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Thread: Big Bore Air Rifles
10-06-2004, 09:22 PM #1
Big Bore Air Rifles
Man, I didn't know these things existed. Two weeks ago, they held the Standing Stone Rendevous here in Corbin. Air rifle shooters from all over the US and Europe showed up to shoot everything from .177 pellet guns to a monster .58 caliber bolt action air rifle. That .58 caliber was one awesome machine. It shot 650 grain maxiballs and obliterated a steel target at 40 yards.
Gary Barnes was the guy who built this firearm. It was something to see. Very capable of killing an Elk or Black Bear. I'd be hesitant on a Grizzly simply because of the shot limitation of the air supply. They powered these things with compressed air from a dive cylinder. The 58 cal at full power could get 2 shots to a charge, maybe 5 at the lower pressure they were using to keep from killing the targets at the range.
Have you ever seen such rifles? Like I said, I didn't know they existed till I went to this thing. I knew there were a lot of small calibers around, and like everyone else I know, my first rifle was a Red Ryder, but this is just way past that. The big guns were very much equivalent to traditional muzzleloaders as far as power goes.
Here's some pics of the guns I took while I was there.
10-06-2004, 09:35 PM #2
I've never heard of anything like that. Thats pretty neat. What was the recoil like on the 54 cal?
10-06-2004, 09:44 PM #3
Yeah some actually hunt small game like pigs and ram with them. Don't think it's legal in this state.
BUT DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THEY COST. THINK I'LL BUY A CENTERFIRE RIFLE INSTEAD.
Barring in mind that most of the drive behind air rifles comes from europe because they are not allowed to have guns.
But still amazing what they can do with an air rifle.
10-07-2004, 08:54 AM #4
Did you know it's not legal in Kentucky to so much as hunt squirrel with an air rifle? I didn't know that myself till we got to talking about it at the shoot. I just wish someone would have told me that when I was 10.
The big guns there were every one custom made. I understand that there are some that are production guns that are more reasonably priced. The big bores range from .30 cal and up. One guy had a picture of a Howitzer he'd built that fired a beer can sized shell. There were several 45's, 50's, and the lone 58.
Gary Barnes from Pennsylvania was the builder of the .58 and builds custom air rifles. Starting price for one of his guns is $4,000. Options of course are extra. He said the average gun ran around $7,000. He also said he had a waiting list. It takes between 3 and 4 years to get your gun once you place the order.
10-07-2004, 10:06 AM #5
I'm pretty sure they had air rifles on the Louis and Clark expedition for hunting way back when. Saw that in a magazine somewhere.
10-07-2004, 10:29 AM #6
Wow, my first 'gun' was a .22 caliber pellet gun. Had to pump it up 10 times for maximum output and it was all you could do at 9 years old to get that last pump in. Killed my first game animal (rabbit) with that air gun.
10-07-2004, 10:30 AM #7
Yea, I actually just read that a few minutes ago in American hunter. They had a .31 cal that took as many as 1000 pumps to shoot it.
10-07-2004, 12:30 PM #8
actually it is legal to hunt squirrel with an air rifle.
Deer specifies center fire rifle. They do not make this specification on squirrels.
To check this I emailed the KDFWR and received an email back stating it was LEGAL to use an air rifle on a squirrel.
10-07-2004, 12:41 PM #9
What about a sling shot?
10-07-2004, 12:47 PM #10
They didn't have to pump these guns. They were charged with compressed air from dive cylinders. One guy there manufactured carbon fiber cylinders to reduce weight so they could be carried on a hunt. I believe they said they charged the 58 cal to about 2600 psi. You'd pump a while on that. [:p]
Somebody needs to tell the CO's that it's legal to hunt squk with an air gun. That's who I asked. There were 2 sitting there at the range observing.
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