Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

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4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Will BBs work on Non-Native, Invasive Birds?

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:13 am

T-Bird,
Conrad Baker presents the best way to determine if BBs are accurate enough at 20 yds with your Benjamin 310 BB air rifle. His test to compare BBs vs. Pellets is concise and to the point. The results would be very useful to many landlords.
There are many landlords who start with a BB gun to shoot at HOSP and EUST that are invading their purple martin housing. I suspect that many HOSP have been dispatched with a BB gun over the years. Someone on this Forum has had success with a BB gun but they might not admit it.

Study the data about BBs vs. pellets and you will learn that BBs attain a faster muzzle velocity than pellets. Conclusion - A BB can do the job as long as you hit the "target".

If you study your Dad's Benjamin Franklin Model 310, you will notice the gray to black color in the crevasses and creases of the rifle. That is not dirt, that is the original black finish. Your Dad used his 310 and the black finish has been rubbed off leaving the shiny brass. He had fun with but also cared about that rifle. The wood is not all dinged, scratched and abused so he respected it. If that rifle could talk, it could tell some stories and adventures.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: Will BBs work on Non-Native, Invasive Birds?

Postby T-Bird » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:19 am

T-Bird,
Conrad Baker presents the best way to determine if BBs are accurate enough at 20 yds with your Benjamin 310 BB air rifle. His test to compare BBs vs. Pellets is concise and to the point. The results would be very useful to many landlords.
There are many landlords who start with a BB gun to shoot at HOSP and EUST that are invading their purple martin housing. I suspect that many HOSP have been dispatched with a BB gun over the years. Someone on this Forum has had success with a BB gun but they might not admit it.

Study the data about BBs vs. pellets and you will learn that BBs attain a faster muzzle velocity than pellets. Conclusion - A BB can do the job as long as you hit the "target".

If you study your Dad's Benjamin Franklin Model 310, you will notice the gray to black color in the crevasses and creases of the rifle. That is not dirt, that is the original black finish. Your Dad used his 310 and the black finish has been rubbed off leaving the shiny brass. He had fun with but also cared about that rifle. The wood is not all dinged, scratched and abused so he respected it. If that rifle could talk, it could tell some stories and adventures.
Hey 4,
What do you think a Sheridan Blue Streak in very good condition is worth?

Emails sent.
Last edited by T-Bird on Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:27 pm

I have the book, "Know Your Sheridan Rifles & Pistols; 2nd Edition" by Ronald E. Elbe and can answer your questions better with some information especially if it is about a specific Sheridan "Blue Streak".

Serial numbers are present on Sheridans from 1972 onward. 1972-1977 Sheridan "Blue and Silver Streaks" produced by Sheridan Products, Inc. are well made and great shooters.
1962-1972 Sheridans are great shooters and have some collectible status.
Pre 1962 Sheridans are excellent shooters but their collectible status begins to make them worth so much that shooting the rifle will steadily decrease its value as dings and scratches occur.
At some point, 1989?, the quality of parts diminished and to make those rifles equivalent to an original Sheridan Products, Inc. air rifle, a rebuild with Steroid parts from Mac1 will be required (starting at $175 for a post 1989).

The 1972 Sheridan "Blue Streak" that I acquired (since you started this topic) has convinced me that original Sheridan Products, Inc. air rifles are top notch.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Air Rifles

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:52 pm

T-Bird,
So many factors it is hard to discuss on Forum. Will you be eventually setting up a Sheridan "Blue Streak" with a Williams peep sight or scope or are you good enough with the original front and rear sight.
I am planning on a "One Piece Scope Mount for Sheridan F and C, Blue & Silver Streak" from Baker Airguns -
https://www.bakerairguns.com/product/on ... er-streak/
Last edited by 4th Gen Martin Fan on Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: Air Rifles

Postby T-Bird » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:08 pm

T-Bird,

So many factors it is hard to discuss on Forum. Will you be eventually setting up a Sheridan "Blue Streak" with a Williams peep sight or scope or are you good enough with the original front and rear sight.
I am planning on a one piece scope mount for Sheridan F and C, Blue & Silver Streak from Baker Airguns.
https://www.bakerairguns.com/product/on ... er-streak/
Got it.

