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Education / Training What firearm shooters need to know about airguns

What firearm shooters need to know about airguns

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

This report is in response to what blog reader David Enoch said happened at this year’s Malvern airgun show. He said several firearm shooters attended — I assume for the first time — hoping to find out something about airguns, since firearms have recently become more difficult to shoot. That refers to the general difficulty of obtaining ammunition.

Presumably, these shooters want to know if airguns can augment their shooting experiences. That’s what I intend to address in this report.

The short answer is — YES — airguns can shoot just like firearms, but not out as far as you may want to shoot. But let’s qualify that, shall we? I shoot at a firearm range that has separate ranges for 15, 25, 50 and 100 yards. There’s a separate berm on the 100-yard range, where shooters can engage targets at 200 yards, if they desire.

The huge bulk of shooters shoot on the 15- and 25-yard ranges. Maybe 75 percent of all shooting is done there with handguns, with the slight edge going to the 15-yard range. When they come over to the 100-/200-yard range, they mostly shoot rifles, and about 99 percent of their shooting is at targets on the 100-yard berm. There’s a steel gong at 200 yards, and about 10 percent of the shooters will take a few shots at the gong after they’ve fired 25-50 rounds at 100 yards. Putting an actual paper target at 200 yards is an extremely rare occurrence at my range.

In my 65 years, I’ve shot on over 100 different ranges — both public and private — and the private range I now shoot on is very representative. I’ve been to ranges with 300-yard berms and to several that go out to 1,000 yards; and the bulk of the shooting on all of them was still done at 100 yards.

I say that to put this report into perspective. I know a lot of shooters who own super-magnum rifles such as a .300 Winchester Short Magnum and even .338 Lapua, and even they all shoot at 100 yards. They may talk about long-distance shooting and some of them may shoot long distances when they hunt; but at the range, the bulk of their shooting is at 100 yards.

Rimfire shooters
One more thing is the rimfire shooters. They’ve always been closer to airguns than those who predominantly shoot centerfires, and perhaps many more of them made the crossover years ago when air rifles started to challenge rimfires at 50 yards. But one drawback has always been in the category of repeating air rifles. While good repeating air rifles are not hard to find, they do cost a lot of money compared to, say, a Marlin model 60 or a Ruger 10-22. However, when the cost of a brick of .22 rimfire ammo tops $60, as it now does for anyone who doesn’t camp out at the local big box store, then it doesn’t seem to matter as much that a good repeating air rifle will cost $400 and up. And these repeaters will also deliver the same good groups as the single-shots, so there’s very little to complain about.

Air rifle distances
When I started writing about airguns in 1994, 50 yards was a very long distance for an air rifle. It’s still pretty far if you shoot 10-shot groups; but for 5-shot groups, 50 yards is starting to become very reasonable. One-hundred yards is the new 50-yards for accurate air rifles. That also means that distances in the field have stretched, as well.

Here in Texas, we hunt prairie dogs — ground-dwelling rodents that build mounds and dig destructive holes that can break the legs of running animals unlucky enough to step in one. Prairie dogs live in groups called towns that can have thousands of mounds and occupy hundreds of acres of territory. This territory is typically dry scrubland that doesn’t support many head of cattle, so when a dog town moves in, it represents a big loss to the rancher.

So, prairie dogs are pests of the first order. As long as the hunter can guarantee the safety of livestock and people in the surrounding area, getting permission to shoot is usually pretty easy. Imagine, if you can tell the landowner that you’re shooting something that doesn’t even carry past 500 yards! What a plus that is?

The problem in the past was that no airguns were powerful enough and accurate enough to reach out to prairie dogs; because when you get within about 100 yards of them, they get skittish. It can be done, of course, and I’ve done it. I’ve gotten as close as 25 yards to a prairie dog following a long, slow approach and an even longer wait…but that was rare. A hundred yards was much more common. And with an AirForce Condor, I had the perfect rifle to reach out those 100 yards and get the dog.

Some airgunners are using smaller-caliber big-bore guns for prairie dogs. Airgun hunter Eric Henderson has been successful with a Quackenbush .308 out to as much as 185 yards. Now, that’s some shooting!

