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  #1  
Old 11-27-2019, 6:36 PM
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Default Which Co2 Air Rifle for Squirrels?

I'm in an urban area, neighbors on both sides but not in the back. Squirrels are disturbing wife's potted plants, and they are gnawing on my cedar shake siding. We both found them guilty and imposed the death penalty on them, but now I have to carry it out.

I tag them now and then with my Daisy Red Ryder BB gun, but that just trains them to scatter when they hear me coming. I score on them but it just stings them. I need a .177 pellet gun with these requirements: semi-auto (multiple shots), Co2, rifle.

They move fast once alerted so I need quick followup shots when feasible; no bolt action, no hand pumping, no hand loading of individual shots. It'll be short range shooting...probably 10-15 yards 95% of the time.

Please recommend a couple of makes and models for me....much appreciated. I prefer the 12 gram cartridge just 'cause it is cheaper and easier to find, but how long will it hold a charge in the rifle?
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Old 11-27-2019, 6:40 PM
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I love my Benjamin Regal Nitro Piston. One shot, but I’ve managed to learn all the urban wildlife in my area one shot at a time. Internally suppressed to keep the neighbors in the dark. Enough oomph to drop a fuzzy rat.
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Old 11-27-2019, 7:04 PM
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Doesn't fit the rapid fire requirements but my Walther 1000 is one shot one kill at 50 yards with squirrels at my place.
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Old 11-27-2019, 7:35 PM
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Consider some pellet guns are suppressed. Really quiet.

Pyramid air is one shop to take a look at for ideas
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Old 11-28-2019, 3:44 PM
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Sorry, a CO2 gun won't do it. They don't hold air for long. So unless you're constantly changing out the cartridges, it'll be dead when you need it most. Good luck spending the time change out the dead cartridge for a new one when seconds count.

Your best bet is a PCP. But that costs serious money between the gun and the compressor.

So realistically, a piston break barrel is your best option. It can hold air a long time and is quick to charge and load. I recommend any brand based on the Nitro Piston 2 technology. Make sure it has a shrouded barrel and/or suppressor at the muzzle.

Get a .22 pellet gun. Much more hitting power and much more quiet than a .177. One shot will eliminate the squirrel. No need for semi-auto.

It you're shooting up against the house, you'll want a pump action to tailor the charge so you won't put holes all over your siding. Something along the lines of a Crosman 2100 Classic or a Crosman 1322 with buttstock.

All 3 have their place.

Lastly, if your longest shots are only 10 yards, and you're shooting at fast moving targets and/or don't want collateral damage, consider the Gamo Viper Express air shotgun.
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Old 11-29-2019, 8:47 AM
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Squirrels are challenging targets to hit, they run at any sound or threat of danger. I was only able to get them if they happen to cross my sights when I was target practicing or from far 25 yards or more. My last kill was head shot 32 Yards away with a Springer. I use Beeman HW97K and Hatsan AT44 both in .22 and Hawke scopes. Like the last post wrote, you have to have your Air Rifle ready to go or the Squirrel will leave. Good luck and have fun
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Old 11-29-2019, 8:53 AM
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I have a Benjamin 22 caliber pump action. Works great!
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Old 11-29-2019, 9:44 AM
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I use CB Shorts. Accurate out to 50 yards and as quiet as any pellet or bb gun
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:02 AM
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Don't try a PCP rifle. Just don't. Because if you do, you'll get one and be kicking yourself for all the time you avoided trying one. Seriously.

Now if you do try one, try the Benjamin Marauder .22 caliber. Virtually silent. Great for squirrels within 60 yards. Easy to get ammo. And you can charge it up with a manual pump. The .22 gets about 32 shots per air fill. The magazine holds 10 pellets and the action is consistent with that of a bolt action rifle.

Yes, I know you said "semi-automatic" because the squirrels run like heck when they hear you coming. But a semi isn't going to get you any more kills. You're going to have a lot of misses, and you may end up wounding with non-fatal hits. That's just not humane. When you take the shot, make the kill. The Marauder will do exactly that with devastating results. One-hole groups within 15 yards is very possible if you do your job right. Scoping it is simple too. The PCP rifles are compatible with powder-burners so a scope you'd use on your .308 is fine with any PCP air rifle. (A break-action springer air rifle will tear that same scope apart though so you'd need a springer-compatible scope for that kind of rifle.)

Within 50 yards, accurate as heck! The pests, rats included, will not like you. That's a sure thing. And once your pesting is done, you can enjoy playing with your Marauder quietly while your neighborhood is ruined by all the new houses.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivers View Post
Don't try a PCP rifle. Just don't. Because if you do, you'll get one and be kicking yourself for all the time you avoided trying one. Seriously.

