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Thread: Air rifles. What's good, what's bad, what's cheap, etc?

  1. #1

    Air rifles. What's good, what's bad, what's cheap, etc?

    Hi all,
    I'm considering the idea of getting myself an inexpensive sub 12 ft/lb air rifle for practicing, plinking, maybe having a go at HFT (there's a range not far at all) and if I'm lucky maybe some pest control or at least knocking some chubby pigeons off my bird feeder. Something to fill the gap, help my marksmanship a bit and have fun with.
    Are there any good second hand air rifles to look out for? If so, where? How much do I need to spend? (it needn't be brilliant but obviously there's no point owning it if it can't hit a barn door at 10 yards and struggles to make a hole in a sheet of paper) Anything I really need to avoid? Scope choice?
    As you cab probably tell, I know barely anything about this subject. Whilst I've shot air rifles before, they were always somebody else's and I didn't pay much attention.
    The key for me is budget. Beyond a certain cost it won't be worth it for me, as I'd rather put more money aside for paid stalking and the eventual FAC. But if it can be done on a budget it would be nice to have in the meantime.
    Thanks all!
    (just think, one day maybe I'll be the one answering the questions!)
    See my blog for - My kindly sponsored DSC1 course and chart my progress from deer virgin to stalking veteran
    AND my new puppy progress DIARY
    Blog

  2. #2
    I'm in the same boat Simon.
    There are a lot of new guns around now that seem quite cheap, but I think that means cheap in both senses so I am avoiding.
    Probably the best thing to do is to ask around your shooting pals. They may have one that they don't use much anymore and If they are a pal, they wouldn't sell you a duffer.
    I'm looking at getting a good make of gun, s/hand and with No marks on it, especially the screws. Air rifles tend to get tinkered with.
    "Don't say I didnae warn ye !"

  3. #3
    Regular Poster
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    Depends on your budget and what you are looking for really. You can pick up a decent second hand springer for around 100-200 easily enough, look for a decent make such as Weihrauch, Air arms or BSA. The standard break barrel is likely to be cheapest, such as the weihrauch HW95 or the BSA Lightning XL. Stoeger are good value for money and you will be able to pick up a new one with a scope for the same kind of cash (although quality isn't as good). In terms of pcps, prices are higher, and you will need to put another 100-150 into a pump or a dive bottle, so perhaps not ideal for occassional use, but they are recoil less and multishot. Again, weihrauch, bsa, air arms or daystate have good reputations, although you will be lucky to get your hands on anything under 350. CO2 is also an option and is very good value for things such as rat catchers which you should be able to find for about 80. Please note that they are .22 only and only put out around 8ft/lbs which makes trajectory pretty loopy. Good for estimating ranges though and it will still cleanly dispatch pigeon out to around 25yds (obviously with practice). You should be able to attain sub 1/2 inch groups at 35yds with any of the above, and with pcps especially cloverleaf groups are attainable. The co2 bulbs are about 30p each as I recall (not entirely sure though) and last for about 35 shots each. If you can get down to Kinver clay ground ( ADDRESS Clay Pigeon Shooting in the West Midlands : TJ Hale Clay Shooting ) drop me a pm and I will bring a few things down for you to try.
    Alistair

  4. #4
    Thanks Alistair, really useful info. Looks like it'd be a springer or CO2 for me then, I see the plusses of PCP but not worth the extra cash to me just now. Good to have an idea of the makes and models.
    I never even knew there was a clay ground in Kinver, but in terms of getting there, I could virtually walk!
    (Note to self, investigate taking up clay shooting too)
    See my blog for - My kindly sponsored DSC1 course and chart my progress from deer virgin to stalking veteran
    AND my new puppy progress DIARY
    Blog

  5. #5
    Regular Poster
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    Worcestershire/ Manchester
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    318
    Yeah, it's not very well advertised. They shoot every Sunday morning as well as Tuesdays in the Summer. There is also an air rifle club on the other side of the lane which does a HFT course every sunday morning. Its 7 for 4hrs shooting, including a 40 target course. The Shotgunning is about 15 for a 60 bird shoot, but you do get free use of the club gun and cartridges are available there if you don't have a sgc.

  6. #6
    redmist in cumbria had one for sale simon the other week check him ,
    DONT START

  7. #7
    Avoid Co2 and anything Chinese.
    Turkish isn`t much better.

    What you need in an air rifle determines everything really.

    I use a 1200 quid Daystate as a tool for a job and it`s amazing, but at the other end of the scale, a second hand HW 77 or 97 makes a superb allrounder at closer to 200

    Private Fraser, what are you looking for ? I have a superb outfit for sale right now, drop me a PM and we`ll see if we can make it work for you.

    It`s excess to my requirements, and is an amazing bit of top end kit at a bargain price.

  8. #8
    Airgunbbs has a section for FT and HFT. Go along to an HFT shoot to see what they do. I think there are separate categories for springers and PCPs.
    Springers are the best way to learn to shoot as they are hold sensitive unlike PCPs.
    AA TX200 or Weihrauch.
    AA TX 200 in Walnut would be my choice.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Ronin's Avatar
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    I have a rather nice customised HW80 for sale in the classifieds...

  10. #10
    Buy a second hand Weihrauch, HW80 you will not go wrong best springer out there

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