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Education / Training Is anyone hunting?

Is anyone hunting?

This report covers:

  • The point
  • Open sights
  • Pesting
  • Pest birds
  • Big game
  • What airgun?
  • Summary

My first blog was published on March 2, 2005. The title was Hunt with the Sheridan Blue Streak air rifle. That was over 17 years ago and the Blue Streak has since passed into history. But we still have multi-pumps that are capable of the same energy and accuracy and even more. My question is — is anyone hunting with their airgun?

Sheridan Blue Streak
Sheridan Blue Streak.

I remember a shot I took with a Blue Streak back in 1979. A rabbit had invaded my garden and I shot him from about 35 yards away. From an offhand hold I got a perfect heart shot. The rabbit jumped straight up and collapsed where he had stood. If it hadn’t been the height of summer I would have eaten him, but the concern over parasites caused me not to. I have since learned that this fear may be unfounded, but back then I didn’t have the internet to check things.

The point

My point is, back in 1979 I owned two air rifles — an FWB 124 and a Sheridan Blue Streak. I considered the Blue Streak my hunting airgun.

Two new multi-pumps

Today, although the Blue Streak is history, we have the Crosman 362 and Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2. The 362 is presently only available in .22 caliber, but the Dragonfly Mark 2 comes in both .177 and .22. Both rifles are powerful enough to hold their own with the Blue Streak. If easy pumping is what you’re after, go with the Dragonfly Mark 2. If cost is an issue, the 362 is your rifle. The point is, you have a choice and both rifles are very worthy.

Crosman 362
Crosman 362.

Dragonfly Mk2
Dragonfly Mark 2.

Open sights

Multi-pumps and scopes do not get along. Yes there are ways to mount them and the Dragonfly Mark 2 is especially easy to pump with its scissors linkage, even when, because of the scope, you cannot hold it correctly. But come on, guys — just pump and shoot!

Pesting

Hunting implies taking game to be eaten. If you shoot other troublesome animals or insects just to get rid of them it’s called pesting. Anyone who keeps chickens also has rats. The rats will avoid interaction with humans until they reach a tipping point, after which they act like they really don’t care. I have seen a large rat rear up, hiss and back up a cat. Yes, rats hiss.

Shooting rats with airguns is economical and reasonably safe, though you do have to be concerned where the pellets go when they miss the rats and also when they penetrate them completely. My wife used to feed birds on our front porch in Maryland until one day she noticed that a bird had vanished with just a few feathers left behind. Then she began to watch and indeed a nest of rats had taken up residence under our porch and were killing the birds. So my wife started killing them. She stalked them from outside the house on our front lawn where she could see the porch clearly. She told me she killed over a dozen rats and learned that you never leave them where they lie because they eat their own. You reach up from the outside bottom of a plastic grocery bag and grab the tail to pull the dead rat into the bag. Then the bag is disposed of with the rat inside and you wash your hands thoroughly.

Two things I remember about this are the day she nailed one with a head shot from 25 feet and the day she killed five babies that were sunning themselves on our front steps. All of this was done with the old Sheridan Cylindrical pellet that came in the yellow plastic box.

Blue Streak Sheridan Pellet
The Sheridan Cylindrical pellet wasn’t the most accurate in its day and it still isn’t, but it did/does its job if you did/do yours.

Stock up on Air Gun Ammo

Pest birds

If you grow crops or feed animals and you keep grain for them — especially corn — you have pigeons. They roost above your corncribs and eat the kernels, then poop on the corn. Not good! But there is a roof above where they roost and you don’t want to put a hole in it. This is a job for a pellet rifle like the Diana 27. Smack ’em, drop ’em into the crib and then throw the carcass out. Keep that corn as clean as possible.

Big game

Airguns have not traditionally been thought of for hunting large game, though history tells us they were doing it as long ago as the 17th century. But starting in the 1990s with Dennis Quackenbush, we got modern big bore air rifles and even some big bore pistols that can take out the largest game on the North American continent — save for grizzly/Kodiak and polar bears. Them I would not try. But North American deer and even elk (wapiti) and moose (elk) are fair game.

Slow death

I have “hunted” on a high-fence exotic game ranch here in Texas and witnessed a mountain sheep being taken by Paul Capello with a Korean big bore. The animal stood still for several minutes as it bled out, similar to an animal harvested with an arrow. You have to get this image right in your mind before you go or it will break your heart.

I have also had to finish a small deer that a local Bubba in Maryland wounded with a shotgun shooting birdshot. He was “hunting” in a small wooded patch across the street from my house. I shot the deer in the brain with a .22 rimfire to finish it.

Bubba had no idea what he was doing, so I took out my 2-1/2-inch pocketknife and talked him through cleaning the animal. He wanted to cut its throat to “bleed it out” but I told him that removing its entrails would accomplish the same thing in a fraction of the time. When he reached into the chest cavity and cut the diaphragm to reach up into the neck and cut the esophagus and then slid down the intestines to cut the anal canal I thought he was going to puke. Then we dumped the innards and blood out and he had a much lighter animal to carry home. Oh, I also cut out the heart and liver and told him they were delicacies. I think Bubba went to MacDonalds for his next meat meal. And my point is — if you kill it you have to know what to do next.

