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Airgun shooting impressions
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Posted By: Davo
05/16/2014 12:03 pm

Ohio, my hunting tomodachis/friends!

I attened PANSAL airgun meet and digger squirrle shoot in SW Idaho and met some very knowledgeable/helpful/extremely decent people :-)

Of great itnerst to ME was the oportunity to shoot a Quackenbush .458, which launches the same bullets I used to shoot in my Trapdoor Springfields from age 14 on...

It ahd a coarser trigger than the .30 cal. Q-Bush...About like an old Springfield...

The .30 cal. duplicates moderate loads in .32-20 & had an extremely good "hunting trigger",  and the big honker throws large chunks of lead accurately at near 800 fps. (They are starting-out at vel. similar to "terminal" long-range vel.s of blackpowder loads in .45-70. Good terminal performance on game depends on flat-nose profiles/large meplats to leave large permanent wound channels at low velocities... )

Recoil was a mere gentle "shove" and NOT the fast , had punch modern magnums whack you with...Or even 180, 200 & 220 gr. loads in a Krag.

It definatley recoiled (You cannot launch 400 gr. of lead down-range even at low vel. and not have the launching platform "move"...)

It was un-moderated/un-suppressed and it made soem noise as well, but a low-intensity "Ka-FLOO!!!" like a huge sneeze, and does not cause your ears to "ring".

Accurascy was as good as as I coudl hold @ 50 yds., and I do not doubt the groups posted on-line that show 4 shot groups into one aprox silver dollar-size.

I witnessed several over-100 yd. shots on digger squirrels by Red Edwards with hsi 10+ yr-old Air Force Talon SS in .22 cal.

My new Air Force Condor SS in .25 cal. smites em' noticeably harder. (Unfortuneatley I am not the "ahrd-holder" or great judge of wind and hold-over that Red is! :-)

I used JSB 'Kings" and Predator Poly-Mag ballsitic tips, both 25 gr. and the Poly-Mags buck wind and carry flatter trajectories jsut a bit better due to better B.C.'s.

I also shot 43 gr. Eunjin .25's and they hit HARD and will exit a 2x4 ("finished" dimensions is 1 1/2")

All three of thes shoot to vitually the same POI at closer ranges and the 25 gr. start out at very near 900 fps while the heavy is in the high 700's-near 800 fps.

The big 43 gr. slug would ''do'' well for raccoon and even coyote at close range, IMCO (in my curmudgeonly opinon;-) )


Triggers have been improved on the Air Force guns and they are single-shots, which is FINE with me sicne I prefferred to hunt with single shot cart. guns and muzzle loaders.

The Condor shot well from 3,000 psi clear down to 1,200 psi, tho you had to faovr a bit higher on the targets.

It is quiet, sturdy, reliable & simple as well as very accurate. (Cost aprox. 6 C-notes, and NO paperwork even for the "expansion chamber"/suppressor it comes withm 'built-in' . :-) )

You won't buck wind as well as a suppressed .22LR like I have been shooting for the past 3 years, but I have sold alot of my .22 ammo that I bought cheap before the 1st of the last two unfortunate "elections".

The Condor .25 will do nearly everything that my .22 LR.s ever did for me, except extreme range.

I will keep my best rimfire suppressor and mount it on my .22 WMR's, but I am about thru w/.22LR, so I can sell rifles and one suppressor and most of the cases of ammo Ihave to pay for my new abberation, AIRGUNS! :-)  (GOT to get a Quackenbush "Bandit", 50 cal. roudnball riflend

Now to learn Japanese, try to get an airgun into the country along with my wrinkled, gimpy old gajin self as well as my Ural sidecar bike, and find where I can give the innoshishi & sika(wild boar and deer) a whirl! (Realistically I'll problaby be dead of old age before all these thigns coudlcome together, but it is a nice "dream" even so! :-) )



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Reply By: Davo
05/16/2014 12:25 pm

Forgot to add that I get about 60+ shots per fill with the Condor.

