This report covers:
- Muzzle energy
- What BB wants
- How about you?
- Last words
The other day reader Vana2 said this, “(I) Know that the long range shooters favor the larger calibers but I’m wondering what the PRACTICAL applications are for a .30 caliber 80-90 foot pound airgun.
Please pardon that my perspective is that of sub-raccoon sized game that is easily managed with a typical .22 caliber PCP.”
To which reader RidgeRunner responded, “They are not of much use except for bench rest shooting and stuff smaller than deer. Like you said, you don’t have a use for that caliber. Neither do I.”
I agree with their sentiments. I don’t see any practical application for an airgun that shoots large, expensive pellets, yet is less powerful than a .25-caliber precharged airgun already in existence. But it doesn’t end there.
What about the horsepower wars currently going on in the big bore airgun world? I remember when 500 foot-pounds was thought to be more than enough, which it is. When your air rifle shoots a lead bullet completely through an 1800 pound American bison (and a 500 foot-pound rifle will do it when shooting from the side, unless the bullet impacts a large bone) how much more power do you need? Yet the Umarex Hammer and the AirForce Texan are now pushing past 750-800 foot pounds. And you don’t need to consult the tea leaves to see what’s coming next. That’s right — the 1,000 foot-pound “threshold.”
Now, let’s talk about what sells.
I once had a guy at an airgun show ask me, “How many f.p.s.?” in reference to one of my guns that was for sale. I could tell from what he said, and more from the way that he said it, that he didn’t really know what he was asking, but he was looking for a large number. Any large number I said would have impressed him. I could have easily lied and made a sale, but I won’t lie. Also I didn’t want him to own any of my airguns. When I part with a gun I want it to mean something to its new owner.
There have already been airguns that generate a thousand foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. I saw one in the late 1990s. It was a greater-than-one-inch caliber (1.18 caliber as I recall) that fired a 7+ ounce lead doorknob at 450 f.p.s. It was powered by CO2 and was called CO Too Much. It weighed about 13 pounds and had to be rested on a table to be aimed. It kicked like a .375 Holland and Holland, which is quite a lot, in case you’re not familiar.
Remember the hundred-dollar PCP? Some people want things that are super cheap, but when they see them up close they get upset because of all the plastic in them. I own the hundred-dollar PCP, which I bought from Dennis Quackenbush for — you guessed it — one hundred dollars.
What BB wants
BB Pelletier doesn’t get to decide what people want, which is a very good thing. Because BB is an old curmudgeon! But he does get to write this blog, so here is what BB wants.
1. A precharged pneumatic air rifle that fills to 1500 psi, gets 20 shots at 15 foot-pounds in .177 caliber and can put ten good pellets into 0.375-inches at 25 yards when there is no wind.
2. A breakbarrel air rifle that cocks with about 15 pounds of effort and shoots an 8 grain .177 caliber pellet at around 650 f.p.s. I want the rifle to have open adjustable sights with no fiberoptics. It should be slim and svelte.
3. A spring-piston BB pistol with the same level of accuracy as the Daisy 499B. This one needs a great TWO-stage trigger and finely adjustable sights. I can imagine a competition at 5 meters that resembles 10-meter pistol matches.
4. A short scope (like a Bug Buster) that has a thin etched glass reticle and an eye relief of 3.5-4 inches to make positioning easier.
Is any of that possible? Yes! The USFT rifle I owned got 55 shots of 10.65 Baracuda Match pellets going 915 f.p.s on 1,600 psi. That works out to 19.8 foot-pounds. It put five pellets into a group smaller than 0.375-inches at 50 yards. What I just proposed is less in all respects, so with some thought given it should be achievable.
The scope is possible and I hope that someone is working on it right now.
The one thing that I don’t know about is the target BB pistol. I believe that it is well within the range of current technology, but is it something any company would want to build? Could they sell them? Would anyone buy a target BB pistol that might cost $200, yet only shoot BBs at 250 f.p.s.? Maybe they are right. Maybe there isn’t a demand for a super accurate BB pistol.
How about you?
I’ve told you what I want; now it’s your turn. Don’t just blurt something out. Please give us the reasoning for why you want what you say you want.
Here is the example of a product that I think was perfectly developed — the Seneca Dragonfly Mark 2. It is the finest multi-pump pneumatic I have ever seen, and that includes my Sheridan Supergrade.
I thought the Air Venturi Bronco was also the best of its kind when it was available. I would like to see more products developed like that with some though behind them.
Air Venturi Bronco.