What airgun?

If you do hunt, what do you hunt with? If you hunt and pest with more than one airgun please tell us what you use for what and why.

Summary

After reading about all the plinking you readers do I felt certain that a few of you also hunted with airguns. I want to know about it.

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.

70 thoughts on “Is anyone hunting?”

  1. B.B.

    Last summer I killed a rat with my Diana LP-8. Woke me at 3:30 am triyng to get into my place. Shot him at 10 feet through a fibreglass screened door, missing all the louvered glass. I went back to sleep. Next morning he was 3 feet away dead with blood on his side.
    With the right shot, the LP-8 can be deadly.

    -Y

  2. BB,

    I don’t hunt anymore. Did pesting of rats with a local CO2 match pistol though to minimize overpenetration and raising the ire of my mother when I was younger.

    Siraniko

    PS: Is this a multiple choice exam on the caption for the .20 Sheridan pellets? The Sheridan Cylindrical pellet wasn’t the most accurate in its day and it still isn’t, but it did/does its job if you did/do yours.

  3. I have a 1968 Blue Streak and a very nice 124. Two rifles I will never sell. I have hunted with both. More than any other. I still use iron sights. Even though my eyes are not what they used to be. But for survival, I mighty chose my Diana 350 in .22.

  4. I’ve had to shoot a raccoon off my roof with a .177 RWS Model 52 after he decided that my attic was a nice place to hang out one winter. The bearing on one of my turbine vents self-destructed and the spinning part fell to the side and the raccoon used it to go in and out like he owned the place. I didn’t eat him, because of parasite concerns, so I guess that was pesting.
    I’ve dispatched a number of possums over the years with a RWS Model 45. They are always causing problems with my trash cans. Occasionally I catch one roaming in the back yard at night and drop him from the back door, but mostly I trap them in a live trap and them make them not-alive with a close up brain shot. Don’t eat ’em ’cause, well, they’re possums and yuck! So that’s pesting, too.
    I’ve taken 4 cottentails this spring and summer as they have traversed my backyard en-route to the garden in my neighbor’s backyard. My .22 Gamo Urban has been perfect for the task. All 4 were shot in the eye at 20 -25 yards and never even twitched. I have several quarts of rabbit stew left in the freezer, along with 2 dressed rabbits for frying later. This would be a combo hunting/pesting pursuit, cause all that’s gettin’ ete!
    I know a few places where there are lots of pigeons on power lines and I want to hunt them (I see British YouTubers preparing them as food all the time, so I want to try it) but I will have to have a blind of some sort to keep drivers and other folks in the area from freaking out over a “man with a gun”. I understand the concern, so I want to be very careful. I’ll probably use my Seneca Aspen once I figure out how to do it.

    Half

  5. BB,

    I just noticed in my last comment that the indenting that I did at the beginning of each paragraph disappeared once I sent it. Is that another site “improvement”?

    Half

  6. Target shooting and plinking for me mostly anymore. Some pesting here and there. Use to pest alot more a few years back.

    Hunting not so much with air guns. Hunting has mostly been with firearms, as in shot guns. Squirrel, quail and rabbit and deer.

    Yes multi pumps are nice for pesting where you need to control velocity. Many moons ago it was a Crosman 760 and Benjamin 392. And recent years pesting was with a 760 when talking multi pumps. Now it’s my Crosman 362 with open iron sights like I did in my young days. Didn’t use scopes back then. But my pcp air guns as well as my springer see action too. And it all depends where and what I’m pesting at is what gets used. Saying that my semi-auto .22 rimfire gun got used as a kid and now. And also now I have used my .22 caliber semi-auto Benjamin Marauder for pesting. And my Condor SS .25 caliber and Marauder in .25 caliber has done real well with the bigger pest.

    Main thing is have fun shooting. Be safe and enjoy yourselves and make it fun.

    But now I mostly just enjoy plinking and some target shooting to know if I’m still performing right as well as the gun I’m shooting.

    • GF1,

      I’ve just finished reading BB’s Dragonfly Mk2 reports – brilliant. I think Seneca should sell a muzzle cap assembly replacement part with squared black blade front sight for the Dragonfly Mk2. In my opinion, many of the Mk2 owners would buy the replacement to get rid of the fiberoptic front sight.

      With the 362, Crosman have just created a legend, I think. Truly, a legend might have been born. I love its simplicity. I enjoyed reading your earlier comments on it. If GF1 approves, then it must be really good! Just tells us more. You remember I was whining about the lack of similar multi pumps a couple of years ago, and they created what I had visualized. A .177 version would be awesome as well, but for now, I can live with the .22.

      It’s been a while by the way. How’ve you been doing?

  7. I quit hunting back in 1985, before I discovered airguns. I no longer need to kill wild animals to feed my family. Now I just watch them.

    The fuzzy-tailed tree rats are starting to become pests around here though. They keep stealing my apples before they are even ripe. Mrs. RR is most resistant to my solving this dilemma. It seems the only one who can get away with killing anything around here is the dog.

