View Full Version : What can you expect out of your air rifle.

01-18-2014, 05:53 PM
I picked up a new air rifle for myself for Christmas and sighted it in the shop a few days ago then took a few shots at a target that was up in my bullet trap behind the shop (60 yards) and 5 of 7 from my standing rest went into about 2.5". Going to do some bench shooting today after the match, only to decide it was too windy to do any serious work with an airgun.

Long story short, there were some crows out in the field when I arrived home and one shot at 98 yards was all it took to put him in the dirt.


I am very impressed with the results I have had so far. Should have bought an "adult" air rifle years ago.

01-18-2014, 05:56 PM
what rifle were you shooting?

01-18-2014, 05:56 PM
What gun and caliber?

01-18-2014, 05:58 PM
Very nice work on the crow! I have shot a few also. My favorite adult air rifle is a .22 cal co2 job with a nice set of peep sights. Very accurate. While I have not connected on anything at the distance you mention I do not doubt that it could be done. Keep up the good shootin!

01-18-2014, 06:24 PM
It's an RWS 34 in .22, it runs 100 fps slower than advertised with 14.3 grain pellets but I don't want to mess with a good thing.

01-18-2014, 07:28 PM
Seems to be doing alright for sure.

Is that advertised velocity with lead or alloy pellets? That seems to be the scam now with advertisements saying... "up to 1200 FPS using XXX pellets..." which turn out to be lightweight alloy. However, most air guns now seem to be capable of much higher velocities than just a few years ago.

The PCP's really seem to shine nowadays and I was seriously thinking about one but there is so much peripheral gear to buy as well it put me off. Not sure how much is "necessary" but a springer is much simpler and cheaper overall.

Anyway, yes, nice job on the crow and at 98 yards too. Not bad at all.


01-18-2014, 08:14 PM
Is that advertised velocity with lead or alloy pellets?
They don't give you that information.

Having just rebuilt my childhood Benjamin Franklin pump air rifle and shot the same pellet over the same chronograph, I can tell you that there is only a 50 fps gain in velocity with the 34. A much larger difference in accuracy though.

01-18-2014, 08:20 PM
That's excellent shooting. It always feels good when you hit what you were aiming at regardless of the range.

60 yards is my own self-imposed hunting yardage limit with my air rifle; even though I've never shot anything beyond 30 yards with it yet.

Mine is one of those air rifles listed as having a 1250 fps velocity capability with lead free pellets. Yea right! In its factory configuration it never even came close to that regardless of the pellets I shot through it. I just recently got it to put out 27 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle with my preferred 21 grain pellets. Took a long time to get there though.

I've noticed that regardless of how cutting-edge the newest crop of air rifles become, we air gun shooters are still generally relegated to shooting 1st generation pellets designs. I believe our pellets have now become the weak link in our air gunning systems.

I hope to take it out in the field next weekend if I can get some time off. Heck, I haven't even gotten a hunting license yet. I really envy you guys who live out in the country like that. You can practically hunt in your back yard.


01-18-2014, 10:18 PM
Morris: A 100 yard shot on a crow with a .22 Rimfire would have been a nice shot! hell a pellet gun kill at 100 is pretty cool.

I have shot my R1 at a 75 yard silhouette and hit after the third shot however I was dealing with a 30 mph Crosswind and a gun sighted to 50 yds. you could see the pellet as it flew and it looked like a Sandy Kofax curveball!

Still knocked the turkey down.

Nothing "alive and annoying" has presented itself for destruction yet.


01-18-2014, 11:19 PM
I can watch the pellet to the target with my pump, the springer is just violent enough that I can't see it going down range through the scope.

As an aside, I also ordered 11 tins of different pellets to try out but none are more than .03 grains less than the ones I have always used at 14.3 grains (22.0 grains - 14.0) . What are they using to get their numbers?

not sure why the photo inverted but pretty sure the Gamo pellets wont do so well, they look like a kid hammered them out in china. Some of the others look very good though.

01-18-2014, 11:36 PM
22 grain on far left and 14 grain far right. The crossman and benjamin 14.3 pellets look like the same pellet except the parting line (maybe 2nds?).

