When it comes to hunting, there are plenty of different air rifles that you can choose and use with success – however, depending on your needs and what it is you are hunting (birds, small game, etc.) there are specific air rifles that can be best used for you and your prey. Let’s run down a few options and what choices may be best when it comes time to picking an air rifle for your next hunt.
Small Prey – Rabbits and Squirrels
When you are hunting smaller game, you can definitely use a smaller caliber rifle such as the Gamo Big Cat 1200. These rifles will dispatch most animals that are the size of a crow or smaller in short order from up to about 30-35 yards away. You can use 8 gram .177 pellets with an air rifle like the Gamo Big Cat as they’ll be shots going off between 860 and 900 feet per second – something that is more than enough for your needs if you are shooting small game.
Gamo Big Cat 1200
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I’ll first start by saying that this pellet gun can be pretty loud because of the hollow stock and spring-piston driven power source, but that is a pretty small negative in the large scope of things considering many of the other wonderful features included on this air rifle. Included on the gun is a safety lock which is very important on any gun whether it is a pellet gun or a true firearm. Upon first trying out the gun, we noticed a lightweight gun that had significant power to it – the included SWA butt pad seems to take care of the majority of recoil this gun will put forth. Because it is an affordable air rifle, some suggested improvements to the gun would include replacing the trigger as well as the scope since both stock items are on the lower to mid level of accessories for this gun. If you do not want to invest into replacing those two items, that’s fine because this gun will still perform well right out of the box.
As for ammo, you will probably want to put a few hundred cheaper pellets through this gun just to break it in, and you can do this target shooting or hunting, but this will help break the barrel of the gun in. Once you have done that, I would suggest investing in some Crosman Premier Hollow Point. Once I switched over to those pellets my accuracy improved dramatically and I was able to form a quarter size grouping from about 40 yards away which is plenty of distance to take down game such as a rabbit.
|Pellet: Up To 1200 FPS|
|Weight: 6.1 Pounds|
Length: 43.3 Inches
|Spring piston||.177||Single Shot||N/A|
Foxes Prey – Foxes and Coyotes
Once you decide to move up the foot chain a little bit and start hunting larger prey such as foxes and coyotes, understandably you will need to up the kind of firepower that you will be bringing to the hunt. In order to take out the larger game you need to use some larger caliber pellets along with a gun that is going to put out 1000+ fps on a regular basis. Normally as you start to target larger caliber guns you will normally have to put out a bit more cash as well, somewhere in the $300 and above range. One of nicer options that are available is the AirForce Condor PCP Air Rifle.
AirForce Condor PCP Air Rifle
Ok, there’s quite a bit of info to cover about the AirForce Condor air rifle. First of all, it comes in 4 different calibers: .177, .20, .22, and .25. Depending on which caliber you choose is going to affect the FPS that you can produce which ranges from 600 up to 1450 FPS. The larger calibers are going to product less FPS because of both weight and drag produced by the design of the pellet, but when you are shooting larger caliber ammo, you don’t need to focus as much on FPS.
One of the more unique aspects of this air rifle is the modularity of it. The fact that you can change out barrels to accomodate different caliber ammo means that if you wanted to swap to a .177 caliber with cheap ammo to target practice, and then swap to a larger barrel for hunting gives you a good amount of features for the price. The overall accuracy is very solid on this gun and the prime range is 35-60 yards depending on the grain pellets that you are using, but within that range you can successfully one hit kill whatever game that you’re hunting.
|Pellet: Up To 1450 FPS|
|Weight: 6.1 Pounds|
Length: 38.75 Inches
|.177, .20, .22, .25||Single Shot||N/A|
All in all, your choice of air rifle really comes down to two things: the type and kind of game you will be hunting, and the best (and most humane) way to lethally dispatch that game towards your end goal. Based on that, you can undoubtedly choose an air rifle that will best meet your needs, and you can walk away knowing that whatever you choose will be perfect for you as you hunt, shoot at target practice, and promote firearm safety with your new air rifle!
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