by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• Pellet guns versus rimfires
• The Talon SS
• The Ruger 10/22
• Why this test?
• Time to test the airgun and the rimfire
• The plan
• The point
Pellet guns versus rimfires
Today, I’ll begin a report that I’ve wanted to write for many years. How does a pellet rifle stack up against a popular rimfire? When I say, “stack up,” I’m referring to accuracy. The rimfire is still more powerful.
I’ve written many times that a good pellet rifle will bury a rimfire at 50 yards on a calm day. Now, it’s time to find out if that’s correct. Or can a rimfire hold its own?
I’m structuring this test my way, which may not seem fair to you. But I’ll describe what I’m doing, and at least you’ll understand what’s going on.
The Talon SS
For the air rifle, I’ll use the Talon SS. The one I’ll use is my pre-production air rifle, which was made before the gun came on the market in 2001. I’m using it with an optional 24-inch .22-caliber Lothar Walther barrel, because that’s the way I like to shoot it. All the gun parts are original AirForce. Although my model is now obsolete (the Talon SS has been upgraded a couple times since my rifle was made), you can still buy essentially the same gun today. The one aftermarket part on the gun other than the scope is the bloop tube frame extender that acts as a silencer. It does nothing to help the accuracy, but I like how quiet the rifle is with it mounted, so that’s how I leave it.
My Talon SS has an optional 24-inch Lothar Walther barrel in .22 caliber, and a frame extender that muffles the report. It’s been my go-to PCP for many years.
The scope is a vintage Leapers 4-16X50 that’s mounted in 2-piece BKL high rings. I’ve tried to keep the same scope on the rifle over the years, but various tests of both the rifle and other guns that needed scopes sometimes disrupts my plans. So, I find myself sighting-in this go-to air rifle a lot.
The Ruger 10/22
I’m shooting a standard Ruger 10/22, though this one happens to be the deluxe Sporter model that comes with a checkered walnut stock. That adds 50 percent to the price of the rifle over the standard model with its plain beech stock. Other than that, they’re identical. This is a 10-shot semiautomatic rifle chambered for the .22 long rifle cartridge. I got it in a trade last year and discovered that it is unusually accurate. That’s why I want to do this test now! But why do it at all?
This Ruger 10/22 Sporter is just the standard rifle in a nicer walnut stock.
Why this test?
As a gun writer, I’ve always tried to poke holes in conventional wisdom. If somebody says something is possible, I want to find out if it’s true. Sometimes, it is — and other times, it isn’t. Either way, I learn something in the process of investigating.
My buddy, Mac, had told me that his Ruger 10/22 was a “real tackdriver” for several years, so we finally went to the range to see just how good it was. It turned out that his rifle was very accurate, though I didn’t get to test it the same way I test guns today. But at 50 yards, it shot groups that were pleasantly small.
But Mac’s rifle wasn’t stock. He’d had the chamber machined to target specifications, the bolt was re-headspaced, the trigger had been lightened and several other things were done to improve the overall operation. The price of Mac’s gun was about double what a new 10/22 standard sold for at the time.
From my experience with Mac’s rifle, I was bitten by the 10/22 bug and did the same things to my own rifle. Then, I embarked on a 5-part series in Shotgun News that was titled, “What can you do with a 10/22?” I first tested the rifle exactly as it came from the factory, then I tested it after having the same modifications as Mac’s rifle. Then, I installed a bull barrel from Butler Creek and a custom target stock and tested it, again. For all these tests, I shot 10-shot groups at 50 yards — lots of them!
I bought the most expensive target ammo I could find (it was $10 for 50 rounds, back when a standard box of 50 .22 LR sold for $2), and I also tested every other .22 long rifle cartridge I could lay my hands on. CCI even donated several bricks of ammo for this test that spanned several years.
I even acquired a Ruger 10/22 Target model and tested it against both the standard and the modified rifles. This test was thorough! And here’s what I discovered: In all my shooting, I never got 10 rounds to group smaller than a half inch at 50 yards. I read in the shooting forums where guys bragged about the accuracy of their 10/22s, but nothing I shot ever came close to those stories. By the time I was done, I thought I’d laid the 10/22 myth to rest. That all happened many years ago.
Then, last year, I acquired the Sporter model 10/22 I mentioned and pictured above. I took it to the range to see how well it would shoot and was startled by a 50-yard 10-shot group that measured less than an inch. And that one was shot with open sights! So, I mounted a good vintage Weaver V9 scope with a fine crosshair and parallax correction down to 50 yards, and returned to the range. This time, I got a group that measured less than three-quarters of an inch. And this was with a box-stock rifle that still has a creepy 6-lb. trigger-pull!
Time to test the airgun and the rimfire
The success of this new rifle reminded me of the test I always wanted to do between a Talon SS and a 10/22. Mac had sold his rifle by the time I dreamed up the test, and my standard rifle didn’t stand a chance against the airgun. Even with all its modifications, the best it can do at 50 yards is put 10 rounds into about an inch. And when when I install the bull barrel and the target stock, the best I can do with 10 shots is still larger than a half inch.
I sold the 10/22 Target model several years ago, thinking I was done testing Rugers. But this new deluxe model just happened to have a very accurate factory barrel. So, this week I went to the range to begin the test. The poor Talon SS is still in the closet, but I’ve shot it enough over the years to know it can do its job when the time comes. This week, I just wanted to see how well the new Ruger could do. I wasn’t even going to start the test yet, but as you will see, the results changed my mind.
The first group was 10 Aguila High Speed rounds that landed in 1.52 inches. Not a very good beginning!
Ten Aguila high speed hollowpoints went into 1.52 inches at 50 yards.
Next up were 10 match rounds from the German firm of SK. I picked up a couple bricks (500 rounds/brick) of these last year but don’t really know much about them — other than they were very pricey! Ten went into 0.957 inches. That was more like it!
Ten German SK Match rounds made this 0.957-inch group at 50 yards. This is more representative of what this Sporter 10/22 can do.
The last rounds in my range box this week were some fresh CCI standard speed cartridges that I just received from Midway USA. They printed higher on the target and I couldn’t see them through the rifle’s scope because they were inside the bull. When I went down range to collect the target, though, I saw a very small group.
Ten CCI standard speed rounds went into 0.69 inches at 50 yards. This is incredible. No other factory 10/22 I’ve ever shot could do this.
Ten rounds had gone into 0.69 inches at 50 yards. While I’ve shot smaller 10-shot groups at 50 yards with 10/22s, they were shot with highly modified guns. This one is box-stock! Finally, I’ve found an over-the-counter 10/22 that has a good chance against a Talon SS!
So, here’s my plan. I will take both the Talon SS and this 10/22 to the range several more times and shoot as many good 10-shot groups as I can. Even as good as it is, the Talon SS will shoot a larger group now and then, so I want to give it just as much chance to shine as the Ruger. I’ll save the 3 best groups from each rifle and present the findings here. When I make that report, I’ll tell you how many total groups each rifle fired to get the best 3.
