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Which is better – .22 or .25? – Part 1

by B.B.Pelletier

Reader Mike posed this question last Friday:

I’m going to pose a question to everyone for the weekend. What is your favorite small bore air gun caliber and why? I’m very interested to see what people prefer.

I’m currently trying to decide between .22 and .25  for my next rifle, so advice there would also be appreciated.

Mike’s question inspired me to write this blog. I felt so passionate about my answer to Mike that I thought it was worth a lengthy explanation to every reader. Before I begin, I’d like to tell everyone that I do not dislike .25 caliber airguns. I’m simply stating what I believe to be facts that support the .22 as the better airgun caliber. By “better,” I mean more accurate, more usable and more practical.

Years ago, Dr. Beeman favored the .177 caliber over .22 for airguns and I challenged his opinion in a Balderdash column in The Airgun Letter. I won’t get into that here, but I’m telling you this because it started me thinking about whether he was right. Can one airgun caliber really be better than another, and what does better mean? I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this question for the past 15 years, which is why I feel there’s a definite answer to the .22/.25 caliber question.

While studying the .177 pellet, it became clear to me that a few of the top pellet manufacturers were taking greater pains to produce some of their .177 pellets than they were taking with pellets of any other caliber. I’m referring to target pellets made for target airguns. From many past blog reports, you’ve learned that in the world of formal airgun target shooting, only .177 caliber is permitted. There are no real Olympic or world-class target airguns in any caliber other than .177.

You will find true target pellets only in .177 caliber, and even then not all .177 pellets with “target” in their names are actually qualified to be called target pellets. But there are special pellets like RWS R-10, H&N Match, Vogel and some others that go through extremely careful steps to ensure uniformity and precision. Head diameter, for example, is held to the hundredth of a millimeter for target pellets. But be careful. Just because there’s a sticker on the outside of the tin that gives the pellet head diameter to the hundredth of a millimeter doesn’t mean that all the pellets inside actually measure that width. Paper stickers are cheap; manufacturing controls that actually give you that level of precision are not.

JSB, for instance, hand-sorts many of their pellets for uniformity. I think they sort pellets just for weight, but that still adds a level of control and cost that mass-produced pellets do not have. I used to compete in 10-meter pistol matches shooting a Chinese target pellet that was hand-sorted for weight the same way, and in my target pistol that pellet out-shot everything else.

Many people think that all manufactured items are identical, but anyone who has worked in production knows different. Almost nothing that rolls off the production line is the same as anything else, unless the manufacturer takes extra steps to ensure that it is. These steps can include inspection, like the sorted JSB pellets, or higher-tolerance tools that produce to tighter specifications or any of a number of other things. They can also include attention given after the item is made, to bring it to a certain specification. That would be like lathe-turning a rifle barrel after it’s rifled, to align the outside of the barrel with the axis of the bore.

Well, target .177 pellets receive such attention and as a result, they are more accurate than other pellets in any caliber. Since .177 is the only caliber permitted in airgun target shooting, only that caliber warrants such extra attention. Dr. Beeman was right in a way. However, that doesn’t apply to the rest of the .177 pellets that are not made specifically for target shooting. JSB does weight-sort many of their non-target pellet styles, so there are a few other non-target pellets (such as Exacts) that have an extra margin of excellence, but this is the exception to the general practice.

If you understand what I just said, then know that good .22 caliber pellets are made just as well as the bulk of .177 pellets, so they’re just as accurate. But there are no .22 caliber target pellets to compete with those special .177 target pellets I just discussed. [Yes, there are .22 caliber pellets that have the word “target” in their name or plastered on their tin, but they are not actual target pellets like I am describing here.] However, that fact doesn’t eliminate .22 caliber as the sometimes-dominant pellet.

In long-range shooting, for example, where the pellet’s weight matters almost as much as how well it is made, the heavier .22 is superior to the .177 of the same design. Once again, JSB weight-sorts their domed Exact pellets in .22 caliber. So, the .22 pellet is made just as well as the .177, and the extra weight of the larger-caliber pellet puts it in the leadership position for long-range shooting. For long-range accuracy, which means everything beyond about 50 yards, the .22 pellet is better than .177 if all other things are equal.

The same cannot be said for .25 caliber pellets, however, which is the crux of today’s report. Twenty-five caliber, or 6.35 mm as it is known throughout most of the airgunning world, has never been as popular as .22 caliber. For every 100 .22 airguns made, there is not even one .25-caliber gun produced. In fact, I would bet the ratio isn’t even one-thousand to one! I may be wrong, but I don’t think by much.

