Big bore airguns: Think you’ve seen it all?

by B.B. Pelletier

Got an urge to talk about big bore for a while, so I’ll start with what many airgunners don’t know. Big bore airguns have been around since the 1500s – that you know. And, in 1780, the Austrian army had either 1,000 or 1,500 .47 caliber .22-shot repeating air rifles – you probably know that, too. But are you aware of the resurgence big bores are making on the American hunting scene? Not many are.

What IS a big bore?
Well, it’s anything bigger than a smallbore, I guess. Since .25 caliber (6.35mm) is the largest common smallbore airgun caliber, anything bigger than that would qualify. Yes, there are .28 caliber big bores, but the preponderance of calibers start at 9mm, which is very close to .357 caliber (it’s .356, actually). They go up as large as 118 caliber, which is a projectile larger than one inch in diameter! If you’re good, I might show that one to you later on.

Can you do anything with 9mm?
What this question really asks is if you can hunt with 9mm. The answer is YES. If you use the 9mm single-shot from Shinsung, you can shoot pistol bullets up to 125 grains that will stabilize and be accurate at ranges under 75 yards. Bullets like that are suitable for coyotes, fox, beaver, javalina, turkey and other game in the 25- to 50-lb. range. If you shoot the 9mm Career Ultra repeater, it can only shoot a lightweight pellet, but that’s still good medicine for rabbits, woodchuck, raccoons and possum. Pyramyd has many pellets for this caliber

Penetration is the name of the game
Writer Elmer Keith tested lead bullets on cattle and hogs in stockyards and proved that pure lead bullets moving at low velocity can out-penetrate a high-velocity rifle bullet, unless that bullet is designed for penetration, such as an armor-piercing round. Penetration is how big bore airguns do their work. When you hunt with them, you’re more like a bow hunter than a modern rifleman, because your bullet penetrates deep and causes massive bleeding. The animal doesn’t usually drop instantly, but will run for a distance, then lay down to expire. Of course, shot placement is even more important when shooting a big bore because you do not have hydrostatic shock assisting you.

Moving up in caliber
If you want to go larger, Sam Yang makes the Big Bore 909, a .45 caliber single-shot. It’s got about 200-225 foot-pounds of energy and can take deer with a good close shot. Then there is the Dragon-Slayer, a .50 caliber rifle from Shinsung. This one also makes it up to 200 foot-pounds and has already taken whitetail deer. Pyramyd Air sells both .45-caliber and .50-caliber lead “pellets” (they’re really bullets) for these big bruisers, or you can use lead pistol bullets in the 909. But, it doesn’t stop there.

Moving up in power
Dennis Quackenbush makes big bores up into the 500 foot-pound category, and one .72-caliber monster he built topped 1,000 foot-pounds. Gary Barnes also makes powerful big bores in the 400-1,000 foot-pound class. Both of these makers are backordered most of the time, so you will have to wait anywhere from one to four years for one of their guns. Pyramyd Air has big bores you can shoot right away!


That’s a 77-grain 9mm pellet in between a .563 caliber bullet (left) and a .459-caliber bullet.


Two .45-caliber lead spools dwarf a .22 caliber Crosman Premier pellet. They have high drag that makes them fly straight.

I will talk about actions, barrels, bullets and more in the future. Tell me what you would like to know about big bore airguns.

60 thoughts on “Big bore airguns: Think you’ve seen it all?


  1. bb,

    interesting blog…i never knew that airguns go up to such a high caliber. what range are the real monsters capable of shooting accurately?

    Dave


  2. Say I wanted to hunt Africa’s Big 5 with a big bore airgun. Is this even feasable, and what would you suggest for oh, say, water buffalo? Or rhino? What would be the effective range(s)?

    -Joe


  3. Joe,

    Africa’s big five is not possible ! They are not THAT powerful ! The biggest I know is a bison and it took abt 20 mins to fall after taking 2 shots from 52 yards.


  4. I have a Farco shotgun that I load with .433 round balls in .50 cal sabots (100+ ftlbs). It is deadly on racoons to about 30 yards and will break both shoulders. Loaded with #4 buck it takes down a bushy tail quite well. I once loaded a 300 gr .44 cal hollowpoint in a sabot and took an opposum. It was close range and the bullet penetrated sidways (smooth bore barrel) but it droped stone dead. I can only imagine if it had the 500ftlbs of energy and rifling what it could do. Its blast certainly gets the neigbor’s attention but doesn’t sound like a shot, more like a scuba tank discharge. I wonder what these mega-big bores sound like?
    E


  5. BB

    How much do these big bores recoil?
    I know there all pcps (or at least I think they are) which usually dont recoil so much, but a big bore say 50 cal, how much recoil involved? Just wondering.

