It’s just a modest farm, a 50-acre sliver of what was once a much larger property back in the day. A series of three-acre lifestyle blocks share one of the long side boundaries, and these lifestylers, as is common, acquired their small bit of country life and then grumbled about everything country – the crowing rooster, cows mooing, and any machinery that started before 9 a.m.
We reside close to the farm in question, and we know the owner well. She sent a message to my wife, asking if I could help her cope with an inflow of bunnies in a quiet manner.
Being an agricultural lady, she would have accepted her until the three-acre lifestylers moved in.
She used a 410 shotgun to wipe out the garden-raiding bunnies. Even while she was legally within her rights, she thought it was no longer possible with a group of sensitive city folk suddenly living nearby.
Her plea was, as it turned out, well timed. Using a newly acquired.22 calibre Weihrauch HW100 PCP, I’d been conducting thorough testing of air rifle pellets. My paper punching had already wowed me with the rifle’s high recorded velocity and pinpoint accuracy. I decided it was time to give the Weihrauch a field test, so I chose a pellet and had the rifle sighted in for it.
The 18.2 grain H&N Barracuda Hunter hollow-point pellets
I assumed the 18.2 grain H&N Barracuda Hunter hollow-point pellets, which travel at 850 feet per second, would be ideal for varminting the local farm sheds’ bunnies, rats, and myna birds. With my, I’ve taken a decent toll of such pests throughout the years. Weihrauch HW97K spring-powered air rifle in 22 calibre. The HW100 PCP model promised to be a more emphatic killer, with superior accuracy and a significantly higher velocity, as well as a longer range.
I came around sunset, and there were already a few rabbits emerging along the bush edge. I had a few words with the proprietor before loading the HW100 and inserting a circular 14-round magazine into the action. I strolled gently along the boundary between the mowed lawn and a large paddock of long grass, starting from her driveway entrance. The tall grass was home to a thriving population of rabbits, who appeared at dusk to raid the large vegetable garden. Wire netting had been built by the owner, but the hungry rabbits were not deterred.
Looking ahead, I could see a swarm of them emerge a meter or two onto the lawn, then continuing on to the garden as the light faded. The sun had fallen, and I had no time to waste with my first target, a chubby young bunny looking away from me, around 30 meters distant. It flopped and gave a few twitches before lying still as my first shot thudded into the back of its head.
The HW100 PCP’s explosion was dampened in the open. Almost all of my target shooting had taken place within the shed, where the sound was contained and appeared loud. It was a different scenario out in the open, and the report was far less than that of a.22LR. Through the screen of adjacent landscape gardens, the neighbors approximately 150 meters away would be unlikely to hear anything frightening.
In the fading light, I strolled around the fence for the next 15 minutes, shooting rabbits from 10 to 50 meters distant.
Because the gun cylinder was half-charged after a target shooting session, I only packed 20 pellets. I returned to my car and switched to the spring-powered air rifle when the PCP ran out of air and fodder. To make the comparison, I took a few more bunnies, limiting my range to roughly 35 meters to account for the reduced energy levels. As the remainder of the sunshine faded into dusk, I locked it away and made haste to rescue the 16 rabbits I’d killed cleanly.
For the owner, I cleaned a pair of the best young rabbits and gave them to her in the kitchen. She was happy with a bunny feed, but even thrilled that I had rolled 16 of them. The neighbors hadn’t complained, so it was a success on every level – plus I got a couple bags of delicious home-grown vegetables as a bonus for dinging the bunnies.
The following day, I paid a visit to one of my dairy farming friends, arriving after the morning milking had been completed and the tanker had arrived for pick-up. I left him to his office work after a little chat and took the Weihrauch HW100 from the rifle box. The myna birds, which thrive on the spillage of grain supplement supplied to the cows after milking, are particularly irritating at this location. They create their sloppy nests in the sheds, throwing straw and droppings all over the place and, worst of all, ripping down native bird nests and filling the hollows with prickly twigs to keep them from being used. My farmer friend despises them for these reasons, so I go there a few times a year and thin them out.
I’d been doing it with my spring-powered air rifle up until now. In my experience, mynas are similar to the crows we used to shoot as kids in that they can rapidly assess, with some precision, what your range is and then hang out just out of harm’s way. They were in for a jolt – and some re-education – on this occasion. As I prowled around the house and sheds, the best PCP air rifle‘s repeated muffled pops didn’t bother any of the farm’s human or animal residents.
The smooth action of the HW100 allowed me to swiftly cycle the next pellet, allowing me to fire two or three shots where a spring-powered single-shot would only enable me to fire one. That, combined with my newly expanded range, meant I killed a lot of mynas, and my farmer mate was overjoyed with my bucketful of dead pests.
The powerful contemporary air rifles are meant for — and excel at
This is exactly the type of varminting that powerful contemporary air rifles are meant for — and excel at. You may efficiently deal with pests and have fun in the process if you use it discreetly around dwellings and sheds where nearby neighbors may be unduly sensitive. They are far quieter than even a.22LR, thus they may be used without waking up the neighbors.
Of course, ballistics are crucial, and I’ve tested a lot of pellets in air rifles, but that knowledge will have to wait for another day. When it comes to hunting, I prefer game-specific pellets. While domed pellets are intended for target shooting, they also work well for pest control, but I like the more forceful hit of hollow-points. This provides rapid delivery of the entire pellet energy and compassionate killings while removing any danger from escaping pellets.
I evaluate the terminal ballistic impacts of the pellets I believe would be good for pest hunting as part of my testing, and seeing the varied performance levels on ballistic media gives me confidence in my choice for hunting.
Air Gun Maniac, the effective hunting range of air rifle pellets is determined by their energy and precision. With my spring-powered rifle, I consider 35 meters to be the greatest range, whereas with the more powerful and precise PCP, I estimate 50 meters to be the maximum range. That is beautifully demonstrated by the graphs of velocity and energy level. At 50 meters, the PCP produces the same amount of energy at the muzzle as the spring-powered HW97K, which is characteristic of PCP and spring-powered air rifles in general. They’re great bunny busters within their effective range.