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Retained Energy


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#1 goldfinger

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 07:55 pm

Just been playing with chairgun pro and noticed that .22 calibre retains a lot more of its muzzle energy over distances than the .177,obviously this can be an advantage when hunting vermin.
No dought there is pro's and cons with both calibres and everybody has there own preferences and reasons for choosing a particular calibre.

Edited by goldfinger, 26 February 2011 - 07:57 pm.

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#2 zini

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 06:14 am

Yes each calibre does have it's own pro's and con's but unless you are doing extreme long range penetration testing I have found that 99.9% of all the pellets I've run through CG Pro will have enough kinetic energy retention at 70 or 80 metres in theroy to kill vermin.

Obviously we don't shoot vermin that far only targets for fun with a sub 12fp rifle.

With pellets I've tested on live vermin I would say that the properties of the pellet lead is more important than the BC due to our relatively short range.

Softer lead especially in a .177 rifle seems to transfer energy much better and not penetrate so far which is ideal.

At the end of the day though it's catch 22 as we try to find the best pellet for our rifles barrel and if it's a pellet with a high BC but hard lead, I.e a Bisley Magmun then we either use it or try to find the next best pellet for accuracy.

I used Magnums in my Ultra and found them to be deadly accurate out to silly ranges but would over penetrate massively at short to medium ranges especially on pigeons and rats.

Si
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#3 pianoman

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:14 am

Hi Goldfinger.

I was shooting with AndyFR1968 on my permission a few weeks ago. He was using his .177 Diana 52, I was shooting my .22 Weihrauch HW77. He hit a rock about the size of a rabbit's head embedded in the mud, out to about 35 metres and his pellet hit it good and square with a little puff of dust and a silvery splat. Had it been a live rabbit, he would have killed it clean for certain... But the rock stayed stuck and didn't flinch on impact.

I hit it with my sub-12 ft/lb .22 round and the kinetic impact of the bigger .22 uprooted that rock out of the mud! Proof indeed of the larger, heavier .22 calibre's superior kinetic punch.

Both calibre's rounds can accurately hit and kill humanely fast. The .22 probably does not require as much precision in accurately hitting the brain centre as it clearly carries a lot more knock-out kinetic thump than the .177 which hits very fast but it's smaller frontal mass carries less energy on impact.


There's always going to be the calibre debate as long as an air rifle is used as a hunting arm. There is a ton of different ammo heads and styles in all calibres; Hollowpoints, flatheads, pointed, semi-pointed, smooth waisted, ribbed waisted....

It still comes down to a dome-headed diabolo pellet for accurate stability in hunting and target work. The only chief difference is that .22 needs a bit more attention to its trajectory curve than the flatter .177. But only a little. You don't need a degree in ballistics to figure it out; just time well spent on downrange targets at 5-metre increments over reasonable hunting distances to show where it rises and falls. Both calibres are every bit as accurate as eachother. .22 hits harder. .177 being smaller and lighter, has greater speed and penetration. Both in the right place, the only place, are absolutely deadly.

The only real area of question is the marksmanship skill level of the shooter delivering it to the target. The calibre he is most comfortable in coming to terms with and understanding it's behaviour at the target, is the one he should be shooting with.

ATB

Simon

Edited by pianoman, 27 February 2011 - 09:19 am.

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#4 rossi_j

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:16 pm

Very well put together question and two fully comprehensive answers.
Great read lads :thumbs:

S.p all round

.atb. .ste.

P.s .177 is the best, joke, joke! :laugh: :laugh:

#5 matt_hooks

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 12:14 pm

A few points on this one.

"Expansion" in a sub 12 ft.lb airgun pellet when striking anything softer than a steel plate is a myth. I've dug hundreds of pellets out of various animals, and have never seen one that has expanded. No matter how hard/soft the lead is.

The amount of retained energy is of little importance. What matters is placement. As long as the pellet has sufficient energy to penetrate to the depth of the vital organs (to penetrate the "hardest" point on a rabbit, the skull, requires around two foot pounds) then placement is the prime factor. The difference between a .177 and a .22 in terms of "terminal ballistics" is entirely negligible.

"Knock-down" or "stopping" power is a myth. We all know that a .45 slug, when it hits you, will send you flying backwards right? Wrong! The laws of motion (specifically Newtons second law of motion) tell us that for each action there is an equal but opposite reaction. So if the bullet could cause you to fly backwards, then of necessity the firer would also fly backwards. The only "small arm" I've ever seen achieve this are the elephant guns, .600 Nitro express etc.

