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Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 5

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Today we look at the groups made by the four pellets used in this test at 25 yards when the velocity is diminished. Part 4 covered the velocity for each pellet, so go there to see where each one is.

If you like nice linear results, prepare to be disappointed. Today’s target do show changes, but they may not be in the direction you expect. Let’s get right to it.

First up were the 7.1-grain Beeman Devastator pellets. These pellets have been a real surprise in this test, because they have proven to be accurate at supersonic velocity and they are not sensitive to bore conditioning. Shoot one and it tends to go to the same place every time. They also do not show any first-shot tendencies that so many other pellets do. This is a real plus for hunters, who are always shooting the first shot. I will have to return to this pellet sometime soon and test it in other guns, because it seems to be a real winner.

Another fine 10-shot group of Beeman Devastators at 25 yards. It measures 0.616-inches between centers.

This group measured 0.615-inches between centers, compared to the first group in Part 3 that measured 0.743-inches. Obviously the slower pellet is significantly better, but because we only have two groups to compare it is impossible to know whether one will always be better than the other. The Devastator is still going out the muzzle at supersonic speed, even though it has been slowed by about 70 f.p.s. This is the second-best pellet of this test, just as it was in the first test.

All the shooting conditions are exactly as reported in Part 3. The scope level was used for every shot and the rifle was held in the artillery hold, with the stock resting on my hand at the same place every time. So the same care is being taken each time I shoot, and that won’t change.

Next I tried the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lites. The bore was conditioned with four shots before shooting the group shown here, and as before, the Premiers did show some wandering in the first three shots. After that, they seemed to settle down, though as you will see, settling is a relative term.

Crosman Premier lites turned in the second-worst group of this test. Ten went into this group that measures 0.754-inches between centers.

This time the group size remained nearly the same, at 0.754-inches. The group shot when the gun was shooting them faster measured 0.778-inches, which is too close to call. Yes, the group fired with the pellet going slower is a trifle smaller, but it is really too close to say there is a difference that’s due to the velocity — especially given the built-in error in measuring groups that I have talked about.

The third pellet I tried was the heavier Beeman Kodiak. They turned in the best group of the test, just as they did the first time. And the ten-shot group measured 0.628-inches between centers, which is very close to the 0.633-inches of the first test.

Ten Beeman Kodiaks went into this group measuring 0.628-inches. It’s very close to what the rifle did in the first test.

I cannot say that the Kodiaks did any better this time than they did in the first test. Even though the velocity was slowed by 55 f.p.s., it doesn’t seem to make much difference at 25 yards. Maybe that’s just not enough of a drop to matter.

The last pellet tested was the 16.1-grain Eun Jin dome. These pellets were never in the transonic region, even with no transfer port limiter in the gun. So this time they were just going slower. And what a difference that made!

Ten Eun Jin pellets were all over the place at 25 yards. They made this huge group that measures 1.118-inches between the centers of the two pellets farthest apart. This is the worst group of this test and also much worse than the first test with this same pellet, when they grouped 0.798-inches.

Eun Jins made a bad showing at 25 yards with the transfer port limiter installed. As long and heavy as they are, I guess they need all the velocity they can get, to obtain the rotational speed required for stabilization.

What have we learned?
The first thing we learned is this probably was not enough of a velocity drop to matter, except for the slowest pellet. The next thing we learned is that the changes are not always linear. Although three of the pellets exhibit what I would call a linear relationship of accuracy to velocity, only one of them — the Beeman Devastator — shows any real improvement. And even that is just a very small improvement that could just be due to chance.

The next thing we learned is that some pellets need their speed to maintain accuracy. The big heavy Eun Jins do not like this lower velocity, and I will predict they are going to get even worse with the next velocity decrease.

The Crosman Premiers are still not performing well, and since they are still within the transonic region, there is good reason for that. I look for an improvement in the next test.

What all this tells us is that using very long heavy pellets in a lower-powered airgun is probably not a good idea. When the distance to the target increases beyond about 30 feet, you will start seeing these pellets spread out, where lighter pellets will probably continue to be accurate.

121 thoughts on “Pellet velocity versus accuracy test: Part 5”

      • I’d expect some effect through the transition range. If totally below that speed I’d expect behavior between common pointed and common hollow-point. At the high speed, the point’s effect may be to shield the hollow and the rim from the shock wave, rather than having turbulence right on the leading edge.

        It’s then the trailing shock wave catching up that would affect the back end.

        All mental visualizations and hypotheses, of course…

    • I wonder if Pyramid will see an increase in Beeman Devastator sales due to this series of articles. BB, this series or articles would make Cardew proud.

      David Enoch

  1. Hi B.B.,
    Do you know if RWS Chamber Lube is the same as Crossman Silicone Chamber Oil. I have a Crossman Marauder and also a RWS LP8 so I need to know if I can use one product on both guns.

  2. B.B., Would the Beeman Devastator have any advantage shooting into the head of a squirrel at point blank range over a JSB RS which is approximately the same weight say at about 600 FPS.
    John H.

    • John H.,

      Six hundred feet per second is pretty slow for hunting squirrels with a .177. I know you said point blank range, which I interpret to mean you are shooting close — maybe 10 yards or less. If you were shooting a .22 at that velocity I’d say no problem, but a .177 is marginal.

      As for the difference in performance between the Devastator and a domed pellet, maybe we should test it and see what it can do. I was thinking of conducting a report on the Devastator in some of my other .177s. Maybe I could shooting it in one of them.


          • B.B.,
            I’m completely ignorant about these things, but I would have thought that a pointed pellet would provided better penetration than a domed pellet. Why would the domed be better for this?