Because the guns are fewer, the demand for pellets is equally low. Even lower, actually, because there is another factor that limits the number of .25 pellets made. Cost!  The .25-caliber pellet is expensive because of how much costly lead is used for each one. Airgunners, being a cost-conscious group to begin with, are very unlikely to plink with a .25. In fact, the popularity of the .177 over the .22 has more to do with the cost than with anything else.

This cost relationship doesn’t always play out the way I’m describing it. At any one moment in time, you could find some .25 caliber pellets that are cheaper than .22 pellets. The reason for that anomaly could be because the slower-selling .25s were purchased at a time when the Euro was lower against the dollar than faster-selling .22 pellets purchased more recently. But over time, .25 caliber pellets do cost more than .22 caliber pellets.

However, cost isn’t the major reason I say the .22 is superior to the .25. I’m more interested in performance. As a result of the lower market demand, pellet manufacturers are less inclined to put as much effort into the quality control of their .25 caliber pellets. They produce adequate pellets, but where are the weight-sorted .25s? They don’t exist! There is no such thing as a JSB Exact dome in .25 caliber. The .25-caliber Beeman Kodiak made by H&N is perhaps the best all-around .25-caliber pellet, and it earns that title more by default than anything else. There are no challengers. There’s no .25 caliber Crosman Premier. [This statement is true as of July 14, 2009. If yo’re reading this report on a later date, things may have changed.]

Which leads me to the real reason I rate the .22 much higher than the .25–because there aren’t any world-class pellets in .25 caliber! Now that I’ve said that, I’m prepared to defend my position. However, you’ll have to wait until Part 2.

69 thoughts on “Which is better – .22 or .25? – Part 1”

  1. Good morning B.B.,

    Your logic sounds like it is irrefutable. I've seen on the TAG people posting that so and so has merchant has .25 cal pellets in stock and you'd better order some now before they're all gone.

    Mr B.

    • It sounds too simplistic. The gun plays an important role in the choice of calibers as well as the purpose of using the gun.

      For example, the .22 Benjamin Marauder rifle is too pellet fussy and limited but the .25 version has a better barel and is generally a better rifle with greater power imo.

      I prefer a .22 overall but for hunting, I would go with a .25. For plinking and “accidentally” taking out a few squirrels in the back garden, I would go with a .22 because they are quieter and usually offer more shots per fill.

  2. B.B.

    Your thinking works for me! 15 years of cooking the thoughts made a great meal!

    And supports my impression that the .177 AAs410 side lever or lesser priced Marauder in .177 makes the best all around one gun.. if you can only have one… (impossible I know).. but still a fantasy of mine to search it out.. buying and trying many, many guns in the effort 🙂

    The selection in .177 cal is very large indeed… and with 16gr Eun jin in a powerful PCP, one has a pretty potent hunting round.. although not that accurate, so when that counts, the kodiak 10.6, crossman 10.5 or JSB 10.2 get the call from me..

    The Evanix Blizzard S10 might be a tie with the Condor for the most accurate .22 cal on the market under $650… great airguns to test the .22 cal pellets with..

    I was really glad to hear that JSB sorts by weight in a production line. That along with pure lead, make a very high quality pellet from my experience…. anyway, great article!!

    Thanks again for all you do for us!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  3. Wayne,

    Didn't know you had acquired a 7mm. Both the 7mm and .300 weatherby calibers are cannons. Well suited for elk if you regularly encounter long shots where you hunt. Both calibers are overkill/unecessary for deer or small big game. I've only owned Weatherby MKV's. Never owned a Vanguard.




  4. BB
    I know you are on the road, so this comment is more for the general readers….

    In .22, I have found that most exacts I get end up sorted into three weight batches with .1 grain variation. That's about half the difference I get with crosman (5 or 6 different weights).

    Last year I had a very unexpected batch of Kodiaks show up. I recieved four tins and started weighing them. Surprize….after a couple dozen pellets from the first tin that were all within .1 grain, I checked a couple dozen from each of the other three tins and got the same results. This simply does not happen……no need to weigh at all. I could have weighed them anyway to look for the odd ones, but simply did not appear to be worth the trouble.

    Next time they will probably be all over the place in weight.


  5. Kevin,


    The 7mm mag Vanguard will stay in the safe!!!