A .22 or .177 air rifle pellet will NOT cause a huge amount of damage. Forget "wound track" and "pellet expansion" and "hydraulic shock". An air rifle pellet causes death by one of two modes.

Either the pellet strikes in the brain/spinal column, causing damage to the structures which control the respiratory systems and causing immediate cessation of oxygen delivery to vital organs and muscles. Muscles might keep going for a few seconds on reserves of oxygen in the blood, but not for long, and the brain will shut down almost immediately.

The second mode is to cause death by lack of oxygen by destroying the heart and/or lungs, or another blood laden organ. The amount of time it takes to die depends on the rate of blood loss, and the individual animals tolerance to blood loss. If you hit the heart, and damage it sufficiently to stop blood flowing, then death will be rapid. A hit in the lungs that misses the heart will cause blood loss and death, but the animal might be able to get a fair distance before death. Hit another blood laden organ (liver, gut, major artery) then death WILL occur, but it can take minutes, or even hours, for sufficient blood loss to occur. Not an acceptable occurrence in air rifle hunting.

So the moral is, at sensible air rifle hunting ranges, there is little to no difference in the killing ability of the .177, the .20, the .22 or the .25. What is more important is the ability to put the pellet in the right place. With work, you can develop the skills to do this with whichever pellet you choose.

There are some good articles on the net about knockdown effect, and the relative power of different ammunition. Granted they mainly refer to humans, and large calibre handgun ammunition, but the principles are the same.

This has some good info, and some good links to articles:-

gunshot wounding

Edited to add, if you don't believe me, do you believe the FBI?
FBI firearms research paper "Handgun wounding factors and effectiveness"

Edited by matt_hooks, 28 February 2011 - 12:16 pm.

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#6 Karpman

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:24 pm

Hi mate,

I take on board all has been and interesting reads indeed, In practice .22 do'es at least to appear to have a little more stopping power.
The pellet being larger in theory would make placement easier due to the size against the brain ratio even with marginal spread?

Shot a pigeon today and the pellet went straight through it's napper clean enough head shot but certainly an awful lot more movement than the last two.

No doubt about though my .177 is a serious killing machine on the right quarry at the right distances.

Karpman

#7 matt_hooks

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 10:13 pm

Karpman, post mortem movement is not unusual. I shot a pigeon in the head with my .22LR a while ago, and it flapped around for ages, and flew over an 8 foot hedge from one field to the next. When I got to it, thinking I'd missed and hit it in the crop or something, I was that it was a totally clean head shot, and I had completely removed the top of the skull and emptied the brains out. The skull was completely empty! It seems that pigeons are sometimes too stupid to realise that they're dead!

The calibre that kills best, is the one you are most confident with. If you use a calibre a lot, and you "like" it more than the others, then your shot placement is likely to be more accurate, and confirmation bias will mean that you will feel it kills more quickly. Any of the standard air rifle hunting calibres are more than up to the job of killing small game and birds, but the one the works best FOR YOU is the best one to get. The argument can go on all day, but there IS no "best" air rifle calibre, only individual preference.

I'm not saying that anyone is wrong by saying they feel any particular calibre is better, that's a subjective thing, and to them it obviously IS better, but that doesn't mean that it magically has more energy, or does more damage.

The difference in frontal area between a .177 and a .22 is just under one square millimeter (i.e. bugger all) so the percieved greater margin for error is pretty much illusory too.

Edited by matt_hooks, 28 February 2011 - 10:20 pm.


#8 zini

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 05:01 am

Matt you on the booze mate?

That's some of the biggest load of rubbish I've ever read from you pal.

All these myths you keep dispelling, you only have to look on chair gun and you see the differences in calibre. Another thing a larger surface area hitting a target will cause more damage fact.

Something travelling slower and heavier transfers more stopping power than something small and fast.

If you want the proof set up a empty bean can at 30 metres and shoot it once with both calibres to see what the difference is mate.

Regarding the mis shaping of pellets with softer lead if you were to shoot a corps of a rabbit at 30 metres with a Bisley Magmun with a 8 to 9 fp rifle the pellet would hopefully stay within the corps to inspect. The Magnum would be almost the same shape as it was before it was fired but if you did that with a Falcon Accuracy pellet which is lots softer the pellet would be another story mate and the skirts come forward on impact slightly making for better transfer.

This will turn out to be a interesting thread now but you have given me a idea pal for some video footage in a few weeks time when I'm over again where I will video this experiment with regulars on here as witnesses so the myth can be proven.

Si
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#9 pianoman

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 06:14 am

The difference in frontal area between a .177 and a .22 is just under one square millimeter (i.e. bugger all) so the percieved greater margin for error is pretty much illusory too.

