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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine said he's been seeing ground squirrels out around his 2.5 acre place with the warmer weather and asked me to help reduce the population. His house is on a hill and they're undermining his foundation and just generally drilling out the place. It was gorgeous out today, about 70 here in sunny Southern California. So I brought my R9 .177 air rifle over and set up my shooting bench. I shot off my open palm using a Caldwell bag as a rest. Got 4 of them using Beeman Field Target Special 8.9 grainers.

The first was about 50 yards. It was a solid body shot but the squirrel made it back to its hole.

The second was a head shot at 30 yards which dropped it DRT.

The third was another head shot at about 40 yards. It tumbled down the hill and was also DRT.

The fourth was peeking out from behind some rocks at about 45 yards. Saw the pellet strike it in the right side of the head but it made it down into its hole.

Wish I could have used my 17 HMR because there were a few out at 123 yards, which was too far for my air rifle. But in that neighborhood the most you can use is an air rifle due to the proximity of houses. At least that's four that won't be contributing to this year's population explosion. Here's the two that didn't make it back down their holes.



 

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Jealous here
 

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I'm astonished how effective my .20 R9 has been against small vermin. Of late, when I go for rabbits and tree rats, I'm more likely to carry it instead of a firearm.

My record shot with it has been 52 yards against a starling. I think it's made me a bit better hunter because I have to be more selective of the shot, and more deliberate with shot placement. If there's something strayed into the yard that needs killing, that's the first thing I reach for.

The only thing that commonly shows up in TS's killzone that it has a problem with are crows. It doesn't have enough energy to penetrate a wing -- which apparently is really tough -- and still cause a fatal disruption in the boiler room. A clean breast shot or one in the brain bucket is one thing but when I try shooting them from the side and through a wing, they always manage to fly off, obviously favoring that wing.

It's got me interested in airgun hunting big game, like whitetail with a Quackenbush .458.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I don't shoot crows but I've read that a crow's wings are like armor to a .177 or .20 caliber air rifle pellet.
 

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I like the Beeman R9 too!

The R9 is what I've carried up into the ceilings of large aircraft hangars, into home supply stores and even grocery stores. It is one precision air rifle. It's not just hitting what you're aiming at, it's MISSING all the other stuff! [optical fiber bundles, fire extinguisher heads, glass, food containers!].
I have Leupold 3x-9x EFR on mine. If you really like your R9, shoot several hundred pellets thru it in factory form, then send it off so someone that can really TUNE it up for you! Smoothness from excellent LUBRICATION and fitted spring guides can make that hot rod sweet and smooth AND powerful! No spring twang or vibration after a proper tune.

BTW: I had to learn to aim for 'center mass' on feral pigeons. There's a pretty small body inside that blob of feathers! I've used both 177 and 20 R9s. The .20 just might have the edge on killing power. The federal USDA agent I hunted with uses .20 cal their R9 and R10s. Says it kills better in his opinion, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's great. I can imagine you climbing around aircraft hangers with your R9. I like .177 better than .20 because the pellets fly faster and flatter. But my friend has an HW97k in .20 caliber that's quite nice too.

I love my R9. I'll put a Maccari kit in it one of these days when the factory spring eventually wears out. But it shoots so accurately now, especially when hunting offhand, that I don't want to mess up a good thing. Although there are more accurate springers like the TX or my ProSport, for me the R9 is the perfect balance of weight, power and accuracy for carrying in the field and shooting offhand.

That Leupold EFR sounds nice. I bought my rifle used on the Yellow Forum and it came with a Simmons Whitetail Classic 4-12x44 duplex. I figured I would just use the Simmons until it broke and then replace it with something better, maybe a Bushnell 3200 5-15x40 mil-dot. But I'll be darned. After well over a thousand shots and lots of small game hunting, that Simmons just keeps on going and hasn't lost zero yet.