  8. A Beeman P17 carried on my lawnmower accounted for 2 copperheads. An R7/177 has taken a couple of field rats. A modified Crosman 1377 with 14″ barrel is a very effective fly swatter using just a Co2 cartridge when I can not reach the buzzin’ monsters with a regular flyswatter.

    • Ha! I saw a pallet of Bug-a-Salts at Lowe’s (a big box hardware store).

      I have not yet ventured to pesting or hunting with airguns yet, but if needed, the Crosman 362 and the (new to me) Walther Terrus WS in .22 will be pressed into service. There is a never-ending army of chipmunks around here constantly digging where they shouldn’t…and rabbits eating our flowers. For the giant rabbits (deer) I have an airsoft gun to encourage them to graze a little further from the house.

      A quick note on the Terrus, after about 100 shots, everything started calming down and I was able to get nice groups at 10 yards with pellets in the 18 to 20 grain range. One needs to seat the pellets barely past the face of the breach to avoid smashing the skirts when you close the action for best results. I was able to black out the fiber optic front sight with a black dry erase marker and it looks much better for target practice. But I think the rifle deserves a scope.

  9. My early 70’s Bluestreak was responsible for acquainting quite a few squirrels with the stew pot before she entered my life; then she spent my youth hunting paper, trimming foxtails and plinking all sorts of other things. Even now, she’s the bane of the fir cones that plague my driveway.

    BUT, in the last few years, there has been a crash in feral domestic cats and small wild cats (bobcats) around here due to an epidemic of FIV/FLV, and the rodent population has gotten WAY out of control.

    So she and my 1077 have joined he fight against the Norways that chew on the cars, the various mice and wood rats that avoid the electric traps and the (INDOOR ONLY) cats, and the less cautious gophers out in my wife’s garden. Front sight just behind the elbow; squeeeeeze . . .POP! A bit of a twitch, then 5 seconds or so later, the rat just. . . falls over. An anti-climactic end to another round of wiring and cooling system repairs.

    I’m about to start a campaign against the ground squirrels that are undermining a couple trees in the front yard, too, so the BlueStreak will be returning to her roots, in a way. . . .

    But we live in a nominally firearms-free zone (employer-supplied housing) and the supply of ol’ Blue’s preferred .20 Red-Box pellets is dwindling, so I’m thinking there may be a .22 or .25 Marauder or Talon SS in my future, They’d raise fewer questions about noise than the Ruger Mark-II. but still give me the reach/power to deal with skunks, raccoons and possums BEFORE they take up residence in the trash cans. I haven’t gotten sprayed yet, and I’d like to keep it that way! (And any raccoon or possum that’s out in daylight and acting clumsy is automatically something I want to keep WELL away from. . . )

  10. Hunted years ago-rabbit, squirrel, pesting against grackles in a pine grove (the neighbors loved us because the birds in the hundreds crapped on everything in sight). Sheridan Silver, Benjamin 342, Diana 45, HW30, Daisy 880, Crosman 2200 all did the job well. I won’t kill anything now unless it’s a problem, or I get hungry.

  11. One thing I noticed as I started thinning out the squirrels at the house I bought 4 summers ago was the ratio of male vs female was 3:1. I started keeping count and watched that ratio correct itself gradually to 2:1 the year after and normalizing to 1:1 currently after 300+ squirrels were taken out. Hw 95 allowed for very efficient pesting without alerting neighbors which I suspect think of squirrels as a nice garden feature. A dozen rabbits are eliminated as well every year as they continually try to nest in the garden. They are much easier to control.

  12. Other than the occasional partridge, rabbit or squirrel for the pot I haven’t hunted in 15 years.

    These days I do a lot of pesting. The rural area I live in is populated just enough that the that the natural predators have moved out leaving the pest population to get way out of control.

    For general pesting and small game hunting I prefer .22 caliber PCPs. Usually it’s my HW100 but more and more my FX Crown gets the job (it’s lighter weight and has a greater shot count) . I have several .22 caliber PCPs (20 to 45 fpe) and the one I choose depends on the (range and power) requirements.

    For small pests (chipmunks) I prefer springers with my FWB 300 being my favorite though the HW30 is getting a lot of use as well.

    For large pests (raccoons, porcupines, groundhogs) the .25 caliber FX Royale was my go-to but more recently I’ve switched to. 22 caliber FX Impact as it shoots at about the same (45 fpe) power level.

    I’ve had good results with the JSB .22, 15.89 grain Hades pellets. Wish JSB would offer the Hades in a 25 grain version.

    Cheers!
    Hank

  13. For many years I hunted rabbits and squirrels with my Sheridan and FWB 124. Now days, it is pesting with my .25 Marauder, P=rod or my .22 Gauntlet for raccoons, skunks and armadillos. No place to hunt anymore and getting too old to go tramping through the woods anyway.

    Shot many rabbits and squirrels before the Sheridan and FWB 124 were stolen. Replaced the FWB 124 with insurance money but it took 30 years before I got another Sheridan. My three boys all had Sheridans but not dad. Now I have five Sheridans. Plan on selling one Sheridan at the September Air Gun Show.