The big-bores get TWO in .458, plus a "finisher" that will have lower POI, and the 50 cal. roundball (180 gr.) gets FOUR shots w/o appreciable POI shift, plus TWO "finishers".

In anticipation of getting a Q-bush .50 I have bought a 2nd carbon fiber bottle from (Joe Bracanto, knowledgeable, helpful and honest....), and using a built-in regulater to drop the 4,500 psi to 3,000psi, will plumb-in a detacheable line direct to the Q-bush .50 for MANY shots at a constant pressure.

The small "Guppy" bottle from Joe, will ride in a light rucksack and not add much wt. It and it's rigging should not weigh anymore than a gallon of water, if that much. (?) (Theoretical as of now...)



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Reply By: mrbusybusy
05/16/2014 2:04 pm

Sounds like you had a blast!  I enjoy reading your posts and look forward to hearing about your next adventure into the world of airguns.  Do you have any photos of video from your outing to share?

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Reply By: Davo
05/16/2014 6:36 pm

Unfortuneately pix and vids are things Ihave yet to learn how to do.

IT was sandy, rolling country w/no trees, and badgers had attened themeet a couple years back en masse, and dug into MANY groud squirrel burrows, leavig B IG mounds of dirt and way fewer groudn squirrels.

This was a strip of BLM land SSW of Ontario, Oregon w/Apple Valley to the west and Sand Hollow to the SE being the two nearest towns in ID.

If you "search" PANSAL you will find some info. about past and resent meets.

It was very low key and pretty small potatoes (Apropos metaphor for use in ID ;-) ) , with mostly old guys to 30's or 40's and a few youngsters.

Informal "fun" targets were there for the shooting and it was intersting to find-out on "known ranges" just how far you had to favor into the wind when the flag/ribbon was streaming out horizontally.


If I canmake it next year I am going to try to camp there and bring my Ural.


I foudn that the Air Arms "hold" so steady for me that I moslty got by with scope set on 4.5x. (WHich is a big deal for me sicne I've always had trouble with scopes over 3x, especially so after recent dbl. pneumonia bout.)


With low report the varmints don't take alarm as much and you can get some repeat shots to make-up for not judging wind correctly.

I 'fluked' one head-shot @ 90 yds., but most shots ran from 65 yds, on down to as close as 25 yds.

I used cross-sticks for anythig further than 30 or 35 yds..


It was brought home to me on our way back to my pard's place at Lacey, Wash. that my habit of carrying THREE jacks, a breaker-bar and a 4-way lug wrench as well as 'dunnage'(chunks of wooot is nto extreme.(The factory jack in his Ford van did not work after we had a tire failure.)  "3=2/2=1/1=NONE..."


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Reply By: Jaded-Arrow
05/17/2014 12:30 pm

This is a great article. Well done Davo. I think we should petition the WHC guys to sponsor you a camera for Japan.

Can I get a second?

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Reply By: Davo
05/19/2014 10:52 am

Jaded Arrow,

Thanks and glad you liked what impressiosn/experience I am trying to share :-)  .

I'll have to get "adult supervision" to learn how to use a camera and fwd./post pix.


Before "Dave's Big Japanese Adventure", i've got ortho-repair work to get done and a language to learn, then make contacts over there and fidn-out HOW to import my own shotgun and (almost certainly) failing that 'forlorn hope' to know how to brign airguns into the country.( "Who Wants Reality Dept. ?": meanign I'll most likely never get the airgun hunting thign off the ground or live long enough to do it, but I'll TRY, and mebbe met more nice folks on-line if not in person, here on WHC and hopefully from Japan as well! :-) )


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Reply By: Davo
05/19/2014 11:59 am

Reviews of simpler airguns:

PCP's(pre-charged pneumatics) need alot of extra rigging: 4,500 psi bottles, compressors (or a tomodachi/friend at a dive shop), fill hoses/valves & gauges. This adds complexity & cost. (Only way you are going to get power levels high enough to relialby kill deera dn feral hogs tho....)

Multi-pump pneumatics may require the user to get new shirts w/one sleeve larger than the other ;-) , and spring-piston/nitro-piston single-stroke guns are hard on scopes.