    I registered and I guess they will send me the return bolt kit, to send it in to the factory..

    Thanks again Kevin!! .. Now I owe you another big favor!!!

    Again Tom & Edith.. thanks for this Blog!!!


  6. I'm still not clear on the .177 vs .22 and energy. I've read it said several times that .22 gains 15% energy over .177 and that it is more accurate over long distances because of the increased mass. But I have also read that within .177 a standard weight pellet has higher energy and is more accurate than a heavier pellet.

    Given the same power plant, i.e. the same gun in different calibers, if the rifle gains 15% power in going to .22 (14.3 gr from 7.9 gr) then why doesn't it gain +/-7.5% energy in going from a standard weight to a heavy pellet. Keeping things equal, assume going from a 7.9 gr CP in the box to a 10.5 gr CP in the box.

  7. JSB pellets are one of the best out there but I wish they would hire more people to hand sort so I could get some more.. My backorder on the 10.2 grain heavies got pushed back another week again 🙁

  8. Wayne,

    Glad you checked your serial number. I want you to live long and prosper.

    In addition to my Weatherby Mark V being the most accurate magnum I've ever owned with a cold barrel, the infamous Roy Weatherby bolt action is second to none in my opinion. Very reliable.

    Introduced in 1958, billed as “the world’s strongest bolt action,” it features three rings of steel surrounding the casehead, fluted bolt body with three gas ports, and nine locking lugs on their magnum models for a short 54-degree bolt lift.

    Sell the Vanguard and buy a Mark V.


  9. Fused – with the proliferation of different airguns and powerplants out there, anyone who tells you generically that '.22 develops 15% more energy than .177' is oversimplifying, and there are going to be a LOT of exceptions to the rule. There are monster guns out there that are absolutely wasted in .177, and others with small powerplants that turn into real pukers in the larger caliber.

    So with any particular gun you don't know until you know…

    In any event, the greater theoretical energy in .22 has NOTHING to do with the fact that the pellet is heavier. It has to do with the fact that the cross-sectional area of the bore is greater and therefore the volume of the bore is greater. This allows the compressed air blast to expand more and thus release more energy before the pellet leaves the barrel.

    But if the powerplant is small the amount of additional expansion doesn't amount to a hill o' beans. The old Chinese 'Fast Deer' sidelever rifle had such a small powerplant… in .177 (and 600fps) it would do a so-so job of plinking at 50 yards. In .22 cal (and 400fps), ferget it! I couldn't raise the rear sight high enough!

  10. Vince,
    Thanks for your explanation, it makes sense for .22 vs .177.

    For standard vs heavy within .177 is it that there is a 'sweet spot' of efficiency? Heavy enough to stabilize, but light enough to be efficient in the bore.

  11. Kevin,

    Good advice.. I'll check into it..

    I think I'll go back to the pawnshop where I bought it and tell him about it, too.. I bet he offers to take it back and wait for the repair bolt.

    I really doubt that he knew and sold it to me anyway… so in case another one comes along.. he can let the owner know..

    Thanks again!

  12. Wayne,

    If he didn't know he should have. This failing in the Weatherby Vanguards dates back to the 1970's. This gun has blown up on many and if I remember right there was even a class action lawsuit.

    If he doesn't want to take the gun back you need to have a conversation in disclosure/liability 101.


  13. Fused, BB is a lot more experienced than I am in this subject, but I know enough to tell you this – each gun will have pellet preferences. Ya gotta shoot 'n see.

  14. Fused,

    I'm going to echo what Vince has already said.

    "A 'sweet spot' of efficiency" (if you're talking BC) is secondary to accuracy. Find the pellet(s) that are most accurate in your gun and then learn the BC's. Not the other way around.


  15. Hi bb,
    Good article. Yes the .25s are more expensive because they use more lead, but I think the smaller production runs also drive prices up.

    Another reason I think .22 is better is the design of the pellets. It would be expected that the .25 would have a higher BC, but many of the .22s have higher BCs than their .25 caliber counter part. When the pellets were designed, the power of the air rifles available at the time was the limiting factor ( which also contributes to the limited number of .25s being purchased). Manufactures chose to make a lighter pellet to keep the velocities within a usable range. With the lower sectional density, the .25s will actually carry less energy at longer ranges.

    As pcps are being devoloped with higher power and longer shot strings, the 25 is coming more into play. I hope the manufacturers will recognize this and introduce some new pellets. The lack of selection is what is preventing me from buying a high powered pcp in .25.

