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  1. #1
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    Default Air Rifle advice requested

    I have done a considerable amount of successful gunsmithing over the years, but I am a long ways off from being a professional. I have also been a competitive shooter and an avid reloader in years past, but I don't know anything about air guns other than the Daisy BB guns of my youth. I am in the market for a air rifle that is accurate with varmit killing power at 50 to 60 meters. I am thinking about PCP, but they appear very expensive. I like the looks of Evanix brand, but I was told yesterday that they are not accurate and they are prone to problems with poor factory support. I would like some feedback from you folks here. I have also been looking at the Weihrauch HW 97K as a spring gun. I am not locked into caliber either. Just looking for advice and opinions please.

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    I have messed with a bunch of airguns- both match and sporter. I have had an RWS spring piston air rifle with similar ideas that you have. I did not like it. Several things I don't like about them. The first is that the barrel break where the scope is mounted on the action makes getting scopes zeroed difficult. I never was able to get mine to zero with a scope so gave up. I know they sell special mounts but I did not go there. Also, I found the recoil to be super annoying. Not painful but like fingernails on a blackboard annoying. Like someone is hitting the gun with a hammer. I now have a FWB 124 spring piston gun which shoots about 700fps and it's recoil is not nearly as bad. Also, just in general the spring piston guns accuracy is going to be limited compared to a pcp gun. I also have had Anschutz and currently have two FWB match guns, which are not nearly powerful enough for what you want, but really are amazing quality and accuracy. These can be boosted to pretty high power though. Personally, I would look at some sort of a pcp gun. The thing that really spoils a person quick with the high end match guns is the overall quality and the trigger. They are meant to, and do, go for 100's of thousands of shots with no trouble. You might consider looking for a FWB P70 as a starting point and soup it up.

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    I can't advise as to make and model but generally the .22 caliber pellets retain more energy at a distance since they are heavier.

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    You are in Germany? I had a Feinwerkbau (spelling?) 124 that was a beautiful spring air rifle in every way. I then got a Beeman 250 (Diana?) which I still have that gets the job done but definitely not refined like the FWB. .177 caliber. Enough for varmints at 20-40 meters. I think now I would consider .20 or .22 cal.. Definitely Spring Air, single pump (cocking). There are many very good ones available now at a reasonable price that will get the job done. 50 - 60 meters is on the outer edge for air rifles I think. That's why I recommend the larger Cal.. .20 may be a great compromise.

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    A friend of mine has a Benjamin Marauder (pcp) and loves it. He uses it for varmints. I can tell you that it is very accurate and quiet.
    Benjamin Marauder Air Rifle. Air rifles - PyramydAir.com

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    Steve: I did not notice at first that you are in Germany. Another suggestion if you are into tinkering- look for a used FWB P70. These are PCP competition rifles that are getting old now so many of the serious competitors turn their noses up at them and you may find one cheap. I know they can be tweaked to higher velocity but I am not sure how it is done exactly. The design is rock solid though and as I said above the quality and trigger are on a level that you won't see on any sporter. I have had 6 or 8 of them over the years, i used to coach a jr rifle club and all my kids shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post
    I can't advise as to make and model but generally the .22 caliber pellets retain more energy at a distance since they are heavier.
    Yes. And .20 is a good compromise of retained energy and initial velocity.

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    straightshooters.com/rws-model-54-air-king-.22-beech-recoiless.html
    Expensive, but nice.

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    These guns are available in the UK. AirForce Airguns-Precharged Pneumatic Air Rifles-PreCharged Pneumatic Airguns-Made In The USA They are well thought of by hunters according to what I read. I have no personal experience with them.

    RWO

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    Steve

    I have "several" air rifles. CO2, Springers, pump ups, and a pair of Evanix AR-6 PCP models. One in .22, and the other .17.
    I choose the AR6 for it's "six shooter revolver" multi shot capacity which was only beginning to be available as option to the single loading bolt action style.

