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Airguns & Long Range Shooting

Posted by on September 28, 2012

Because they produce much less power, hunting ranges with airguns tend to be closer than when a firearm is used. A common question I’m asked is “how far can a hunter stretch out with any given airgun”?  The answer depends on the type of airgun being used and what the intended target is. Popping steel plates at 150 yards is a lot of fun, and a miss is not a big deal. I recently participated in a big bore airgun competition where we were shooting out to 300 yards. While my results were only so-so, there were guys consistently nailing the steel rams way out there. As I mentioned in last week’s post, at the upcoming Extreme Benchrest competition in Arizona shooters can use any gun in any caliber to shoot targets at 75 yards, and I am expecting to see some very high scores.

The guys at the LASSO competition reach out to 300 yards with their big bore airguns, shooters must shoot with equipment and techniques used in the field to hunt.

I dropped this springbuck for camp meat on a hunt in South Africa, using my Quackenbush .308 at 120 yards.


However, you don’t want to shoot at game when the holdover is measured in feet rather than inches.  My longest shot on big game occurred in South Africa several years ago when I took a springbok at 120 yards, dropping him cleanly with a Quackenbush .308. With small bore guns I’ve gone out to 150 yards on prairie dogs, and have found that a 40 fpe gun still has the energy to anchor smaller varmint with well-placed shots at these extended distances. As I’ve often stated, one of the attractions of airgun hunting is to get in close to the quarry, and that I believe airguns are primarily a close range hunting tool. But there are situations where your best (or only) option is a long shot.

Groundhogs are one species that often only allows long range shots. Brian Beck took this whistle pig with his Haley .308, but I often use a .22 or .25 to take them at 100 yards.


This is how I shoot most of my long range prairie dogs, and many of my .22 and .25 guns allow me to reach out to 125 yards off sticks when the winds are down.


Long Range Airgun Hunting

My definition of a long shot with an airgun is 50 yards or more with a spring piston gun and over 75 yards for standard caliber precharged pneumatic guns. There are several variables when it comes to big bores and I’ll leave this topic for another time. Let me preface this discussion by saying that the gun and shooter have to prove themselves on the range before heading afield to hunt. Preparing for a prairie dog hunt recently, I took my gun to the range and shot groups at 10 yard increments from 50 to 120 yards, mapping the point of impact as a function of distance. This information was recorded on an index card and taped to the stock of my rifle so it was readily available while hunting.

A Balistics calculator such as Chairgun is useful in sorting out the trajectory you’ll encounter in the field.

I sometimes go out with the intention of employing long range shots; prairie dog, ground squirrel, or woodchuck hunting for example. These animals often live in terrain that doesn’t offer much cover for putting on a stalk, which can make closing the distance impossible. When hunting tree squirrels or cottontails on the other hand, it’s usually possible to get inside of 50 yards, so long range shots aren’t always necessary.

Long Range Hunting Rig

When selecting the small bore gun to use for long range shooting, something that can generate substantial power and shoots well with heavy pellets is preferred. One of my recent favorites for this type of hunting is the FX Royale. This is a high shot count, powerful, accurate rifle that stores a lot of air in the buttstock mounted air bottle. It handles heavy pellets better than just about any .25 caliber rifle I’ve shot.

This rifle can print MOA groups at 100 yards, and I feel very comfortable hunting varmint at extended ranges with it. The two stage trigger is adjustable, crisp with a good tactile response and I have it set for about a 2  lb pull weight. When I shoot this gun off my bipod Gorilla sticks, I am going to hit my target out to 120 yards just about every time (if there’s no wind). I’ve taken this gun out for prairie dog where I could get prone and shoot rested on my daypack, and when locked in to this position felt like I couldn’t miss.