What I’m trying to do in this test is see if what I’ve been writing for many years is correct — that a precision adult air rifle can beat a standard .22 rimfire rifle at 50 yards on a good day. There are many suppositions in my approach. You can argue that the Talon SS is not the most accurate PCP available, and I can’t disagree. If you don’t limit your budget, there are probably several PCPs that can shoot even better. I’m choosing the Talon SS because I think it represents the best value in an accurate PCP for an affordable price.
You can argue that a 10/22 is not the most accurate .22 rimfire. Again, I would agree. I chose it because it’s so universally popular here in the U.S., and also because so many claims for its accuracy have abounded over the years. Sure, there are target rifles from Anschütz and Walther than can do much better! I have a vintage Remington model 37 Rangemaster that’s far more accurate. But it’s a $2,250 rifle! As with the Talon SS, I’m trying to keep the cost of the rimfire rifle within reason.
You can point out that the Talon SS costs a lot more than the Ruger, and you will get no argument from me. But for a PCP, the Talon SS represents a great value. And, from my experience with the 24-inch barrel, I know what it can do. Once the rifle’s been purchased (and, yes, all the support equipment that goes with it), I can get the ammo for a lot less money and it’s always available. The same cannot be said for the Ruger.
The one thing that’s unbalanced about my test is that all Talon SS rifles are pretty much equally accurate, but all Ruger 10/22s aren’t. In fact, I’ve waited for many years to find one that’s up to this challenge. So, maybe my little test doesn’t prove anything. The rimfire guys will not be convinced, and the airgunners will say they knew the outcome all along. That doesn’t matter. Because I’m not just going to talk about it. I’m going to do it.
157 thoughts on “Talon SS versus Ruger 10/22: Part 1”
“I can get the ammo for a lot less money and it’s always available. The same cannot be said for the Ruger.”
I do have to credit the Great Ammo Shortage of recent years for one thing, at least: it was one of several things that gloriously conspired to open my eyes to airgunnery and Airsoft gunnery. All else may be irritation and annoyance, but that part was all win. 🙂
I believe you’re right about the ammo shortage send firearms shooters in the direction of more readily accessible airguns & ammo.
I’m glad I was already here!
And B.B., as to the ammo expense and self-sustainability question, I’d love to see you do a series on home pellet casting…
I vote for that, too… So I can tell my wife why I am keeping all that lead collected from the target trap.
There is pellet swaging equipment available , as well as a couple moulds available from the UK , but they aren’t practical for most airguns. The biggest problem is trying to cast a perfect small lead projectile in calibers under .25. I have a bullet mould for meant for the .22 Hornet and you can always get a jacketed bullet to shoot better with reduced loads, or any handload for that matter. I made a die similar to one BB blogged about to make .25 cal pellets of a concave based semi-wad cutter shaped pellet out of a .22 cal Gamo round ball that gave only fair results out of my BSA .25 Supersport. If we could get a airgun barrel rifled ,or smooth bore sized to handle a RB with accuracy, in .25-.30 cal, or even 6-7mm(.26-28 cal maybe), then you COULD cast a RB for airgun suitable for 25-30 yard foraging without much trouble. We do it for ML’s all the time. I have an old Crosman 120 which had a rifled barrel at one time , but was rusted out after spending about 25 years in a greenhouse where it’s previous owner kept it. I restored it and polished out the bore, and it will shoot the Gamo .22 cal RB as well as my Benji LE will to twenty yards ,and is more powerful than the LE.
To ammend and clarify my reply abve: My Benji LE that I was comparing the accuracy to my Crosman 120 shot with the Gamo .22 RB , was shot with .22 cal pellets it likes. That LE is a very accurate MSP too.
Thank you for taking the time to explain why pellet casting isn’t a good idea!
Thanks for the intel Robert. It doesn’t seem surprising that there may be a strong relationship between how large the resultant projectile is and how easy it is to cast it with the necessary precision.
I probably should have specified that my thinking was primarily for casting for .25 caliber, and specifically for an AirForce PCP (TalonP, at the moment). In the end I’m not specifically wedded to diabolo pellets, either; just to a repeatable design that is both “accurate enough” and “terminally performant enough” to serve if I can no longer supply with over-the-counter ammo.
It sounds like I can read up on at least one report B.B. has already done, and learn more, and I’m happy to do that. I also value hearing about others’ experiences as well, and I appreciate your sharing this here. 🙂
You may be able to get away with a more bullet-shaped projectile in you AF gun. They make some good power. If you can get the proper speed to match your twist-rate you should be able to get some decent groups after culling any faults but I’d leave the Diabolo’s to the manufacturers. And I have long been an advocate of the good ole round-ball.
BB& Kevin W.: you are welcome. BTW, Kevin I noticed that many talon shooters were using cast bullets designedoriginally for the .25-20 rifle cartridge in re-barreled Airforce guns, and reported some amazing results on the forums.
Thanks for the additional information about barrel swapping to math rounds that are readily available!My guess is they traded for faster twist rates?
I don’t know if I’ll be as interested when I can afford it but I’m looking at the Hatsan Carnivores in medium bores, I know I have the option of going up to .25 with my 2400 and having it baffled via shroud for a couple 100 dollar bills. This is gonna be interesting!
(match^) not math
As it happens, I have a mold for a 65-grain 25-20 bullet. Maybe I will give it a try.
If y0u really mean pellets, I con’t do it because they cannot be cast successfully. If you also mean bullets, I have done that already.
Thanks B.B.; I’ll study up on that a bit.
Please forgive me if the answer is in there somehwere, but here’s the specific endpoint to my original question: is it possible to cast and shoot bullets for an airgun–in my case an AirForce TalonP?
I already have some understanding of the process for making bullets for firearms; I’m just wanting to know if an airgun designed for diabolo pellets could be adapted to use bullets instead–what might the effect be on safety, accuracy, and other expectations of performance.
You can certainly cast bullets for big bore airguns with great success. I do it.
But not so smallbores. At least not yet. People keep trying but nobody has succeeded in making a successful mold for a smallbore pellet/bullet yet.
The walnut stock IMO is much more desirable than the standard base model that I have never liked. I find the Sporter model to be a better shooter, whether this is all in my head, something to do with the lack of a barrel band, or the way the gun fits in the stock I don’t know.
I have found that many times, removing the barrel band will improve accuracy on a 10/22 carbine.
I’ve been wanting to see an airgun vs rimfire test for a while so I can show my buddies there are other things beside backyard target practice and plinking to do with these neighborhood friendly tools. Of course most’ll be looking at the power level spread but the accuracy spread should turn a true shooter’s head, especially for close range pests.
Excellent choice B.B!
That is why I am doing this. You will see that not everyone agrees with this approach, but I’m still going to do it.
They’ll get over it!
Thanks for standing your ground!
“That adds 50 percent to the price of the rifle over the standard model with its plain beech stock. Other than tat, they’re identical.”
Just picking nits, but there is a typo in that sentence. It should be “Other than that, they’re identical.”