What airguns can’t do
Airguns are not loud, nor do they recoil much. So neither of those firearm experiences can be duplicated, and that may dissuade some shooters.

And airguns are not made in the same way as certain military arms such as Garands, SMLEs or Mausers. So, if the tactile experience is what the shooter is after, there are no airguns that can give it.

Finally, an airgun isn’t a firearm, and that, by itself, bothers some shooters. For some people, it isn’t a matter of hitting the target or trigger control — it’s knowing that they’re firing a .357 magnum that defines their shooting experience. For them, only the actual firearm will deliver the goods.

But for all those shooters who just want the feeling of a good sight picture and precise trigger control, the size of the hole downrange isn’t that important. I’m in that group, so I understand that the act of doing is more important than the definition of what’s being done. For all who like to shoot for these reasons, airguns are a wonderful way to keep squeezing the trigger.

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

61 thoughts on “What firearm shooters need to know about airguns”

  1. This hit close to home completely. I have always liked firearms, but never really knew that precision ones existed until a few years ago. I thought the hundred dollar springers at Walmart were the top ones. I always had a few, but never really cared about the accuracy as I knew it left much to be desired. Then I got wind of 10 Meter pistol shooting and it opened my eyes. After setting up a regulation range in my basement, I never really looked back. My Glocks, 10/22’s and the rest of my modest, yet considerable collection collect dust now. I have shooting .454 Casulls and .50 AE pistols since I was 11 years old so I am used to power and recoil and the rush you get from that, but I have realized that what I am interested in now is accuracy and fun. Airguns have more than filled that, and now most of my airgun groups are smaller than the holes that my handguns left in the targets. My accuracy and handling has improved for whatever paper puncher I use, whether powder burner or air powered. The hardest thing now is for me to keep from selling my firearms so I can afford that Steyr LP10. I don’t know if I should thank you or blame you for that, B.B., but in either case, I am glad to say that you have been a good part of me arriving to this feeling!

    • OJ,

      Well, you just described how I came up in this hobby, as well. I was a handgun shooter — shooting .45 Colt single-actions a lot. But when I found target air pistols in the mid-1970s, everything changed. Suddenly shooting was inexpensive, quiet and safe enough to do at home.

      I continue to shoot firearms, just as a change from shooting airguns, but airguns are now my number one shooting passion.


  2. Imagine a 13 year old kid shooting a .30 cal.That was me shooting ground hogs that tore up the levies that ran along our farm fields.That gun liked to knock my shoulder off every time I fired it.But I never could get enough of it.I had precision airguns back then and my rim fire .22 also.But I just loved the explosion the .30 cal made when it impacted.I guess the way I see it now days is that I would rather take a ride in a smooth riding Caddy than a rough riding muscle car as far as guns are concerned(and yes I still prefer the muscle cars as far as cars are concerned).But it is a whole lot more fun shooting my Marauders than the heavy kicking center fires.And as far as fire makers is concerned I like my .17hmr.Its another smooth shooter.And it is a precise shooter.But cost and availability of pellets and the accuracy of the air rifles is a big benefit.

  3. I’ve always had a pellet gun or 2 and firearms since I was a kid in the 60’s. Ammo has never been a problem until this last 5 years. I reload, so it’s not as big of a problem for me as it is for some, but it’s still a problem. I’ve always loved the big bang, the recoil, the power and the feel when shooting pb’s. Really re-discovering airguns and finding this blog, which showed me so much more than just the Crosman or Daisy aspect and the next level pellets that are available really opened my eyes to the great fun that airguns can be! All guns, pb’s, ml’s and air or gas are functional tools taken to an art form that I can’t seem to get enough of.


  4. I was always just a “centerfire” guy until last year when I got a rimfire rifle so that I could plink away to my heart’s content with cheaper ammo. That didn’t work out too well now did it? I was actually searching for some rimfire accessories on the PA website when I stumbled onto this blog and my eyes got opened to airguns again. Since 99.9 percent of my range time is spent at 25 to 100 yards anyway, it just made sense to get involved with airguns once I learned how versatile they have become. What I’m trying to say here is that your blog describes exactly my journey into the airgun experience. Thanks for all the great info you provide here.