Precharged pneumatics are the guns of choice when the plan is to focus on long shots. With respect to caliber, I don’t use .177 much as these small light pellets tend to shed velocity and energy more rapidly and are more susceptible to wind drift than the .22. In addition the .22 hits harder, makes a bigger hole, while the trajectory is still easily manageable. A .25 caliber can be used for small game at 100 yards, and though it hits like a hammer the trajectory is more of a challenge, yet still manageable. I’ll use the .22 and .25 caliber on coyote as well, but only at close range.

Aother rifle that I used recently to snipe pigeons at long range was the Daystate Airwolf, and was really blown away by its laser like accuracy. This is a heavier rifle, but my-oh-my the trigger is truly superb. It was like I just had to think SHOOT and the gun responded. I have never shot a gun, airgun or powder burner that compares.

I always try a number of pellets to find what performs the best in a given gun, but when setting up for long range hunts stick to heavy or extra heavy, round nosed pellets. The reason for this is multifold; experience has shown me that heavier round nosed pellets have superior ballistics, retain energy down range and are invariably the most accurate pellet at greater distances.

My scope preference on a long range gun calls for a medium or large aperture with magnification up to 12x or 16x. High magnification is only advantageous when the rifle is solidly rested, but once that criterion is met it becomes invaluable for hitting small kill zones.  I also prefer a mildot reticle configuration that makes adjusting for holdover much easier than a standard crosshair. Lately I’ve been using the Hawke scopes with the MAP reticle, combined with the companies Chairgun ballistic calculator program to pinpoint the trajectory. This allows the shooter to precisely calibrate the reticle as a function of range.

One of the most useful items in the long range shooter’s kit is a range finder.  If you’ve taken the time to check your POI at 10 yard increments, a range finder used in conjunction with your scopes mildots will allow you to adjust holdover rapidly, circumventing the need for multiple ranging shots. When shooting squirrels inside of 50 yards I don’t always use my range finder, because the drop between 30-50 yards is far less than between 100 – 120 yards. But I get out for prairie dogs, I use it constantly.

A range finder and some quality glass will go a long way towards improving your long range results.

Long Range shooting techniques

Unlike spot and stalk hunting in the woods where quick offhand shots are the norm, long range shooting almost always takes place in situations that allows the hunter time to set up in a comfortable position and use a rest of some sort. My preference is to shoot off either a bipod from the prone position or shooting sticks from the sitting position. I find this provides both a solid rest, but also allows movement and readjustment when required. In last week’s blog post I discussed the different types of shooting sticks I use, and what works best for me.

It can be helpful to shoot with a buddy to call your shots, especially if there is anything more than a gentle breeze blowing. Even a powerful airrifle is operating at fairly low velocities, which leaves the pellet hanging out there for the wind to mess with. PCPs are virtually recoilless however, and it is usually possible to call

The decision to use an airgun to hunt at 75 to 150 yards should be predicated on having a range proven gun/pellet combination and taking the time to work out where the pellet will impact at these greater distances. Using the right adjunct gear such as a high magnification scope with mildots, a range finder, and a solid rest will go a long way towards improving your results. But most importantly, you need to put in the range time and be confident that you are able to hold up your end behind the trigger. Do that and there is no reason you can’t be an effective long range airgun hunter!

57 Responses to Airguns & Long Range Shooting

  1. Jake

    I’m not sure how familiar you are with specific air rifles, but i have recently purchased a benjamin trail nitro piston .22 caliber air rifle. If you do happen to be informed about this model, how far do you think it will allow me to shoot, and still be accurate? Also do you have any suggestions of pellets that i could use for long range shooting? thank you for your time.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Jake;
      I’ve used the Nitro Piston a lot as a matter of fact, and really like the .22 for squirrel hunting. I find that I’m pretty accurate with the gun out to 35 yards, but the real answer is that it depends on how far out you can shoot accurately. If you can consistantly put 3 pellets into an inch at 25 yards but not at 30, your range is 25 yards. The power will not be the limiting factor, and a pellet from this gun would carry enough energy to do the job at 50 yards but it is very hard to be consistantly accurate this far out with a springer. Even though the Nitro piston power plant is easier to shoot than a mechanical spring gun and can be rested, it still does not provide the accuarcy of a recoil-free PCP. I use Crosman Premiers and JSB exacts in my guns, and they do fine. BTW: sorry it took me a while to respond, I’ve been on the road for the last couple months.

