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Predator Hunting: the Airgunners Grand Slam

Posted by on September 14, 2012

Like so many hunters in North America, I spend a lot of time out in the field after predators. Unlike the vast majority, I prefer to go after them with airguns rather than high power center fires. There are practical reasons, airguns can be used in areas where firearms can’t; because they are quieter, lower power, or can legally be discharged where a firearm can not. But for me, the primary reason is the challenge….. I use airguns simply because it makes the sport more exciting and greatly increases the sense of accomplishment when I put fur in the truck. Some years ago I decided to set myself a goal of taking a group of predators with my Airgun, and using the nomenclature of baseball and turkey hunting, termed this collection the grand slam.  My predator grand slam consists of coyote, bobcat, fox, and raccoon.

My vote for the Airgun Hunters North American Predator Grandslam!

Why these animals? All are obviously predators, most can be legally taken with airguns in several states, and all will come in to calls. They are also within reach of most hunters, though bobcats have a more limited range or more restrictive regulations. It took me a full year to do my first grand slam, once I started to focus on this objective, and took place over two states. My coyote and raccoon were taken in Indiana and my bobcat, and fox came in Texas. Texas is the place for predator Airgun hunting, and this year I want to do a grand slam in a single trip to West Texas!

For coyote I like a larger caliber gun, and in the past have had a strong preference for the .308 and .357 caliber generating energy in the 150 fpe range. The guns I’ve used the most for “yotes” have been the Quackenbush, Sam Yang, and Corsair rifles, though I’ve been anticipating the opportunity to hit the field with the Wolverine .303 this season. It is a little lower on the power scale, but I think has more than enough power when coupled with the guns laser like accuracy, and should be strong songdog medicine! I’ll take head shots or body shots with the higher power guns, but I’ve also used 40 fpe .22 caliber guns sticking to head shots. Smaller caliber lower power guns make sense when you have to hunt in more developed areas where there is a need to keep the noise down and the shots flight needs to be limited. Guns like the Daystate Airwolf, the AirArms s510, FX Royale, or AirForce Condor in .22 or .25 are all up to the job for fifty yard coyote control. When hunting coyote I prefer an electronic caller, but have also taken many dogs using a mouth blown call. The ecalls move the source of sound, and therefore the coyotes attention, away from the caller. If hunting in daylight I wear full camo or better yet my ghillie suit, you need to get your quarry in close and personal. At night I use a handheld light if hunting with a partner or a scope mounted light if hunting alone, and make stands at about a mile apart when driving dirt ranch roads, but preselect sites if planning to go out on foot. The more distance covered, the more predators likely to be encountered.

Coyote are a great airgun predator hunting trophy, the largest in the grand slam, along with raccoons they are also the most widely distributed. My preference for these guys is a gun in the .30 caliber family, but larger and smaller calibers work. I’m not a stickler on bullet type for these relatively light bodied animals; round or flat nose, round ball, Diabolo pellets, hollowpoint bullets will punch right through, the trick is delivering them exactly where they need to go. For this reason accuracy is more important than the type of bullet.

My favorite air gunning trophy is the bobcat, and the .30 caliber guns are perfect if body shots are planned, but a .22 or .25 caliber works fine for headshots. Cats are less wary than coyotes and don’t have the sense of smell that dogs do, but come into the call slower. When called, they will often hang up and watch, sometimes for a long time which can make them harder to spot. In most places bobcats are more spread out and won’t travel as far to the call as a coyote will, so it can take time and patience to score on this feline trophy. It took me a couple years of trying to get my first bobcat, they didn’t come to the call, hung up to far out, popped up when it was my partners turn to shoot, I missed (the worst), but finally I got my first one, then over the next few years several more.

Bobcats are my favorite of the predators, they aren’t inherently more difficult to hunt than coyote, but they are less common and less aggressive in responding to the call. They often hang up and watch before moving in, which makes them harder to spot especially in heavier brush. For daytime hunting, I like to use a decoy to both lure them in and get their attention off of me.