        • Anon,

          I have also had experience with “euthanizing” squirrels in a Haveahart trap. I tried about 10 different >177 pistols at point blank and NONE worked. Even the MA carbine at 600 fps did not work!

          So I concur with BB 100% based on a LOT of sad experience! A .22 at 600 fps MIGHT kill a squirrel reliably but I would not bet any of MY money on it! The Titan GP at 775 fps mv with standard weight (14.X gr) pellets works 100% as does my .177 Sumatra with standard weight (>7.2 gr) pellets with a mv of around 1000 fps.

          Would either work at 50 yards? Dunno as most squirrels I shoot are 25 yards or less. How do you consistently get squirrels with in 25 yards you say? Simple! Go out into the woods and act like a nut! πŸ™‚

          So listen to the man. He 100% for sure knows what he speaks about!

          • I have dispatched (sounds nicer) a squirrel at point blank range with my Benjamin 390 something (don’t know if it says 392 or 397 on the barrel) .22 pump-up pneumatic. When I last chronied the rifle, it was putting out a .22 cal Crossman Premier at around 600 fps. The varmint was backed into a corner between two sheets of wallboard and 2×4’s in my utility room. One shot to the head was all it took. Hey, I think I still have pictures of my first big hunt and kill. Want to see em?

            Just kidding – πŸ™‚ but I do have the photo somewhere.

            Fred PRoNJ

    • I do a bit of squirrel hunting using my Beeman R7 in .177, and have been quite successful with a variety of pellets. I used to use the Crosman Destroyer pellets, which are very similar to the Devastators, because they were very accurate out of that rifle. I understand that the QC on them has gone down in recent years, though. The key is accuracy, and I prefer head shots, though a heart lung will kill them just as well.

      At 1 foot range, you should have no problem safely dispatching with almost any 600 fps pellet.

    • Anonymous (assuming you are John H.),

      I wish that I could find a good diagram showing the actual location of the squirrel’s brain within their skull because it’s a lot smaller than most people realize. As a result, It’s unfortunately not at all hard to execute a head shot that doesn’t actually hit the brain and instead simply inflicts an ugly wound. Though, to be fair, this is true of most animals.

      When viewed from the side, their brain is located roughly between their ear and eye with it being a bit more towards the ears than eyes, while from above it’s centered between the ears. It’s not much bigger than a .22 pellet, so accuracy is important, even from 1 foot away. The heart/lung area is larger, but it’s harder to describe it’s location without pictures. Also, it doesn’t result in as quick a death.

      B.B. is right about squirrels being tough in that they have a tremendous will to live; even a perfect shot won’t necessarily result in an instantaneous expiration sometimes. So, that’s something to be aware of on the front end.

  3. BB,

    Nice report. You’ve done a lot of work on this one and I suspect we’re only just over half way through it. Those Devastators look promising. I’d like to try them next time I make a PA purchase.


  4. BB,

    I agree. Six hundred fps is indeed too slow for squirrels in a .177. I had a MA carbine shot cphs at almost exactly 600 fps. I also had a squirrel that chewed a hole in the side of my house. One day I caught him coming out of the hole and grabbed the MA. First shot was a head shot and stunned him, but he was still trying to crawl away.

    To shorten this story, 15 shots later he finally gasped his last and expired. Almost all were head and neck shots. I felt REALLY bad as my goal is always 1 shot clean kills and this was far from it! But I learned that 600 fps in .177 with chp’s simply will not do the job.

    Several days later I caught another squirrel emerging from the hole and grabbed my Sumatra in .177 with same chps doing about 1000 fps. One shot clean kill! Squirrel did not even quiver. All shots were under 25′ with both squirrels.

    A third squirrel coming from same hole days later expired to one head shot from my .22 Titan GP with a 14.3 gr chp doing about 775 fps. The performance from that pellet was absolutely amazing. Upon impact the squirrel flipped about a foot in the air, hit the ground and not even a quiver from a single hair.

    After that the .22 Titan GP became my go to gun for dispatching pests and to date not even 1 case of needing more than 1 shot to cleanly dispatch game.

    Conclusions: If you want to use a .177, impact velocity probably needs to be >850 fps. With a .22 muzzle velocity can be <775 fps and still get the job done.

    Until I finish converting my disco to a multi shot breech, the GP is my go to squirrel gun! And I have no problem using my .177 Sumatra Carbine as that will push normal weight .177 pellets at over 1200 fps. I set the power to around 1000 fps for what ever pellet I am using!

    I read stories on the forums about squirrels being killed with Beeman P1's in .177. My experience with my .177 P1 was the pellets bouncing off the squirrels and simply getting them mad! I tried about 5 squirrels at ranges of less than 40' before giving up on that gun ever killing a squirrel! So to all those with such stories, it is not so much that I doubt you as it is that I believe you are lying!

    Velocities of 600 fps and less simply do not kill squirrels reliably in my experience! And if I remember, my P1 chronyed at around 500 fps with standard weight pellets.

    • pcp4me,

      Your experience and my experience are quite different. I’ve dispatched my fair share of squirrels using an R7 that puts out .177 JSB Exact domes at a smoking 650 fps. They all died just fine with rarely any follow up shots needed.

      The only squirrel that I ever lost was from a magnum springer shooting the same JSB pellets at about 950 fps, and that was because it simply wasn’t as accurate. Turned out that my shot had traversed the top of his shoulder blades, grazing his spine, and stunning him for about two minutes. He jumped up and ran away while I tried to draw a bead on another squirrel in the same tree. Oddly enough, I did manage to recover that same squirrel two days later with a head shot from my R7 (again at about 650 fps).

      I am most definitely not lying, and you should be a bit more careful before throwing out such blanket accusations.