I like hunting with break barrels rather than under levers because it's faster and easier to reload without taking your eyes off the game. And you can also de-cock the gun safely if your opportunity disappears before you can take the shot. If I could have only one air rifle, it would be the R9. (Although, I have to say, my other favorite is my R7 which has quietly sniped 63 rats in our back yard ...)

Here's my R9.



This ground squirrel was troubling another friend of mine by tunneling under his garage a few years back. He's tunneling in heaven now.



And here's another hunt I did with my R9 one afternoon back in Sept 2009.

 

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varmint sniper hunts....

My last and only R9 is a .177 as wel. I like the trajectory of the midge pellets. It's also been my experience that it's hard to find ACCURATE .20 cal pellets! I've had R1s, R9's and others in .20s and just have not quite 'warmed up to them'.
I had to mount a sling on my R9 barrel because I had to climb up 'straight up' ladders in aircraft hangars. Both hands on the railings!
I purchased an Air ARms 410 E for longer shots at pigeons right when the shoots stopped [911 stopped them for a while].
I think a PCP gun would be nice for pigeons because they do absorb a lot of pellet before dying!
I've sold almost all my air rifles except for my last R9, a blue/gray laminated Limited Edition rifle that has a tune kit in it. Will keep it for as long as I shoot.
I've gotten 5 shot groups with 'R' series Beeman rifles, measuring 1 1/2" at 100 yards. Has to be a NO WIND situation, but they definately have great barrels! Crosman Premier Light pellets, .177 cal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I know exactly the R9 laminate model you're talking about. Those are very cool. Never sell it. Wow, 1.5" 5 shot groups at 100 yards with a springer is an accomplishment. Probably doesn't have much killing power left at that point, but still enough for starlings and such.

Wish I could hunt pigeons. The only ones around here are sitting on top of McDonalds waiting for french fries and I don't particularly want to get arrested for helping keep those filthy things down in the interest of public sanitation...

My R9 loves the Beeman FTS 8.9 grainers and they pack a wallop. I usually keep my shots to 40 yards or less to ensure a clean kill, though. While it's accurate at longer distances, I don't want the varmints to suffer needlessly.
 

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My last and only R9 is a .177 as wel. I like the trajectory of the midge pellets. It's also been my experience that it's hard to find ACCURATE .20 cal pellets! I've had R1s, R9's and others in .20s and just have not quite 'warmed up to them'.
I had to mount a sling on my R9 barrel because I had to climb up 'straight up' ladders in aircraft hangars. Both hands on the railings!
I purchased an Air ARms 410 E for longer shots at pigeons right when the shoots stopped [911 stopped them for a while].
I think a PCP gun would be nice for pigeons because they do absorb a lot of pellet before dying!
I've sold almost all my air rifles except for my last R9, a blue/gray laminated Limited Edition rifle that has a tune kit in it. Will keep it for as long as I shoot.
I've gotten 5 shot groups with 'R' series Beeman rifles, measuring 1 1/2" at 100 yards. Has to be a NO WIND situation, but they definately have great barrels! Crosman Premier Light pellets, .177 cal.


i tried cpls once and found so many "runts" that i sent them back...i mean there were pellets that just fell straight through my barrel...die #7 if my memory serves me right...and they are dirty...jsb's are clean and consistant...imho...zp...
 

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Gotta love a good air rifle

Before retiring, I looked after our warehouse full of large, high-end woodworking machinery. The building had two large roll-up doors that allowed numerous pigeons to fly in to roost in the rafters, and of course crap all over the machinery.

Enter me and my R-10 .20cal with Beeman 2-7X aboard. Using Silver Bear HP's, I accounted for over 200 pigeons in the two years it took to rid the building of the flying rats. Almost all were one-shot kills through the breast or neck. Those were some memorable lunch times, trying to cram down a sandwich while holding/shooting flying rats in the rafters. :D

There's alot to be said of a good, accurate hard-shooting air rifle. Every serious rifleman should own at least one.
 

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Before retiring, I looked after our warehouse full of large, high-end woodworking machinery. The building had two large roll-up doors that allowed numerous pigeons to fly in to roost in the rafters, and of course crap all over the machinery.