    WAyne w

    July 14, 2009 10:51 AM

  16. BB,
    Could you cover what caliber is best for which animal? I've noticed that .22 isn't always better. When shooting sparrows, I go for a .177cal gun that I know will have pin head accuracy. When going for pidgon, I use the .22 cal. It seems to me like squirrels go down easier with the higher velocity, higher penetrating .177s. I'd imagine .25 has its place among raccoons and nutria.
    Shadow Express Dude

  17. Good thing checking accuracy with different pellets is so much fun! Expensive, but fun.

    I've already found, like Vince told me, that the 92 likes Gamo Hunters better than CPHP's. I should say, that 3 or 4 of the CPHP's group great, but there are always 1 or 2 outliers that destroy the group. This doesn't seem to happen with the Hunters.

    My question is just trying to make educated guesses when choosing pellets to try in the 94 when it comes back to me.

  18. Coupla things:

    1 – About the 177 v. 22 v .25 comparison, air resistence is a key factor. It is a function of the SQUARE of the velocity. This means that the effect of the force working against the pellet for a higher velocity pellet is much greater than the difference in momentum (which is just the mass times the velocity). It's actually even more complicated than that. But generally, over short distances, the effects of air resistence aren't as noticeable. Over longer distances, the heavier pellet "carries" better.

    2 – I'm in Marauder purgatory. My shiny new toy arrived Friday. I sitting here with three bottles full of CO2, two dozen or so different types of pellets to test, the finest air rifle available for under $500, and NO FILL ADAPTER. It seems like for a while, PA had adapters and no marauders, then they had marauders but no adapters. They gave mine away before my marauder got here, even though I ordered both back in May.


    There, I feel much better now.

  19. Randy-in-VA,

    I feel your pain, so I forwarded your comment to Pyramyd Air. They say they are aware of the lack of hold on inventory & are working to resolve the issue.


  20. Like many airgunners I have both .177 and .22 guns. I like two things about the .22 I don't think has been mentioned. First, the .22 just seems more American. Secondly, I like single shots and the .22 is just easier to physically handle.


  21. I would prefer the .22 over the .25 because of availability and price. However I see this turning into a .17 vs .22 article. I like the .22 because of the ease of use which I seldom see mentioned. It is larger and easier to handle for me. I like pure lead pellets and would invite everyone to check out the Gamo Hunters.

    They are easy to resize with a pellet seater if deformed and still shoot well. It seems the deformation varies from supplier to supplier as well as order to order. But as stated easy to fix with a pellet seater.

  22. B.B.

    It sounds like most of the criteria you mentioned have to do with production quality. I would be interested in comparing the ballistic ideals of the various calibers if there is such a thing. I gather that the .177 shoots flattest, the .25 hits hardest, and the .22 is the best compromise.

    Wayne, an S&W 27, one of my dream guns. Congratulations. And how nice to hear that it performs up to expectations. The reasons for collection building are an interesting topic. I guess ultimately what makes you feel good is the best reason. Speaking for myself, collecting a particular gun make seems like an abstraction. My taste runs more to iconic guns which comprehends the most territory by being the best of the best. Besides if you collect in the mind, like I do, there's no limit to how many guns you have.

    My candidates for the iconic double-action revolver are the SW 27 as the definitive police revolver and the Colt Python as the ultimate hunting handgun in .357, but I favor the SW 27 for its greater historical role.

    On the subject of big game hunting rifles for use and/or collection, there's a consideration that I haven't seen mentioned. Reliability in a hunting situation consists not only of the action blowing up or not but whether the rounds feed reliably. The Remington model you mentioned the other day as well as, I believe, the Weatherbys operate with a push feed mechanism which has a generally good record. However, it is not as reliable as the original Mauser controlled round feeding which was designed expressly to make sure the round was gripped as it fed into the chamber in military situations. I understand this was also a big consideration for African safari hunters pursuing dangerous big game. I don't know if what you're hunting is dangerous in the same way, but you never know when the elk might turn on you… You might consider new model Winchester 70s they are releasing which are supposed to have controlled round feeding like the pre-64 versions. Or you might consider one of my fantasy rifles. Remington has a 798 which is the original Mauser action (built in Serbia) that is barreled and stocked by Remington. Get one of those for $500 or so and have it slicked up and accurized by Clint Fowler for another $500 and you will have an utterly reliable custom rifle that is sub MOA. I understand that there are accuracy limitations to the Mauser's because of the longer lock-time but those aren't critical in a hunting rifle.

