Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 7 years ago

Kinetic energy of air rifle, how big of game could I kill?

I calculated my 1000fps .177 air rifle to have 82 units of kinetic energy how big could the game be that I could kill with it for example, squirrel, rabbit, dear even? Some range of what animals could be killed with it would be appreciated


7 Answers

  • august
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    "82 units of kinetic energy."

    So these units of kinetic energy. Are they firkin-furlongs? Milligrams per square kilometer? What?

    Generally, a .177-caliber air rifle firing lead pellets at 800-900 feet per second will create somewhere in the vicinity of 10-15 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. That is realistic. That's adequate to take a rabbit or squirrel at 30 yards or so, provided you can get a HEAD SHOT. Yes, this is the ONE time where I'd suggest a head shot.

  • 7 years ago

    There's a big difference between *could* and *should*.

    You could ram the muzzle up against the spinal column or into the carotid artery on a Grizz and kill it, but doing so in real life would be suicide.

    An 82 ft-lb pellet rifle would be good for small varmints (probably the biggest being raccoons and ground hogs) and birds at 50 yds.

    For coyotes and deer, you might get by with:

    With nearly 200 ft-lbs of energy and a .50 cal, 200 grain bullet.

    However, even that is pushing a pellet rifle.

    You have to realize, even the weakest gun cartridges (like the .22 LR) can develop 130-200 ft-lbs of energy, and few people would recommend you do much serious hunting with such a weak cartridge.

    Most hunters and hunting experts recommend a minimum of 1000 ft-lbs energy to take down a deer. That's over 12x what your pellet rifle shoots, and 5x what the 'serious' air rifle shoots.

    There are exceptions, as many people successfully hunt deer with .44 Magnum (750-1300 ft-lbs), and decades ago, people took mule deer with .22 LR headshots at close range, but in both cases, doing so is not for a novice hunter, and even those techniques require guns many times more powerful than what you have.

  • C_F_45
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Most.177 caliber air rifles that claim "up to a maximum of" 1000fps with lead pellets.

    Actually deliver around 900fps with 8gr pellets, or in other words, around 15ft-lbs of muzzle energy.

    A reasonably accurate, 15ft-lb rifle is capable of taking small game(rabbit or squirrel) and pest birds.

    Hunting with air rifles - info

    Deer hunting with an air rifle?

    Would require a relatively powerful "big bore" PCP


    Muzzle Energy - ft-lbs / Joules

    For accurate numbers, you need to chronograph your rifle/pellet combination.

  • larry
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    The 22LR is marginal on rabbit. Forget rabbits. Only head shots on treed or in blind on baited squirrels, for your typical air rifles. Having "been there and watched body hits leave wounded game", I refuse to push air rifles further than that.

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  • 7 years ago

    No more then 80 units of size at close range say 12 feet .. for a longer shot you would have to recalibrate .

  • C T M
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    I think you should go cape buffalo hunting with it.

    Source(s): Seriously, go.
  • 7 years ago

    With that ? anything up to Wombat size....

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