      • Yes, B.B., I am the proud owner of a Bronco now and enjoying it very much. Funny thing, I find myself compelled to put up paper targets and shoot 10 closely bunched holes in them. Do you know where I might have gotten the idea to do that? Regards, Jim H.

      • My wife and I travel full-time in our motorhome and I can relate to those who have posted about having to live far from a shooting facility. It’s hard to find suitable places to shoot firearms when on the road or if you don’t live close to a good range. So, in my case, airguns also offer the chance to exercise my love of shooting in many places that we visit where a firearm could cause safety concerns.

          • It is only foreign the first time you go to a range if that is what you mean. Have found some great places just by asking the locals or doing some Internet searching. Even did a volunteer stint at Clark County Shooting Park in North Las Vegas. Now that was awesome since it had just opened up. Talk about a kid in a candy store experience.

  5. Everyone’s experiences are different. I have always had my own range to shoot at. At present I have a 200 yard range , and with some improvising can shoot to 400. I grew up right next door to a rural gunsmith, with a busy gunshop, so I was spoiled with availability of firearms , as my old man was a collector and shooter. He hunted pheasants and grouse, but was more of a shooter than hunter, compared to me. I killed more deer last season than he did in his whole 80 some years. He had an interest in airguns so that is where it started for me, although like most of my friends, we quickly gravitated to .22’s and shotguns as soon as we were old enough to hunt. Now I shoot mostly airguns as it is a couple hour drive to get to our range and I really just like to shoot , even if it is just a BBgun. I can shoot to 50 yards here and 50 ft in the basement. I have a regulation Devin biathlon target and their scaled down airgun model for the basement.I also realized that small game hunting for me can be handled with a good air rifle . Small game here in the east means squirrel, and 40 yards is a long shot in these little woodlots. In a landscape dominated by 5-10 acre mini estates, a .22 RF is even dangerous shot up into the air without a backstop. When I see posts on the forums that talk of 50 or 75 yard shots on squirrels I know better. As BB said above, right now 10 shot groups at 100 , even with great equipment, would result in a 7 out of ten average. With the three being misses or wounders on game. Airgunning is a wonderful hobby but as BG Farmer put it to me yesterday , I still want it to be a choice. What I hope this ammo shortage does is not make more air gunners, although that would be good, but wakes up the fudds as I call them. Wakes them up to see how their rights are being eroded. We should also keep in mind that airguns in the eyes of the progressives are just as evil to them as firearms and easier really to ban. This is being attempted in California as I write this.

  6. As a recent convert myself I think one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in making the transition is being able to live with a lower quality ‘experience.’ Not to ruffle any feathers, but part of the enjoyment of burning powder is handling an ingeniously designed and well built piece of equipment. Alot of the shooters I know appreciate firearms not only for the bang but for the aesthetic as well. When I mention airgunning to them as an economical alternative they’re interested because it appeals to the miser in all of us, but when they discover that a good quality gun runs as much as or more than their favorite firearm it becomes less appealing, moreso when they discover most airguns can’t be worked on to correct things like lousy triggers, etc. And while the ability to shoot in your backyard and avoid a trip to the range is a great attractant, it’s not always legal in some areas.
    Please don’t take this the wrong way-I for one have happily dived in and am enjoying it immensly, blowing huge wads of cash much to the wife’s chagrin. Heck I’ve even learned to enjoy bb shooters due to some excellent advice from Matt61.
    When (if) guns/gear/ammo prices return to more “normal” levels, I wonder how many who’ve adopted airgunning recently will stick with it.