    Jeff and Randy in VA congratulations on your Marauders. Tell us how you like them once they get to shooting.


  23. Randy-in-VA,

    I cann't say that I feel your pain, cause what you're going through is too much for me to contemplate. Did PA say when they were shipping the adapter? I have one that I got when I bought my Discovery. Would you like a loaner for awhile?

    Let me know. I'm in MD not too far from the University of Maryland in College Park.

    Mr B.

  24. BB,
    Thank you so much for writing this up. This will certainly help choosing the next rifle. I'm currently leaning toward the Walther Falcon Hunter. Is there a "better" spring rifle available? I have a strange fondness for spring guns.


  25. I like the .22 caliber. Some recommend .177 or .20 for birds and .22 or .25 for small game so the .22 to me is just right in the middle with a litte more punch than the .20. The .22 caliber is still economical and easy to find pellets. I love to hunt and shoot targets.

    What I really want can be found on this B-17:


    (sroll down and use full screen if you want)

  26. BB,
    As far as .22 v. .25, I'm in the .177 camp:), just because I don't use my pellet rifles to hunt and the variety is so much better for .177.

    Matt has a great point about controlled feeding, and he recommended one of the best choices (M70). Also consider the Mannlicher-Schoenauer, if you would like some real class in a firearm. Finally, your Savage 99 is also a controlled round feeder, and if its in .308, should be good to go. There is one rare prototype 99 in .30-06, which would probably be a collection in itself:).

    I don't see needing a "magnum" of any sort, anyway, except for the most dangerous critters. If you can't get close enough to kill it with a .30-06, you're shooting targets not hunting.

    I think the "infamous" action on a Weatherby MkV is fine, but the stocks are gaudy and the proprietary loads are both expensive and punishing. My neighbor took one to Africa a few years ago, but the guides told him he was better off sticking with his M-S .30-06, and it managed to kill everything cleanly.

  27. Mr. B. – I'll be in Greenbelt and College Park this Thursday and Friday. If I can find any time, are there any interesting stores to browse in in the area (pawn shops or air gun shops)?

    Cowboystar Dad, I believe you also own a Gamo Compact. When the pistol is cocked, can you move the rear of the receiver from side to side? How about the front?

    I ask because on mine there is plenty of play and was thinking that this possibly could account for the wide groups I'm getting with this pistol.

  28. Everyone,

    Here's a post from someone new to the blog. He/She posted this question under part 3 of the series that B.B. did on the Crosman Nitro Piston Short Stroke. Can anyone help with answers???

    "Has anyone with a .22 npss had some decent groups with crow magnums or kodiaks?? Just wondering because thats what I ordered with mine. And how long exactly would you think the break in is. Im at 100 shots but still havent been able to pull tight groups at 30 yards with crowmagnums."

    Appreciate any help in answering these good queastions.


  29. BG_Farmer,

    Can't argue with you about a .30-06 being a fine caliber if loaded properly. I still own 2 guns in .30-06. The .30-06 has taken a lot of game in my presence.

    I know you have an affinity Mannlicher-Schoenauer's. I also won't argue with your opinion about stocks on Mark V's being "gaudy". I also won't argue about "off the shelf" ammo being expensive. Don't know what you mean about "punishing". Also don't know what you mean about proprietary since I reloaded cartridges for my .300 for years.

    The stock isn't the reason I recommended a Mark V. Apologies if my reasons weren't clear.

    I respectfully disagree with your statement, "If you can't get close enough to kill it with a .30-06, you're shooting targets not hunting."

    I was a guide for many years in Colorado during big game seasons. In later years I only outfitted for the elk seasons. Many of my clientele were repeat and evolved into hunting for antlers/trophy's (One of the many reasons I quit).

    These older bulls don't let you get close. I've had to shoot big bulls or provide follow up shots at long ranges. A .30-06 would be hard pressed to make the shots I had too and several times it was a .30-06 that required me to make the follow up shot.

    I don't know what your neighbor was hunting in Africa, but personally I don't know a circumstance where I would choose a .30-06 over a .300 Weatherby in Africa.

