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Hunting With Springers, a Spring Tradition

Posted by on April 15, 2018

You wouldn’t know we’re in to spring based on the weather….. I flew back from an overseas trip this weekend and we had to pass right over Minneapolis because of a major storm, a blizzard actually that dropped about 8″ of snow. I ended up being dropped in Cincinnati,but finally 26 hours after leaving Copenhagen I made it home. Good thing to, because I’ve got a few days of work to catch up on and at the end of the week it’s off to Texas as I mentioned in last weeks post.

A srping piston rifle hunt is one of my Springtime traditions. These guns remind me of my airgun hunting roots more than any other. But it’s not just nostalgia, I appreciate the challenge as well!

I haven’t decided which rifles will be packed along, but I do plan to take alongĀ  a couple spring piston rifles to do a couple of my rabbit hunting sessions. Some people give up springers when they start shooting PCP’s, which in some ways is understandable. They are easier to shoot accurately, give a longer shooting range and are especially efficient in larger calibers. However, I’ve always been a fan, and think always will be, of this powerplant.

Spring piston guns are self contained, they offer some pricing advantages, improve your shooting technique, all of which have been oft repeated. But more to the point, they are in my opinion, a blast to hunt with. If nothing else, I kind of feel like I’m paying homage to the sport and the tradition when I use a spring powerplant. I’ve got several I like to use in the field: the Diana 340 N-Tech, Walther LGV, the Weihrauch HW90, and of course my beloved Beeman C-1 which is the one airgun I’ve owned from almost the start. I bought this rifle in .177 in the late 80’s and have never even considered selling or trading along the way.

On one trip last spring the Diana N-Tech in .22 did a stellar job on rabbits for me: I like a gas rams firing cycle and this one has a very smooth firing cycle and the trigger is outstanding out-of-the- box. I typically shoot offhand when hunting a springer, mostly because most spring piston rifles don’t shoot well rested, though I have had good results from the N-Tech off sticks. One thing in general that I like about several springers in my collection is that they can be very sleek since no air reservoir needs to be styled in. The RWS 34 and the N-tech are good examples of this.

My .177 Diana makes short work of the smaller cottontails often hunted in Texas.

Unlike PCP’s, for small game hunting with a spring piston gun I’ll often use a .177, tend towards lighter pellets regardless of caliber, and often shoot specialty pellets like Polymags. I find that at my preffered ranges of inside 35 yards, these work very well on game such as rabbits. For scopes I prefer either a fixed 6x mag or a 3-9 Variable, in more compact designs. Many of the scopes from Hawke or Leapers have made their way on to my spring piston rifles, and especially the lower priced but built-like-a-tank Leapers scopes.

It’s possible to achieve quite good accuracy with a quality springer, but you’ll usually be limited by the hunters ability to maintain accuracy than power generation.

I will say as I look out of my office window at a snowy landscape through a haze of cloudy white, that I can’t wait to hit the warmth of west-central Texas. We’ll be after rabbits, predators, hogs, and doing some scouting for quail. I hope you have a good week and I’ll touch base with you next week with news of our outing!

One Response to Hunting With Springers, a Spring Tradition

  1. Jake Rogers

    After reading this it makes me want to get out one of my old springers and do some pest control around the farm. I love my PCPs but here lately my Sheridan 2260 has became my go to rat rifle. Keep up the good work.

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