The Tale of a Chart

Monday, October 10, 2011

One of the nice things about being an airgun writer is that occasionally I get news releases from various airgun manufacturers and distributors concerning new things that they have going on.

On Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, I received an email from Crosman announcing “CROSMAN CORPORATION® LAUNCHES WEBSITE REDESIGN.” Now, normally I don’t get too excited about website redesigns, but I also know that Crosman has set a pretty high standard in coming out with interesting new products, so I thought I would poke around the new website to see if anything caught my eye.

And, sure enough, something did. On the home page, if you scroll to the bottom of the page and look at the lefthand side, you’ll see a section entitled “Croswords Blog.” Run your eye down the column a ways and you’re likely to run into a link entitled “Crosman Releases Hunting Capabilities Guide. (If the link has disappeared from view by the time you read this, here’s the direct link: )

The upshot is this: apparently a bunch of folks at Crosman got together to determine the proper hunting distances for their full line of hunting rifles. You can download the chart here:

To be perfectly candid, I found the chart intriguing. (A warning: at the time of this writing, if you try to print the chart on 8.5 x 11 paper, you will need an electron microscope to read it. It is designed to be printed on 11 x 17 paper.  The best plan is to download the chart to your computer, open the chart with the PDF reader, magnify it to 100%, and print “current view.” This will allow you to print half of the chart at a readable scale. Then magnify the other half of the chart, print “current view” and tape the two halves of the chart together.)

At the top left of the chart, in red, you’ll find a box that says: “Recommended kill zone for all species is a head shot.” Across the top of the chart, you’ll find categories such as: powerplant, caliber, velocity, energy, pellet type, pellet weight, estimated effective maximum ranges (with sub categories of smaller-sized game, medium-sized game, and larger sized game), sound scale, and suggested optics. Down the lefthand side of the chart, you’ll find categories for powerplants (and specific gun models underneath them): multi-pump, break barrel – spring piston, break barrel – nitro piston, pre-charged pneumatic, electronic pre-charged pneumatic variable power.

Taken altogether, the chart is a cornucopia of interesting data. For example, you’ll find out that a Benjamin 392 multi-stroke rifle, launching a 14.9 gr pellet at 685 fps is generating 14.9 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle and might be used to shoot a prairie dog or woodchuck at 25 yards. A .177 Benjamin Trail NP XL1500 could be handy for popping turkeys at 20 yards.  The .25 caliber Benjamin Trail NP XL 725 might be used to hunt coyotes at 20 yards while the .25 Marauder could be used for Coyotes at 30 yards. Only the .357 Benjamin Rogue is recommended for hunting hogs, out to 60 yards, depending upon what weight projectile is used.

I was curious about the genesis of the chart, so I called Laura Evans, marketing coordinator for Crosman.

“About a year ago, we began to get into television advertising to promote adult airguns for hunting, and we realized that some education needed to take place,” Evans said. “A lot of potential airgun hunters are unfamiliar with airgun powerplants and energy and simply didn’t know what to expect from them. Education and safety are the driving forces behind this chart.”

So Crosman put together an informal committee of engineering, marketing, sales personnel and industry sources, as well as anyone else at Crosman who hunts with an airgun and wanted to have input. The goal was to pull together a kind of spreadsheet of conservative suggestions of the ethical effective range at which Crosman’s various hunting air rifles could be used. 

Evans says, “We must have gone through 20 revisions before publishing the chart. It’s a living document that will be continually revised as appropriate when new models are introduced and more data and input are gathered. We’re recommending a head shot on all species because we feel that is the best and most ethical way to hunt with an airgun.”

I think Crosman has done well in publishing this chart. It’s my belief that both newcomers and old timers will find it instructive and useful.

Oh, yeah, one final note: as an airgun hunter, it is up to you to know and understand the legalities of hunting with an airgun in the jurisdiction in which you plan to hunt. Don’t give our sport by doing something illegal, even if through ignorance.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

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