Home Blog
The paradox of power

# The paradox of power

by B.B. Pelletier

My wife pointed out today’s topic to me, after reading a comment from a Pyramyd AIR customer regarding the power of an airgun. Apparently the customer was put off by some British-spec 12 ft-lb airguns, but he felt fine with a rifle that shoots a .177 pellet at 800 f.p.s. Folks – 800 f.p.s. is LESS than 12 foot-pounds if it is achieved by a lightweight pellet! This is where F.P.S.-talk gets us in trouble.

In the game of baseball, we make a big deal when a pitcher throws a 100 mph fastball. If they reported it as a 147 f.p.s. fastball, nobody would listen. That’s because the average guy understands miles per hour. You have to relate to people in terms they can comprehend.

Why do you think American airgun dealers use feet per second, when the European and Asian manufacturers are actually providing meters per second? Americans understand f.p.s. All of our patient European readers are doing the conversions and suffering silently.

For several YEARS, there’s been a velocity-to-energy conversion caculator on THIS website. If you know the velocity and the pellet weight in grains, it will give you the energy. A second caculator further down on the same page will take energy and pellet weight and give you the velocity. I get so frustrated when a reader asks me to convert something when the calculators are right here. Please bookmark them so you can refer to them in the future.

Let’s calculate!
So how fast does a 7.9-grain Crosman Premier have to go to register 12 foot-pounds? The second calculator says 826.99 f.p.s. How about that? So, if an RWS Hobby pellet goes 800 f.p.s., what kind of energy does it have? 11.23 foot-pounds. See how it works?

The funny thing is that the people who seem to grouse the most about velocity and 12 foot-pound guns are the ones who don’t own the guns they are complaining about. They just don’t seem to like the fact that there are 12 foot-pound airguns on sale in the U.S. But have they ever considered that the \$3,000 Olympic target rifles are only 6 foot-pound airguns? I think not.

Remember Airgun Illustrated magazine? Two writers who called themselves the Urban Hunters, Tom Jue and Robert Hamilton of California, made a sport out of hunting with rifles that had less than 12 foot-pounds of energy. Sometimes a LOT less! In one article, they wrote about shooting pigeons at ranges up to 55 yards with a Beeman R7 that shot 7.9-grain Crosman Premiers at a starting velocity of just 580 f.p.s. Now that’s some good shooting, but it also underscores the reason f.p.s. isn’t as important as we might believe.

Twelve foot-pounds is a lot of power, if you use it correctly.

Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.
Categories Education / Training

### 89 thoughts on “The paradox of power”

1. “Twelve foot-pounds is a lot of power, if you use it correctly.”

If I’m not mistaken, full-sized human beings have been killed with half that… remember the Daisy 8556 and 880 flap of several years ago?

2. B.B.-Scott298 checking in-I had inquired about buying one of the four books that you came across in you basement. At the time you said that they had already been packed away for the gun show, however you said that you sold only two. This is the third time I’m inquiring if I can buy one of the two books left. We can handle this of the blog by e-mail. Thanks again for all your help over the past year and say hello to your wife for me. Thanks again-Scott298

3. Hia BB,
The show sounded like fun, wish I was able to go. But yesterday I had some buying fun of my own. About once a month I head over to this one dealer who carries a lot of airguns. Still looking for a .22 springer but not holding my breath. After getting there I noticed a lot of guns came in since last month, but no .22 springers. I was almost going to get the Daisy 22 SG; when out of the corner of my eye, stood a Crosman 2200 Magnum, NEW IN THE BOX. The box was a bit beat up, no problem though knowing the gun went out of production a few years back. So for \$44 I had to snag it. I asked the dealer how they got the gun, his reply was “not sure, some guns just show up” with the order from his distributer. Back in April I found the Daisy Winchester 1894 there – bought it!

On this trip my daughter and son were with me, sooo I did what any good gun loving parent would do, and bought a Daisy 953 for my daughter. She is 12, and at this moment enjoys shooting more then my son, and she is a darn good shot at that. I figure the 953 will replace my aging 25+yr old Daisy 881, so it can take it easy in its senior years. Plus the fact she has a rifle she can call her own.

Within the next week or two, I’ll file some reports, of these two guns under their blog titles. I’ll have some intresting tales on the guns, and they’r only a day old.

Also regarding my old spanish Marathon 100 springer, the tips with the oil have worked. The rifle seems to be holding 544FPS with Laser Sports that it likes. I think this rifle might be made by Cometa; its almost identical to RWS 92 I bought. What a great gun that was for the price.

As always Love the blog.
Joe G in Jersey

4. Scott298,

For discussion of this nature, please read my website:

www,airgunwriter.com

I want to preserve this blog for Pyramyd AIR.

B.B.

5. Jersey Joe,

Never reveal the location of that store to anyone! You have found a goldmine.

B.B.