      • Bobby,

        Let me clear a few things up here! First, I was talking about a 7.4 gr pellet doing 600 fps which is 5.92 fpe vs I don’t know what weight pellet you used doing 650 fps. I note all of the JSB “Exact” family pellets weigh from 8.4 gr to 13.4 grs giving any where from 7.88 fpe to 12.57 fpe so we are NOT comparing apples to apples here!

        Second I have NO idea what kind of “squirrel” you are shooting, but I am talking about fox and grey squirrels which are VERY tough and hard to kill!

        Also you should have noted I was talking about guns with a 7.4 gr pellet at < 600 fps and I will stand by what I said! IF you are trying to tell me you can RELIABLY kill fox or grey squirrels with 12 fpe.

        Let’s also which we are at it, dispel some myths some of you have imagined.

        FIRST, it was NEVER my intention to experiment with how low a power I could dispatch a grey or fox squirrel. I honestly believed that the gun used would do the job 2″ away from the head. When it did not I went to a more powerful gun with the next critter and so on down the line till I found what it DID take to kill them WITH A HEAD SHOT from INCHES away!!! In each case I truly believed the gun had enough energy to dispatch the critter from <2" away!

        And I relate this here to keep others from making the SAME mistakes I did! That is my only intention.

        And no less an expert than BB agrees that around 20 fpe is minimum you should use on "tough" squirrels.

        If I disagreed with him you would take me to task for that! Since I agree 100% with him here based on practical EXPERIENCE, you simply gloss it over and ignore what he and I say!

        So if you say you can reliably dispatch squirrels 100% of the time over thousands of shots (yes that IS how many I have killed over the years with pellet guns and at LEAST 3X as many with .22 lr before I started using air {pellet} guns), with pellet guns putting out <6 fpe, I DO NOT BELIEVE you! I have seen grey and fox squirrels (2 of thousands) shot with a .22 lr hollow point in the head grab the dog who went after it and give it a good chewing before we separated them and dispatched the squirrel.

        Either you have not shot many squirrels or…….???

        So if you want to ignore BB's advice which I am sure is based on practical experience and mine which is based on thousands of squirrel kills go ahead! But just remember when you shoot one and it does NOT drop dead you were told!

        I have more respect for them than to use ANY pistol I own and some lower powered rifles also to hunt them!

        My MINIMUM go to gun is a .22 Titan GP. Better yet is a Sumatra .177 carbine at around 1000fps with 7.9 gr cpls. Even better is same gun with 10.x gr cp brown boxed at 1000fps. Better still is a Disco with 14.3 gr chps at about 975 fps!

        Though I agree that shot placement is even more important than fpe, if you hunt much at all, you have those inexplicable few cases where an animal was shot in an area which SHOULD HAVE produced an instant kill and did not! I have seen 4 such cases with thousands of grey or fox squirrels I shot, and 2 such cases with 25 deer which I shot or witnessed a buddy shoot. The one my buddy shot took TWO slugs in extremely vital areas.

        At the first shot it looked around and walked 35 years closer to us. It was about 75 yards away at the first shot. At the second shot it looked around a bit, walked another 10 yards closer then trotted to the edge of the logging trail and disappeared into an over grown field! We found it 15 yards into the field. The first shot went through both lungs about 1" above the top of the heart and exited. The second shot was quartering, went through one lung about 1.5" above the heart, then all of the rest of the guts and lodged in the far rear leg against the skin. Either shot should have dropped the deer. We both thought he missed the first shot based on the animals reaction. With the second shot he said he saw the fur fly! But again the deer gave no sign of being hurt!

        So having more "knock down" available never hurts.

        • pcp4me,

          Adding exclamation marks to your comments doesn’t do what you think it does.

          “Some took 10 or more shots to do the trick.”

          Frankly, I don’t understand why someone who admits to shooting caged animals ten times (or more) before actually killing them feels that they are qualified to give anyone advice on humanely dispatching anything. May I suggest that you work on your accuracy and understanding of where each critter’s killzones actually are before putting on your professor hat from now on.

          John H. asked for opinions, and I gave him mine. You and I are going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

        • pcp4me,

          Adding extra exclamation points in your reply doesn’t do what you think that it does.

          “Some took 10 or more shots to do the trick.”

          Frankly, I don’t understand why someone who admits to shooting multiple animals in cages as many as ten times (or more) before finishing them off feels qualified to give advice on this subject.

          John H. asked for opinions and we’ve both given ours. Let’s agree to disagree.

            • Bobby,

              No, it didn’t hiccup. Your first post was caught in the spam folder and I happened to be online, caught it and made it live. You reposted before I had a chance to do that πŸ™‚


          • Bobby,
            I use multiple exclamation points many times in my replies. They denote things I want to convey that I think are out of the extraordinary and into the extra-extraordinary. There is a difference. If my extra exclamation points offend you, I apologize, and I recommend that you stop reading after the first one. πŸ™‚

          • Ok, now to address pcp4me’s exclamation points. I got a little thinned skinned there because I use multiple exclamation points, too. Let me defend pcp4me, but he’ll come back and say, “But out! I don’t need defending! I can take care of myself!” I think he is being blown out of proportion on this squirrel thing, I think. Listen to what he’s really saying. He’s not experimenting, he’s relating personal experience.

            • I understand.

              I was only relating my personal experiences as well, which were different from his. And for that, I was called a liar. I suppose that we are all thin skinned when prodded in the right place.

              Oh, and I never accused him of experimenting; he said that about himself.

  5. B.B.

    Looks like just about everybody is excited about the Devestator pellets…..except me.
    If you can show me that they will group at longer distances and in the wind, and have a higher BC than FTT, then I might be tempted to try them. I don’t think that is going to happen.