    BG_Farmer, this is one of those circumstances where I hate the internet. Undoubtedly some of my comments could be construed as argumentative but believe me when I say I'm expressing an opinion and not looking for a confrontation. I never spent a lot of time with the .300 Weatherby at the range. Each fall I would run 3 or 4 rounds through the gun and make sure the poi hadn't changed (poi never did in almost 34 years of hunting. redfield mounted the scope.). Not a fun plinking gun. But, I spent a lot of time in the field with the gun. I know what it's capable of and how it performs against many other guns that I saw hit big elk. I also saw whether the animal went down immediately or if it had to be tracked and more often than not I saw what the damage was first hand. My point is that this isn't theory but it is an opinion.


  30. Fred,

    Atlantic Guns in Silver Springs is an interesting store. They carry pellet guns, Class 3 guns and supressors, lots of beautifully stocked shotguns and rifles. Everytime I go in I look at and lust for a Freedom Arms revolver.
    http://www.atlanticguns.com for directions. Probably a 15-20 minute drive from Greenbelt.

    I don't know of any pawn shops in this area that are worth visiting,
    ie, no guns or neat stuff.

    Mr B.

    PS Atlantic Arms is a store that B.B. used to visit when he lived in this area.

  31. ajvenom,

    Thanks for the link to your photos. You've got a good eye for compostion. I espically liked the bridge and prairie and yes to your gun. It's a ma duce isn't it?

    Mr B.

  32. SED,

    It sounds like you have more small game/pellet experience than me. On squirrels and rabbits I have always found a .22 do do a better job. Even chipmunks can get accupunctured with a fast-moving .177.

    But other than grackles and crows, your bird experience seems broader than mine.


  33. B.B.,

    IF YOU THINK IT'S APPROPRIATE I'd like to hear your opinion about bull pups. I did a search and couldn't locate any articles that you've done on bull pups. Even more surprising there are only 5 blog comments that reference bull pups.

    Maybe this could be an article, if you think it warrants it, in a couple months.

    Here's my input on manufacturers:






  34. BB – I stick to only 177 to simplify things. i have a lot of different pellets that experiment with.

    Edith – Thanks for pinging PA for me. I'll just have to settle for shooting my G-1 for a while and try not to look in the corner where my marauder sits.

    Mr B – Thanks for the offer. PA told me that I had to take this marauder now or I would lose my place in the queue. They have the fill adapter on back-order til July 21. I cancelled the adapter from PA and ordered one directly from Crosman, who has them in stock but is no hurry to deliver them. (A "funny" sidebar – the marauder was scheduled for delivery on Monday. Big Brown delivered it on Friday, three days early. What are the chances of that?)

    Kevin, Twotalon, mystery poster – I get Crow Magnums to group fairly well with my G-1 Extreme, though that may not be a good endorsement of them.

  35. BB or anyone
    I just got a HW 90 in .25 from Pyramyd. I can't seem to find Beeman FTS in .25. PA has been out for as long as I can remember and I am on back order from another supplier for a couple of months now. are they still making this pellet or are they discontinued?

  36. Kevin,

    First, I'll defer to your experience in hunting elk in the Rockies. I didn't intend to start an argument (and don't want one), but happy to have been given more of your insight into things, and will try to elaborate my poor opinions.

    My "magnum" comment was aimed at saving Wayne some torment picking out a replacement for his 7mm Magnum, assuming he will be doing the type of hunting he's described to us in the past. At this stage, he's not indicated any situation that would likely require more than a .308/.30-06 or even the .270 he started with. Also, its my opinion that most of us should strictly limit our shots to well within 300 yards, having little practical experience or range practice at even those ranges. Obviously, you are an exception and I think you made a good choice.

    I'll admit to a personal bias on the MkV stock, although I think my opinion is enough in the minority to be harmless — sorry if I offended. If you like, you can make fun of my tupperware Savage; its ugly as sin:).

    The recoil is fairly stiff (perhaps punishing is too strong a word), at least on the Wby.M's I've tried, and not all of us reload, especially for calibers that we would only use once in a blue moon. I see a lot of hunters here who are so cheap and so leery of even their .30-06 and 7mm Mag recoil that they do not practice enough to be proficient. I don't think that is an isolated case. A hot Weatherby mag is not likely to help them out with their main problem, simply decrease their practice frequency even more and encourage them to take even more irresponsibly long-range shots. Luckily, the average hunter's range estimate is optimistic to say the least:). Again, your usage was reasonable, and I would say somewhat exceptional.