Granted that PCP guns like my Air Force Condor .25 are amongst the most powerful samllgame/varmint airguns out there, what woudl I reccommend as a reasonable alternative?

Iron-sighted nitrogen pistoned single-stroke guns in .22 or .25 cal. are a good startign place, IMCO..(in my curmudgeonly opinion)

I just got a BSA .25 cal. and was sorley dissapointed in the velocity from an advertised 600 to 650 fps it only clocked 510 to 515 fps w/20 gr. pellets.(Dismantled a Tasco scope during testing and has no iron sights.)

PyramidAir (ph.#1-888-262-4867) is allowing me to return it for a Hatsan .25 cal w/Crosman nitro-piston, model 125 that I was assured by Greg (ext. 252), a knowledgable and helpful 'rep', would give me 200 MORE fps than the BSA, in the low 700 fps range. (My Condor SS comes close to 900 fps.)

I figure this is fine for "iron-sight'' ranges out to 40 yds. while the Condor w/ 5 gr. heavier pellet and a Hawke 3x to 9x 50mm scope w/stadia lines for hold-over is "good" to twice that or further.


I had a Theoben Crusader in .25 10 years ro so ago and it was not appreciably "better" than the unsatisfactory BSA.

Another nitro-piston gun is the HW90 Werach .25, but it is as much as a Quackenbush big-bore air rifle @ about $700, so the Hatsan for $300 ($100 LESS than the BSA) looks worth a try before I give-up on spring/nitor-piston guns altogether.

PELLETS: Even a great gun won't do well with poor ammo, and JSB (anything) & Predator Poly-Mags seem to be tops from where I stand.  H&N are pretty good but have some bent skirts which affect accurascy adversely, and the monster heavy-weight 43 gr. EunJin pellets from Korea are not "pretty" but perform well if you eye-ball em' and cull-out the obvious malformed ones that happen in a ratio of about 4% or less.(These are only for powerful PCP guns like the Condor... Mid-700 fps range, approaching 800 at higherst power setting...)

Keep in mind that I am ONLY working with .25 cal., and there are MORE "good" pellets available for .22, incl some heavy ones, than there are .25, .30, 9mm, 357, .45 & .50.

Also, that after aprox. 950 fps you reach a point of diminishing accurascy returns as well as gobbling air...

IMCO .25 is THE smallgame hunters' airgun caliber, and I am not fooling around with smaller ones...(I only want to go UP :-) )

Also: If the Hatsan 125 works-out well, ti woud be an ideal subsistance smallgame getter as well as small pest eradicator for those who are serious "preppers". Decent airgun and 500 or 1,000 pellets can give you some serious practice and real smallgame ability.

Obayo/So long,



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Reply By: MAX6
05/20/2014 2:37 pm

I think WHC needs to get you a camera to. I for one want to see who's writing these great posts!

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Reply By: Davo
05/20/2014 7:10 pm

I'll get "adult supervision" and try to fwd. a pic that I feel sums-up who & what I am, pretty much ;-)


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Reply By: etammik
05/22/2014 8:19 pm

Thanks for all the great info and reviews Davo. I always enjoy reading your thorough and informative wirte ups regarding these big bore air rifles!

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Reply By: Davo
05/23/2014 9:22 am

I am real enthused about .25 cal.s and UP, but even the tiny .177's in under-=powred "10 meter" versions can be of use.

I am taking a .177 Daisy 853-C, single-stroke pump pneumatic to loan a "good neighbor" (as opposed to the drug-growing/using/smuggling/peddling pervs on 3-sides of me...Even in a rural setting you CANNOT get away from it...  :-(  , to shoot nest-robbing cowbirds that are takign a toll on his songbirds, at close-range.

This little gun is pretty inexpensive, and only generates about 500 fps,  but WILL shoot thru the same hole @ 10 meters, time after time...(!)

Nest-robbers at 10 to 15 yds., and "practice" to keep degradable skills tuend-up are plenty of reason for not curliing a lip at the "pokey" little .177's like this one :-) .