Conrad Baker
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby Conrad Baker » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:55 am

Most pumps are the bicycle type, where you stand on the base, and pump it. I never used one, but the major complaints are they take several hundred pumps to get the air rifle up to pressure. The hand pumps are even more "physical". A friend that has a Benjamin Marauder uses the scuba tank, and just gets it refilled at the scuba shop. You can also get tanks filled at a paintball shop. Scuba tank costs about $100 on sale to $175. If you go that route, look for an aluminum 80 cu ft tank. The carbon fiber tanks hold more air (to a higher pressure), but they cost over $500 unless you can find a deal. If you don't shoot much, the bicycle type pump would work.

If you happen to have a fire dept nearby, some have compressors to refill their airpacs. You might try to make friends with some of them, and maybe get your tank filled there.

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Air Rifles

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:06 am

T-Bird,
As you know the multi-pump air rifles give you choices with each shot. You can use a light pellet with fewer pumps for a shot at a closer range HOSP and a heavy pellet with maximum pumps for a shot at a farther range EUST.

Because your Trendsetter 12 is equipped with SREH you will probably not have to worry about European Starlings. If a small European Starling breaches your crescent SREHs, then you can modify the crescent SREH to exclude EUST, trap the buggers or smoke them with an air rifle.
Be aware that EUST are smarter than HOSP and even HOSP become leary after the first shot at them.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby T-Bird » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:50 am

I just wanted to post an update on my search for a pellet rifle. After torturing myself for a bit with all of the choices available, I finally decided on picking up a vintage Sheridan Blue Streak in .20 caliber. I feel it meets my needs, being that my new Trendsetter is so close to my house. And I like the quality and craftsmanship of the older rifle. I’m still going to send my Benjamin 310 BB gun off to get repaired, so I will have that to plink around with as well.
I am very interested in learning more about the PCP rifles, as I do have raccoons, bobcats and coyotes that run my iron fence line down by the creek. It would be nice to have something with a little more power and thump if the need arose.

Thanks to everyone who gave input, I have learned a lot on my journey. And a special thank you to 4th Gen Martin Fan! He was very helpful when it came down to actually “pulling the trigger” on my purchase. All of your information and quick responses helped me out tremendously. You gave me confidence to finally make a decision! :grin:


T-Bird

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: Air Rifles

Postby T-Bird » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:59 am

T-Bird,
As you know the multi-pump air rifles give you choices with each shot. You can use a light pellet with fewer pumps for a shot at a closer range HOSP and a heavy pellet with maximum pumps for a shot at a farther range EUST.

Because your Trendsetter 12 is equipped with SREH you will probably not have to worry about European Starlings. If a small European Starling breaches your crescent SREHs, then you can modify the crescent SREH to exclude EUST, trap the buggers or smoke them with an air rifle.
Be aware that EUST are smarter than HOSP and even HOSP become leary after the first shot at them.
The pump rifle, in my situation, really is the best choice for me due to its flexibility. Thank you and all all of the other posters in this thread, as a few of them mentioned pump action as well.

T-Bird

Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1901
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby Doug Martin - PA » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:20 pm

I know there are others out there that are probably better to offer advice but here is my opinion.

I have several pellet guns some .22 cal and a few .177. Been shooting starlings and sparrows for years at my site. Sometimes a gun treats you real well for a while, then it seems to become not so accurate even though it is still sited in well. It can be frustrating to finally get that shot on a very pesky sparrow..... only to miss. I don't like that.

