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  #1  
Old 12-11-2015, 2:24 PM
bug_eyedmonster bug_eyedmonster is offline
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Default Help me choose an air rifle!

Hi all,


I'm looking to purchase an air rifle with optics, but have no idea where to start. My friend has a Gamo, I don't know which model, but it's pretty accurate and quiet. The reason for the purchase is to plink around where legal, but also to shoot squirrels during deer season. We don't use actual rifles to shoot them at camp to prevent scaring away the deer, but the damn squirrels drive us crazy. I'd like something relatively powerful, but do not want one that I have to pump more than once. I'd like to stick to .177 pellets since that's what my hunting partner already shoots, so it wont cause confusion, but want to get something different from his. It's not the strongest, and shooting anything past 30-40 yards is almost pointless. I may be looking at this totally wrong, if so, please let me know what I should be looking at. Thanks in advance for your help!


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I always thought nothing beat a BJ. :shrug:
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2015, 4:32 PM
bug_eyedmonster bug_eyedmonster is offline
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Wow, that's a lot of great info!

I saw great reviews about the Diana 34 also, as well as the HK97, some of the other Beemans, and about 10 different other rifles. Accuracy is very important, but I don't want to spend a bunch of free time tinkering with it, I just want to shoot it and occasionally clean it... as bad as that sounds. I'm not a fan of the Hatsan, I saw it once at a gun store, the guy behind the counter said it was a great gun, but it felt very crappy to me. I did not shoot it, but it did not seem to warrant the amount of money. I think I want to keep it under $500 with optic if at all possible. Anything more than that and my wife will question my sanity. Thank you for your help!


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I always thought nothing beat a BJ. :shrug:
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2015, 7:06 PM
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Winchester springer: Powerful, crude inside, beats itself up with recoil.
Gamo springers: better, reasonable accuracy and power. Watch the plastic outer barrel sleeve models for barrel bending while cocking.
Both of the above benefit from a tune-up and trigger work.
Benjamin Nitro Piston: better accuracy, less recoil torque, quieter than a Gamo Whisper, steel barrel does not bend.
All these can be had in the $150 range.
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Old 12-12-2015, 9:35 AM
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Do yourself a favor and stay away from the cheap junk that so many people buy these days. Spend a few more bucks on a quality gun like an HW97 or an Air Arms TX 200 and you'll never regret it.
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2015, 9:54 AM
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I've got a break-barrel Gamo Silent Cat and it's pretty good for practice and varmints (crows & rats) at 25 yards on occasion. I picked it up at a Big 5 for ~$200 IIRC. It came with a cheesy (but still functional after three years) scope that's good enough considering the cost of the entire package.

I think I may get one that does the under-barrel break, I just don't think that long term the break-barrel will hold it's accuracy....
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2015, 11:28 AM
bug_eyedmonster bug_eyedmonster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ojisan View Post
Winchester springer: Powerful, crude inside, beats itself up with recoil.
Gamo springers: better, reasonable accuracy and power. Watch the plastic outer barrel sleeve models for barrel bending while cocking.
Both of the above benefit from a tune-up and trigger work.
Benjamin Nitro Piston: better accuracy, less recoil torque, quieter than a Gamo Whisper, steel barrel does not bend.
All these can be had in the $150 range.
I want to stick with something that has a good trigger that will resemble an actual hunting rifle if possible, how would these stack up?


Quote:
Originally Posted by prob View Post
Do yourself a favor and stay away from the cheap junk that so many people buy these days. Spend a few more bucks on a quality gun like an HW97 or an Air Arms TX 200 and you'll never regret it.

I agree, buy once, cry once.


Quote:
Originally Posted by m4rty View Post
I've got a break-barrel Gamo Silent Cat and it's pretty good for practice and varmints (crows & rats) at 25 yards on occasion. I picked it up at a Big 5 for ~$200 IIRC. It came with a cheesy (but still functional after three years) scope that's good enough considering the cost of the entire package.

I think I may get one that does the under-barrel break, I just don't think that long term the break-barrel will hold it's accuracy....
I have always wondered how a break barrel stays accurate over time. If some shooters are concerned with the weight of the rifle pushing against the bipod affecting accuracy, I would think that yanking down and using it to compress a piston would be worse. I have been looking at the HW97K, anyone here have one? What kind of optics should I consider? Do they need special mounts or rings?


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I always thought nothing beat a BJ. :shrug:
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2015, 7:46 PM
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Check out pyramid air's website. They usually have a deal on whatever rifle you find appropriate.

