So, you don’t like airguns?

by B.B. Pelletier

You’re reading this posting because the title is intriguing, and maybe you agree with it. You don’t understand why anyone would like a wimpy little gun that puffs out a tiny little bullet with just air. Well, partner, perhaps you don’t really know what airguns are!

They’re NOT wimpy…
Unless you think deer rifles are wimpy, airguns have NEVER been wimpy. Men have been hunting deer, elk, boar and similar large game with airguns since the 1600s. Lewis and Clark carried an air rifle on their expedition in 1804-1806, and it may have been the deadliest gun they had! It was .51 caliber and could fire 20 times in one minute. Compare that to the .54 caliber muzzleloading muskets they also carried!

On this site, you can find big bore rifles like the .50 caliber Career Dragon Slayer and the.45 caliber Big Bore 909S from Sam Yang. These airguns and other big bores like them have successfully taken deer and boar in dozens of states. The 9mm Fire 201S is another great big bore, though a little too small for deer.

…But they ARE very accurate – if YOU are!
Take a look at a dime. That’s Roosevelt’s head on the front. The best sporting air rifles, like the FX 2000, can hit a target that size five times out of five at 40 yards on a good day. Can you do that with your .22 rimfire? The extra accuracy air rifles offer make them the perfect guns to sharpen your shooting skills and to keep them honed. While all airguns are not silent, some, like the Talon SS from AirForce, have reduced reports that keep the neighbors from complaining.

Maybe you like REAL guns
Airguns are as real as they get. One-third of the shooting competition in the Olympics is held for airguns, and the airgun shooters are regarded as the finest in the world. They have to be, because the size of their targets leaves nothing to chance. The ten-ring for the air rifle event is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. And, that event is shot offhand!

No airgun will recoil as much as a Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum or a .500 A-Square rifle, but I kind of like that. Of course, no current air rifle is as powerful as a .50 BMG, though in 1898 the United States had several pneumatic cannons aboard gunboats. They shot 2,550-lb. dymamite shells! So, don’t tell me how big your Weatherby is! Airguns are real enough that inner city SWAT teams are using them to kill guard dogs when they go in on major drug raids.

But none of the above is what airgunning is really about
Airgunning is a pastime for personal satisfaction – not for macho points or an “in your face” statement. Airgunners leave their attitudes at home when they shoot. They’re interested in knowing how good they are, and they use the lowly airgun as a tool to measure themselves. If they can hit with an airgun, they know they can hit with a firearm, because everything is simpler with firearms. The airgun is the trainer that sharpens skills.

That’s what airguns are really all about: A personal expression of shooting.

18 thoughts on “So, you don’t like airguns?”

  1. BB what air guns do the swat teams use anyway?
    Im still thinking about buying the the air force talonss
    in 177.
    Btw BB what Fpe of the talonss in 177?
    With the 12in and 18in barrel?

  2. SWAT teams (and special operations opf the U.S. Army) are using the AirForce Condor in .22 caliber. I believe (though they don’t say) they are attaching a .22 rimfirew silencer.

    The Talon SS produces a maximum of around 24-25 foot-pounds in .22. The Talon (18-inch barrel) produces 31-32 foot-pounds in .22. The Talon or Talon SS with the optional 24-inch barrel produces 45 foot-pounds in .22 caliber because it is powerful enough to shoot Eun Jin pellets. And the Condor produces over 65 foot-pounds in .22 caliber.

    In .177 caliber the numbers are 19 foot-pounds, 22 foot pounds, respectively, and 30 foot-pounds with the 24-inch barrel. Condors can get up to 40 foot pounds with REALLY heavy .177 pellets.


  3. I’ve become very interested in airgunning over the last year or so.
    I have also found that there does not seem to be any significant interest in serious airgunning in my area of the country. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I live in Illinois and guns in general seem to be considered evil by the politicians presently in power. At any rate I am very cautious about who I discus airgunning with in my community. Any suggestions or comments?

  4. airgundoc,

    You may have to do what a lot of us have had to do over the years. Grow your own!

    You start by interesting a friend in shooting with you, then the two of you look around for others. Pretty soon, you have five or six people who all like to shoot airguns. That’s all it takes to bring out the airgunners who are hiding in the woodwork right now.

    Don’t kid yourself, there are thousands of airgunners in Illinois, they just shoot by themselves. They are just as unaware of you as you are of them.

    I have started a field target club and a 10 meter club, all with just three other people. Getting started is the hard part; growing takes care of itself!

    Good luck,


  5. Hey BB i used your on site calculator.
    And you said a Air force condor pushes.
    A havey 177 pellet at 40fpe well your calculator.
    Said a eun jin pellet in 177 wighing 16.1 grains would travel at 1057fps won.t the tumble at that speed?

  6. Diabolo pellets don’t ever tumble. Their skirt has so much drag that it keeps them stable all the time.

    You get tumbling whenever the bullet is not being spun fast enough to stabilize it for its length. The longer the bullet, the faster it has to spin to stabilize. But diabolos don’t need to spin at all to be stable.


  7. Pointed pellets, Well I haven’t found them to be as accurate as round nosed pellets. They do seem to penetrate deeper, but that’s about all.

    I do use the RWS Superpoint in my Hakim, but more because it has a thin skirt that can seal the bore than for its point.

    That’s about it.


  8. I have a Benjamin Franklin Model 310 and I think it is very old. I am 37 years old and my father gave it to me. He says that his fateher bought it before I was born. The serial number h258904. I cannot find much information on it. I love this air rilfe because it is the very first gun of any type I have shot. I need some parts for it and need to find a dealer. I am willing to pay what it takes. I need a safety, a reseal kit, a rear sight and the pins that hold the pump together at the fron site.

    Thanks for any information.

  9. Enspekta,

    Your rifle was made between 1940 and 1969. Get the Blue Book of Airguns 5th edition to learn more. It’s available on this web site.

    As for parts, I don’t think they are available, but several people can fix your guns. Read about them in the July 20 post.


  10. BB,
    I find your analysis on air gunning intriguing. Early in the post you state: "The best sporting air rifles, like the FX 2000, can hit a target that size five times out of five at 40 yards on a good day. Can you do that with your .22 rimfire? The extra accuracy air rifles offer make them the perfect guns to sharpen your shooting skills and to keep them honed". But then later in the post you state: "If they can hit with an airgun, they know they can hit with a firearm, because everything is simpler with firearms." Doesn't these two statements conflict?

  11. Wow! I guess they do seem to contradict, but that wasn't what I was trying to say.

    In the first statement I was referring to rimfires only. In the second I was including all firearms. So in that context, there is no conflict.

    The point of what I am saying is that shooting airguns teaches follow-through. And follow-through is essential to accuracy with any firearm, as well as any airgun.

    Shooters get away with sloppy follow-through when shooting most firearms because the bullets leave the barrel so fast. However that is less true with .22-caliber long rifle ammunition. So learning how to shoot an air rifle well does make you a better shooter all around, because of the discipline it teaches. Discipline to follow through with every shot.


  12. BB,
    Thanks for following up on these old posts. I guess I should post with an ID. It's fun to just be getting into airguns and reading these archived posts for the first time – definately good info within! Thanks for all your effort towards this sport and I hope you'll continue to share your information for many more years to come.

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