Sparrows are tough from a distance. They are small. Starlings are much easier. So let's focus on sparrows. You do not need or want a high powered gun for them. With high FPS velocity (ft per second) comes some loss of accuracy. I have an expensive high powered 1350 fps pellet gun that cracks like a .22 rifle as it breaks the sound barrier but I can't hit a sparrow consistently with it. Then the damage a miss can cause to housing is another issue. Just a very accurate multi pump gun with a .177 pellet does the job. 3-5 pumps on a 10 pump gun is plenty.

Break barrel spring type guns seem to have too much kick back although I had good success with a Crossman .22 caliper for a while. Then it's accuracy also became an issue. So what do I end up pulling out to get that pesky sparrow? An old .177 multi pump walmart Remington with a cheap 4 x 15 scope. Feathers fly and I smile once again. Old trusty cheap gun. It does the trick.

So the other day I heard a swarm of new sparrows were around my housing. I figured I better be able to take them out. So I decided to buy yet another pellet gun. I researched it very well. My goal is to consistently be able to hit a sparrow from about 60-80 ft away. I hate to miss.

What did I decide to buy this time after much past trial and error with all types of pellet guns? (I almost went with vintage Beeman or Benjamin)

A Daisy Powerline 901 with a standard scope and some really good H&N hollow point hunting pellets. Why? because for less than $75.00 I got one of the most accurate multi pump guns made and the pellets. Reading the reviews I expect 3 pumps will do well to throw a 8.2 grain pellet at them with surprising accuracy at about 450 FPS. Nothing exciting that's for sure but it should get the job done. Accurately.

I guess I will find out if this inexpensive pellet gun is as accurate as the reviews. But if worse comes to worse it was only $64.00 with the scope. I also have a better scope I can put on it if needed. Hoping this 901 is a winner for taking out sparrows. It arrives today.

Doug
Last edited by Doug Martin - PA on Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.

Conrad Baker
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby Conrad Baker » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:12 pm

Keep us posted on your progress Doug. Sometimes simple is better, and if you're shooting at a constant (known) distance, you can sight the pellet rifle in at that distance with the pre-determined pumps to power it up. Could be a very accurate system. You don't need a $1000 shooting system to take out sparrows and starlings. Good Luck !!

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Daisy Powerline 901

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:10 am

Doug,
We are waiting to hear how you did with your new Daisy Powerline 901 on HOSP. Were you successful with your newest rifle?
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1901
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby Doug Martin - PA » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:09 pm

I sited the 901 in this afternoon. It did not disappoint whatsoever. 5 pumps and I can consistently plink a dime size target from 40ft. After attaching the scope it was about 10 inches low and 3 inches right. Once I got it sited I could make an x with a marker and hit the intersection.

Even my daughter could consistently hit a 2 inch target.

This gun will absolutely do the job with precision. It is powerful and very quiet. Even my dog doesn’t mind the sound. Good gun if you have neighbors. The reviews were spot on.

Now for the sparrows. It will be extremely deadly I am sure. It shoots right where you aim. The 4x15 scope seems fine for this gun as well.

Doug
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.

Pooh
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:14 pm
Location: Hutto, Tx

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby Pooh » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:13 pm

There's never been a better time to get into the sport of air rifle shooting whether it's for pests, game or target shooting. It's something I've been involved with for 55 years. When I was first on this forum (gosh, could it be 30 years ago? How long have computers been around :-)) the only way to go was a high quality break barrel spring powered rifle from Europe, It's still a great way to go. For starters, get something in the class of an RWS/Diana 34 in .177 for about $280, a scope that can take the harsh punishment a "springer" dishes out, maybe a UTG or a low end Hawke for $150 or less and you're home free, for cheap. Test A LOT of pellets to see what gives you the best accuracy (start with JSB Exact Diablos, this is KEY no matter which gun you go with) and you're ready to rock and roll with quality that you'll pass down to your grandkids and a rig that can handle any pests that give martins a tough time out to about 40 yards or more if you do your part behind the trigger.