    Thanks, Kyle.


  6. is the .50 dragonslayer that pyramyd offers as powerful per say, as a real life walther ppk? im just trying to get an idea of the power of these weapons – if 6 ft lbs is need for a squirell (i think) than why can’t 200 ft. lbs take down black bears. 200 ft. lbs is 33 x’s whats needed to take a squirell. i feel like that SHOULD be enough, but yet again i need your input. thanks.


  7. Speaking of big-bores I was wondering if you or anyone else had any experience or opinions about the Sokol 9mm CO2 carbine that Drulov makes. It doesn’t seem like a popular or well-known gun and I was wondering why that might be.


  8. Dave,

    The “real monsters” are the guns ranging from .70 caliber up. One of them, the AirMag 1180 (a 1.18-inch, or 118 caliber smoothbore) reports 6-inch groups at 125 yards. Six inches is smaller than the kill zone on big game.

    B.B.


  9. Joe,

    I( can see that I will have to write more about big bore airguns. Africa’s big 5 is out of the question. They would kill you if you ried such a thing.

    Big bore airguns are best-suited to game weighing 300 pounds and under. Yes, they have been used on larger animals, but always at the risk of wounding.

    Let’s keep it real.

    B.B.


  10. E,

    As the power goes up, the rifle’s crack becomes sharper. A 500-foot-pound rifle has less of the bellow of a Farco and more of a shotgun boom. A .72 caliber 1,000 foot-pound rifle cracks like a 12-gauge and kicks just as hard.

    B.B.


  11. Kyle,

    The big bores do recoil. In fact, you can feel a difference in the amount of recoil when you switch from a lighter bullet to a heavier one.

    The 200 foot-pounds rifle Pyramyd Air sells kick like a .410 shotgun, only the push is longer and more sustained. A 500 foot-pound rifle kicks like a 20-gauge shotgun. A 1,000 foot-pound rifle kicks like a 12-gauge shotgun. Its kick is sharp and hard.

    B.B.


  12. B.B.

    How do the Big Bores solve the difficulty of loading a solid bullet into the breech. Sealing rings like the Silver Jets?

    Springer John


  13. Black bears can be taken with 200 foot-pounds, at the risk of the shooter’s life! That is enough energy to take a small to medium-sized bear with a perfect hit, but there is absolutely NO margin for error.

    What we fail to realize today is that a lot of hunters who used firarms of equivalent power (to modern air rifles) in the 1700s and early 1800s were killed by the game they hunted. In the journals of Lewis and Clark, they mention having several rifles on hand when going after grizzly bears, and they shot rifles (.54 caliber shooting a .530 round ball) that had less energy at 100 yards than a modern 500 foot-pound air rifle has at 50 yards with a heavy conical bullet.

    Let’s keep it real,

    B.B.


  14. Drulov 9mm rifles are curiosities, but not well thought-out. They have short barrels, where CO2 requires a long barrel for power. They were designed to shoot OOO buckshot, and are called 9mm only because that size is close to the same.

    Don’t misunderstand me, the Drulovs are powerful, but when you compare them to guns like the Fire 201 9mm rifle, they are not in the same class.

    B.B.


  15. Springer John,

    If I understand your question correctly, they have a tapered leade in the breech that allows loading the bullet. O-rings on the bolt or sliding breech cover seal the air.

    The bullets don’t obturate at the base as much as blackpowder bullets do, therefore the gun must be designed to take up the slack.

    B.B.


  16. BIG BORE AIR RIFLES !!!

    Now THAT is something i’d love to talk about.

    BB, if you’ve observed, I generally post questions on technical aspects and nothing else. This time I wont. With your permission, I’ll post what I know and think of big bores. The reason why I ask is because I dont really know what you’d interpret as competition to Pyramyd Air ! I was surprised that you posted on Eric’s video.


  17. MajorKonig,

    There is no competition because Pyramyd Air sells the video. And Eric Henderson isn’t in direct competition with Pyramyd Air.

