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.22LR vs the FAC air rifle - advice please

Discussion in 'Firearms Certificate (FAC) Guns' started by Alf Tupper, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Alf Tupper

    Alf Tupper Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I am trying to avoid rewarming this old chestnut, but can I firstly say thanks to all the posters on this forum - I have read and read, and decided to stop lurking and join in the fun.

    Ok I am getting back into shooting after a lay off; my first air rifle was a .22 Airsporter S, then the Govt lent me a nice big L1A1 but I had to give it back to them when I changed jobs. My last four rifles were all 12 ft lbs PCPs, but that was over 10 years ago now. I am pondering getting a Section 1 certificate this time round; the issue for me is I can't afford 2 weapons, so looking at options between .22LR bolt action and an FAC air rifle. Main goals will be rabbiting, possible pigeon and corvid control in the Great Outdoors, and a bit of plinking.

    Could I have the benefit of your experiences please on these specific areas?


    1. moderators/silencers: my 12ftlb Rabid 7 was nice and quiet, and the silencer looked 'natural' on the barrel. How harder is it to get an FAC air rifle pretty damn quiet - I don't expect it to be as quiet as a 12 ft lb obviously? How quiet are rimfires with subsonics compared to FAC air rifles? Does it mean having something like a black milk bottle spoiling the lines of your weapon?
    2. shot placement: in my non FAC world, it was headshots or nothing with rabbits. I read that .22LR is ok for body shots almost out to its accurate limit. What about a typical 30-40 ft lbs air rifle?
    3. calibre - I've always preferred .177 for trajectory and never had issues when head shooting rabbits with my first PCP, a Falcon. I read that in .177 FAC you're looking at no more than 20 ft lbs before pellets fail to cope with the extra energy/velocity. Now in .22 (and .20 too I guess) shooters say they have 30-40 ft lbs, so about as flat as a subsonic trajectory as you can get. It sort of links to question 2 really - is that extra oomf of any use if you're best using headshots?

    Many thanks for your time in reading this - hopefully I'll get things sorted by the time winter comes....
     
  2. neiled

    neiled Donator

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    Location:
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    Hi and welcome along to the forum.

    I've added my thoughts to your questions above but one thing that you also need to consider from your original statement which you've not taken in to account will be the shooting of corvids in trees will be a big no no with rimfire.
     
  3. Alf Tupper

    Alf Tupper Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Thanks Neiled - and thanks to this forum, I'm now very well informed about .22LR and shooting with no safe backstop, but again - I'd rather be told a million times to be safe than be the twunt who gets in the news...

    To be honest I'd never even thought of the tree shooting angle as most birds I've shot have been on the ground usually next to decoys or bait in front of a nice comfy hide. I guess there are still things I need to relearn when using big boy's toys then!

    Thanks for the other answers too - I think .177 is out of the window then, so that's one less question for myself. Perhaps on a more practical note, I've rolled 3-4 rabbits within a few minutes within yards of each other, without spooking them - the loudest noise was the pellets hitting home. Is that typical moderated rimfire experience too?

    NB I've asked my own Police firearms licensing dept whether an FAC air rifle has lower safety parameters compared to a .22LR, as I have read (Clubshot?) posting that some Forces are happier to pass land fit to shoot with an FAC air rifle application rather than rimfire. I may as well get it right.

    However I am drawn to the dark side and it's mainly down to price - the air rifles I would like are £300 - 500 more than a rimfire of similar quality; I'd have to shoot an awful lot of rounds to save much money, and if it was all just about running costs I'd have to take my 2 litre petrol wasting planet warming Mazda in tomorrow and swap it for a Nissan Micra. In diesel. Uggh.
     

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