I grok guns. Primer, powder, BANG, venison on a plate. It all makes sense.
However I just bought a cheap old air rifle (’cause “cheap” is a siren song). I don’t know squat about air rifles.
Also, and this is purely my own ignorance, I associate air rifles with toys. Probably because when I was a kid I got a plastic spring loaded wad of disappointment as a present. It made me loathe all non-real rifles from that day forward. Wait wait… put the mouse down and quit typing out hate mail. Yes, I know intellectually that air rifles are totally bitching adult sized powerful instruments of awesomeness and accuracy. Whatever. I’m just sayin’ I’ve always been a “burn powder or it bores me” kinda’ guy. So this is a new concept. Also, I can’t bring myself to ponder air rifles that cost as much as an actual… rifle. If an air rifle ‘aint cheap, I don’t see the advantage. I’m sure I’ll get over it but right now I’m still a Neanderthal. Bear with me
Now here’s the good part. I spent $25 on it. Less than I’d spend on a pizza dinner. So if it’s just a toy… I can live with that.
First question: What the hell is it? Firearms, by law, have shit carved into them that tell you what you’re holding. Stuff like “Remington Slayomatic, 1972, .280”. Thus telling me who made it, the model, when they made it, and what will make it go boom. This thing I bought, which presumably came from a factory, has no identifying marks on it whatsoever. Why?
I’m posting a few photos in case someone can tell me who made the little beast:
I not knowing anything other than where you insert the pellets and how you cock it, I set out to see if it’s any good.
First discovery. It’ll punch a 7.56 grain pellet all the way into an old barn door. (It’s my door, I’ll shoot it if I want.) I was impressed. Compared to a 40 grain .22 bullet it’s a little weak but if you’re a red squirrel trying to steal my pig feed it’ll jack you up. It seemed adequate.
Second discovery; it more or less hits where you’re aiming. The target on the left is my very first five shots, offhand, at a distance I was too lazy to measure. Based on that unscientific test I’m pretty sure the rifle, regardless of the idiot using it, is capable of punching holes in a golf ball sized area all day long. Cool!
More detailed testing yielded mixed results. This is because I was just foolin’ around and not getting all serious at a bench rest. The wind picked up and I didn’t quit. Nor did I use a bench or even a single stance. I just sent lead pellets flying any way that amused me. This is hardly the way to dial in a perfect sight picture. That’ll have to wait.
Also it has adjustable sights but I have no idea what range one sights in a cheapo air rifle.
Question: what range am I looking for from a dirt cheap air rifle like this?
I tested out ranges from “close enough it’s embarrassing” to “far enough that the pellet took a while to get there”. It seemed like if I stood too far back it might not drop a squirrel?
Also the wind got pretty bad. Being me, I just shot right through the gusts. I’m guessing those little pellets don’t handle wind well because I started to miss by an inch or so. Though it’s good to practice “doping” the wind and it was fun so why not keep shooting?
I kept switching back between flat nose pellets (“wadcutters”?) and pointy nose pellets and ones that were rounded and had “hunting'” written on them. There’s apparently a big difference in point of aim in the “wadcutters”. The pointy nose ones invariably shot higher. (Not a surprise finding, the science of physics is pretty solid on this.) I couldn’t tell “hunting” from “pointy non-hunting” and assume that’s mostly marketing. All pellets were the same weight. I wonder if the sights as they came were setup for a 10 grain pellet?
The end result is that it seemed to aim high and I had a hard time guessing elevation (shooting off hand at random distances) so maybe “bullet drop” is a big deal. But angle seemed solid, provided I could compensate for the wind.
It’s all up from here. I’ve already had $25 worth of fun. Probably when I get the sights settled down I’ll be able to hit a squirrel but only at a shorter range than I’d shoot a .22 and further than I can throw a rock. Fair ’nuff.