I will personally recommend (as I have before) the diana line of air guns. The 34 will put down squirrels to about 35 yards and punch paper at 50. A 350 will take you out to likely 65 yards lethal range, and do paper to 75. For more of a "fire for effect", like coffee can size, you could probably get 75 yards and 100 yards respectively. The 350 would require going to .22 cal though.

The 34 is honestly your best bet. Price, accuracy, power, reliability (I swear I put 100K pellets through mine before I had a mechanical failure), and beauty. Seriously... it's good to go.

My mechanical failure, again at a ridiculously high round count, was the barrel came loose from the breech block. Not a huge deal if you have a TIG welder, solder didn't cut it, and finding a replacement barrel/breech is almost not worth it. Around 50k I put a new main spring, main seal, and breech seal in. The whole kit cost about $100 (mid 2000's).

Diana scope mounts (most euro break barrels too) have barrel droop as its called, and often necessitate a 20moa base for optics. Just get some good bases and an airgun rated scope.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2015, 11:03 PM
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Best place to by is Airguns of Arizona. Search the web.
Check out all their RWS models. I bough ta 48 Magnum, in .177; it has been a death-ray on our ground squirrel problem out here. Much better than Gamo junk.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2015, 6:39 AM
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i got a umarex that works very well for $99 ..my girl even blasted a gopher with it one day while was at work
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2015, 9:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fritztkatt View Post
Check out pyramid air's website. They usually have a deal on whatever rifle you find appropriate.

I will personally recommend (as I have before) the diana line of air guns. The 34 will put down squirrels to about 35 yards and punch paper at 50. A 350 will take you out to likely 65 yards lethal range, and do paper to 75. For more of a "fire for effect", like coffee can size, you could probably get 75 yards and 100 yards respectively. The 350 would require going to .22 cal though.

The 34 is honestly your best bet. Price, accuracy, power, reliability (I swear I put 100K pellets through mine before I had a mechanical failure), and beauty. Seriously... it's good to go.

My mechanical failure, again at a ridiculously high round count, was the barrel came loose from the breech block. Not a huge deal if you have a TIG welder, solder didn't cut it, and finding a replacement barrel/breech is almost not worth it. Around 50k I put a new main spring, main seal, and breech seal in. The whole kit cost about $100 (mid 2000's).

Diana scope mounts (most euro break barrels too) have barrel droop as its called, and often necessitate a 20moa base for optics. Just get some good bases and an airgun rated scope.
I'm reluctant to deal with the tuning and other requirements with the Diana models, including worrying about droopiness of a barrel. I understand that they are great guns and very accurate, but it's just not something I want to deal with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by splithoof View Post
Best place to by is Airguns of Arizona. Search the web.
Check out all their RWS models. I bough ta 48 Magnum, in .177; it has been a death-ray on our ground squirrel problem out here. Much better than Gamo junk.
The one thing I noticed with the Gamo my friend has is its not very consistent. we can be plinking cans and one out of four or five will feel like it barely made it out of the barrel. Checking out the RWS models also.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 510rick View Post
i got a umarex that works very well for $99 ..my girl even blasted a gopher with it one day while was at work
nice, gophers and squrriels are so much fun to shoot, their acrobatics are more fun to watch then the circus!
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I always thought nothing beat a BJ. :shrug:
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  #11  
Old 12-15-2015, 10:16 AM
fritztkatt fritztkatt is offline
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You don't need to mess with a diana, buddy. It's ready to go out of the box. Just need a $20 or so base, no big deal. No tuning, unless you want to.

IMO you'll be very disappointed by any Gamo product if you ever shoot a euro gun, even a d34.
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2015, 10:37 AM
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I want to stick with something that has a good trigger that will resemble an actual hunting rifle if possible, how would these stack up?

The Winchester is tough to work on and not much aftermarket support.
Tinkering can improve the trigger.

For the Gamo models, Charelydatuna sells a drop-in trigger that really helps a bunch.
The main improvement is the deletion of the heavy liability-oriented trigger return spring...it's stiff!
I have a Gamo Cadet as well (kids size version), for this one I deleted the heavy spring and made a roller for the trigger, works good!

The Benjamin Nitro-Pistons come with a Charley style trigger, and is OK out of the box.
Again, you can tinker a bit and smooth things up even more.