    Did you also notice that I mentioned Dennis Quackenbush and Gary Barnes? They both nake big bores they only sell direct, so if anything, THEY are in competition. But Pyramyd Air doesn’t sell any 500 foot-pound airguns, so I say there’s no contest.

    B.B.


  18. what do you mean by “lets keep it real.” an air rifle with 1000 foot lbs of energy i think can take africa’s big five – if it kicks like a 12 gauge and probably has an equivalent power (just firing a monstrous slug) then why not? now, im not saying go out and hunt africa’s big five, but when i hunt, i always go with at least two other buddies in case of an emergency. if we all had .50 dragonslayers for example, i think i would feel pretty safe hunting
    MOST, but not ALL game. the thing i don’t understand is, if the big bores were made to be repeaters, than anything would be possible. if a rhino per say charges, than 2 more shots can be well placed before it gets to you – a whole slew of other rounds can be placed esp. if you hunt in a group.


  19. “Lets Keep it Real”

    Indeed, Lets.

    Just how portable is a 1000 ft-lb air gun? How many shots might it get per charge? I expect its “Not very”, and “few”

    A 380 auto generates almost 200 ft-lbs, same as a.50 dragonslayer. Would you and your friends feel comfortable hunting dangerous game with a MAC11? Same energy, far greater firepower.

    If so, go for it. The Darwin Awards await you


  20. bb,

    I question the penetration capability of a PURE lead bullet. Hard cast, yes, I would expect excellent penetration. But pure soft lead? Even at the very low velocities involved? I’m skeptical.

    Further, are hard cast bullets compatible with any of these big bore air rifles?


  21. Real,

    The air rifle capable of 1,000 foot pounds gets one shot per air fill, as far as I know. As Darwin suggests, it’s a large rifle, though entirely portable.

    Hunting game with a rifle that has less energy than a .30/30 requires some thought. Yes, you can take deer and even bison. No, I wouldn’t think of shooting rhino or cape buff with one.

    This is serious business. If you wound a dangerous animal, you can easily be killed. Yes, having a backup is fine, but the primary hunter has to be armed with enough gun for the job.

    B.B.


  22. Pure lead,

    I said pure lead, but that can also include lead alloyed 40:1 with tin.

    Hard lead bullets are not good in big bore rifles. Not only do they NOT perform as well in game, They also lead the bore something horrible.

    I shoot a .45/70 Trapdoor Springfield. I once tried hard cast bullets and had to spend hours removing the lead from the bore.

    When I used to shoot .45 Colt, I always cast lead/tin bullets, as hard cast bullets were inaccurate. That’s probably from leading the bore so much.

    Crosman Premier pellets are the same as hard-cast lead bullets and they do the exact same thing to airgun barrels. When pushed faster than 900 f.p.s. they lead the bore rapidly.

    Hard cast bullets are okay for higher velocity smokless powder loads if they have gaschecks. But they still lead the bore, while softer lead bullets alloyed with tin do not, as long as the velocity is kept below 1,500 f.p.s.

    As for penetratuion, the soft lead bullet holds together liks chewing gun, while hard cast bullets break in pieces.

    Eric Henderson casts all his bullets in pure lead. It’s very hard to cast a good bullet with pure lead, but he can ring a gong at 175 yards with his .308.

    B.B.


  23. the one thing i want to know is who actually tries to hunt the big five with an air gun anyway? you should just use a .50 automatic already since yes, the guns are getting humongous once you get into the realm of bigbores.


  24. Hunting Africas big 5 with top notch big bores might be possible, but its too risky, not worth risking your own life.

    Safety first folks, not obssesion.


  25. I have a Dragon Slayer .50: I wouldn’t shoot a rhino with one if I had 20 buddies there with Dragon Slayers! BTW, the DS does not come close to 200 FPE. Just like you can read elsewhere, the gun is good for medium hogs and below.

    Big 5 with airguns, yeesh!


  26. airgun hunting is ridiculous. they really are not that powerful and besides, what the hell is the fun of hunting squirrels? i came to this realization when my slingshot could break a glass bottle made from rubberbands but my 2240 couldn’t. if you want to hunt, use a firearm!



  27. Anonymous said…
    airgun hunting is ridiculous. they really are not that powerful and besides, what the hell is the fun of hunting squirrels? i came to this realization when my slingshot could break a glass bottle made from rubberbands but my 2240 couldn’t. if you want to hunt, use a firearm!

    May 24, 2007 9:07 AM

    I have a old daisy that breaks a glass bottle don’t exaggerate.