    • I don’t know if it counts since I started out with airguns at 8 years old, but I have wandered away from it for a good few years. I got back into airguns out of necessity around 2005. Since then I’ve sunk thousands of dollars into airguns. Some are innovative for what they were. Some are what I’d consider a collector item. Others are serious hunting guns. I have all kinds of money sunk into my condor now making it into what I consider the perfect airgun. Even if Ammo once again becomes plentiful for things like my AK47 I’ll be sticking to my condor since it’s quiet, very accurate, and has all the range I need for my hunting duties. Plus pellets are plentiful and cheap. All I want for now is a high pressure pump that I can use easier. I hear crosman is working on that.

  7. dangerdongle,

    What an interesting perspective! Airguns are attractive for their economy, but the economy airguns are not equal to most firearms. Yet, when you have to pay as much for a good airgun as for a good firearm, it looses some of its attractiveness.

    I agree that economy was a major driver when I came back to airguns in the mid-1970s. But safety was even more so. I was hunting in Germany every weekend from May 15 through Dec 31 (the German hunting season), but I still didn’t get to shoot as much as I wanted. I got to shoot some in my job in a tank battalion, but that was always with heavy machine guns and M16s — not with the stuff I wanted to shoot. Airguns opened that possibility for me.

    I still consider the cost of new airguns today, even though I have more disposable income, but I suppose that now I know exactly what to expect from them. Now it is the new firearms that I’m leery of. A reversal due to my current job as an airgun tester.



    • I would argue that some economy airguns of the past are equal in workmanship to many of today’s RF guns. The Sheridans, Benjamins, and Crosman 160’s,400’s and 150 and Mark 1 and 2 pistols to name a couple. That is another aspect of this hobby that appeals to me, as I like to buy a relic that might be regarded by many firearms shooters as junk, and restore it. In fact the worse it is , the better, because it is more of a challenge. The best part is I can buy and sell such things without the paper trail that firearms transactions require. When they were cheap and plentiful In the recent past, the appeal of the Chinese guns was the tinker part of me they inspired . But having said that, I still have yet to trade or sell a firearm to purchase a airgun. I think that many firearms shooters would be hesitant to do so.

      • True. I like my airguns, but no way I would or could get rid of my firearms just to buy an airgun. Of course I’m also not known for giving up an airgun either. Last time I traded one I got it back again in another trade and it was totally ruined inside to the point I have to put big bucks into replacing all it’s guts. The friend I traded it to took it to an old biker guy who had no idea what he was doing to get my already tuned gun tuned some more. The guy actually un-tuned it and screwed it up so bad it’s hardly worth rebuilding. But the gun has sentimental value so I’ll fix it.

        • Howdy John, Geez, coulda told your friend that was not gonna turn out well. Over here in the biker world we have a sayin’ when wrenchin’ on your sled, never force it, just git a bigger hammer!?! Shoot/ride safe,

          • The guy doesn’t listen. I told him I had tuned it to perfection. It was every bit as hard hitting as a Marauder without the shroud. But he decided that wasn’t good enough. Now it’s about as good as a pcp red ryder. He knows I’m mad at him for trashing all my work on that gun too.

            • O.M.G. John, Stop! Please! You’re scarin’ me! A guy who doesn’t listen!?! Next you’re gonna tell me that not everything I read on the internet is true! B.t.w. a pcp red ryder? Is that made by Kawayamdazuki?

              • It used to be a nice tuned Discovery. But after my friend had it “tuned” by someone that had no idea what they were doing, it’s just about as dangerous as a red ryder now.

                • No worries, just make sure ya wear a helmet when ya shoot it, can’t get hurt with a helmet on, ya know!?! Gonna go take a nap now, sharing all this worldly wisdom has just plum tuckered me out.

    • The cost of firearms ammo is making quality airguns look cheaper. If you add the price of 500 rounds to just about any centerfire you will have enough money to afford a quality airgun that can be shot cheaply. I think that the price of ammo is the key change for now. That is an argument that rang true with several guys I talked to at the show.

      David Enoch

    • I knew the irony wouldn’t be lost on you. : )
      I have a very good friend from Austria who paints such a glowing picture of the place I’ve always thought I might like to move there…or at least visit for an extended vacation.
      But with a hunting season like that? I’d better start learning the language!