6. B.B.

You have a smart wife. My Dad came over to visit last night and I showed him my Crosman 2250. He shot it and commented – “it’s powerful, not like pellet rifles he shot in the past’. That’s on CO2 with stock valving and only a stronger hammer spring added. It shouldn’t be over 580 fps in present state. That works out to 11.95 ft-lbs with a 16 grain Crosman field point. This gun has instantly dispatched a few 10 pound Cornish Cross chickens with easy.

7. NiTr0_FiSh,

I know I have a smart wife. She married me, didn’t she?

Ha ha,

B.B.

8. bb,

really interesting blog…my first gun ever was a daisy 880, and i used to take all sorts of things from sparrows to squirrels to pigeons with it, and i recently chronied it, and it only gets about 580 with cpl…i was kinda suprised…so, is it alright to keep using it if i stay in the known distance for game such as squirrel, or should i just keep it to a sparrow and fun gun? the last thing anyone wants to do is injure an animal and let it suffer.

DED

9. B.B.,
I am trying to visualize the concept of foot pounds of pellet energy and having a hard time. Velocity in FPS I can picture. And I know that the energy goes up with the square of the velocity times the pellet weight times a constant. I can do the math. But energy is given in foot pounds, with no time component (unless I am missing the proper units of measure). And you can get 12 foot pounds from a heavy pellet going slow or a light pellet going fast. Is 12 foot pounds of pellet energy like 12 foot pounds of torque on a torque wrench (like one pound of force at a 12′ radius vs 12 pounds of force at a one foot radius)? Or is it more like horsepower than torque? I think I’m over-analyzing and confusing the subject. Maybe I just need to accept that pellet energy is a relative number and not worry too much about it. LOL
Any help would be appreciated.
Pestbgone

10. DED,

If you are already having success, are you going to let numbers spoil it for you?

Keep hunting.

B.B.

11. Scott298,

B.B.

12. Foot-pounds are units of energy, as you know. Think of it as one pound being dropped one foot, with the energy being dispersed from the point of impact(however large or small that may be). By the by, foot-pounds(known as pound-foots in its alternate meaning) can also be a unit of torque, but I seriously doubt that torque has anything to do with it. Note that I can’t illustrate foot-pounds past what I just did. That’s how I know ’em. And, 12 pounds of force on a .177 or .22 inch area is a LOT.

14 in Fla

13. Pestbgone,

It is exactly the same as horespower, because energy is energy. Foot-pounds is just one expression. The reason a pellet will not move that much weight is because when it impacts the lever to move the weight, it sheds energy as heat, and by breaking apart. That energy cannot do other work.

B.B.

14. B.B.

I have a related question about long-distance shooting with airguns. I have this theory that airguns can be used at much greater distances than usually reported. There are any number of stories about rifles doing this. I read that in WWI, U.S. Marines amazed the French marksmanship instructors by routinely hitting targets at 900 yards with their Springfields. I’ve heard of snipers in WWII suppressing bunkers at 1200 yards with Springfields; of an M14 that suppressed a squad-sized unit in Vietnam at 900 yards with open sights; of another M14 in that conflict hitting targets with a spotter at over 1000 yards; and even Civil War rifles doing the same thing. Why shouldn’t air rifles be able to do similar things on a smaller scale? I even came across an online video of some guys hitting a coffee can with an RWS 350 with open sights at what they claimed was 100 yards measured with a laser rangefinder; it looked about right.

To make this concrete, if you had a good 900fps air rifle, an adequate scope that was sighted in, a decent shooter without Olympic-level talent, and a moderate amount of time to practice, how often could such a person hit a pumpkin with any reliability, say 7/10 times? I’m not worried about contact energy, just landing on target. My wild guess is 130 yards.

To Joe G in Jersey, looking forward to your review of the Daisy 953.

Matt

15. B.B.

I meant to say at what distance (not how often) a person could hit the pumpkin.

Matt

16. Matt,

If the gun is a PCP, I think 10/10 times on the pumpkin at 130 yards isn’t too wild, once the rifle is sighted in.. A springer might get it 7/10.

B.B.

17. B.B.

So, the long-distance shooting is possible. Thanks.

An unrelated question. It looks like the peep sight that I ordered for the IZH 61 will arrive before the Bug-Buster scope, so I was wondering how to remove the rear iron sight that comes with the gun. I seem to remember that you explained how to do it somewhere on the blog and it was easy, but I can’t find the posting. I’m not a handy guy, and after the fiasco with the multiple loading, I want to be extra-careful.

Also, I’m assuming that you can’t remove the front sight (without prohibitive work) and that the front post will work with the sight that I bought which is the Daisy Avanti Precision Rear Diopter sight. Is that right? Thanks.

Matt

18. Matt,

For the rear sight, look here:
/blog/2007/8/izh-61-part-3-improved-sights-depressing-results/

Several readers have said the front sight comes off easily as well. I think its a screwed on bushing that holds it to the barrel. Try turning the muzzle and see what happens.