    I won’t get into a fight, but obviously you haven’t payed much attention to the recent posts, airgun hunting is a lot of fun, apperently something you haven’t done yourself


  28. unlike you, i don’t feel the need to hunt rats. i don’t want to get into a fight either, just saying my opinion. airguns can be lethal, but if you want to hunt anything large i would suggest a real firearm. sure a deer can be taken, but a dragonslayer is a huge rifle – is it fun carrying one of those around? airguns are not fake and are lethal, far from toys, and really weapons. but im sure you wouldn’t try to hunt black bears with an aigun now would You?


  29. haha common man you gotta be kidding me, I have a $50 crosman multi- pump that kills rats, please, once again, don’t exagerate.

    Actually yes I would, and once again, apperently you haven’t read just how affective big bores can be, either that or you ignore the truth, which would really weird I don’t see any point in that.

    But anyway, it takes skill to hunt large game with an airgun, and it makes it very fun, just make sure you know your stuff, but some( I note because you better know what your gun is capable of not all big bores are that powerfull) big bore are guns are well equipped for big game hunting.

    Go hunt big game with an LA Outlaw and you’ll change your mind pretty quickly, or any gun like it. Yes you don’t get hydro static shock so shot placement must be wisely placed. But thats what makes it fun, takes a lot of skill.

    I don’t need to go explain why they are so effective, because after all the information is right there.

    well myfriend, either you you listen to some great advice and gain some knowledge, or get stuck on your same opinion. If I were you, I’d choose gaining some good knowledge and advice.

    Oh and, I’d like to find some more examples of sling shots made from glass bottles, it would be interesting to see how its done.


  30. Question for B.B Pelletier…

    I have the Career 707 Ultra 9mm six shot repeater. It’s a great gun & I love it, but I want a higher power big bore that will allow me to shoot bigger & more types of ammo than just the 77.1 grain Eun Jin pellet, as well as something that has more knock down power, & a longer effective range.

    I’ve narrowed it down to two, & I’m trying to decide between the Shin Sung Dragon Slayer 50 cal & the Sam Yang Big Bore 909 45 cal.

    Which do you recommend & why?

    Thank you in advance,

    The Big Bore Addict -


  31. The Big Bore Addict,

    My choice of the two rifles you mention is the Sam Yang Big Bore 909 because it can accept bullets of all lengths. As an Ultra owner, you’ve got to appreciate that!

    B.B.


  32. B.B. ,

    Yes inddeed! :)

    Two more quick questions I’d really appreciate your opinion on…

    What effective range do both guns have, & how do they compare in knock down power & penetration (with similar types of ammo, as I do know that the type of ammo makes a diffrence)?

    P.S. Thank you very much for your quick reply. I really appreciate it because I’ll be placing my order in the next day or so.
    Also, thank you for all of your posts. I am confident that you have helped many people here & I’m sure they are as grateful for your assistance as I am.
    You rock! :)

    Thanks again,

    The Big Bore Addict -


  33. The Big Bore Addict,

    The Big Bore 909 is slightly more powerful than the Dragon Slayer, plus it has a slightly smaller bullet, so it should have slightly greater penetration.

    I believe I would try the 200-grain round nose.

    If you decide on the Dragon Slayer I would try the 225-grain bullet. I realize that’s the only bullet they have for it at the moment, but in Tom Gaylord’s test of the rifle, it performed the best of three he was able to use. At that time the rifle was just called the Dragon.

    B.B.


  34. B.B. ,

    Ok then… The 909 it is! :)

    You say you would try “the 200-grain round nose.”

    Can you elaborate on that, as to what application & why?

    Also what are the best pellets would you recommend for;

    1) Accuracy at a long distance?

    2) Accuracy in general?

    3) The best knock down power?

    4) The best penetratraion?

    5) What are the effective ranges with the above pellets in this gun?

    P.S. I’m not trying to pick your brain apart, it’s just that I’m between jobs right now, so I am limited in how much $ I can spend at this time, & want to spend it in the right places.
    Once I get settled in to my new job, I’ll have the $ to experiment all I want. ;)

    Thanks again B.B. REALLY! :)

    You have been a great help, I am VERY grateful for your assistance, & I shouldn’t have any more questions to bother you with. lol

    Sincerely,

    The Big Bore Addict -


  35. slingshots can be made from rubberbands. glass bottles are not made from rubber obviously. and i don’t know why, but my 2240 does not break glass. i don’t recommend shooting glass anyway.