      • Ronbow

        Hi Jim,

        Glad to hear that you are an NP veteran. I own an NP2 in .22 and I use it extensively for rock chucks. Head shots will drop them without a peep.

        My question is regarding accuracy at different distances. At 30m I can put pellets all within a quarter on a good day, 1.5″ on a bad day. At 40m my groups are several inches wide. Just terrible. “Minute of angle” does not seem to account for the difference that I see at the two distances. Do you have a theory for why I might be seeing such a dramatic difference between 30m to 40m?

        BTW – I shoot Crosman 14.3 round nose and hollow point. My gun seems to like them best and better than anything else.

        Due to hills and bushes, the area I hunt is mostly less than 70m range. But like Alex said, I am dieing to buy a PCP to fill that need between 30m to 70m.

        • Jim Chapman

          Hello Ronbow;
          30 yard groups that you’re getting are pretty good. 40 yard groups are difficult with just about any springer because the are harder to shoot. That 10 yard difference adds a significant change in trajectory…. also gives the group time to open due to any inconsistency in your hold. BTW: when you get your PCP, the hours of shooting a springer will probably result in you being a very good long distant shot!

          • Anthony Samaha

            Yeah that’s the same case and this is the thing that i’m confronting.
            At 25 meters i got bullseye but at 30 meters the grouping went a bit higher and left.
            What do you think i have to do.
            BTW: i have a springer.
            Thanks in advance.

          • Jim Chapman

            See my answer above….. if you guys are getting these groups at 30 meters you’re off to a good start…… working on consistency is the best suggestion I can give you. Springers can be very accurate, but as a rule they are very unforgiving.

      • ahmonde boxley

        What up wit it Mr.Jim I have a hatsan bt65 qe 25 cal I was thinking about returning it for a break barrel like the Benjamin trial np2 22 cal I seen u on you tube heads with hatsan/Benjamin 25 cal and with the 44 long 22 cal I need your help on making a descions which will be the best hunting rifle for me especially for small game and medium too large size game and I for got I really like your you tube video

        • Jim Chapman

          Thanks for that Ahmoned. I would stay with the BT 65 over a Benjamin Trail to be sure. Much more powerful, more accurate….. but having said tghis I prefer the AT44 over the BT65. I like the side lever cocking and compact dimension even if less powerful.

      • Bob

        How much will a .25 jsb exact king diabalo drop at 150 yards from hatsan .25 nitro edge?

        • Jim Chapman

          Hi Bob, there are a lot of variables that come into play. Follow this link to Chairgun, a free ballistic calculator for airguns, download, open the app, and enter the data it as for, and it will generate a trajectory graph that I’ve found to be quite accurate and corresponds well to real world field results.


  2. Vlad

    Hi Jim,

    I enjoy your well-written airgun stories, thank you for the time and effort.
    I am a big fan of .177 caliber although I do prefer .22 and .25 for hunting. For the defence of .177 I must say that over the years I have dispatched hundreds of pests with this under-rated pill. Anything from a rat to a rabbit size game stood no chance at all. My go-to .177 rifle is HW100T that is set at 19 FPE with 10.6 gr. Kodiak. At 50 yards it still delivers 11 FPE which is, as you know, more than enough for hunting. Besides, due to flat trajectories, holdover adjustments are much easier to deal with, of course, within the practical range of .177. Anyway, I just wish more .177 rifles were used in your hunting endeavors.

    Thank you,


    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Vlad;

      Nothing wrong with a .177, early on I did almost all of my airgun hunting with this caliber. As a matter of fact, I still use .177 a lot in mid power springers. I reckon it’s all about delivering the pellet to the right place at the right range. I’ll get more hunts with .177 on the blog …. thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.