Something evolved over the past few decades...the PCP. Beware though. When you get one you've made a commitment. A PCP worth owning will be in the $600 to $1000 dollar range and you STILL need a way to fill it with high pressure air. It used to be a $400 scuba tank and a trip to the dive shop every time you need a $10 to $25 refill. Now days it's a cheap hand pump or a $250-$350 electric pump that you can fill a small tank with or fill up your gun directly....life got good for us PCP guys when we broke away from the scuba shop. Simplicity in filling is what brought the PCP to the forefront. Not only are they more accurate (the firing cycle is more calm than a spring gun), but the power plant can push heavier .22, .25 and .30 caliber pellets/or slugs with the power needed for a predictable trajectory out to 100 yards and beyond. In the world of high end PCP's I own a modest FX Wildcat in .25 caliber. On a day without much wind, a sparrow or starling is not safe within 135 yards and my skill level is just slightly above average. Really good shooters are taking these things out to 300 yards with slugs with surprising accuracy. A good starting place for a PCP? Maybe a Benjamin Marauder in .22 ($500ish). an FX Dreamline in .22 or .25 ($1100 or so), anything Daystate makes (get a bank loan) and there are plenty of others.

Best of luck on your new venture! You'll love the sport and your martins will thank you!

Cheers,
Glenn in Texas

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Air Rifles...What do you own or recommend?

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:35 am

I agree with the options available now. Several years back the availability of air rifles from low end to high end was limited.
Now not only are there turn key options in low end to high end air rifles but there are upgrades and accessories available over the whole spectrum.
No longer do people have to adapt scopes, scope rings and scope mounts from higher powered rifles to air rifles only to see the scopes fall apart due to the increased shock from spring powered air rifles.
Now there are multiple scope mounts for vintage air rifles. A vintage Sheridan, Benjamin and Crosman can be safely fitted with a scope that can bring one of these air rifles to 1/2" or better accuracy at 25 yds.
I mention safe because some of the older scope mounts clamped on the brass barrel and pressed against the brass compression tube. This caused separation of the solder joint between the barrel and compression tube. Now several air rifle smiths offer scope mounts that mount onto the breech.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

Conrad Baker
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby Conrad Baker » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:13 am

There's never been a better time to get into the sport of air rifle shooting whether it's for pests, game or target shooting. It's something I've been involved with for 55 years. When I was first on this forum (gosh, could it be 30 years ago? How long have computers been around :-)) the only way to go was a high quality break barrel spring powered rifle from Europe, It's still a great way to go. For starters, get something in the class of an RWS/Diana 34 in .177 for about $280, a scope that can take the harsh punishment a "springer" dishes out, maybe a UTG or a low end Hawke for $150 or less and you're home free, for cheap. Test A LOT of pellets to see what gives you the best accuracy (start with JSB Exact Diablos, this is KEY no matter which gun you go with) and you're ready to rock and roll with quality that you'll pass down to your grandkids and a rig that can handle any pests that give martins a tough time out to about 40 yards or more if you do your part behind the trigger.

Something evolved over the past few decades...the PCP. Beware though. When you get one you've made a commitment. A PCP worth owning will be in the $600 to $1000 dollar range and you STILL need a way to fill it with high pressure air. It used to be a $400 scuba tank and a trip to the dive shop every time you need a $10 to $25 refill. Now days it's a cheap hand pump or a $250-$350 electric pump that you can fill a small tank with or fill up your gun directly....life got good for us PCP guys when we broke away from the scuba shop. Simplicity in filling is what brought the PCP to the forefront. Not only are they more accurate (the firing cycle is more calm than a spring gun), but the power plant can push heavier .22, .25 and .30 caliber pellets/or slugs with the power needed for a predictable trajectory out to 100 yards and beyond. In the world of high end PCP's I own a modest FX Wildcat in .25 caliber. On a day without much wind, a sparrow or starling is not safe within 135 yards and my skill level is just slightly above average. Really good shooters are taking these things out to 300 yards with slugs with surprising accuracy. A good starting place for a PCP? Maybe a Benjamin Marauder in .22 ($500ish). an FX Dreamline in .22 or .25 ($1100 or so), anything Daystate makes (get a bank loan) and there are plenty of others.