  8. Much the same experience as most I guess.
    The pro’s of firearms are the ranges I like to shoot at, and the ‘bang’ (yup, the ‘bang’ counts for something).
    I had an experience this weekend that was a perfect example.
    Was at the range with my Savage .22WMR and finally decided I was going to really stretch it’s legs. I’ve gotten her down to a consistent 1.25MOA (which is considered good for this cartridge) at 100m. I decided to set a target on the 200m board and see how it would do.
    A slight full value wind coming from my left. I figured my elevation from my cheat sheet (14 clicks) and my windage (5 clicks).
    The first shot was within 1.5″ of dead centre and the following 4 shots made a nice cluster just under 3″.
    To tell the truth I was like a kid in a candy shop…the fact that it was so easy to do (apart from all the reading and videos I’ve been watching on sniper technique) was very satisfying.
    And yet…I can hardly wait for the Challenger LGV to show up. Because there’s also something very appealing to not have to drive 45 minutes to the range to get some trigger time in.
    A place for both.

  9. For me, it’s the process more than the equipment. I just like to shoot. Over the years, I’ve collected and competed with a fairly wide variety of firearms in an equally wide variety of shooting disciplines. In every instance, I have had to drive for nearly an hour each direction to get to the range. Once there, I often had to wait for a shooting position to open, deal with the heat, the bugs, the wind, etc. When I got home, there were guns to clean, bullets to cast and reloading to be done in order to prepare for the next outing. Oh… and all of this cost money.

    About seven years ago, I built a new house that included a thousand sq. ft. photo studio for my business. For years leading up to that, I had played with the idea of including a pistol range in the new house. Once it came down to actually making it happen, it soon became clear that my dream was fading away. Enter airguns. I found this blog about that time, and quickly realized that I could still have an indoor range of my own, where I could shoot every day. The rest, as they say, is history. What started out as a compromise has become a preference. Even though I still have quite a few firearms, it’s been about a year since I visited a firing range. I have even sold a couple of firearms recently to reinvest money in quality airguns that I would shoot more often. The last time I did go to the range, I took a couple of airguns with me, so I could shoot them side-by-side with firearms. Let’s just say that the crowd of people who were lined up behind me were pretty impressed with what I was doing and the equipment that I was using. I should probably mention at this point that even after a year of absence from the range, I was able to shoot surprisingly well with my firearms, due in no small part to regular trigger time with airguns.

    At this point, the thing that surprises me the most about airguns is how little most firearms shooters know about them. Almost to a person, the people that I end up inviting to shoot at my home think that modern airguns are well represented by the offerings that they find at the local big box store. Once they fire off a few rounds through my HW97k, HW30s, AR 2078, or even the steel frame IZH61, their opinions start to change in a big way. Reading this blog is a good way to whet interest in the current state of airguns, and attending an airgun show is a great next step, where it is possible. However, I maintain that the very best way to make airgun converts from the firearms crowd is to put them behind the trigger. Invite them to shoot a high quality airgun, and show them how to do it the right way. They won’t all get as excited as I do, but a pretty good percentage will. The shooter friends with whom I have shared my airguns have all recognized that I was doing them a favor.

  10. Howdy Mr. BB, Ms. Edith & the Gang, Things that shake, rattle, roll & rumble i.e. V-8’s & V-twins & things that go bang or poof, have always been a part of my world. Powder burners were always a means to an end, namely, dinner. Paper & clay didn’t make for very good eatin’ so never went to a range. Which had alot ta do with my lack of interest in shootin’ & the fact that I sucked. Couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn if I was standin’ in it. When the stock on my old bb gun finally gave out, I went lookin’ for a replacement & found they ran about 10x more that the gun cost new. Talked to a few “experts” who told me I’d best sell it as is. With my new found “wealth”, went lookin’ for a replacement, discovered PA & decided on a .177 gas-spring breaker. Ignorance = Right reasons, Wrong gun. Thing is crankier than my 4th wife! Searchin’ for answers for why my old spray & pray bb gun was more accurate than my new “Mr. Nasty”, I discoverd this blog & that the only thing wrong with any of the guns I’ve ever owned was…me! When I started my “journey” a couple years ago, a 1 shot, 8.5×11 inch group @ 25 yards was a major accomplishment. After a couple years of practice, practice, practice on my Jr. Sniper indoor range & readin’ every word ever written on this blog, I put 10 in .237 w/Mr. Nasty last week. Bottom line, thanx to every one of you, I’ve gone from ready, fire, aim to learnin’ the art & science of accuracy & precision. What a rush! I can now out shoot my gun. Time ta step up/reward me. My TX w/Hawke scope (thanx Mr. BB) will be ordered next week. “What a long strange trip it’s been”. To Mr. BB, Ms. Edith & any one who ever posted a single word here, THANX!!! Thoughts & prayers for the Mac Daddy & Mr. BB’s back. Shoot/ride safe.

