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.25 Caliber- What do I really think?

Posted by on November 24, 2013

I have several guns in .25 caliber, with both PCP and springers represented. I’ve used these guns to take squirrels, rabbits, prairie dogs, groundhogs, pigeons, crows, turkey, Guinea fowl, quail, pheasant, springhare, mongoose, hyrax, raccoons, ringtail cats, bobcat, fox, coyote…… by this time it’s safe to say I’ve shot a lot of game with guns in this caliber, and I feel comfortable making some strong statements about the .25, which might also be controversial. The first of these is that up until recently I’ve come to consider it the best all-around caliber. The reason I say “up until recently” will be explained later. Up until recently, the .25 has been the largest of the standard production calibers and has been around since the early 1900s. However, most of the earlier guns chambered for this caliber were under powered and their performance limited the .25s utility to close range plinking, and if that’s the application why bother with a larger caliber? A .177 works just fine.

P1050587

Shooting a .25 caliber PCP with open sites, this gun is a hammer on squirrels but lord help a coyote that comes in on my squirrel distress call.

While this caliber is gaining popularity in the high powered precharged pneumatic airgun world, there are still fewer springers up to the task, though this has been changing as well. For a springer to effectively propel a 24 grain pellet at high enough velocities to be useful for hunting, the gun requires a large compression tube and a very strong spring. Examples of spring piston guns being produced in .25 are the Webly Patriot, the Beeman RX2, the Hatsan 125 Sniper, the Weihrauch HW90, and the Benjamin NP Trail, which are all fairly hefty guns.

So why did I say I believe this is the best all-around caliber? Because it hits with authority and creates an excellent wound channel making it a very effective caliber for taking almost all airgun appropriate game. And that broad statement is the crux of the matter, a .25 is not too much for a squirrel or a rabbit, killing quickly without ripping your quarry up. On the other hand it is perfect for bigger stuff like turkey or raccoon, and if a coyote comes up, while not the perfect option, it is still a valid one for these larger animals.

So why did I say my opinion might be shifting? Because I think that a compelling argument can be made for the new .303 airgun caliber, and for all the same reasons I like the .25. I made a strong statement a few months back that the .303 is the new .25, and believe there is some merit to this view. It is getting to the boundary of being a viable small game option, however it is usable and does perform even better than the .25 on bigger game. However, it is only available in limited guns and there is only one manufacturer of pellets though I think both of these situations will change in future.

Gladiator_6

The .25 is strong medicine on the longer range shots, carrying lead further, and being less effected by wind.

There is no doubt that these springers are all a handful and takes some muscle to cock (40-50 lb cocking effort is typical), but the end result is a fully self contained powerplant that can generate close to 20-30 fpe! To put this in context, most magnum springers in .177 or .22 are doing very well if they put out 18 fpe. If a springer can propel a 24 grain Field Trophy pellet at approximately 750 fps, it is getting close to the velocity one expects out of the typical .22 caliber magnum springer. Therefore the trajectory obtained is pretty close to that of a standard .22, but my-oh-my, what a difference in terminal performance! A jackrabbit hit at fifty yards will be knocked clean of its feet. A .25 pellet moving at this velocity is more than adequate for raccoon sized game out to forty yards, which I would not recommend a .22 (and definitely not a .177) be used for. As a matter of fact this is the springer/pellet combo I’ll opt for when shooting raccoons or woodchucks. Because the larger .25 pellets have a better ballistic coefficient they will retain more energy at greater distances resulting in superior knockdown power, and if the hunter needs to reach out a bit further they can still get a clean kill. While there is no doubt that a perfectly placed pellet, even a .177, can kill a medium sized animal the .25 is much more forgiving and allows some latitude in shot placement. Besides hitting harder, the .25 obviously opens a larger wound channel than the small calibers.

Where the caliber really comes into its own is when shot from a PCP gun, and this has become an almost ubiquitous offering, with manufacturers such as Daystate, FX, Crosman, AirForce, Sam Yang, BSA, and several others offer most of their poplar models in this caliber. Larger calibers are more efficient in PCP guns, and the .25 caliber in a high power PCP can easily generate energy over 50 fpe using standard Diabolo pellets. The guns in my collection in .25 include an FX Verminator Extreme, Benjamin Marauder, Airforce Talon-P and Condor,  an Evenix Windy City, Rainstorm, and Max, and a couple of custom rifles including a Quckenbush. All of these guns provide good accuracy, and really excellent in some of them.

