Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Can you hunt with a BB gun?

by B.B. Pelletier

Today's posting is inspired by a question we received last week. "I'm looking to buy my first bb gun. Should I look for a combo (bb and pellet) or should I look for one or the other? Are bb's less accurate in a combo? Also, at what power can you start killing a squirrel?"

I consider this to be three separate questions, and that's how I will address it. Since killing squirrels seems to be the ultimate objective, let's start with that.

1. BB guns ARE NOT for killing squirrels!
A BB gun is not a good hunting gun for many reasons. First, some BB guns (such as the Daisy Red Ryder) are too weak to reliably kill anything larger than a small insect. When we hunt, we want to kill as quickly as we can. BB guns don't do that. The second reason BB guns are bad for hunting is the BB, itself. It's made of steel and, therefore, does not deform in game. Deformation causes tissue damage, speeding death, and a steel BB is as far from that ideal as you can get. Finally, a steel BB is too small in caliber to do enough damage, no matter how fast it travels. Even when it goes 750 f.p.s., a speed some airguns can achieve, it's still too slow to do the job in a humane way. I consider a .177 caliber pellet too small for hunting, but there are a great number of airgun hunters who prove me wrong all the time.

For hunting, you need this!
You need an accurate pellet that will penetrate to a vital part of your quarry and not over-penetrate. A pure lead pellet will deform the best, and deformation causes tissue damage (good) and expends energy in the quarry (also good). Synthetic, lead-free pellets often travel completely through the animal, exiting the other side (not good) and leaving a painful, but not immediately deadly wound (definitely not good). So, the animal runs off to hide and may suffer a slow and painful death. BBs are as bad as synthetic pellets when it comes to inflicting non-lethal wounds.

Do NOT discipline animals with a BB gun!
This is just cruel. Even a weak BB gun can break the skin and start a septic wound in a small animal. Find another way to make your point.

2. Are BBs less accurate in a combo?
This refers to a gun that can shoot both BBs and pellets, like the Crosman 760 that so many airgunners love. However, the question is stated backwards. BBs aren't accurate in ANYTHING except the Daisy 499! All other BB guns are area-fire guns, at best! What is less accurate in a combo gun is pellets! Because the bore has to be made for both .177 pellets and .172 steel BBs, it can't possibly shoot pellets as accurately as a dedicated barrel. So, if you plan to hunt with certain airguns, it would be wise to select one that is not a combination gun. If that's all you have, limit your shooting distance to the range at which you can hit an American quarter (a 1"/25mm circle) every time. And, use lead pellets!

3. Should I look for a combo?
The decision is yours, alone, but here are some reasons to buy combos. You like shooting and may not always have pellets readily available. BBs are cheaper, so if your gun shoots both, you have the best of both worlds. Or, you want the fastest BB gun you can buy. The combos are usually at the high end of power for BB guns. Or, maybe you are just fascinated that a gun can shoot both types of ammo. I know people who will buy them for that reason, alone.

The bottom line is that I do not recommend hunting game with any BB gun. For hunting, I usually recommend a pellet gun shooting lead pellets in .22 caliber. I know a lot of hunters will disagree with my opinion, but this reader asked, so I told him.

4. At what power can you reliably kill a squirrel?
I'll tell you a little secret. Squirrels are very tough critters! Plenty of hunters hit squirrels with 40-grain lead bullets from a .22 long rifle and still lose their game. Squirrels are very tough animals, especially when compared to similar-sized game such as rats. A rat dies twice as easily as a squirrel, in my experience. I would recommend a .22 caliber rifle that shoots no less than 12 foot-pounds at the muzzle. Personally, I prefer a 25 foot-pound .22 pellet rifle for squirrels. I like good head shots as opposed to body shots, and I stay within the range at which I know I can hit a quarter. One of my favorite hunting air rifles is a .22-caliber AirForce Talon SS shooting JSB Exact pellets.