I am glad you found a good shooting 10/22. I agree with you that 10/22’s in general aren’t very accurate. This might sound backwards but that is one of the things I like about them. I like that some one with no prior fire arm experience can hone their skills sharp enough to shoot better than the rifle can relatively quickly. Improving the accuracy of the rifle as marksmanship skill improves makes the whole experience much more rewarding. Also there is so many after market parts available it’s the ideal gun to figure out which seemingly super awesome upgrades aren’t really upgrades at all. I am fortunate that the Ruger my grandpa bought me as a kid shoots very well. However my long time friend showed up a few weeks back and put me to shame with his CZ. I picked up a .25 Marauder the older version but I haven’t played with it much. I need a Chronograph and spend a little serious range time with it.
I like what I see. This should be a fun little test.
I know the 10/22 can be moded to Kazoo and back to shoot good. But doing it with a out of the box gun is cool. And I will say something more below.
And I know the AirForce guns are heck of accurate target guns out of the box.
But here is something I wanted to bring up about the Ruger. The rotary magazine. I heard people say that it feeds the gun better with out damage to the projectile verses the tube fed guns like my Winchester 190. They say that guide ramp tends to knick the projectile.
Here’s what I wanted to say later. Have you tryed or could you try doing a hand loaded single shot group of 10 with the Ruger. Kind of like shooting with a single shot tray in a Marauder. I know that Hatsan QE that I had I made that single shot tray for it and it shot better groups. And my 190 I have shot long rifles out of it by single loading and it shot tighter verses the tube feed semi-auto shots.
Is there anybody you know that has shot the Ruger single shot hand loading?
Gunfun, shooting single shot with a stock 10/22 isn’t a good place to start if you want tight groups. Do to some free play in the firing pin, erratic flyers are most likely to occur on the first shot. Giving the charging handle a wiggle after seating the bullet can help alleviate those first shot flyers.
A big problem with tube fed, or for that matter ,any of the magazine fed semi-auto .22 RF’s ,is that the cartridge can get bent on chambering due to various factors, depending on the model of rifle. That plays hell with accuracy, and dummy cartridges can help reveal cartridge and bullet damage. The ruger’s magazine is a very good one…
I have shot the Ruger that way in a different test. It doesn’t add a thing. And the tube feed that damages bullets is also mostly a myth, I believe.
I agree! I have and have had many Ruger 10/22 and Marlin 60 (Tube fed semi) and have never had a tube problem. In fact, bone stock out of the box, every Marlin I’ve had would out shoot every Ruger I’ve had easily. I’m not saving the Marlin is built no where near as well. I’m just saying it’s more accurate out of the box. Now if you want to go beyond stock, Ruger wins easy. Not much to do with the Marlin in the after market world.
I’ve had other tube mag 22’s too. Winchester, Browning, Mossberg & Remington. Never had a problem with those. That said, I’ve had many magazine fed guns that had problems. Tube guns are steady and does not move. Most any magazines will move. You can wiggle them. Just my 2 cents.
I’ve always loved the model 60! It was probably the first gun I ever shot and they’re generally accurate from my experience. but my favorite .22 is my Remington 550-1(tube fed.22short, long, or long rifle with 26″ barrel). The report from it is so mellow especially with low velocity rounds! Sounds like a Co2 gun instead of a firearm. But the floating chamber requires maintenance!
There are a lot of things going on when a semi-auto .22 RF rifle is fired and the rifle reloads itself. Carriers, bolt faces . stamped magazine lips, feed ramps . ammo power or freshness, and even how many rounds are loaded into the magazine no matter it’s capacity. All of those things contribute to a particular rifles accuracy and reliability. It may be a myth to say a tube ,or other type magazineALWAYS damages bullets and are therefore all magazine fed semi-auto .22RF rifles are inaccurate designs. However it is not a myth that it does happen and each rifle is a unique case that has to be evaluated by the individual shooter of that rifle. I think that the Ruger 10-22 has one of the better designed magazines, and despite my love of vintage .22 RF’s, the newer guns have better engineered feed systems with their ploymer parts , than many stamped parts designs of the past.
I was out on the range this Tuesday, and besides the 10-22 I also was shooting a Mossberg 46M. It’s a tube-fed bolt action with target sights. Feeding was flawless, but my best 10-shot group was about 2.5 inches at 50 yards.
I know the 10/22 has its weaknesses, but this particular one of mine happens to be a real goodie! And I don’t even know if I have found the best ammo yet! 🙂
BB: My most accurate semi-auto.22 RF is my Mossberg 151 , and with Remington HP golden bullets 550 bulk pack no less! The ammo is about 15 years old though, as .22 RF ammo is as scarce as hens teeth around here , and mail order is forbidden here now.
I wasn’t talking about the tube.
I was talking about the metal ramp that transfers the round from the tube to the chamber.
I had to replace that on my 190 and the groups did get better.
And my 190 definatly shoots a more constant group if I lock the slide open then place a round in the chamber by hand with no rounds in the tube. Then close the slide by hand.
And I’m talking my 190.
Anyway just a thought if anybody tryed it with a 10/22.
GF1, had one of those years ago. Was a nice handling RF , but I never really shot it for accuracy at targets. It was a trapline ,truck gun for awhile . I got away from tube magazine guns for that because if you are in a boat and you launch your mag tube over the side you have a problem.
I got mine when I was around 10 years old. I used it around the farm plinking and pesting.
I really didn’t notice the accuracy thing so much until I started getting heavily involved in air guns around six years ago. Then my old faithful 190 didn’t seem to be as accurate anymore.
So that’s when I started drop loading the bullets by hand in the chamber to see if the loading mechanism was causing accuracy issues. My 190 definitely shot better. That’s when I found the metal ramp was making the lead of the bullet get nicked when it was transfering to the chamber. I replaced that part and it helped greatly.
I’m surprised at myself that I never got a 10/22 as much as I like modding. But I just find that air guns have better characteristics than firearms.
So I think it will be more air gun purchases in the future for me verses firearms.
I don’t remember if Ruger makes them or if it is an aftermarket item but there is a single shot magazine made to go in place of the ten shot rotary magazine that allows the 10/22 to be used as a single shot gun.
I have two 10/22s one in an archangel AR lookalike synthetic stock and one in the camo configuration and they are both good shooters. They still are not as accurate at 50 yards as my 177 Mrod is and that is mostly due to me not the guns as I cannot hold them steady and with their recoil versus none out of the Mrod. I am able to keep them at under 1 inch groups at 50 yards compared to 1/2 inch groups with the Mrod.
I got them just to have fun with before the ammo shortages came about. I do know that they shoot much better with Rugers own 25 round magazines than any aftermarket magazines. I have one 50 round drum and two 110 round drums that work fairly well but they were mainly just to have a blast shooting 50 or 110 rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger.
It has been quite awhile since I have shot them due the limited ammo supply issues we have now.
As you know I just traded my Marlin 60 for the RWS 48 so know I only have the two Rugers , a Winchester bolt action five shot clip fed 22 and my fathers 1956 model browning feather lite tube fed 22 that Norinco copied for many years.
If you find a picture of the single shot tray or whatever it maybe for the 10/22.
Text me a picture of it. I would like to see how they did it. Thanks.