01-18-2014, 11:47 PM
My 34 .22 is now owned by my buddy who cant find 22 LR ammo.It would shoot about an inch at 50 yards with the Crossman 14.3g pellets. I hope he lets me have it back when 22 ammo is available again.My RWS 36 .177(dressed up 34) shoots about the same accuracy wise.

MT Chambers
01-19-2014, 03:03 AM
That is quite a shot, my Wolverine .303 requires a lot of holdover as well as wind doping at 100 yds.

01-19-2014, 03:01 PM
Nice shooting JMorris.

What would be a good rifle for hunting, plinking and informal target shooting. I would like to get one going before the starlings arrive. I hate starlings. Quiet would be a consideration since I live in a development.

I saw a RWS 34 this Sat. in a gun shop along with a used one that started with a W made in Turkey. I don't know enough to tell if spring was bad, or bad seals.

Only air gun I have is a Beeman P1 and I like it a lot.

01-19-2014, 04:25 PM
I am not the guy to ask about air rifles. Up until a few weeks ago I had more or less given up on them for the last 38 years or so. This one looks like a winner though.

The wind didn't seem quite as bad as yesterday so I ran a 5 shot group at 100 yds, waiting for the wind to die down between shots.

About 4 1/8" with the Benjamin 14.3 grain pellets.


I bagged it on a concrete table and also had the shop block the wind for part of the way.


I hate waiting on wind so I'll pick a calm day to try out the expensive pellets I ordered.

Silver Eagle
01-19-2014, 09:52 PM
Sandbagging air rifles can adjust the POI. Try moving the bags around for a group and see where it likes to rest. Most air rifles (particularly springers) like a very light hold. Some bench shooters go as far as resting the rifle on their front hand and then resting the hand on the bag.
Nice shooting at a 100 yards for a springer.

01-21-2014, 04:07 PM
Morris: as far as pellets go the brands to watch are H&N/Beeman, RWS and one other German one that escapes me at the moment, but they have a red plastic tip.

I use H&N Match flat point wadcutters like the H&N Match both in .177 and .22 for indoor shooting at 10 yards/meters, and the H&N Crow Magnum and Barracuda for longer range shooting. 14 19 and 21 gr respectively. I have used the H&N Match pellets ever since I have shot airguns and find them to be the most accurate and consistent.

I have hit a 75 yard Rimfire silhouette turkey with a Barracuda pellet and it knocked it down decisively. My R1 is a beast and according to a calculator produces @40 FPE!

As far as seeing the pellets go,,, shoot directly North at 12 Noon on a sunny day. I guarantee you'll be able to see them go.

The cheaper brands of pellets generally do look like they were hammered out by kids, and I have several tins of bad ones I bought 30 years ago. These tins all have about 10 pellets missing.

H&N came out recently with a pellet that looks exactly like their .22 Match pellet but it is packaged in 500 round tins for $13. I have compared these pellets under a 10x microscope and can find no difference between them and the H&N Match pellets which are packaged 200/$9.00, and if they are seconds, then their seconds are better than everybody else's firsts.

Really there is no excuse anymore for shooting junk pellets, you can get anything you want from Pyramyd Air and they always have a buy 3 and get the fourth one free, policy. You can shoot a lot for $50.

My .02 on pellets.


01-21-2014, 04:59 PM
I agree with the comments about pellet quality. It makes all the difference to my guns as well. One of the best shooting pellets I have used in .22 is the Crosman match (Field) that comes in a little cardboard box with foam lining. I think they are 250 to the carton if memory serves me, I may have to go downstairs to confirm that.... Anyway, those domed pellets shoot excellent in both my .22 airguns. Very much more consistent than anything else Crosman offers. They all tend to look absolutely perfect with a magnifying glass for the few boxes I have been through.

01-21-2014, 05:49 PM
"My R1 is a beast and according to a calculator produces @40 FPE!"

no way you are getting 40 FPE out of an R1,20-25 is tops even for a fast one.If as gassed by a Theoben 25-30 is tops.

01-21-2014, 07:37 PM
My R1 is a beast and according to a calculator produces @40 FPE!