The Daisy rear apertture sight may be too tall, but I’d have to test it. If it is, get a Mendoza.

B.B.

19. Chairgun is helpful for visualizing energy over the distance you are shooting.

http://www.chairgun.com/

Also, here is a freebie converter program that some might find usefull. (not shooting specific)

Crosman processed and shipped my custom pistol order in just 9 days !! I’m lookin’ forward that getting here!

Safe Shooting !!

20. B.B.

Thanks for the reference. This looks more difficult than I thought. First, you have to unscrew the elevation knob until it comes out, right? I’m guessing that in the photo, the pin punch is the thing below the hammer with the long thin point facing to the right. It’s possible to remount the rear iron sight if this doesn’t work out, right?

Matt

21. Hmmm.if one foot pound is a one lb wieght dropped from one footheight.

is two foot pounds a two pound weight dropped from one foot? or a two pound weight dropped from one foot?

My brain hurts
Turtle

22. I do quite a bit of chipmunk & squirrel hunting. I had been using a 16.5 Ft.Lb .177. I bet most pellets still carried 14 ft.lb when they passed through. Too fast in my opinion.

I find 12ft.lb. in .177 to cause more shock & damage for cleaner quicker kills.

In the in-accurate pellet testing ive done the 16.5 lb has more penetration obviously but pellets deformed less than the same pellets at under 10fpe.

Personally, ill keep all of my .177’s around 12fpe from here on out.

Mike from Michigan

23. you mentioned 580fps airguns being effective at 55yards. 900fps guns being effectived to 130 yards. assuming a non-artillery shot (highest effective arc), is there any method or calculation to equate a “reasonable” distance for given speed/fps? i would assume a 750fps airgun might have a 90 yard “reasonably” effective range?

also, if you shoot fairly level with a slight slant for sighting in at 20 yards and your barrel is about 4 feet from the ground…how long does the pellet stay in the air? between 0.5 – 1.0 sec?

24. Matt,

Yes, you have everything correct. And I did remount that sight before sending the rifle back to Pyramyd AIR.

B.B.

25. Turtle,

One pound raised two feet and two pounds raised one foot are both two foot-pounds.

B.B.

26. B.B.,
Thanks for the additional info. Sounds like being able to transfer the energy to the target is just as important as the amount of energy.
Pestbgone

27. There are no means to calculate drop that I know of. At closer ranges there may be some, but as far as I know, nobody has done the math for long ranges.

Instead of me guessing the flight time of a pellet sighted in for 20 yards and held 4 feet about the ground, why don’t YOU test the actual flight time? I’s enjoy knowing too.

B.B.

28. Hello B.B.,

Nice blog as usual.

Every since I moded a Crosman 1377c to a .22cal 500-550fps air-rifle with an 18-inch barrel, that is all I ever use to take squirrels now within 30 yards. Using a 14.6gr pellet (8.1-9.8 fpe) it is highly effective, and so accurate its not fair.

With proper shot placement, they drop like rocks, or at most will hit the ground, scamper 10 feet, and fall over. I’ve inspected every squirrel, and there is no exit wound, which tells me the squirrel absorbed and retained the full brunt of the energy.

I only use my other air-rifles for target practice now. They are just needlessly too powerful. All I need to do now is escape the limitation of my 25 yard property, and get an acre+ to put the others back in “prey sniping” circulation,…or have a need to shoot larger prey at the current 25 yard distance.

The evolution continues…

29. Squirrelkiller,
I apologize if this is inappropriate for this blog, but seeing how squirrels present themselves at all sorts of odd angles, what have you found to be the most effective zones from various views? Would the same spots be as effective with a 20 FPE .22 pellet?
Thanks,
Pestbgone

30. I can do what BB said about the pumpkin, but it has to be a really big pumpkin.

As to pellets being more deadly on squirrels because they deform more at lower speeds, well…….

I can lob a pellet at a target and hardly deform it at all. I can shoot it fast and it mushrooms.

As far as more shock and damage at lower speeds, well…….

Use the formula to find kinetic energy and you will find the answer to speed and weight.

One interesting aspect to air rifles. If a heavier pellet is coming out of the barrel faster than another lighter pellet, but the heavier pellet is tumbling at distance and slows the KE advantage is diminished.

31. Are there recrowning instructions on here anywhere?

If you had a rifle shooting great groups, but just for kicks recrowned, would it still hit the same spot?

32. Regarding the question of flight time for a pellet fired approximately level from an elevation of 4 feet, doesn’t the earlier discussion imply that this is the same time as a pellet simply dropped from 4 feet in the air? Gravity has the same effect on an object regardless of its horizontal velocity. While the air resistance on the horizontal flight would be considerable, that on the vertical drop would be negligible if it has only 4 feet in which to accelerate.