To get my hunting license in Germany, I had to pass both a written test and a shooting test. It took weeks of classes and study to prepare for that test, but I learned a lot about animals, anatomy and bullet placement. I wish we had the same requirement in this country, so hunters would know something about the game they go after before they go afield. Short of that, I guess the best thing to do is to read about your sport as you practice it.

79 Comments:

At December 27, 2005 5:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey BB,
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a Happy New Year! I asked a question on the Dec. 23rd. posting about a good distance to sight in a scoped Benjamin 392. 10 yards, 15 yards? I still would be delighted with a response. Sorry for being a pest.

 
At December 27, 2005 7:36 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Believe it or not, I did answer your question on December 23. Apparently, I hit the "close window" button instead of the Login and Publish button. I have caught myself doing that before, but this time I missed it.

I would sight in a 392 to strike the aim point at 20 yards. I think you'll be back on the aim point at 26 yards or so. At all other ranges you will be low. Between 20 and 26 yards, your pellet will be above the aim point, but so close that it might as well be on the aim point.

B.B.

 
At December 27, 2005 11:20 AM, Blogger airgundoc said...

Excellent post! Most of us have had to learn much of this by experience, sometimes to the detriment and unnecessary suffering of the animals we are attempting to eliminate. I agree wholehertedly with the choice of the Talon SS in .22 cal. and I have used the Beeman pellets, but have you tried the Logun Penetrators yet. I think they work exceptionaly well in the Talon.
CWI

 
At December 27, 2005 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At what distance should I site my Gamo CFX with Leapers 3-12x44 scope? I know I'm over scoped, I should have bought the mini model as well, but atleast it looks cool!

DSW

 
At December 27, 2005 12:33 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

airgundoc,

I have the Logun Penetrators on hand, but there hasn't been time to test them yet. I plan to.

B.B.

 
At December 27, 2005 12:39 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

DSW,

I like 20 yards as the first point of intersection. With the Gamo CF-X, the second point will be at 35 yards and between 20 and 35 yards, the pellet won't be very high above the point of aim.

At all other ranges, the pellet will be below the point of aim.

And I don't think you have too much scope. I think it's just about right!

B.B.

 
At December 27, 2005 3:51 PM, Blogger DokWatson said...

Sorry about being off topic, but im having trouble sighting in my 22SG, a new scope is in the mail, should be here soon. Its a Barska 3-12X40, where should I sight my gun in at?

 
At December 27, 2005 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey DSW Wich of the leapers did you pun on the cf-x.I ordered a Gamo cf-x and want a leapers scope in the 3-12x44mm category.What do you suggest.

 
At December 27, 2005 4:37 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Dok,

I would still try a 20-yard initial zero with the 22SG. Your far point will be about 25 yards with all distances in-between being nearly the same. Outside the window all pellets will be low.

B.B.

 
At December 27, 2005 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB thanks for answering my question about sighting in my Benjamin 392 again.
Happy New Year!
Jason

 
At December 28, 2005 9:05 AM, Blogger Overscoped said...

Gamo CFX Guy,

I mounted this: http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/accessory/634 A great scope, only one complaint. Too long, had to mount further back than comfortable so as not to block fingers for loading ammo. I was thinking that this would be better: http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/accessory/818 No loss though, the whole thing looks like an Army M24. I will adjust. I used a one piece adjustable mount, don't know why.

DSW

 
At December 28, 2005 9:22 AM, Blogger Overscoped said...

BB,

Thanks for info, I was going to zero in at 35 yds. How consistant is the CFx? I have been doing fairly well with the open sites but hard to get a clean kill on small bird 50 - 60 yds. The mocking birds around here are bruised and keeping thier distance!

DSW

 
At December 28, 2005 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DSW,Thanks on the CF-X info.I asked because I thought a long scope would be a problem to load the ammo.Hey DSW sorry for being a pest but does the scope come in a mini size and doesnt lose features.And does it fit the cf-x.Also I dont like high mounted scopes so do this scopes go high mounted.What do you think?
Please anwer me this question and BB you can anwer me too.
Thanks.
Hernan (GAMO CF-X GUY as dsw calls me}

 
At December 28, 2005 9:40 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

DSW,

What pellets are you using?