It used to be that finding a supply of .25 pellets was difficult, and the selection limited. But these days there are a number of .25 caliber pellets available from the online airgun stores, though you’re not likely to find them at your local gun shop.  Pellets manufactured by JSB, H&N, Beeman, Eu Jin, Crosman and Webley can be found in a variety of styles; round nose, hollow point, wadcutters, and field points.  The lighter of these pellets, such as the Beeman Laser, weigh in at about 17 grains, and heavier ones such as the Eu Jins go up to almost 35 grains. While I will usually shoot heavier pellets out of my .25 PCPs, when using a spring piston gun I’ll opt for a lighter pellet. The reason for this is that the PCP working off of a high pressure charge can get a couple hundred feet per second higher velocity with a given pellet than can be achieved with the springer.

In summary, if you need to get a hard hitting airgun for hunting larger quarry the .25 is a good option, so long as you use a gun engineered to handle it. Remember that unlike firearms, with airguns it is the gun and not the ammunition that provides the power. On the upside, when coupled with the right gun the .25 pellet will provide more power, it will retain velocity better, and it will open a larger wound channel. On the downside; the spring piston guns are heavier, harder to cock, have a bit more recoil, availability is more limited and there are not as many models of gun to choose from. However, with the advent of the online airgun shop availability of guns and pellets is not really an issue. Now don’t misunderstand what I am saying here, the .177 is a respectable performer on small game, and the .22 is also a great all around caliber. But when all is said and done, if I’m going to acquire a new gun these days, it’s going to be a .25 caliber if the gun I want is the appropriate platform for it. If you’re looking for a new gun you might want to consider a quarter bore!

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Website      http://www.americanairgunhunter.com

63 Responses to .25 Caliber- What do I really think?

  1. JR Moreau

    Hey Jim, James from RockyMountainAirgunner.com here. Thanks for posting this. .22 is the largest caliber I own but I’m almost certain that the next caliber I buy will be a .25, hopefully in the form of a M-Rod. If not, I’ll go for a Hatsan Spring (do you think those are best?).

    Do you think there will EVER be a springer with a higher than .25 caliber? Would that just require too much cocking effort?

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi James;
      Are you the same Rocky Mountain Airgunner that tuned a B-3 for years ago? I have used the MRod .25 to take many raccoons, rabbits, squirrels …. as a matter of fact took that gun to South Africa several years back when it was first released in .25 and took tons of game with it. It’s a solid low cost entry into this caliber PCP. I’ve been quite impressed with the accuracy of the Hatsan, the powers a given, and don’t mind the large size. It’s also fairly inexpensive, and though I haven’t had it long enough to torture test it, the rifle seems solid and like it’s built to last. It’s possible to build a bigger bore springer, but it would probably be huge and take a lot of energy to cock, so kind of doubt any one will build a production gun…… and unlike PCPs, you don’t often see a custom springer to use as a test platform.
      Regards,
      Jim

  2. hai nguyen

    Hi James, just wanted to say first off, that your articles are so informative, and useful to the understanding the vast array of choices presented in the air gun world. My question to you is: in your latest post on the applications of the .25 caliber, there was a picture of what I guess to be a Brocock pcp rifle with open sights. What sights were used? Where did you get them? And were they easy to mount? Thanks a bunch for your great efforts. I look forward to reading each updated posts, as well as saving to buy the fx verminator you so love!!!

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Hai;
      Actually the gun wearing open sights in that photo was a Hatsan BT-65. I’d just gotten the gun to do some testing with and at the last minute threw it into to the trunk on my way out the door for a squirrel hunt. When I got to the woods it was such a bright and clear day I decided it would be fun to go scopeless… The gun comes with front and rear fiber optics open sights. Thanks for your kind words on the blog, I really enjoy talking to other airgun hunters ….. and you’ll love that Verminator when you get, it’s a greatttt hunting rifle!