  14. For invading squirrels ,rats and chippies I started with a .177 Crosman Fire from Wallyworld. I liked being able to leave it cocked without doin damage to it. Then I got snobby and was given a Walther LGU Varmint in.22. That rifle puts em where I tell it to! My only misgiving is not being able to leave it cocked for anytime. I’m paranoid, so it isn’t cocked for any longer than thirty seconds at a time.

  15. I plink, and sometimes hunt, if I get an animal, great, but I enjoy being in the outdoors more than I enjoy the hunt.

    I also do pest control for the company I work for, I use an antiquated .22 caliber Gunpower Stealth (serial #667) I love the gun, but don’t shoot it as much as i should,
    I use different tanks for different situations, with co2, It gets 10ftlb on the nose, with the UK tank it get sub 12 ftlbs, with a standard tank it gets 20 ftlbs.
    I like the gun because it is short and fits in a small case that does not look like a gun case,
    So when i show up at the place of business, it does not attract attention.

    The main reason i like it is it is utterly reliable. It always works..
    I have a new JTS .25 caliber rifle due to be delivered tomorrow,
    Will i hunt with it?
    Possibly, but it will probably be my long range plinker….

    Ian

  16. I’d love to do some hunting with my air rifles, but unfortunately we don’t have any rabbits, hares, squirrels or pigeons in this country.

    We have ptarmigan though, which should be suitable quarry for an air rifle, but I’ve never heard of anyone hunting them with one.

  17. I have always hunted with air rifles and some pistols . As a child I would hunt rats ,pidgeons and other pest birds like starlings. We hunted tree squirrels and rabbits. My brother had a Benji 342 and I had a Crosman Medalist 2 . We also shared a Crosman model 99 that my father taught us to shoot with in the basement when we lived in the city, before we moved to the farm where I grew up.. Today I still hunt with air guns , mostly squirrels. So much safer shooting up in the air with a ir rifles ,compared to a RF.22. I also trap, nowadays for pest control for farms ,and my old good Sheridan still gets used for quiet safe dispatch inside buildings and around barn yards. I guess you had to have a father and uncle who used and was interested in air arms to influence you . A lot of kids don’t hunt or trap , or even fish now because they don’t want to clean small game they take. They don’t want to deal with the work of the aftermath. If hunting is talked about today ,it is all deer hunting here with maybe turkey . Game you need a specialized air rifle to take., Then they pay someone to clean and wrap up their deer. My neighbor does a brisk business doing that.

  18. B.B.,
    I hunted a ton with my old Sheridan (which is nearly identical to yours =>). These days, I mostly plink, and also do some necessary pesting. I have a Crosman 362, but I mostly got it for fun, and have left it with the stock sights; she’s a great rifle, accurate and fun. For dedicated pesting, I got the Dragonfly Mark2, which I ordered immediately after your set of reports (back in FEB 2022), and finally received 4 months later…she was well worth the wait!!!
    Yes, ordinarily, multi-pumps and scopes do not get along; but as you can see in the pic, the Dragonfly Mark2 is the rare exception; and only because she is sooooooooooooo easy to pump! 🙂
    Blessings to you,
    dave

      • Half,
        I love this rifle! She’s got a little more power than my old [1974] Sheridan c-model, and she is much easier to actually use scoped. With .22 JSB RS 13.43-grain pellets she puts out 14.6 fpe (700 fps), which is plenty of power for pesting or hunting small game (all my old hunting of squirrels and rabbits was done with 6 pumps in my Sheridan for 11.8 fpe). Also, she is accurate; as you can see in the pic, I had a pretty nice one-ragged-hole group going for 4 shots; then the 5th shot opened that up a bit, but I was distracted as I didn’t want to hit one of our “pet does” that wandered behind my back stop as I was shooting the 5th shot. Later on, I found two other pellets, H&N FTT 14.6 grain and JSB Jumbo 18.13 grain, that shoot about as well; hence, I need to have a “shoot-off” at 40 yards to see which is best at a distance. I had to hold off on that since, as I finished my last test session, I noticed that one of the screws on the middle link in the forearm had fallen out, so I am waiting on my [free] replacement from PA and Air Venturi. But overall, I love this rifle; it’s perfect for hunting or pesting! 🙂
        Take care,
        dave

        • dave,
          That’s what I wanted to hear. How many pumps give you the 14.6 fpe and 700 fps?

          Now I need to dig up some data on the .177 model. I don’t know which of the two I want yet.

          Thanks, and stay safe yourself. My wife and daughter and I all tested positive for covid after I took my grandson out for dinner July 1. The next day he got sick and tested positive. We’ve quarantined since then and when his mom tested positive and got sick on the 5th, we tested on the 6th. We’re positive with no symptoms, as I right this on the 9th. Very weird virus.