I will do some digging and see if I can come up with where I found it as it looks just like a 10 round Ruger magazine but has a solid tray where the feed ramp for the 10 round magazines is at.
I will text you a picture or link when I find where I saw it.
Here is a link to the single shot magazine made by Ruger for the 10/22. It is 21.95 from
Ruger plus shipping but can be bought on Ebay for 17.95 with free shipping and that is the link I have provided here for you and anyone else that may be interested .
Text me when you get a chance to check the single shot mag out.
I wonder if anybody has used one. I would like to know if it does help accuracy.
I have not used one so have no experience as to if they make the same difference as they do on an air gun.
In my opinion, airguns experience much less problems regarding dirty or freshly cleaned barrels. Good guns like the Fx Royale in an appropriate caliber have no trouble beating an average .22 rifle at 50 yards…though I never have seen an airgun beating a match-grade’s .22 cloverleaf pattern at that distance.
I personally do not like semiautomatic .22s as they tend to lend themselves to wasting large quantities of ammo. If the truth were known, that is probably the true appeal of the 10/22. Usually when I hear one being shot, it quickly degenerates into the soundtrack for a war movie. One guy at work recently turned his into a Mattelomatic with after market parts.
Despite this, I have considered getting one, If for no other reason than the large supply of parts. However, a little voice in the back of my head keeps saying, “Yeah, but is it accurate?”.
I look forward to this test.
I was engaged in a discussion with a friend some time ago about rimfire x airgun, and his argument was along the lines of “I can shoot tin can with a rimfire at 100 yards!”… So what? You could shoot it at 500 yards with a .300 Win Mag… My point is, most of these discussions are not about the accuracy, but about the power level generated. The rimfire shooters almost always bring it to discussion.
I can’t wait to see the conclusion of you tests.
When the discussion turns from accuracy to power, just ask them “What good is 500+FPE if you can’t hit what you are shooting at?”.
As I began digging into the “serious” airgunning world, one of the things that amazed me was how much more so many air rifles cost than their closest firearm competition, the .22. However, while the accuracy comparison will be very interesting, what’s wowed me the most in the current airgun age is how modern airguns have grown in terms of power and accuracy–but can still be shot in an urban backyard without disturbing the neighbors. As urbanization continues to grow, so will airgunning.
Too correct! and I wish it weren’t true but in order to get an airgun with firearm durability & performance built-in you’d better spend twice what an equivalent firearm would cost. Same thing with my 2400KT I could probably get a.22 semi-auto for half the $150 that I just spent through Crosman and had it days ago instead of waiting another month, but I got plans for this gun.
Given the chance, I’ll shoot almost anything from blackpowder to AR15s to SA revolvers.
But my airgun gets shot the most because all I need is the tykes to go to bed and from my kitchen to the far wall of the garage turns into a 16yd shooting range with no one in suburbia the wiser.
Even though I commend BB for his efforts, this is not a fair test.
A nice laminate stock 10/22 costs $250 while a Talon SS costs
more than twice as much.
Is Talon SS twice as accurate? I doubt it.
This begs the question. Why are airgun prices out of control?
Airgun prices are far from being “out of control”. A good PCP airgun is more expensive than a .22 rimfire because it is more complex. The airgun needs pressurized parts and precisely machined valves etc. where the rimfire gets away with a simple bolt and a firing pin.
I think out-of-control is a reasonable first impression. But I think it’s due to the cost differences between producing 100’s vs 10,000’s of rifles per year.
I think the cost for a pressure tube in a PCP is offset by the more costly thickness and hardening for a firearm barrel. And precision air release valves can’t be that expensive. The ones in “cheap” paintball guns are very very well machines. They are capable of metering out air so precisely that 2-4 feet per second difference between the maximum and minimum speeds the ball passes over the chronograph – and keep that precision up over successive shots as fast as you can pull the trigger.
The barrels of a .22 rimfire and a PCP airgun cost the same. (Source: Lothar Walther price list) Actually, a choked airgun barrel is more expensive.
The .22 may need a stronger receiver and a precise bolt, while the PCP needs seals, hammer, valve, pressure container. I guess this roughly evens out, but mass-production blow-back rifles .22s like the Ruger 10/22 get away cheaper.
Also airguns run on much cheaper ammo. If one shoots enough, the cost begins to even out. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to shoot firearms off the back porch, but a lot more of us can shoot airguns in a suburban yard or indoors.
Cost of an airgun vs. rimfire/powder burner
You’re not factoring in several key items to arrive at your conclusion that a talon ss costs twice as much as a nice laminate stock 10/22.
The talon ss needs charging equipment. Whether it’s a scuba tank, carbon fiber tank or high pressure manual pump that pushes the price of the talon ss cost to MORE THAN twice as much.
You also need to factor into your equation that an airgun is self contained. In other words, when you buy your airgun you’re paying up front for a lifetime of on board power to launch your bullet/projectile. With an airgun you’re paying for a lifetime supply of gun powder all at once.
Let’s not forget the cost and time to drive to the shooting range to shoot your powder burners which is required for most owners. Gas, insurance, wear and tear on your vehicle etc. must be factored. Once you arrive at the range you typically pay a range fee.
There are also other factors that are tougher to quantify. Ability to shoot an airgun safely where a powder burner isn’t allowed (like your backyard) encourages more shooting and keeps your skills sharper. Less maintenance with an airgun is a big deal to me. When I go to the range and shoot 4 or 5 powder burners I’ve signed up for hours of cleaning them. Cost of cleaning supplies is one thing but the time necessary to complete the task is huge for me since I don’t have much spare time in my life to spend cleaning guns anymore.
Last but surely not least is the cost AND availability of ammo for an airgun vs. a powder burner.
About the range fee, Most municipalities prohibit the discharge of airguns of any kind.
Not in my area.
I think where you wrote “airguns”, most municipalities write “firearms”.
And since the governor didn’t sign a realignment bill — in MI rifled barrel pellet guns “are” “firearms”. (Actually, since the law only excludes .17 smoothbores, even a common paintball gun is a firearm [and so are AirSoft, though they seem to let the single-shot spring models selling for $20-30 pass]).
Given that local ordinances prohibiting the discharge of “firearms” often define what constitutes a “firearm” (and that said definition does not have to make sense or be the commonly understood definition) the distinction may not be as significant as you’re implying.
For example the city I live in defines a “firearm” as any device that fires a projectile by means of burning propellant (what most people think of when they hear the word firearm), compressed air (airguns), mechanical means (bow & arrow, slingshot, etc…), or any other means (atl-atl, etc…). Which is why I have to drive to the family farm out in the county when I want to shoot my Daisy 880.
I’m not picking sides… I’m just saying…
Actually, many if not most municipalties and/or counties are specifically forbidden to enact “gun control laws” with a very few exceptions. It seems the state (such as say, California) is extremely jealous about retaining their prerogative in such matters. The former District Attorney of San Francisco had her chain yanked in a particularly embarrassing fashion a couple of years ago when she attempted, apparently out of pure ignorance, to ban gun ownership in San Francisco.
In any case, where I live, an air-gun is not a firearm.