    Though both Evanix rifles have needed some attention in regard to holding air, in all cases it has been simple attention to the fill port sealing that set operation back to right. I fill with a hand pump (FX brand). I find this now obsolete model of the Evanix line to be well constructed, simple to service and enjoyable to shoot. Both are LOUD however. Light weight pells go out supersonic with the companion "crack!" associated.

    I use the PCP for distance pesting out to 50 meters. I've gone as far as to place stakes in one lane of my back garden "range" at ten meter intervals from 20 to 60. Shooting placed paper targets at each location returns relative experience with the sight picture and any required hold over (or under). I have fit older Weaver 2-6 power scope sights purchased at small cost. I do not need nor desire "bells and whistles" on scope sights. Scopes that combine "Mil Dot" reticles with MoA adjusting mechanisms are idiotic. ;-) (Several of my other guns are fitted with aperture and target sights, my eyes are getting too old for open sights)

    Regarding accuracy, The final word is in the pellet. These powerful PCP rifles can blow the skirts out of many commercial pellets making them fly imperfectly. Discovery can take trials . The EunJin heavy pells work well. With that. I have every confidence of hitting a tree squirrel fairly out to 50 meters. After that , luck would be a significant part of any clean hit.

    The "tree rats" are a significant pest to our few fruit trees and small fruits. Controlling populations is not an unrewarding past time.

    If there is a way to get over the "pond" , I would happily provide the .17 caliber AR-6 to you for your use and appreciation.
    I find the .17 pells a bit "fiddly" for my bumbling fingers ;-)


    ps
    The RWS 52 is a side lever cocking magnum springer. Easily fitted with a scope. Like all magnum springers, it takes a well constructed scope to survive the double recoil . I really like that gun, but as the one I had was in .17 cal. it was replaced with a .22 caliber B-21

    A final note, My favorite "plinker" is the CO2 powered AR2078. A Chinese produced unit of moderate cost.
    In .22 the pells go out at a bit over 200 meters per second. Effective out past 35 meters, with only a "pfft" of sound. Very back deck friendly!


    kind regards

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post
    I can't advise as to make and model but generally the .22 caliber pellets retain more energy at a distance since they are heavier.
    Scott

    Though the general trend for pells is that weight would follow caliber. BUT, There is a very large overlap in the common offerings from makers and suppliers. The tin of EunJin .177 caliber pells I have here in my desk drawer are 24.7 grains in weight. That is significantly heavier than the common 14.3 grain .22 caliber domed Premier pells produced by Crosman.

    More significant might be retained velocity of any pell. The ballistic constant of any airgun pell being quite dismal in comparison to typical powder driven projectiles. The free "ChairGun" ballistic calculator is a "must have" tool for any airgunner.

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    I own a few quality springers, but only target shoot so I'll limit my post to that. All of mine are .177 because typically they are a little more accurate for target shooting, although wind can effect them more because of their lighter weight. I own a few Weihrauchs (German) rifles the HW35, HW95 and HW97K as well as two pistols Hw45 and HW75. Also, two Air Arms (British) TX-200 and a Pro Sport. All but one of these (the HW75) are springers.

    Accurately shooting springers is an art and takes a lot of practice and patience. They have a double re-coil. The piston slams into the end of its' stroke before the pellet ever leaves the barrel so the gun in moving in the opposite direction that a powder burner moves on its' recoil. Then, there is an opposite direction recoil when the pellet leaves the gun. So, the gun is moving in two different directions in each shot. This double recoil is also a scope killer. A lot of vendors and brands of scopes will not honor a warranty if the scope is not "springer rated". When I first heard this I thought they were crazy, but believe me, it is true.

    The way you hold the springer rifle when shooting is critical. Springers are hold sensitive. Some, more so than others. Typically, you can't hold them tightly because fighting the recoil with spray your pellets all over the place. Most good springer shooters use the artillery hold, a very relaxed, loose hold that lets the rifle move as it wants. The most important thing is to always hold it EXACTLY the same way. I can move my pattern by a couple of inches at 40 yards simply by how I hold the rifle.

    So, unless you're just going to shoot tin cans or "barn doors" if you get a springer be prepared for what can be a very enjoyable hobby!

