Reply To: Same old newbie question: What to buy?
First things first, you have to adjust yourself to our shorter range world. 50 yards with any kind of smallbore airgun is like 200 yards with a powderburner.
100 yards is like 500, due to much lower aerodynamic efficiency, velocity, and bullet weight.
We we also tend to shoot at MUCH smaller targets. So you think you need 50 yds min., but it is actually a reasonable MAXIMUM range. For reasonable airguns.
I have a custom built Crosman 1377, and it is nice, but it’s a 30 yard gun. And that’s with 10 pumps for every shot. It gets old faster than pumping a PCP every 30 shots.
My advice is to start with a Hill pump and Marauder, per your first instinct. The Benji pumps are junk. You’ll get 30 very good shots, and you only have to pump from 2000 to 2500 psi; not too hard. The higher end PCPs need 3000 to 3300 psi, which is where hand pumping is tough. In .177, it puts out 18 FT-lbs which is great out to 60 yards for hunting small game, and out to 80 or 100 for plinking.
Then, supplement it with a top quality springer or gas ram rifle that shoots 12-15 FT-lbs. (AA TX200 is a perennial favorite.) for just relaxed plinking and target shooting, the Weihrauch HW30s or Beeman R7 are hard to beat. They’ll shoot a 7 gr. pellet at 650 fps, which is even enough for pest control and small game (rabbit and smaller) out to 30 yards. (Head shots for mammals, body for birds)
that’ll have you into the hobby and not paying firearm tax for ammo, for around $1k. You’ll be surprised how much you like low-medium powered airguns, I bet. I came from powderburners too, and don’t miss it much. I rolled my own ammo too, so I was getting the most out of it.