B.B.

 
At December 28, 2005 10:17 AM, Blogger Overscoped said...

BB,

Kodiaks. Am I off on my zero at 35yds?

dsw

 
At December 28, 2005 10:39 AM, Blogger Overscoped said...

Hernan,

I'm new to the airgun sport and by no means a "pro", just a guy that bought a pellet gun. However, Like you I prefer to keep the scope as low as functionally possible and I believe that makes thing simpler for drop/rise stuff.

I used low single mount. After mounting mine, I would say that you should have no problem with the mini Leapers, some quality low 2piece 11mm x 30mm WITH RECOIL STOP ( maybe the B Squares ? ) I was about two months on the ring mount question myself!

Anybody check me if I'm wrong, but that's what I would get. I'm also sure that I can't go wrong with what I got either.

dsw

 
At December 28, 2005 10:43 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

dsw,

If your first point of impact is 35 yards, then, yes, you are off. The first intersection has to be closer. I recommend 20 yards.

Kodiaks are good pellet, but they are heavy for the CF-X. I think a 7.9-grain Premier will do better.

B.B.

 
At December 28, 2005 10:49 AM, Blogger Overscoped said...

BB,

Thanks, 20yds it is!

Four tins of Kodiaks, can't find the Premiers I bought! There around here somewhere....

dsw

 
At December 28, 2005 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,

I posted that comment. Thanks for the answer.

The Gamo NRA 1000, it is a .177 cal. (which you said is too small for hunting) but would it still be good for shooting animals? If so then what kind of animals would it kill? Thanks.

 
At December 28, 2005 12:36 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Well, it will kill a squirrel or a rabbit, and there have been some wild goats (35 lbs) taken with brain shots. But I consider all of that too far out.

If you hunt squirrels with a .177, make it a brain shot and you will do well. I read on other forums where others disagree with me on this, but then those same people admit that they "loose a few" as though loosing game is to be expected. Yes, it happens, but I would never shoot a gun that I knew was going to cause it, even just a little.

B.B.

 
At December 28, 2005 12:42 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Hernan,

The advice given by dws is as good as any I could give you. I use several Leapers minis and I have to say the quality is excellent.

Just one thing - with a one-piece mount, the ring positioning is fixed. If it doesn't line up with the short clamping area you have on the mini scope, it won't work. That's why I go with 2-piece mounts.

B.B.

 
At December 28, 2005 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy holidays everyone!

Just curious, has anyone had experience with Daisy Powerline Targetpro 953? I heard the accuracy is comparable to 853 (though not as good). Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks in advanced.

 
At December 28, 2005 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,

How come the Gamo NRA 1000 went up in price and the sale doesn't end until tomorrow?

 
At December 28, 2005 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Gamo NRA 1000 guy, A clean kill is a recorded kill. Sloppy kill or long slow death due to a lead induced item is not something you want to tally. Just not the sport.

I agree with BB. And what is being said here is you can kill a 1000 lb grizzly with a Framing nailer if you get the right "shot" but for hunting a bear common sense says "go big".

Use the right equipment for your purpose.

dsw

 
At December 28, 2005 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,

Thanks for clearing up the scope mount stuff, I was not sure how that was comming out.

dsw

 
At December 29, 2005 1:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,
I know this ot.
But if i wanted to use round ball ammo.
In a 9mm airgun like the Career ultra or single shot.
What could you use and where would be able to get it?
Also when will you be getting 22&45 caliber round ball ammo back in?

 
At December 29, 2005 7:11 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

NRA 1000.

If you wanted to buy the gun at the sale price, I recommend you contact Pyramyd Air. They will know what happened.

B.B.

 
At December 29, 2005 7:13 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Round ball in a 9mm,

That's going to be tough because I don't know where you can get a .356 (9mm) round ball. Round balls are made for muzzle loaders, so they follow those calibers. 0.375 is the closest I know of, and it's too big.

B.B.

