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I know a few states allow this and I am hoping with the advent of larger caliber guns with higher velocities, it will be allowed in more Western states in the future. Having harvested three deer now with large subsonic bullets out of a firearm, I see no difference using a pcp airgun in a larger caliber. Anybody here harvested a big game critter with an air gun? If AEA comes out with the Zeus in a .58 cal with a 24" or shorter barrel, I will most likely buy one. Having a few different pcp airguns now I am amazed at their capabilities and I can see an application for big game with proper cal and velocity.

D7108837-FAE1-4744-9F68-D1407A642FAB.jpeg
 
What the current energy output of big game airguns? I know it used to be about 800 ft lbs at the muzzle. I often hear 1000 ft lbs min recommended for deer for regular guns. So I wonder if current air rifles are strong enough for ethical kills?
 
What the current energy output of big game airguns? I know it used to be about 800 ft lbs at the muzzle. I often hear 1000 ft lbs min recommended for deer for regular guns. So I wonder if current air rifles are strong enough for ethical kills?
The fpe of some of the big bore air rifles does top 1000 fpe at muzzle. The old 1000 fpe guideline is just that though, a guideline. If a bullet of sufficient frontal area can penetrate into vitals it will be lethal. One of my firearm subsonic deer kills was with about 490 fpe. Even though this was lethal, deer went 25yds and died, It was not an impressive immediate reaction. I ramped up in cal for the next couple subsonic hunts and this resulted in 2 drt kills. While I advocate for more is usually better, I feel 650 fpe or better is probably enough to achieve consistent close range kills with the right bullet. I hunt out of a tree stand in thicker cover so a long shot is 25- 30 yds, most shots are under 20yds. I have no illusions of employing an air rifle at longer ranges than this despite video evidence suggesting it can be done.
 
There was one a bit ago of a guy using one to hunt wild hog. At 50 yds he put a round clean through the pig. It was impressive to say the least

Here is just one of many video's of this
 
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I know a few states allow this and I am hoping with the advent of larger caliber guns with higher velocities, it will be allowed in more Western states in the future. Having harvested three deer now with large subsonic bullets out of a firearm, I see no difference using a pcp airgun in a larger caliber. Anybody here harvested a big game critter with an air gun? If AEA comes out with the Zeus in a .58 cal with a 24" or shorter barrel, I will most likely buy one. Having a few different pcp airguns now I am amazed at their capabilities and I can see an application for big game with proper cal and velocity.

View attachment 1432082
Big game as in…. humans?! :eek:




;):D
 
I mean, it's not gonna bounce off 'em like a bocce ball off Madonna's third eyebrow, so...
 
Still waiting for WA to make em legal before I buy a big bore pcp. I shot another deer this year with a 1000 fps 500 gr slug out of my 458 socom pistol. It was at 30 yds right behind the shoulder. Deer made it about 25-30 yds before the big leaking holes on each side caused circulatory system failure. Again, I don't see why you couldn't replicate this with a big bore air gun!
 
Yeah, I regularly shoot starlings, pigeons, asian doves and crows with my pcp .22 and .25 cal airguns. 50yds and under it is like stealing candy from a baby! My longest kills to date have been starlings past 100yds.
 
This is not big game....but I did have a work project last night shooting nutria with my 25 cal fx. The gun is like a lazy beam.....I couldn't miss! Lots of 1 shot kills
I hear ya. I love my 25 cal condor SS for small game as well. Absolute tack driver.

I think it's going to be an incredibly long time before PCP's are ever going to be legal for bigger game though. There just isn't enough people to really push a big reg modification like that. "The biggest and the best" cutting edge PCP's that would be allowable are also quite cost prohibitive for most folks to buy into as well.

I could be wrong, but until the market has matured, we see more manageable price points and interest group ranks swell.... I don't think we'll see any changes within the foreseeable future.
 
For around 1K you can get a pcp big bore that is capable. Not much different than buying a decent high power rifle. I hear you on the regs but you might be surprised how many states allow it right now including Commifornia. Here is a list that allow big game hunting with air rifles. I was surprised to see Idaho on the list where I plan to hunt next fall so stay tuned!

California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, North Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Vermont, and Maine.
 