Now if you do try one, try the Benjamin Marauder .22 caliber. Virtually silent. Great for squirrels within 60 yards. Easy to get ammo. And you can charge it up with a manual pump. The .22 gets about 32 shots per air fill. The magazine holds 10 pellets and the action is consistent with that of a bolt action rifle.

Yes, I know you said "semi-automatic" because the squirrels run like heck when they hear you coming. But a semi isn't going to get you any more kills. You're going to have a lot of misses, and you may end up wounding with non-fatal hits. That's just not humane. When you take the shot, make the kill. The Marauder will do exactly that with devastating results. One-hole groups within 15 yards is very possible if you do your job right. Scoping it is simple too. The PCP rifles are compatible with powder-burners so a scope you'd use on your .308 is fine with any PCP air rifle. (A break-action springer air rifle will tear that same scope apart though so you'd need a springer-compatible scope for that kind of rifle.)

Within 50 yards, accurate as heck! The pests, rats included, will not like you. That's a sure thing. And once your pesting is done, you can enjoy playing with your Marauder quietly while your neighborhood is ruined by all the new houses.
After I got my first PCP all my Springers and Nitro Pistons went for sale except the for the Beeman HW97K. PCPs are the way to go.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by roush2win View Post
After I got my first PCP all my Springers and Nitro Pistons went for sale except the for the Beeman HW97K. PCPs are the way to go.
Hey, newbie to air guns here but not to rimfire, smokepoles, and centerfire, so spare the acronyms, please. What does PCP stand for? "Probable Cause for Punishment"?
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:49 PM
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If tree squirrels get the airgun to go with your hunting license. Or get a depredation permit. (good luck with that)
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Old 11-30-2019, 1:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Go Navy View Post
Hey, newbie to air guns here but not to rimfire, smokepoles, and centerfire, so spare the acronyms, please. What does PCP stand for? "Probable Cause for Punishment"?
Google it. Pre-Charged-Pneumatic.
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Old 11-30-2019, 3:49 PM
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If tree squirrels get the airgun to go with your hunting license. Or get a depredation permit. (good luck with that)
You've got to be kidding!
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:35 AM
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You've got to be kidding!
Did you forget that this is California? Errr, used to be California. Now Kalifornia.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:24 PM
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I've never seen anything that worked better than one of those 177 caliber Gamo whispers. They're on sale at big 5 all the time and they shoot very quickly. Just don't get caught. The popo would not approve.
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Old 12-01-2019, 4:03 PM
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Originally Posted by edgerly779 View Post
If tree squirrels get the airgun to go with your hunting license. Or get a depredation permit. (good luck with that)
So, is a hunting license required to shoot any squirrel or just "tree squirrels"? I don't even know what a tree squirrel is. They all look the same to me and mine are all over the place: ground, fence tops, roofs, and trees.

Do I need a "Squirrel Tag", and what is the season for squirrels?

And, a squirrel is a type of rat in terms of DNA.
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Old 12-02-2019, 2:12 PM
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CO2 is a tough one to recommend, but you could try a Crosman 1077 which is one shot per trigger pull (DAO really, rotating cylinder disc). Not real powerful. The cheap PCP version is more powerful. They are both accurate with Crosman wadcutters.

Honestly, the Umarex Steel Force would probably destroy some squirrels with 6 round burst or semi and might just be accurate enough. BB's.
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Old 12-03-2019, 1:56 PM
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You need a better shot, not a better gun. 10-15 yards, you should be aiming for the head instead of the body. That will knock them out and then you can finish them off and throw them in the trash.
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Old 12-03-2019, 2:10 PM
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You need a better shot, not a better gun. 10-15 yards, you should be aiming for the head instead of the body. That will knock them out and then you can finish them off and throw them in the trash.
I'll try that next time with my Daisy BB gun, but it has a pretty loopy trajectory. I think the manufacturer has put weaker springs in them to comply with their own legal department risk warnings. When I was a kid, I had one then with which I could knock starlings off a power line across the road. Now, I'd have to hold high by some unknown amount, and the terminal energy would be much less.

I think even a lower powered pellet rifle would hit harder than my BB gun.
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Old 12-03-2019, 3:57 PM
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I'll try that next time with my Daisy BB gun, but it has a pretty loopy trajectory.
Yeah with averages 200-300 fps I wouldn't expect much. If you shoot a CO2 that propels a .177 wadcutter pellet or game point, et... at 600 fps it is a different level of killing power and flat trajectory at your ranges. Shot placement doesn't really matter that much if the BB bounces off a squirrel eyelid. PCP version, maybe 700 FPS more consistently if you keep it in the green pressure zone.