 
At December 30, 2005 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO ALL:

Three days ago my friend and I had to shoot a rapid squirrel that was attacking our pets and we saw it only took 5 bb's to kill this critter. so i would like to say yes u can kill a small game with a bb gun

 
At December 30, 2005 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person who wrote in about killing a"rapid" squirrel with 5 shots from a bb gun. You have proved BB's point that bb guns should not be used for hunting. Also as a sportsman, one shouldn't brag or take pride in cruelty to animals. This example of cruelty is exactly what non-hunters and anti- hunting groups use as a reason to ban hunting and firearm ownership. It is a sportsmans responsability to act as stewards of the land and make sure others do the same. It is also the sportspersons duty to only shoot when they are confident that they can hit the target cleanly and make a humane kill. I don't mean to preach, only pass on a tradition that was passed to me.
Jason

 
At December 30, 2005 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason,


I totaly agree with you.Mr.I kill squirrel with 5 shots is not a true sportsman.Even a rat deserves to die humanely.So please dont do that because even though im new to airgunning I know that because of people like you airgunners get bad reputation.

CF-X guy

 
At December 30, 2005 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason, great blog. You clearly stated what I was trying to say earlier, only it didn't come out well.

dsw

 
At January 10, 2006 6:12 PM, Anonymous jordan trombley said...

hey bb i wus wondering if my gamo gun that gose 1000 fps with jbs preditor .177 pellets can kill a squirrel if i hit it in the head. i was also wondering if i should hunt them out of trees or shoot them on the ground

 
At January 14, 2006 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear B.B.
ive got a normal .177mm rifle (bb/pellet) and i live in new york (long beach) and im also 13 can anyone give me alittle hint as to getting a small games licsense like....Where? How? How Much? and other things plz write back
-Ed

 
At January 14, 2006 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

o yeah Ed again and just writing about someones post i killed one out of a tree in my back yard hit him in the eye with a spiked pellet i tried shooting one off the ground but i found out that they blend in to well when u aim up at one the sky is behind it


-Ed

 
At January 14, 2006 10:28 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Ed,

Every state has an office that controls hunting licenses and regulations. Your is at this address:

http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/

You can shoot some animals without a license, such as pest birds and rodents. Check with the New York Division of Wildlife and Marine Resources to learn what these animals are.

B.B.

 
At January 20, 2006 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thx BB

-Ed

 
At February 14, 2006 2:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I currently use a Gamo Shadow 1000 with an Accushot medium profile mount & a 3-9 power Leapers Mildot scope.

I was wondering, what airgun manufactured by Gamo would you recomend in the .22 cal? I like the Shadow Supreme .22 & the Hunter 890s w/ 3-12X40mm scope.

I suppose you can label me as the Gamo Fan...

 
At February 14, 2006 7:33 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Gamo Fan,

Pyramyd Air is supposed to be coming out with the CF-X in .22 caliber soon (if Gamo USA will import it). That lookks like an interesting prospect to me.

B.B.

 
At March 16, 2006 6:31 PM, Blogger wd_1 said...

do you really need a scope? Is it better without one?

 
At March 16, 2006 8:47 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

wd 1,

No, you don't NEED a scope. But with any rifle, your achieved accuracy (not the gun's potential, but how well YOU do) will be 50 percent greater if you use a scope. Reason: more precision when aiming. "Aim small; miss small.

B.B.

 
At January 04, 2007 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CAN I KILL A BIRD WITH A BB GUN?

DANE RODGERS

 
At January 04, 2007 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OR CAN I KILL A SQUIRLE WITH MY BB GUN?

DANE RODGERS

 
At January 05, 2007 6:10 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Dane,

You are very wise to ask these questions. The answer is this - yes, it is POSSIBLE to kill both a bird and a squirrel with a powerful BB gun, but no sportsman would ever think of doing it. Steel BBs are inhumane because they do not expand when they pass through flesh and bone. They don't transmit or transfer as much energy as do lead pellets.

