Author Topic: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question  (Read 658 times)

Steelhead

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To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« on: April 04, 2018, 04:06:54 PM »
I saw Briar Patch's post on another thread regarding making the leap into big bore guns. Here's my two cents on what one should be asking themselves before making the purchase.

What will I be shooting at?
If you're doing to be hunting big game you should be looking at something .35 caliber or bigger since most states seem to make that the cutoff legally. If it's paper you may want something cheaper like .257 or .30  As the caliber goes up, so does the price of ammo. My .308 is significantly cheaper to shoot than the .45.

Is air going to be an issue?
All big bores take a lot of air...some more than others but they all feast on it. If you shoot often or your air source is inconvenient you may wish to rethink it or factor in a compressor. Hand pumping isn't an option IMO.

Do you want a pellet shooter or a slug shooter?
I have the Texan which is a slug shooter, but I also really like the WAR Flex in .30 cal. and that's a pellet shooter. While watching/listening to the Flex being shot I'm amazed at how hard it hits on the steel targets with pellets. The difference between that and a .25 is night and day and it's pretty darn quiet to boot.

Short range (sub 100 yards) or long range?
This is a big one. If you want a long range bench or hunting gun, you need big power combined with accuracy. The Texan and the Slayer come to mind and I'm sure there are others. I can't speak for the Slayer, but the Texan isn't the most ergonomic thing to pack around. Something like the Quackenbush, Sam Yang Dragon Claw. etc. are more comfortable.

Aesthetics?
This is a tough one for me. I've always liked old-school type hunting guns. But what do I have? An Armada and a Texan. Go figure. I've learned to be more accepting of the modern looks of some airguns and I figure it's the price to pay for performance and design innovation.

What can you afford?
Based on narrowing down the above categories, what can you realistically spend? The Texan is a grand and it'll take another $500 to $600 to make it right (needs a stock)  The Slayer is more expensive but it's turnkey. The Sam Yang Dragon Claw is under a grand and will shoot arrows. I bought the Texan because I've always liked long range shooting. If you're looking for touching holes at 75 yards consistently than the regulated Flex would be a good choice.

Hopefully for those of you that are kicking it around can take some of this and help make your decision easier. It may be too much to justify the costs, but we all have different shooting scenarios and most of us are relegated to having to make tough choices when filling our gun cabinets.


  • Petaluma, CA
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Alan

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 05:37:49 PM »
Good points, all. One of the reasons I don't have a .30 or larger, is where I hunt; an exurban area just outside the city limits. The nearest residence can be as close as 400 yards depending on the direction. And, I'm shooting around livestock. Some get used to the low report of my Cobra, but others haven't even after a couple of years. So I have to watch that issue too.

Now, if I were out in the boonies, my selection might be different depending on the game. That said, coyotes seemingly drop right off, and so do fox, when hit with a .25 caliber, well-placed 25.4 grainer. Bigger animals, like semi-domesticated deer, always get a pass even if I had a .50 caliber!
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

Briar Patch

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2018, 04:58:07 PM »
I'm not sure Steelheads post made it easier - almost looking like I need a Texan, a Dragon Claw and a Flex ... at a minimum.   ;D

Thank you for that post. A larger bore rifle may creep up high on the want list, but it's pretty low on the needs list.  If I ever forget, I need only mention it to my wife.  She has a way of realigning my perspective ....

She likes to point out that we've got a number of guns that see very little use.  She doesn't understand that using them isn't always the point.  If I want or need to use them, they are available - THAT is the point.  Can't use something if you haven't got it.  8) 
(I've not been able to get her to come around to my way of thinking, but I do remain optimistic)



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Alan

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 05:30:19 PM »
Boy that rings a bell!

I have a very nice, Springfield 1911, that I've never fired. At this point, it is about 30 years old, and my nephew is keeping it safe. He hasn't fired it either, but that (as you say) isn't the point. It is like owning the Mona Lisa. You look but you don't touch!
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

Steelhead

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 06:05:16 PM »
LOL...my girlfriend finds 'the middle room' of my house highly amusing. It's a spare bedroom that is the fishing/hunting room...30+ fishing poles, gear, gun cabinet, fly tying station, waders hanging, decoys, gun vise, etc.  And that's not counting the walk in closet or the garage!
  • Petaluma, CA
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steveoh

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2018, 10:19:41 AM »
LOL...my girlfriend finds 'the middle room' of my house highly amusing. It's a spare bedroom that is the fishing/hunting room...30+ fishing poles, gear, gun cabinet, fly tying station, waders hanging, decoys, gun vise, etc.  And that's not counting the walk in closet or the garage!