          Half

          • Half,
            I’m praying for your family; it IS a very weird virus! Despite 2 vaccination shots and 2 booster shots, my wife had a breakthrough infection of COVID in January; however, the vaccines did their work; despite being in the high-risk category, she did not get sick enough to have to go to the hospital…praise the LORD!
            As for the velocity data on the Dragonfly Mark2, this is what I got for two different .22 pellets:

            # of pumps . RSB RS 13.43-grain, .H&N FTT 14.66-grain
            5 = 583 fps (10.1 fpe), 564 fps (10.34 fpe)
            10 = 673 fps (13.5 fpe), 640 fps (13.32 fpe)
            15 = 699 fps (14.56 fpe), 674 fps (14.77 fpe)

            I hope that helps!
            Praying for you,
            dave

  19. As a little dude I had a kids bow arrows, and got a rat with a lucky shot. Killed him and pinned him to the ground. I was about six or seven years old. Now, as a 68 year old geezer, I use my air guns when I need to shoot pests, but mostly target shoot. When BB said if you have chickens, you have rats, he nailed it. I shoot them at night when they go into our coop. Either I mount a wall red led flashlight with a focusable (is that a word?) beam onto the scope body, or I use a rechargeable light with various colored lenses onto a bar stool. I have to use rifle scopes at my age. I have taken rats at night with Crosman 760, 66, 2400KT, and my F4, and a Daisy 880. I also use my air guns to take trouble making rosters that come onto our acre on Hawaii Island. I have taken rosters with head shots to about 15 yards with an 880, and with my F4. All my multi pumpers wear rifle scopes, and I have methods to pump them without putting stress on the stocks. Guns like the 880, 760, Crosman 2100B etc tend to break at the butt stock, and I have never broke one. I recently bought a Daisy Model 35 again, and am grooming it for my ratting service. I once tried to explain my pumping method herd on these guns, and my scoped 1377 and 1322 with skeleton buttstocks on them, but realized my explanation was a total failure. But, it works for me and puts no stress on the scopes or buttstock. I guess I could film it, but then all would see how ugly I am! Mongoose are pests here, but I have never seen one on my acre, and they are very fast and skittish, and hard to draw a bead on.

  20. B.B.,

    I have hunted and continue to push for hunting with airguns.
    I don’t know how many of the readership understand the current situation with airguns and hunting; this quote from Utah RAC and Utah Wildlife Board deliberations may help:
    “The NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) sent a letter to RAC chairs last week, voicing its concern about the use of air
    rifles, PR (Pittman-Robertson) dollars and air rifles and their use. Casey Snider commented during the legislative session that he stripped out the license provision requirements in order to use
    air rifles during the hunt because 1 – this type of weapon was under review at the federal
    level and will likely be eventually covered under PR (Pittman-Robertson Act) dollars. 2 – Worried about setting a
    precedent of having a weapon: need a tag for the hunter, a fee for the hunter and a fee
    for the weapon. When you buy a license in some states, you also have to buy a stamp
    that says you can now archery hunt. It’s not necessarily a tax on archery equipment, it
    just allows you one more opportunity. Wonder if something like that might help.”
    Utah is an interesting case, although a landowner you might not be domiciled for hunting and various other categories of residency. As a non-resident you don’t get much say; just pay extra for most government controlled things.
    The point is that hunting is a big money maker for the Federal government and states. Along with all the business it generates that all gets taxed and helps the economy. The Fed tax on long guns is currently 11% and on handguns 10% not to speak about ammo. Just recently a Representative proposed a 1,000% tax on AR-15s!
    Back to hunting.

    My hunting is done with my DAQs .308, .458 & .58 caliber. I actually call it pesting since recently most all of it is during Biologist sanctioned culls on closed areas that have Deer problems. I would love to airgun hunt big game in Utah but they are currently only allowing Airbows.and Airbolt. I will continue to try to push for better understanding of Big Bore bullet launchers. My opinion is that they, Utahns, are conservative and still view airguns as toys from conversations with various individuals in Utah who should be better informed.

    Virginia has come around on airguns and may get better still!

    shootski

  21. Can’t say have ever hunted; went on a deer hunt once with some friends but no one bagged anything, which was probably just as well. Pesting it is, starting with rabbits in Dade County FL to help a farmer who was having his produce gobbled up by the bunnies. For that, my friends and I used .22 rimfire, the tool of choice being Ruger’s 10-22.

    Later did some “pesting” with a cousin’s Crosman .22 38T revolver – he used it on rats, FM on pigeons. Still have it, but fortunately no pesky pigeons or rats around here. The iguanas are something else but for them, there are choices – HW95 in .22, Benjamin Maximus in .177 and the Ben Max Hunter version in .22; they’re all suitable and have racked a fair number of kills between them, keeping our bananas, plantains and sweet potato plants safe. The 95 is not scoped, the .177 Max has an Axeon Red Dot on it and the .22 Max still has the CenterPoint scope it came with, though FM plans to replace it with a BugBuster sooner or later. Sooner is the goal.

    Mrs. FM does not mind the pesting – she does not like reptiles, whether of the 2 or 4-legged variety. 😉

  22. I do not derive any pleasure from harming animals, yet I shoot salt at mosquitoes and flies with my Bug-A-Salt gun, and wasps with the bugblaster muzzle attachment inserted in a CO2 pistol (normally the CP99).

    I have no hunting skills whatsoever. I certainly don’t shoot well enough to deliver instant death, and I wouldn’t know how to butcher a carcass.