Best of luck on your new venture! You'll love the sport and your martins will thank you!

Cheers,
Glenn in Texas
Pooh, I was shocked when I read the prices of tanks and fills you quoted. I have been out of diving since 2005 (Katrina took all of my equipt). So I checked two local dive shops, they have the Luxfer 80 cu ft aluminum tanks for $179 and $199. Both shops charge $8.00 to fill the tanks when empty. This might be a viable option for those who want to go the PCP route. However, you probably won't be able to buy a tank (or get it refilled) from a dive shop unless you have a Dive Certification Card.
My partner at work has a Benjamin Marauder in .22 cal, and he can shoot 1 inch groups easily at 50 yards with it, and I think he paid right at $500 for it. At 25 yards, the pellets shoot into one ragged hole.

Brad Biddle
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby Brad Biddle » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:49 am

Seriously thinking about shooting CB shorts through my .22 lr. Do any of you have experience with that? :idea:
The CB shorts aren’t accurate at all from my experience. I use subsonic ammo (Aguilla) in my 22 rifle. It’s very accurate for me. Well, accurate enough for bird killing. I’m not shooting a bench rest match. I had a short 30 yard chip shot on a Starling this morning. He never even fluttered. I’m fortunate enough to live on a farm where I have a mile of fields and scattered trees behind my gourd racks. I don’t have to worry about hitting something behind the shots.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

Pooh
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:14 pm
Location: Hutto, Tx

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby Pooh » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:32 pm

"Pooh, I was shocked when I read the prices of tanks and fills you quoted. I have been out of diving since 2005 (Katrina took all of my equipt). So I checked two local dive shops, they have the Luxfer 80 cu ft aluminum tanks for $179 and $199. Both shops charge $8.00 to fill the tanks"

Yes, the Benjamin (Crosman) Marauder really snuck up on the industry with a sub $500 PCP that was accurate and powerful. It's a really good value and we can thank a good old American company for driving the price of PCP's down at least a little!
My first tank was a $180 Luxfer 3000psi and I still use it. Only problem is that most PCP's take a 3000psi fill so after your first 5 fills you're now left with a 2700psi reserve and it keeps going down hill from there...then it's back to the dive shop. I learned quickly why shooters were buying 3600-4500psi rigs! That's when you get into the price range I was talking about (with a yoke and a whip). Still, with a good 3600psi tank, fill hoses and a yoke, a Marauder and a good little scope you can get into the sport for around a grand. Substitute one of these new generation pumps that run on 12vdc or 115vac instead of a tank and you're still in the $1000 ball park.

Cheers,
Glenn in Texas

Conrad Baker
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby Conrad Baker » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:52 am

Yes, I think if you want the carbon fiber tanks, they are definitely up there in price, and finding a place (locally) that can fill them might be a problem. If you can find a reasonably priced electric pump, that would be the ticket !!
Seems like just for an occasional sparrow or starling, the break-barrel .177 or .22 would probably be the most economic version, if you can shoot it properly to be accurate enough to take out the target.

Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1901
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

Re: Pellet guns...What do you own or recommend?

Postby Doug Martin - PA » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:38 am

I got my chance to take out sparrows yesterday morning. We finally had some sunshine in the morning and they came to the housing. A few blue birds were around too.

It was easy pickings on the sparrows. The gun I got was accurate and deadly. Not even fair.

If you don't want to break the bank and want an excellent sparrow eliminator I can highly recommend this combo.

Daisy 901 Multi pump rifle
Standard 4x15 daisy scope
H&N hollow point barracuda hunting pellet.

Cost of about $75.00 for everything. Very easy to pump.( 5 will do.) Very accurate. Takes some time to site it in initially.

Doug
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.


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