    Regarding Africa, the point wasn't that the '06 was better, just that it was more than enough rifle for the task and he was extremely comfortable with it (he's literally been all over the country if not the world with it). The trip turned out to be disappointing for him (he has no desire to go back), although he got everything he intended, because the shots were relatively short range over watering holes at smaller, non-dangerous game.

    Anyway, that's my perspective, no offence intended.

  37. Matt, BG_Farmer & Kevin,

    Thank you all so much for the time you spend helping me in this hobby.

    All the advice is good and I really do thank you deep in my heart for your help…. and concern for my safety!

    You know I'm new to this, although I do go shoot firearms 4 or 5 times a week.. more than I shoot the air rifles now!
    The S&W 586 air pistol gave me lots of good practice before I got the Dan Wesson .357 and now the S&W 27… so I shouldn't be surprise when I nail the targets.. but .38 special or .357 mags are not the same and I can't help but be surprised when I bust the clays a 15 yards(about 1 for 2)… 25 yards 1 for 4), 50 yards (1 for 10), and even 100 yards (1 for 20 or so)… and when I miss it's not by much.

    I swear I do better with either the Dan Wesson or S&W 27 than I do with open sights on the Marlin 336 30-30.

    Which is what I'm hoping for. Then, for the next Deer and Elk season, I can carry it with a more long range rifle like the Howa 1500 in 30-06 or… or…. or…. or…. or…. .

    thanks guys…

    And bless you all!


  38. BG_Farmer, (Wayne)

    I respect your opinions and cannot be offended by them. It's been my experience that what you offer is genuine and from the heart. In no way can anyone contest that.

    Punishing is not too strong a word when describing pulling the trigger on a 7mm or a .300 Weatherby. The .300 Winchester is a pussycat in comparison. Therefor I agree with your description of punishing.

    You raise a good point about hunters being "so leery of even their .30-06 and 7mm Mag recoil that they do not practice enough to be proficient". It infuriated me to meet new hunters that had such capable firearms with such limited experience with their own guns. I learned early on in my guiding to meet the clients in the nearest town. Initially, this was to save me time rescueing them from being lost and wasting my time finding them and then guiding them to the camp we'd set up. After a short time of this repeated debacle I learned to take advantage of meeting these greenhorns in civilization and at the soonest opportunity stopped short of camp and offered an opportunity to "sight in their rifles". Any excuse to get their guns out of the cases was always welcome. Once they started shooting I usually started sweating. With rare exception they couldn't range within 100 yards, and couldn't keep 3 shots within a foot mostly because of flinching. Everyone's scope was off because of our elevation but even when they wanted to change/blame scope setting's in this intial "sight in" I wouldn't let them. I wanted to see five shots before they changed scope settings. Pathetic in most circumstances. After witnessing this ordeal you're absolutely right in "that most of us should strictly limit our shots to well within 300 yards, having little practical experience or range practice..".

    Back to the real issue. Wayne's 7mm Mag Weatherby Vanguard potential replacement. I don't take issue with the 7mm Weatherby mag round. I take issue with the Vanguard. The Weatherby 7MM is a good round. But, I prefer the ballistics of the .300 Weatherby IF you regulary expect long range shots ON ELK. At 200 yards or less I agree with your opinion that the .30-06 or .308 (or.270 with shot placement) are good calibers for elk.

    Now I expect the theorists to chime in.

    YES, 80 years ago most big game was taken with rimfire. BUT they were relegated to these firearms because of cheap ammo, lightweight ammo (for packing) and couldn't afford centerfire guns or cartridges. Animals suffered for these reasons. Rarely do we go into the field today with these limitations (meat is paramount and animal suffering be damned). We have the option (arguably the obligation) to use centerfire arms that are more capable of a merciful kill.

    BG_Farmer, no offense taken. I enjoy a spirited discussion but too often I see these types of topics deteriorate into barbaric diatribes and name calling. I respect you too much to be a part of that. You're a critical part of this blog and I can't stand the thought of my opinions hampering your vital contributions to this blog.


  39. B.B.
    I might not have commented since pretty much "a long time ago"……. but everyday I sit behind my pc to read your Blog, and "almost" ALWAYS you surprise me with your blogs!!!! But in this one, you blew my mind!!! Great job BB… Keep up the EXCELLENT job!!!