      • Howdy Fred D., Thanx sir, at our age it don’t take much, huh, bud!?! But, trust me, when Brown delivers, you’ll hear me screamin’ like a little girl, clear over there in the DPRoNJ! Shoot/ride safe,

      • Howdy Ms. Edith, Thanx for the response, I’m honored. Big favor, please? You have my personal email, could you send me yours or Mr. BB’s? Feelin’ a special bondin’ moment & wanna let you 2 in on a very well kept secret. No, I do not play center in the NBA!?! If it’s against policy to deal directly w/us great unwashed, I understand.

  11. I’m of many separate minds on guns. air guns, specifically my condor, give me all the punch of my Marlin without the expense and I have discovered has just a touch less recoil. It gives me all the accuracy as well. But what it doesn’t give me is a quick follow up shot. If I miss for that unpredictable reason, I might have to sit behind the gun for a while waiting for another shot. With my Marlin 60 I have an instant follow up that will likely do the trick. In fact I can easily put what sounds and acts like sustained full auto suppression fire down on a target. Rarely helps but it makes me feel better when my inner psycho needs to come out. If I am serious about taking out a pest the AK47 comes out which enables me to reach and touch a pest that might have just dove under water. Plenty of punch and little recoil. But sometimes that just doesn’t make me happy. Sometimes i feel a need to punch a hole in the universe and shred a muskrat that is really getting on my nerves. That’s when I pull out my biggest gun. My Mossberg 100ATR bolt action rifle. That thing kicks like an angry mule but when I absolutely need to put a hole in a pest with extreme prejudice, that gun makes me extremely happy. At $1.50 a shot I don’t use that gun much. So it all really depends on my mood just how much I want to kill something and how much I want to spend to do it. Most of the time it will be two guns on my shoulder. My condor and my Marlin.

  12. When I fired my first projectile it was from a .177 Daisy I had when I was 8 that my father purchased, so I actually fired a air gun before a firearm, but the same principles apply with the exception of maybe piston powered air rifles. My first experience firing a firearm for any professional purpose was the M16A2, but it has similar fundamentals: Breathing control, sight picture, knowledge of 5.56 ballistics, and of course trigger control and hold. I own guns and air guns I find they supplement each other well in my experience as .22 rimfire and most centerfire cartridges are at a premium in price and/or are extremely hard to find with all the controversies going on. Pellets and bb’s are easy to find, acquire, and accurate within their respective range. I say to firearm enthusiasts like my Army Guard buddies get one, most thought air gun means bb gun, until after showing them my Benjamin Marauder .25, in coming times I see air guns getting more popular. Keep shooting!

  13. B.B.,
    I don’t have any comment about this week’s blog, but in reading it I was just thinking how much I enjoy them. Just wanted to thank you for your immense contribution to the airgun science and sport.

  14. BB,
    Another good one. If people can get their “Dirty Harry” complexes under control and realize that everything scales and each has its proper place, airguns can be just another facet of “shooting”. I don’t consider myself a “serious airgunner” (in the YF sense or owning a chrony), but I probably shoot airguns more often than many “serious airgunners”.

    • john,

      Read a comment from Chip at Crosman just a week or so ago about this very question. His answer (from the proverbial horses mouth) was a resounding NO. The Rogue is just catching up on production and should be back on the shelves soon.


