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Question CO2 Powerful enough for Hunting?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Andy Wales, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. Andy Wales

    Andy Wales Donator

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    Hi,

    Sorry, bit long but have to get this right :eek:
    I already have a Hatsan Mod 60s .22 and I think it's excellent for the money, but I think it's time to add a .177 soon. I can't possibly afford a PCP right now, or for the forseeable future, as much as I would like to (not even a secondhand one), so no point even suggesting that route sorry.

    So my choice is this. I either buy the Hatsan Mod 55s .177 as I am happy with the accuracy and build quality/features for the price compared to other Rifles at this price range (Spring noise/recoil is the only downside I can think of to be honest :rolleyes:), or I go the budget CO2 route. Power/accuracy/features/quality I know the 55s will do what I want it to do, but I also know it may not do it quietly enough when hunting.

    I have read various reports on some websites where some CO2 rifles have been tested and they say things like "great plinking rifle" or, "good enough for close range hunting such as rats etc", but some have also said that if you get a high enough FPE one that hunting for rabbits, squirrels and crows etc shouldn't be any problem at all. So now I am unsure what to do :confused:.

    If I do choose CO2, the only one I fancy and stays within my current finacial outlay would be the SMK TH78D Thumbhole Deluxe on this page (4th Rifle down). http://www.sportsmk.co.uk/cat/165/air-rifles-smk-air-rifles/co2-series/
    Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if the quoted figure of 800FPS is true, this should be well within .177 power for general hunting purposes should it not? I have read and understand that CO2 rifles do vary in power in certain weather conditions I.E. Winter/Cold weather, but surely not to the extent to prevent hunting? I know SMK rifles are cheap, but you can't dispute the power/accuracy of some of their rifles (XS19 in .22 for example), even if you generally hate them :rolleyes:

    Anyway, to finish up, there must be some of you here who used them for hunting before moving on to the far more efficent and better all round PCP's and I wanted your thoughts and opinions on my questions above please? All I want is for it to be able to instant/humane kill rabbits etc out to say 30 - 40 Yards including the winter months!, quietly and with no recoil without the need to spend crazy amounts of money on a PCP. I'm not tight or anything, but to be honest, even if I could afford it, I doubt I would want to spend £500 - £1000 on any Air Rifle anyway as much as I enjoy it :p.

    So, the Hatsan Mod 55s .177 to go with my 60s .22, or a cheap and cheerful SMK CO2?:cool:

    EDIT: I just read in the 'Chinese Airgun Forum' that should the power out of the box be too low (8-9 Ft/lbs), they can be fettled with, to bring them up to full UK legal power (11-11.5 Ft/lbs and this makes a huge difference?

    Regards,

    Andy :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  2. ratman60

    ratman60 Pro Poster

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    hello, co2 air rifle can be used for hunting as some put out 10/10.5 ft llb and can be modified to shoot better by internal upgrade and silencer but the temperature does affect co2 so can be difficult in cold winter unless you keep capsules warm,oh and the cost. i used a hand warmer in a bag. there is always some noise, why dont you think of another springer in .177 tuned and lubed with a decent silencer
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  3. JohnS

    JohnS Member

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    Hi HatsanMan

    A very well reasoned overview on your dilemma. I for one will be interested in the views of the experienced forum members. Ratmans idea of using a hand warmer to keep capsules warmer is an excellent way of overcoming a major criticism of Co2.

    JohnS
     
  4. jw74

    jw74 Posting Addict

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    Why not just use the .22 for hunting? I do.I had a .177 s400 and wanted to go back to shooting springers.I've always preferred to stick to one rifle so sold it and bought a hw97 it just takes practice to learn your aimpoints.
     
  5. Andy-K2

    Andy-K2 Posting Addict

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    In answer to your question, in short "yes" a CO2 rifle will dispatch rabbits etc. Before you buy, ask the dealer to run it over the Crono if you have any doubts. If its anywhere near the advertised 800fps which with an 8.4 grain pellet is VERY near the UK limit it will be as capable of dispatching anything that a £1000.00 rifle will.... Anyway, when you do buy, please let us/me know how you get on with it.
     