    P.S.: I am the dude whom at Christmas time bought a Talon SS which wasn't working as he expected!!! and got pretty frustrated (you, Wayne, Twotalon Vince, AirForce and other guys tried to pitch in) LOL… But I was wrong as hell and YOU were RIGHT!!! This rifle (Talon SS 24" .22 cal.) is better than every other air rifle my friends and I have ever had!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every person in the gunclub I go to (firing their Savage Arms rifles… Winchester's.. Walther G22's… Glocks… Colts…. whatever) NEEEEED to shoot my pellet rifle… only to be left amazed by its looks, power, and ACCURACY at 75 yards!! TAKE CARE

  40. Wayne
    I have used the Howa 1500 Axiom .308 rifle at 150yards… I saw your thread earlier today… Try it!!! Buy it!! you'll know what I am talking about……


  41. Edith
    I looked in Beeman's on line catalog and it's not there in .25! If you look in the pellet comparison table it's listed under every caliber except .25.


    What a shame it will be if it is discontinued. My HW 90 will be degraded without it. As BB said there are not many .25s to choose from


  42. Ton,

    When I said it was in Beeman's 2009 catalog, I meant their print catalog. Beeman has told us that their website hasn't been updated in years, and we should not reference it for up-to-date info. Not only are pellets missing from that site, but guns they've been selling for years are also not shown.


  43. Hello BB,

    Thank you for all your airgun-tests. I've read many of them and enjoyed it.
    I'm going to buy a RWS/Diana 54 or 56 TH -which is very similar to the 54- this year.
    Do you recommend .22 or .177?
    I don't want to hunt and I guess .177 is easier to shoot at high distance because the weight is lower and so the trajectory is more straight?

    Greetings from Germany,

  44. Kevin,

    I got home at 1:30 a.m. last night and just got going to the day. It will take me all day to catch up on the messages, but I have the very bullpup you asked about. I'm evaluating a bunch of rifles for PA, of which this is one.

    I will be reporting on it and because I know you are interested, I will expand the report to include all the airgun bullpups I can. There aren't many, as you know.


  45. Jony,

    I've been out of the loop for a day with the filming and flying home last night.

    Thanks for the feedback on your story with the Talon SS. Your satisfaction really reinforces what I try to do. I need it as much as you enjoy reading the blog.

    Now you can do me another favor. Now that you have experience, will you please chime in when you can and help the other new guys enjoy the benefit of your experience?


  46. Thanks for your reply,

    Diana actually build the rifle in a 7.5 joule version (by using a weaker spring and resizing the transfer port).
    But as I have a permission for the version with full power -about 30 joule- I'm going to buy the one with full power and eventually a V-mach Kit later.


  47. B.B.,

    Thanks for adding bullpups to your long list of articles to be hatched.

    I seem to remember reading that, "Once upon a time, a long time ago, Tom Gaylord had a fear he would run out of airgun article topics. Then all of the sudden…."

    Hope Mrs. Gaylord doesn't know you're carousing until 1:30AM.


  48. BB,

    what do you think of the new 18 grain JSB jumbos compared to the 16 grain version? The 18's seem to be the perfect weight for a magnum PCP.

    Id like to stick with JSB, beautiful pellets at a modest price. I did the math and they are actually 30% cheaper than Kodiaks.


  49. I've had very good results with Beeman FTS and Kodiak in .25cal in my Kodiak rifle with ctc groups rivaling my R9 in .177!

    The problem with .25 right now is that there doesn't appear to be any Kodiak or FTS pellets in the country. What is more astounding is that Pyramyd doesn't list the FTS pellet in .25 on their website-incredible, the largest airgun seller in the USA not selling one of the most popular pellets in the Beeman inventory, go figure!

  50. bb
    wondering what your thoughs are on the walther falcon hunter with air ram conpaired to the crosman nitro piston short stroke, i am trying to decide on which one is truly the best to buy.

  51. Bettle,

    The Falcon Hunter is for hunting, only. With the gas spring it is very hard to cock. The NPSS, on the other hand, is rather easy to cock for a gas spring, yet it delvers decent power. It recoils less and it much quieter than the Falcon Hunter.

    If you want al all-around airgun get the NPSS. For hunting only, the Falcon Hunter is best.


  52. This article seems well thought out and I’m sure it was right-on in 2009. But in January of 2015, .25 caliber rocks!

    Sure it’s more expensive for plinking. And the guns use more air requiring more frequent refills. But when it comes to hunting medium (coon size) game, deader is better, and the .25 makes an obvious difference.

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