The equation should be y=0.5gt^2 where g is the acceleration of gravity, 32 ft/s^2, and y is the vertical drop, 4ft. I get a flight time of 0.5 seconds.

Matt

33. Difference in 11mm rings and weaver/picaninny ring???

34. Matt,
Nice work. Of coarce that would only apply to freefall if the barrel were held perfectly parallel to the earths gravitational pull.

p.s. Does anybody else have to type in that stupd little code twice before there comment gets posted?

Nate in Mass

35. BB

I just got a digital scale to measure my Boxed Crosman Premier 10.5 pellets. It measures to .01 of a grain so it’s pretty accurate. So far I have most(88%) going in the 10.6 and 10.7 piles about half in each of those two. I ended up with about 10% in the 10.5 pile. I also found a few as high as 10.8 and down to 10.3. Shouldn’t I be getting more of the 10.5s than anything. They all came from the same die number on the 4 boxes I got from Pyramid. Is this what to expect from the boxed Premiers? In the post you made about weighting pellets you said the Premiers should have been 80% in the 10.5 and 10.4 range. Also if this is from a bad die, do you know if I can request different die lots when I order next time?

Thanks, Jay

36. Hello PestbGone,

Keep in mind, everything about to follow is geared toward the “quickest” kills,…not just shooting at them, even though they may expire later.

With the air-gun I mentioned above (converted 1377C/2289; 8.1-9.8 fpe) I only take shots that are sternum/ribs and above, strive for center, and never take straight on face shots. If he is presenting his side or back to me, I go for a zone which spans a couple inches below his shoulders to the top/side of his head. If he is facing me then chest only, unless he presents the top of his head as when feeding or cleaning himself. I like body shots, as opposed to head shots, as they are less messy, but I have taken my share of head shots. If I can’t get anywhere in that zone, I don’t take the shot, and just wait for him to return later or the next day. Focus on heart/lungs/head.

Of course abdominal and below shots “can” kill, but I stay away from these now. Before, I had my share of squirrels that scampered away, to die a painful and slow death, or required multiple shots. I don’t do that anymore. Just my personal preference to only use .22cal now also.

I believe with a 20fpe .22cal gun, I would still strive for the same types of shots/zones mentioned above. Even if you have “pellet pass-thru”, you still cause excessive trauma to vitals. As you so eloquently mentioned above, “…Sounds like being able to transfer the energy to the target is just as important as the amount of energy”,…and shot placement.

I’m sure you remember my experiences with my .177 CFX and pellet pass-thru. From that experience, and this is just my novice perspective, its a great bonus to leave as much, if not all, of the energy inside the prey. Think about explosive 6+ fpe completely absorbed/contained in a small space along with wound channel and vital trauma, it has to be shocking to say the least. “Pellet pass thru” gives you wound channel and vital trauma, but may leave minimal energy transfer,…still deadly, but not as shocking. Just an exaggeration, with a 20 fpe airgun, you may leave 1 or 2 fpe behind in your prey, and the other 18 fpe are traveling through the air out the other side.

Of course, the above is just my experience, and what I do for “quickest” kills. Its not big game hunting,…its a smaller target, with an even smaller kill zone,…and its hella fun. The fun for me now, is in the accuracy and energy.

Happy hunting

37. Anonymous concerned with Time of Flight,

This link may help:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/traj.html

There is a Time of Flight calculation, along with others.

Your main concern may be the time interval of the pellet in your kill zone. I did a calculation using variables similar to me looking straight out through my scope, with a slight upward angle of my barrel to intersect my sight-line. The distance between the center of my scope and the center of the pellet before I fire is approx 1.5 inches, along with my sight-in/intersection distance of 10 yards gave me and angle of .24 degrees.

My 550fps airgun converts to 167 m/s, which gave me a .142 sec time interval through which the pellet rose and fell back through the height it was fired from,…23.84 meters (78feet/26yards) out from the gun. Once again, this was for a level sight-line, and its all an approximation.

Hope that link helps, and that I got my approximations right?

38. Maximum energy and trauma is transmitted to a squirrel with a passthrough. Leaving a pellet in the animal does not leave “energy inside the prey.” You simply do less damage. A passthrough gives maximum lethality with maximum tissue damage and a hole to deflate both lungs and allow free hemorrhage from both entrance and exit holes. A slower pellet has less energy, no way to transmit greater energy than a passthrough. Plus, you want pellet expansion, and less speed yields less expansion. Simple physics.