  3. Alex

    Jake and Jim too, I also have picked up the Benjamin nitro piston in .22 I would have loved to pick up a PCP however cost was and will be an issue. Although I would desperately love a PCP the Benjamin nitro piston will give me pretty good groups within 2″ at 50 yards however beyond that it’s kind of like shooting blindly even though you have your vision. I can still hit my target and even pick off the pellet tins at 65 yards but all consistency and pattering is almost non-existant. I’ve been experimenting with quite a few different pellets and have found that the heavier RWS and Beeman’s hold their trajectory a little better even though they tend to have significantly more drop than some of the lighter shots. I recently shot it at 100 yards. I could keep most shots somewhere in 5″…….best I could do. No rhyme or reason just saving up for the PCP.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Alex;
      PCPs are great, but there is nothing at all wrong with a springer. I’ve got several in my collection and still get out to use them throughout the year to hunt with them. One thing I really believe, when you can shoot a springer well you can shoot anything well. I also love the fact that they’re fully self contained, grab a tin of pellets and you are good to go! 5″ at 100 yards is very respectable shooting, you’ll be a bullseye machine when you get your PCP.

  4. Murat

    Jim, Hi,

    I have read your book on airgun hunting and I must say it is excellent. Airgun hunting has become very popular in the last 10 years from what I see.
    I currently own a Hatsan 135 in .22 caliber with the vortex gas piston. If I buy the Hawke Airmax 30 3-12x for my air rifle would that be considered as overkill? I plan to move to PCP soon so I thought of this as a long term investment. I am waiting for my rifle to come from the shop to try out the gas-piston and chrony it. I am surprised how accurate these things can be at a 100 yards. Can’t wait to try out the PCPs.

    Best wishes,


    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Marko;
      Glad you enjoyed the book and found it useful. I think the Hawke scope would be a good investment, I like the Airmax line. I wouldn’t worry about it being overkill, just because you have high magnification doesn’t mean you have to use it on your springer now, and it will be useful when you get you PCP…… Of course, just because you have the pcp doesn’t mean you’ll want to get rid of the Hatsan so you may still need another scope 🙂

  5. Adam

    I will have to look for your book. I recently have jumped head first into air rifles. It started with a pest problem that a GAMO Fusion .177, and a mounted flashlight solved quickly. I liked shooting the thing so I managed to find a Field Target club here in Dallas and about 1.5 years after I now have the GAMO. .25 and .177 Marauder, a 1322 moded to a rifle (first project gun and still my favorite to shoot), and a 2240 (next project gun). With squirrel season approaching in East Texas, I now can’t decide which one I want to take. They all have their pros and cons and they are all a pleasure to shoot. Any suggestions? Or, maybe I should just take one for each day I hunt and figure out what I like best for that job. But boy that’s a lot to pack.

    • Jim Chapman

      It’s great that Texas is allowing squirrel hunting, one of the best airgun hunts you can do. I’ll be going out to east Texas to hunt them with my buddy Terry Tate sometime in the next couple months. I have a lot of places around me to hunt with good fox and gray squirrels, and use a different gun each time so that I can exercise them! Hope you have a good hunt. Go to my website to download my book free of charge.
      Have fun chasing those squirrels!

  6. Jose

    Hi! I have a Hatsan Striker Voltex cal.22 and now i would like another rifle cal. .177 My principal use for plinking and small game hunting. Wich one do you will recomend me?



    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Jose;
      There are so many to choose from….. I quite like the Walther LGV, it is an ergonomic and very accurate break barrel doing about 1000 fpe in .177. Most of my springers are in .22, but I took this gun in .177 to shoot pest birds one one outing and jackrabbits on another, and it did a fine job. It also comes in configuration in the high $290.00 to over $600.00 range depneding on how you want to dress it.