(My old "mentor"/rifle coach was trying to weed-out his gunroom and I got 3 airguns I though I could find "foster-homes" for :-)

.22 cal. is a dramatic increase over even powerful .177's, and (in my limeted experience), I believe that .25's generating at least 650 fps w/ 20 gr. pellets, are a long ways ahead of .22s (except for hi-powered PCP's throwing heavy-for-cal. pellets at 950 fps...)


I would really like to see air rifles that used "common" sizes of swaged (precision-sized) buckshot like #00.33 cal. shot in .32 bore), #000 (.360), & #0000(.375).

Roundball muzzle-loading  "pea-rifles" knocked-down ALOT of smallgame in times past, albeit at a bit higher velocities usually.

The unreasonable "war-on-lead-shot/bullets" by the hoplophopic "useful idiots" helping drive the elites' agenda of disarming the peasantry, may make it so having a five gallon pail of correctly-sized roundballs, and/or a double-cavity mold would be real adventageous.

Obayo! :-) ("See ya!"


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Reply By: Davo
05/30/2014 1:29 pm

"Springers" (NOT Spaniels:-) Good and bad:

They are still referred-to as "springers" even ifhteyhave a nitro-piston in place of the spring-driven one.

The "gas shock" has no "spring-lash" or torque as it winds/un-winds to contend with and the components are lighter so less "felt-recoil".

I am only REALLY interested in serious hunting calibers, so .25 is as small a bore as I want to fool with....


I am looking for a powerful "springer" to cut the air bottle/compressor/rill regualtors & gauges "umbilical cord" (At least for a "smallgame gun")


Got a BSA break-barrel .25 ($400)from Pyramyd Air and was gravely dissappointed since vel. w/20 gr. .25 cal. H&N pellet was only 510 to 515 fps.

Exchanged it for a Hatsan model 125 in .25 cal. w/Crosman nitro-piston. ($300)

This gun is pattenred on the Beeman "Kodiak" a .25 from 20 or 30 years ago, so it is a "proven design, manuf. in Korea.

The open-sights/"fire-sights" were clearly visible even to my less than optimal vision. ("0-ed" them @ aprox. 35 yds.)

Old ProChrono said 660 fps w/25 gr. JSB "Kings" and 760(!)fps w/20 gr. H&N!

My PCP Condor SS does about 900+ fps w/ 25 gr. pellet and 850 w/43gr. EunJin taht will drive clear thru a 2x4 at very close range, or thru one side of a disposable propane bottle @ 80 yds.

IMCO, 750+ fps w/slightly lighter pellet from a break-barrel "springer" is GREAT performance! :-)

It should still kill bunnies better than a 40 gr. .22LR RN @ 75 yds. on down.


A mounted an FF3 Burris red dot on the well-thought-out multi-rail (Weaver & 11mm tip-off....).

The FF3 has solved the parallax-problems that the FF2 had with consequent shifts of POI. (It was "0-ed" @45 or 50 yds.)

This is a compact, light weight sight w/ 3 moa dot that should be super for big game on  a large-bore gun or slug gun shotgun, and for small game from 40 or 50 yds. on down.

Since the FF3 has been directly-mounted on auto pistol slides, the odd dbl.-bounce recoil of "springers" should not be able to wreck it like happens with  too many scopes on springers.


Accurascy of the Hatsan: Springers are harder to shoot well than PCP guns...Also, the more powerful the springer, the harder it will be to shoot accurately, as well as to cock the spring. (It is "accurate" enough to hit the small disposable propane bottle hanging from a wire @ 80 yds. from forend rest of my porch.)

In learning to shoot well with this gun, you are going to become a better shot w/firearms as a "bonus"  :-)


Pyramyd Air are great people to deal with and the odds are that you will deal with some pretty knowledgeable countermen :-)


You need special NON-dieseling chamber oil to lubricate the piston occasionally, and the other friction hingepoints can be lubed with "normal" oil or grease a bit more often.