  36. The Big Bore Addict,

    When I choose a bullet, the criteria are as follows:

    Accuracy at the distance I wish to shoot. Any bullet that’s accurate at long range is also accurate at close range. However, in the case of a big bore airgun, I’d choose the bullet that was accurate enough for my intended purpose – not the absolute final best grouper.

    Bullet design for my intended use. I will choose a hollowpoint, but only if I’m shooting at close range and over-penetration is an issue. For most large game, a heavier bullet is better, so that’s what I want. Don’t worry about penetration unless you are shooting game that’s too big for the gun. Then just don’t do it!

    B.B.


  37. Anonymous said…
    slingshots can be made from rubberbands. glass bottles are not made from rubber obviously. and i don’t know why, but my 2240 does not break glass. i don’t recommend shooting glass anyway.

    if my little ole crosman pumpmaster can break it, than anything can break it.

    Yours probably isn’t functioning right.


  38. it seems like the velocity is high and its working fine though. also, im not sure why but my p1 just bounces off of glass bottles when the pellets hit. i could have sworn it would break glass but it didn’t. maybe im shooting super glass!


  39. Anonymous said…
    airgun hunting is ridiculous. they really are not that powerful and besides, what the hell is the fun of hunting squirrels?…
    May 24, 2007 9:07 AM

    I just saw this post…as Cartman from South Park would say…”its hella fun”…lol


  40. P1 and 2240 and anyone else with glass bottle issues,

    Lead deforms when it hits a hard surface. That subtracts energy. Most glass bottles are hard enough to be “pellet-proof” but some aren’t.

    B.B.


  41. just my humble opinion, but i’ve always been impressed with individuals that get the job done with the least amount of materials and energy.
    i respect a guy who is lethal just by artfully using his thumb as a weapon, more than the guy who requires a firearm…sure both are lethal…but that first guy always has/carries his thumb with him and has skill and technique…


  42. That is one of the most fun parts about airgun hunting, trust me, with high powered big bore airguns, almost any game is fair game, if you know what you’re doing.

    Hey, whos better in the end? A guy who trains a lot? Or a guy who trains a lot and takes steroids, I’m not saying firearms are steroids, but my point is, what gives you more of an edge steroids or just training hard, obviously steroids makes it easier to accell(although very dangerous and must never be used)where as its harder to accel without any performance inhancers. Well if you can do and beyond with an airgun what regular hunters do with super high velocity modern firearms,if you can do that then you truly are a a skilled hunter indeed.

    Hunting with airguns will make you a more skilled hunter, it definitely has with me.


  43. very well said jones, but always bring the right tool for the job.
    u would never drive nails with a sledge hammer, and likewise, wouldn’t drive railroad spikes with a claw hammer. it all about knowing the task at hand and bringing the adequate tools. this promotes humanity for the animal and safety for the hunter. i don’t think i’d be hunting rhinos with .50cal dragonslayers. air rifles have their niche, and firearms have their niche, and sometimes these niches can overlap.


  44. I wouldn’t hunt a rhino with a dragon slayer either, but if I had a .70 cal 1000 ft lb airgun and a few friends with simlilar guns, I might just do it, I mean I wouldn’t spend that much money to buy a gun like that and head over to Africa, but you get my point, there are some serious air rifles that could do it.

    But of course, obviously you have to untimately bring safety into the pcture as well.

    Just make a good compromise, don’t worry too much about safety, at the safe time, don’t blow off a lack of safety either.


  45. the first thing, i’ve tried shooting glass but don’t because its not good. second, if you were going to go big game hunting wouldnt it be easier to carry a smaller and lighter, but more powerful rifle than a large airgun. also, you have a limited number of powershots with a airgun and you must manually load the bullet in one at a time. that tells me that most large game is off limits. the largest i would go would be fox with a ds.



  46. For B.B Pelletier…

    B.B. , I have a Mendoza RMS 2000
    (Great gun buy the way!)
    However, I don’t care much for the Mendoza pellts & want to try a better pellet that will work in it’s 7 shot tubular magazine.

    I saw that you said the Crossman Premiers & the Benjamin Sheridan Diablos will work in the tubular magazine, but could you clarify a couple of thingd for me, as I am about to place a rather large order with Pyramyd this week, & want to make sure I get the right things.

