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Topics - antman

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General Airgun Discussion / Budget priced air rifle choice
« on: March 25, 2015, 01:18:53 AM »
What budget priced springers and gas ram systems are forum members using? Budget being less than $500 (upper budget), under $350 (medium budget), and under $200 (low budget). Rifle needs to generate 11 ft lbs min, (preferrebly 15 ish) and capable of 25mm group s at 25 metres.  :)

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NZ Airgun Book / 6th type of sight should be night vision.
« on: March 25, 2015, 01:03:44 AM »
I've used night vision scopes on air rifles for hunting and pest control. Let me know if you need any advice.

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Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.

Last night, I sighted-in a .22LR Baikal MP-161K and Yukon Sentinel 2.5x50 night vision scope for shooting possums and rabbits. The reason that I chose the .22LR, was because my Webley Raider PCP is currently inoperable. The distance at which I zeroed this .22LR rifle was only 30 metres, the exact distance that I would sight-in an air rifle, and the closest distance that I have ever sighted a .22LR, my normal sight-in range for .22LR is 50 metres.

The reasons for the above statement were fueled after comparing notes about kill ratios for night hunting with a Yukon Sentinel night scope on an air rifle, versus kill ratios with the same scope on a .22LR. The results were somewhat startling. With an air rifle, my kill ratio was around 90% overall, whilst with a .22LR, it dropped to below 70%. This is totally illogical, and got me thinking.

In a nutshell, I believe that the different kill ratios are due to the lower power output of an air weapon instinctively makes me get that bit closer to my target, and forces me to shoot with more care, in order to hit the kill zone with more precision.  This theory is re-enforced by notes of distances of shots that I measured when I began to hunt with night vision scopes, when compared to more recent missed 'sitters' with a .22LR. I began night vision hunting with a .22 Xisico BAM B-50 PCP, a lot of my shots were under 30 meters, and sometimes as close as 10 metres. With my .22LR, I was missing some shots out at 65 metres. At night I shoot freehand, without a rest.

One of the great advantages of using a night vision scope is its ability to enable the hunter to approach game to very close distances. I like to hunt on dark, moonless nights, when I cannot see my hand in front of my face.  The three rules to observe are silence, an upwind approach, and taking care not to break the skyline, the latter is important at close range. Take heed of these three rules, and the opportunity to take shots becomes almost limitless, until only the spookiest survivors remain.

In these dark conditions, there is no way to spot game without the use of a night vision optic. When I started night hunting, I would use my night vision riflescope to spot and shoot. This was successful, but extremely arduous, and uncomfortable. I now preach the use of a hand-held night vision monocular to spot game, whilst keeping the rifle safely slung over my shoulder. Once game is spotted, I use the monocular to approach to 'stalking' distance, then use the riflescope to maintain visual contact and shoot. However, relying solely on optics also means that distance is more challenging to estimate, and with a low velocity weapon like an air rifle or a .22LR, against a small target like a rabbit, requires a heightened degree of optical familiarization, and concentration.

My conclusion is that an air rifle is very bit as useful as a .22LR for night vision hunting small game on farmland, orchards, vineyards, and around crops, and actually far safer when hunting around livestock and dwellings. Also, it is best not to over-illuminate the target with a powerful IR torch on a night vision riflescope. I like to set my IR so that the target become difficult to see beyond the distance that I have sighted my rifle at. This forces me to get a bit closer to clearly see my target, and therefore acts as a defacto rangefinder.

Night vision hunting is fun, productive, and an excellent way to go hunting mid-week instead of blobbing out after work. I can't wait for the hour to go back!



This is where it all began for me. The first animals that I ever shot with a night vision scope, fitted on to my .22 Xisico BAM B-50. Two shots, two kills, without any white light. The scope is a Yukon Sentinel Gen1 HST 3x60.




A busy couple of nights mopping-up the exploding rabbit population around the farmers dwelling and outbuildings. The rabbits have not yet fully recovered from this onslaught. The rifle is a .22 Webley Raider 2-shot, the scope is a Yukon Sentinel Gen1 HST 2.5x50.

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