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I am newbie here and I hesitate the post anything as this site is populated by experts and I don't want to appear a complete ****. But here goes- yes, I know its been discussed elsewhere but the replies seem inconclusive (like most things, this may be because there is no cut and dry answer). In short- what is the best spring airgun for a beginner to get to use on pigeons (including feral pigeons)- a .177 or a .22? Any why?

Whilst writing, can I say I've found the forums on this site ivery interesting. One thing struck me apart from the expertise- some of you can go out to your back gardens to shoot. Are you not overlooked? Is the nearest anti miles away? It would be impossible here.

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daveman, No real "experts" here, but we do have some experienced shooters and some professional guides that are worth listening to.

 

Don,t hesitate to post any question.

This is a very friendly Forum (unlike some) and we don,t ridicule people.

The more people that use the site, the more chance it has of succeeding.

 :D

 

My airgun experience is a bit dated, but there are others on here that will come to your rescue. ???

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Well......we ridicule lazza, but thats only to be expected!, welcome daveman, as Cranfield said, post any questions you have, you will save yourself lots of wasted hours by asking people who have tried things that don't work and learned from it.  :D

When I had my air rifles purely for feral pigeon control, I always used .177, but that was just the fashion in 1982!

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Welcome DaveMan,

 

I own a shotgun and a couple of air rifles (one in .177 (legal limit) and one in .22 (FAC)).  To answer your question you could following the old golden rule: .177 for feather, .22 for Fur, but to be honest I have used both on Feather and Fur and if you hit the animal in the right place at the right range then it will be a humane kill.

 

Birds tend to have a hard breast bone so the smaller pellet is better at penetrating it but .177 does not have the same shock energy (due to size) as the .22 so a slightly larger pellet "should" be used for Rabbits.

 

The other point to remember is that .177 is slightly more accurate because the pellet is lighter so to acheive the same energy as .22 it can travel faster (flatter flight path).

 

If you are going to have a legal limit air rifle and only shoot birds then I would get a .177.  If it is going to be FAC then go for .22.

 

This is just my opinion, but it has always worked for me.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Mark.

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You really are a friendly bunch. Thanks for all your replies, but especially Mark's. Mark mate, you have confirmed what I thought- that a .177 is best for birds. Would all of you agree that a .22 is the best all rounder (for rabbits and birds). Cheers, and thanks again.

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Im always happier using .22 for hunting because they do seem to have a bit more stopping power than.177 but there are people that swear by both and the other calibers aswell,some say that.20 is the ideal compromise but never having used one i couldnt say.One farm that i shoot on has about 20 acres of corn in quite a narrow long strip which is full of rabbits and loads of pigeons thers some houses on one side so a shotgun isnt really an option and a .22 air rifle is just the thing as long as its used at sensible ranges.I keep meaning to get a firearms certificate so i could have a .22 rimfire with a silencer but i never seem to get around to itperhaps when my shotgun certificate expires in feb i'll get both at once.

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Cheers Neil, more sensible advice.I'm beginning to favour .22 as there are fewer (or no even) limitations on that. As that narrow field you describe is near houses Neil, are there any feral pigeons around? I so, do you have any problems hitting them with your .22?

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Hello Daveman

I have to agree with neil. I have an Air Arms Tx200 in .22cal

its never let me down for either fur and feather.

It does the job and at the legal limit has enough stopping power for rabbits etc out at 35/40 yds.

If you get the chance try both calibers ,what suits one person may not feel right for another, but for me its .22.

why not split the difference and go for a .20.

ooops, i think i just started  another debate    

 

                        regards sutty  :D

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Hello Daveman

I have to agree with neil. I have an Air Arms Tx200 in .22cal

its never let me down for either fur and feather.

It does the job and at the legal limit has enough stopping power for rabbits etc out at 35/40 yds.

If you get the chance try both calibers ,what suits one person may not feel right for another, but for me its .22.

why not split the difference and go for a .20.

ooops, i think i just started  another debate    

 

                        regards sutty  :D

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I dont have any problems shooting pigeons with the .22 (webly eclipse),I think the key here is to remember that an air rifle even at the 12ft/lb limit isnt in the scheme of things that powerful and you must stay whithin sensable ranges of not only the gun but also yourself(plenty of practice)a a rule i stick to head shots for rabbits and chest for pigeon and nothing over about 35yds.The narrow field is mainly woodies,when i say houses near by i dont mean a housing estate just 2 or 3 cottiges which are a couple of fields away.

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I've been shooting air rifles for quite some time now, and have owned both .177 and .22 cal rifles.  The last 5 years though, every gun I've bought has been a .22 (FAC) - they just seem to do the job better for me!   :D

 

Glad to see some more airgunners on the forum.

 

Steve

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Did i read somwhere that they have dropped the named land bit on the fac? that was the only thing that put me off having to name a particular bit of land as i shoot over a number of different farms and a i understood it this would restrict me to the bit on mycertificate.

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Daveman,

 

At the end of the day it all comes down to the person behind the rifle, a good quality .22 or .177 will be able to kill a Pigeon, Rabbit, Crow, Rat or other vermin within a range of about 35-45 yards as long as you can consistantly hit the kill zone at this range.

 

This does not mean just hitting the animal anywhere and expecting it to die instantly you need to hit it it the right place.

 

 

Rabbit:

 

You need to hit it either in the heart\lungs or more preferable hit it between the base of the ear and it eye (this is where the brain is).

 

Pigeon\other birds:

 

You can hit it in the chest for a heart hit but this can be a little hit and miss because you can't see the heart\lungs so I would go for a head shot, this will guarantee a clean kill with both .177 and .22.

 

Whatever gun you choose (and their are lots to choose from), you must be able to hit a 1/2 inch circle (a two pence coin is good) at the range you intent to shoot them at.

 

Due to a .22 pellet flying slower than a .177 it will have a fairly curved flight path so you will have to conpensate for this if your shot is not at the exact range you have zeroed the rifle for.

 

Even when you are a perfect shot at all ranges (few of us are).  you will need to practice range estimation so you can calculate the range to the target so that you can work out the hold under or over.

 

Shooting is a fun sport and you always have something new to learn and improve on.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Mark.

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