39. P.S. “Excessive trauma to vitals”. No such thing if you are trying to kill an animal.

40. I understand what squirrel killer is trying to say. What he is saying is that if you over penetrate the squirrel, you are wasting energy to pellet flight outside of the squirrels body if it exits. If you use a less powerful gun and therefore have a pellet with less energy striking the squirrel, the pellet will stop inside the squirrel, or exit the squirrel with a lower velocity, “wasting” less energy. Since the pellet is drastically slowing down once it reaches the tissue of the animal, it starts to deform more rapidly as compared to the higher velocity pellet. This greater deformation of the pellet leaves a wider wound channel causing theoretically more damage to tissue and blood vessels of the squirrel, killing him quicker.
Hence the reason a slower, fatter .40 or .45 caliber is recommended over higher velocity smaller calibers for defensive purposes. The same goes for airgun calibers. A .177 cfx has the same powerplant (I think), and energy therefore as the mainspring is the source of the pellets energy, as a .22 cfx. Any hunter will tell you to pick the .22 cfx because it has better energy retention over distances and will cause greater trauma with a bigger wound channel. I’m certainly no physics or ballistics expert but this is my rationalization of the situation.

Kyle

41. Squirrel K,
Thanks for the response and I agree with your preference of having the pellet not pass thru. Also thanks for the zones for quickest dispatch. I was using a .177 Gamo1000 with CP 7.9gr at 875fps(13.4FP) and pass-thru was a problem. Switching to Kodiaks 10.6gr at 773fps(14.1FP) stopped most of the pass thru, and IMHO, resulted in quicker kills. Thanks for the heart-lung kill zone advice. Head shots at the wrong angle can be iffy, and I generally pass them up, too. As far as penetration goes, I guess just enough pass thru to have the pellet barely fall out the exit side would transfer the most energy to the quarry.
GREAT discussion on this energy topic from everyone!!
Pestbgone
P.S. Nate- yes, I have to type the code twice, too.

42. Pestbgone and Squirell Killer,
Wouldnt you want the pellet to stay inside the animal to keep the wound channel open? If it passed all the way through the channel would be free to close. I think keeping the pellet inside the body would help cause more bleeding. Any thoughts?

Nate in Mass

43. B.B.–Scott298 checking in. I tried to add my e-mail assress at the bottom of the blog in the verification but it won.t go thru any other ideas so our e-mails aren’t falling into the wrong hands? Also while I have you here I had bought the leapers accushot 3-14×44 30 mm tube reticle intensified scope. I love following the red dots(when switched to red of course) but after about 20 min the color fads out to black. I’m shooting at shoot-n-c targets and when the color fades it’s guess work at where the center point is. I’ve tried new batteries and all the other tricks but to no avail. In addition to changing the magnification, the scope is so tight you almost need a set of vice grips to do it-have you heard or encountered any of these problems with the leapers scope? Thanks again and you and your wife have a great weekend-Scott298

44. Recrown,

More barrels have been ruined by recrowing the muzzle and by fire-lapping the bore than by cleaning! I do not advise recrowning for anyone who isn’t familiar with the task.

B.B.

45. Weaver/Picatinny,

/blog/2005/11/picatinny-weaver-dovetail-scope-bases/

The search function on the main blog page can be used to find old posts like this.

B.B.

46. Jay,

As the machines wear they do produce different results. Several years ago I weighed 10.5s for field target. I was getting 40 percent at 10.5 and about 30 percent at 10.4. Mine ranged from 10.1 to 10.7. So the machine is now adjusted to the heavy side.

The actual weight is almost meaningless, as long as it’s in the ballpark, but the uniformity does affect accuracy and it’s most apparent at long range.

B.B.

47. B.B.
Take a CO2 gun for example, what has more effect on the loudness of shot, the muzzle velocity or the muzzle energy?

Alan

48. Hello all,

Its become my understanding and experience that using the maximum energy, and having the pellet stay inside the animal yields the most humane and quickest results. It works for me, and I will continue this practice. I’ve killed over 79 (and counting) in the past two years, and it has been a gradual learning experience. Now I feel as if I’m becoming more refined, and I can do more with less.

To the Anonymous that stated “Maximum energy and trauma is transmitted to a squirrel with a passthrough…”, I did not say the energy was not transmitted,…but it is not absorbed or retained in that small space. Squirrel tissue is so soft, high energy pierces and parts the tissue like it is paper and less is retained. It is simple physics that once a certain amount of energy is created, that it is more explosive when it disappates quickly as in an abrupt stop [in an animal]. B.B. has used an example of antique air-rifles used to hunt buffalo that actually knocked the animals over and lead to quick dispatch, versus firearms that had pass-thru shots that required following and tracking the animal while it bled to death. You can argue that dead is dead, but I’m more focused on the humane now. Your anonymity and your statements scream that you may be here to just knit-pick, and you are not necessarily confident in supporting your position.

Up to now, with higher powered air-rifles (.177 CFX, etc.) I have shot squirrels and the pellet has pass-thru them like they weren’t even there, and I would also quess there was less pellet deformation unless I hit a bone or hard spot in the body. I would also guess the wound channel would be cleaner and more uniform, like you drove a 4.5mm needle through them.