  6. Andy Wales

    Andy Wales Donator

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    Hi,
    I do use the 60s .22 for hunting all the time and it's full UK power and easily capable of hunting humanely to long distances and great for targets etc too. It's just that I fancy having a .177 Cal as a choice of what to use for hunting too :) It seems to me that with it's much flatter trajectory and longer distance shooting range it would be a nice "extra" choice to use on times? Also, judging by the forum members here, it is possibly the most commonly used Cal of any Air Rifles?

    @Ratman60
    Yes, I have thought of maybe just buying another manufactures springer in .177 that has less recoil/spring noise than the Hatsan, but from the other "budget" offerings I have looked at so far, I would lose more than I would gain I think :( E.G. No nice 2 stage Quattro trigger, Walnut Stock, Auto Safety and Hatsans all round finish/Build quality for very small money. It's a dilemma for sure and I am totally undecided what to do about it. I'm not in a rush just yet, but it won't be that long before I'll want to make a purchase :D

    Andy :)
     
  7. Honest Bob

    Honest Bob Big Poster

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    I have had a ride down the Co2 route, spent a lot of time and money on modifications and gas in an attempt to get them sorted, if I had saved that money, I could have purchased a decent PCP, and had change left over, got fed up with the devils gas in the end, gave the guns away, You can hunt with them, my advice would be forget Co2 guns, as you will soon have a empty bank account, sorry to be so negative, but have bin there dun that, now cured. Atb, Bob.
     
  8. Kenbarcon

    Kenbarcon Donator

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    Save some more money and look to get a S200, they are not overly priced, they do come up for sale around the 250/300 mark.

    Do a search in the sales section and there will be some in there, also you could put a new thread up asking for something on those lines and what budget you want to spend.

    There are a lot of friendly folks on here that will probably have something you want.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  9. warrenater

    warrenater Donator

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    when i first started hunting i used to use a co2 rifle( .22) and used to re zero on the day every time . however i did not find them to be the tool for the job well not for me anyway. as the power in the winter was just not enough . i seem to remember reading somewhere its not just the temperature of the gun but the temperature of the ambient air that affects the power.
    i have heard it is possible with co2 rifles to tune them even above legal limits but just bear in mind that even if you bring the rifles power up to anywhere near the legal limit , if tested by the police it would be at a reasonably high temperature so would probably go over the legal limit.
    in short i would not go down the co2 route for hunting . i am not sure if it would be cheaper to get a decent enough springer or a second hand pcp thats another question entirely. hope this helps atb gary.
     
  10. Andy Wales

    Andy Wales Donator

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    Ah, that's ok Bob as my bank account is almost always bloody empty these days anyway lol :D As for being sorry for being negative, I'm glad that you are because it's better to hear your experiences and the truth than to give false hope. To be honest, I think I already knew the answer about the CO2 route before even asking and I just wanted it confirmed by those who have been there before :)

    I have already decided to forget about CO2 as it seems it was a technology that didn't quite make it as far as the need for being an "all round/do it all" Rifle is concerned and with the Winter/Cold air issue as well, it's not worth it (and winter is on the way soon lol). Oh well, back to the old reliable springer for me I guess. Now, the Hatsan 55s, or look at some other .177 Springer options? Hmmmm :confused:

    Thanks to everyone who replied. Great info from everyone!

    Regards,

    Andy :)
     
  11. Honest Bob

    Honest Bob Big Poster

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    I have to agree with the above, too easy to fall foul of the law when making modifications to these guns. I would take his advice. Forget Co2. If a Co2 rifle was running at 800 feet per second with 8.4 grain pellets at normal room temperature, that would be 11.94 foot pounds, I would not buy it, sure as eggs is eggs, it would be over the legal limit out in the sun on a hot day, don't take any notice of sales hipe.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  12. mattyts

    mattyts Donator

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    Buy the 55S and fit a tuning kit :)
     
  13. mattyts

    mattyts Donator

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    Also,I know you said you cannot purchase a PCP at this moment in time but if you look at it this way;

    You go for a CO2,you purchase some co2,your 88gm bottles are 10 for £55 and provide an OK amount of shots with varying power and consistency due to weather and temprature.

    A 3l bottle could be had for less than £100 second hand which is less than 20 of your 88gram bottles,it will be paid off within a few tins of pellets,provide more shots with consistency and no varying power levels due to outside influences,a cheap PCP could be picked up second hand for £200-£250.

    The cheapest option is still a 55S and a TbT tuning kit for £130 all in.
     