  3. Tony Muniz

    Greetings Jim, just happen to catch this article on the .25cal and was wondering if you’ve ever had a chance to shoot a Career Mkll Ultra carbine in said caliber and if so, what was your impression. I recently bought one and I’m shooting cast 52gr slugs out it at 780fps/75fpe. This is my hog hunter gun. Cheers!

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Tony;
      I had one several years back, and it was a powerhouse and quite accurate as well. It’s not the prettiest gun to my eye, kind of an acquired taste :), but that lever action is fast to cycle and all around an excellent hunting gun. Are you casting the slugs yourself?

  4. Isaac

    Hey i read your artical on the Evanix Speed 25cal. I,ve been thinking about buying one but was worried about accuracy at 100 yards

    • Jim Chapman

      Isaac;
      Accuracy at 75 yards is pretty good, though I haven’t used the gun much at 100 yards. I will tell you that I do a lot of cold weather shooting, and the eletromechanical actuator doesn’t handle cold weather, and you can have a delay from trigger pull to discharge. It’s a fun gun, but for my hunting I like the Rainstorm sidelever which can be cycled pretty quickly.
      Regards,
      Jim

  5. Johnny Shumake

    Hi Jim,
    Just wondering if you have any new info on the Hatsan bt65..I just received mine yesterday and gonna have to wait a couple more days before I get the .25 pellets. I am hoping to take coyote with this gun. Wanting some comments on mediun game hunting with this caliber. Thanks…

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Johnny, been shooting it quite a bit …. very accurate, powerful, and loud! But it’s a solid entry level PCP, and I’m thinking about building a more powerful .30 caliber on the platform. Let’s hear how your hunting goes!
      Jim

  6. Sean

    I looking at getting a new air rifle in .25 caliber. I was looking at the Hatsan 125 and 125 Sniper in spring ( about 30 ft.lbs ) and the gas piston versions ( about 28 ft.lbs ). Should I go with the spring or gas piston version ? I have only used one other break barrel and that has a gas piston. Also what game can I hunt with a .25 cal break barrel ( that is usually pretty accurate out to 50 yards, similar to the Walther Falcon Hunter ) that produces 23-29 ft.lbs in gas piston version and 25-32 ft.lbs in the spring version with ~25 grain domed pellets.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Sean; It’s kind of 12 of one a dozen of the other, and depends on the model of gun. If the gas ram is well designed it is easier to shoot accurately than a mechanical spring in my experience, especially if you’re going to shoot the gun rested. A .25 in the 30 fpe range could be used for anything up to a raccoon with no worries, and the range should be dictated by your ability to consistantly hit the kill zone.

    • Fred Watkins

      I have BT65SB Elite 25 cal Ive killed coyotes with it dropped one 70 yds great gun but heavy

  7. andy_65_in

    hi Jim-looking for a cheap and accurate .25 pcp-whats your comment on the MROD.does the .25 MROD offer .22 conversion kit option.thanks.andy

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Andy;
      I think the Marauder .25 is a fine rifle to get started with, and there are lots of parts to mod the gun if you want to….. but you don’t have to. You can buy a .22 barrel, but personally I’d stick with the .25.
      Jim

  8. Jeremiah

    Hello Jim,
    I am looking into buying my first PCP gun. We recently purchased acreage with many signs of pesky animals that need to be eliminated efficiently and humanely. I want a .25 calibre with as many effective shots as possible. I like the specs on Evanix’s Windy City 2, and also the Hatsan BT-65. We are far out of town and need to get the most shots I can between refills. I would appreciate any input or feedback. Thank you.

  9. Kerry

    What’s up I’m from honolulu Hawaii. I’m an Airgun and riffle enthusiast. I have a question because i wanted to buy the nitro piston .25 cal but the worker at sports authority said the.22 benjamin trail np was better. So i got it. It’s awesome and has our packs a punch big time, but now i want a.25 cal so which riffle is harder hitting and best for break barrel the.25 Hatsun sniper or the benjamin trail np nitro xl .25 or any other that’s better than these two.?