This in no way to say waving it or an airsoft AK around at inappropriate times, like when the local cops arrive to investigate your neighbors “man with a gun” call, in your own back yard won’t get you thoroughly ventilated. Remember, the apparent syle these days is to unload the Glock and then ask questions.
Maybe someday, common sense will return.
Whenever I read about the craziness of other states/counties/towns, I’m so grateful for where we live. Our neighbors have firearms and airguns. Many have CCLs. Some have told their kids that they should run to our house if they’re home alone and something happens to make them feel unsafe.
I’m glad I live in Texas and will never live anywhere else.
I agree completely with you as it is the same here in Alabama and actually I believe we are a little more pro gun than Texas as we have open carry, CCP and castle doctrines/stand your ground laws in effect. So a criminal does not have to be inside your home to be considered a threat but rather just on your property.
My neighborhood is the same as well as most all my neighbors have guns and those that don’t appreciate the ones that do as it gives our small 25 house neighborhood a true sense of security and everyone keeps a watch for suspicious activity and within minutes it is known thru the whole neighborhood as to what had happened and what and who to look out for.
You don’t have to be in your house in Texas to defend yourself. After all, threats can come in many places.
Ok then you have basically the same laws as us which is the way it should be nation wide.
Open carry of long guns is also legal here.
“Remember the Alamo!”
“Actually, many if not most municipalties and/or counties are specifically forbidden to enact “gun control laws” with a very few exceptions.”
States may pass laws prohibiting cities from enacting “gun control laws” but that isn’t really relevant to Zeb’s comment. Even in states that prohibit municipalities from passing laws restricting gun ownership, cities/towns/villages/etc… can pass local ordinances prohibiting you from firing a gun (on the grounds of public safety) inside their boundaries. Those local ordinances will also usually define what constitutes a “firearm” for the purposes of their ordinance. And no, the definition does not have to make sense to the common person or meet a commonly understood definition for the word firearm…
Two entirely different issues. What it IS is one thing, what one DOES WITH IT is another.
If it’s used as a weapon, anything can be a weapon. Golf club, ’68 Camero, picked-up-rock-off-the-street. Try/Do run over somebody, maybe not even on purpose, it’s a weapon.
If it’s sitting in your tool box, or your kitchen knife drawer, it’s probably a tool or legitimate food preparation item..unless, say, you’re on parole, and then it’s a sure-fire trip back to slam.
Welcome to the maze of local ordinance, much of which is not, in itself, even legal.
Lesson? Run afoul somehow? Call a really good lawyer and then ask that Lawyer for the really good Lawyer specializing in the kind of law you really need.
If you ain’t that Lawyer yourself, all you really need to know is the phone number of the one it is.
It’s a maze in a big country, in a big world.
Tred carefully…it may be different across the river.
Twice as accurate? I doubt ANY airgun can do that. This isn’t a linear comparison. I just wanted to see how good each type of gun could be. And like I said, there are many inconsistencies in my approach.
I’d like to see the discovery tested against the 10/22.
That should answer the questions about whether the differences in accuracy are due to price 🙂
Maybe a better test would be to pit a savage Mark-II against the Discovery. Both of those rifles are known as budget alternatives for target shooters.
But maybe the best test would be to pit a CV 455 against a Marauder. Both are known for their accuracy, and might conclusively prove how much accuracy difference exists between similar firearms vs air rifles.
These are interesting ideas. I don’t own all those guns, so reader who do own them would have to get involved.
Just a heads up that we changed the title of yesterday’s blog report. We added an explanation to the top of that report explaining the change. The report was really about hunting with big bores, which made it a larger topic than just the AirForce Texan.
This will be an interesting comparison, but of course, there is far more to this than raw accuracy.
Like many of your readers, I grew up shooting rimfires and I have long had a 10/22. In my youth, air guns were toys superseded by “real guns” at the first opportunity. Older, and hopefully a little wiser, I still enjoy shooting rimfires, but I’d rather shoot and hunt small game with an air rifle. Quiet, less downrange hazard, and with better triggers and parallax adjustable scopes. Few of us would shoot a 10/22 in our basement, even with a suppressor, but the Talon SS is versatile enough to be used indoors, in backyards, or at 50 yards. Fortunately, we live in a Nation big enough for air guns, rimfires and centerfires, and many of us get a lot of pleasure from them.
A silencer! Thanks for reminding me. I own a legal rimfire silencer and I will work that into this test.
You’re going to re-barrel your 10/22?
I almost bought a silencer while experimenting with subsonic handloads. I’ve used silencers while hunting and target shooting. Those efforts led me to air guns!
If only Air Force would build the Texan with a shroud…
Or a suppressor for my smokeless powder muzzleloader…
Ok, “back to this Universe,” the same one without a reliable, reasonably-priced PCP with onboard pump.
Regarding the onboard pump PCP.
Have you checked out the millenium project yet?
Well, what I wrote sounded pretty grumpy, and I don’t mean it that way.
This is a grand Universe that has Texans, Quackenbushes, smokeless muzzleloaders, Ruger .22s and Benjamin Discoverys and hand pumps, and those are all pretty wonderful things.
I have several barrels for my 2 10;22s and I have an adapter to converts the factory barrel to accept a silencer. Quackenbush makes them.
That’ll make this test a lot more interesting as well as adding in the difference of their report. and giving people another heads’up on what it takes to use a silencer legally in the U.S.
When can we look forward to seeing some data?
Using a silencer has been in the PA articles for years:
I guess that’s what I was recommending would be some highlights of what’s in that report and a link to show others who may be interested in using one. It’s been a while since I’ve read it and I’ll read it again but I thought you were gonna put it on the rimfire.
Our club president and me got in a discussion about on silencers and air guns and he said he has three firearm silencers and has talked with the ATF about silencers on air guns and was told that they have put standards in place that a firearms barrel must use a 1/2″x 28 fine pitch thread for installing the silencers and that air guns must use a 1/2″x20 coarse pitch thread in order to prevent the interchangeability between a firearm and an air gun.
I asked if they said that that made air guns exempt from the licensing requirements that must be done to install on a firearm and he said that his understanding was that because they has two different thread pitches that as long as the silencer on an air gun was 1/2’x20 pitch that it was legal to use without the licensing requirements of a firearm silencer.
Your thoughts or understanding on this issue.
When they put that in writing I will believe it. Until then, I’m staying where I am. Anyone can make an adapter.
I understood him to mean it has been put in writing although I have not verified it for myself as well so I am cautious as well .
You are correct that an adapter can be made and in fact I have seen them out there for sale so it is still a gray area for me as well.
I was just somewhat taken back from what he was saying and was just wanting to hear from someone else that I knew had a license to own a silencer.
Of course, like many here (including I daresay yourself b.b. 🙂 ) I know and appreciate the value of both.
My boys, with a lot of practice can hit 8″ steel plates at 200yds with their .22LR consistently now…not many airguns are capable of that.
On the same hand I’ve amazed many of my shooting pals when I put 10 pellets in nearly the same hole at 25yds with my Slavia.