  7. Murat

    Dear Jim,

    Thank you for all the great advice. I have one more question that is bugging me. My Hatsan mod 135 Vortex model shoots JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets at around 850 fps which is about the same as the spring version. The gas ram is set to 150 BAR which is around 2175 psi. Hatsan’s gas rams differ from traditional ones since the user can manipulate their pressure. I had some accuracy issues with my model but that was probably because my scope’s erector tube was misaligned. I sent it to a gunsmith to determine the cause of inaccuracy. Do you think 150 BAR is too much for such as gas ram? This is the maximum tested pressure Hatsan says it should be set at. On the other hand, the people at Hatsan USA told me, that the optimum pressure for both accuracy as well as power is 125 BAR. That is quite a big difference in power but there is no point in having a strong powerplant if it is inaccurate, correct? Should I reduce the pressure and go with lighter pellets? What is your opinion on this subject?


    • Jim Chapman

      I haven’t adjusted the rifle so can’t give you advice based on first hand experience there. But I would always go for accuracy over power quite honestly a few FPE doesn’t make a huge difference on game, but putting the shot exactly where you want it makes all the difference in the world!

  8. Bob McCann

    I am looking for an air rifle that will consistently shoot 1/2″ groups from a benchrest. I an an experienced rimfire precision shooter but know little about air rifles. I would prefer a springer ( I think, do to the simplicity of loading) but have also looked at the Benjamin discovery.

    I am also getting mixed messages regarding .177 or .22 for 50 yd target work. This will never be used for hunting (getting to old to meander around fields)

    I am also hoping not to spend over $400 or so on this “experiment ”

    Any suggestions would be appreciated, Thank you, Bob McCann

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Bob;
      I’d probably go with a .177 in a springer; accurate, better BC and less effected by wind, ammo is plentiful, diverse, and inexpensive. If going with a springer I’d look at a Walther LGV or a RWS 34, good quality guns that have good shooting characteristics. I’d just mention that springers are a bit harder to shoot than even magnum centerfires and they don’t like to be rested because of the bidirectional recoil. They will bring out every flaw in your shooting technique (believe me I had a few to work out), but I really believe that when you can shoot a springer well you can shoot anything well.

    • James Ollom

      I do most my shooting and hunting with .177 . I have dropped 3 raccoon at 25 to 35 . None of them have even took a step.
      I have shot and killed a coyote with it . It did take 4 shots though .
      Over 300 pigeon with ranges 12 to 65 yards.12 Ground squirrels at an average of 50 yards . There has been more .The break barrel I usually use is my winchester 1400 cs . I also have 2 hatsans 125th in .177 and .25 . But , I always grab for the winchester 1400 first , even over my .25 . Mainly because I have shot 1000s of pellets and know what my .177 winchester can do .

  9. Murat


    thanks for all the great advice. Thumbs up for your great book too. I happened to found a clip of your Hatsan bt65 PCP air rifle review on youtube the other day. Since I had to sell my mod 135 I will probably buy this one next. Do you have any advice regarding this rifle? Which caliber is the most reasonable for purchase? I understand the .22 caliber is a good compromise between flat trajectory and power, but considering that the bt65 is a 50+ fpe air rifle it would probably be better if I go with the .25 caliber, correct? I think the bt65 would be a great combo with my Hawke airmax 30 scope 😉

    What about air regulators? What is your opinion regarding these tweaks?

    Have a good one,


  10. Clint

    Hi all,
    I’ve just purchased the Stoeger ATAC Suppressor in .177 and so far, I’ve had a mixed bag of incidents and emotions. After about 500 pellets through it, the rear lens of the optic came out.
    Had to send the Stoeger 4-16x40AO scope back.
    The dealer replaced it with a Nikko Sterling 4-16x50AO Game king. So far…good. Battle to find good pellets that it likes, mainly H&N Bracuda 10+gr at the moment. Trigger is tricky but I’m slowly making headway.
    Under 1MOA groups at 15m and double that size at 35m.
    Anyone with advice, ideas on the rifle, scope or pellets…would be valued. Thank you.