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Kerry;
      Lots of airgunners over on the islands, with a few of the guys are hunting pigs with big bores. Between the two guns you mentioned the NP and the Sniper in .25, I prefer the Sniper. I have found it to be more accurate and more powerful, and I think the firing cycle of the Sniper is smoother. I am more inclined towards the wood thumbhole stock of the NP, and have hunted a lot with both guns, but still would probably opt for the Sniper as a hunting gun if I had to choose.
      Regards,
      Jim

    • Daniel Richardson

      I have hatsan 125 sniper mine shoots 19.grain at 800 fps 27 fpe or 27.8 grain at 675 fps for about 28 fpe but mine likes 31.02 Kodiak at 647 fps which is about 29.3 fpe and now I discovered it like rws 31.grain at678 fps that’s 31 .5 fpe and built like a tank stupid accurate, at 40 yards it still gets 21.5 fpe and goes through 3/4 inch ply wood I have my own crongraph so I know for a fact ,its the bestbreak barrel and strongest I do have benj np2 ,get this gun its totally worth it

      • Daniel Richardson

        Hatsan is the best break barrel for built style power and accuracy no dout about it and today just purchased hatsan at 44 s 25 cal PCP 10 shot

  10. Kerry

    Awwweright Jim!
    As we say in Hawaii instead of brother we say braddah so braddah Jim thanks big time for your answer especially coming from someone with experience with both rifles i mentioned. That’s all i needed to hear. Thanks and GOD BLESS, and oh braddah Jim what’s the FPS and the FPE for the Hatsun .25 cal.
    And it is more powerful than my.22 Benjamin black NP Nitro right? But I’m impressed with my.22 cal Benjamin Nitro. Really accurate without no Scopes just straight aim with my eye it’s easier that way and i hit my targets pretty dead on 70% of the time. I use it to hunt wild boar but gotta get em right behind the ears, and since I had a felony I can’t get my gun license so i gotta go for air which is to me almost as good, but I would love to get real fire arms when I see the selection especially the.45’s it’s insane awesome. I wanted or was going to go to gun Smith school but instead I’m going to Heald college at age 41 gotta get my future planned so my 6 year old daughters future and mine is secure. Also got the samyang big bore.45 which is a real gun and i use real.45 cal shells it’s a beast but i love or come to love break barrels the most because pcp’s are to complicated with break barrels no worries for power plant just cock and load. Plus it’s my home protection arms since can’t get real powder guns. Sorry went on and on but please answer my questions I had asked way earlier in my long comment. Ok now thanks and GOD BLESS bro.

  11. Matthew R Sxxxx

    The information below is simply for those interested in PCP.

    I work in the compressed gas industry. In particular welding supplies. Id like to state that a person close to their ATV or 4×4 can easily replenish a PCP rifle countless times. Different rifles have different CuFt. requirements. Which may be a convenient conversion for me. As far as the compressed gas business goes nitrogen over 6k PSIG regulated to your PCP’s target pressure would be relatively 600-800 dollars depending on your area. Independent family own companies will service you better and be able to accompany this type of business. Not all do. but for MASSIVE amounts of charges out of one rifle… OR to charge a remote charge tank (like a 60 CuIN.) a mobile fill station is not as expensive as it seems.

  12. Julius

    Hi Jim, I was wondering if the old patriot. 25 cal rifles are better than the Turkish made ones since ove read bad reviews on them? I’m just trying to get somemyhamore insight on them before i make a purchase. Thanks.

    • Jim Chapman

      Julius;
      The British built Webley’s were very well made, it’s what I shot my first airgun coyote with as a matter of fact (it worked but not the right gun for this type of game). I had the first Turkish made gun which I gave rave reviews, power, accuracy, it was great. But then heard others sucked, so I ordered another one and it was bad in every respect. Turns out my gun was the first built in Turkey from parts manufactured in the UK and put together by British staff that was over for training. I retracted my review and haven’t shot another one since. The Turks can and do make good guns, but don’t know if they have the Webley QA under control. A used British gun is probably a safe bet. If you get a new one, make sure you buy from a source that will stand behind their products ….. that reduces the risk significantly!

  13. dennis kidd

    hey, jim i have shot .25 in many different rifles since the 90s, but the raw 1000x in .25 is by far best I have shot. just suprised there is no review for this rifle.

