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Thread: Anyone in AK use an air rifle on small game?

  1. #1
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    Default Anyone in AK use an air rifle on small game?

    Hey folks, was just wondering if any of you used an air rifle for small game hunting, specifically hares, or perhaps grouse. If so, what successes have you had and what caliber are you using?

    With the 22 ammo situation as it is, I'm seriously considering buying an entry level adult air rifle to partially replace my rimfire. This will diversify the tools to put food on the table (if I could actually ever find a hare to shoot), and it would take some of the pressure off of my limited and non renewable rimfire ammo supply.

    I'm a bit torn between buying a 177 or 22 cal air rifle. I know the 22 will be more versatile, but 177 ammo is probably more available and cheaper. I've read that 12 ft lbs at the muzzle is the key number for hunting, and I can buy air rifles in both calibers that do that. I'll be honest here and say that I am trying to avoid paying the price of a 22 air rifle. (Here is where AGL4now comes in and says I'm cheap.) I'm not sure about this endeavor and don't want to plunk $200 plus on a project about which I'm unsure. So I'm leaning towards a lower end 177 air gun that puts out about 14 ft lbs.

    Any thoughts?

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    I've been thinking about this too. I haven't consulted the regs or laws, but what I wonder is whether I can use an air rifle within the .25 miles from trails or roads in the parks and rec areas.

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    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    My son has taken quite a few small game with his.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    I've been thinking about this too. I haven't consulted the regs or laws, but what I wonder is whether I can use an air rifle within the .25 miles from trails or roads in the parks and rec areas.
    That's gray area. I fit says no shooting then shooting is shooting, but if it says no firearms, air guns are not classified as firearms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyt-Hunter View Post
    My son has taken quite a few small game with his.


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    Noce photo. What caliber is he using.

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    Ha. I've bagged gunny sacks of grouse and squirrels with a little daisy pump as a kid. And gotten lucky on a few hares. It'll work if you hit em right. I had a high power .177 air rifle for a time, but it was so loud it sounded like a .22 and Had alot of recoil in it, it moved the scope around almost every couple shots. Have you considered using a long barreled .410? Shells seem readily available.



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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    That's gray area. I fit says no shooting then shooting is shooting, but if it says no firearms, air guns are not classified as firearms.
    I believe Alaska includes air guns under the classification of firearms.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    I've been thinking about this too. I haven't consulted the regs or laws, but what I wonder is whether I can use an air rifle within the .25 miles from trails or roads in the parks and rec areas.
    Like others have said, probably depends on how it is worded. In Anchorage, for example, a firearm is defined as "Firearm means any device designed for or capable of delivering a projectile using an explosive as a propellant, including an antique firearm, pistol, rifle, shotgun, revolver or similar device. A firearm does not include toy guns or guns utilizing an elastic ban, compressed gas, or air to deliver a projectile." Thus, an air rifle is not a firearm. The Municipality does, however, specify that it is illegal to discharge firearms or air rifles within the municipality, so they are still illegal to shoot outside of designated areas despite not being classified as firearms. I don't know how the Mat-Su defines a firearm or how they word the regulations, so you would have to look at that reg specifically.

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    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Noce photo. What caliber is he using.
    He's using a 177. He taken grouse out to the 40-50 yard range. The cool thing about that photo is most if them dropped right where he has them laying.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWHUNTER View Post
    I believe Alaska includes air guns under the classification of firearms.


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    I think you are right as far as the State is concerned. According to the Alaska Administrative Code, they define a firearm as: "firearm" includes pistols, rifles, shotguns, revolvers, and mechanical, gas-operated, or air-operated guns". In the Alaska Statutes, the definition is a little more broad: "(26) "firearm" means a weapon, including a pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun, whether loaded or unloaded, operable or inoperable, designed for discharging a shot capable of causing death or serious physical injury;" While it does not specifically state "air gun" or "compressed gas", it does not rule them out either in any way since they could easily fall into the category of "...capable of causing death or serious physical injury;"

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    Benjamin NP XL 1100. quiet.deadly. worth it.

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    I am considering this too. Due to the ammo shortage. Seems like head shots on birds would kill but what about body shots? Also the price of some of the nicer pellet guns is pretty high.

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    When I was a kid I killed lots of grouse with a. 177 cal pellet rifle the muzzle velocity out of it being 550fps. The newer ones that are out and shoot over 1k per sec I wouldn't think twice about getting one and killing birds/rabbits with it. Heck they use the bigger cal ones in the states to kill hogs with

    Life is too short to pass up a day of hunting

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    Default Air gun is all i do

    too ez.jpg

    Here's the Benjamin along with the damage it did in a few hours. The other air gun used by my brother was the Silent cat .177 and it did just as good.

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    Well I was thinking federal firearms law classification, so thanks for setting me straight on that . What that essentially means is you're not supposed to shoot your BB gun in your back yard. Anchorage is a lot like the lower 48. Heck, even in FL I could shoot in my back yard. (Then again, my back yard was 20 ft square so not much challenging shooting go on their.)