    • Don’t think I’d pick them for shooting targets/silhouettes… Even if they are accurate enough for it.

      That design (and name) tends to imply a purely hunting pellet. A point to start penetration, with a hollow-point for expansion and energy dump.

      For solid/metallic targets badminton birds (domes) are probably the best…

  6. If you follow what Robert Beeman said, you only need 3 foot pounds to kill a squirrel so .177 at 600FPS equals somewhere between 5 to 6 foot pound depending on the pellet weight. This should be more than enough for a head shot. Do you concur B.B.?

      • At a distance you are correct, but shooting directly into the head of an animal from less than one foot away that is in a trap requires substantially less power. Dr. Beeman is correct that the minimum required is only 3 Foot Pounds. You should ask him directly how he obtained his data to confirm what I am saying.

        • Dave D,

          He is correct even at point blank into a trap! I know! Used to trap squirrels and tried to dispatch them with various guns! NONE (no not one!) at 600 fps or less in .177 caliber would dispatch said trapped squirrels with one shot. Some took 10 or more shots to do the trick.

          At 600 fps and a standard weight .177 pellet you are hovering around the 6 fpe mark. And I NEVER had a clean kill with that combo, not even at point blank!

          My experience is that those telling you min of 3 fpe will kill a squirrel are those who want to unload their abysmally weak guns to you!!

          At 1000 fps with a standard weight .177 pellet you get around 16 fpe and I KNOW that dispatches squirrels reliably 100% of the time! I make no claims about 12 fpe. I have no experience in that power range.

          However, a 14.3 gr chp at 775 fps velocity develops about 19 fpe and also works 100% reliably at point blank.

          So I would say to be on the safe side you go with BB’s recommendation of 20 fpe you would have 100% confidence in your equipment being able to do the job!

          • There is a lot of conjecture here, but Robert Beeman is considered an authority and his statement of foot power again only requires 3 pounds minimum to the head. This is a clean head shot, not a multi body shot to a squrill bouncing around in a trap. I would like B.B. to contact him and get his reasoning so that everyone can believe me. I have done this many times and had one shot clean kills.

            • Dave, as much as I respect Mr. Beeman, I wouldn’t put so much faith in the fact that he is an ‘authority’.
              Remember…until Galileos’ time most ‘authorities’ said the earth was the centre of the universe πŸ˜‰

          • I have exactly one datum that goes back 20 years when all I had was a Diana 6G pistol. My cat mauled a mouse but did not kill it.

            I went out with the pistol to dispatch the beastie. And it took 3 head shots at near contact range to kill it. OK, that’s less power than almost any air rifle, but it sure surprised me.

            I don’t think a 5 foot-pound 4.5mm pellet to the head at a 10 yard range is enough to take a squirrel humanely. If I wanted to do pest disposal around here I would take advice from this group and get something bigger and faster. But, of course, the County does not let me fire any kind of weapon out of doors.

              • Where did 6 foot-pounds come from? Beeman says that only 2 fpe is needed for a mouse, and the Diana certainly clocked that much energy. My comment was meant to reinforce the notion that Robert Beeman’s estimates might well be too low except for an idealized pellet performing ideally in a lab.

                I should have euthanized the mouse with the first shot. I didn’t.

  7. Nice shooting today, B.B. My great task is to see if what I can accomplish on my miniature range can be extended to a real shooting range. So far the results are generally favorable although the 1911 seems to be the one gun that does not seem amenable to airgun practice. This is partly because I shoot it infrequently and partly because of the heavy recoil way out at the end of my Isosceles Triangle hold. But things are really turning around with the 185 gr. load.

    BG_Farmer, thanks, but plitting the ball is quite a feat on its own. I think part of it is psychological. Aiming at a thin blade, especially if it’s sharpened by Frank B., is hard to visualize for me.

    Edith, I don’t have a wife. I live alone and train alone. πŸ™‚ But at least I can say that in my home I am always right. πŸ™‚

    PeteZ, thanks for the physics lessons! This is great. As to entropy, I understand your examples, but it seems like in intermediate cases where things are not squashed down to a singularity, there is some ambiguity. Is it possible that the reduction in entropy due to the reduced size of a system is more than offset by the increase in entropy of its component parts in a chaotic arrangement? So a shoebox whose contents are disarranged would have more entropy than a refrigerator in good order? If so, this would seem to imply that a universe collapsing inward and losing size could be more disarranged internally than an expanding universe until it finally all comes together.

    Yes indeed, questions of God and faith are outside the province of physics. But that makes it more curious to me that it is prominent scientists who tend to reach outward from the technical matters of their discipline. This would include not only Stephen Hawking but also Lisa Randall in a new book of hers and an Oxford biologist whose name I think is Richard Dawkins. Mixed in with their religious speculations which are no better or worse than anyone else’s seems to be a genuine attempt to extend the discoveries of the material world to spiritual matters in what I guess you would call a scientific way. As Stephen Hawking put it (in reference to his theory that time does not originate from a single point but is analogous to a closed, curved surface), “If there is no creation, what need for a Creator?” More generally, the notion common to these and similarly-minded scientists is that if the physical world is fully explained then religion, at least in its role as a source of explanation, is forced out of existence. My point is that this very position implies that they had better get their story straight and have the universe fully explained before making a claim like this, and they seem to be short of this point.