  14. jasper

    Hi jim i have a few springers hatsan 135 .22 ruger air mag .22 crosman storm 177 gamo bonecollecrer .177 and im looking at the .25 sumatra 500cc and wanted to know the true power off dis gun and do u think i can hunt medduim size hogs with it out to 50 yards if right shot placement and can i ger 85fpe out it?

  15. jasper

    Hi Jim I really want the sumatra 25cal 500cc wanted to know if u had ever shot it and what kinda power accuracy and use I could expect from it seen post of 90fpe could that be true an what kindof game you recommend me take as far as hog coyote what rang and way I should place my shot

  16. Taylor Berry

    Hello! I know I am late to the party, but I have a spring Beeman Kodiak .25 and was wondering what the biggest game I would be able to take down with it?

    • Jim Chapman

      Talyor;
      I’d feel pretty good using that gun for raccoon sized game…. you could kill bigger quarry with it, but the chances of wounding or losing an animal are fairly high so I stick to that middle sized game. I’d also keep the range to a distance where you can get a 1″ group consistently from hunting positions/conditions, but not go past 40 yards.
      Regards,
      Jim

  17. Buck

    Jim.. I Am looking to buy a .25 break barrel….what is the best gun out there…accuracy is a must at 30 yards…and what pellets should I get for coons at 30 yards…..THX so much for your time

    • Jim Chapman

      A couple guns to consider would be the HW95L25 .25 which is accurate, well made, and generating velocities in the 700’s. Also it weighs in at under 8 lbs, which makes it a fairly lightweight gun as far as powerful .25’s go. The HW 90 is a little heavier, a little more power, and another solid choice. Once you pick out a gun, let’s hear what you selected and how it worked for you.
      Jim

  18. Roy

    My friend and i are experienced air gunners,we recently purchased a pair of hatsan 25cal springers , these are beautiful well made guns and were really excited to shoot them. Both guns scattered the pellets like buckshot,very depressing 15 inch patterns at 35 yards. The best ammo we found would shoot 5 inch at 35 yards. These guns are almost useless for anything but plinking, i don’t hear too many people complaining about accuracy, did we find the only two bummers out there.

    • Jim Chapman

      My first response would be about hold on the rifle, using scope stocks etc. But since you guys know your way around a springer I won’t go there. I will say that I had the Hatsan .25 and used it this squirrel season and it was dialed in. I was taking squirrel at 40 yards. If you are sure its the gun, I’d suggest you get these two replaced

    • michael.w.thalman@gmail.com

      As with qc, all gun manufactures have that issue. You might want to check that all screws are tighten firm, with loctite applied. Probably the #1 reason for poor accuracy usually can be attributed to a loose screw, all it takes is one and that can make your gun shoot all over the place. Also, make sure you are using the artillery hold for each shot. All, my Hatsan springers/air pistons are accurate..

  19. Art S.

    Hi Jim,
    I’m looking at a couple of Hatsans, the At44qe long in .25 and the big bore carnivore in .30. I understand that the at44 is a tack driver up to 50 yards, and the carnivore .30 up to 75-100. I have read a lot about the FPE needed for different varmints and hunted animals and would like your perspective on something.
    When I was a kid I had a Benjamin 392 pump in .22 caliber that was really accurate. I dispatched dozens of coons within 25-30 yards with head shots and recall only one ‘poor’ kill.
    I now have a benjiman np2 .22 and as far as I can tell it has about double the FPE as my old 392 at around 24FPE which should be plenty for humanely dispatching coons and similarly sized animals.
    I would like to hunt bobcats and coyotes, and want more accuracy and distance than my current gun, so am looking at my first pcp.
    How important is it to have more and more FPE in a rifle? I’m looking at 42FPE with the .25 and 72FPE with the .30, but what does that really mean to me? Does a lower FPE limit me to head shots only where a higher FPE mean I can take a lung and heart shot?
    Or does it mean I can just reach out further with my shots?
    I appreciate the comment about wound channel, so I take it that the .30 would mean less chance of needing a followup shot vs a .25?
    Thanks again for your article. It’s great to be able to get advice from someone with hands on experience.

    Best Regards,
    Art S.