20 to 19 gr. pellets are going to give you the greatest power(ability to make a clean kill)/flat trajectory compromise.You'll need to try as many different manuf.s as you can in this wt./dia. class so that you can  find what REALLY "works" for your gun. (Once you find what "works", get a bucketful, since lead projectiles may be outlawed at any time...)


You must bear down & "hold-hard" and consistantly to shoot well with this gun, but it is a REAL smallgame rifle.

Weirauch makes a great gas-piston .25, but it is nearly $800. (And it might not be any easier to shoot well ;-)

$300 for the Hatsan 125 and a whole lot of pellets as well as an FF3 for the same amt. of $ seems like a better deal to me.


Try  for some mouth-watering large-bore airguns capable of downing even elk :-)


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Reply By: Davo
06/02/2014 8:53 pm

Well, I done it....

Brent Hoag of Extreme Big Bore Air Rifles had just finished-up testing a .40 cal. rifle w/titanium air cylinder (7 to 7 1/2 lbs. wt. instead of 8 1/2 lbs. for std. rifle.), and offered it to me after a phone call (since our e-mails were not connecting...) ph#1-989-660-0278.

There are air rifles being built in .58 and even .72 caliber, but the fly in the ointment is under 1,000 fps velocities...Sometimes ALOT under...Overly-large dia.LOW vel. and a WIDE bullet are going to mean looping trajectory and limited pentration, was my guess, and was the theory Mr.Hoag was inspired by when he developed the .40.

The Quackenbush .458 (TWO shots per fill) I shot was doing around 650 to 700 fps w/300 gr. or heavier 45-70 bullets, and had a pretty coarse trigger compared to the 3lbs. Timney on the Hoag rifle..

The .50 cal. roundball Q-bush "Bandit" turns in high 700's in the FPS realm.

My new .40 will do 980 fps w/230 gr. bullet, and 930 fps w/275 gr. (for 500 FPE with the latter....)


I'll get three GOOD shots per "fill", and may be de-tuned for several more shots w/.410/.409 dia. roudnballs at 1,000 -(minus) fps.


I have been saving 1K in my wallet and now need to come-up with the other "half".

I shoud be able to pay household funds back by selling my 2 1/4" bore cannon and $500 worth of powder asap ;-) (I quit shooting it on the "4th" years ago because of frightening the horses, and mostly because I had begun to feel like the "4th" was a wake for a dead friend.)


NOW, I have to make rural/hunting contacts in Japan, find-out about importing my "airgun"/getting permission to hunt/control-shoot problem over-populated inoshishi & sika (wildboar & deer),  learn more Nihongo (Japanese language) than "Nihong-ga skoshi wakarimas." ("I understand/speak a (very ;-) little Japanese."  :-)


Mebbe I can "make it happen by the time I'me 70...(It's a great 'dream' anyways! :-)

Meanwhile the thoughts of deer and feral hog hunting here in the USA are making my whiskers twitch for the 1st time sicne I kind of gave-up on deer hunting in my area other than subsistance in dire need.


The power level of the hi-vel. .40 should come very close to blackpowder cartridge calibers like .38-55 (one of my favorites:-), & .40-65 ...The air rifle will "give-away" about 100 or 150 yds. of effective range is all, to the old cartirdge deer/blackbear stand-bys.


Why .40 cal.?

It seems the best compromise for velocity/flat trajectory(extended range over the 700 or 800 fps guns), penetration(terminal ballistics)

I found that there is no perceptible difference between .38-55 or .45-70 on deer.

Long-for-caliber HELPS, but nose form is very important. (Wide flat-noses kill better at low velocities.)


Should have the new SERIOUS airgun within a week & a half. (Better put my 97 cubic foot 4,500 psi carbon fiber bottle on the compressor! ;-)


I'me going to have to learn how to make good wildboar sausage, so I'll be giving the recipe section here on WHC a real thorough look! (This could lead to a rather unfortunate/double-entendre knick-name once I get to the Land of the Rising Sun, like "the gaijin 'sausage-man' " ;-)




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