The next on the list is fox, either gray or red. In most places these days the smaller gray foxes are more common, but fox populations have taken a hit with the expansion of coyote territories. Not only do coyotes compete with foxes, they’ll eat them when given the chance. An interesting thing we’ve seen in the Midwestern areas is that fox have started moving in closer to human habitation where there is less pressure from coyote. The guns I use for fox are the 30’s for body or headshots, though I have no problem with the use of a powerful .22 or .25 for headshot in the 50 yard range.

Fox will often come running in to the call without stopping for a look which can make it difficukt to get a shot, and often travel in pairs. Both reds and grays are a bit less common in the past, being edged out as coyote encroach on their territories.

Raccoons are the most frequently encountered species on my grand slam menu, and many people buy airguns for pest control specifically to take out the problematic masked bandit around the garbage cans or chicken coops. A higher power .22 or .25, especially ones with shrouded barrels are perfect for pest control duty. However, I prefer to go out in the very early morning hours around daybreak and call them in with a rodent distress call. Another method that works incredibly well at certain times of the year is to locate a den tree and start raccoon fight sequences. Raccoons, often large aggressive boars will charge directly at the call and you need to be ready to shoot as soon as they stop, because they don’t stay still for long.

Raccoon are the most common and widely distributed of the grand slam species. A lot of these animals are shot as pest raiding the garbage can, and many people don’t realize how agressively they’ll come into a call. I’ve just about had them charge up my leg when using a mouth blown distress call. However I prefer an ecaller as raccoon fighting and cub call are often the most effective sound.

I think predators offer the greatest challenge to the airgun hunter, each and every species requires the hunter to put together the right guns, gear, techniques at the right time in the right place. But as you get more into it, the grand slam presents a goal that is within reach of most hunters. You may have to travel for certain species, but the costs are not over the top like they can be for big game hunts. Most predators can be found on public land, usually a basic small game license (in some states no license) is all thats required, which tend to be fairly inexpensive.

Are you out hunting predators with your airguns? If you are, share the experience! We’d all be interested in hearing what guns, pellets, gear and techniques you’re using.

73 Responses to Predator Hunting: the Airgunners Grand Slam

  1. mark mims

    my plan this year is to hunt three of the grand coon coyote .the gun will be a gamo socom extream 177 cal. the pellet will be beeman kodiaks my set up will be 30 yrds to a decoy ,head shots only

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Mark;
      Predator hunting with an airgun is one of the sports great challanges in my opinion, something that a dedidicated airgun hunter should put on their bucket list. I think that its important to use the right gun for the job however, and believe that the gun and caliber you mentioned isn’t a good option… certainly not for a coyote. My first coyote taken with an airgun almost 25 years ago, was with a .25 caliber Webley Patriot doing over 25 fpe. I had not heard of anybody taking larger game with an airgun and PCPs were not available, and wanted to see what my gun could do. I hit that dog right between the eyes at 30 yards, and though he eventually died it wasn’t pretty. That’s the last time I used a springer for anything so large. The problem is that you can kill just about anything with a low power gun if every variable falls in line and luck is with you, but that rarely happens when hunting. I’d say one is likely to loose several animals for every one killed with a low power .177. My view is that a .22 or .25 pcp is marginal and needs to be used at closer range by a hunter that really knows their gun and game. I’d suggest that you get a 20 -30 fpe .22 and have a go on fox and raccoons first to get a feel for how the gun works on these smaller predators before going after the yote, the results might be more in line with what you’d like to see. Having said all this, if it’s legal I’m not going to second guess. However you approach the goal I hope you achieve it! Look forward to hearing about you predator hunting experience!

  2. Pat Wasley


    I’m Looking into picking up a .22 or .25 cal. air rifle. The problem is, which one?

    I know that a PCP at this time is cost prohibitive, but a springer, pump up or nitro piston type gun could be a real possibility.