  20. Angel T Franceschini

    I had to make a decision on whether I buy the Hatsan.22cal or the125 hatsan.25cal.Im looking for accuracy,power and range.Also what brand pellet.25cal is better for this rifles. I looked at the 125 Hatsan as is a serious heavyweight.I think Ill go for the .25cal,but so far I have not tried this caliber,What do you suggest.22 or.25cal.
    Thanks..!!
    By the way,I like your site very much,could not stop reading it and learning from your pro experience on airguns!!!!

    • Jim Chapman

      The Hatsan 125 is a solid hunting gun, I used the rifle in .25 caliber for squirrel and rabbit and it hits very hard. Like most magnums its not tame to shoot, but I was getting good accuracy from the gun in .25. As I recall, it did well with JSB Exacts and Benjamin Domes. Even the same make of guns can like different pellets, but these are a good place to start. I’m glad the site was useful to you, tell your friend 🙂

  21. zipp

    The .25 is indeed a hammer. Many say that the .25 Maurader is “backyard friendly” due to being quiet. One contrast to this issue is the amount of power and carry up. Because the 25 will zing straight through many of the targets it strikes within “backyard ranges” and continue on a good distance to create potential ricochets, it seems that this would detract from the “backyard friendly” concept. In a number of residential areas, this is something to keep in mind.

  22. Maxwell

    Hi Jim my names max I’ve been planning on getting a long range pellet gun and I mean LONG range, for ex) the other day with a .22 air rifle at 120 yards with 5 shots had a 3 inch grouping and want to go further, so I was going to get a gamo big cat .25 cal and a high powered scope but I want to know if I can even hit targets at 200yards with a .25 because bigger caliber travels farther and has more resistance to wind. but my buds are recommending another .22 which would be nice but I want a bigger more powerful round. So would a .22 with a high powered scope at range (100yrds+) be better than a .25 cal with a high powered scope. (When I Say high powered scope I’m talking about the same scope for both weapons) thanks

  23. Russell

    Hi Jim,

    I just retired and we are moving to the country. I need a quiet 25 cal PCP that I can pump up. The MROD and the Armada are two I’m considering because they don’t have to be pumped up to such a high psi. I would also like a rifle that doesn’t weigh too much. Are there any other rifles that I should be considering like a BSA ultra?

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Russell;
      I’d take a look atr the FX Wildcat .25, I’ve been very inpressed by it on a few hunts now. Well worth a serious look!
      Regards,
      Jim

  24. Rob

    This article covers hunting well but there is more to the “perfect all round airgun” than what is best for killing small game. If I were only thinking about the best airgun for hunting, there would be no reason not to buy the largest caliber I can afford. These days there are plenty of affordable 9mm PCP repeaters. The Jkhan 9mm bullpup is going for a little over $800. It has a good shot count, accuracy and it is well balanced.

    A lot of people want an air rifle that they can use for hunting in the woods, pest control and plinking at home. A key advantage air guns have over firearms is lower noise and a level of power that allows for safe backstops in the garden. I agree with the original take that .25 is the best all round caliber. These days, there are a number of .25 guns that are quiet enough for the backyard and powerful enough for small game. There is not one .30 that meets these criteria. Even the best of them release pellets with a boom /bang that will have your neighbors calling the police.

    The other point is that not all .25 or .22 guns are great all rounders. My .25 Career 707 and Sumatra produce a similar level of noise and energy to the .30 guns so they are limited to hunting only. Then there are rifles like the Hatsan AT44 or BT65 and the .25 Marauder which are great bench rest guns but they are too front heavy to shoot comfortably without a bipod or rest. To be a great all rounder, you want a shrouded bullpup in .25 (ideally with variable power). If I was only allowed one air gun, I would go with a Cricket, Wildcat or Vulcan in .25.

    Pellet choice is an issue but the cost of pellets also plays a role. .30 pellets are expensive. Too expensive for plinking are target shooting imo. I think 30 cal sits in no mans land. Too powerful and loud to use at home. Not powerful enough to hunt things I couldn’t hunt with a .25 and not nearly the same shot count. 9mm is the best big bore choice right now.