    1) With the Crossmans, are you talking about the “Domed” or the “Hollow Points”?

    2) Which work better, the Crossmans or the Benjamins?

    3) I remember reading somewhere that the Crossmans leave more lead in the barrell than other pellets. Is this true?

    4) with all that said & asked… which do YOU think are the best?

    Thanks again,

    The Big Bore Addict -


  47. For B.B Pelletier…

    Last question I promise! lol

    Can I shoot the 9mm 80 grain rond nose & hollow point that Pyramyd sells, in the single shot loading breach/port of my CAREER 707 9mm ULTRA without any adjustments, & without any damage or jams?

    P.S. It’s currentlty set up to shoot the Eun Jin 77.1 grain 9mm through the clip, & I want to leave it that way.

    Thanks again,

    The Big Bore Addict -


  48. Big Bore,

    I haven’t completed my test of the RM 2000, so I can’t say whether the Crosman pellets are any good.

    Crosman domes and hollowpoints have the same shape and perform the same in all the tests I have conducted, so I expect them to continue to do so.

    Benjamin and Crosman Premiers are made on the same machines and with the same dies. In fact they are the same pellets. The only exception are Crosman Premiers in the cardboard boxes, which are sorted by die lot. They are a little more uniform.

    Yes, all Crosman pellets have antimony in their alloy and at higher speeds they will lead the bore.

    As you can see, I haven’t done the testing yet, so I don’t know the best pellet for the Mendoza. However, I hiope you now understand that all the pellets you asked about are virtually the same.

    You can not use anything in the Ultra except the 77-grain Eun Jin pellet. Pyramyd Air has asked me to tell everyone this because they don’t want owners to jam their guns. The Ultra has a very short feed mechanism that can only accept very short pellets.

    B.B.


  49. B.B.

    Thank you!

    You have helped me a LOT in making my decisions on what to buy.

    You are not only a wealth of information, but you are also a very kind & patient person.

    You are a huge benefit to this blog with your contributions & dedication !

    I am sure I speak for many, when I say…. Thanks a million! :)

    Sincerely,

    The Big Bore Addict -



  50. About AirMag 1180, who makes that gun, how much it does cost and where it is possible to purchase a one, how much it has kinetic energy per shot?

    Thank you B.B for a great blog, even Finnish people read this!


  51. Pekka,

    The Air Mag 1180 was made in Montana several years ago. I don’t know if it is still being made.

    Power depended on air pressure, but on the highest power it developed about 650 foot-pounds, as I recall.

    A 140 lb. mountain lion was taken with one set on half power.

    The cost was about US$1,800.

    B.B.




  52. I just wanted to toss in my $10.00 (this long posting won’t qualify for $0.02) on the subject of hunting large (300lbs and up) and dangerous game with an airgun, even the behemoths from Quackenbush and Barnes.
    First, given the fact that even these four-figure airguns still lack the necessary energy to drop appropriate game at the shot, why in the world would you subject much larger game to such needless suffering that would likely ensue from trying to stretch the envelope?
    Why indeed would not even one of the real 1,000fpe monsters be completely acceptable for some truly dangerous game as moose and grizzlies over here and rhinoceros, leopard, lion, cape buffalo, and elephant (aka big five) over there?
    Keep in mind that expecting and even depending on followup shots for such notoriously nasty critters is not only unethical, but also equivalent to sticking your hand in a blazing fire and hoping you won’t get burned.
    It’s unethical because even perfect shot placement is likely to take a considerable time to humanely take your game.
    Further, on the real heavies, even that perfect shot placement is unlikely to cause adequate tissue disruption to drop them at all, resulting in agonizing injuries likely to become infected, drawing flies and the attendant maggots, and a possible protracted death.
    Why would you have such low regard for your game as to subject it to that kind of suffering?
    And that is not even taking into consideration that your are likely to really enrage your game, particularly the famously ill-tempered cape buffalo.
    Do you honestly believe you can outrun something weighing well over 1,000lbs galloping toward you at 35mph?
    Are you just certain the infuriated animal getting peppered with several more of the same projectiles that you just fired into the heart/lung are going to be so much more effective as they strike the flanks, shoulders, and legs of a now running target?
    Is it even sensible to go hunting with a weapon that you can’t count on to drop dangerous game rapidly?
    Keep in mind here that the folks who show the big two over here appropriate respect use the .30-06 Springfield (approximately 3,000fpe) as a minimum on moose and the .338 Winchester (approximately 4,000fpe) on grizzly, and even then, it is normal for such large animals to take a few minutes to succumb.
    And what about the big five of Africa?
    Well, most African nations mandate a minimum of .375 caliber, with the legendary .375 H&H being the most common choice in that starting caliber generating something on the order of 5,000-6,000fpe.
    The guys who want to be humane, while stopping the possibility of a charge from the likes of a 10,000lbs elephant generally prefer to use something heavier, such as the .416 Remington (~7,000fpe), the .460 Weatherby (~8,000fpe), or even the true king of the hill (even though the rifles chambered in this one regularly bring six figures) .700 Nitro Express.
    How much does that .700 generate?
    What would you think of a 900grain projectile producing 15,000fpe?
    My whole point here is that even (most) of those gigantic calibers don’t always drop their intended game in its tracks, so it would be folly at best to even consider using a marginal airgun to do that.