    Yes, the nicer adult air rifles are pretty high. That's why I'm not looking at them lol. I'm considering a Ruger Air Hawk, which, as far as I have learned on the inter webs, is essentially a Chinesium copy of the German RWS 34. Both guns are pretty highly regarded. Although, you all know my disdain for all things Chinesium. Still, it's 1/3 the price of the RWS. I know the German gun will be around for my grand kids to shoot, but I don't know that I need or should expect that kind of service from an air rifle.

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    I've had my old 22 cal Benjamin pump for about 35-40 years. With the scope it's been lethal on all manner of small game. Pump it 5-7 times and it will go through a 3/4 piece of pine. That's usually all I've really ever needed to pump it up, but you can go up from there for lots more power. What I'm getting at is that thing was pretty cheap and I think they still are. I'm sure the new high tech ones or nice as well, but surely not necessary. The Gamo models seem nice and very in price.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I have an old daisy pump .177 as well as a gamo .177, without a doubt the gamo does the job. I trust it for a cleaner kill than the old pump which always required precise head shots. Remember both work. The more expensive one just gives you a better margin for error & distance
    You can hunt with .22 shorts (done it a bunch) but .22lr works much better. Same concept.

    I will say I was surprised how finicky the gamo was with ammo. It likes round nose style of pellet best and I can shoot nickel groups at 35yds with its preferred pellet brand (RWS).
    Grouse & Rabbit so far (gamo)
    ptarmigan, grouse & rabbit (old pump)

  18. #18

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    I find the .177 sometimes too light on bunnies. I have a mac1 steroid Sheridan in .20 and it has much better terminal performance than the .177 pellets from my Gamo, there's really no comparison. You're gonna have a hard time finding a qualtity new gun in that budget. Don't be afraid to get a .20 or .22. There are many good sources of pellets on the internet. The only pellet to shoot is the RWS wadcutter. I've shot every style of pellet and brand of pellets into playdoh and find that wadcutters preform best.

    You might consider a .32 muzzloader rifle also. Your lead and powder goes a long way with the .32, but new guns have gotten expensive lately. If you watch the gun auction sites, used ones come up for sale infrequently, but always sell for under two bills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by springer View Post
    I find the .177 sometimes too light on bunnies. I have a mac1 steroid Sheridan in .20 and it has much better terminal performance than the .177 pellets from my Gamo, there's really no comparison. You're gonna have a hard time finding a qualtity new gun in that budget. Don't be afraid to get a .20 or .22. There are many good sources of pellets on the internet. The only pellet to shoot is the RWS wadcutter. I've shot every style of pellet and brand of pellets into playdoh and find that wadcutters preform best.

    You might consider a .32 muzzloader rifle also. Your lead and powder goes a long way with the .32, but new guns have gotten expensive lately. If you watch the gun auction sites, used ones come up for sale infrequently, but always sell for under two bills.
    I sort of felt the 22 would be at least more capable and more versatile than the 177, but I haven't found an air rifle in 22 that I want to pay the asking price for. If I have to spend close to $300 on an air rifle, I would rather spend those shooting dollars on something else. I've set a a budget of under $150 on this project.

    As for a small caliber muzzle loader, while I like muzzle loaders quite a bit, that would entirely defeat the purpose of buying an air rifle, which is to completely remove myself from the ammo and reloading components price and availability stupidity. (For example, I hear that musket caps are rare as hen's teeth these days.) I would still be subject to shortages and price hikes of powder and the availability of lead shot. If that is, indeed, the better route than an air rifle, I would be ahead of the game, economically, to use my 32-20 revolver, or re barrel my lever gun to shoot 32-20, or, probably "better" (from a purely fiscal viewpoint) to spend the $300 on 22LR ammo. (Even at $15/100 rounds, that would still net me 2000 rounds, which would more than double my current inventory.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    I sort of felt the 22 would be at least more capable and more versatile than the 177, but I haven't found an air rifle in 22 that I want to pay the asking price for. If I have to spend close to $300 on an air rifle, I would rather spend those shooting dollars on something else. I've set a a budget of under $150 on this project.

    As for a small caliber muzzle loader, while I like muzzle loaders quite a bit, that would entirely defeat the purpose of buying an air rifle, which is to completely remove myself from the ammo and reloading components price and availability stupidity. (For example, I hear that musket caps are rare as hen's teeth these days.) I would still be subject to shortages and price hikes of powder and the availability of lead shot. If that is, indeed, the better route than an air rifle, I would be ahead of the game, economically, to use my 32-20 revolver, or re barrel my lever gun to shoot 32-20, or, probably "better" (from a purely fiscal viewpoint) to spend the $300 on 22LR ammo. (Even at $15/100 rounds, that would still net me 2000 rounds, which would more than double my current inventory.)
    I'm on the same page as you budget wise. I am into the air rifle idea for pure economic and non dependency on 22 ammo. Let me know what you find around that price range. One thing I love about my 22 ruger takedown is that it's compact and breaks in half. That is nice for backcountry hunting. Most of the air rifles at the high end look like a 3006 and are bulky. Hoping to find something smaller.

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