    • Jim Chapman

      Well there is a lot to consider in what you say. I actually like the .30 as it a viable small game and medium (predator)game caliber in the right gun. I’ve been shooting my .308 alot lately, very flat shooting and great terminal performance with cast hollowpoints. Have also taken a lot of game with the .35 (hogs, javalina, coyote, fox) and it has done very well for me… a bit too much for smaller game, but it works. For me the best big bore caliber is the .45, though I’ve been shooting a couple of the new .40 caliber guns that are really impressive. For my dedicated big game guns I want 300 fpe or more, plus in some hunting venues the .40 is the minimum caliber allowed for deer. BTW: I agree that the BT65 is a heavy gun, but the AT44 and Marauder are both guns I shoot pretty well off hand and in field positions. Whats works or feels right for one shooter might not serve as well for another, which is why its always a good thing if people have a chance to shoot a gun before buying. Thanks for the post, your comments give a lot to think about.
      Jim

  25. Nathaniel

    Hello Jim

    I just want to say that your post are so informative that it steers me in the right direction for getting a .25 caliber. I generally hunt small to medium size game and I use a .22 benjamin. I want to get a .25 but is yet to figure out which is the best .25. Is it a hatsan sniper or the benjamin NP XL.
    I hunt in Dominica the nature isle of the Caribbean and the favorite animal hunted is the agouti. With my .22 they run off and i wanted the knock down power you mentioned with the .25 caliber. I also saw a Hatsan Edge vortex is this a good gun to get since it is in .25 caliber? One other thing, hunting the agouti is often done from a distance and there for a gun with good range is important.
    Please give me some more insight to determine the right gun to get.

    • Jim Chapman

      In a springer I’d probably stay with a high power .22 rifle shooting a heavy pellet. The higher velocity would be flatter shooting and the heavier pellet would perform well at longer ranges. In a PCP I like the .25 better, but in the less efficient springers the trajectory becomes more of an issue for longer range shooting.
      Regards,
      Jim

  26. Dr C A Mathew

    I am an air rifle enthusiast. I am looking out for a PCP air rifle with the following requirements
    1. PCP
    2. .22 or .25 [whichever is better]
    3. Beaded scope
    4. Silencer
    5. Multishot
    6. For hunting purposes
    7. Must be a powerful air rifle
    8. Must be very accurate
    9. The product must be very durable since spares are very scarce where I live
    10. Recoiless

    Kindly advice me on what air rifle I should buy. With so many manufacturers out there I need an experts opinion . Thanking you .Dr Mathew

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Mathew;
      As you state, there are a lot of great guns to look at; here are some that foot the bill and are well worth a look. I love the Brocock Compatto, it a slick, compact, high performance rig with a lot elegant Daystate engineering in it. I think the FX Wildcat is not only my favorite bullpup, but one of my favorite hunting rifles. At a more budget friendly price point the Hatsan AT-44, the Benjaman Marauder, and the Gamo Coyote are all rugged and solid performers. My choice out of all these would be the Wildcat in .25 ….. But that’s just me, you would not go wrong with any of these.

  27. Andrew

    Thanks for posting this! Reading this article was the determining factor in whether to purchase the Hatsan Galatian QE (walnut stock) in .22 or .25. This is going to be my first PCP gun and I just wasn’t sure which one to go with. The information you provided here is what tipped the scale. I can’t WAIT to get this rifle in the mail!

    • Jim Chapman

      Let us know when you get the gun into the field. Be interested to hear your thoughts.

  28. Nathaniel

    Hello Mr. Chapman, I took just received a benjamin .25 and this thing works like a hammer.
    The power I get on target is amazing and it performs well at long distances as well. I am loving my .25, though I love my .22 benjamin I’m giving it a rest for now. Love the knock down power of the .25

  29. Shani

    hi Jim,

    I hope you doing well, your article above is really helping thanks for that. I want a suggestion from you regarding purchasing my new rifle. i wana use it mostly for birds in Pakistan so which one you suggest me in .22 cal. I was thinking for Hatsan 125 or Gamo bone collector. Why i am not going for Benjamin Marauder pre charge pneumatic because of its again and again charging. i was searching answer but never found it anywhere that how much pellets we can shot with a pcp gun when fully charged i,e Bengamin Marauder .22 or any other?

    why i cant go for .25 cal because of pellets availability.

    One more thing is there any supplier that ships air rifles to Pakistan? because Pakistan is ideal for bird hunting and many people here are found of air rifles.

