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Thread: First Time Airgun Purchase so Newbie questions

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    May 2021

    First Time Airgun Purchase so Newbie questions

    At 74 year of age have never shot or owned a good airgun. So lots of questions . Some may seem stupid but please answer if possible.

    Have decided on the 22 size can you cast your own pellets for these if using pure lead ?
    What diameter should the cast pellet be ?
    A good choice for rifle to start with ?
    Best weight of 22 pellets for all around use ?
    Range I expect to be able to shoot at 0-50 yds ?

    I know pellets are cheap but I would like to make my own. Already have numerous molds as I cast for quite a few different calibers. So only expense would be an actual pellet mold.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Newburgh IN
    22 is a good choice.
    Each rifle will have a pellet weight that it really likes. I have a break barrel nitro piston rifle that shoots heavier pellets the best.
    I would suggest get your rifle and try different weight pellets to see what works best for you then you can cast for it.
    I have found that round nose pellets work the best for me.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Northern Michigan
    I bought 14,000 Crosman .22 pellets for less than $175 delivered from Amazon. Both my air rifles shoot them well. Sub 3/4” in one and sub 1” in the other at 50 yards.

    I doubt you can cast pellets that will perform better, and even if you could, why waste the time? Premium pellets will shrink groups by 1/4” at 50 yards but I am too cheap to spend 3-4 times as much.

    BTW, those accuracy numbers are the average of over 200 five shot groups. I have a number of “wallet groups” under 1/3”.

    I suggest going to the Gateway to Airguns forum for more information on guns within your budget.

    Good luck!
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Fargo ND
    Like Dverna I mostly shoot Crossman Premier Hollow Point pellets in my .22 airguns.

    However, I did get a .22 mold from Sharpshooter before the closed. I think I remember them being a thousandth or 2 larger than the CPHP's.
    They drop from a buckshot mold, have to have the sprue manually clipped. And they had to be tapped into place to chamber. I used the plastic handle of a standard philips screwdriver. 3 or 4 taps and the sprue cut was gone and they were seated.

    In my indoor 20 foot range they would do 5 shots in a single ragged hole. Group about half the size of CPHP pellets.

    Once done and tested I put the mold away for a day when my pellet stash is getting low and I would be unable or unwilling to buy them.
    So it CAN be done. It is not what I would call fast casting. Mold had to be warm, and lead hot enough.

    As long as you can afford to buy CPHP's I think your better off going that way.
    I spent the money for the mold and the time in casting and testing just so I knew I could IF I had to.

    Murphy does not seem to bother you much if your ready for him always.
    I truly believe we need to get back to basics.

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    praise glorious!

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Thanks for the suggestions and help.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Air Guns

    Interesting question. This 22 mold uses wheel weights.
    $117 plus handles and size die. Looks like buying is cheaper & better.

    Buying Swagged pellets has to be more accurate then cast? My guess.

    In competition, the .177" is shot. Makes sure yor can cock a spring piston rifle. I shoot both rifle & pistol in .177 caliber.

    Read all you can, before buying.
    Mined lead ore contains arsenic.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Northern Michigan
    I looked at casting .22 pellets when I decided to get into PCP airguns. In the research I did, I could not find anyone who had documented decent performance with cast pellets. There are a lot of reports like..."I cast some nice pellets and shot them yesterday. Got great accuracy!!" For me, that translates to....they shot like crap. No mention of group size, distance, number of shots or number of groups. It must suck to spend over $150, spend hours casting and sizing to wind up getting 2" groups at 50 yards.

    Once I realized that cheap pellets worked as well as I needed, any thoughts about casting pellets evaporated.

    There is one issue. Air guns are pellet particular. Both my guns work with a number of different pellets but I have had terrible groups with some "high end" pellets. One of the members here sent me a sampler pack and that lets you test a lot of different pellets without having to buy a tin of each type. Here is the one he sent me:

    My advice is to get a tin of Crosman pellets and see how they shoot for you. They seem to work in a lot of guns. If the accuracy is not there, get the sampler pack. Amazon has pellets on sale fairly regularly. The Crosman's are currently on sale for $6.24 delivered if you are a Prime member (same price I paid last year):

    A couple of last thoughts. I had horrible results at first. Make sure you clean the barrel with something like Ballistol. My barrels were filthy. Also, it takes 200 shots to get the barrel shooting well. BTW that is another reason to get the Crosman pellets. You can do the barrel break-in inexpensively.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    +1 on everything deverna said. He’s put a lot of time and analysis into what he speaks about. I will also ad that “great accuracy” is an individual thing. I don’t think 2” groups measured at 20 yards is very good at all. A good air gun, shooting a pellet that it prefers (much like shooting rimfires) will do 1moa or less at fifty yards. Just give some thought about what you want your airgun to do for you and go from there. If you’re not looking for moa out of your gun you can save some money on both gun and pellets. Good luck with whatever you get.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    sparky45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    SE, KS
    I'm shooting Crosman pellets in my Air Venturi Avenger with excellent results; I've harvested 9 Tree Rats this spring and won't stop until I have at least 25. To say I hate them is an understatement. They TOTALLY destroyed the insulation in my 24 x 24 shop, what a mess.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Maybe you ought to rethink the .22, and consider the .177. The .177 shoots flatter, penetrates more, when shot out of the same model airgun. Pellets costs less also. It does not pay to cast your own airgun pellets for the .177 and .22 calibers. They are so inexpensive, and readily available, even in these times, so why bother. At 74 years of age, how's your arm strength.

    If you are getting a springer, and are physically challenged, stay away from the high powered ones. You will tire easily after only a few shots. As the cocking effort is quite heavy. Stick with the mid powered airguns. You will shoot an airgun far more than you will ever shoot a powder burner, so don't scrimp on getting a quality airgun, and optics to go with it. The European airguns are the best. You will spend the same for one of these, as you would for a centerfire rifle. Be sure to get a springer rated scope if you are so inclined to get an optic.