  23. I could sit outside and terminate rabbits all day but I just go after the ones that decide to live in my engine compartments and munch on wires and hoses. Just like rats and squirrels. Not so much gophers, they are hard to spot. Bigger 4 legged pests just come and go for the most part.
    They are called pests because they generally live to cause damage when they interact with humans. For some reason they do not understand the purpose of a fence and do everything they can to get through it ?
    An acre of fully cleared brush land turns into a rabbit playground at night with a dozen or more scattering as I drive in the gate. I use my 22 FX Independence on everything. Always loaded and ready for action. Except the ones sitting on the hood of my 69 Mustangs. They come out of the hood scoop to relax, catch some rays, and enjoy the view. Word must be out that they are safe there?

    I occasionally have much bigger pests who climb ‘over’ the fence but they would require the use of a big game airgun and it’s against the law to shoot them.
    Even if they point their own firearm at you and threaten to shoot you or threaten to burn your house down while you are asleep if you interfere with their trespassing.
    They are usually just passing through but occasionally you can tell they were here at night. Car doors are left open and water faucets will be left running. The barbed wire fence can usually be put back in shape easy enough.

    • Bob M,

      I would plumb in some SPECIAL faucets with some special chemical additives…ExLax comes to mind. In college we had a common kitchen with a big commercial refrigerator for our food. Folks who didn’t pay attention to my labeled items found my high quality bacon very tempting until a scant number hours later and their most pressing visits to the Loo/John Crapper appliance.

      Some pop up flash-BANG devices could be fun or this:
      https://blade-city.com/blogs/gun-knife-blog/12-gauge-trip-wire-alarms-are-put-to-the-test-video

      shootski

      • Shootski
        Thanks for the link. This subject came up a while back or at least I commented on it. Remote sensors.
        So there I am standing outside my entry door on a pitch black night listening to my motion / heat sensor alarm make all kinds of noise in the house. This is the 4th time it went off. The sensor is right beside me pointing straight into the wilderness beyond my fence. I’m shinning a blinding flashlight all over and there is absolutely nothing in sight or moving. Then it moved through the light beam. A Bat making his nightly rounds.

        Sensors and trip wires work well in laboratory conditions not the real world where birds, pests and every other animal as well as swaying tree limbs count as intruders. And yes bats. You would need a very sophisticated system that could be restricted to humans but I suspect a deer would match the parameters as well.
        Can you imagine shotgun shells going off all night. Too many critters in the wild.

        If I can’t do anything to illegals during the day, all I could do at night is try to discourage them from causing me problems with a little intimidation device fired into the air and hope they don’t shoot back ;( People are pretty much on their own here.

        That dietary supplement idea sounds good but they would be long gone by then. Never the same people. I’m leaning toward activated high intensity lighting with some sort of inside indicator light. No more noise ! At least I could see and watch them at night.
        Just a part of life here depending on who is running the show.
        Sometimes just offering them water disarms the situation, but there are some bad actors out there. and you need to stay alert. A little backup helps too..

        • Bob M, I wonder about those “illegals” – would you be situated close to the Mexican border?

          I am in France, where there have been some odd occurrences regarding missing horse ears.
          All over the country, including much too close to our home, horses have been discovered with, sometimes fatal, knife wounds.

          Nobody has ever been taken to court, despite some having been caught in the act.

          The ‘adults’ said, we’re not interested, go away!

          We have a couple of dressage horses (she likes to ride in circles, to me they’re just pets).

          So, for a while, my dog and I were constantly tired because of the frequent, very early, morning perimeter patrols.
          A local farmer offered to help me dig a deep hole should I need to… 🙂

          Anyway, then the Covid Games started and, touch wood (!), horse atrocities have ceased.

          I wonder whether you feel fear, anger, pity or something else altogether, about your “trespassers”?

          By the way, our neighbours’ dogs and our own, provide more than enough noise. Whether or not any of the incessant barking might be of interest to me, I don’t know, and so it seems a nuisance. Also, we have a few motion-sensor halogen lights that we have now become used to, ie we don’t take much notice of them illuminating.

          On the other hand, I believe that the deterrent effect is working well! 🙂

          • hihihi
            Thanks for the reply. Nice to know info there. Yes I live close to the border with Mexico. Always getting ‘Welcome to Mexico” on my phone.
            I feel sorry for these people. They are impoverished and desperate. I would be doing the same thing if I were in their shoes. Most are decent people but there are some gang members or otherwise bad, mostly young, people mixed in as well.

            We had a local woman killed for checking on a neighbors house while they were gone. She walked in on a gang member inside. He took her car and actually made it through a Border Check Point trying to get back to Los Angeles. He was deported before.

            Here you will be arrested if you cause them harm and the law , instructed by politicians, would like to keep a low profile in this area of immigration.

            Neighbors dogs bark at everything, Even turning on a bathroom light at night. So yes I can see how any system that is constantly activated by animals would get to be ignored over time. It would have to be accompanied by some unusual sound.

            Nice to know some things are helping to keep them away. especially for you. You may have real terrorist types from the middle east.
            I do not fear them, but they are desperate and can do desperate things to continue on their journey. Keeping calm and letting them know you are there avoids a lot of problems. They just may go around you.
            Overreacting will lead to all kinds of chaos. But you must remain on guard for bad apples and keep your distance.
            Have you seen any little gray or green ‘illegals’ near the horses ? Very odd situation.

