Use Enough Gun
A .177 caliber air rifle in the hands of a skilled, patient hunter is an effective tool for harvesting small game and eliminating pests. However, a powerful .22 or .25 in those same hands is an even more effective tool and is also an appropriate one for taking larger species. A .177 caliber pellet weighing approximately 8 grains is no match for one of .25 caliber weighing about 25 grains. The higher velocity of the .177 may give flatter trajectory, but it does not make up for the difference in pellet weight and diameter. Some argue that the flatter trajectory of the .177 makes “hits” easier. However, the object is not to “hit” game, it is to dispatch it quickly and humanely. Game must be taken ethically, and powerful air rifles of larger caliber are simply more appropriate for that use. A .177 caliber can be used for hunting, but it should be used at shorter range and on smaller species than a .22 or .25 might be. Such species as squirrels are very tough and they will come out of the tree much quicker when hit with a .22 or .25 caliber pellet unless they are hit exactly right with a .177 pellet. On safari, Robert Ruark used the phrase which became the title of his famous book, Use Enough Gun which I would paraphrase as use enough airgun.
Jim House began shooting with a single shot BB gun at a very early age. Now, seventy years later, he is an airgun enthusiast. After a 32-year career as a chemistry professor at Illinois State University, he has written extensively about shooting sports, which has resulted in the books American Air Rifles and CO2 Pistols and Rifles. His books also include The Gun Digest Book of 22 Rimfire and, with his wife Kathleen, Customize the Ruger 10/22. Jim is the Reloading Editor for Gun World magazine and a Contributing Editor for The Varmint Hunter Magazine, The Backwoodsman, Airgun Hobbyist, and The Illinois Shooter. Although a lot of his work is with firearms, he maintains a keen interest in airgunning while also serving as Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Illinois Wesleyan University.