As any good mechanic know….different tools for different jobs.
Unfortunately I’ve witnessed the need for a powerful airgun in which all that was available were firearms which involves certain risks inside a home. Like a rattler under the kitchen sink and a copperhead along the baseboard of the dining room. The alternative to my RedRyder was either a .22 short or .38 ratshot rounds(big boom and holes in the wall) but nobody got hit or bit but the snakes.
I think it was in one of your many articles that said the .22 rimfire bullet doesn’t have the same diameter as a .22 airgun pellet. If so, what are the diameters of the rimfire and pellet?
I won’t give the pellet diameters but the bore diameter, because it doesn’t vary that much.
A rimfire bore measures 0.223-inches and an airgun bore measures 0.218-inches. Of course there are small variations between manufacturers.
So the .22 cal rimfire bore is the same as the .223 cal high power rifle bore?
That is a surprise.
Almost. The .223 Remington bore size is .224. Go figure! 😉
Comparing a $610 pellet gun’s performance to that of semi-auto action that can be had for ~$200 new? Not sure that’s valid. You’ve got to equalize the dollars or the platform or both.
My CZ 452 bolt, or my bull barreled, re-triggered 10/22 (both of which come in < $600) will routinely print 0.50 CTC @ 50 yds.
I think you guys would like to know that Brazilian Congress is discussing new proposals that will effectively grant the right to carry guns for self defense in Brazil. A few years ago we had a major victory in a plebiscite, when over 65% of the population voted against the prohibition to sell guns in this country. Now we are about to conquest another, as this Congress is strongly supporting concealed carry guns as a legitimate right of the citizen to defend oneself and family.
I have been in touch with a few Congressmen and they informed that the support for this initiative is increasing every day.
Sounds like the pendulum is starting to swing in the opposite direction. Glad they’re starting to recognize the sanctity of human life and right to defend that life.
The people are taking back their country? That’s wonderful news!
10/22 vs any’ole airgun?
Like comparing high-quality socket wrench to high-quality torque wrench.
Love ’em both, but different tools for different jobs.
However, does not change the value of a good comparison.
Go for it, B.B.
See if you can find some Wolf Match Extra .22 ammo. It’s the gold standard for .22 rimfire accuracy. Another would be Eley Black Box. Match. Another to try is Federal Bulk Pac HP’s. Some .22 autos really shoot them well, much better than HV ammo should shoot. In some guns it is better than Wolf or Eley.
A quick fix for the trigger I have used is to cut one coil off the hammer spring. This will lighten the pull but will not hurt reliable ignition. It is a down and dirty fix but it helps. Sometimes you need to cut two coils. The factory Ruger spring is much stronger than needed. As always, your results may vary.
I think I have already tried the Wolf Match Extra in this rifle. It’s okay but not as good as these CCI2.
Yes, I’m not surprised. Each .22 has it’s own likes. The .22 benchrest competitors like CCI Std. velocity but they say they get some flayers with it. As I have noted before, my Remington Nylon 66 shoots a ragged hole at 25 yds. with the Federal Bulk Pak HP’s. You just never know. I have read that the Aguila Subsonic HP’s are very accurate. But, I haven’t been able to find any to try.
When I did the big test for Shotgun News the Aguila subsonic ammo was very accurate, but Remington Standard Speed beat it. Each gun has it’s preferences, I guess.
B.B., I agree. 22 rimfires seem as ammo picky to me as air guns. Funny how one gun will love a standard velocity round, yet another gun shoots a hyper velocity round better.
Why is a .22 cal airgun more accurate that a rimfire? I mean the rimfire shoots a heavier bullet and retain more down range velocity (energy) than the pellet.
Energy and accuracy have very little to do with each other.
Thanks, But why pellets are more accurate than rimfire bullets?
This question deserves an answer. I will write a report about it.
Thank you, and I hope your report comes out soon.
It’s one I really want to do. I will try to get to it next week.
How’s that report coming???
The weather hasn’t cooperated. It will be longer.
This is fascinating, even to me, a guy who doesn’t shoot powder-burners and uses his air guns for plinking and informal target shooting only (no hunting).
I made my own “bold statement” regarding air rifles at their very best late last week. I told a co-worker that at distances of 8 to 10 meters and with no interfering factors, namely wind, the most accurate projectile-shooting device in the world is a state–of-the-art Olympic air rifle. He politely but clearly conveyed that he did not believe it.
Then I explained to him the basic rules and procedures of Olympic air rifle competitions, and showed him images of targets shot by Olympians that approached perfect scores. I assured him that competitors HAVE shot perfect scores in competition on occasion. He was genuinely impressed. I had convinced him.
But now I am second-guessing myself. In particular, does anyone know about the short-distance (10 meters or so) accuracy of Olympic rifles of the powder-burning variety?
Don’t worry, you were right and I will tell you why. Rimfire GUNS can be extremely accurate, but no one has been able to perfect rimfire AMMO yet.
Even the very best ammo that is used in the Olympics sometimes has flaws in the priming compound that cause a stray shot. Airgun pellets can be sorted by hand to not have this problem.
So at close range the airguns will always win. That’s why BRV rimfire scores were never as high as airgun scores. Even when both were shot at the same distance, the airguns always prevailed.
If we have perfect priming compound, will the rimfire bullet be more, less or the same as a pellet in terms of accuracy in close range?
Yes, if that were possible then .22 rimfire accuracy would be better. Even as good as a pellet’s potential.
But it isn’t possible. I will explain why when I write the report I told you about.
Your answer implies that the rimfire lead bullet is just as accurate as the lead pellet? Assuming both are quality made.
Sorry that I mis-read your answer. If .22 rimfire bullets is better in accuracy than .22 pellets, why don’t we shoot .22 cal rimfire bullet out of airgun instead? Yes, you told me they are of different bore size, but let’s assume for this discussion that they are the same bore size.
I will answer you in the report.
The typical .22LR has a 40gr bullet.
The heaviest I’ve seen in .22 pellets is a Eun Jin that runs around 32gr; and other than a heavy PCP is going to be quite inefficient. Most .22 pellets run the 14-20gr gamut (which actually puts them into the mass region of the .17HMR — 17gr hollow point or 20gr soft point).
I put some JSB exact jumbo monsters @ 25.39 gr through my 392 and they DID rob a lotta power and only held together marginally @20yds. I’m headed below the 20gr mark on that one but a powerful PCP like the AF guns I’m confident would do much better with that much weight. And forget about using them in spring guns. Just checked the Rabbit Magnums out again @24.69gr,they have more of a bullet profile and would probably require a faster twist-rate than most airguns come with to stabilize.
My hatsan At44 long shoot the 25.39 JSBs at 825 fps and it quite accurate to 50 yards with them but then it is a high powered PCP with the 23 inch barrel. I nave also fouind some now out of production Eley magnum pellets that are bullet shaped and weigh 30 grs and it shoots them at 780 fps with fairly good results of 1 inch groups at 50 yards with 40 fpe.