    So, we have being humane as one area of inadequacy.
    Unethical hunting is not only cruel, but it also gives the PETA crowd all it needs to demonize hunters more than they already do.
    Please set a good example by not behaving as would some yahoo.

    The second area of inadequacy is energy levels.
    How do you think even that mammoth Quackenbush 1,000fpe compares to the bare minimum .375 5,000fpe?

    One more thing I didn’t even mention yet is simple economics.
    How much sense does it make to pay the huge travel expense, licensing fees (often in the thousands), equipment, guide fees…well, you get the idea at this point.
    At this point in time, I wouldn’t expect to go on a professionally guided two week African big five hunt for less than $20,000.
    Why would I take a chance at wasting all that just so I could use a marginal airgun to prove a point?
    Also, is that airgun REALLY cheaper to use than a REAL firearm?
    The relatively inexpensive Dragon Slayer currently lists on Pyramyd for $619.99 with open sights only.
    Add in a scope and high pressure air filling apparatus, and you will be well over $1,000 with non-premium options, such as that wonderful $400 Leupold scope or the carbon fiber tank and electrically powered compressor.
    I won’t even go into the far more expensive and powerful Quackenbush and Barnes creations.
    An ordinary Ruger .416 Rigby can be bought new for far less than those premium options without the airgun itself, so my only remaining question is this: Is it the recoil that is worrying you?

    Well, it is true, the recommended dangerous game rifles really do come back to remind you of their superior muzzle energy each time you squeeze the trigger.
    The outlandish .700 Nitro – which I saw a multiple exposure photo of Outdoor Life shooting editor Jim Carmichael firing – threw him back about five feet and ended with the muzzle pointing beyond the verticle!
    In all fairness, that gun is far too expensive and powerful for the average hunter.
    However, the most balanced in terms of power and manageability .416 generates only about twice the recoil of a 3″ magnum loaded 12 gauge, which is to say manageable with just a little practice.
    My 11 year old girl can easily fire a 12 gauge loaded with birdshot, so I’m quite sure even a Poindexter could handle a .416 given enough time to condition himself for it.
    That’s why recoil pads were created, you know.
    Besides, even with the mighty .700 Nitro, you won’t even feel it when you fire on a lion!

    As BB was saying, PLEASE in the name of all that is good, KEEP IT REAL!
    Don’t use game animals as targets for a stunt.

    Sorry for being so long-winded on the subject, but I have very strong feelings on this matter.
    Be kind, be frugal, and – above all else – be safe.

    -Scott


  53. I own 7 or 8 air rifles and 1 is the Career Dragon Slayer. I used it for the 2007 Deer Season and killed 1 deer. I only shot 1 deer and it was a 72 yard head shot. The 200gr HP impacted above the right eye and exited in the back of the head. The deer dropped and never moved again. Not too bad for an air gun.


  54. Big bore air gun is nice but if you want to sell more of the pellets, start swaging them in different shapes regardless of what you think. Forget your engineer’s arrogance. I’m not seeing any stackable 50 grain .355 and .356 wadcutters like the multi-bullet loads they used to sell for .357 and .38. They wont just be used for air guns but regular guns. Since people are using regular 9mm bullets in airguns, take this as a hint that people want and there is a demand for stackable 50 grain, 55, 65 and even 70 grain bullets in 9mm. You cant go much bigger than 150 grains in 9mm, eg. 2 70 grain multi-bullets but you can go heavyer in .38, .357 and .357 max.


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