    I guess an estimate of how much of the universe science has explained is somewhat subjective. Yes, an extraordinary amount has been clarified, certainly on the human scale. But even here there are significant gaps. Jane, our rocket scientist, listed a number of forces for projectile motion that are not fully understood. Non-linear dynamics in the field of projectile motion and elsewhere seems to be a very new field with a great deal still to learn. So is chaos theory and studies of the weather. And on the largest scale, there is string theory with its 10^500 universes all beyond any imaginable way to test and what came before the Big Bang. As for dark energy, I’m not sure what it means to disturb the symmetry of general relativity but that seems like a big problem especially if the physical nature of this large repulsive force is entirely unknown and exists only as a way to make an equation work for now. One could say that these may all be details in our current scientific picture but perhaps not. Isn’t it true that physicists believed that they had everything figured out in the late nineteenth century except for minor problems like black body radiation? But these discrepancies generated modern physics and an entirely new world view. So maybe what seems esoteric and marginal now will turn out to be very important. No way to know until we understand everything. The philosopher Stanley Kuhn has suggested that maybe science does not proceed as a linear progression and that maybe what we are in store for is endless paradigm shifts… They produce more at each iteration, but they never arrive at a final answer.

    Anyway, I’m not a philosopher, but it seems that the door is open for radical changes in our worldview, maybe including wormholes. πŸ™‚ That’s great news that the OPERA people are being open about their work and that we can expect to get their experiment verified one way or another within a year. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the result.


    • This is partly because I shoot it infrequently and partly because of the heavy recoil way out at the end of my Isosceles Triangle hold.

      Have you considered a variant of the Weaver hold?

      A true isosceles (locked elbows) puts all the recoil straight onto the shoulders, with an upward arc of the arms. A proper Weaver lets the arm muscles absorb some of the recoil, and may reduce the upward arc.

      (I think my natural hold is modified Weaver — left locked, right elbow slightly flexed and pushing into the left hand)

    • I’m going to tie off my end of this thread here with a couple of comments and then sign off.

      1) The amount of entropy increase or decrease from a given thermodynamic process is “path dependent” which means that how you get from one state to another is important, so yes, you could imagine the kind of situation you ask about. That’s largely why I took extrema — I didn’t want to have to calculate the hard intermediate states.

      2) I’m not much of a believer, I’ll admit. There is no reason why Hawking, Randall and Dawkins should confine their statements to a process you espouse, nor any reason why you should endorse theirs. People have been invoking various science to rule in or rule out a creator. Lots of proofs in both directions have been published by very smart people, and if you subject them to careful analysis, all are circular reasoning proving nothing. Faith depends on belief (circular, of course) and on interpretation of the world. I like Dawkins’s books, but they get repetitious after a point and overly argumentative. I haven’t read Lisa’s book yet; I asked my library to put it on hold for me. Generally people think Big Bang-like theories require a creation mechanism which can be anything you like, including divine. The steady-state universe propounded by Fred Hoyle has no beginning or end, and so does not involve creation. It failed on experimental grounds anyway.

      3) It’s always possible to take arguments to extremes, and all but the very best fail. The only one I know that hasn’t is quantum electrodynamics which is valid to the limits of our knowledge of the fundamental constants (see metrology article!). But it could break down somewhere.

      4) I don’t know what you meant by forces that aren’t understood. All forces in projectile motion are understood, but some may very well be quite difficult (i.e. non-linear) to compute in reasonable times even with modern computers. We still have not mastered turbulence, but this is an applied and not a fundamental problem. The weather is inherently non-linear and so very hard to calculate, but it *can* be calculated for short times (order days). If we had 100x better data sampling on the ground and in the air, we could calculate the weather for longer periods. Chaos was fashionable a few years back, but it’s of little practical use (if any). I’m not smart enough to be a string theorist, but the theory is not an attractive one, and so far has proven remarkably difficult to test with an experiment.

      Back to airguns.

      • Pete,

        I really enjoyed your comments on the theoretical universe as well as comments from all the others that continue to use their education in science(s) and stay current on the latest theories on the creation of the Universe. Thank you. Now if only we can discover wormholes in my lifetime…….

        Fred PRoNJ

    • Hi Matt61,
      Referring to your question a week or so ago, regarding the hunting trip that my son and I might have planned. We don’t yet. As it turns out, my back is in worse shape than I had thought and hoped. I will be needing surgery within the next few months (several vertebrae – bummer :(). However, we did take his Savage hunting rifle out again, and again were impressed with it’s shoot-ability and accuracy. I added the recommended (by Savage) Weaver base and then added low rings, also by Weaver. That made all the difference in the world. My son was easily shooting 3 inch groups at 200 yards off a small bag and wobbly table. Some shots right on top of each other. I’m guessing that a real shooting rest will produce sub-inch groups at 200 yards with no problem. Bottom line is that we love the way this rifle shoots, and don’t feel that we’ve come even close to pushing it’s limits in terms of accuracy!

      Regarding Stephen Hawking (… β€œIf there is no creation, what need for a Creator?”). I never think of God as being bound by things like time, space, dimension, or any other limit that might contain mans capacity to conceive or comprehend. I accept, as do theoretical physicist, that the universe (including what may lie outside of it) is full of true mysteries, that man will never fully grasp. So what if time is bound by a closed, curved surface? If that is the case, then that too may be by His design. In other words, I don’t see the conflict. In general, I don’t ever see conflict between God and science. In my mind, science is only one of mankind’s great efforts to comprehend God (whether intentional or not). The same goes for philosophy, literature, mathematics, and all other disciplines. Humans are driven to seek answers. This innate desire is tightly coupled with our will to survive, and our will to survive is just our desire to perpetuate this yet to be understood force called life. We still have no true fundamental understanding of the true essence of life, and so cannot create life ourselves. And yet, there is nothing more significant in our universe than the existence of life, and the force behind it. The existence of God is all around us. We can choose to see God, or not. Some of us know directly from our own experience. My problem with the likes of that Oxford biologist is that they aren’t completely honest in forcing their particular point of view. Understanding and appreciating this, I’m sure glad that we have people like Tom Gaylord objectively presenting findings on air-guns, and related subject matter. πŸ™‚


    • My thoughts on science: I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard about a scientific discovery that started out with the words, “Scientists now believe…”. or “This will change the way scientists think about…”, etc. Anything not based on absolute proof, hard repeatable evidence, is only scientific theory. Developing a theory is necessary in order to begin the discovery of the fact.