As regards the Gamo varying velocity, the spring tube on these really needs to be smoothed out inside with a hone, and the spring properly greased for consistent performance.
This will get you smoother shooting with less torque effect, too.
I have the needed hone.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2015, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Do yourself a favor and stay away from the cheap junk that so many people buy these days. Spend a few more bucks on a quality gun like an HW97 or an Air Arms TX 200 and you'll never regret it.
As a long-time airgun shooter, I agree with this.
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2015, 6:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GraveTPO View Post
As a long-time airgun shooter, I agree with this.
I know a guy

I went with the HW97K because they come in .20
Best of both worlds. Flatter than.22 more punch than .177
Just wish I had time and the yard to shoot it anymore.
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Old 12-16-2015, 7:47 PM
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Is it squirrel season too? Some deer seasons overlap squirrel season but, many do not. If not, do you really want a poaching conviction? In a large part of Ca, there is no squirrel season at all. Also, if you can legally hunt them at your camp, the bag limit is only 4 per day. Don't get caught not retrieving them, or tossing them. You'll loose all the guns you have at camp and your hunting priviledges for years.

Well, I have a Gamo Silent Cat that I use for a beater ranch gun. It's a surpressed .22cal spring piston rifle that would serve your purpose. The optics it came with work OK. You need to understand that spring piston airguns are extremely hard on optics. Most rifle optics will fail on an spring piston gun very quickly. You need to make sure that the optics you choose are actually rated for an air rifle. I would also suggest just getting an old Benjiman or Sheridan pump and using irons. I have several of them and they really are more fun to shoot than any of my springers.
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2015, 7:58 PM
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Remington Nitropiston or that Stoeger hmmm, X20 is it? Stoeger has a nice break barrel too.

Else go all out and get an M-Rod and a fill adapter and a fill bottle...
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:16 PM
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RWS Diana 34. Check the LGS for a used one. I see them from time to time for a decent price. I also prefer the old style field sights over the new fiber optics.
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Old 12-18-2015, 4:40 PM
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Jerry -

Do yourself a favor and visit the Yellow Forum. It's a forum much like this one, only dedicated to nothing but air guns.

There is way more information on most any air gun that you can imagine and if not, just ask.
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Old 12-18-2015, 5:57 PM
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I was at BassPro in Cucamonga earlier this week...they had a few Ruger Air Rifles. Anybody have any experience with them. (I have had great luck with Ruger firearms but I know nothing about their Air Rifles.)

Thanks,
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Old 12-18-2015, 8:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revoman View Post
Jerry -

Do yourself a favor and visit the Yellow Forum. It's a forum much like this one, only dedicated to nothing but air guns.

There is way more information on most any air gun that you can imagine and if not, just ask.
Gatewaytoairguns.org

The best air rifle forum on earth.
Smart and nice people.
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Old 12-18-2015, 9:18 PM
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Check Amazon for the:

Umarex 2166159 RWS Model 34 Combo Air Rifle, 0.22 Pellet

List Price: $597.78
Price: $154.45 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $443.33 (74%)


I know that you said .177 caliber but this is a hell of a deal.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:03 PM
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get the diana 34 on amazon all the cool kids are doing it! seriously though that is an amazing deal. Under wholesale cost.
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  #23  
Old 12-18-2015, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjold View Post
Check Amazon for the:

Umarex 2166159 RWS Model 34 Combo Air Rifle, 0.22 Pellet

List Price: $597.78
Price: $154.45 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $443.33 (74%)


I know that you said .177 caliber but this is a hell of a deal.

Thanks for spending my money
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  #24  
Old 12-19-2015, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Ishootforblood View Post
The Ruger Air Hawks are made in China, and imported by Umarex. Believe me, Ruger has nothing to do it. Anyway, the Airhawk are suppose to be a copy of the Diana 34, and I hear that the 34 tune kits, springs and seals will fit the Ruger Airhawk. Some reports are good, and some not-so-much. I'd spend the additional money and buy a Diana/RWS-34.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-20-2015, 4:53 PM
bug_eyedmonster bug_eyedmonster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
Is it squirrel season too? Some deer seasons overlap squirrel season but, many do not. If not, do you really want a poaching conviction? In a large part of Ca, there is no squirrel season at all. Also, if you can legally hunt them at your camp, the bag limit is only 4 per day. Don't get caught not retrieving them, or tossing them. You'll loose all the guns you have at camp and your hunting priviledges for years.