      • I noticed Pyramyd air doesn’t seem to carry them any more and I couldn’t find them on the crosman site. So I wondered if they decided to cancel production. Thanks for the info.

  15. Airguns are not loud, nor do they recoil much. So neither of those firearm experiences can be duplicated, and that may dissuade some shooters.

    Well… We’ve got CO2 blowback pistols… Maybe it’s time for someone to create a repeating pellet rifle that emulates some popular .22 rimfire semi-auto (the Ruger or Marlin models you mention).

    Granted, we’d probably want it to run off high pressure air to retain the range/power so the pest-removal just subs the airgun for the rimfire.

    • Crosman already kind of did that many years ago. It’s the 1077. They still sell them relatively cheap. I think they are around $50. But if you want to get anywhere near rimfire .22 with a air gun the Airforce Condor is your best bet. It’s not a repeater but with that gun one shot is all you need anyway unless the pest does something you do not expect. It does happen. If that happens and you miss you likely won’t get another shot at the pest for a while. Plenty of time to reload a condor. If you want a repeater they have the Hatsan Galatian and Crosman marauder are both decent guns. I prefer Marauder since I like U.S. companies over foreign companies

      • You’ve tried the Galatian? I have the Hatsan AT-44, with sub 1/4 inch groups I’m really happy with it and was wondering about the Galatian.
        I think my favorite is the Galatian III, sadly I don’t thinl the carbine with it’s shrouded barrel will be available here 🙁


        • Haven’t tried it but I looked at the specs. Looks like a good gun based on what I know of Hatsan products. All pcp guns are pretty much the same as far as they all use high pressure air, all are fairly powerful, and accurate. A comment was made about wanting an airgun like a marlin 60 or Ruger 10/22 so I tried to help with a few good recommendations that would do the job. My personal favorites if I need to do what a .22 rimfire does with an airgun my condor is the gun to grab.

          • Not all PCP’s are created equal. I tought you had given it a try. I hope BB gets one to try.
            They come in nice packages with hard plastic case, scope, some even have bipods.
            I’m not sure where to go for my next PCP, the Hatsan P2, the Galatian or a Brocock carbine or something I haven’t heard of yet?


            • I just saw the Galatian not too long ago in the new products area. Hatsan has decent guns. I’ll be waiting to see that gun reviewed. Not likely I’ll ever buy one myself but it looks good.

              • If you haven’t seen the the new stuff coming out for 2013 you need to take a look at this!

                I’m VERY interested in the AT-P2, the BT-65 is the one with the bipod but the Galatian does come with a hard case.
                Hatsan line of springers is crap, they seem to be all velocity and no accuracy but from the PCP I have and the people I know who bought one, from the sub 500 fps to the full powered one and everything in between, I think they’re suprisingly good!


                • Very nice looking guns with plenty of power. I bet thise would fill the bill for those that want a .22 LR function without the gun being an actual .22LR like the Marlin 60 which I do not really think has any appreciable recoil anyway. But as far as airguns go I’m pretty sold on Airforce guns and looking at the Condor SS as my next serious investment.

  16. Being in law enforcement sometimes i just get the urge to shoot without the bang or recoil but nothing beats the feeling of dispatching small and mid size game with clean shots top of with open sights at 50yards plus.

    • Ever use the airforce rifles for animal/pest control? Airforce says their airguns have been deployed by law enforcement and on military bases in the middle east for rat control. I’m curious if you have heard anything about these being used?

  17. I started out shooting both precision air-guns and precision firearms. From my perspective, if the accuracy is there, then it’s all about execution. Having said that, if you’re into perfecting shot execution (the fundamentals), then a lot of airguns will deliver, even some of the cheaper ones (under $300).

    Shooting an airgun well between 10 and 25 yards requires at least as much talent as any firearm. Beyond that, the heavier projectile wins, but that’s because of reasons that go way beyond shot execution. But if you can’t shoot pinwheels at 25 yards, then it only gets worse the further out you go.