      My thoughts on religion: You all know where you stand. I know where I stand. Just be careful what you wish for because you may be given your wish.

      • Chuck,
        I agree with you on religion. However, I also personally believe that even religion cannot adequately capture God, if one believes in God. One way or another, what people choose to believe is either 100% personal, or what they were raised to believe. Einstein saw religion as folly, but I also think that he believed in some form of God. Whatever his personal belief was, he chose his own path of discovery. I wouldn’t argue with that no more than I would argue with the path taken by Native Americans or others.

        • To the end of his life Einstein identified himself as Jewish. And always spoke of “the Old One” or the “Creator.” But I seriously doubt if he went to synagogue.

          • I like what Isaac Asimov,the science fiction writer had to say about religion: “I may be an atheist but I’m a Jewish atheist”. I try not to talk about religion or politics or tell anyone they can’t drive their car worth a darn or are a bad lover. You just aren’t going to make any points with these types of discussions. Case in point, anyone want to admit they are a bad driver? Bad lover?

            Fred ProNJ

        • Victor,

          “Either 100% personal OR what they were raised to believe”?

          Those are not the only choices. I don’t think many people even know exactly what they believe, yet alone WHY they believe it.

          For some like myself, I questioned all that I was told and did a lot of reading and research. I now believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant word of God!

          BECAUSE it is the ONLY account of God which can and has been verified by archaeologists! AND there are over 300 prophesies concerning Jesus Christ, his birth, death, life and resurrection, some made 1000 or more years before his birth, all made at least 100 years before his birth, and ALL which were supposed to have been finished by now are and proved to be 100% true.

          A group of scientists calculated the odds on just the 8 most prevalent ones being 100% correct and found that there was NO mathematical chance they could all have come true as they did. Their conclusion was then that there must have been divine intervention for this to have happened.

          In the Bible, Christ claims to be God. He also says the ONLY way to heaven is through him to his Father. So either the Bible is TRUE OR Jesus Christ is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on man kind.

          Used to be archaeologists used to read the Bible and then try to disprove it by digging for ruins at locations where there should have been ruins by Biblical accounts. Turns out over 1000 digs were done and NOT ONE disproved what they hoped, but rather PROVED it was true. So now when they want to know where to dig for some of these ruins, they consult the BIBLE!

          So I believe what it says as NO OTHER account of God or gods can in any way be proven EXCEPT the Bible.

          It is the task of each of us to discover for him/her self if the Bible is true or the greatest hoax ever!

          If you decide it is a hoax, then look around to see if ANY other account of God can be reckoned to be true based on evidence!

          OR simply wait to die and THEN discover the truth when it will be too late!

          Folks, the BIBLE is not about religion! It is about you having a savior (Jesus Christ) who died for YOUR sins that you will have eternal life if you acknowledge that and develop a personal relationship with him! Christ was not Catholic, or Baptist or Mormon, or any other organized religion.

          Jesus would have died even if you were the only sinner (person) on earth to give you the opportunity to have eternal life.

        • A while ago (NY, I think) there was a mother who doused her daughter with a flammable liquid and set it alight in order to rid her of evil spirits. It was part of a ritual of the Voodoo religion. I imagine most of us WOULD argue with “the path taken” by that woman!

          If I’m not mistaken, Einstein disbelieved in at least some quantum theory because it suggested that some occurrences are truly random. He believed that the “Old One” would not set up a disorderly universe like that… (if I’m wrong, go ahead and correct me)

            • Oh, I don’t know about that. Not sure her actions were rooted in fear (an integral part of Jewish and all Christian religions) rather than an overblown sense of control. If one thinks that one’s child is possessed, fear is a natural reaction. It might lead one to prayer or other avenue to seek divine help. But it’s another thing entirely to take matters into your own hands…

              Fear has to be a real part of every human relationship, I think. If nothing else, every sense of having something precious is accompanied by a fear of losing it. If we live without fear of some sort we might risk replacing it with presumption…

    • Dave D.

      Doctor Beeman is working hard to complete a book on the Girardoni rifle that he’s been working on for several years. I’m not going to bother him with this question.

      Besides, Dr. Beeman is not an airgun hunter. He probably got his information from Tom Holzel or someone else.

      If you want to contact him about this you may do so, but I advise you to explain to him exactly what question you want him to answer. We have been free and easy with this discussion on this blog, but if you pose the question of whether a 600 f.p.s. .177 airgun is sufficient for killing squirrels, then you had best explain the exact conditions under which it would be done.

      For the record, I oppose shooting squirrels with anything that light.


    • David D,

      Please provide the links to those guns. When I set up the guns and the intended/recommended use, I restrict small game hunting for those guns that deliver at least 600 fps in .22 and 800 fps in .177. That’s a min. of 12 ft-lbs.

      I also approve/decline customer gun reviews. If someone states they’ve killed a critter with a gun that doesn’t meet my 12 ft-lb. min. energy, I decline the review even if it’s a glowing report about the gun.

      Thank you for providing the list of guns that do not meet my min. energy standards so I may correct the Pyramyd AIR website.


    • Dave D.,

      I tried to give the dispatch a wounded opossum with an Crosman 1377 with ten pumps and Crosman Premiere pellets. Multiple shoots to the top of the skull from 3 or 4 inches away. NEVER AGAIN will I try to do that! Same pistol killed a crow at about ten yards with one shot. A bird’s skull is much thinner than a mammals. Perhaps that is the type of pests PA is talking about.


