game.

As far as the RWS 350 Magnum, it's a beast! I have a RWS 350 in .22. The learning curve on this gun, trust me velocity is not everything in springers. Not only do they get heavier for field carry but the recoil really starts getting ugly not only straight back and a forward slam but also a hard twist to the right or left when the spring unwinds. All of this takes place while the pellet is still inside the barrel, NOT good. I only use it when I need to kill a coon or similar critter in the garbage. The same goes for the .25 calibers!

That's why I would give the RWS 34 a serious look. It has plenty of instant killing power on the critters you mentioned. It's relatively light handling for its size. In it's stock form they can be twangy and take a while to smooth out, they shoot like a dream with a Vortek tune kit. I use mine with Crow Magnum pellets at shorter ranges and Crosman Hollow points for shots beyond 30 yards. I have found the mid-weight pellets work better than heavier ones.

This is just my .02 from 20 plus years of tuning and shooting these contraptions. I have a small machine shop and tune about 100 a year and pretty much know them inside and out
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:48 PM
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Could someone fix this multiple reply snaffoo! Thank YOU
Old 03-01-2013, 03:01 PM
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I just bought my first air rifle last week, from Pyramyd. After much research, I decided on the Crosman Nitro Venom Dusk (.22).

Here's how I decided:

... Price: something under $200. Like most on this forum, we're trying to distribute our hard earned $ across several fronts. I want something left over for the next firearms-related purchase.
... Power/accuracy: hard to gauge without actually handling it, so I had to "average out" the feedback in the reviews.
... Powerplant(?): I don't know if that's the right term, but I decided to go with the Nitro piston vs. springer based on this information and discussions about nitro vs. springer here. Definitely, from a prepper/SHTF perspective, it seemed to me like a better way to go than to rely on CO2 or the PCP options because they might not be available. I also read that the Nitro Piston is not prone to getting worn out like the spring, or failing in colder weather.
... Caliber: for the purpose of potentially needing to take small game as a food source, it seemed like the .22 was the best option. For bigger animals, the PCP guns have a clear advantage in therms of caliber range, but it seemed to me that if one was going to spend that much on an air rifle, why not just spend it on a powder-burner.

The trade-off with the gun I selected is that it's single-shot, and a break barrel that my wife might have some difficulty priming. As I shop for tools like this, I have to take into consideration whether what I use is something she can use as well.

I tried to consider my purchase based on what you've spelled out as well: having a quieter, but sufficiently powerful alternative to a .22 to hunt small game. I also have seen many folks point out that having an air rifle to practice with is a good idea, far cheaper to shoot and with much less restriction than the previous go-to gun for such, the .22. And now, with ammo prices going up up up (if you can even find any), it's even more relevant.

I honestly could have spent a lot more time looking, watching review and usage videos, and reading comments in a hundred different forums. As it seems with many choices to be made during this whole prepping effort, one could suffer decision paralysis and make no progress. I finally just decided to pull the trigger on this purchase, so to speak. There is no perfect solution in these cases, but having a "good enough" gun in hand is better than being stuck without one.

And thanks, Airgun Sniper for all the insight!

Hope this helps.

-jaxun
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:11 PM
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I think the main advantage of the nitro piston is being able to leave it in the cocked position IIRC. You shouldn't do that with springers.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:16 PM
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Hello I have a question as well you guys seem to be more knowledgeable on air guns than me I'm not new to them but Walmart has a benjiman trail nitro piston for sale in 22 cal for 200 dollers , and its eating me up inside if I should buy it or just buy a 22 marlin for 180 at big 5. I already own a 22 and a couple pellet guns a Chinese and a Gano in 177 and I want to upgrade, is it worth it to get the benjiman or just buy 22 cbs instead for a 22 gun
Old 03-01-2013, 09:48 PM
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With ammo prices what they are you are very well served with a pellet gun. Even though a magnum powered air rifle is only 50% of what a 22lr is (close to a CB round).

The difference is most air rifles you shoot one round at a time with a heavy pull in between. That being the case since you are not shooting anything semi automatic, you can in theory spend about 200 bucks on $9 500ct tins and have enough ammo to last you the rest of your life.... or until your arm falls off. If ammo ever skyrockets or becomes impossible to find, you can expect cb ammo to disappear as well.

I do recommend 22 over 177. In my opinion 177 is only good for tiny pests and target shooting. 22 can take decent game. I've heard 177 for feather, 22 for fur, and that sounds right to me.
Old 03-01-2013, 10:02 PM
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I would go .22 over .177 any day of the week. .25 is nice too but pellets are a little harder to find, and a little more expensive. There will be a little more drop at longer ranges with the .25.

If you are casting, the larger pellets would be quite a bit easier to work with. Buckshot is also an option to use.

You are right about staying subsonic. Of course a powerful springer will be a little harder to keep a scope on; look for weaver or picatinny style scope mounts like a center fire rifle. Multi-pump pneumatics and PCP rifles will be easier to service with a few seals and some oil. Springers will need some kind of a press if you want to take it apart.

The powerful springers are a little more challenging to shoot. I've got a Walther Talon Magnum in .25. It is an eye opener if you are not used to a big springer.

The inert gas pistons are supposed to be pretty smooth, and can be left cocked for long periods, but would be hard to service.
Old 03-01-2013, 10:08 PM
Tactical Lever Tactical Lever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg9 View Post
Hello I have a question as well you guys seem to be more knowledgeable on air guns than me I'm not new to them but Walmart has a benjiman trail nitro piston for sale in 22 cal for 200 dollers , and its eating me up inside if I should buy it or just buy a 22 marlin for 180 at big 5. I already own a 22 and a couple pellet guns a Chinese and a Gano in 177 and I want to upgrade, is it worth it to get the benjiman or just buy 22 cbs instead for a 22 gun
The spring piston guns are fairly quiet, and the Nitro piston are even more so. But unless you are needing something for urban pest control or hunting, I would go with a .22 lr. The CBs are very quiet, and even the subsonics don't make very much noise from a longer barrel.

And as was mentioned, the .22 lr is more versatile. And as this is a survival board, there is less to go wrong with a .22 and would be easier to work on and source parts for.
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