    Ted

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Deal View Post
    Steve: I did not notice at first that you are in Germany. Another suggestion if you are into tinkering- look for a used FWB P70. These are PCP competition rifles that are getting old now so many of the serious competitors turn their noses up at them and you may find one cheap. I know they can be tweaked to higher velocity but I am not sure how it is done exactly. The design is rock solid though and as I said above the quality and trigger are on a level that you won't see on any sporter. I have had 6 or 8 of them over the years, i used to coach a jr rifle club and all my kids shot.
    Thanks for the advice Pete. I checked for used P70s and they are running for $1350 to $1500, but I will keep looking.

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    I've been reading this thread with interest as up at my spread we have a serious problem with rabbits. The air rifle sounds like an ideal solution.
    On a side note though, what do you do with all the dead rabbits?

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    Thanks for all the advice and experiences. I know a lot more now than I did before I started this thread. I am actually shocked at the price of air guns, but I have also learned how difficult it is to achieve accuracy. These things are clearly not toys. I will learn more and hope to shoot some different air guns next week. I'll keep you guys posted on what I buy.

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    Air Rifles - Shop Online | Krale Schietsport
    This is from Netherlands and looks to have a very large selection.

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    This guy reviews and uses some nice stuff, no not cheap.
    He won some competition with it, so not all talk...
    (Extreme Benchrest 2016 )

    It looks to be mostly PCP's with magazines so they are repeaters.

    If you're shooting critters, that's important.

    He looks at the caliber debate, .177 .20 .22 .25
    I think he's gone heavier to best resist wind


    Ted's HoldOver
    - YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Dickman View Post
    I've been reading this thread with interest as up at my spread we have a serious problem with rabbits. The air rifle sounds like an ideal solution.
    On a side note though, what do you do with all the dead rabbits?
    How about eat them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Technical Ted View Post
    snip

    Accurately shooting springers is an art and takes a lot of practice and patience. They have a double re-coil. The piston slams into the end of its' stroke before the pellet ever leaves the barrel so the gun in moving in the opposite direction that a powder burner moves on its' recoil. Then, there is an opposite direction recoil when the pellet leaves the gun. So, the gun is moving in two different directions in each shot. This double recoil is also a scope killer. A lot of vendors and brands of scopes will not honor a warranty if the scope is not "springer rated". When I first heard this I thought they were crazy, but believe me, it is true.

    The way you hold the springer rifle when shooting is critical. Springers are hold sensitive. Some, more so than others. Typically, you can't hold them tightly because fighting the recoil with spray your pellets all over the place. Most good springer shooters use the artillery hold, a very relaxed, loose hold that lets the rifle move as it wants. The most important thing is to always hold it EXACTLY the same way. I can move my pattern by a couple of inches at 40 yards simply by how I hold the rifle.

    snip

    Ted
    Some additions in regard to recoil and "springers" is in order.

    The first felt recoil when discharging a spring powered air gun is the reaction to the spring driven acceleration of the "compression piston" towards the breech. On all but a few "reverse piston" designs, this recoil is felt in the same direction as would be experienced with a fire arm. The piston and considerable spring mass are pushed forward, while the rifle it's self is pushed rearwards, Into the shooters shoulder. This first recoil is relatively slow in frequency, more of a thud than a whack! ;-)

    The second felt recoil movement is the combination of the compression piston coming to a rather abrupt halt at the end of it's travel as it compresses the air charge that will drive the pell. The piston then rebounds off that compressed air charge to "double" the recoil effect. The compression piston does not slam into metal at the end of it's stroke, only the compressed air. At least it should not if all the parts are working correctly. This second recoil acts to push the mass of the rifle forward, and can be quite abrupt. The two recoils, first rearward, then forward, conspire to give a rather "different" experience to shooters accustomed to the single recoil of a fire arm. The actual expulsion of the projectile is hardly perceptible. 10-25 foot pound energy is 1/10 that of a high velocity .22 rimfire. Not much there. ;-)

    comments offered Just to keep the tech going in the right way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Deal View Post
    How about eat them?
    I was saving that as a last resort following the nuclear holocaust.


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