My girlfriend is a Nurse Manager that used to work in the trauma and emergency ward. She says they are much happier when a gunshot victim comes in with an injury caused by a high-powered firearm, and its a clean “in and out”, versus a lower-powered larger caliber firearm, and bullet remains inside. Now if you use that high-powered firearm with soft lead or hollow-points,…guess what?…the body will retain all of the energy as the bullet fragments, and [the energy] stays in the body, and causes major tissue damage.

Once again, what I am doing now works for me. If my thinking is not correct, I will rely on my current results. Once again, the purpose of B.B.’s blog is about power and energy, and how you can use it effectively…”Twelve foot-pounds is a lot of power, if you use it correctly”.

Thanks Kyle, PestBGone, and Nate.

49. Scott298,

How hard a scope adjustment turns depends on the type and amount of grease in the threaded portion where the ring turns. Usually it loosens with time, so if you have a tight one, work it back and forth to loosen it.

I can see the red reticle against a Shoot-N-C when I turn up the broightness. But that is why a red/green reticle is nice. You are probably colorblind like me.

As for contacting me for an R1 book, please go to my website at

and contact me from there. I have sold all but one of the books in the past day. I will hold it for you until Monday.

B.B.

50. Alan,

You tormentor! Are you intentionally trying to give me a headache?

Since muzzle energy IS velocity, you must be asking about two different calibers running at the SAME energy. I believe the larger caliber will always be louder, until the sound barrier is broken.

B.B.

51. Everyone,

I have followed your discussion of penetration vs energy transfer and I’d like to weigh in with my thoughts. This issue is exactly why I recommend a .22 caliber for hunting over a .177. I have shot many small animals with .177 pellets and had the pellet pass completely through the animal. All of them ran away!

I call such a shot the “accupuncture effect.” It’s like a long slender needle passing through a lot of tissue and doing little damage. I also know from hunting larger game that such shots result in the wound channel closing and the tissues sealing themselves. Bleedout may or may not happen, but I have killed several deer with old wounds, including one that had lost a leg and had an exposed patch of muscle on its thigh from a shot that happened a month earliuer. I had been asked to kill that deer by the game management personnel who knew of the wounded animal.

I know Roy Weatherby was the “High priest of high velocity,” and his .300 Weatherby magnum is a remarkable cartridge, but I don’t think a .177 pellet going 1,000 f.p.s. is in the same category or even capable of producing the same trauma. We shouldn’t try to equate a fast pellet rifle with a hypersonic small-caliber bullet fired from a centerfire, or even a rimfire cartridge.

With pellet guns, we are more closely aligned with black powder hunters who used blood loss and large heavy bullets to do the job. We think a Gamo Hunter Extreme is a wild and crazy air rifle, and it is very fast for what it is, but when compared to a .22 LR, it isn’t very much. That’s why I like the “Large and slow” approach.

However, I’m not that much of an airgun hunter, so this is just my opinion.

B.B.

52. B.B.-scott298–I WANT THE BOOK-i’ve been trying to contact you via e-mail but for some reasom I can’t navigate thru my new e-mail system. Waiting for my daughter to get home to show me hos-but yes I want the boo-Thanks for holding it, Scott298

53. Scott298,

Okay, I will hold it for you.

As soon as you can navigate again, go to my website and contact me.

B.B.

54. Transfer of more energy with a slower pellet is a myth. The reason the pellet stops is because it has no energy. Going on through that much energy was transmitted, Plus more.

A slower pellet will not cause more expansion than a faster one. Certain physics.

As far as the pellet remaining in the squirrel, so what? the pellet is the size it is, at the end of the channel. Flesh does not close, it pulls open as it is under tension. Lay your finger open with a knife and you will need stitches to pull it back together.

A through and through wound channel is what you want as you have damaged more and blood is free to come out both the entry and exit holes. Bowhunters know this well.

BB is correct that you do more damage with a larger diameter .22 over a .177. But you would be better off with the .22 passing through instead of stopping, the same as you would be better off with a .177 passing through. By the same token, you are better off with a pellet with greater expansion no matter what the caliber.

You gotta get over fanciful notions and use true physics to find the truth. Same as anything else. Unless you believe in psychics, then believe whatever you want.

55. Asked a while back about the difference between regular Crosman barrels and the \$65 ones. Was asked where barrels sold for \$65. They are on the Crosman site under the custom shop.

56. Muzzle velocity is not muzzle energy.

A light .22 pellet and a heavy .22 pellet can have the same muzzle velocity, but the heavy .22 pellet will have greater energy.

57. The Weaver/Picatinny thread I read, but it was focused on bases, question was about rings. Near as I could tell Weaver rings will fit the Weaver base and the other. Question about rings is whether there is any downside to using Weaver rings on either, or advantage using the other rings. To be more precise, looking at UTG 4X40 and it comes with either rings.

58. “The reason the pellet stops is because it has no energy”- no, it runs out of energy in a milli-second. i guess a rock tossed off a building and stops abruptly on the ground has no energy because “it stops”. i think some people take positions just to get something stirred up.