Tom I have a sneaking suspicion that I know what you’re referring to. At least partially. Are you referring to the way the priming compound is put into the rimfire case and then spun or pushed into the cartridge rim resulting in the priming never being perfectly distributed. There may also be minute differences in the composition of the priming compound… that could come into play.
You got it.
Long time reader, 1st time posting. Great comparison! BB, I really appreciate your approach and I believe it makes more sense than most are acknowledging. So many people these days are looking at airguns as an alternative to rimfires for small game hunting and target practice. Considering the huge numbers of people looking into airguns for their next big purchase in the gun world it makes great sense. So many of us have grown up in America thinking of airguns as toys and nothing serious. We grow up into thinking that a rimfire is the basic “real gun” and that it just goes bigger from there. We all know the 10/22 and we all tried that approach as ammo prices went sky high, then we couldn’t get our hands on any ammo at any price. Adults looking to hunt and shoot a lot and wanting a viable alternative to a classic rimfire with a highly accepted level of accuracy will certainly benefit from this comparison. My first year with an air rifle I put 5000 pellets down range in my backyard. I couldn’t find a box of .22lr ammo that year for a price I was willing to spend nor would I have been able to shoot that many (needing to go to a range to shoot) if I could have found them.
Welcome to the blog.
Yes, there can never be a linear 1-for-1 comparison between rimfires and airguns. So, I just did a test that makes sense to me. It may not be scientific, but it’s the question that always arises whenever this subject comes up.
Good for you. Most cities/towns prohibit firing of airguns too.
I guess that depends on your location because around these parts it’s totally legal to shoot airguns in a safe manner. Animal control has some really cool stuff.
Perhaps an inexpensive .22lr bolt action like the Ruger American rifle would be a better comparison for this test. It is still inexpensive, but a bolt action might have an edge over the semi-auto 10/22.
Geoff, you are probably correct. I’ve had a stock Remington 581-S bolt action 22 (six locking lugs) that could flat out shoot all the custom 10/22’s I ran into. It would make the owners of the 10/22 so mad. They would finally ask to shoot the old Remington. It’s not always the case, but more times than not if you compare 22’s, the bolt will be more accurate. Now I’m not suggesting putting up a $100 bolt gun against a semi target rifle that could hundreds or over 1,000.
I believe he’s using the 10-22 in this experiment due to it’s popularity and you’re probably right about the bolt-action being more competitive.
It’s a shame the AF platform doesn’t support a 10 round mag!
That explains why Olympic rifles are all bolt action and not semi-action.
I think a bolt action rimfire is a better comparison to an Talon airgun because either of them is a semi-auto.
Or maybe use a semi-auto FX Monsoon instead of the AirForce gun.
That way both type of guns would be semi-auto.
But my .22 cal .Monsoon I have right know is extremely accurate. But also its extremely expensive.
Either way this is a pretty exciting blog this time. And I will be waiting to see what the biggest contributor to accuracy will be for both guns BB is testing will be.
Sure a lot if thoughts going on here today.
How about the muzzle velocity of the 2 LR ammo? Is it not just under the sonic barrier?
Previous discussions on this blog have shown that air gun pellets seem to be less accurate as muzzle velocity approaches the sonic barrier. I would think that 22 LR bullets due to their profile, would behave in the similar way. And if the the 22 LR goes super sonic and then back into sub sonic, this would definitely explain the lower accuracy of the the 22 LR.
The Aquila ammo comes in several velocity and bullet weight combos, mostly all sub sonic. However, they would probably NOT function a 10-22 auto load. However, one could load one shot at a time and manually eject. How about trying a few rounds as a part of this test?
Maybe a little Chrony testing would add some additional information to this discussion.
I would suggest that comparing a gun powder gun against an air gun would require that the gun powder ammo itself be tested in a accurate test gun first. The point being that we do not know how much variation there is in the gun powder ammo in addition to the other variables in this test. Variables galore!
There have been discussions about accuracy loss at the sonic barrier, and I have written things about it in the past.
But in 2011 I did an 11-part test that demonstrated that pellets are more affected by vibration than they are by velocity. See that here:
Thank you B.B for doing this blog topic. I just got in from firing my 10/22 off the bench rest. During this session I had an epiphany, I need to get a serious air rifle set up and get serious about shooting it. I have a very nice shooting 10/22 but it doesn’t shoot anything like any of my center fire rifles. Even if I got a bolt action and recut the barrel and reamed a target chamber, blue printed the action and spent the rest of my life tuning it and shot the highest end ammo I could find, it’s still only a rimfire. I like shooting right outside the door and I like shooting rifles. Pistols and shotguns are fun but rifles fill freezers and win wars. .22 lr is great for small game, plinking, and learning marksman ship but it’s nothing like ringing gons with 165 SMK’s at 600 yards and beyond. However shooting coke cans at 65 yards with .177 JSB heavys and a 12 mph 4 o’clock wind kind of is.
Okay, now maybe I can help you. You see that I like 10/22s also, but I obviously think even more of my accurate pellet rifles.
I like a Marauder for a conventional rifle, and a Talon SS for a more capable black-style rifle. The Marauder is quieter and has the better adjustable trigger, but the Talon SS is more consistently accurate and has more potential for modifications. Either one is a great way to get into PCPs.
No way. The Talon SS more accurate than the Marauder? I wasn’t aware of that.
Single-shots tend to be more accurate than repeaters. Generally speaking, that is.
The key to what I said is the word consistently. A Talon SS is consistently more accurate. I have seen some Marauders that could shoot right along with an SS and perhaps even better, but right out of the box, gun-for-gun, the SS wins every time.
I am U.S citizen.Not always ,had a green card for over 30yrs.I go back too Yorkshire every year to see my Mum.My first stop in Town is the Gun shop.pcp ,1000 pounds.22 rim fire 50 pounds(used).old springers 100 -125 pds.Huge selection.we are so lucky in the U.S.,to have this Blog.Very few English men have a FAC ,so it’s 12fpe.unless they talk like the Queen.you know they are well bred.For working class folk it’s 11.3-11.7fpe.12.1,your in trouble with police.( if they find out).In a small town ,word gets around fast.It’s really great too have a blog where we can even talk guns.
Glad you made it over!
Enjoy your new-found freedom responsibly! You won’t have to write the queen for permission to take a stag around here just support the local wildlife management corporation.
And here I am, complaining about my semiautomatic .22 rimfire. Heck — in the UK I would be a criminal!
I guess we do have it pretty good over here.
Thanks for this topic, it seems to be getting some heated comments.
I too would like to see a more even price comparison test.
Say someone with a .22 discovery that has found “the pellet”‘for his rifle.
And the prices would be close to even.
I have just recently built a dedicated .22lr upper for an ar-15, and have been trying every type of ammo I can find out of it.
So far, the hands down winner is the cci standard velocity.
Doing so has taken time away from my airgunning, but it gives me a break, and has been letting me learn again how much I enjoy all types of shooting.
Is the dedicated upper as accurate as my air rifles at 25 & 50 yards?
No, but with the cci standard velocity ammo, it’s holding its own against all the other semi auto .22 rimfires at the local range.