  14. ratman60

    ratman60 Pro Poster

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    hello, i would go for matts suggestion with a tinbum tuning kit and i dont know if has a silencer but thats a must have on hunting springers, .177 and superdomes a deadly combination.
     
  15. Andy Wales

    Andy Wales Donator

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    Thanks for all the great advice guy's. I think I will forget about Co2 as it doesn't seem worth the problems, expense and hassle involved :rolleyes: Oh well. If I bought a secondhand PCP and was lucky enough to find a bargain for say £200, I would still have to buy a bottle and fill it often though, plus a scope if it doesn't come with one and then the usual stuff like another sling/swivel set, gunbag etc. Sigh....it never ends. I think I will just have to be satisfied and happy with another springer as suggested by some of you. Will be nice to look at some again to see what's around. So tempting to go for the Hatsan 55s though for what you get for the money and having the 60's .22 already I know just how good and capable they are ;) ......It's just that spring noise and slight recoil with them that's a little annoying :eek:

    Regards,

    Andy :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  16. mattyts

    mattyts Donator

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    By spring noise,do you mean twang?

    Thick grease on an aftermarket spring smoothens out the recoil and gives the rifle a thud instead of a bang.
     
  17. Andy Wales

    Andy Wales Donator

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    Yep, I would certainly agree it's a kind of a "twang" alright. With your lughole against the butt, it sounds quite loud, but what it sounds like to quarry 30-35 yds away of course I have no idea :D
     
  18. fatbob

    fatbob Engaging Member

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    Andy please don't listen to all the negative p!sh on this thread I've shot rabbits in the depths of winter with a QB 78 .22 admittedly, a few pointers for you 1/ the thumb hole IS a waste of money you're only paying £70 extra for the stock, the actions are identical

    2/ the .22 is far easier to tune mine is running at 11.3fpe with bis mags, .177 takes a whole lot more work

    3/ if you go bulk fill cost of gas is very little

    4/ join up to UKCAF read more into it & get your eyes opened

    5/ don't believe power figures quoted vastly over exaggerated, they do take work but look at owners of guns 4x the price, dismantled on purchase internals seriously modified or expensive drop in kits fitted

    I own an HW 99s, AA s200, AAs400 and yet this wee gun puts a smile on my face every time I pick it up, it's accurate, no recoil and stops all legal quarry in their tracks ;)

    Atb
    Bob
     
  19. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    Why not consider a webley rebel based on the old sharp innova last time I looked there were £99 in my local gunshop.

    That way your getting the average performance as a pcp but you simply pump it yourself.

    The innova was actally my first airgun and shot me hundreds of squirrels and pigeons.

    They made full power tiny little guns only weighed about 5 ibs wet through and dead handy.
     
  20. Andy Wales

    Andy Wales Donator

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    Now I'm back at the "don't know what to do stage and should I still be tempted to buy one?" after reading this :confused:. I was looking at the prices of bulk purchase good quality capsules on Ebay and they're not too bad I guess. I agree the thumbhole stock is probably not worth the extra £70. They just look kind of nice, sort of mean looking lol but other members have also said they don't like the "feel" of the thumbhole stocks. Never tried one so I can't say. Already a member of UKCAF and read a little about the mods that can bring these QB 78's up to full UK legal power. Problem is I'm not 100% confident I could do the mods successfully myself :eek:. I can fettle with stuff up to a certain point, but I'm a long way short of being any kind of engineer. 11.3 FPE is great and as you say, easily powerful enough to humanely kill all legal UK Quarry/Pests etc. You also say you never had any issues during cold weather/Mid Winter so that sounds encouraging I guess.

    A little disappointing to hear that the .177 is a lot harder to bring up to springer type power as I already have my Hatsan 60s .22 and wasn't looking to buy another .22 I really want to add a .177 to be honest just to have a different cal to use as and when neccessary for the added extra range/flatter trajectory etc..........So, now I may have to re-think the Co2 option eh?

    I do really like the idea of an almost recoil less and much quieter rifle. Imagine my groups then!! :D. I just simply cannot afford a PCP at this time, nor for the forseeable future so I have to have other cheaper options. I don't like it, but it's a fact of my financial life right now. Thanks for the great advice/info. You have given me much to think about.

    If I did go down the Co2 route, which of these would you recommend on this page?

    http://www.sportsmk.co.uk/cat/165/air-rifles-smk-air-rifles/co2-series/

    Regards,

    Andy :)
     

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