A responsible hunter tries to kill his game as quickly as he can, so there is as little suffering as possible. And a hunter never kills anything he doesn't intend eating, except for pests like rats, mice and certain birds like pigeons.

That is why I cannot recommend hunting anything with a BB gun, no matter how fast the BB goes. It isn't humane.

B.B.

 
At February 03, 2007 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, the question is stated backwards. BBs aren't accurate in ANYTHING except the Daisy 499! All other BB guns are area-fire guns, at best!

no offense but that is false info because some of my friends and family as well as myself can hit a cigarett butt at at least 10 yards with a red ryder and we are by no means professionals and the point you made about hunting with pellet guns has alot of info that makes you seem uninformed because if you look 750 fps is not very high power for a pellet gun and many people think that pellet guns are an ideal choice for hunting because of the silence and effectiveness (both cost and accuracy)


im not saying that you are an idiot im just saying you need to do more research before you open your mouth about this kind of thing

(any problems you can contact me @ http://www.ratkill.com/ under the name joker 515)

 
At February 04, 2007 8:00 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

joker,

A cigarette butt at 10 yards is impressive! Doing it with a Red Ryder is almost beyond belief! Especially when the International championships are shot with the 499 at half that distance.

B.B.

 
At February 28, 2007 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B.-
I am sorry to contradict what you have stated about BB's being "innaccuarate in anything but the 499". The 499 has a beautiful accuracy, but the power basically stinks, it might be 400fps at 10 yards (sorry thats a guess not fact), the nice thing about this rifle is that the barrel is probably the best BB barrel in the WORLD. So me being an avid gunsmith looked into airguns just to see (some guy brought a condor to the range, I WAS impressed). So i decided to do some mutalating =). I found a 499 for 75 quid at the range bulletin board, I grabbed my cell and heard ringing in the other room :). So now I had this 499 that I bought for the haggled price of $50 that didn't work (why it was 50 bucks). I began taking it apart drawing scetches as I went of trigger, and power-works (the action?). I bought a Crosman Quest 1000 for $89.95 from you guys here at Pyramyd Air (what a bargian). Well to cut it all short I interchanged the 499 barrel with the Crosman Quest's breaking barrel through some rather annoying mechanical problems (the BB sliding down the barrel) I put in some trusty magnets.


I behan to test fire it were I relised two things were COMPLETELY wrong, first accuracy, the sights COULD NOT be lined up. I put in a rather nice Leaper's scope (not sure of make off the topo of my mind) $69.99 from you. The second problem I encountered was the BB wasn't be pushed as far as I wanted...Being a gunsmith I know a fair bit about muzzle loaders, Revolutionary M-loaders you put a peice of leather in before the ball, this made a nicer seal. I looked for something I could breech load behind the BB to act as a "semi-cork" to increase velocity. The Beeman Quick Felt Cleaning Pellets (I bought 200 for $12.70) from Pyramid. They looked abit "heafty" to me, I cut maybe 10 in half with a razor blade (nearly cutting my finger) and went outside to give them a test drive.


Once outside I mount the scope and use a "Bore-Sight" to sight in the scope, then pop in a BB, then half of a Felt Pellet, aim at a soda can, and pull the trigger. I hit the can and knocked it clear off the steps but...I remeber doing that with a Red Ryder when I was 9. I grab some targets, and set them up in my basement. I was getting bulls' eyes each shot, but the felp pellet was going to far with the BB, I cut them into 4th (I cut the halfs into halfs). So NOW the real fun began, I was hitting stainless-steal skillets and putting deep dents into them (the BBs flew back though), I decided to Chrony it. 891 fps, the first shot ripped through the Chrony at 10ft (to keep felt from annoying machine). I heard a woodpecker in my back yard thumping away. He was downed with a clean head shot, the BB was nowhere to be found. The walking back up to the house holding my kill I heard a nutter to my left. I loaded another BB-Felt combo, aimed at the Nutter's head. I ate GOOD squirrel that night, the BB entered his left eye socket and rattled around in his skull. By the end of the week I bagged 4 more 2 with perfect chest shots.