    I know that I want ease of use, dependability, reliability and accuracy. The gun will be used for raccoon, squirrel, turkey, rats, quail, pigeons and grouse. It’s gotta be of good quality, as I’d like to pass it down to my grand kids someday.

    I’ve narrowed my problem down to simply “reading way too many” reviews/reports and recommendations….. Now it’s time to go to the top!

    Thanks for your time,


    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Pat,
      There are a lot of great springers out there; if I was going to have one springer to use for all the game you mention I’d probably go with a .22. it would give you a flatter trajectory, is more manageable in a spring powered gun, will let you reach out further with better accuracy, and will do the job on the game you plan to hunt. I like the HW 80, it’s a big gun but powerful and accurate, and is quality engineered. If you want a slightly lighter rifle and are willing to give up a bit of power the HW 95 is a good option. In a side cocking model I like the RWS 48, also a big, powerful, and accurate springer. Any of these guns is quality crafted and would make a great heirloom gun to pass to the grandkids …… After you get a lot of years breaking it in for them!

    • Zipp

      Go with the .25. In a good PCP it is a good hunter. It will also give you extended range on pests and outstanding accuracy. A .25 Maurader with a decent scope is a force to be reckoned with.

  3. madison

    Hi I am about to purchases the Benjamin marauder in .25 and I will do a few mods to it but will have it shooting around 55 fpe with 31 grain pellets is that enough for a well placed body shot on a coyote? I would have no problem tracking it as there is plenty of snow to folllow a blood trail but it couldn’t go more then 100 to 150 yards could it? Thanks madison

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Madison;
      The MRod .25 is capable of taking a coyote, but it is at the lower end of the power spectrum. If you’re going to use this gun, stick to head shots inside of 40 yards. A body shot with this caliber at this power level is not going to work consistently, and the canines can carry a lot of lead, very quickly, and over a long distance. Good luck, let us know how it goes!

    • Zipp

      Body shot? No. Never underestimate how strong those yotes are. With an airgun, go for the head. Keep your shots @ 50 yards or less.

      • Jim Chapman

        I used tio stick with headshots on yotes, but my hunting buddy Brian Beck (who arguably has taken more coyote with an airgun than any man alive) reports he has about the same percentage of one shot kills with body shots as head shots. I meaure my airgun coyotes in the dozens while he measures his in the hundreds, but I’ve also been having success with body shots as well. These dogs are tough, but I wouldn’t dismiss the heart lung shot placement.

  4. Russ DeRosa

    Hi Jim ; I’am looking for an airgun to use on coyotes. I have (3) that I’am looking at right now. the first one is the FX boss 30 cal. number (2) is the Evanix conquest 9mm/357 and no# (3) is the Evanix windy city II. The conquest is stating 130ft/pe and the chart on the windy city II didn’t give a ft/pe so I’am guessing it’s same as the conquest. I know the Boss is around 78ft/pe. what might be your choice, and can the energy on these guns be increased or modified.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Russ;
      It depends on what your going to use the gun for; the FX Boss is exceedingly accurate and is a good choice for close range predator control in more built up areas. It is a very well made rifle, and it is quiet, but it is made only for shooting Diabolo style pellets and at the lower end of the power range, so probably not the first choice for a longer range coyote gun. The Evanix Conquest and Windy City are both nice rifles that will let you reach out a bit further and (they generate about the same power) and give you a substantial bump in power. Of the two, I prefer the WC as I believe the standard side lever action is more reliable than the semi auto electric motor of the Conquest (especially in cold weather).
      If you are going to use the gun for a broader range of hunting than just coyote, say rabbits, squirrel, and other small game, the Boss will provide a bit more flexibility.

      • Russ DeRosa

        Jim thanks for your insight , you helped me eliminate the conquest because up here in mich. it can get a little cold . I like the fact that the FX Boss is quiter ,but I’am not to fond of having only one style pellet choice.all my predator shots have been under 60 yds. Would the WC II sound signature be lower than a .22 long or LR. because some areas are a little built up, and you are not allowed to be within 450 ft. of a dwelling.
        one down , one to go.

