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Thread: Interesting new air gun sharp shooting challenge please help

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Interesting new air gun sharp shooting challenge please help

    Okay I’m guessing this is a new one to the community, let’s see. I have a friend who owns a herd of African oryxes. They are a gazelle like creature with long scimitar horns. Lately one has been more aggressive and they can be quite dangerous to humans and especially the other animals. They have had fights to the death and they use the horns to stab the other male and they bleed. Sometimes the horns break off in the opponent.

    So, we want to reduce the effectiveness of the aggressive oryx horns by shooting the tips off the horns using an air gun. If it takes a lot of shots over a period of months that’s okay. They are tame animals compared to in the wild, however you can’t touch them at all in captivity and they don’t respond well to sedation so that’s why we are trying to discover the right method for achieving herd peace. If we have to we will kill the offending male, but the air gun challenge is what we are working on now. So my question is what do I need to be looking at for accuracy in an air gun? I understand firearms accuracy principles but I don’t know how many of those apply to air guns. We have a gamo break action rifle that came with a cheap scope.

    Does ammo matter? Bore slugging? Brands? Does a compressed air gun make a lot more precision than a Spring type unit?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Several things to consider here would be the amount of penetration needed? Range Small light pellets are really affected by the wind. I would look for a wad cutter style pellet maybe on the heavier side weight wise to start out with. Accuracy will need to be on the higher side, as a test set up a card board tube roughly the size of the horn area you want to cut and try cutting a piece from it with multiple shots. I say wadcutter for the wide flat cutting area ( wadcutters are known for the full caliber hole they cut) and heavy weights for aiding penetration and wind.
    Since you cant touch them or sedate them the process of burning the horns isn't an option here. That's how bulls and milk cows are done they burn the buttons as they form stopping growth of the horns.
    Another question is what is the risk of infection from this practice? Another is feeling in the horn, an injured animal that's hurting is much meaner and or harder to work around

  3. #3
    Boolit Master slim1836's Avatar
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    Run them up a squeeze chute (like cattle) and lop them off.

    Slim
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    You say that they can’t be touched, is he a part of the effort to increase the number of Oryx in the wild? The folks running these efforts are opposed to any domestication of the species, or even desensitization to humans, for obvious reasons.

    To your specific question, how close do you think you can get to the animal? Do you have access to scrap horn so you can determine the energy required? Why an air gun vs a suppressed rifle which will have a lot more energy? Also, have you considered that the animal may have sufficient strength to gore another even if you break the tip back by several inches.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Losing the tip won't have much effect with that much weight and muscle behind it.

    Some years ago a male Elephant that had a tusk broken in a duel with the alpha male was observed for months carefully grinding down and sharpening the stub till it was sharp at both point and edges. The first time the alpha failed to keep an eye on him the challenger lunged at close quarters as he passed and cut the alphas throat.

    Most horned or antlered animals hone their weapons by rubbing against large rocks and such as a matter of course.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    "Shoot the tips off with an air gun"

    Did someone declare "Shenanigans!" ???
    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"

    "Control the things you can control, maggot. Let everything else take a flying (leap) at you, and if you must go down, go down with your guns blazing."- The Dark Tower, Steven King


  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    people do it all the time with aggressive JACKALOPES

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Ha yes this is a weird one I know. The squeeze chutes won’t work because oryx will freak out and injure itself or worse. They don’t submit ever.

    When we feed them their grain treats they will come close, you could maybe touch a horn or head but only for a second. They spook super easy.

    No these animals are a private collection and for 20 years we have been trying to tame them to no avail. I mean, they are tame as far as oryx goes, but that’s not saying a lot.

    Re suppressed rifle. Ya I suppose that would be an option too, and I do have a suppressed 308 that could maybe work. The shorter horn it’s believed would make the animal less aggressive just by a sense of loss of capability. I don’t think they can sharpen them but I am not sure exactly. This herd isn’t mine but a friends, and I help take care of them. So I don’t have the subtle understanding of them that the owner does.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    A Just how close are you talking as far as taking shots is concerned? 20 feet? 20 yards? Longer? Makes a big difference.

    B Larger bore will have less speed but much greater penetration.
    I think .177 would take a long time to saw off a tip. .22 is better, but .25 is way better yet. There are other bigger bore guns, .30 cal, .357, and up but I think they do give up some accuracy.

    It is a WAG but I would guess either .25 or .30 would be most effective.

    I have several airguns that can put 5 shots in a dime at 20 feet, one ragged hole. With room on the edges. One of those is a Hatsan 135 QE Vortex in .22 that is also available in .25 and .30.

    The .22 runs 950-1000 fps. Maybe a shade less with common 14.3 gr pellets. The tend to test them with lighter pellets.

    It is a beast, weighs over 9 lbs without scope. Sells for around 300$

    The cheaper end of the scale would be a 1322 pump up .22 caliber airgun. Those can be had in a shooters kit that includes a shoulder stock. Also quite capable of good short to mid range accuracy. Especially from a rest.

    The last option IMO would be to figure out a way to drill and glue a ball on the end so it would no longer do damage. But with critters that are hard to handle that could be a wicked job.

    Good luck

  10. #10
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    Just a guess, but I think they will get to be less tame after you ping them in the tips of their horns a few times.
    Any of the more powerful 22 guns with heavy pellets should meet your needs (Benjamin NP is one that come to mind)
    Please follow up with a results posting on this project.
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	A1C08477-7089-4E8C-A09E-E60EBE7BC101.jpg 
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ID:	207048Yes the idea was to remain hidden inside a car maybe so they donít associate the shots with the humans, although if this particular animal is a bit more timid that wouldnít be a bad thing as we are not sure he wonít attack at some point which could be very bad.

    Hereís what they look like

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	4993380B-9A95-4082-8349-2B68739AFDB3.jpg 
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ID:	207049

    Long horns are sharp. They use them by charging past you, then they drop to their knees and stab backward. The death matches are quite dramatic and take days.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by slim1836 View Post
    Run them up a squeeze chute (like cattle) and lop them off.

    Slim
    When I was a kid I worked on ranch that had some billy-goats prone to goring other animals on the farm. Their horns weren't that large or long so what the ranch owner had us do was catch the offending billy-goats and slip a rubber band over their horns so that it stayed at the base of their horns. Over time the horns would just dry up and fall off.

    We did this to all the offspring of this same offending billy-goat to head off any potential of his progeny being pre-disposed to acting as aggressively as the daddy goat. The rubber bands were the same ones we used to castrate a lot of the male live stock on that ranch.

    I don't know if such an action would even be plausible in this case but frankly, shooting the tips off of the horns just seems stupid to me. The fact is, I have no experience with the animals in question so your approach to this problem may in fact be a smart way to go but, if you're going through all that trouble anyway, just trap the animal and cut off its horns. If he remains aggressive with no horns he should learn pretty quickly that his mojo is gone when the other animals teach him a hard learned lesson.

    HollowPoint

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by turtlezx View Post
    people do it all the time with aggressive JACKALOPES
    Yep, Wonder how they got them in their pens.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Ultimate solution might be to cull that animal.

    Steaks on the grill man!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHawk View Post
    Ultimate solution might be to cull that animal.

    Steaks on the grill man!
    Considering this particular animals rep it brings to mind the scene from "Jerimah Johnson", skin this one while I go get another one.

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