My wife doesn't find my collections of such things "amusing".   ???
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steveoh

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 10:23:50 AM »
I have 3 Big Bores. Tain't enough. I want a .30 or .308, and .357. Then again, can't hardly shoot the things due to not enough time to go to the range, and my backyard isn't big enough and is in City Limits, and I have 7 neighbors bordering my property.

What I need is a place like Steelhead's! But even more remote.

And we need hunting laws in California changed so we can hunt deer, hogs etc with our big bores.

Till then I have Rats slowly coming back in the yard. Crying shame I can't dial in the DAQ .58 Rifle for them.  :o
  • Benicia, California
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kkarmical

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2018, 10:42:19 AM »

I want to make that jump to big bore, but couldn't really justify having a gun around that I really wouldn't shoot that often.  I'm looking at houses in a more country setting with more open space that will give me more chances to actually shoot it.

Who am I fooling, as soon as I figure out which one I really want, I'm getting it.
  • Fairfield, Ca

caniborrowsomeammo

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2018, 08:32:36 PM »


Who am I fooling, as soon as I figure out which one I really want, I'm getting it.
That's how it usually goes.
Buncha BB guns that I don't get to shoot as much as I like. Building duck boats now that I'm "retired".

Motorhead

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2018, 10:00:22 PM »
No interest being similar to why most of my powder burner have sat un-shot for years !!
Don't hunt big game any longer ... Don't want the noise ... don't want the cost of ammo feeding it ... have grown out of the macho need for bigger and more powerful feeding my ego ... More recoil than a smallbore and target hit ( If you hit them ) are just as struck.   Smaller game just a dead.

to each his own ... hell i don't even shoot the .25 cals much either  :P

« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 10:01:57 PM by Motorhead »
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Scott

Steelhead

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 07:12:35 AM »
This is one of the many cool things about airguns that differ from powder burners. The variety. Yes, powder burners have a lot of calibers but they all have a few things in common like noise, extended range, recoil, etc.  A guy like Motorhead (and most of the airgun world) is 100% content with all of the advantages of small bore airguns as they should be. Super accurate, quiet, cheap and easy to shoot, etc. 

As far as the macho part goes, I'm not completely over it yet. I like to show off the Texan and it capabilities (picture Clevon Little in Blazing Saddles, 'Pardon me while I whip dis out!')   I've always enjoyed long range shooting and that part of airgunning has brought that to me on a shorter playing field than powder burners. Ironically for the same reasons as Motorhead mentioned. When comparing to powder burners they are quieter, cheaper to shoot, and have drastically reduced recoil.

 
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Briar Patch

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2018, 05:30:27 PM »
I'm all over the place on the big bore thing.  One day I have got to have one, then next  - meh.

Pretty much in the same boat as Motorhead - I do very little big game hunting anymore.  Cost is only one reason.  I felt like there were getting to be too many folks out in the hills during the rifle hunts. I switched to muzzle loaders for several years.  Loved that.  Inline muzzle loaders have gained a lot in popularity over the last 20 years too.
I've all but given that up too.  Now I put in for limited entry hunts only.

I think one of the really appealing things about air guns is you can shoot them in your backyard - usually.  I am fortunate, I can go a couple of blocks and it's ok to shoot a powder burner, but so many people have to make a drive to do it.  And then there are range fees.  It all ads up -  in money and inconvenience.

Pellet guns are just easier, cheaper, quieter, ........ if only they weren't so addictive.  Yeah - on second thought, maybe they aren't really cheaper after all ..... ::)
 
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oldpro

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Re: To go big bore, or not go big bore...that's the question
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2018, 06:52:39 PM »
 Theres very little you cant do with a 30 cal pellet shooter than you can do with a 357 bullet shooter and that includes taking deer etc.  For me its the quietness and no recoil that keeps me shooting pellet rifles and  cost of ammo also.
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