    The “bang” factor is a big deal for some, and for others it’s everything. I don’t really care about the bang. I just care about getting the shot off as close to perfect as I humanly can.


  18. BB you definitely need (and deserve) your own forum. (hint *vbulletin* hint) That way questions like the following wouldn’t seem so out of place….
    I’ve noticed a lot of the Beeman branded pellets are actually made by H&N, but priced a bit less. Are these seconds, or are they the same quality simply rebranded?

    • dangerdongle,

      Rebranded? Who do you think makes pellets for Beeman?

      Beeman is not a manufacturer. Never has been. Think of what they sell as what Sears sells. Kenmore is a house brand, but Kenmore doesn’t actually build appliances. They contract with Maytag and GE for their various models, just as Beeman contracts with H&N to make most of their pellets.

      As for the pricing, Beeman follows a very conservative conventional model. Establish a premium brand name and then charge more for everything you put the name on. When General Motors sold Oldsmobiles with Pontiac engines i the 1970s they were doing that. The engines were the same specification, they just charged less for them under the Pontiac name. Of course that was a famous case where the general public wasn’t familiar with the practice and it blew up in GM’s face when owners took them to court over it.

      The H&N pellets and Beeman pellets are identical except for packaging and pricing. That’s why I have used Beeman Kodiaks and H&N Baracudas interchangeably for the past 20 years, and have said so in many of my articles.


  19. Speaking of target practice today I got a surprise I didn’t expect. I took out my M417 out of the box finally pumped it up to 10 shots and took a shot at a target at the end of the hall. My sights were a bit off and I was a bit high and hit the closet door. I wasn’t expecting the pellet to go through the door and hit the wall in the back of the closet and go through that. It was a predator polymag I fired. Who knew a 650 fps gun could do that kind of damage! Makes me wonder what the MK-177 can do. Now I have to patch a hole in both sides of the door and the drywall in the closet. Not a big deal but it was a surprise. If you need a close up and personal squirrel gun that combination might be pretty good.

  20. BB, got another question: You ever heard of using a solid pellet in an airgun. A bullet, I guess would be the correct term. Considering an airgun tends to shoot like lower velocity black powder (usually subsonic, I assume), maybe use something like a Minnie-ball shot. Know anything about this, how it works, how it doesn’t work, is it worthwhile or even a good idea? Jp

    • Jp,

      Oh, yes — I have indeed tried solid “pellets.” You are correct that I call them bullets, because that is what they are. They aren’t very successful, and tomorrow I will tell you why.

      Thanks for the blog suggestion.


  21. What still gets me excited about firearms and air guns is how well they will last through time.It is one of the few products being produced today that is engineered to last.Just think about picking up a air rifle or fire arm that was produced 20,30,40 or even 50 yrs ago.And going to the range and shooting it tomorrow.If the gun had been cared for through time it is still probably shooting like it use to.The thing that I have seen evolve through time of the air guns is that they always seem to be on the cutting edge of technology.If anybody ever took apart a Discovery they will see how over engineered they are for 2000 psi.Heck I ordered from Crosman the components from the Discovery to replace the stuff in my .22 cal Marauder Pistol.Its steel and has multiple o-rings.And also no more slow leaks from the M-rod pistol anymore(cant stand that).But I guess one of the things about the air rifles of today is.Time keeps going on.And the airguns of today may just be the turning point of what will be in the future.Whats going to happen when only certain people will be able to get anything that includes a burning powder.I guess if more people really took the time to explore something new and had the opportunity of it placed in front of them.Some would be excited,some would be glad for the opportunity,others would just think it was another thing.Maybe somebody should tour the country and put on exhibitions and allow the people to try it.I remember when I was a kid and the towns around where I lived would have the town picnics and rides and games.I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the BB guns that you shot the stars out with(do they still do that?).Anyway whatever it may be;BB’s,pellets,22’s,M1’s,Ak’s or so on if you do it safe and you are having fun then that’s what its all about.And remember whatever you buy today will be new and 30 yrs. from now you can only hope it to be as new as it was.(from the band White snake was that I believe that sang this song —So here we go again)

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