Accuracy with a .177 pellet rifle?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by fish, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. fish

    fish New Member

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    Hi all,

    I got my wife to let me pick out an air rifle for my birthday :D 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 :eek: ). 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...!
     
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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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.
     

  3. fish

    fish New Member

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    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?
     
  4. unclebear

    unclebear New Member

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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.
     
  5. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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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.
     
  6. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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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.
     
  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    wouldnt matter then in the case of spring powered.
     
  8. fish

    fish New Member

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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 ;-)
     
  9. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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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.
     
  10. fish

    fish New Member

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    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 :p and I'd still like to think it's either the gun or the pellets that are the issue...
     
  11. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    fish, check the scope. did the scope come with the airgun? reason is, scopes made for airguns are different than scopes for regular rifles. airguns have reverse recoil and can damage or change point of impact on regular scopes. check your scope mounts too, and make sure they are tight. loose mounts can cause the shots to move around.
     
  12. fish

    fish New Member

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    As I got used to this rifle, I did notice improvement as I was able to hold steady through the shot. Also, I just noticed an old but similar thread here: http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f18/pellet-gun-accuracy-shooting-technique-24959/

    Where someone gave a detailed reply, and included feedback that air-rifles are more sensitive to how they are being held, and anything they are resting on. I had not considered this, so the next chance I have to target practice, I'll pay more attention to how I'm holding it. I'll try to post again if holding it the same way turns out to be the issue.
     
  13. fish

    fish New Member

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    The best I can tell the scope is still tight. I'm sure I need to keep checking it though, because it does seem like this spring power is likely to be hard on the scope.
     
  14. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    IME, there's the occasional bad shot, either CA release, a slightly distorted

    pellet, or something. Generally one shot out of four or so.

    But it's an inexpensive platform, and a world of fun. It's also dependable enough

    to bag a fair amount of game, but IMO, perfection of any air system will

    probably double your cost...
     
  15. shootitout

    shootitout New Member

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    I have a gamo 3-4 years old 800 fps. With a 22 scope on it and at 10-15 yards It can hit a penny every time Idk how but iv shot probly 3000 rounds and it is dead on. Dose great on the possums and rats that get in barns.
     
  16. dteed4094

    dteed4094 New Member

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    I have a crossman Phantom $80 from Walmart. It is very accurate with the open sights, I've put 4 differant scopes on it but always go back to open sights. It seems like after several shots it starts to move in any direction. I did have one that slid om the mount rail no matter how much I tightened it. I take the scope off and thr opens are still dead on. At 40 feet it will shoot dime sized groups. I do know you have to be consistant with how you hold it, cock it, amount of time between cocking and shooting and you need to put it firmly to your shoulder and follow through. Try to see the pellet hit.
     
  17. goretro77

    goretro77 New Member

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    I still have my RWS 48 and 54 Spring Piston side lever pellet guns. They are .17 and .22 air guns respectively.

    To be more consistent, actuating the side lever compresses the spring which holds the energy until the trigger is pulled, then the spring compresses air through a compression chamber and propels the pellet down the barrel.

    The RWS 54 is a recoil-less side lever rifle based on the RWS48.

    I love the accuracy out of both but had to experiment which pellets gave me the most accuracy.

    Here's a pic I snapped of my RWS 48 and 54 along with other pellet/bb/airsoft pistols I have:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  18. Oohrah

    Oohrah New Member

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    My 177 is a Gamo at somewhere 1000 to 1200 At 35 to 40 feet rats, squirrels, and rabbits die with one shot vital body or head.
    A .20 Sheridan pumped up, kills pigeons up to 50 ft. Both are scoped, and same hold and pressures give the same impacts with either rifle. Grip hard or soft, and you change the impact point on either. Both penetrate into vital areas, but those pellets need to hit and penetrate those vitals for kills!
     
  19. ObamaBinLaden

    ObamaBinLaden New Member

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    Don't expect much accuracy from the Ruger Blackhawk air rifle. It's a cheap Chinese rifle that was licensed by Ruger. It should be sufficient for squirrel hunting though. Popular accurate hunting air rifles (match rifles are much more accurate) are Air Arms S200, Air Arms S410, Steyr LG 110 High Power, Daystate X2, Daystate MK3, Daystate Airwolf MCT and BSA R-10 MK2. These tend to be pricey however.
     
  20. fatmidgets

    fatmidgets New Member

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    I have a Crossmen quest with a 4x32mm scope, and I drop anything in my sights within 30 yards. Especially squirrels! But I use either Gamo Raptor, or Bluefire pellets for hunting. For just Target shooting, the Gamo match pellets seem to have good consistency.