59. so I guess bb is lying when he says he has humanely killed deer with previous through and through wounds that have sealed? hmmmmmmm, fanciful notion huh?

60. ignore that “anonymous” guy that talks as if he understands physics. a police officer was killed close range with a 357 magnum while wearing a bullet proof vest. the shock wave of the sudden stop of the bullet killed the policeman,…without any penetration. pellets do not cause shock waves like bullets, but they do disappate all of their energy if they stop abruptly.

61. i guess that anonymous guy never heard of coagulation and scabs, he must believe all of gods creatures are hemophiliacs and bleed continuously and freely.

62. a bow hunter “needs” a through and through. otherwise, the arrow is sealing the wound, and the entry and exit points.

63. LOL You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him smell it.

To squirrelkiller and the anonymous guy who said to ignore the “anonymous” guy, who I am is not important, I don’t know you and you don’t know me.

As far as being anonymous, I believe Tom Gaylord will tell you his posts anonymously as BB are just as good as his posts as Tom Gaylord.

I will tell you I make a very good living depending on my knowledge of physics.

As far as through and through wounds that have sealed, or coagulation, do you have any idea the time it takes for that to take place?

As to the rock tossed off the building mass and inertia does have an effect. But I’ll let you throw a rock at me at 60 mph if you’ll let me throw a rock at you at 90 mph.

And as far as the policeman shot with a .357, think about what you are saying. If he was shot with a slower bullet, like you are proposing with pellets, the shock wave wouldn’t have killed him like it did with the .357.

And a pellet is sealing the end of the wound channel, although its so small its negligible. No useful effect.

I just thought I would be helpful to those squirrel hunters out there who might appreciate a scientific analysis of the situation.

Anecdotal evidence like squirrelkillers is useful, but scientists will tell you it is notoriously unreliable. People gave poor old Galileo a hard time since they could clearly see the world was flat.

But its disappointing the messages seem to be personal. Theres nothing to get mad about.

And if anybody wants to bet you that its true that muzzle velocity is not muzzle energy like I described, you would do well to heed my posts. But its your money.

Thats all here, some people just don’t appreciate help.

64. So to kill a squirrel, would the ideal projectile be a large caliber (.22/.25), high energy (heavy pellet), soft or otherwise fast expanding pellet (hollow point?), that slightly over penetrates a squirrel? By ideal I mean the quickest killing.

Kyle

65. BB

I am new to air gunning but this blog may really help me. I am in a disabled household so we shoot 22yards from patio door to target. Brought a UK 12ft-lb 800fps .177 cheap springer (SMK DB4 underlever) but with the open sight or telescopic sights the pellet (set at max elevation) always hits about 18inches below the target. Windage is not a problem just elevation.

Sent the rifle back to supplier. Their reply is “Our gunsmith has tested the rifle on targets at around 25 – 30 feet and has found the rifle to be accurate and without fault. After re-reading your original message we see that you are attempting targets at around 72 feet. Very few sub 12 ft lb rifles will be able to achieve accuracy at this distance let alone a budget 7 – 9 ft lbs rifle”.

From reading your blogs this seems a ridiculous answer. Surely this gun should be able to at least hit an A4 piece of paper at 22 yards and not 18″ below it or have I got it all wrong?

Would like some ammo to throw back at my supplier as I feel there are taking advantage.

Any comments you can make would be greatly appreciated.

Rob in the UK

66. must be one of “those” guys from that “other” blog.

67. once again, ignore that anonymous guy. he skirts the issue and never stays on point. his purpose is to frustrate.

68. Not tryin’ to nitpick, but I think there’s a couple of details that need correction:

Anonymous – or at least one of them – I don’t think anyone gave Galileo a hard time because he thought the world was flat. I believe it was because he held that the world was not the center of the universe, the “flatness” issue being settled some time before. And there’s a lot more to the Galileo story than that…

BB – I don’t think an 800fps Hobby pellet produces over 11 ft-lbs unless it’s WAAAYYYY over advertised weight.

69. \$65 bvarrel,

And your question is, what is the difference between the \$65 barrel and a \$20 barrel they also sell? That seems like a question only Crosman can answer.

B.B.

70. Weaver rings,

The bottom of a Weaver ring is machined to fit a Weaver base. It will also fit a Picatinny base, even though the cross slots of the Picatinny are 5mm instead of 3.5mm. If the gun recoils, the cross-slot key will move to the rear of the slot and wedge tight against it.

A Weaver base (and ring) has a much wider dovetail than a standard airgun 11mm dovetail. It WILL NOT fit an 11mm dovetail because of that, and the fact that is has a cross-slot key that the 11mm dovetail cannot accept.

B.B.

71. Rob in the UK,

Your dealer is being obstinate. Of course a sub 12 foot-pound rifle can be accurate at 72 feet! The IZH 61 produces around 7-8 foot-pounds and will keep its shots in a half-inch at that range.