  5. marko

    hey jim.. i was wondering if a benjamin trail np xl with 26 fpe in .22 with 15.3 grain pellets would be enough for fox and coons and possibly smaller yotes……

    marko. thanks

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Marko;
      I’ve actually shot several coons with both the Trail NP in .22 and .25 and it works fine. Go for head shots, keep it inside of 35 yards and it will do fine. It could kill a dog, but you’re at high risk of wounding them rather than a clean kill, I’d stay away from coyote with a springer. If you absolutely have to use this gun, take a brain shot and keep it close.

  6. marko

    wat do u think about foxes with the trail np xl .25

  7. Tino

    Do you have any idea if the Diana mod.240 classic would be as effective as your gun?
    (this is the link to it

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Tino;
      I like most the Diana rifles I’ver shot, and this would be a great plinking/fun shooting gun. These lower power guns are easier to cock ans easier to shoot accurately than the magnum springers. However, generating about 6 fpe they are too light for anything other than very close range pest control … and even then at the extreme margins of effectiveness. If your attention is hunting, I’d suggest you look at a gun putting out 12-16 fpe, and there are many great guns from several manufacturers in this class.

  8. Braeden

    Would hatsan 125 sniper vortex kill coon fox or coyote it is 1000 fps in .22 and very accurate gun

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Braeden;
      It could kill either, but I really think of the .22 in the sub 40 fpe range a marginal coyote gun. I do know guys that have used guns in this power/caliber, but would not really recommend it. It would be a fine choice for raccoon, and BTW I think raccoon are a great species to start calling if you are just getting started in airgun predator hunting.

  9. Anthony

    Hi Jim, i have a Benjamin Marauder. 25 cal and my question is wat is the max range for my rifle and wat is the largest animal i can kill with it?

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Anthony;
      This is a solide 40 fpe gun, I’ve shot prairie dogs out to 125 yards with mine on a windless day. You could go up to a coyote if you stick to a perfectly placed head shot, but I’d target smaller game up to raccoon as the optimal quarry with this gun.

  10. Gelu

    Hi Jim,with Hatsan BT 65 in .25 cal update to 85 fpe,i can down a deer with. a heart shoot?and foxes?i use eunjin for 50 meters and jsb for long distance up to 100 meters.what do you think by pig shoot? Best regards: Gelu:-)

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Gelu; A big NO on the deer, this is way under powered and too small a caliber. It is also illegal in most if not all of the states allowing airguns for deer. You could head shoot a pig, I’d keep to close range, no more than 30-40 yards… it’s legal but not really the right gun for these animals either. On fox it is a great option, though you’re way to aggressive with the distance… keep it to 50-60 yards.

  11. Gelu

    Sorry i forgot something you can help me with someting? I need a bullpup stock for my rifle Hatsan BT 65 and i dont find for sale nothing,i need help!! Regards,Gelu

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Gelu;
      I asked around and haven’t found anything for sale for bullpupping the Hatsan. If any readers have info please pass it along.

  12. Dave

    Dear Jim,
    I live in NE Wash. where your friend Russ finished-up, (I beleive)
    I have got tired of firearms pretty much and got an FX T12 in .25 cal. and am amazed at it’s accurascy and fine trigger.
    I really want to get a more powerful gun and am consdierign and Evanix Rainstrom 2 in 9mm.
    What do you think of this weapon?
    I am old and shakey and want enough power so I don’t have to count on “head-shots only” on varmints up to coyote size.

    I’ve enjoyed your books & learnt alot from them…
    PCP air rifles are a very new chapter in my life, but I love the accurascy and built-in suppressor/shroud & quiet shooting.


  13. Dave

    Dear Jim,
    Have you used roundballs in a PCP with the correct rifling to shoot them accurately?
    Swaged #000 buckshot is .360 diameter and might work well in a 9mm PCP (?)