The disclaimer about selecting the guns within a reasonable budget is key and something that appeals to me a lot. But is this 10/22 really representative of standard models? If so, how is it that it is so much better than the customized Ruger from before? If it’s not and has some uniquely accurate barrel, then it’s hard to generalize about it.
The difference between momentum and kinetic energy in bullets is one of the blog’s great unanswered questions as it is in most shooting literature that I’ve seen. “Kinetic energy” and “knock-down power” are used interchangeably when they are not necessarily. But perhaps yesterday’s discussion has given us a new angle. It is fundamental to modern physics all the way to the Large Hadron Collider that there is no such thing as “action-at-a-distance.” Everything is happening in some kind of material medium because anything else is magic. The hydrostatic shock of kinetic energy sounds like magic but there has to be some medium of transmission. This is the projectile most obviously. More to the point, there is some kind of extreme pressure from the bullet impact at the molecular level that PeteZ would know much more about than me, but the concept is clear enough.
Mathematically the difference between kinetic energy and momentum is:
Kinetic energy = (1/2)mv^2
Momentum = mv
where m = mass, v = velocity
They are almost the same except for a v term and a factor of 1/2. The conservation of mass and energy which is another pillar of modern physics says that the sum total of mass and energy cannot change although one can convert into another. So, what I get from this is that both kinetic energy and momentum are operating in any bullet strike. However, kinetic energy separates out above a certain threshold where the energy rips apart structures. The exact process has been studied in great detail. At ground zero is the wound channel where the bullet disintegrates everything in its path. Just outside is permanent cavitation where the pressure wave rips apart structures (changing mass to energy). It’s like a rubber band whose elastic limit is exceeded. The layer beyond that is non-permanent cavitation where the rubber band springs back. (The significance of hydrostatic shock which underlies the pressure wave is that water as a fluid is incompressible and it serves to transmit energy instantly to whatever it is touching. Filling out animal bodies, it is a tremendous medium of destruction.) Beyond that the pressure wave ramifies through the body more or less painfully, and the effects change depending on what structures the wave encounters.
Below the kinetic energy threshold, rigid structures remain intact and receive energy as a collision like a billiard ball. And this appears as knock down power. The pressure wave knocks down the whole target rather than ripping it up. It’s all energy transfer; collision mechanics and hydrostatic shock and cavitation are just different manifestations. You either rip things up or knock them down.
Supposing this is true, it sheds more light on the genius of John Browning and his 1911. Most describe the .45 ACP as large but slow. However, it’s slowness as an index of energy is what allows it to flatten people as it was designed to do. If you added more kinetic energy you actually might get less knockdown power at the price of unacceptable recoil which is already at the limit for the 1911. It is the sign of transcendent genius that it seems to get there before you. Working within the human performance envelope, Browning juggled bullet size and speed just right to stop the crazed attackers that his gun was designed to for. Amazing.
Good answer! and excellent observations!
I almost used the 45 pistol as a example yesterday when we was talking about what the projectile did on impact.
Now think about what that projectile would do if fired at point blank from that pistol then fired at the same type of object at 60 yards.
There would be a different out come at the two different distances.
But one thing you didn’t just mention is that small diameter rounds fired at the right velocity will just pierce and pass through. Kind of like poaking a ice pick real quick through a 2×4.
I like this subject of energy transfer.
“The one thing that’s unbalanced about my test is that all Talon SS rifles are pretty much equally accurate, but all Ruger 10/22s aren’t. ”
B.B., That’s sure the truth about 10/22s and also good information to know about the Talon, because I’ll probably be buying one soon. I have a couple of 10/22s myself and I’ve shot a few others. Personally, I think Ruger has improved the consistency of their barrels in recent years with hammer forging, but then the quality of other parts has fallen. For example, I’ve replaced several extractors with aftermarket alternatives for “Appleseeders” (www.appleseedinfo.org) who start to have trouble with their new guns after only a thousand rounds or so (only two or three Appleseed weekends worth of shooting). -Cal
I didn’t know that about Rugers. My one 10/22 has been shot a LOT, but this new one not so much yet. I’ll, watch it.
The extractor was not a problem until the 10/22 models of a few years ago. I’ve never seen the problem in a metal trigger group housing gun. Perhaps Ruger has since corrected the problem, but I’ve not been involved in helping with Appleseeder friend’s guns for a few years to know whether or not it still exists. In the problematic guns, the extractor metal appeared to be too soft to last. If the “working” edge of the extractor becomes even barely visibly rounded (using a hand lens magnifier) you’ll start to experience stove pipe or “semi-stove pipe” jams where the old case fails to get reliably extracted with correct timing. (Sometimes it does make it out but still interferes with the feeding of the new round.) Ya’ gotta hate it when THAT happens that during an Appleseed AQT (Army/Appleseed Qualification Test)! I’ve helped about a half-dozen friends to replace their extractors with the Volquartsen part, which restores the gun’s reliable operation, and I’ve never seen a replacement wear out. All guns were using standard Ruger 10-round mags too, BTW. Maybe Ruger didn’t get the heat treating right on these extractors?
Had a 10/22 I bought in 81 ran brick after brick through the thing when bricks were $9.99 10 years later traded towards a .45 Ballister Molina. No regrets whatsoever. My air rifles are much finer made and far more accurate with excellent triggers. I get much more shooting enjoyment from the air rifles and more opportunities. Still have the 45 never disappointed.
I owned a Deluxe model 10/22 like you are testing that I bought in the late 1970’s, and it was a blast. However the fun came from the fast delivery of lead down range versus surgical shot placement. In fact, I don’t think people really even considered anything other than bolt actions for serious accuracy back then.
So I never thought of a 10/22 as a tack driver, unless it was made into one by a company like Volquartsen. In fact, I always believed the whole cottage industry of aftermarket parts existed because the 10/22 was blessed with good reliability and feel – but just middling accuracy?
However I still love the idea of comparing the iconic Ruger 10/22 against an air rifle, but it seems like your choice of PCP might make it appear that you are trying to hedge your bet? A single shot with a 24” aftermarket barrel versus a semi auto with a skinny 18.5” factory tube?
All that said I am looking forward to the reviews!
I riled up and thought MidwaY
I mentioned that above. I had my Wichestef 190 since I was around 10 years old. I did use it for pests around the farm. But the main thing was like you said. Having fun and popping rounds off as fast as I could pull the trigger.
I didn’t realize it had a accuracy issue until I got into airguns about six years ago when I found out how accurate the new pcp’s are.
I had a lot of fun with my old 190 which is part of the reason I got a semi-auto FX Monsoon. No I have a back yard friendly gun that’s quiet, shoots very accurately, is .22 caliber and I can pull the trigger and as fast as I want to bring back those growing up memories.
Fun stuff is the best I can say.
Winchester 190 is what it should say.
And should say (now) I have a back yard friendly gun that’s quiet.
Too early in the morning for me.
Midway must have just got those in. CCI standard velocity are my favorite and I’ve been running low and shopping around for the last couple weeks. I thought they were playing favorites to the journalist. However today and they were in stock, two bricks are on the way.
WOW! This article has 147 comments. This is the article of the week.