Reply To: Big game hunting with PCP's
While I agree with the thought that we need to be careful of wounded game when hunting with an air rifle, I don’t get the comparisons between the air rifles and corresponding PB’s as it can be misleading to some that may not have a selection of air rifles to choose from. Just because my .408 (thanks BWalton) is capable of generating over 400 fpe with a 230 grain slug at the barrel, it by no means says it will have 400 fpe at the point of impact. And if you don’t hit the right spot, it doesn’t matter how much energy the slug had.
There is not much in North America that can’t be killed by a .22 LR under 50 yards. How fast the animal will expire will depend on where the shot placement was as well as the amount of trauma that has occurred. A bullet that hits an artery or bounces off several rib bones is going to put an animal down much quicker than one that punches straight through. Even though you may not get the maximum amount of trauma from the shot, a well placed shot will kill the animal and I’d much rather have someone use a smaller caliber (.25 or .30 depending on species and legalities) that they can group 2 inches at 50 yards with over a .357 or larger caliber if they can’t consistently hit a 3 inch circle out to 50 yards with it.
If you look at a CCI .22 short with a 29 grain bullet going 710 fps, it generates 32 fpe at the muzzle but retains more than 30 fpe out to 50 yards. Now, if you look at a 26 grain Polymag going 760 fps, you get more than 33 fpe at the barrel (so more than the .22) but at 50 yards, the energy has dropped down to just over 22 foot pounds. Here we have a case where the .25 caliber pellet is more powerful at the barrel, but less powerful after 10 yards and potentially under powered at 50 yards based on what you’re shooting. My point is that not only do we need to be careful when hunting, we need to be thinking about more than caliber as there any many factors than pellet/bullet size involved with killing an animal.
As for the .380, my wife carries one and I carry a .45. She is comfortable with it and that comfort makes it more enjoyable for her to practice with it. Is it as powerful as my .45? No, but if she ever needs it she’s capable of using it to make the necessary shot(s) and I’d rather have her using that .380 than having nothing. I’m not picking on what was said, but I do feel too many times people read/hear these conversations and think that they need the biggest and fastest when a lot of times that just isn’t the case. Last I checked, dead is dead and while it may take more time for a smaller caliber to put out the lights, a bigger caliber is worthless if you can’t hit the light switch to begin with.