More serious pellet rifles would be single shot 900-1200 with .177.

IMHO, the 1077 or Steel Force are what you asked for.
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Old 12-03-2019, 4:17 PM
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If I decide, instead, to shy away from Co2 powered air rifles, and instead focus on nitro piston types, two questions:

1. Pros and cons of the underbarrel cocking lever types?

2. Which model/brand of nitro piston types offers the lowest cocking effort? I'm not interested in super high velocity; there won't be any competition target shooting, just "educating" squirrels (in some cases, their final lesson). I'm getting older and while I'm in decent shape, I don't want something with a lot of effort.
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Old 12-03-2019, 4:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Navy View Post
If I decide, instead, to shy away from Co2 powered air rifles, and instead focus on nitro piston types, two questions:

1. Pros and cons of the underbarrel cocking lever types?
They are single shot. You have to pull the gun way off the target area and off your cheek weld to cock it and load another pellet each time. I have a Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston .22. PRO would be killing a squirrel if you can hit it the first shot, good power.
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Old 12-03-2019, 4:26 PM
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try looking up game mammals in ca/dfw. There are restrictions on what you think you can do.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:29 PM
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1. In CA, if you hunt anything, you need to have a hunting license
2. In San Jose for example, you cannot discharge ANY kind of weapon in incorporated areas as much as i know, but you better check your city ordinances.

Your best bet is poisoning or trapping them unless you want to take a chance with your vocal neighbors. Not all the squirrels are going to die on your property, some might be wounded and die on the neighbors with a bloody wound. They might call the police.
Think about it.

On another note, Gamo Big Cat is a nice educator for your purposes
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Old 12-06-2019, 2:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boarhuntor View Post
1. In CA, if you hunt anything, you need to have a hunting license
2. In San Jose for example, you cannot discharge ANY kind of weapon in incorporated areas as much as i know, but you better check your city ordinances.

Your best bet is poisoning or trapping them unless you want to take a chance with your vocal neighbors. Not all the squirrels are going to die on your property, some might be wounded and die on the neighbors with a bloody wound. They might call the police.
Think about it.

On another note, Gamo Big Cat is a nice educator for your purposes
Thanks, that helps. Does rat poison work on them? I bought a battery powered gizmo called Rat Zapper, and dealt with three of them, and then the gizmo died. It really isn't designed for 24/7 outdoor use. I couldn't even take it apart without busting it.
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Old 12-09-2019, 6:20 PM
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Quote:
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Does rat poison work on them?
Never tried poison, just heard ppl use it. You need to figure out how to convince them to eat it.
I used to use rat traps and then conibear traps. Cheap and deadly.
https://www.acehardware.com/departme...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

Here is how to use it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58jg5YwHSRk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LYyS4adaHM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTzu12XN054

Some use this, but i do not have experience with them, you need to make your research:

https://www.amazon.com/Rugged-Ranch-...48175494&psc=1
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Old 12-09-2019, 9:05 PM
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Tree squirrels climb. They are the ones on fences and in trees around San Jose.
They nest in trees and I believe are non native to CA.


Ground squirrels burrow near the roots of trees. More like gophers
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Old 12-09-2019, 9:05 PM
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In Vista where I am we are unincorporated San Diego and are legal to shoot ground squirrels as they are considered non game by Fish and Game. Believe they go as far as classifying them as destructive vermin here too because of all the farms. In the evening its not uncommon to see farmers with air rifles walking around their grow sheds.

Tree squirrels are what is protected but we do not have those here.
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Old 12-09-2019, 9:08 PM
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_squirrel

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cali...round_squirrel
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:27 PM
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Default I can lend a hand.

No joke, and I’m also a veteran , so yeah, if you want ,contact me and I can help you out with this squirrel problem. Me and squirrels we are like best friends. I help them take peaceful naps, so yeah, either a good springer or pcp will do the trick. My best buds love peanuts, so a bait station is advised. You can also set up a blind in conjunction with a bait station. Squirrels are creatures of habit, usually up early in the am and sometimes late afternoon. Some people use a cheap motion detector to let them know when my best buds are eating the peanuts. Head shots are preferred, but if you have a powerful pcp, a vital area shot is good. I’m a student up in Chico using my gi bill, but I have people in the Bay Area, and I miss my furry squirrel buddies ( and shooting them in the face), so yeah HMU, I have extra pcp rifles for you to use. It’s really satisfying to have a morning cup of joe and blasting a couple squirrels right in the face.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:40 PM
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Default One more thing

