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New to Airguns and rifles

Discussion in 'Air Rifle & Pistol Discussion' started by Pye, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Pye

    Pye Northwest New Member

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    Howdy folks!

    I have never shot a rifle and some people say to start out with an air rifle to get the hang of what a rifle feels like before trying out a real rifle with higher caliber bullets.
    Does this make sense and what kind of air rifle would you recommend for a starter/ beginner? My goal is to get into competition eventually down the road. I realize that is waaaaay out there.

    Thank you for your responses. :)
  2. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter

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    Welcome. You have a long road ahead. Whatever you do, make sure you receive proper training.
  3. wollow

    wollow silverton oregon Member

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    I have been around guns for the better part of my life and have a pretty good collection in a wide range of caliber. Pellet/bb guns can be a good way to become familiar with gun etiquette, safety and all that. I would add that they are a blast and I probably end up shooting my pellet rifles more than any other guns in the safe. They are cheap to shoot, quiet, don't travel miles in the air and take care of pests. If I lived out in the country that would probably still be true but the shotgun or 22lr might make it close.

    I would also say that you can learn gun safety with a regular rifle and many people have done so w/o issue. You just need more space with a traditional firearm than you do w/ an air rifle. It is possible to set up a shooting gallery in basements w/ air guns. More time behind the trigger makes for more familiarity.

    If you don't think you will shoot a pellet gun any more than you would a regular firearm... Why waste the money? Just get a 22lr or what ever and go shooting w/ safe responsible people that will train you up.

    Lots of good pellet guns out there. I would advise against gamo but I am kind of a snob. Pyramid air has some very good info and reviews on the different types of air rifles. I would suggest a break barrel spring or nitro piston gun. .177 cal if you want to target shoot and maybe kill a few birds. .22 cal if you want to add a few bigger pests to the equation.

    Good luck and welcom to NWFA.
  4. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I enjoy shooting air rifles and pistols from time to time. It's not a bad way to get used to using your sights to aim and practicing proper stance and trigger technique. But as for having the 'feel' of a real rifle, I don't know I'd go that far. Many are very light weight and don't always have the same stock shape and size as a regular rifle. But again, it's not a bad place to start.

    Depending on what you want to pay, and how powerful you want it to be, you have a LOT of choices out there. Your basic rifles will be in .177 caliber, will usually shoot BB's and/or pellets and will be powered in a number of different ways: CO2 cartidges (gets expensive), pump (usually requires multiple pumps for a single shot, break-barrel (cocks the gun by pulling the barrel down until it clicks) or basic spring (usually the least powerful). There are models that shoot .22 cal and .25 cal pellets that can be used for hunting small animals like squirrels, rabbits, etc. These larger rifles actually can have some recoil to them, which helps with realism.

    Before choosing, decide not only what you want to shoot, but where. Many cities and counties don't allow airguns to be fired within their limits, so make sure you check your local laws. Some are louder than others - basically if the rifle will exceed 1,200 fps, the bb/pellet is breaking the sound barrier and can have the sound of a .22 caliber rifle, and that will draw attention you may not want. Try to stick to 1,000 fps or less to help keep the noise down a bit. Your less expensive rifles will rarely approach 1,000 fps.

    There is a lot to learn. I would suggest a few things: check out airgun videos on YouTube - there are quite a few and may help you with rifle reviews and with technique. If you want something fairly inexpensive to get started, Daisy and Crosman both make inexpensive single-cock or pump rifles under $100 in .177 caliber that will get you started. You can get rifles like these at places like Fred Meyer, Walmart or pretty much any outdoor or sporting goods type store. I have a Crosman 760 Pumpmaster that I bought about 30 years ago that still shoots great. It shoots bb's and pellets. It's a pump gun so I can control the power by the number of pumps. It's not fancy, but it's inexpensive and pretty accurate. I can hit a tin can at 75' with the stock sights. They still make this model and it sells for under $50, depending on where you get it. Again, you can use a rifle like this to really focus on using sights properly as well as controlling the trigger pull. They work well in a backyard range if that's allowed in your area. If you want to shoot in say a garage, you'll probably have to stick to lower power bb pistols to avoid dangerous ricochets, though I've used my pump rifle with only 1-3 pumps into a soft target without any problems. Make sure you have a good backstop that can absorb the impact without a ricochet - draping old towels, etc. behind the target can help. BTW, if you can shoot outside, I enjoy taking some cheap cans of soda, shaking them up and shooting them. They really pop when you hit them with a fast moving bb. Lots of fun.:D

    If the time comes to move up to a bigger air rifle, manufacturers like Benjamin, Hatsan and others make some pretty powerful rifles that do have some kick to them. I would definitely recommend checking out PyramidAir.com - they sell pretty much every type and brand of air rifle on the market. It's a good place to find reviews of air guns both by the folks that run Pyramid and their customers. Their prices are decent too. You mention getting into competition someday? They sell competition level air rifles too.

    One more option I would throw out there is that I also like to use airsoft guns for practice and training when I can't get out to shoot my regular guns or it's not practical to shoot my bb/pellet guns. There are some great, very realistic airsoft rifles and pistols out there, some quite inexpensive, some more expensive and more powerful. What I like about these is that they're fairly quiet, and I can safely shoot mine in my garage with a simple catch/trap behind my target. Like the airguns, it's a good way to learn how to use the sights, control the trigger and have a proper stance. Plus, they are really cheap to shoot. You can get 3,000 plastic bb's for about $10. Check out airsplat.com for a good source for airsoft guns and for some decent reviews of airsoft guns. I've bought from them and like their customer service.

    When the time comes, get yourself a regular .22 caliber rifle so you can shoot real ammo. Models such as the Ruger 10/22 or Marlin Model 60 are great places to start and relatively inexpensive. Of course, you'll need a place to shoot these as well, which can be tougher than finding a place to shoot an air rifle.

    Be aware, when you get ready to step up to the 'big' guns like a .30-06, or maybe a shotgun, the difference in feel can be considerable, both in weight and recoil. I have yet to personally experience an airgun that can prepare you for the feel of these large caliber rifles.

    Okay, long winded response. But I hope that helps. Good luck in getting started in the sport. It's a lot of fun.
  5. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    A couple of very good replys, nice.
  6. adidasguy

    adidasguy West Seattle New Member

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    For air guns, a spring powered one or nitro piston will be noisy. To be quiet, you need CO2 or PCP (3000 psi compressed air).
    The rifles would use the 88g CO2 cylinders or you charge them with compressed air from a hand pump or a scuba tank. Some of those are powerful and extremely quiet. The Benjamin Maurader is not too expensive for a .22 pellet rifle (about $500), shoots them at 1000fps, has a 10 round magazine and is bolt action. So quiet you only hear the pellet hit the target. Still, powerful enough to take down a raccoon. The CO2 and PCP rifles have much less recoil. Springers have lots of recoil and the spring makes a terrible bang.

    A few places to buy on-line are airgun depot and pyramid air. I buy from them and have had good service. Local stores are good, too, but are less likely to have the high end rifles like the Benjamin Maurader (I have one - sweet! You charge it from hand pump or a scuba tank.)

    Most pistols don't go over 500fps and are .17 caliber. In rifles you can get .17, .22 and even .25.
    Pistols can be had in replicas of real guns. That gives you practice for the real thing - even blow back guns! Air guns with recoil!
    air guns are good practice and fun.
  7. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter

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    I have a Gamo break-barrel that shoots straight and 1200FPS. Nice rifle.