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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mods, if this belongs in the Off Topic forum please move.

Are there any air gunners here?

I'm going to be getting an air rifle shortly and would like some opinions from anyone with any first hand experience.

This will be an all purpose tool/toy. Range fun, small game and emergency, all ammo's gone go to stick.

I am looking at Gamo's Silent Stalker Whisper in .22 caliber but have a good deal on their Socom Extreme in .177 available. I realize that the scopes they come with are pretty much junk so that's not a pro or con as I can't seem to find any Gamo offerings that do not come with a scope.

I am not dead set on the Gamo rifles. Are there better options? I'm not looking for a Ferrari, I just want a reliable and accurate single shot break barrel. I'd like to be able to shoot the high performance pellets for speed and heavier lead pellets at subsonic velocity if possible(which is the main reason I think .22 is better for me).

Am I asking too much from an air gun?
 

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I've got a Gamo pistol (.177)- looks just like a Glock

Use it the same- toy, rabbits- Had it for 2 years and has worked great.
I'm like you, I see their ads and since I'm 'fairly' full on real ammo, am in the
market as well for a rifle.....Good post- hope to see some opinions
 

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Basic rule of airgunning, as well as nearly everything else: you get what you pay for.

First off, be realistic about what you want the gun to do. Everybody is impressed with 1000 ft/sec power from a .177 springer, but for simple, relaxing shootin' pleasure that's just too much gun. Cocking force is high, the report is moderately loud, and it's really too powerful for close-range bunting/pest eradication. In a spring-piston gun, for general recreational purposes I'd be looking at the 700 ft/sec power level in .177 cal.

As far as caliber is concerned, you have a greater variety of pellets available in .177, they're a little cheaper than .22 pellets, and accuracy is generally better than the .22. The .22 is the better hunting caliber, as it retains its energy farther out and of course makes a bigger hole. The 5mm/.20 cal was staked out by Sheridan eons ago, and then Beeman promoted them as an intermediate between .177 and .22. I don't see much advantage to .20.

If you have a liberal budget, the pre-charged pneumatics (PCP) are the top of the heap, but entry-level is in the kilobuck range.

For optics, get a dedicated airgun scope. The bidirectional recoil of airguns, especially the springers, can destroy well-made scopes for regular firearms. Adjustable objective scopes are worth the extra bucks for the reduced parallax error at the shorter ranges over which you'll be shooting.

As far as brands, I confess to appreciating the German makes (RWS and Weirauch), and the English have come a long way with their airguns since owning firearms is so restricted these days.

Some good retailers with a wide selection and good advice are Straight Shooters and Airguns of Arizona - check 'em out.
 

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...I bought a Gamo Silent Stalker Whisper...it was louder in my backyard than is a .22 CB cap in a .22 rifle...and it lunges when it goes off...don't like it at all...took it back...the old Benjamin .177 behaved a lot more gracefully...and I'm looking for one...
 

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I have two pellet rifles, both from Walmart. One is a Crosman Storm and the other is a Beeman R2. I am on a somewhat limited budget and both guns together didn't cost $250. That being said, I don't see how I could have asked for more. I have put 1000s of rounds thru both and they are still doing everything I want from a pellet gun. I have been shooting both for a couple of years and shoot them at least once or twice a week. good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
gasmitty,
Thanks for the info!
I like the idea of the high velocity rifle. The Socom Extreme .177 is rated at 1650 fps with the PBA pellets, but if accuracy is second to power, I'll take accuracy every time.

I do think I'll go with .22 over .177 though. I just want the higher kinetic.

After a little more research, it looks like the optics from Gamo aren't the issue. It's the rings. This is an easy fix so, I may have to look at the scope options a little closer.
 

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gasmitty,
Thanks for the info!
I like the idea of the high velocity rifle. The Socom Extreme .177 is rated at 1650 fps with the PBA pellets, but if accuracy is second to power, I'll take accuracy every time.

I do think I'll go with .22 over .177 though. I just want the higher kinetic.

After a little more research, it looks like the optics from Gamo aren't the issue. It's the rings. This is an easy fix so, I may have to look at the scope options a little closer.
The Straight Shooters site has a LOT of good info if you're new to airgunning. Start with the "our take" column, then pore through the rest of the articles listed in the right margin.

Our Take Why & How
General airgun information - Straight Shooters Precision Airguns
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
gasmitty,
Once again, thanks for the info and links.

I spent a good bit of time on the phone with Straight Shooters and have decide to go with a Benjamin Marauder PCP. The CS guy that I spoke with was extremely helpful and patient with the newbe.

I'll be sure to post a range report and pics when I get the Marauder up and running
 

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The Gamo Silent Stalker is a great little air rifle. Gasmitty is right though, if you are going to invest in one you get what you pay for. I would probably spend the extra money to get a solid air rifle than the alternative. With the alloy pellets a high velocity air rifle is something to behold. You may have seen this video, but it is really something to watch someone hog hunting with an air rifle.

GAMO HOG HUNT - YouTube
 

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I bought a airsoft kit from Gander. Had a AR-15 and 1911 style pair in the package. I set up a cardboard box (got at work) half filled with old clothes the girls wouldn't wear anymore with a 100yd target on it to shoot at in the basement (or outside if it ever stops raining). They will be training guns for the granddaughters (9 and 12) while I work with them on safe handling and loading procedures. This way, if they make a mistake, nobody dies. Once I am happy with their safety mind, then I will take them to the range with the 22 and 17 rifles first. Have a friend with a 22 pistol and we can go to .40 or 9mm from there when they are ready and finally to an AR-15 (likely only the 12yr old). This summer the 12yr old will be taking hunter safety courses at the range.

Anyway, the airsoft (and the red rider BB gun) are good training tools for kids while allowing them to handle them in a reasonable safe environment and to access their skill and focus on safety prior to ever loading a round in a chamber. I mean, if someone takes one of these airsoft BBs to the chest by accident, it stings, instead of calling a mortician for a 22 or 17 to the chest.

So, I think these sorts of "toys" have a place and a good use for training on proper handling and safety procedures with minimal risk while training inexperienced users. Its also a hell of a lot cheaper firing them while trying to teach sighting and aiming than expensive live ammo. I mean $20 for 10,000 rounds? Right now, $20 will barely buy you 50rd of 22, IF you can find it.
 

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gasmitty,
Once again, thanks for the info and links.

I spent a good bit of time on the phone with Straight Shooters and have decide to go with a Benjamin Marauder PCP. The CS guy that I spoke with was extremely helpful and patient with the newbe.

I'll be sure to post a range report and pics when I get the Marauder up and running

Excellent choice! What caliber did you go for, and what optic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I haven't actually placed the order yet, but I'm definitely going with the .22 caliber. I want to have all my ducks in a row for this and know what fittings, hoses and regulators I need for charging from my nitrogen bottles. I am also going to get the AirForce hand pump to be truly portable as well.

As far as optics go, I have more research to do yet. Since it's a truly recoil-less rifle, I am considering a UTG/Leapers compact Bug Buster. I would not normally consider the Leapers for even a .22lr but in this case it may be the best bang for the buck(pun intended). 3-9x with 3yd to infinity parallax adjustment and illuminated reticle all for under $100.00.
 

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Yep, the PCPs don't beat up scopes like the spring-piston models do, so that gives you more flexibility.

In the modest-priced range, BSA has some decent scopes as well. I picked up a discontinued 4-12x40 for under $100 a couple of years ago. I've used it on a 10/22 for a while and it's decent, although it's a bit long.
 
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