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Author Topic: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.  (Read 3587 times)

Offline antman

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Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« on: March 19, 2015, 10:33:46 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 11:57:34 AM by antman »

Offline Akzle

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Re: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 02:04:34 AM »
nice write up!
Good hunting, too.

Can't afford nv. Spottys for me, but i can certainly see the advantage.

Offline Mintie

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Re: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 10:12:03 AM »
Very interesting read,  cheers for that. The comparison between pcp and rimfire is great and makes total sense.    That last pic is pretty impressive!
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Offline Pauly5

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Re: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 11:50:21 AM »
Good sound reasoning. While I have limited experience, this makes sense to me.

I like the paisley, rabbit infused background too.  :)
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Vault

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Re: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2015, 04:18:52 AM »
Ive been thinking about investing in NV gear for a long time now, I spend a lot of time browsing the UK forum activeshooter.co.uk and many of the members use NV and have great things to say about it.

Recently I found that many of the areas I shoot would be perfect to use NV gear from gentle rolling hills to open pine blocks where there are many rabbits that are running scared now due to hunting pressure. In the pines I sit still camo'd up and ambush plenty but once it gets dark you'll never get one with conventional spotlights as they run as soon as the lights are switched on and within seconds they're out of sight behind a tree and gone, this area has lots of rabbits and NV would allow me to really dent the population.

In other areas like farm land it can. be differcult to get within range of rabbits to shoot them with an airgun and Ive been thinking an NV monocular with an extra IR illuminator for the longer ranges could be very beneficial especially on dark nights so I could see if rabbits were out and about 100-200m away at a time then quietly approach to within range for a shot say 30-80m depending on terrain.

A spotlight could be used once I was close enough although I think an NV scope would allow me to maintain surprise, concealment and probably shoot a higher percentage whereas under spot lights some will sit to hide the rest run and escape.

I have looked at the Yukon website and decided the NV Monocular Spartan 3*42WP being waterproof is possibly ideal for airgun hunters although I haven't read any reviews yet on its actual performance.

I ended up chatting to Cade about NV gear and as some of you may know he reviews all sorts of cool products and as it happened he had a Yukon Proton XT NV scope on hand that he will be reviewing in the near future but he did say, it would be very good for the purpose Ive mentioned above but to wait until he's finished for the full review.

I checked the price as NV gear has always been a stretch for me but it was cheaper than I expected and airgun rated so Im keen to get a hold of whichever magazine this review will appear in.

My thoughts were mount a picatinny rail, use QD rings on both my conventional scope and possibly a Proton NV scope and then one air rifle can do it all, an NV monocular would also be needed for ease of use for spotting quickly and discretely in all directions whilst advancing on the target.

It turns out that the Proton XT scope can also be used during daylight.

Although if I was tripping over cash Id love to own the Pulsar Forward, it just plugs into the front of your coventional scope and bingo you have Night Vision, a reasonably compact unit so easy to carry in your pikau.

I think the future of pest control will be using NV gear, over the years the price has come down and NV monoculars are cheaper than many lazer range finders.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 04:28:59 AM by Vault »

Offline Akzle

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Re: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2015, 07:16:09 AM »
just have to mention here, whire IR isn't visible to the naked eye, if anyone else has it, and is looking for you/ in your general direction, you might as well be carrying a conventional spotty, you stick out like dogs bollocks.

just...y'know, for when the revolution comes.

Vault

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Re: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2015, 08:26:29 PM »
Yes I saw something similar on a movie or tv series, without the IR on you can see THEM to lol.

There is lots of good NV related information on the Survivalists Boards forum from a number of ex servicemen around the globe who have woken up regarding the threat of the globalist agenda.

If money were no object Id be in for that day/night slip on Pulsar Forward, have you watched the product video ?

Very cool

Offline antman

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Re: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2015, 11:49:09 PM »
Pulsar Forward works well once set up. I used one on .308, .223, .22lr, and .17hmr. Useful being able to swap between rifles. A lower priced version based on the Yukon Photon CMOS sensor would be good.


Offline antman

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Re: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2015, 11:53:51 PM »
Email me ant@acad.co.nz or phone 03 9700 570. I use this gear myself  8)

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Re: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2015, 12:10:34 AM »
If Im ever in a position to splash on NV gear, I will call to get your opinion on different products, already been selling the idea to the wahine.

I learnt a long time ago, its easier to ask for forgiveness than permission  ;D

Offline antman

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Re: Air Rifle v .22LR for night vision hunting and pest control.
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2015, 11:18:01 PM »
If Im ever in a position to splash on NV gear, I will call to get your opinion on different products, already been selling the idea to the wahine.

I learnt a long time ago, its easier to ask for forgiveness than permission  ;D

It's a different experience! I really love been out in the dark, especially with our thermal imagers. I get to see so much from rats in trees to fallow fawns (not in trees though)  :)