Enter me and my R-10 .20cal with Beeman 2-7X aboard. Using Silver Bear HP's, I accounted for over 200 pigeons in the two years it took to rid the building of the flying rats. Almost all were one-shot kills through the breast or neck. Those were some memorable lunch times, trying to cram down a sandwich while holding/shooting flying rats in the rafters. :D

There's alot to be said of a good, accurate hard-shooting air rifle. Every serious rifleman should own at least one.
nice, real nice...i can't tell you how many times i've gotten up from the breakfast nook with a mouthfull of food to whack a starling or cowbird...i have always referred to starlings as "flying rats" no bird their size weighs as much as they do...they land with a thud...

i think if more guys got to shoot a nice airgun they would appreciate the niche they fill...zp...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ZP, JSB Exacts sure are great pellets. I use JSB Heavies in my Air Arms ProSport, which is exceptionally accurate. And I use JSB Predators in my R7 to snipe rats. Also very accurate. But my R9 seems to prefer the FTS pellets.

Rick, I envy you. Pigeons (rock dove) are filthy things and I'll bet you had a great time knocking the stuffing out of them with your R-10. A few years ago, I sold my first air rifle -- a Gamo Shadow 1000 with a Centerpoint mildot scope -- to a friend of mine who wanted it to clean pigeons off the roof of his house. Despite his efforts to keep them out, they got into his attic and caused over $2,000 in damage. Among other things, all their droppings contaminated the insulation and it had to be ripped out by a haz mat team. Since then, he's shot about 20 of them. No more pigeon problem.
 

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ratassasin

i went through pellets when i first got into airguns...in the tx it's jsb exacts and express and i'm through shopping...

the 54 is not so pickey and it will take a wide variety...i have 5 packages of logun penetrators i use in it that should last me until i die as i don't shoot the 54 nearly as much because i mainly shoot birds and squirrels and the tx is more than i need for them and the 54 would be overkill...i have taken woodchcucks and raccoons with the 54...it does a great job at 30 yards and under with a head, double lung or heart shot...zp...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, my friend's TX carbine and my ProSport both like JSB Exact 8.4 grain as well. But I like to use the 10.2 grain JSB Heavies with the ProSport because it's a powerful rifle, the heavies are just as accurate and they deliver a lot of energy at impact.

Impressed that you've taken chucks and raccoons with your 54. I've heard raccoons can be pretty tough to take with .177.
 

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Yes, my friend's TX carbine and my ProSport both like JSB Exact 8.4 grain as well. But I like to use the 10.2 grain JSB Heavies with the ProSport because it's a powerful rifle, the heavies are just as accurate and they deliver a lot of energy at impact.

Impressed that you've taken chucks and raccoons with your 54. I've heard raccoons can be pretty tough to take with .177.
no problem at all but i've only taken a couple as they usually come in at night when i have the powder burners out...the 54 shoots close to 20fpe at the muzzle and raccoons at 25-30 yards are not a problem at all...and it's not the calibre but the energy, and the 54 has plenty...i can put it right in their ear or right between their ears on the back of their head...i shot one in the heart and he fell where i hit him, he just curled up in a ball and died...but again, i've only shot a couple raccons with the 54 but several chucks

...i've taken way more woodchucks with the tx...on those times i've loaded up the tx to whack some starlings in the mulberry trees and looked through the scope only to see woodchuck faces looking back at me through the branches...

and here you go fellas from the plains states, woodchucks climb trees for fruit...mulberries anyway...zp...
 

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I switched from Beeman Jets to JSB Exacts because the extra mass gave better penetration. As a bonus, they were a touch more accurate.
 

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I switched from Beeman Jets to JSB Exacts because the extra mass gave better penetration. As a bonus, they were a touch more accurate.
when jsb's first came out i was buying them for $5 a tin of 500...now they're $10-$11 for the same...but they are consistant and that is the name of the game...zp...
 
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