          • Hmm, Bob M, sounds like a potentially very dangerous location. Also, it sounds like the authorities are as much help as here! 🙂

            I assume that you have your reasons for not yet relocating.

            The thing about the horse hurters here, is, nobody seems to know much about them, except there are several, they know how to handle horses and sometimes the injuries have been said to remind of a butcher’s skill.

            I have a question: what are “…little gray or green ‘illegals’…” ?

  24. My entry to airguns began with pesting. That journey began 15 years ago and continues to this day.

    I have lived in only suburban settings. Noise level is a significant concern. As a result, my go-to gun has been a Gamo Whisper Classic, about 15 years old, in .177. I use cheap Crosman hollowpoints. The gun is a single-shot, breakbarrel. One shot is all you need. The sound will scare a pest off, if you miss.

    This has been very choice for me. I swapped out the spring with a Crosman Nitro piston at the time I purchased it. So I don’t mind leaving it cocked for hours, which I would with a spring. I have always shot offhand from a standing position. Gun came with a scope but I never mounted one, I like forcing myself to be a better shooter with open sights. After many years of shooting, I finally changed out the rear sight from a glowy-thing fiberoptic sight to a Williams aperature sight. Loving the aperature sight. Just wish I could swap out the front sight too.

    Most common target is squirrel, After that, it is rat and rabbit, here in Texas. When I lived in the Washingtoin, DC area, it was almost totally rats.

    I will occasionally clear out Barn Swallows from a family member’s barn nearby. You only need to worry about them during nesting season. Those shots scare me, however. The roof is think sheet metal, and once – only once – I missed and put a hole in it. Bad! Since then I use a monopod to stabilize for the shot. It really has to be one-shot-one-kill, or else you can count on another hole. I am using the same setup as above aside from a rest, but in candor it is overpowered. (Shoots an average of around 820 fpswith the Crosman HP’s, if I recall,,, but can’t find my Chrony logbook at the moment).

    For the barn swallows with a vulnerable backdrop, a better setup would be less power (perhaps 700 -750 fps), and and a scope. Momopod is fine and flexible. Shooting upwards off a bagrest is impractical.

    Back in suburbia, I shot a rabbit and squirrel last week. Working on rats as my primary target, however. A rodent chewed through an A/C unit wire so Mrs.StarboardRower is not pleased. It is 100 degrees here.

    StarboardRower

  25. Off topic, but if you remember the Haenel 312 you looked at recently, and a problem with a locknut on the trigger adjustment, it turns out that as might be expected there was a factory tool for that.

    I’ve finally had the opportunity to look at the club’s Haenel 312, but also what I remembered as sitting in the safe as well – the accessory box for it. If there were any inserts or dividers they’ve long gone unfortunately, but as you can see it’s big enough to take the rearsight, removed from the gun, the allen keys probably aren’t ex-factory, the thin screwdriver might be, but that big L-shaped tool would be the answer to your problem. The short arm ends in a slotted screwdriver that looks just right for the main stock securing screws, the long arm ends in a tubular section with two little protruding pips. I couldn’t recall the problems you had had with the trigger when I saw this and it didn’t at first mean anything to me.

    Box has the Haenel logo on its lid, and is numbered to the gun on the inside.

    Iain

  26. WOW! There are sooo many responses to the blog today. I now feel a bit guilty for going off topic and asking about this: BB, will we be seeing Part 10 on the Seneca Dragonfly MK2 series soon? I’m enjoying mine and just can’t learn enough about it from you and my fellow blog readers. Thanks in advance, Orv.

    • Hoppalong Doc
      Is your Dragonfly 2 pump handle hard to open from the closed position? Mine is. I thought it might break in but it hasn’t.

      It does pump with the same pressure but opening takes more work than I like for each pump.

      I find myself not closing the pump handle all the way so it will be easier for the next pump.

      And to keep the closing quiet like all the pumpers I have had throughout time is not going to work on the Dragonfly 2 by releasing pressure and pulling back with your pump hand.

      I was going to send it back like someone else was going to do on the blog with thiers and exchange it for another to see if the one we got is a lemon. I kept mine in hopes that it would break in and get easier to release the pump handle but so far no. It’s still hard to open and close actually. Other pumpers I have had and have are no doubt easier to pump than the Dragonfly 2 I have.

      Just say’n what is. Wsh I could say better but I can’t.

  27. GunFun: my Dragonfly in .22 cal hasn’t been difficult to open at. I simply place the stock butt on my right knee, grab the forearm, as close to the trigger as possible, and start pumping. I too don’t fully close the arm fully until my final pump (thanks to the input of Tom), usually between 4 and six strokes. I usually just go plinking at from 10 to 50 yards. Once I’m shooting past 40 yards or so I’ve been pumping it for 10 strokes. I am using the metal sights at this point, so my accuracy past 40 yards isn’t great yet. . . with the emphasis on yet. What’s your experience on pumping strokes and accuracy? As always, Orv.

    • Hoppalong Doc
      We are plinking at around 40 yards and in. Aluminum cans has been no problem at those distances.