    I used to make very light/quiet loads for small game for 30-30, 32-20, .357, .357MAX, and .44 rifles using a very light charge of Red Dot and a round ball.
    The .30 & .32 cal.s used #0 & #00 buckshot and killed smallgame/small varmints appreciably better than .22LR RN hi-vel., even tho they were only traveling @ 400 to 600 fps.

    Your thoughts?


    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Dave;
      I’ve used roundball in several of my guns; .25, 308, 357, .457 and .50 and have had some very good experience in many guns on many types of game. As a matter of fact, the ShinSung Dragon .50 that I’ve had for several year shoots roundball better than any other projectile. I’ve taken deer, hogs, coyote and bobcat with it. I haven’t tried it in the .30 yet, but will give it a go!

  14. Martin

    Hi Jim, looking to purchase a rainstorm , but sure if I shoul go .22 or .25. It would appear that due to lower velocity ft/lb energy are about the same. I will be using it mainly for pest controll like crows and the like, but the rifle must be able to reach out to some 75 yards with a one inch accuracy. I know that these rifles can be further tuned, however with the above criteria in mind, which calibre rainstorm would you pick

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Martin, either caliber in this gun will serve you, I tend to find myself using .25 more these days. You’ll have to deal with a bit more trajectory, but I find once dialed in the .25 is dead accurate but hits with much more authority than the .22 ….. and crows can be tough!

  15. Sean

    I have a Hatsan Striker 1000s ( 19-21 ft.lbs ) in .22 caliber and I was wondering if I could take raccoons with this effectively ? My gun is accurate with almost every pellet but my usual pellets are Crosman Premiers ( domed and hollow points ) and H&N Baracuda/Beeman Kodiaks. I can get .9″ groups at 25 yards easy and 1″ groups at 35 yards. Could I take raccoons with head shots with this ?

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Sean,
      with the gun, pellet and ranges you stated, you should have no problem. Make sure you can consistently drop pellets into a 3/4″ at your maximum range, and place the shot where you’ll hit brain, and you’re good to go.

  16. fabian

    hellow jim, i just got a fx royale 500 an am very sorprised obout its accuarcy and i am wondering if this could be enough for coyote, thanks

    • Jim Chapman

      It is, do you have the .22 or .25? Either way I’d stick to head shots and 40-50 yards max. You won’t have much latitude so make sure your confident Nader field conditions. Good luck and let’s hear how it goes.

      • fabian

        thanks jim, the one i got is the .25 and is not regulated, but don’t think i need to regulate it

  17. René Leibbrand

    Hi Jim, i’m René from Holland, i am a member of a shooting club with tracks till 100 mtr. Now i am looking for a pcp gun, and not sure wich one i shall buy, the FX boss or the Marauder Benjamin, and what caliber do i have to take.
    I’m shooting inside, but sometimes I shoot a fox or cormorants although it’s not allowed.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Rene;
      If I was going for the Marauder I’d choose the .25, but my preference for long range shooting is the FX Boss .303. This gun does very well at the EBR because it is a tackhammer that holds up to long range shooting. I’ve used both quite a bit on long range prairie dog shoots, and would have to give the edge in accuracy, especially in outdoor conditions to the Boss. I lived in Gouda for about 7 years, and was driven crazy by all the rabbits and pheasant I couldn’t hunt…..

  18. Jp Jones

    Hey Jim,

    Long time since we first talked!!! But kids are all grown except my youngest he is 16… and he is into predator hunting especially raccoons… we still have a sumatra 2500 in .22 and a SamYang Big Bore 44 light hunter. I have had great accuracy with round balls… I also have had good luck with the 180gr air venturi pellets in round nose. Would you say the air venturi in the 44 is overkill for racoons? We are calling this year. I really dont want to order a new gun under .30 anymore and probably would prefer another .45 caliber… your thoughts for an all around gun for grand slam of predators?

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi JP, good to hear from you. I don’t think BB44 is overkill for coons. It might be if you were doing pest control over the trash cans, but when calling you’re usually out in the open and you want to put them down with body shots as well as head shots. For a grandslam I’d use the BB44 since you have one, but if you wanted to add a new .30 the FX Boss is hard to beat, and I also like the mid power .357’s.