Matt dear fellow.

No. Post withdrawn, This is too dumb to argue with.

You know better than this Matt.

Edited by pianoman, 01 March 2011 - 06:59 am.


#10 Karpman

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 07:19 am

Hi matt,

I am well aware of post mortem movement, And am way out of my depth with the science of it all.
The .22 pellet has bigger surface area so must surely create a bigger entry whole and cause more damage no matter marginal.
I am also in no doubt my .177 is a very capable killer having now seen off several pigeons and a squirrel without to much fuss.

cheers
karpman

#11 Ron Weasley

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:10 am

Some interesting points made here guys. Possibly the most constructive calibre debate thread I've seen on here. I'm still sick of reading them though :laugh:

Anyway, Simon (pianoman), SPA for your initial response.

#12 hunter1989

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:18 am

.177 all the way :laugh:

#13 pianoman

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:22 pm

Cheers Ron. Appreciate it fella.
I'm more than a little surprised and baffled as to why an experienced shooter like Matt should take the line he has done. But the truth is both calibres have some goodies that make them both equally effective and nothing to suggest one is better or worse than the other. I shoot just as well with both calibres so, I have no favourite between the two.

I own and shoot a Weihrauch HW77 .22, a pair of HW80 .22 FAC rifles, an Air Arms TX200 .22 rifle and an FAC Air Arms TX200HC .177 that are honestly, hand on heart, the most accurate air rifles I've ever shot with. All of them will put pellet on pellet at all hunting ranges with faultless precision.

So which is the best?

A precision accurate shot is unbeatable, no matter what the calibre.

What I will say though, is I've seen some horrific, accidental head and eye wounds on rabbits caused by .177 hits that did not kill outright, because the animal moved right at the point of releasing the shot. Once, I hit one rabbit through the ear lobe right at the base of the ear with my .177 round, because it moved forth just before impact. The pellet exited at precisely the same place on the otherside of it's head. That poor thing ran screaming in a wide circle till into a wood where it's cries echoed like hell. It reappeared a moment or two later flopping down in the long corn of the field. I got up and went to end it's suffering as quick as I could and that's when I saw what the pellet had done. On another occasion, I hit one poor rabbit straight through it's eye and blew out the other on the other side, I had to finish it fast by breaking it's neck.

Never saw anything that with a .22 pellet into the head.

Consequently, I do not hunt rabbits with sub 12ft/lb .177 anymore. I had my TX200HC .177 rifle tuned up on my FAC. Never looked back!

Simon

Edited by pianoman, 01 March 2011 - 12:30 pm.


#14 redial

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:57 pm

I DONT UNDERSTAND IF YOUR 177 WAS TUNED UP TO F.A.C. IT WOULD BE GOING EVEN FASTER ,HOW WOULD IT BE A CLEAN KILL IF SAID RABBIT MOVED BEFORE IMPACT.IAM NOT SAYING YOUR WRONG JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND. Cheers,

#15 matt_hooks

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:04 pm

Si, I'm not arguing that the .22 has more retained energy, but the fact is both the .177 and the .22 retain ENOUGH energy to do the job admirably.

As for pellet frontal area...

A .22 has a nominal diameter of 5.59 mm, so the area is 24.54 square mm. However most pellets are actually 5.5 mm dia, so 23.8mm square

A .177 has a nominal diameter of 4.50 mm, so the area is 15.91 square mm.

Ok, something wrong with my mental maths at that time of the morning I guess, my bad.

I'd still say, using the info in the FBi document, that it's not that relevant to killing ability.

The rest, about wound track, hydraulic shock etc. is proven true.

Si, Simon, where does the british army train you to aim? Are you trained to aim at the head, or are you trained to aim "centre of mass" ? A quick takedown is achieved by causing the maximum blood loss in the shortest time. The best way to achieve this is a shot in the blood processing centre (heart/lungs). A shot to the skull needs to be very accurate to cause death. Just look at the example of the congresswoman in the US, shot in the head and survived.

And Si, I've pulled all sorts of pellets out of all sorts of animals, and a 12 ft.lb rifle isn't powerful enough to cause appreciable deformation. Sometimes you hit bone, and then the pellet will deform a bit, but the soft tissue hits don't cause deformation.

Si, I'd be interested in seeing your experiment, I am more than happy to be proved wrong scientifically!

My argument is that both .177 and .22 are perfectly capable of taking the approved quarry species at sensible distances, and none of them has a real, empirical, scientifically provable advantage in terms of ballistics or energy. So people who say .22 is best are right FOR THEM, and those who swear by the .177 are right FOR THEM.


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