    Thanks for your time

    • Jim Chapman

      Personally if I was only going to have one springer, it would probably be the the Walther LGV in .22.Not sure who is distributing in Pakistan, but if you contact Walther I’m sure they can put you onto the local dealer.

      BTW, most budget priced PCPs get 30-50 shots per fill. You might look at the Discovery if you go this route because it is a good performer (accuracy and power), inexpensive, and fills with a low pressure so ideal for use with a hand pump.
      Regards,
      Jim

  30. ahmonde boxley

    Hi Jim how have you been doing I am getting a little more settled with air rifle hunting I wanna get a 22 cal air rifle I was wondering will you be willing to make a trade for my hatsan bt65 qe 25 cal or do you know anyone that will trade if so I can be contacted at 601 431-4392 gun still like new I am looking at the Benjamin discovery thanks Jim and I like the you tube video you did on the hatsan at 44-10 qe

    • Jim Chapman

      Thanks Ahmonde, I already have a collection of Hatsans and think mine would kill me if I started duplicating guns :). Already have my gun room, the basement, and garage close to overflow! Go on the Yellow Forum, GTA, or Airgun Nation, they all have classifies with a lot of guns coming and going.
      Regards,
      Jim

  31. John Carlisle

    Hi Jim,
    What are your thoughts on the Hatsan 135 .30 cal. break barrel?
    Have you used one?

    John

    • Jim Chapman

      I have, here are a couple of videos on my YouTube channel:
      https://youtu.be/ID08mrtJDjE
      https://youtu.be/7kZ9pkw9uY0
      It an interesting gun. You don’t get much of a power increase over the 135 in .25, but you do hit quarry with a larger pellet surface area which also creates a larger wound. It smacks small game like rabbits and such. Would be a solid turkey gun I think, and also right for smaller predators though not coyote. Is it more effective than a .25? Probably not significantly, but its a lot of fun to shoot. I takes some cocking effort and it will rattle your teeth after a few shots.

  32. John Carlisle

    Jim a couple more things:
    1. I currently have a Hatsan 95 Vortex .25 cal. Thinking about buying the Hatsan 135 .30 cal. break barrel. Am I gaining much over
    95 vortex?
    2. What are you thoughts on using lead shot for shotguns singly in the correct bore size?
    There is some talk of this on the Internet, but no one has tried it.
    Super Buck Lead Buckshot #3 .250 & #1 .300 by Ballistic Products.
    I have not owned nor have I shot any pcp airguns. And I have no experience with ball pellets.
    Is it reasonable to hunt with these shot pellets or other ball pellets on the market in the above mentioned airguns?

    Thank you for you answers.
    John

  33. Randall Pevehouse

    Hi Jim,
    I am looking to get my first pcp air rifle and would like to use the .25 caliber.I have been looking at the Benjamin Armada and the Hatsan BT65SB.I love the look and accessory rails of the Armada,but the power and quality of the bt65 from what I have read is much better than the Armada.Noise is not an issue and I would like to hunt with this rifle.Also I would really love a rifle that is mod friendly if possible,or a platform that has the option to improve upon if possible.I was just hoping you good maybe steer me in the right direction or at least away from any issues with either rifle if there are any you know of.

    Thank you for any assistance you can give
    Randall

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Randall;
      Both of these guns would be good choices, while the BT 65 is more powerful, it’s also bigger and heavier. The gun I would personally look at is the Brocock Compatto, which is compact, powerful, and dead accurate. The semi-bullpup design leaves you with a much more compact LOA, but retains a full length barrel and air reservoir. The downside is that the gun cost a bit more, but with the dollar strong against the pound its a good time to buy and to my way of thinking, worth the extra cash outlay. But if you can afford the extra expense either of the aforementioed guns is fine, you just need to decide which attributes are the most important to you (size vs power), both are accurate and solid small/medium game guns.
      Jim

  34. Bobby Tefft

    Timely article. Today I ordered a FX Wildcat form AoA. I went back of forth trying to decide between a .22 and .25.

    I finally settled on the .25.

    Hope it was the right choice.

    • Jim Chapman

      It’s the choice I’d have made……. acxtually it’s the choice I did make!

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