      • Jp Jones

        I took your advice, last year and got a Hatsan Carnivore in .357 what a great gun.

  19. austin

    so I was wondering what would be a good gun for yotes (close) but coons that are at a longer range?

    thanks Austin

    • Jim Chapman

      If you’re going to do a lot of coyote hunting I’d look at one of the .30’s, either the Daystate Wolverine or the FX Boss are good choices. A gun putting out around 100 fpe is fine if you pick your shots and shot placement wisely.

  20. John Nguyen

    I am about to purchase an FX Boss. How far away could you take down a coyote with a heart and lung shot?

    I am also interested in shooting the larger dove like Urasion collar doves and maybe a quail. Will the .3 cal destroy the meat?

    And finally, I am thinking the Boss will have significant hold over on distant shots at such low fps. What scope would be a good scope for the Boss?

    Thanks for any help before I make the purchase!!

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi John;
      For the coyote if you have to take a body shot I’d keep it to about 35 yards, but my preference would be a head shot and then out to 60-70 yards would be OK if you can group your shots into a 1″ group at that distance from a field position (prone, sitting , sticks, etc), the gun is definitely more than accurate enough at that range, it comes down to the shooter. The 30 will cause some damage on the doves and quail, but any pellet caliber will to some degree. It’s not enough to worry IMO, but if you really want to be sure, shoot at the base of the neck or headshots. The FX Boss is a great gun, you’ll do well with it!

  21. John Nguyen

    On the FX Boss, Can you tell me how many shots you get on a fill and at what bar? I am debating on purchasing a Shoe Box or just filling my carbon fiber tanks locally with less pressure.

  22. Jeremiah

    Hello Jim,
    What do yo think of the the Hatsan Galatian for coyotes?
    I am also very interested in finding a hunting ranch in the western states. I am very new to airgunning and recently purchased the Benjamin Armada. It is a very accurate gun! I use it for Magpies and Woodpeckers around my property. I need to find a good rifle in the $1,000 range to dispatch coyotes. Thank you.

    Jeremiah from Central WA

  23. Mike Tanaro

    Jim. Thanks for the insightful post. What are your thoughts on the Hatsan Carnivore (350 cal) for yotes??

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Mike,
      both the .30 and .35 are being shipped to me this month and I can tell you more then. I have the BT65 in .25 and it is a shooter, and have several .35’s that are also very accurate…so am hoping(and expecting) good things.

  24. Mike Sten

    Hello John,
    i have a hatsan at44-10 tactical, my question is can i kill a fox with a head shot, using .25cal jsb exact (~50fpe) at a range of 50 yards?

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Mike;
      You can, make sure you can group 1/2″ from field shooting positions and get a chart to see where the brain is. Remember you don’t want a head shot but rather a brain shot. Share a pic when you get a little dog down!

  25. Ben Bauldree

    Hey Jim, I am looking at buying the Benjamin Titan GP Nitro Piston air rifle for rabbits and birds in my neighborhood. I was wondering if there was a better version of this gun or just a better gun in general to shoot rabbits, birds, or any small game. I don’t prefer buying an air rifle that is way too much money but I can work with $300 or less. Please give me any info that would be good for small game especially those pesky rabbits.

    • Jim Chapman

      Personally, I really like the German springers but its hard to find one at that price point. The RWS 34 and Pro Compact are really nice and come in under the $300.00 mark, I’d at least take a look.

  26. Steban

    Can i use, one of your photos on my blogger? 😀 You are a boss!

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Steban, feel free to use the photos you’d like.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Steban, sure, feel free and thanks for asking first!

  27. bill

    Jim, how about JSB 9 mm 81 gn pellet from bulldog to body shot a coyote? punch through? clean kill? must be heart and lung shot?

