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Old 10-02-2011, 10:26 PM   #1
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Default Accuracy with a .177 pellet rifle?

Hi all,

I got my wife to let me pick out an air rifle for my birthday and wanted one I could use for a little squirrel hunting. I went with a Ruger Blackhawk spring powered, break-barrel, pellet rifle. It has 1000fps speed, which I wanted for squirrel hunting. Here's a link to where I bought it with full specs: Ruger Blackhawk .177 Cal. Air Rifle With 4x32 Mm Scope, Air Guns/Paintball, Ruger at Sportsman's Guide

My question is, how much accuracy should I except from this, since it is an air gun after all. I got it sighted in with the included scope, but had to switch the kind of pellets I was using before I could get it to be accurate. Though I did get a squirrel with it already, it seems like even the more accurate pellets are not consistent. Sometimes, they will be dead on, and other times they will be 3-4 inches high (and/or to one side) at 20 yards. Sometimes I even get groups of two or three dead on, or two or three several inches high, so I don't think it is all shooter error (though that will always play a factor ). I'm guessing the pellets have a lot to do with the accuracy, but did not know if anyone could offer advise on what to expect, or perhaps a specific type of pellet which might work better. I had tried the GAMO magnum first, but got better results from the GAMO masterpoints for a little while. As I've mentioned, now even the masterpoints seem inconsistent.

Thanks for any pointers you could offer...!

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Old 10-02-2011, 10:37 PM   #2
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long time ago almost 3 decades i used to muck about with target grade air rifles. the single biggest factor, not the only one, that makes them accurate is how consistant the piston pressurizes the reservoir, how well the resevoir retains the air charge, and how consistant and smooth it releases the charge to propel the shot.

with cheaper air rifles the best thing to do for consistancy is hold the air charge for the same length of time each shot. for example: pump it if you wait 10 seconds then fire. make every other shot the same wait period. the time doesnt matter so much as how long you hold it each time.

the next thing is how you compress the air charge. use the same speed and rythym consistantly to get the same amount of charge each time.

air guns when it comes to accuracy are no different than regular gun powder arms. the better the gun more you gotta pay.

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Old 10-02-2011, 10:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
long time ago almost 3 decades i used to muck about with target grade air rifles. the single biggest factor, not the only one, that makes them accurate is how consistant the piston pressurizes the reservoir, how well the resevoir retains the air charge, and how consistant and smooth it releases the charge to propel the shot.

with cheaper air rifles the best thing to do for consistancy is hold the air charge for the same length of time each shot. for example: pump it if you wait 10 seconds then fire. make every other shot the same wait period. the time doesnt matter so much as how long you hold it each time.

the next thing is how you compress the air charge. use the same speed and rythym consistantly to get the same amount of charge each time.

air guns when it comes to accuracy are no different than regular gun powder arms. the better the gun more you gotta pay.
I appreciate the feedback. I'm wondering though if your points about time period and consistency of the pump would apply to my gun, since it is spring powered. My understanding is that when I cock the gun, I am compressing the spring, then the spring pushes air to shoot the pellet when I fire. In this case, the spring is going to start pushing the same amount of air each time, right?
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:08 PM   #4
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well "fish" I have a break barrel pellet rifle in .177 cal, a crossman storm xt, I don't remember what the FPS is on the gun but it's good out to 15 t0 25 yards. The biggest problem I have out of it is because the scope does not move and the barrel does I couldn't get scope to be as accurate as I wanted it. My gun has iron sights and I've used this gun to take out a birds from any where between 15 to 25 yards accurately. Your standard solid lead pellets will take out a bird easily but you might want to get some hallow points, for squirrels, for rabbits if your interested I would get a good bow last rabbit I shot I got him chest he just hopped off like it was nothing so i had to kill him with my bow 2 minutes later.

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Old 10-02-2011, 11:14 PM   #5
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1,000 fps is a good velocity for a .177,you don't want to use the 5 grain pellets that give you 1,200fps,that will give you terrible accuracy.The best pellets I ever used for accuracy(especially long range accuracy)were the crosman pointed 7.9 grain,and for squirrels the pointed pellets will work great too,at extremely short range nothing beats a wadcutter on a squirrel,but if you're 25+yards use the pointed.

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Old 10-02-2011, 11:20 PM   #6
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Oh,by the way-I was never much into target shooting after I would sight my scopes in at like 10 yards,but I loved long range shooting,I could hit an 8" skillet from 100 yards every shot when I rested my air rifle and put the crosshairs about 8" high with the Daisy 1000x I used to have.

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Old 10-03-2011, 12:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish View Post
I appreciate the feedback. I'm wondering though if your points about time period and consistency of the pump would apply to my gun, since it is spring powered. My understanding is that when I cock the gun, I am compressing the spring, then the spring pushes air to shoot the pellet when I fire. In this case, the spring is going to start pushing the same amount of air each time, right?
wouldnt matter then in the case of spring powered.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:50 AM   #8
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"ninjatoth", I'm using GAMO 7.5 grain pointed pellets currently, but I'm glad to know I shouldn't use anything lighter. I think "JonM"'s point about getting what you pay for may be a big part of my problem. For 100 bucks, I don't want to complain too loudly ;-)

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Old 10-03-2011, 01:02 AM   #9
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Some people consider follow through to be more important with air rifles because of the lower MV. More time in bbl=more opportunity for shooter error.

There is a regular series on one of the outdoors networks. I wanna say sportsman's channel, and they always have some pretty good info.

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Old 10-03-2011, 01:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebear View Post
well "fish" I have a break barrel pellet rifle in .177 cal, a crossman storm xt, I don't remember what the FPS is on the gun but it's good out to 15 t0 25 yards. The biggest problem I have out of it is because the scope does not move and the barrel does I couldn't get scope to be as accurate as I wanted it. My gun has iron sights and I've used this gun to take out a birds from any where between 15 to 25 yards accurately. Your standard solid lead pellets will take out a bird easily but you might want to get some hallow points, for squirrels, for rabbits if your interested I would get a good bow last rabbit I shot I got him chest he just hopped off like it was nothing so i had to kill him with my bow 2 minutes later.
I'm not sure I get you about the barrel moving? My scope is attached to the rear part of the barrel, but only the front part of the barrel breaks - so my scope should be fine I guess.

I have gotten one squirrel with it already (a clean pass-through his chest) so I don't think I have any issues with the power. I missed a couple more squirrels, so that's why I decided to come see if anyone had pointers for me.

I appreciate the posts so far. Maybe a few more people can keep adding insight to the best way to improve accuracy? Oh, replacing the shooter is too obvious and I'd still like to think it's either the gun or the pellets that are the issue...
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