So for about 240 dollars, I built a KILLER BB gun, maybe the fastest in the world :) It is still shooting excellent today. If you wish to buy one I will custom make for $500 (with scope and 200 CUT felt pellets [accually 800 after cutting]). I will not Email you directions (they are MINE :) but $500 and you got yourself ONE HECK OF A RIFLE. Enjoy!

-Ed

 
At March 01, 2007 7:14 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Ed,

That's quite a story. I've seen a Beeman P1 modified to shoot 1/8" ball bearings at 640 f.p.s., but your gun takes the prize. Except for the NASA gun with the 100-foot barrel, yours is the fastest I've heard of.

 
At April 01, 2007 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB- Thank 100 foot barrel is accually 10ft with a 100th of an inch ball bearing, its one of those size to scale things, hey any info on that modded B-1 i would like to meet more ppl into bb conversion


can the crosman 1000X handle the .22 barrel of the crosman 800X without super machining

-Ed

 
At April 02, 2007 5:46 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Ed,

You should ask Crosman about the barrel swap. I doubt anyone else has the info.

B.B.

 
At April 19, 2007 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have very little! air rifle knowledge, i have shot a rifle and i can hold and cock quite heavy air rifles and can shoot with and without a scope accurately with the gun i was supplied... i wondered what would be an ideal choice for an air rifle if im usually shooting targets 25-35 yards away sometimes a little more... usually birds or targets no bigger than pigeons or magpies?

i would appreciate an email at neji_1989@hotmail.co.uk

 
At April 20, 2007 6:51 AM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

Neji,

Living in the UK, you are subject to a 12 foot-pound power limitation. Therefore, the rifle you choose will not be too hard to cock.

You should look at an Air Arms TX200 Mk III. It's a wonderful spring rifle that will serve you very well.

B.B.

 
At June 30, 2007 4:21 PM, Anonymous tarsch@hotmail.com said...

Question about looking up "Critter's Critical Hit" areas. Do you have a specific reference on where to shoot at on animals you plan to kill with a pellet rifle? I had to search several areas just to find a squirrel's anatomy picture, and even that was a small, grainy image. Perhaps someone makes a map of animals' anatomy in relating to where to hit it?

 
At July 01, 2007 8:15 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

tarsc,

That would be nice. Let us know if you find it.

B.B.

 
At September 18, 2007 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi bb pelletier

this is a little off-topic, but i was wondering if the penetration of my shadow 1000 shooting 8.2 grain gamo hunter pellets seems correct. i hit two squirrels the other day and although the deaths were quick the pellet did not exit the other side. the pellet penetrated about an inch into the squirrel. also, when i shoot medium sized birds (about seven inches long) the pellet does not seem to penetrate either.

 
At September 18, 2007 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, i forgot to mention distances. the squirrels were hit from around 15-20 yards as were the birds. one of the birds was shot in the chest region and the squirrels were hit in the spinal cord and heart.

 
At September 18, 2007 1:32 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

A lot depends on the range, but this is ideal performance. You DO NOT want an exit!

B.B.

 
At September 18, 2007 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hm ok cool. i just always thought that a 8.2 grain pellet would exit out of small game. thanks.

 
At September 18, 2007 4:58 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

It will if the game is close enough. I gather you don't own a chronograph yet?

The object is to leave all the pellet's energy inside the target. With an exit, you don't do that, of course, and a .177 wound channel is very small.

B.B.

 
At December 04, 2007 6:13 PM, Blogger strangerthanfiction said...

A 1000fps rated pellet gun with heavy hunting pellets is great for squirrels and birds, and can kill small rabbits with well placed fatal shot.

You CAN kill squirrels with bbs, if they are gamo lead bbs that go in the 1000fps pellet rifles. copper bbs will fall out of the barrel. They are a little less accurate, but they pack a wallop. Good for busting bottles if you have a place for it.

 
At December 22, 2007 3:33 PM, Anonymous JP said...

