A word to my readers:
The following post contains air rifle ballistics information obtained solely from http://VelocityPress.com, a fantastic resource for air rifle ballistics, conceal/carry information and a host of other “uncommon” information. The following post is written in the first person in order to to produce a fluid read, please understand that these are not my first hand experiences but the journaled labors of a very knowledgeable and well written fella named Tom Holzel. At Toms request, I have removed the article in it’s entirety from my website due to copyright issues, but I have retained a brief summary of the article and have included a link to it so you may read at your leisure, and I do suggest you read it (http://www.velocitypress.com/air_rifle_ballistics.shtml).
Tom, thank you for giving us a little more insight into the range and trajectory of springer air rifles, from a layman’s perspective, and backing it up with solid science. As Tom mentioned, the RWS Model 54 is not a break barrel air rifle but it is a “springer” which I have decided qualifies it for inclusion on my site. Besides, it is one of the sweetest air rifles I have ever seen and I look forward to owning one soon.
-Dave Dillard 5-25-11
The Physics Of Pellets
These are some high dollar air rifles…
It would take about $600 to make ‘one’ of these baby’s yours, and you would be getting an exceptionally good air rifle indeed.
I don’t have $600 to spend on an air rifle so thank goodness I can go to Pyramyd Air and get a quality break barrel air rifle at a price I can afford.
Now, lets talk about drop, trajectory and ballistics…yeah!
With premium air rifles costing as much as they do, figuring out what particular brand and model to buy can be quite confusing.
On what do you base your choice?
Take this Anschutz 9003 for instance, definitely out of my price range.
The first step is clearly deciding how much money you can afford to spend.
This will determine the quality level, and the features of the gun.
After deciding this, the next most important factor is to chooser the correct caliber for the gun’s intended purpose.
If you are going to own only one gun, this can be an agonizing choice.
Here’s the approach I used to decide between a 5mm and .22-caliber Theoben Eliminator rifle for hunting in southern England.
As a long time air rifle crow hunter in the U.S., I recognized that to English farmers, hares, not crows, are more of a nuisance, so they would be the varmint of choice in my new home in Oxfordshire.
With crows, long range is more important than high power, so for that task the longer reach of the 5mm would be the obvious choice.
Would that caliber also be the optimum for fur bearers?
When I examined the published performance I was puzzled by the ballistic data given the Eliminator on the Theoben website (http://www.theoben.co.uk/).
Their highly regarded 5mm rifle is listed as having a muzzle velocity of 880 fps, with 840 fps remaining at 50 yards.
(FYI: 4.5mm = .177cal / 5mm = .20cal / 5.5mm = .22cal )
Energy figures are quoted as being 24.5 ft/lbs at the muzzle and 22.4 ft/lbs at 50 yards.
These figures indicate the Crosman Premier pellet used loses only 4.5% of its velocity over 50 yards — yet drops by 23% the next 50 yards.
The .22-caliber figures were equally confusing.
There are two ways to determine the trajectory of a pellet:
- Empirically on the range — (this is the most reliable method) or
- Theoretically (and much more rapidly) by means of a ballistics software program.
To help me clear up the issue, I bought an air rifle ballistic program developed by Jim Baumann of Lame Rabbit Software (Note: Jim is apparently no longer in business).
Let’s see how the two calibers fare (at least on paper).
(CLICK HERE For All The Charts and Ballistics involved in this study)