    • Jim Chapman

      The JSB were pretty accurate out of the Bulldog I was testing and I think would do the trick on coyote with a body shot inside of 60 yards. I’ve shot a couple of coyotes with the JSB .35 out of my Rainstorm and Sniper rifles and it killed them both cleanly.. note that those guns are putting out less power than the Bulldog. I shot a couple coyotes with the Bulldog, but was using the polymer tipped Nosler bullets, again the gun anchored them.

  28. Blake bohannan

    Hi Jim I was planning on getting the gamo cyote 22cal but I was wondering if I could cleanly take a red fox at under 40 yards with it or if I need to get a .25

    • Jim Chapman

      You can use a .22 and a heavy pellet and if the Coyote is your gun I’d move the range in as close as possible, never past 40 yards, and stick to head shots. If the gun is to be a dedicated predator gun, I’d prefer a .30 or .35. If it does shared duty, just be sure to pick your shots wisely.

  29. Mclean

    Aloha jim i saw a video in youtube. A gamo whisper tookdown a wild pig with around 800fps with 15 fpe….. So i wonder if on hatsan 125 sniper having 800fps with 30 fpe could do d same (.25 calibre) if not what is d best choice for under $500 radar (prefer break barrel gas piston) thanks

    • Jim Chapman

      My regards to the islands! You can kill anything with anything…….. sometimes, but you’ll leave a lot of wounded game in the attempt. I wouldn’t use a springer for hog size game because it just can’t be done ethically. I’d at least go with a 60-100 fpe .25 or .30 and stick with dropping the pellet right down the earhole. A PCP in this power range will be accurate as well, and you be golden inside of 50 yards if you pick your shot well and stay away from hogzillas.

  30. Venturus_et_assumpturus_illos

    I have been doing a lot of research on the Benjamin Armada .25 cal average FPS is around 566 at 60 yards with a 43.3 grain pellet with a 41.67 joules impact un-tuned.
    I have seen several .25 cal hog hunts and with the HS they drop and twitch, and also body shots short distance and they drop. Albeit the common consensus is 25 cal is too small for hogs, and is better suited for medium game, deep, Coyotes, and gazelle, can you clarify for everyone what is the possible shot to kill ration with the .25 against hogs please.
    Because I am seeing a striking difference from what you are saying, and what I am seeing.

    • Jim Chapman

      Fair question, because you see a lot of video of inappropriate guns being used to kill animals too large. First, understand that you can kill anything with anything …… Under perfect conditions and/or with luck. But perfect conditions and luck are random in the field. Another option is keep on trying until you get the footage you need if filming. And that’s what bothers me, people walk away from these videos thinking what they see is the rule, but it is the exception. A gun like the Armada, a solid choice for small game, will wound more hog size animals than they kill. Using a more powerful gun and larger caliber will provide better results in real world scenarios. I can say that in the videos where you see a suboptimal gun being used, that was not the only animal shot but the only animal that provided the footage being looked for. Even if you take the big name firearm hunters promoting an Airgun, this is the case. What’s always been ironic for me, is that if you ask these same guys if a .22 rimfire is the right firearm to use for hog hunting, they would say of course not. But that LR rimfire is 2-3 time more powerful than the Armada you mention, with a much heavier projectile. The reason the lower power Airgun is appropriate is that’s what the sponsors want them to say. The reason the .22 rimfire is not appropriate is that this is not what their firearms sponsors want them to say……. And also in this case they are correct, the .22 rimfire is not the right gun. So why don’t these people use low power, small caliber firearms for their firearm hunting? Because it’not effective and illegal for game. Hogs and coyotes in most places can be taken by any means so the legality is not an issue, but the effectiveness is. I am often paid to hunt with a gun, but I make my money from writing about the hunt and what I think about a gun. I have been doing this longer and have taken more and a wider range of species than probably anyone else. I’ve also used just about every gun, every caliber, every power….. And also have made my share of mistakes. My first coyote with an Airgun around 15 years ago was with a .25 springer, pigs with .20, .22, and .25. I did these because at the time nobody else had and we were testing limits. I don’t use them now because they don’t work consistantly. I’m sure many of the companies I do hunts for would like the sensationalism of me killing a pig with a mid-powered small caliber gun, and I have the time and resources to do it…. But it doesn’t send a message that helps our sport. So this is the reason my opinion may differ. But in the end using enough gun (not just barely enough) is my opinion and it’s not the only one, so do what you want as long as it’s legal.