That would be a beast, the math on mine works out to 16 ft.lbf

01-21-2014, 08:54 PM
the groups you are getting at 100 are about what i get with my good German springers.I get 2.5" best to over 6" if there is wind.If there is a pop can out there i can hit it enough to make it fun.

01-22-2014, 03:29 PM
Sorry,,,I went back and re ran the Calcs based on 750 fps and 22 gr pellet. 27.49 FPE Which is still not bad.

Here's the link to the calculator. http://www.onlinesilhouetteshoot.com/Calculations.asp


01-22-2014, 04:21 PM
Sorry,,,I went back and re ran the Calcs based on 750 fps and 22 gr pellet. 27.49 FPE Which is still not bad.

Here's the link to the calculator. http://www.onlinesilhouetteshoot.com/Calculations.asp


Still those numbers are quite impressisve.Is it tame on the bags or harsh?

01-23-2014, 07:51 PM
I wouldn't call it tame,,, however it is strait line recoil and the gun weighs almost 10 lbs so it's not like it is flopping around like a tuna in the boat.

I have to cock it with my right arm because whereas I can do it my left arm, I can't do it more than 2-3 times with my left arm. For comparison my HW35 I can cock 40 times in a row with my left arm which is how I have always done it.

Now I do both with my right arm and the HW77 as well. It takes less effort with your strong side arm pulling down into you rather than your support side arm pulling at an angle to the gun's direction of travel.


The gun is physically 10-15% larger in all respects to the HW35 which was the predecessor of the R1.

Larry Gibson
01-25-2014, 10:35 AM
Somewhere between 90 and 100 yards the Crosman Premier 14.3 gr pellets lose stability in my RWS M54. With the Leupold 6.5x20 scope and the recoilless feature I can watch the pellets in flight. It's quite interesting when they lose it. The Crosman Premier pellets have proven to be the best for long range shooting. Velocity runs just at 790 - 800 fps. Very deadly on crows, rats, squirrels, rabbits, etc. It is just under 20 ft lbs so I have used it in several field target matches also with good success.

Larry Gibson

01-25-2014, 11:52 AM
Don't mean to hijack this thread but I've been thinking of an air rifle for quite a while. The rifles mentioned are a little out of my price range. I looked all over the net and given my use - pests (starlings / ground squirrels) at 40yds I'm thinking Crosman Nitro Venom Dusk or the Umarex Octane Air, both in 177. Anybody have any opinions on these two or a better suggestion in the same price range?

01-25-2014, 01:08 PM
I have a Benjamin Nitropiston .22 that has been a very good hunting gun for me.I did a trigger job and that improved accuracy.it isn't as constantly accurate as my RWS 48 but it shoots pretty darn well.I get 710 fps with crossman 14.3 pellets.I have shot shoots quite a few 1" groups st 50 yards but averages are closer to 1.75".l have over 8000 shots through it an its held up well.it is also very quiet.I have the Chinese copy of the RWS 34 in .177 that for $100 is hard to beat and as almost accurate as my original 34..look at flying Dragon airguns for these Xisico rifles.

01-25-2014, 01:12 PM
Larry where are the ft matches in Washington? I can't find any active clubs shooting registered matches.

01-25-2014, 02:29 PM
I've been extremely happy with my Umarex Octane in 22 caliber. Out of the box it shoots at the levels that other air gunners achieve only after a good tune up.

With a little tuning my Umarex Octane is now shooting the H&N Barracuda 21.4 grain pellets at an average of 753 fps. I have no doubt that with the ever increasing advances in air gun technology, we'll start seeing budget break barrel air rifles like this routinely shoot at even higher velocities than these.

I only paid 187.00 for mine and that included shipping. Just about any of the budget air rifles will do for pest control. I thought about buying the Nitro Venom to but the Octane went on sale so I bought it instead. For me, it was a good choice. It was a budget gun that fit my budget and I still had a little left over to buy my first couple of tins of pellets.


01-25-2014, 04:25 PM
I have been hearing good thing's about the octane.what kind if groups are you getting?

01-25-2014, 11:33 PM
In my back yard I'm only able to shoot at 15 yards so it's not really a fair assessment but, I can shoot 1/2 groups at that distance using peep sights.

