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Hunting with air guns

All things air related here. BB guns, pellet guns, paintball guns, even air shotguns.
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North Country Gal
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Hunting with air guns

Postby North Country Gal » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:49 pm

I don't hunt, anymore, but back in the day, I did quite a bit of hunting. It was mostly small game hunting and what I brought home made many a fine meal. My favorite to hunt were squirrels and rabbits and, over the years I used a wide variety of weapons for my hunting. One of these was my Sheridan Blue Streak 20 cal pump up air rifle. Rabbits were no match for the Sheridan and even our large Fox Squirrels dropped, humanely, with a well-placed shot at 25 yards or less.

What I loved about the Sheridan was how quiet it was and how much safer it was to use around the barn and other outbuildings. Pellets were cheap, too, and that was a good thing in some of those lean years. Great memories.

Today, Bill and I are fortunate to have some very expensive and superb quality airguns in our collection (though I still have and shoot my beloved Sheridan Blue Streaks). If I decided to get back into hunting, though, it would not be one of my powerful and expensive spring piston airguns. Oh, they have the power, but my springers that generate enough foot pounds of energy to be good choices for hunting are beasts to carry. No way am I going to carry a scoped rifle that weighs over 9 pounds all afternoon. (I'm still pretty spry for an old gal, but not that spry.)

Nope, my choice for a hunting air rifle would be one of the cheaper air guns in the collection. I managed to buy this used Benjamin Discovery 22 cal PCP air rifle for only $150 and that included the hand pump. The previous owner also added an aftermarket moderator at the end of the barrel to help silence the gun.
Image

The Discovery is a great example of why PCP air rifles are now the most popular types of air rifles for hunting. So what makes the Discovery is a great choice for a small game rifle?

For one, even with it's 4x scope, the gun weighs under 6 pounds. Could carry this one all day. For another, the gun is very accurate, right there with my expensive spring piston guns. The trigger is stock and at least useable, but there are all kinds of aftermarket trigger kits available for this model. Just haven't gotten around to adding one.
Here's today's target at 10 meters. Image

And here's a target I shot a coupe of summers, ago, out at 50 yards
Image

For still another, the Disco, as Discovery fans call their rifles, is very quiet to operate. Just cock the bolt, load a pellet and shoot. No spring noise or pumping noise. And speaking of quiet, with that moderator, you'll barely hear the shot, yourself. The pellet hitting a hard backstop makes more noise.

With a fully charged reservoir, I get twenty plus full power shots. That's plenty for a day of squirrel and rabbit hunting. (Note that most PCP air rifles deliver at least twice this number of shots on a fill.)

My main reason for carrying the 22 Disco for hunting, though, is power. It can generate up to 23 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. That's more than twice the fpe I was getting with the old Sheridan and still way more than the 14 fpe of energy I get with my heavy, most powerful spring piston guns. Bottom line: I'd have no hesitation using this Disco out to 35 yards and a bit beyond. Back in the day, I rarely needed to take longer shots than that.

Of course, there were no PCPs air rifles in those days or I would have used one for hunting. Guess that tells you something about how old I am. :)
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GFK
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Re: Hunting with air guns

Postby GFK » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:31 pm

Nice shooting!
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RetiredSeabee
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Re: Hunting with air guns

Postby RetiredSeabee » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:00 pm

Love your reviews and range reports. You have taught me a lot.
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North Country Gal
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Re: Hunting with air guns

Postby North Country Gal » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:12 pm

Truly my pleasure.
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daytime dave
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Re: Hunting with air guns

Postby daytime dave » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:28 am

NCG, I completely agree with your current choice for a hunting gun. It is the top choice of my three go to hunting air rifles. I have a my disco configured the same as yours, complete with brake. I have a 4-9x50 scope. If I am going to hunt, that is coming with me first. I didn't like my disco at first. From the factory it was a dud. A couple of years ago I sent it to the airgunsmith at Baker Airguns. He made it right. Unfortunately, at my parents place, the coyotes, fox and hawks have gotten all the rabbits and squirrels that I used to.

Number two and three on the hunting list are my Marauder in .22 and my Nitro II in .22. All are quiet and reliable. The Nitro just needs that modified artillery hold and it's deadly on game.

The disco is by far the easiest to carry all morning long. I need to put a strap on it. I also need to put the new seals in my hand pump. I blew them out pumping up a friends semi auto FX Monsoon.
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North Country Gal
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Re: Hunting with air guns

Postby North Country Gal » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:00 am

Dave, we also have an early Marauder, but it's leaking pretty bad and I haven't gotten around to sending it in for repair. For whatever reason, our Discovery is a bit more accurate, anyway, and I love it's simplicity. Also love the fact that it runs on lower pressure than most PCP rifles. Means an old gal like me can still pump it up, instead of resorting to scuba tanks for fills. It's a keeper.

I don't shoot the few PCPs we have anywhere near as much as our other types of airguns, but I have to give them credit for the advantages they do provide. That's the great thing about shooting air guns. There's a type of air gun for all tastes and shooting needs.
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GaHenryFan
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Re: Hunting with air guns

Postby GaHenryFan » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:38 am

I've owned a Qb22 hpa for several years and I picked up a Gamo Urban 22 last year. Both are deadly accurate and plenty powerful for small game, but the Gamo is a little quieter and it has a 10 shot rotary mag.
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North Country Gal
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Re: Hunting with air guns

Postby North Country Gal » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:45 pm

Magazines are other advantage of PCPs that I forgot to mention. My Disco doesn't have one, but the Mrod does. Nice feature to have for cold weather shooting.
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Mgderf
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Re: Hunting with air guns

Postby Mgderf » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:41 pm

I'd love to be able to buy one of these airguns someday,

http://www.quackenbushairguns.com

One of these days...
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