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What can I shoot with an air rifle?
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whitelegg1



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 409
Location: Woodford Green
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 2:50 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

If you are looking to eat your quarry.

Wood Pigeons
Collared Doves
Crows

Squirrels
Rabbits
Hares Borderline......not considered to be appropriate quarry for an air rifle, but not illegal either...(also be careful as thay have different restrictions to rabbits.....

If you can find a pheasant at the right time of the year that does not move its head arround too much, and you have the appropirate permission from the landowner to do so.....then pheasants.....although you may be entering a grey legal area, as ther are some contradicting laws regarding shooting birds with firearms (and yes an air rifle IS a firearm (even a sub 12ftlb one)) especially if it is a multi-shot variant... The law was NOT written to accomodate modern air rifles, and it probably never will be!!

Again as always, the BASC is a good source of helpful information....I even got them to put me help me with a very grey air rifle area....resulting in the disposal of the air rifle!!! Much to my displeasure, but I wasn't prepared to use it and loose more, if they decide that in fact it WAS a section 5 firearm Section 5 includes sub-machine guns and rocket launchers!!!!!!!!!
I also spoke to the chief fireamrs officer of Essex, even he didn't have a definative answer....'sounds OK, but don't get caught shooting bus shelters up!' was his advice

Pete

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Brownbear wrote:

True - but the less energy a projectile delivers, the less likely it is to kill outright. A .17HMR bullet only weighs 17 grains, not much more than a .22 air rifle pellet, but if fired at clay or wet earth will blow out a hole the size of a grapefruit, whilst an airgun pellet will just disappear into the ground.


Agree. I was making more of a general point. Regardless of the weapon used (which should generally be the best one for the quarry or type of shooting) knowing how to despatch quarry is an essential task. I've seen people despatch a wounded pigeon by shooting it again....

Brownbear



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 14929
Location: South West
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
Brownbear wrote:

True - but the less energy a projectile delivers, the less likely it is to kill outright. A .17HMR bullet only weighs 17 grains, not much more than a .22 air rifle pellet, but if fired at clay or wet earth will blow out a hole the size of a grapefruit, whilst an airgun pellet will just disappear into the ground.


Agree. I was making more of a general point. Regardless of the weapon used (which should generally be the best one for the quarry or type of shooting) knowing how to despatch quarry is an essential task. I've seen people despatch a wounded pigeon by shooting it again....


There was one occasion when I shot a rabbit in the back of the head with a .22 - it went flying and got up again. I shot it again, same thing, and again. Then it jumped up and ran to its hole, dropping about a foot short. When I cleaned and skinned it, I found that it was shot in the head, neck and through the heart

It was either a cyborg rabbit or related to Rasputin. I have a witness to this.

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8433
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Just to put the cat in with the pigeons. There are some air rifles that are more than capable of taking munties, even wild boar but you wont get one in this country. I am fairly sure you cant shoot game (IE pheasants) with an air rifle.


Man shoot boar with air gun


Justme

Last edited by RichardW on Thu Jun 05, 08 8:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

KILLITnGRILLIT



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 894
Location: Looking at a screen in the front room
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

mochyn wrote:
KILLITnGRILLIT wrote:
I would have to say that you need to hit a 2p size target 4 times out of 5 on a regular basis ...


At what distance?


Doesn`t matter, if you can`t hit that at 20 yds then you hunt at less than that, if you can do it at 60yds(highly unlikely unless a FAC weapon) then that would be OK.

As a generalisation 30yds for a full power, circa 11-11.99 ftlbs airrifle.




.

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have to confess I was hugely impressed with the .17 HMR - it would seem to be the ideal general purpose rifle for the smallholder (and with less recoil than a spring-powered air rifle).

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8433
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Me too.

It was the one I was most looking forward to shooting.

Does it have any down sides compared to the .22?

Justme

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Justme wrote:
Does it have any down sides compared to the .22?


I got the impression from some people that it might be harder to get on your FAC depending on the type of land you'll be shooting on? Some people also suggest the bullets are more affected by wind. BB, any truth in that or is it just ill informed rubbish?

whitelegg1



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 409
Location: Woodford Green
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

.17Hmr vs .22LR

Downsides....you cannot get a semi-auto in 17Hmr in UK. (However the semi-autos are not meant to be as accurate as a bolt action ((unless you spend ALOT of money!)))

You are more likely to get meat damage with a 17Hmr. BUt for vermin control, if you don't want to eat your quarry, then your range envelope is much bigger with a 17Hmr.

Th 17Hmr is ALOT louder than a moderated sub-sonic .22LR! My .22 is virtually silent, the loudest noise is the impact on the rabbits head.

Bullets (a bad word as they are cartridges as well, but you know what I mean!) are significantly more expensive with the 17HMR.

Is the 17Hmr on its way out, with the reintroduction of the 5mm rimfire??? (That one will put the purr purr amongst the coo coos!)

The choice of rifles with the 17HMR is rather limited. Ruger, CZ, Marlin, Anschutz, Savage ((have I missed any??), they tend to have just one model per manufacturer. .22s are tooooo many to list.