BB
Excellent post. Answered a few questions I had, as well as a couple others. I mentioned it before, and would like to know more about any course like you took in Germany on animal anatomy for hunting, etc. (Name of the course or any information). Side question is WHY bb's are [only] accurate in the Daisy 499. I didn't think bb's are accurate in anything but claymore mines. Anyway, thanks for any info. JP

 
At December 22, 2007 3:51 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

JP,

The course may have had a name but I didn't know what it was. It was taught as part of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between West Germany and the United States.

A German hunter has to take a much more arduous course and pay a LOT more money to hunt, but the German government relaxes the rules for American soldiers, both because we were only there for a short time and because of the language barrier.

Still, we had to learn quite a bit about anatomy, sex determination (I can still tell the difference between a male and female roe deer from hundreds of yards away), and we had to learn some basic customs, how to dress and a small vocabulary of German hunting terms, which are different than standard German words. Blood, for example is not called blut by a hunter, but schweiss (sweat).

Why is the 499 an accurate BB gun? The barrel is precision-ground to very close to the size of a BB. There is little room for the BB to bounce around. In a standard BB gun, the BB is several thousandths smaller than the bore.

B.B.

 
At February 15, 2008 12:48 AM, Blogger Jonathan Esli said...

I'm new to all this, but just wanted to ask a question on the subject of using BBs in my GAMO Varmint Hunter. I've read about the smaller BBs damaging the rifling, but I got some Crosman Copperheads that are labeled as .177s. Would I damage my rifle if I shoot them, or would I just not be as accurate?

Congratulations on your wonderful blog, I'll be a frequent visitor!

JE

 
At February 15, 2008 6:11 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

JE,

Crosman Copperheads ARE NOT 4.5mm/.177. They are 4.3mm/.173 at best. If you doubt me, use a micrometer to measure a BB.

Crosman and all other airgun companies have become sloppy in the labeling of their airgun ammo because they don't think it matters. Then someone takes them at their word and confusion happens.

Never shoot steel BBs in a barrel not specifically made for them. No high-grade airgun barrel that's rifled is made to accept steel BBs. Those guns that do accept both steel BBs and lead pellets are all low-priced guns. They have hardened steel barrels and special rifling shaped to minimize the damage caused by steel BBs.

B.B.

 
At February 15, 2008 8:08 PM, Anonymous mike said...

re: do not use copper bb's in Pellet Rifle.

Gamo makes .177 lead coated BBs for their air rifles. They are not the most accurate things, but they pack a wallop and are great for busting old dishes and bottles.

 
At June 02, 2008 8:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if i shoot an animal with my single shot spring air rifle could i finish it off with my pro 77?

 
At June 02, 2008 9:04 PM, Anonymous mike said...

If you can't kill it with one or at most two shots with air rifle, you are wasting your time and going to leave wounded animals running off.

You said: if i shoot an animal with my single shot spring air rifle could i finish it off with my pro 77?

 
At June 03, 2008 7:00 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Pro 77,

Airguns are not the same as firearms. The Pro 77 has no business being fired at an animal at any time.

If you don't kill with the first shot, use a second shot with your rifle. If that happens often, stop hunting with that airgun and upgrade to something more powerful and perhaps a larger caliber.

B.B.

 
At December 22, 2008 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THIS IS ALL WRONG!!
i can shoot with my bb gun and hit a squirel dead on in it chest and it will fall out the tree and DIE right then!!
you can shoot and kill a squirel with a bb gun it just depends on where you hit it and how good you are to hit it in like its head or in its chest

 
At February 18, 2009 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi im a 15 years old and living in the uk. bearing in mind i have limited cash supply (around 100 quid)i want a decent spring air rifle that shoots pellets to kill rabbits if thats possible do you have any advise or suggestions on guns or what i can/cant kill with a gun and what type of gun i should use im not new to the shooting thing as i already shoot live game with my father and have shotguns of my own and please keep the terminology simple, im not very "smart" round that area ty. daniel

 
At February 18, 2009 5:44 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Daniel,

I am going to recommend that you look for one of several used airguns. Living in the UK you have access to BSA, Webley and Diana spring rifles, and one of them is probably just what you want.