      • Venturus_et_assumpturus_illos

        Fair enough response thank you for your honesty.
        If shot placement is key wouldn’t any weapon in the 25+caliber bracket be sufficient on lets say a 40-80 pound hog, and or what would be the maximum a .25 soft cast bullet with a kenetic impact of lets say around 50 (possibly higher) joules be sufficient for?

      • Venturus_et_assumpturus_illos

        I also forgot to mention the Armada is a unregulated .25 cal, so i can wind it out to get around 70 FPE with out serious mods, with serious mods can achieve 80FPE it may be irrelevant but i thought I would throw that out there.

  31. Matthew King

    Hi Jim I have a Airforce Condor SS .25 and would like to hunt some coyotes and other predators. I know .25 cal is on the low end for coyotes but I think with the Eun Jin 43.2 pellets I should get some good energy. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Also have you or anyone you know had success with the condor it seems to be a tack driver. Thanks and happy hunting

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Mathew, the gun will work on coyote, stick with head (brain) shots inside of 50 yards. One of my good hunting friends Brian Beck, who I consider on of the best airgun predator hunters in the country, often uses the .25 Condor. Good luck and lets hear how it goes!

  32. Elliot Birkley

    Hi Jim, I’m ten years old and thinking of getting a midpower air/pellet gun. I already have a .177 break action firing almost 1200 fps with alloys, and I was looking for a good yote gun maybe in .35 or some caliber able of bodyshots from mid range. I spotted a pretty huge yote in our field in Montana and it was a few weeks before we got chickens, then a few weeks after we got them we heard howling from not too far away, so I was thinking of getting one that’s enough for bodyshots on yotes. But I live in Washington state and my family owns the land so also a nice eastern and Pacific Northwest Washington gun would be nice, sorry for the long comment and I’m excited for your feedback. Thanks, Elliot

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Elliot, always glad to speak with a young airgunner, we need you in the sport. I would suggest you look at an AirForce in .25 caliber, they are not too expensive, the reach can be adjusted, the power can be dialed up and they have a good trigger. One of my best hunting buddies is a guy named Brian Beck, and he has taken a lot of yotes with his .25 caliber, Dialed down this is also a great small game gun. It will give you great service for years to come, and it can be modified as you get more into the sport. Good luck, and let me know how it goes for you.

  33. Levi

    Hey Jim, I’m on a very tight budget but was wondering what you would prefer to use for Fox and raccoons and even opossum’s??? Would you prefer .177 or .22 or .25 and what’s the recommended FPS and fpe I’d need. I’m new to using air guns. Thanks in advance.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Levi, if I was choosing one gun for the game you mentioned I’d want a .25 doing over 35 fpe. You could get by with less, but why be marginal when the .25/35 fpe gun would cost you the same?

  34. Jason

    Hello. I’m kinda new to the big bore air rifle community. But I was wondering what the best caliber was for hunting from as little as a squirrel to as large as a coyote. Keeping in mind I would like to harvest the squirrels and rabbits. So I don’t want to explode them lol. The air rifle I’m considering is a Hatsan Hercules qe I was going to go with a 45 caliber but then realized I needed a broader spectrum of caliber to be good all the way around. A 45 is just way to big for squirrel size game. Thanks to help.

    • Jim Chapman

      Its hard to get a gun that’s optimal across the board, but a .30 or .35 rifle such as the Hercules does a pretty good balancing act. I’d suggest you keep your coyote shots to the head inside of 50 yards. This wont be too much for squirrel and rabbit, remember most of the black powder squirrel guns were .32 caliber or better.

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