As for the rifle hitting below the target, that is due to barrel droop, or the misalignment of the barrel with the scope sighting plane. It is common and a fact of life. You correct it with an adjustable scope mount that raises the rear of the scope higher than the front.

By the way, your 18 inches low at 23 yards is pretty common. I’m getting the same thing from a brace of Dianas.

I did a Google search and discovered that the SMK DB4 rifle you have is known in the U.S. as a B3-1. It really isn’t very accurate. Being Chinese, the quality is random, which may mean that your particular rifle may not be as good as the average.

Here is what you can do. Clean the barrel with JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleraning Compound on a brass brush. Use 20 strokes of the bruch in each direction. You will have to go in through the muzzle because of how this rifle is made. Ben Taylor of Theoben taught me this.

After the bore is cleaned of all residue, shoot the fattest pellets you can find. The Chinese tend to overbore their barrels. An Eley Wasp might be ideal.

Give that a try and see what it does for you.

B.B.

72. When you use 20 strokes of the brush in each direction, do you push the brush all the way out the end?

73. BB

Thank you for your reply, I thought I was right. I knew such a budget model would not be very accurate but then that is half the fun.

At the moment the rifle is still with the supplier. Any particuliar comment I should make to them or web site to point them too disproving their point.

I really appreciate you comments

Rob in the UK

74. 20 strokes,

Unless you go all the way through the bore you cannot reverse the brush. So the answer is yes.

B.B.

75. Rob,

I don’t think anything you say will change their minds. Do you? They probably get similar complaints all the time.

I have the same airgun and I’ve done the same things I recommended to you. They make the gun perform at its best, and I think that’s about the best you can hope to do.

One thing some owners do is use their inexpensive rifle to learn how to tune a spring piston airgun. They are great for that because you don’t have much money invested.

One guy who started out doing that here in the U.S. is now a national champion field target competitor, so maybe great things will happen for you, as well.

B.B.

76. rob in uk, something else to consider is from what i read somewhere, field target competitions are be relegated to 12ft-lb max airguns, and some of there targets are 50/55yrds. i don’t think the organization would relegate the sport to rifles that could not achieve accuracy at that distance.

77. B.B.,

I found something out today with my Viper. I loaded in one pellet in the breech, closed the action, then put a second pellet in the muzzle head first (so you’d see the skirt when you look at it through the muzzle), and I shot it. I heard a sonic boom everytime i did this. Which pellet is going supersonic?

thanks,
Viper guy

78. Viper guy,

Are you sure it’s a sonic boom and not a change in the muzzle report? A chronograph is the only way to tell. I think the breech pellet is compressing air in front of it and expelling the muzzle pellet with a loud pop.

B.B.

79. B.B.,

Yeah, I’m sure its a sonic boom. I am very familiar with firearms too, so i knows one when i hears one (haha). The sonic boom is from far away, like the sonic boom I would hear when I’m shooting raptors. And I forgot to mention, I was using gamo hunter pellets. I’m not sure if you’d be comfortable with doing this, but it is an interesting effect.

Viper guy

80. Anonymous Physics Guy,

When an object comes to a stop, most of its energy has been transferred to whatever made it stop (force = mass X acceleration). The force that an animal receives when it is hit is the mass of the pellet (and air) times the amount of acceleration (how much the pellet and air slow down going into or through the animal). Of course, some of the energy goes to deforming the pellet too.

Medical information – a knife cut and a puncture wound act differently. Puncture wounds tend to close on their own, see http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-puncture-wounds/FA00014.

Theoretical physics must be shown to be valid by experiment.

.22 multi-shot

81. BB… Airguns take small game by hitting the exact spot necessary… 600 or 1200 fps means little if you miss…My favorite squirel rifle is the HW-30, at about 600 fps…This rifle can be depened on to hit the mark, every time, rain or shine, rite out of the box…When in the woods, your shooting position (hold) can vary a bunch. This rifle seems to shoot outstanding with almost any hold…Try that with a typical 1000 fps springer…If your are going to hunt with a springer, this point is is far more important than a few fps more speed…Anyway it works for me…TOM

82. Tom,

You and I agree that accuracy is more important than power.

B.B.

83. I liked this discussion because I want to understand what is happening. That will help me as a newbie to know what is necessary for pest control.

84. Greetings from across the pond (UK). Just wanted to say what a fantastic blog for air rifle enthusiasts.

85. Ged,

Nice the hear from you. Please make comments if you wish.

B,B.

86. I have a QB36 Chinese pellet gun that probably cost me \$80 mail order.

It pushes a 6 gr RWS .177 pellet 575 fps.

It pushes a 5.8 gr Benjamin pellet 583 fps.

This pellet gun will kill large squirrels and crows if hit in the neck.

The escaping gas from behind the pellet is sub sonic.

It is quiet enough for the suburbs.