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Critters You Hunt with Your Air Gun

Old 01-08-2020, 08:52 PM
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Default Critters You Hunt with Your Air Gun

This is kind of a topic starter post but if you're already hunting with an airgun, share your experiences with others considering airgun hunting.
1. Animals you hunt.
2. Airgun(s) you hunt with and what caliber.
3. Pellet weight and type, FPS and FPE that you get.
4. What animals has your airgun taken cleanly and what animals are likely too big for your rig. (Some of the FPE requirements listed on websites seem like overkill).

Just something to share some of the experience in this forum and have fun.

Last edited by CalHunter; 01-08-2020 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:28 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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This is a fun post.
I started back into air guns because my son. I picked up an air rifle to protect my home from Squirrels, rock chucks, and skunks. I am the kind of guy that likes accuracy first and the whole notion that speed kills is BS to me.
#1 I hunt a lot of squirrels. The fox squirrel is a invasive species in Idaho. That said there is no way that they will ever be exterminated. I shot hundreds of them and they are great eating.

Over the last few years I have been battling an invasion of skunks. The neighbor of mine died 14 years ago and their property is over grown and full of skunks. I kill 10 to 20 per year. The last year I hit them hard was 2018 and I didn't have to kill any 2019.

My place got run over with Rock Chucks at the same time. They were coming into my yard and digging under my shed and getting into my garden. They were driving the dogs crazy and that was driving my wife crazy. I first shot them out at my house. But soon I had more. It was the same story month after month. I finally decided to get a hold on them I had to get them at the location they were coming from. I went to a farmer up the street and we come to a deal. I shot a lot of them there, well at least that was what I thought. Then that farmer told other farmers and soon I had several farms I was hunting on.

I also do pest control on several Dairy farms.

#2- I started out with a Benjamin trail NP2 in 22 cal. It was okay at the best, I had a little bit of luck with that gun but it could not handle the amount I was shooting.

I wanted the best I could get. But I didn't want to be tethered to a tank with a PCP. I decided to get an Air Arms TX200 22 cal.

I shot the TX200 all of 2018. I put 5000 rounds through it chuck hunting, pigeon hunting and squirrels. I shot 250 rock chucks that year. Then in 2019 The population just exploded. I really thought that by killing 250 chucks I would be able to back off a bit. But I got a new farm only 100 yards away from my house. It was loaded with chucks and I went to work with the TX200.

The TX200 is now at 7000 rounds on the OEM guts. I have a rebuild kit for it when I need to rebuild it. But the TX200 has proven its self as the go to gun for chucks.

#3 I am using the H&T Field Target trophy 14.66 grain pellets. My TX200 spits them out at 664 feet per second with a FPE of about 14.
The Air gun industry has brain washed the american public to think that speed kills. They are right speed kills air guns. They shake and rattle them selves to peaces. The TX200 is a heavy gun. It is also a "slow" gun. But that it lacks in speed it more than compensates in accuracy. I mostly head shoot my animals, and between the eye and ear is my bread and butter shot. The TX200 allows me to take that shot out to 75 yards.

#3.5- Scopes and mounts.
Sorry but I had to put a new sub category in for this.
I had a Leapers UTG scope on my Trail NP2. It was garbage. I sent it in and got a new one. It was also a pile of crap. When I first started shooting the TX200 I put the UTG scope on the TX200. That was a huge mistake.

After sighting the gun in I would lock the turrets. The scope would hit in a completely different spot. I fought that set up for a while and decided to get a new scope. I was not sure what to get, I didn't trust "air gun scopes" now because the leapers.
I talked to both Leupold and Vortex about their scopes. I wanted several things in a scope.
#1 I wanted it to focus down to 10 yards.
#2 I wanted a fairly high power scope to aim at eyes.
#3 I wanted the scope to track properly.
#4 I wanted it to stay sighted in.
I decided to try out the Vortex Crossfire II 6-18x44 with AO. and BDC.

In the picture above I had the Crossfire II and it was mounted with a UTG one piece mount.
That was another HUGE mistake.
While that set up was accurate it just didn't stay sighted in. I traded the UTG crap mount for a BKL one piece mount.
The BKL mount was awesome, I instantly knew that was the issue. Now my scope stayed sighted in for longer periods of time. I checked the zero every day.

This year I decided that I wanted more glass. I decided to step up my shooting game with a Vortex Diamondback Tactical 6-24x50 with first focal plane. I also stepped up with a new mount. I used with BKL triple straps. This combination stays sighted in all the time. No doubt about it it is strong and the scope is awesome.

The Diamondback scope is tough. It was on all this year and I shot thousands of rounds with the scope on the gun. I had to work up my own data for the scope but I love it. I can use the turret for come up or I can use the retical or both to get to 130 yards.
The first focal plane scope is super nice because the MOA marks on the lens are the same values no matter where the power is set.

#4- Like I said before I have taken Rock chucks, skunks, ground squirrels, tree squirrels, Eurasian doves, starlings, pigeons.
I would take on a coon if I had a good head shot. I would also take on a fox with a good shot at the head. Coyote my be a bit big but if I had a clear shot at the eye I would probably take it.
My farthest clean kill was 130 yards on a very young chuck. I punched him in the lungs and he ran about 30 yards then fell over. Most of my shots are under 70 yards.
The gun makers are touting speed but that is not where its at. Where its at for hunting is accuracy. I wish more companies could figure that out.

#5 I am adding to the list, get a range finder.
A good range finder is an absolute must. If your guess the yardage you will be missing a lot of shots. My old Crossfire was nice because I actually used the adjustable objective lens as a range finder. I added some marks to allow for that.

I use a Nikon Aculon 6x20 range finder for air rifle shooting. It is accurate and is cheap. I am sure that there are others that are just as good or better. Using a range finder while air rifle hunting is a must.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:01 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 386

I too will pay for accuracy. I hate any rifle I owe that won't group. I sell them cheaply.
I have a Gamo now, & it's ok, but I want more accuracy.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:53 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 9,230

I have an RWS Diana Model 36 in .177. I use it for cottontails and squirrel. Dropped a number of barn pigeons and a few blue grouse with it as well. Problem is, the rifle is in CO and I'm in TX. Need to rectify that.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:51 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 136

I have a .177 cal Beeman . Cost was just under 100$. I hunt squirrels with it . 20 yards is my max range. I need a setup like idahoron
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:17 AM
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:51 PM
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Default GAMO Whisper Swarm 10x

I have a GAMO Whisper Swarm 10x, .22 caliber, made in Spain. I just purchased this a few days ago. I have the scope sighted in, but haven't tried it over 50 yards.

I did some pest control today and hit a double lung shot @25 yards.
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:54 PM
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Nice shooting!!
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Old 05-08-2020, 04:48 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: SE CT
Posts: 145

I have a .17 RWS Model 45 that I use to cull pesky chipmunks in my wife's garden and squirrels that get into my bird feeders. Benched accuracy is minute of dime at 30 yards which is good enough for me.
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:26 PM
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I've got a Crossman P1377 pistol this year to take care of our gopher population. I've got 8 gophers and 1 2 lb. pregnant squirrel that wouldn't stop trying to make a nest in our (owl) birdhouse.

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