      • Mr. B.,

        Where on Pyramyd Air’s website does it state that a Crosman 1377 can be used to shoot any animal? I wouldn’t use it to kill anything, and I state on the product page that it’s for plinking and target shooting.


        • Edith,

          Perhaps the Crosman 1377 isn’t adequate to the job Mr. B. used it for, as my pistol also wasn’t adequate to a lighter task. But when you find a wounded animal, you use what you have to put it out of its misery, and if that doesn’t work, then you take the data on board and hope that the next time you have better tools. But if I found another wounded mouse and had only match guns, I would do all I could to kill it, understanding that I might inflict pain, but that I would also terminate misery more rapidly than nature.

        • Edith,

          I am sorry that the implication was that I read on Pyramid Air’s website that it’s ok to use a Crosman 1377 to kill anything. I used that gun as an example because it shoots a pellet at 600fps. It was nothing that I read on their website.

          To anyone that I mislead, please accept my apology.


        • Edith,

          I think this is one of the unintended consequences of all those guns that drastically overstate their potential power. They make a claim with a pellet that most people don’t even know exists and that nobody would ever buy – and never state the true potential energy. Add to that and most people have no way to test to find out what velocity the gun really produces with the pellets hey buy, and you have a situation where you can’t blame it on their ignorance.

          They buy a 1377 to plink with, but later read about the energy levels needed to take out that pest squirrel that want to get rid of, do a little math (unknowingly with bad data) and shoot it with Crosman pellets in the tin they buy at Wally World, and we know the result . . .

          If they knew it was only shooting about 450 or so, they probably wouldn’t do it. I know, because I did the same thing, although with a 1322 that I bought years ago.

          Alan in MI

          • Alan,

            That might be an issue, however those guns aren’t usually at the marginal power/energy level. Those are usually guns shooting 1,000 fps or more.

            The guns I see being discussed here are way below that power level. Guns that shoot around 400-600 fps don’t have exaggerated velocities with lead-free, super-light pellets. Since buyers of those guns aren’t looking for magnum power, the mfrs don’t report velocities with lightweight pellets. They aren’t hyping the power because people who want power won’t be interested in a gun shooting 400-600 fps.


            • Apparently some are not getting the message. BB and most of us on this blog, in my opinion, have been stressing the power needed to use against critters. It may be said that under certain conditions .177 will work, but come on folks, if you’re buying a gun to shoot critters, please, please consider .22 first. Target shooting, Yes, .177. Critter shooting, no matter the size, .22. Yeah, you can get by shooting birds with a .177, but furry? Be responsible.

  8. I simply cannot avoid commenting on this squirrel dispatching issue,so here goes:I do not think anyone who is suggesting a generous figure deserves to be ridiculed.The simple fact that the question has been raised suggests that there is a desire to be humane in dispatching the animal.IMHO,attempting to ascertain just how low THAT number is,runs contrary to the very idea of humanely dispatching said squirrel.Let me add that I am not against hunting or euthanising pest or nuisance animals….but I DO believe strongly that you should always bring “enough gun” to accomplish the task. my .02$

    • Frank B,
      Furthermore, if others who we respect have provided first hand experience establishing that a certain set of values are below the threshold of acceptability, then I see no point in proving it for myself. Such experimentation is inhumane.

    • I am in absolute agreement that a humane kill is the number one priority. If I have the least bit of doubt, I don’t pull the trigger, I simply nod and say ” another day “. As far shooting a caged critter 10 times, in my mind that is far worse than just dropping the whole trap in a 5 gallon bucket of water. No one please misinterpreted this – I am not recommending a bucket of water.

      For that matter, if something was still suffering after shot number three, I would use the heal of my boot before I let its agony continue, then I would give up hunting and take up golf.

      As far the energy needed, I think Doc Beeman went just a tad on the light side but the real key is placement. If you gut shoot anything, the results are never going to be what is desired. I learned that at age 11 with a .22 Hornet and a groundhog. As it dashed for the shelter of it is hole as its intestines dragged behind, the old man grab the Winchester from me worked the bolt and made a beautiful hit at the last second -sparing the animal a slow death under ground.

      He then turned and told me never to shoot anything I was not 100 % sure was going to result in near instant death. “If you can’t hit it right, don’t shoot it.” Lesson learned. I never told him I had erroneously concluded that unlike my 22LR I assumed the more powerful Hornet would kill no matter what. I had actually aimed at the middle of that whistle pig.

      The same goes for pellets and critters. I do head mostly shots only, so the power needed is enough to penetrate the skin and skull and make it at least to the middle of the brain. An R7 will do that to a rabbit at 20 yards with no problem, ultimately the limiting factor on a squirrel is how well you shoot. More power is better only if you put it in the right place.

      As far as chest shots, I can only think of two in the last couple years, a crow and chipmunk – and both were instant.

      Also pick the right pellet, a light 7.0 grain pellet with a poor ballistic coefficient sheds energy faster then stripper sheds clothes. For a springer think middle weight that is accurate and has a round nose.

      • Amen, brother. I had a post ready to go describing the heel or rock approach, but didn’t submit because people are so squeamish these days. That is just affectation apparently, if they think shooting an animal a dozen times with an almost lethal load is more humane. Anyway, the suburbs must be really dangerous with all those voracious squirrels threatening ones life and property :).

        • BG,

          You wouldn’t think it was so freaking funny if said squirrels chewed a 3″ diameter hole through your siding and into your attic! I assure you it was no fun!