  11. ahmonde boxley

    Hi Jim my name is ahmonde out of Jackson ms I have a Benjamin 392pa 22 cal that I had when I was a kid I pulled it out a few months back first thing I notice that something wasn’t right shooting really weak so I went to internet found miss sue smith air gun repair the seal were bad she did a good job can’t explain the feeling I had from the way she do busines I was thinking about turning it into a steroid 392 at Mr Tim at Mac 1 would this be a strong enough rifle to kill any game small or large with a head shot especially deer they destroy me and my friends garden I live in the city limit so I can’t shoot a fire arm wold this be strong enough for either size game thanks Mr jim

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Ahmonde, sending the rifle to Tim will give you a fine multipump small game gun that will be great for squirrel and rabbits. It’s not the right gun for deer, way too weak, caliber too small, and I believe illegal. But if you want a self conbtained small game gun, this would do it.

  12. ahmonde boxley

    Thanks a lot Mr Jim for helping me with my decision on the air riflei would luv to get the at44 which cal is the best to 22 or 25 And I need help on finding were I can sell my gun so I can get the at44 the bt65 is new I only have shot it three times I have 8 time of pellet 3 magazines I haven’t use the air venturi g6 4500 psi hand pump and those pellets are jsb exact dioblo kings 25.39 grains the gun is bt65 qe 25 cal it has utg 4-16×44 accushot swat is scope I have scuba tank thats why I have not use the hand pump the pellet have not been open because I have a tin that I was shooting out of with your help I plan on having a good hunting season this year thanks a lot Mr Jim and I like that you tube video on the at44 long 22 cal I even learn from you have to fill up the rifle and on my Benjamin 392 I plan to get to get the steroid what would be the best grain pellet to shoot thank a lot Mr Jim I really appreciate the lord blessing someone like u to help so many people thank Mr jim

  13. ahmonde boxley

    Thanks a lot Mr Jim Chapman and if 25 cal which would be the best pellet or jus keep the 25.39 grains

    • Jim Chapman

      You have to try various pellets to find the best for your gun, but I’ve had generally very good results with the JSB Exacts, several of my guns like the Benjamin Domes, and recently I’ve had some very good hunting results with the H&N Hunter Extremes.

      • ahmonde boxley

        Hey Mr Jim how have u been doing I would like to get some good advice I ask you about my Benjamin 392 that I am getting turn into a steroid but for some reason the Benjamin discovery in 22 cal has caught my attention trying to make a choice I wanna know does the Benjamin discovery has more power than 392 steriod or are there about the same as for as power because if so I would jus stick with the 392 steriod for small game don’t mind at all pumping and want have to worry about the change in shot do pressure getting low at least I will know my shot will be accurate with steroid when pumping it thanks Mr Jim and all ways luv your you tube videos

  14. JasonS

    Hey Jim Im in the market for a pcp air rifle. Looking for in this order the most 1.)accurate 2.)Quiet 3.) Powerful (highest FPE). Something that I could use in a survival situation to bring down small game up to possibly deer with a head at close range maybe 25 yards or less. Would the new Hatsun .35 cal work ? What rifle or rifles would you recomend ?

    • Jim Chapman

      I would look at the Hatsan Carnivore .35, the FX Boss .30 or the AirForce Texan .308 as interesting starting points. All would be good from small game to hogs at closer range.

  15. lee

    Hey Jim, just bought a gamo mach 1 pigman .22. First .22 or even break barrel pellet rifle. Hasnt arrived yet. Basically just wanted to know if its a good gun or can it be accurate? Found a few not so good reviews after purchasing about accuracy. They seemed to use 6 or 7 different types of pellets. Thank you for all your help.