Whoever said not to shoot in the head is full of bs. Preferred way to dispatch is head shot. Larger caliber preferred but accuracy is the most important factor. I try and use a .25 pellet( right now polymag hunting pellet works well. ) use a moderator for sound control. Some pcp rifles can be very stealth. Camouflage is very important, squirrels are keen on skin, so gloves, a face mask and camo can work very well. My rifles are very accurate out to 40-50 yards. Set up a hide, bait them with peanuts,( an old bird feeder can work well, load with peanuts and let them get used to it for a couple days, set up a hide and then shoot) I feel the Benjamin fortitude or gamo urban is a good entry level pcp. Check out donnyfl.com for moderators for sound. Do not use co2 , it is temp sensitive and you cannot reliably group, therefore not a good tool to use. My pcp rifles keep my stalking skills up and more than enough trigger time.
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Old 12-10-2019, 3:20 PM
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Don't do CO2 for squirrel. They're tougher than you'd think. And a CO2 is never ready when you need it.

I used to use a CO2 pistol for rats. By the time I got it all ready, the rat was gone and I ended up just wasting air cylinders. You can get a breakbarrel rifle operational pretty fast and with a lot more power behind it. Get a pellet pen and you'll have your next shot ready fairly quick. Plus, the power is consistent, vs a CO2 will vary considerably with temperature. For targets, it's not a problem. But for live animals where every shot counts (a miss will send them running and/or wound), there are far better options.

For a time, I also had an Umarex Trevox in .177. Granted, that one was only clocking about 450 fps with standard 8 gr pellets. But at 15 yards, the pellets would not puncture the hide. I'm sure I left a heck of a bruise but they failed to do the job. At 5 yards, they'd go in & reach vital organs but they wouldn't exit. I've had much better luck with rifles or even the marauder pistol. My Gamo breakbarrel in .177 will still exit squirrels out to 20+ yards. The sound of the pellet hitting the squirrel is louder than the shot.

But, of course, when you're ready to get serious about air guns & pest control with air guns, the PCPs are in an entirely different class. But they cost a lot more. For more occasional use, any of the typical breakbarrels with a gas piston and a good set of open sights will do fine. Lower power ones can do scopes okay but I prefer to keep higher-power breakbarrels open sighted. Even with open sights, I can sometimes still head-shoot a still squirrel out to 25 yards or so if I'm patient.

Anything that can clock about 700+ fps with standard-size .177 pellets or 600+ fps with .22s will do just fine. Once you learn the artillery hold, your groups will get a lot more consistent and you can do some real damage to squirrels.
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Old 12-10-2019, 3:25 PM
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CV Shooter....great advice. Thank you and thanks to others here who have shared a ton of info with us all.
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Old 12-10-2019, 4:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CVShooter View Post
Don't do CO2 for squirrel. They're tougher than you'd think. And a CO2 is never ready when you need it.
Some of them ruin o-rings if you leave them under pressure, but on a Steel Force you just leave the mag ejected but attached and shove it in when you want to use it - keep two new CO2's loded and the first 30 rounds or so are a buzz saw. 1077's you can leave with a cylinder installed IIRC. The PCP version you need to leave pressure in the tank or it is bad.

You could have one ready if you really wanted to. Those old Auto Air II's ("semi-auto" spring follower internal mag knock off's of a Automag hand gun and the Crosman .357's still being made) are decent.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by crufflers View Post
Some of them ruin o-rings if you leave them under pressure, but on a Steel Force you just leave the mag ejected but attached and shove it in when you want to use it - keep two new CO2's loded and the first 30 rounds or so are a buzz saw. 1077's you can leave with a cylinder installed IIRC. The PCP version you need to leave pressure in the tank or it is bad.

You could have one ready if you really wanted to. Those old Auto Air II's ("semi-auto" spring follower internal mag knock off's of a Automag hand gun and the Crosman .357's still being made) are decent.
I always thought you had to discharge the air cylinder on a CO2. Maybe that's because I only buy the cheap ones
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:44 PM
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I think the general rule is to shoot the 12 gram empty if you can, but different guns have different seals (some bounce back better). Some mold to the brand of cylinder you are using (Crosman or Umarex) and might leak with the other brand. the internal seals in the mag of the Steel Force and Steel Storm seem to be resilient but you are not supposed to leave it with the mag all the way in the gun. when you hit mag release it pops out but is captured and you can push another button to fully remove from the mag well. You can leave it ejected but attached to the gun and apparently the seals in the mag with the TWO 12 gram CO2's are fine. That one in particular would be ok to leave ready to go with two cylinders punctured and ready. I have left 1077's and .357's loaded but I would try to shoot out the last cylinder of the session because I don't shoot them much. I don't want to leave them with a CO2 molding that seal for a year. Some guns are easier to repair as well. I think you can easily get the seals for some Umarex. Not sure about Crosman. YMMV
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