I also recommend that you concentrate on .22-caliber rifles, rather than .177. The larger pellet is a more certain killer, especially since you must stay under the legal 12 foot-pound limit.

So get copies of Airgunner and Airgun World magazines and see what is available in the classified ads. There should be some classified ads online, as well.

Look for a breakbarrel or underlever rifle that meets your criteria. A Webley Vulcan might be ideal, or a BSA AirSporter or a Diana model 34.

Remember to obey the law when hunting. I believe you must be 17 years old in the UK before you are able to operate an airgun without an adult present.

Rabbits, squirrels and pest birds like corvids would all be appropriate game for you. Just limit your shots to the distance at which you can place five shots inside a 25mm circle.

B.B.

B.B.

 
At February 18, 2009 7:38 PM, Blogger kevin said...

B.B.,

You are the epitomy of "worldly".

kevin

 
At February 19, 2009 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks B.B. i think i might try the bsa comet unless anyone has anything bad that i should know about but i think the age limit is 14+ to own and use an air rifle without permission but you have to be over 18 to purchase the gun and ammunition thanks again daniel

 
At November 11, 2009 9:49 PM, Blogger The Big Bore Addict said...

B.B.

You brought up what is to me a VERY good point....

"anatomy and bullet placement"

Is there a place we can go to, to get good advice &/or info on this?



Thank you,

TheBBA

 
At November 12, 2009 7:47 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

BBA,

No one place thaqt I know of. You just have to research each animal you hunt.

Buffalo, for instance, carry their heart very low in the chest when viewed from the side. Deer, on the other hand, have their hearts positioned higher, again when seen from the side.

B.B.

 
At November 12, 2009 8:53 PM, Blogger The Big Bore Addict said...

B.B.

Exactly why I asked.

I'll do some Googling, & see if I can find something.

I think that would be a nice thing to have available, so people can hunt more efficiently & humanely.


Thanks,

TheBBA

 
At November 12, 2009 9:04 PM, Blogger The Big Bore Addict said...

I forgot to say, that I know there's a lot of people that don't even know the best shot placement for birds, squirrels, rats, mice, gophers, & all the most common pests. Although it doesn't take much to take those down, it would be nice to do it as humanely as possible.

I did notice that PA has some new targets that DO show where to hit them properly, which I think is great.

Like their "X-ray" targets;

http://www.pyramydair.com/search-results?q=x-ray

And their Crosman Varmint Targets;

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Crosman_Varmint_Targets_20_Pack/1943


Great stuff to practice with, but I still think people should research the game they plan to hunt, so they are as familiar with the best shot placement as possible.



TheBBA

 
At November 13, 2009 6:46 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

BBA,

Now you see? Those X-Ray targets are a product I didn't even know they had!

I learn as much as anyone by reading this blog.

B.B.

 
At November 14, 2009 12:59 AM, Blogger The Big Bore Addict said...

B.B.

LOL... Well, glad I could help.

I know how busy you are, so I try to answer as many things as I can to help take the load off, as well as post things that you or others may not now about yet too.

For example... the air Venturi .25 cal. 61 gr. pellets will NOT shoot out of the new Sumatra 2500 500cc PCP.

They fit fine in the mags, but when I pull the trigger, they don't move!
Weird when you consider so many other pellets that take some effort to push down into the mag but shoot fine.

I can only contribute that to the fact that these are solid pellets with no skirt to compress on the way out. They have the same problem with my Troy Adams .25 cal. MK1. I had to send 7 tins back, which sucks, because I really like the idea of a 61 gr. solid pellet screaming out of that Sumatra. I suppose PA will have to lessen the diameter of them, but then you'd have to use a make shift wad to hold them in the mags, if you wanted to keep some mags preloaded with them.

Looks like I'll have to stick with the Eun Jins for now, until they resolve that.

I know who makes those & that he's a busy guy, so I hope he doesn't just trash the concept, & instead fixes them.


TheBBA

 

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