    • Jim Chapman

      I haven’t shot that particular gun. There are a lot of Gamo haters out there, but I’ll tel you that the few I’ve used recently are decent shooters. The triggers were the biggest negative in the past and they have made improvements. These guns are made for mass production and there is a bit of snobbery in there. I prefer the higher end springers myself, but I think that gun can get you out shooting and hunting, don’t worry too much what others say. When it’s time for you to move up you’ll know.

  16. lee

    Thanks for your input Jim. I really appreciate it. I think the scope moves alot on these guns with the dove tail system. You have an idea on a better scope mounting setup? I would rather address this problem as soon as it arrives. Thank you again!

    • Jim Chapman

      The scope can walk back on the rails with a springer. Just get a scope stock or use a one piece mount and you’ll be golden!

  17. Mike S

    Hi Jim I was wondering if you can give me some advise on a good start out air gun I’ve always had a daisy and the basics but I’m looking into starting to use those for fun in the yard and small game hunting possibly, I’m not new to hunting been doing it since I was 10 but I’m new to the air rifle world any advice is appreciated and/or recommendations are appreciated.
    Thanks Mike

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Mike,
      Welcome to airgunning! You didn’t say what price point or type of gun (pcp or springer). For a springer, I really like the Walther LGV and the RWS 34. For a lower price point PCP the Hatsan AT44 and the Marauder are good entry guns, at the mid price point I do like the Brocock guns, and think they represent a very good value for money.

  18. Luke

    Hi good sir

    If I was wanting a challenge and push myself to use an airgun to hunt at 75 to 150 yards i should be predicated on having a range proven gun/pellet combination. What would you recommend ? Can you give me 3 option and what optics should I be looking at?

    Thank you for all you advise

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Luke;
      Caliber wise, I like .25 and .30 for long range small game / varmint hunting. Make sure you know your gun well before trying to stretch out. Guns I’d look at would be the FX Boss .30, the Hatsan Carnivore .30, or the Daystate AirWolf .25 for a start. What it really comes down to is what you like; the Hatsan will give you very good performance at a good price, but lacks the refinement and trigger you get with the Daystate or FX guns…. but they are more expensive so it depends in part on what you want to pay.

  19. ahmonde boxley

    Hi Mr Jim I hope u have been doing OK I jus want to ask a question trying to help a friend make a decision on which is better the Benjamin discover in 22cal or Benjamin steriod in 22 cal

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi; They are different guns: the Steroid is a multipump and the Discovery is a precharged pneumatic. Both are nice low cost hunting guns, my personal preference is the Discovery. It fills to a low pressure so is ideal to use with a handpump (or a small volume bottle),it is accurate and plenty powerful for small game hunting, has a decent shot count, is light weight. I like not having to pump up the gun between shots, however if being fully self contained is the priority for you the Steroid will work.

  20. ahmonde boxley

    Hi Mr Jim how have u been doing I need so help I have my air rifle for sale its is the hatsan bt65 SB qe 25 cal I have everything that come with I have an extra magazine a extra rifle sling air venturi 4500 psi high pressure hand pump and scuba tank adaptor and 8 tins of pellet pulse one under a half of tin that the gun does not leak at all I can bank on it the has just been shoot three time hand pump has never been put together all for $750+ shipping gun still looks new I kept in the same boxes that pyramyd air shipped it in if anybody is interested call (601)431-4392

  21. Rustam Hakim

    I am in India where the local manufacture is anemic, in terms of FPE (around 400 feet per second), be it .177 or .22.

    Tom Gaylord in the Pyramydair blog sights-in 800 fps weapons at 20 yards. Where does that leave bozos like us, here, shooting 400/450 fps equipment … sight-in our standard iron sights at 20 yards or, shave-off the figure somewhat … say 15’ish yards or less? Makers have a take-it or leave-it attitude when one asks specification questions. Used to shoot Diana’s, back in 1958 and till the 1970’s when the used supplies dried up, too.Any help much appreciated.

    Thankee, kindly Sir.