          And we were then told by the condo association which is responsible for fixing said damage they would not till we trapped or otherwise disposed of the squirrels. Previously they had been trapping said critters for other home owners!

          So though I hate that the guns I chose at first did not produce humane one shot kills, I also do not feel any remorse at dispatching them considering what they did to my home!

          And I am glad to say I CAN now comment authoritatively about just EXACTLY what will and will NOT work to dispatch said critters!

          Shame I had to learn the hard way, but most of my misconception of what it took was due to listening to “experts” like Dr. Beeman! Rather than applying my previous experience with the Beeman R9 to a different situation!

          • PCP4Me,
            I didn’t mean to single you out — I was cruising through the comments and it seemed like there was a disproportionate amount of malice towards/problems with squirrels and other small rodentia (?) in general. Thanks for sharing your experience, and I’m not worried that you would ever go under-gunned again.

    • All this talk about humanely killing a squirrel caught in a trap…

      Open the door, and hit it with a hatchet when it runs out. Instant death / no-suffering guaranteed.

      • JohnG10,

        LOL! Obviously you have no experience with a squirrel caught in a trap. OR Haveaheart traps either. First it is not easy at all to open the trap door with one hand. Second if you tried you run a real good chance of getting your fingers gnawed! Third if you did somehow succeed, the squirrel would clear the opening in the door far faster than you could react to swing the axe.

        Meaning if you were inside your house you would now have one very scared squirrel running around your house! That would be a mess and not a very pretty one either! IF it is sufficiently scared or feels threatened enough it might become aggressive and attack you!

        And if you were outside you would have one very quickly gone squirrel.

        No, you want to make sure the squirrel is very dead before you open the door. So you simply use a gun with 16 fpe or greater! No problem!

        • If one has gone to the effort of a “live catch” trap — why not just relocate the critter… Somewhere miles away in some forest.

          Otherwise you might as well obtain a lot of stilettos long enough to span the trap and start doing stage magic — eventually you’ll either penetrate the squirrel, or you’ll have it fenced in where it can’t move. (Or wrap the trap in a large garbage bag and tie it to the exhaust of a running car… Carbon Monoxide is supposed to be a rather “silent” death…

  9. When I was 12 I could not wait till dove season started. I wanted to get a hunting license so bad, but I had to wait till I was 16 years old. I waited till the season started so I could kill some with my Daisy 880. I would get a couple, come home clean them, and Mom would freeze them until we had enough for her dove pie. (We were not so poor we had to eat game, btw.) I never let one go to waste. I too have never shot any game without eating it. I stopped hunting squirrels when I was a teenager because I did not like eating them. 7 inch bullhead catfish, I would clean and eat, as a kid. I later learned not to keep them that small. I hope the above shows I am not above killing game, and I differ 180* from some animal hugging groups that will remain unnamed.

    I have been reading and biting my tongue for 2 days with this blog. So here goes. When does a game animal become a pest? Does shooting a game pest out of season make it legal/right? Trying hard to not sound self righteous here. I don’t know where some of the above squirrels were when they were shot or trapped and shot. If in an attic and no other way to rid him is one thing. To shoot one out of a tree or outside in a cage, that is another. Unless it was in season and was to be eaten, and the local hunting laws were followed. Many would have a fit if I were to pop a deer/quail/pheasant and let it lay, because I felt it was a pest. If it is living outside, it is not an immediate pest, let it be. imo



    • Gene,

      I’ve never killed a squirrel out of season or without a license. And I generally eat them as well. Don’t y’all look at me funny, squirrel meat is good. πŸ™‚

      • Me too Bobby. If ya cook them properly they are good, cook them wrong they get real tough real fast. Unlike a rabbits, squirrels are always moving/twitching, and their meat can be tough. That is why I stopped shooting them, back in the 70s.

        BTW, wifey’s kin folk will shoot them in the shoulder, so as not to destroy the brains. Glad I stopped eatin them before I married into the family. lol


        PS, thanks for the kind words Mr. B.

  10. Gene,

    Thanks for your comments. You’re pretty much spot on in my opinion. I’ve shot squirrel’s that were living in my attic, but never one eating from my bird feeders which they absolutely leave alone because of an electric fencer. As a kid I was outside on a summer evening with my Dad and saw a rabbit in the yard. He let me go back in the house, get my Crosman 140 and kill that bunny.

    Ok Bruce, you just killed a rabbit out of season, now go get the shovel, bury it and NEVER shoot anything that is not in season again. Thanks Dad, lesson learned.

    I shot and killed a raccoon in a Have A Heart trap for my neighbour once. Too hard to make a clean killing shot because of the cage and the movement of the animal. Lesson learned for me, in retrospect, once was one time too much for me.


  11. Im guessing you guys all live in the USA?

    Im from the UK in a place called Yorkshire (very green hilly countryside), and Ive been hunting grey squirrels for 23yrs since I was ten years old.

    I may have killed thousands in my time using airguns, the first rifle was a FWB sport in .22 and made an exelent squirrel gun accounting for many grey squirrels.

    But I have a FWB 300s universal and it produces 660 fps in .177 and this will do the job cleanly and clinical out to 25yrds.

    I now only use two guns on squirrels one is a .22 fx2000 carbine producing 11.8fpe and the other is a .177 hw100tk producing 11.8 both do the job on squirrels out to 50 yrds in still conditions producing clinical kills.

    Its not the power of the gun but the shot placement that is crucial every time, this is why many rimfire shooters will give a tale of how they shot a squirrel with a .22 lr and it ran away, this is because many .22 Lr’s are dirty guns and will struggle to beat the accuracy of a well made airgun up to 30 yrds, afterall it you shoot a grey squirrel up the arse with 100ft/ibs it will still run away.

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