I can routinely hit feral pigeons at 30 yards with either the 14.13 grain hollow points or the 21 grain barracudas. (the two most accurate pellets out of my gun) That too is the longest safe shots I can take in the part of the the inner city where I live.

I have several reports from fellow Umarex Octane shooters in our yahoo group that also routinely shoot very tight groups with their Octanes as well.


01-26-2014, 12:13 AM
I can't believe the power those are putting out.sounds accurate enough.

01-26-2014, 12:10 PM
Out of the box, my Octane was shooting the 14.13 grain pellets at an average of 860 fps. The 18 grain JSB pellets were moving out at an average of 770 fps. At the time of that testing I hadn't yet tried any of the heavier pellets.

It was only after replacing the damaged factory Seals and fabricating an adjustable Piston Stop to increase or decrease the Pre-Load on the Gas-Piston that I began to see increases in velocity and energy. I then took a few suggestions about cleaning and re-lubing the pellets I was using to get the velocities up to where they are now with the heavier 21.4 grain pellets; and this is without the fabricated Piston Stop in place.

In more recent events; I think I might have figured out a way to increase the volume of the Pressure Chamber by close to one half inch while simultaneously increasing the Pre-Load on the Gas Piston by the same amount. It will take some more fabrication but the implications are that with more compressed air volume, more velocity gains are possible; all while retaining the same factory Piston Stroke on the Gas-Piston.

The adjustable Piston Stop I mentioned alone was only able to increase the velocity by an average of 25-30 fps. It was designed so that I could dial it back to factory configuration velocities for plinking in my back yard and dialing it up for vermin hunting. The cleaning and re-lubing of the pellets increased the velocity by a little more than that without having to use the newly fabricated Piston Stop.

My goal here was to get my budget break barrel air rifle up to at least 27 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. That goal has now been achieved. With this new attempt at increasing the Compression Chamber's volume, It may mean that I'll be able to safely increase the energy level to the coveted 30 foot pounds at he muzzle. Time will tell.

I've also been saving up my pennies in order to buy an after market adjustable Gas-Spring-Piston. This too is a good way of safely increasing velocities.

I might mention also that these Mods are reversible so if they don't pan out for me I can revert back to the 27 foot pounds of energy I was getting before.


Larry Gibson
01-26-2014, 12:37 PM
Larry where are the ft matches in Washington? I can't find any active clubs shooting registered matches.

Tacoma Rifle and Revolver Club. At least they were having matches when I was a member as of a couple years back. Jim Benson was the FT guy but don't know if he still is. He set up a very good course in the woods there and ran very good matches.

Larry Gibson

Silver Eagle
01-26-2014, 09:28 PM
Interested on the cleaning and relubing of the pellets.
What and how are you using to clean?
Likewise, what are you relubing them with and how?

01-27-2014, 10:08 AM
What was recommended to me was to wash pellets in hot soapy water. Dish soap removed the oil that was put on the pellets by the manufacture. It also loosens any lead dust that may still be on the pellets from the manufacturing procedure. It was hypothesized that this lead dust may cause inconsistency problems in the concentricity of the pellets.

When I cleaned my pellets I did get some substantial amounts of lead fragments at the bottom of my cleaning bottle so maybe this hypothesis has some merit.

From the factory, the oil they put on them is mainly to mitigate oxidation on the surface of the lead pellet; as well as actually lubing the bore and pellet.

I went with some stuff called UltraLube. It's a non-petroleum based lube. After drying I placed them nose-up on a sheet of paper and then sprayed them lightly; taking pains not to get any lube on the inside of the skirts. Getting lube inside the skirt can cause dieseling and even detonation. Dieseling and detonation increases velocities but it also can create huge inconsistent velocity spreads.

Using this type of lube alone increased my velocities up to where they are right now. Since cleaning my first batch of pellets, I've now started to just clean them then spray some UltraLube on the lid of my tin, fill the tin back up with the cleaned pellets and then spinning the closed tin in my hand to spread a light film of lube on the pellets. Since only the outsides of the pellets make contact with the lube sprayed on the lid of the tin, little if any lube makes its way into the inside of the skirts.