      And so your Dragonfly 2 releases the pump handle easy from the closed position? Mine does not compared to the other pumpers I have owned. It makes me use more effort that I’m use too. So for me the Dragonfly 2 is not a easier pumping multi pump from what I have seen in the last 40 or more years of shooting multi pumps.

      • Gunfun1,

        Here is a thought, do not know a lot about pumpers but I am thinking that the piston is adjusted too long and rather than just coming to the valve and stopping it is set so that it is actually hitting the valve causing a hard close. With it stuck tight against the valve I would think that would make it also hard to unlatch the pumping handle.

        Yes I do not know, just guessing but it makes some sense to me, perhaps you could try adjusting the pump head and see if that helps.

        Mike

        • Mike
          I’ll look into it. Don’t know when.. Been working alot of over time at work.. But sounds like that could be it. I’ll let you know when I get to look at.

          • Gunfun1,

            It does seem to be a common problem, looking at the reviews on the Pyramyd AIR site a number of folks have reported this as a problem but no solutions have been provided.

            B.B. has said that there will be another blog on the Dragonfly Mk2, perhaps the airgun techs could chime in with what is going on with this problem.

            Mike

  28. I do not hunt much and when I do it is a combination of hunting and pesting in that I only really hunt squirrels when they over run my camp at the river, but I make sure the meat is eaten either by myself or a neighbor friend who loves them and so they don’t go to waste. My primaries for that is a Crosman Valiant .22 break barrel or Gamo Bone Collector Swarm Gen 1. Both put out just over 20fpe. I have more powerful PCPs but these guns stay at the river camp and that is where they get used and do a fine job of it too.

    For pesting, mostly invasive bird species or sparrows that crap all over my deck, I always keep either my 2240 or P17 at hand. The custom 2240 puts out just over 9fpe for larger birds (or a squirrel) and the P17 does fine on the little sparrows at 10-15 feet. I am lucky in that I have never even seen a live rat anywhere I have lived and pigeons are not common here either. Mostly sparrows and Eurasion Collared Doves.

    I am considering deer hunting this fall with my Sam Yang Dragon Claw .50 though.

  29. hihihi
    Ran out of reply room above. I stay here because the number of reasons to stay are about the same as the number to move on. At a tipping point now as I age.. Did not realize you were in France when I got into politics here. Worlds apart.
    OK I left out some words in my last reply, Illegals ‘from space’. Not to many green or gray illegals here on earth. They are suspect in butchering livestock here in the U.S. And now perhaps horses in France? But you say a suspect was caught.

    • Thanks Bob M, for the explanation! 🙂

      I had a feeling there might be some humour involved. For all I know, they were little green men, disguised of course, lest they spook the equines.

      From memory, there was one incident whereby a horse owner happened upon a group of males, one of whom cut him with a knife, before making a swift exit. A hospital visit and some stitches to the forearm sorted that.
      His detailed description of his attacker, resulted in the arrest of a man. The police let him go again because he was not the suspect, so, I believe they were happy to have done their best and… case closed.

      Despite that incident – fingers crossed – the attacks on equines appear to have ceased… 🙂

      PS I knew a South African couple who moved in next door (my previous home in England). They loved to reminisce about their beloved country which they missed dearly.

      They explained that when a close friend of theirs got killed by burglars in her home, they decided that they would no longer risk their children’s lives (they didn’t care so much about themselves) and so, they left.

  30. Walked around my car this morning and found a ground squirrel in my cactus garden. Way too close for my FX rifle but my Diana P5 Magnum pistol placed him on the menu tonight for some bigger wildlife.

  31. Hello all,
    At the age of four , the family was visiting my paternal grandparents’ farm. My father walks into the house proud from his outing in the fields. Holding two rabbits from the ears. He smiles and says “guess what’s for dinner.” I started crying and yelling — my cats, my cats.

    I was invited to a friend’s house. On the grill were stakes, chicken and rabbit. Could not resist the smell or the sight. I was oblivious to the word tearing into that rabbit and sucking on them bones when I noticed this young man staring at me. Pass the wine please is all I could say. What a gentleman. He poured me a glass , walked to the grill , got himself some rabbit and another plate for me. Cameback and sat next to me.I just knew I had to marry him.

    I do not hunt. I live in the city and there is nothing appetizing in this concrete jungle. I occasionally use an Diana 27 in .22 or an Beeman R7 in .177 to dispatch a rat. Rifles are handy, easy to cock and very accurate with a Williams peep. My paper punching is done mostly with an FWB 124. The most accurate rifle I have. Wears an older Bushnell 6×18 scope. Can hit almost everything from 30 to 40 yards. Light enough, even with the scope and easy to cock. Also find it a beauty of wood and steel.

  32. Well, on Sunday…or was it Saturday? A mind is a terrible thing to lose, but never mind. Anyway, FM took a shot at an Ick-natius Iguana from about 20 yards with the .22 Ben Max; it was already half spooked and pointing towards the neighbor’s fence where it was steadily heading, while looking over its left shoulder and spotting the old sniper. Missed shot – appears the “whoosh” of the pellet convinced him to turn into an Olympic sprinter and away it went. It had no bananas that day.

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