For around 1K you can get a pcp big bore that is capable. Not much different than buying a decent high power rifle. I hear you on the regs but you might be surprised how many states allow it right now including Commifornia. Here is a list that allow big game hunting with air rifles. I was surprised to see Idaho on the list where I plan to hunt next fall so stay tuned!

California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, North Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Vermont, and Maine.
Of course I'm not surprised, but we're talking about the pacific NW... right? While not overtly hostile toward hunters... it also isn't what I would call "favorable" and they are very slow and resistant to expanding hunting regulations.

Cost... I agree a grand isn't terrible... if you're interested enough, but how many folks are willing to just "make it in the door" for a thousand bucks for a budget big bore PCP, single shot rifle with range limitations? IIRC, a badger is only around $800... if you can find one. You also have to consider refill air availability. Options are limited and many are tank drop off and come pick it back up in a few days or a week type deals.

Then there is ammo. Not something you can just hop down to your local bi-mart, or other, and pick up a box. Availability and selection online is also limited. Many being pretty small operations where quality and consistency is more variable than centerfire.

Refill pony tanks are an option, so are mini HP compressors, but there's another $650-$700 at the very least. If you do an extended hunt, you also may need to consider how you plan to power your compressor (aka genset). None of which is absolutely necessary, but it "can" limit the convenience factor that may give some people pause to entering into the PCP world.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for it, but the reality is that there are a number of limiting factors to overcome that many are simply not willing to navigate to make the leap over to air over centerfire.

All told, I think you're right. An entry level big bore PCP setup is likely comparable to a really good quality centerfire rifle, but in the end... you're still talking about the difference between a multi-shot long range and highly capable rifle that's incredibly convenient to feed... vs... a less capable, single shot, limited range rifle that takes a bit of advanced planning to feed.

YMMV... just personally... I don't see OR/WA hunting regs changing to allow them without a significant effort from the big game PCP community. I would like to be wrong though. ;)
 
@Yarome said,
"Refill pony tanks are an option, so are mini HP compressors, but there's another $650-$700 at the very least. If you do an extended hunt, you also may need to consider how you plan to power your compressor (aka genset). None of which is absolutely necessary, but it "can" limit the convenience factor that may give some people pause to entering into the PCP world."

Cut that estimate for a pump in half.

I just bought a very nice HP compressor complete with accessories (12V adapter, filters, parts) for less than $350. I considered that expense "price of doing business".) Especially after a workout with a bicycle-style pump!

Biggest kill so far is a Rock Chuck at 90 yards. (FX Verminator Extreme .25). No doubt it would kill a Coyote (head or heart shot). Friend I bought the rifle from killed multiple hogs with the "airbow" conversion.

I agree that the politics of legalizing PCP for big game is insurmountable for now
 
'All told, I think you're right. An entry level big bore PCP setup is likely comparable to a really good quality centerfire rifle, but in the end... you're still talking about the difference between a multi-shot long range and highly capable rifle that's incredibly convenient to feed... vs... a less capable, single shot, limited range rifle that takes a bit of advanced planning to feed."

YAROME



NAILED IT !! :s0113:
 
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What the current energy output of big game airguns? I know it used to be about 800 ft lbs at the muzzle. I often hear 1000 ft lbs min recommended for deer for regular guns. So I wonder if current air rifles are strong enough for ethical kills?
What the regs recommend, or what the regs dictate as minimum foot-poundage requirements for a certain species are not necessarily directly correlated to capabilities of "strength for an ethical kill".

Like caliber restrictions, they are rather arbitrarily determined, and numbers in foot-poundage are easy for bureaucrats to publish.
 
What the regs recommend, or what the regs dictate as minimum foot-poundage requirements for a certain species are not necessarily directly correlated to capabilities of "strength for an ethical kill".

Like caliber restrictions, they are rather arbitrarily determined, and numbers in foot-poundage are easy for bureaucrats to publish.
Totally agree.

Also game regs in WA and OR are likely based on air gun technology of the 50's or 70's I would guess (I don't know). There woudl have to be a knowledgeable and active air gunner on their board that sets regs to drag it to current use scenarios for hunting I would guess.
 

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