  11. #11
    Vendor Sponsor

    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ojai CA
    I have been shooting good quality Airguns since 1975. We lived on the Colorado River just south of the Davis Dam in Bullhead City AZ. One of the guys in the house had an ancient Diana Break Barrel .177 cal Rifle. All the pellets we could find were Crossman made pellets that looked like they had been cut off a piece of 3/16" lead wire with Dykes!
    Then we found an ad in one of my gun mags for Beeman Precision Airguns. I sent off for the catalog (which I still have) and ordered some H&N Pellets and some oil and other doodads. All of a sudden with some proper oil in the gun and the new pellets we had a Tack Driver on our hands.

    From our back door to the dock, on which we had hung some garage door pull knobs, it was a 20 yard shot. We would shoot everyday after work and between the three of us if became a pretty good game. There was money involved as there was with our Back Gammon and Cribbage games. And if you missed you either paid or made dinner. My longest run was 25 strait and the others were at 20-24. They were better cooks so that was fine with them.

    Finally after I got back to Ventura, I ran across my catalog and found an outfit in Huntington Beach that actually sold Beeman Guns. One Saturday I drove down and came home with a Weihrauch/ Beeman HW35 EB for $189.00 and a pile of H&N Pellets! I made a Target box with putty in it and hung it on the Living Room wall in my Condo. It had a picture light on it and I shot everyday after work as I lived alone. From my Bedroom Door down the hallway to the target on the other side of the Living Room was exactly 39 feet or 10 M. I shot literally thousands or rounds at that target. I got to be a pretty good off hand open sight shooter and could hit a Mocking Bird at 40 yards offhand just about every time. Biggest problem I had was that the Flat Nosed H&N.177 cal. pellets didn't have enough uumph left to knock them down at 40 yards, so my new wife bought me the HW 77 .22 which did!

    I still have that first gun as well as an HW35 E that I found at a Hardware store a few years ago, and HW77 in .22 cal. and a Beeman R1/HW80 .22 cal. which is a real beast.

    People ask why I got so many of these and I tell them that these guns will outlast all of us and are on par with any firearm I own. They are made to be used and used hard and if you just take care of them and treat them like your prized firearms they will outlast you and probably several of your offspring as well.

    The Weihrauch HW 35's are still made and have been since 1951! Gosh maybe they know something we don't. I was born in 1949! They are now around $550 new and worth every penny. This is a case where if you buy a Quality Airgun you will be able to enjoy it for the rest of your life and then some. As far as pellets go. My guns still shoot H&N Flat Nosed Pellets well but I have found that JSB pellets are slightly more accurate, and that is splitting hairs! Everyone of my guns will put pellets thru the same hole for as long as you can stand to sit there and shoot it off a rest. IN fact one of these days I am going to sit there and shoot 100 thru the same hole just to show everyone I'm not FOS !!!

    My dad always said "Buy the best, only cry once!" No where is this more true than with Quality Air Guns. The best ones are made in Germany and England, None are made in China!


    Pic #1 is Beeman HW35EB My first one. #2 is HW35E Found at Hardware store for $60! #3 is Williams/Beeman Receiver Sight on HW35 EB, #4 is Standard HW Front Sight,
    and #5 is Beeman R1/HW 80. Note one HW 35 has Open sights and the other has Aperture sights as I use these as my Practice Guns for shooting my Iron Sighted Centerfire guns. The R1 has a 1-4X Leupold Scope on it.
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    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 05-14-2022 at 05:58 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  12. #12
    Boolit Master beezapilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Central Fla
    I really enjoy a springer, I've several rifles from Gamo and a recent addition of a Diana/ RWS. I've Gamo and FWB target pistols as well. Surprising accuracy!!!!

    They make specialty oil for springer air rifles, and scopes rated for the "snap" recoil.

    We shoot often in the cool of the evening with three of these at varying ranges in the back yard. I love shooting at gently moving targets, just a little breeze and timing is everything. Short strings oscillate faster than long strings...
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    The essence of education is self reliance- T.H. White.

    Currently seeking wood carving tools, wood planes, froes, scorps, spokeshaves... etc....

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy slownsteady22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    central Missouri
    I have a .25 cal and a .457 cal PCP air rifles. They are a blast to shoot but not backyard/ neighborhood friendly, due to power not noise. I have seen sampler packs for the pellets, which will give you a chance to find out what your rifle likes the best., or pyramid air are both good place to find those. When I purchased my first airgun, I was looking for a bullet mold as well but through my research found that people swaging pellets were having better experience then casting.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Boolit Master elmacgyver0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I would think with the proper backstop it would not matter where you shot them.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    I've found that multi pump air rifles are a good choice for several reasons. They aren't that expensive compared to some that give comparable performance and have a distinct advantage in allowing one to easily govern the power level for indoor practice by using fewer pumps, using maximum number of pumps for longer range shooting and hunting.

    If noise bothers neighbors you can still do backyard shooting by using fewer pumps. I found my customized pump up Crosman pistol carbine with 24 inch barrel is as quiet as if silenced when I use six or fewer pumps. At full power, I use as many as 12 pumps, there is a notable report.

    Some of the most powerful spring piston rifles can break the sound barrier with light alloy pellets, making as much noise as a rimfire .22.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    The older Benjamin/Sheridan pump rifles are worthy of having one in your collection.
    Mac-1 offers even more performance:

    The break barrels rifles can be difficult to cock sometimes. The post above about noise is correct.

    Crosman Premier pellets are great for targets. For hunting, I prefer a flat faced pellet to deliver more humane kills.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check