Well thats some thoughts to be getting on with!
One thing I would say.....
Being able to shoot out well past 100 yards, is all well and good..... next time you are out in a field....work out how far 100 yards is, then try to imagine spotting a rabbit at 100 yards... it isn't very easy. Unless you are Steve Austin...ddddddddd


Pete

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8433
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Wind & gravity all need time to affect the path of the projectile. As the hmr is so much faster than a .22 its less afected by gravity, its also smaller so the wind get less grip on it but its mass is lighter so its easier to move it. Or thats what all the info on other forums seems to say.


Justme

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18379

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 08 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I was impressed with the 17HMR too, and would like to try one out again at some point with a view to getting a FAC.

Brownbear



Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 14929
Location: South West
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 08 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I was a devotee of the .22, which (in an expensively custom-built and very accurate semi-auto version) is my night bunny gun with IR sight, but I took to the .17HMR for a number of reasons.

It has a very flat trajectory - from 50 to 100 yards there is no bullet drop to speak of, whilst the slower and heavier .22 will drop several inches over the same distance. This saves time calculating range and holdover. It is also a tack driver - yes it does more meat damage, but with a good scope I can get head-shots at up to 120 yards. This virtually blows their heads off, ther's no damage to the eating meat but it kills first time every time.

If straightforwardly doing pest control, when just killing is the job and there's less worry about meat damage, a chest shot (quicker to acquire the target) with a .22 frequently doesn't kill. A double-tap is standard. One hit to the chest area with a .17HMR kills first time, every time, and at greater range. Yes, the bullet crack is noisier and spooks the bunnies, but no more, in my experience, than the sound of the impact of a .22 on a rabbit does.

The .22 is much more likely to ricochet, being slow and of lead. The fast, light, frangible .17 round disintegrates on impact, even in a flinty field. The greater range makes them useable against crows, magpies without having to decoy them in. The greater power makes them suitable against fox up to 120 yards.

Yes, rain and strong wind can divert the bullet. If you commonly go out shooting bunnies in the teeth of a howlng gale and the peeing-down rain, it's probably not the round for you. It's not much different to a .22 for that, though, because although the round is half the mass of a .22, it's travelling at about three times the speed.

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21298
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 08 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Another downside of the .17 HMR is the higher barrel wear compared to a .22. The .17 HMR bullet is jacketed (copper) whilst the .22 is lead. However, for all practical purposes this isn't going to matter much unless you're shooting several 1000 rounds for this to become a problem.

If I was in vermin control the .17 HMR would be my weapon of choice. If I'm plinking and target shooting I would favour the .22LR. In essence if you out in the field, like BB, you'd have a selection of guns to cover each situtation you're likely to find yourself in, choosing your gun for the task.

I dare say BB could provide a list of half a dozen guns that would cover most field situations.

Here's my choice:

12 bore shotgun
.410 shotgun
6.5x55 rifle (or similar)
.17 HMR
.22 LR

whitelegg1



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 409
Location: Woodford Green
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 08 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ones to add to that list might be.....
A moderated shotgun....long and heavy, but very useful for what it does.....
A .22 centerfire rifle (.22hornet(less so), .222, .223, .22/250) for use on small deer and fox. What you go for depends on budjet, and whether or not you would homeload! Which cuts down the cost alot, but is obviously a skill that you don't want to get wrong )
Also there is .22 FAC Air....obviously this needs to be on ticket, and has restrictions on use. But has less of the danger from shotting up into trees that cartridge based rifles have.(ie if you miss, how far is the bullet going to go, and what is it going to do when it comes back down to earth!!)
Possible list:
.177 Air , very quiet and very accurate
.22 FAC Air not so quiet, hard hitting & longer range than sub 12 ftlbs.
.22LR moderated, very quiet good up to 100 yards. (If you're a better shot than me)
.17HMR moderated (might as well moderate it!) much longer range than .22 hardest hitting rimfire...
.223 for small deer and fox (probably the cheapest ammo of the .22s)
Something large for the bigger deer!
Semi-auto 12g for pigeons and crows. Less recoil than a SBS!!


Budget list.

.177 Air, use anywhere it is safe to get a PCP as there are effectively recoiless. Very accurate out to 30 yards (and a bit). Very good for practicing, cheap cheap cheap ammo. Headshots on Rats, Squirrels, Rabbits, Crows, Pigeons, Magpies.
.22LR cheapest rimfire, ammo the cheapest. Go for a bolt action, moderated. Good starter into FAC. Shouldn't freek out your FEO!! Practice practice practice now before your shooting something that hits your pocket every time your pull the trigger!!
12g SBS or O/U, something russian S/H £100 approx. Will do for pigeons and crows on the wing...and opportunistic fox at suitable range, with suitable cartridges.
Doesn't cover you for deer of any sort, but perhaps that is not a good quarry to start on.......unless it is your land and you have a problem!!

Pete

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21298
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 08 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

12 bore shotgun
.410 shotgun
.223
6.5x55 rifle (or similar)
.17 HMR
.22 LR


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