  22. Reuben

    Hi Jim I’m Building a air rifle .22 pumper with crosman 2260 main tube with crosman 2100 pump lever that gives me a 4 inch stroke X 3/4 and built a brass valve with a volume of 0.54360 and I’m thinking of a 15.0 inch barrel witch has a volume of .57020 I’m trying to get around 800 fps would you say I’m hitting the park ???

    • Jim Chapman

      Reuben, you’re outside nmy wheelhouse with this question, but I’ll do some research and get back to you.

    • Francisco Briseno

      Reuben, to begin, get yourself a 24 inch barrel, or you will be spending a lot of money to get to your 800 fps goal. Next, port out your transfer port to the diameter of the caliber, not larger as there is no gain then. Polish smooth the air transfer channels with polishing rouge. Put on some good = expensive O-rings and seals, use silicon oil to keep all seals lubricated and sealed. Always store your gun with at least one pump to keep it positive pressure so the seals do not dry up and shrink. To test every modification for marked improvement, use a stop watch, fence post level, and shoot your gun from the same platform directly vertical and measure the time the projectile lands. Where a helmet if you can’t be near cover. Lastly, if you want a quick 800 fps, use the light weight alloy pellet, but do not go for velocity, go for accuracy then move towards power in kinetic energy.

  23. Leonardo

    Hi Jim,

    Leonard from South Africa. I recently purchased a .22cal Stoeger atac S2 gas-ram air rifle, and would like to know if I can expect reasonable on-target shooting between 50 – 70 metres.
    I have achieved success at 30 metres with a 3 pellet grouping of 3/4 of an inch on the bullseye, but would like to extend my range.
    Any advice will definitely help
    Thank you

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Leonard; I personally couldn’t shoot a springer that far… no matter how intrinsically accurate a gun might be, springers are harder to shoot accurately and especially as the range is extended. And the dichotomy is that when a gun is made more powerful to shoot further, it becomes harder to maintain accuracy with. I’d say 30 meters under 3/4″ is very good shooting, how far you can go can only be answered by how far you can reach-out while maintaining accuracy. As a rule, maintaining accuracy is the limitation, not running out of power. The only advice I can give you is that if resting the rifle, lay the forestock in your hand with a loose grip, and your hand on the rest….. and make sure you grip it the same way every time. I’d be interested in hearing how far you can go…. sounds like you’re of to a good start!

  24. David

    I have been thinking about purchasing a pellet gun I can’t seem to decide between a Winchester or a Benjamin or a Gamo I think that I want to spend about 200 bucks to 250 at Max what would you suggest doing I want to shoot very accurate out to probably 100 yards and have it shoot good groups I want it to good light trigger on it or adjustable trigger I will probably use it to shoot squirrels in the backyard and sparrows and I’m kind of leaning towards the Winchester 1400 cs because it comes with a bipod and a sling and scope and I’ll probably put a different scope on it cuz I’ve got a Leopold laying around so I will put it on it thank you

  25. Leonard

    Hi Jim,
    I find that when shooting with ,22cal 16 grains 1.037grams diabolo smooth dome head, I aim with the crosshairs in the centre of the target at 15 and 30 metres, whereas the aiming should be slightly below centre of the bullseye at 25metres, and above the bullseye at 40 metres or more. I’ll keep testing and will give some more info as I go along.

    Thanks for your advice.


    • Leonard

      Hi Jim,
      Sorry for leaving out this info. The reason for this setup I am using is to allow for the trajectory of the pellet when aiming.

      Thank you


  26. David

    I am trying to get in to long range shooting, what would be the most cost effective way to get good accuracy within 75 to 100 yards?

    • Jim Chapman

      I’d go for a .25 or .30 caliber PCP, something in the 40+ fpe energy rifles. The thing is that you need to take the time to find he right pellet/rifle combo, I prefer heavier roundnose pellets, and practice ….. a lot! I think this is more important than the brand of rifle. However if you get a quality rifle like one of the daystates, the superb trigger will help you get the most out of the gun.

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