Well, I have a Gamo Silent Cat that I use for a beater ranch gun. It's a surpressed .22cal spring piston rifle that would serve your purpose. The optics it came with work OK. You need to understand that spring piston airguns are extremely hard on optics. Most rifle optics will fail on an spring piston gun very quickly. You need to make sure that the optics you choose are actually rated for an air rifle. I would also suggest just getting an old Benjiman or Sheridan pump and using irons. I have several of them and they really are more fun to shoot than any of my springers.
I think you are referring to tree squirrels, there is no season for ground squirrels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revoman View Post
Jerry -

Do yourself a favor and visit the Yellow Forum. It's a forum much like this one, only dedicated to nothing but air guns.

There is way more information on most any air gun that you can imagine and if not, just ask.
I'm afraid to get sucked into the air rifle black hole. I just want one to mess around with, if I start with the forums, I'll end up buying a bunch of things... and end up divorced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bart in santa rosa View Post
Gatewaytoairguns.org

The best air rifle forum on earth.
Smart and nice people.
Must... resist....

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatmeworry View Post
Thanks for spending my money
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjold View Post
Check Amazon for the:

Umarex 2166159 RWS Model 34 Combo Air Rifle, 0.22 Pellet

List Price: $597.78
Price: $154.45 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $443.33 (74%)


I know that you said .177 caliber but this is a hell of a deal.
OMG, its so hard not to add to cart. The struggle is real.


Jerry
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I always thought nothing beat a BJ. :shrug:
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  #26  
Old 02-14-2016, 9:54 PM
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Lightbulb Go with RWS diana !

Pyramid air and air guns of Arizona are great retailers I've had good service from both. Which model is about a balance between the specs and what you're willing to pay also if you're uneasy about break barrel guns RWS makes side and under lever models too. I own all 3 kinds(model 36,56&460 magnum) and the 36 is easiest and fastest to load as when you cock the barrel the breach is fully exposed to drop the pellet straight in even with gloves. The side and under lever models with fixed barrels have the compression chamber slide back in the action when cock ed exposing the breach and you must put the pellet in through the open port....this is a bit more difficult and very with gloves on. BTW I've never had barrel problems and have been shooting these types of guns for 40 years and gas piston guns are a cut Above the rest but I still love spring guns as well. But RWS are the most solid bang for the buck.
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Old 02-14-2016, 10:10 PM
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Default Forgot to mention

Multi pump guns are very reliable recoiless have no spring torque but are loud compared to piston guns and you have to pump them up. RWS 52,54,56 have recoil reduction sliding actions to help with accuracy but still have spring torque (the twisting action of the spring makes the gun twist) where gas piston guns have no torque.
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Old 03-04-2016, 8:25 PM
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I shoot turkey with a Benjamin discovery in .22. Pound for pound I personally don't think there's a better value in the current airgun market. If you tinker it will grow with you, aftermarket parts are affordable and it makes a perfect entry into the world of pcp guns...which is really the only way to go imho. For just a bit more money than a nice springer, you'll have a capable rifle that will last a lifetime.

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Old 03-04-2016, 8:28 PM
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I'll just leave this here...
http://www.network54.com/Forum/79574
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  #30  
Old 03-11-2016, 3:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bug_eyedmonster View Post
I'm reluctant to deal with the tuning and other requirements with the Diana models, including worrying about droopiness of a barrel. I understand that they are great guns and very accurate, but it's just not something I want to deal with.



The one thing I noticed with the Gamo my friend has is its not very consistent. we can be plinking cans and one out of four or five will feel like it barely made it out of the barrel. Checking out the RWS models also.





nice, gophers and squrriels are so much fun to shoot, their acrobatics are more fun to watch then the circus!
"Diana Droop barrel" just refers to an intentional build feature that is consistent. You just need to buy a Diana-specific mount (like $15??).

Diana 34 is the least expensive "nice" airgun. You don't need to tinker with it. Just fyi
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:05 AM
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Sorry I cant contribute much to this post since Ive been out of the pellet gun game for a long time but..

I used to have a Beeman Vulcan... MY step-mom took it by the barrel and broke the stock against my dads truck and then left it out in the yard for who knows how long. We put a new stock on, cleaned off what rust we could, and it still shot perfect enough to put 3 pellets into the exact same hole @ 20 yards or so. Last I heard my cousin was still using it to take out chickens in his yard.

Also had an old school side cocking benjamin that was dead accurate.

My dad had a Beeman R1 that used to vibrate itself loose - he literally had screws falling out of it.
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