.308 "Big Bore" or flop?

Forums PCP Airguns .308 "Big Bore" or flop?

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    Willie14228
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    Ask just about any fire arm hunter about the .308 and they will say it is a good deer gun. Unfortunately I cannot help but wonder if in an effort to attract those same guys that knows what a .308 is as far as firearms that air rifle manufactures hasn’t perhaps stepped out of bounds coming out with this caliber air rifle as a viable deer hunter.
    At 1100 FPS this is only 268 FPE out of the muzzle for a 100 grain bullet and from what I can find about the largest gr weight bullet available is 150gr.
    Now don’t get me wrong I know some of you guys could shoot and kill a deer with a .25 but we are talking about manufactures trying to bring firearm hunters over to the air rifle side by offering them a caliber of rifle they recognize as a deer hunting rifle. Ask any of those same firearm hunters where the best place is to shoot a deer and they will most likely reply boilerplate. and worse yet ask them at what range and some will reply 250 300 yards

    I come from a Black Powder deer hunting background and even for my .50 BP I use a .45 in a sabot because it seems to dump more of the energy into my target than a .50 does at least when deer are concerned. In the same issue as an Air Rifle Black Powder rounds do not travel fast enough to provide hydrostatic shock damage but instead relies on expansion of the bullet and kinetic energy dump into the chest cavity along with of course penetration to damage vital organs. I do not know the proper term of it but when I say Kinetic Energy Dump what I am talking about is the absorption of the bullet mass by the organs, Even the organs that are not directly pierced by the bullet are punched and blood vessels are torn away causing more blood loss. Blood Loss is the primary goal in hunting with Big Bore Air Rifles, Black Powder Rifles, and Archery whereas in firearms in many cases the animal can expire from the actual shock of the impact. 

    The actual boilerplate kill zone is about half as large for air gun, black powder, and archery hunting as it is for fire arms because of that lack of hydrostatic shock. By Kill Zone shot I am talking about an animal normally expiring within 30 to 40 yards of being hit.

    Add this to the fact that a .308 has less mass and therefor will loose more energy down range than that of a heavier massed bullet is the .308 a viable deer hunting air rifle?

     

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    T3PRanch
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    Several states require slugs larger than .308 for hunting big game. I have not seen any advertisements for .308 airguns specified for hunting. Can you provide a link to such so I may become more educated? ;)

    Thurmond

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    Northbound
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    As you mentioned before, this can easily be done with a .25. It’s all about shot placement. I have dispatched several deer with .308. The key here is the be close enough and have the deer at the right angle exactly to either place a headshot or heart and lung shot with easy. My 308 has 1/2 inch accuracy at 35 feet. This means that as long as the angle is correct I’m happy to place a headshot. 1 inch groups at 65 feet means heart and lung shots are very affective as long as you know exactly where to place the bullet. In short you really have to know your gun, your capabilities and the game to be an ethical hunter. 
    Airgun hunting requires way more patience than firearms, one has to be able to just let the game go if all of the the requirements for a successful shot are not there.

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    Willie14228
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    Extreme is one of them Thurman, Air Force offers the .308 in the same line up at the .45 and while if you look closer it does say that it is a great gun for coyote size animals it is still lined up with the same rifle that is being pushed as a big game hunter.
    I know many states that allow air rifles has put a .35 or larger ( I agree with Kip on this next part) what should be actually be used is a minimum FPE this would help make sure that substandard air rifles even .45 and .50 that are shooting slow FPS and Low FPE cannot be used.

    Northbound I can appreciate that you can shoot one inch groups at 65 yards, (I am going to assume that is what you meant instead of feet) The real question is, do you think it is a viable deer hunting platform. You said some key words that I want you to think about then put yourself in the shoes of a guy who is moving over to Air Rifles from a firearm.
    “At the Right Angle exactly”
    “Be Close Enough”
    And of course one that you didn’t mention “BUCK FEAVER” the bane of all hunters at one point or time
    This is most likely one of the hardest parts of the learning curve moving from Firearms to Air, Arch, and BP if the hunter already has some Archery or Classic Black Powder hunting experience it helps but there is still a fairly large learning curve as BP can offer you a bit more range and archery slightly more forgiveness in shot placement.

    The Biggest issue I have is that to a firearm hunter the .308 is almost a laser beam and a .45 a flying brick, because of that they will recognize the .308 as the better choice for dear hunting. While its true there are some hunters that do their own reloads most do not and many don’t even know what FPE is. Many firearm hunters don’t even own camo gear or if they do its more for show than actual utility after all you don’t need it if you can take a deer out at 200 or more yards. You add to this the ability to go online and order whatever caliber air rifle with out talking to a soul and you have yourself an uneducated proud owner of a .308 air rifle to sit beside his .308 deer rifle and as Thurman indicated one that he may not even be able to use to hunt with legally at all.

    Did you know there is no real guideline for how many Foot Pound of Energy per the Size or species of Animal, There are some very basic “use this caliber for this size animal” listings But in the Big Bore Class this can be Extremely misleading simply by the fact that you can find a fairly large verity of grain weight bullets for that caliber.

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    Northbound
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    Yards for sure, it was a bit early here:)
    Now the misleading part I completely understand, before I was introduced to air rifles my reference was firearms and 308 more specifically. 
    Having shot the air rifle and more so just by looking at numbers to begin with, it quickly becomes  obvious that this sport is much closer to artchery than fire arms. 
    It is therefore imperative to understand the damage the bullet is going to do and even more so the anatomy of the animal. The more “inefficient ” the hunting tool is the more this skill set comes in to play. To make a long story short and to have a reference to your question I think all this should be explained to someone purchasing one of these air rifles. Starting point obviously being state laws, practical testing and knowing your animal anatomically. The problem here is getting to know your air rifle, this can be very cumbersome task that not everybody is willing to do. Varied distances, angles and even temperature makes this a challenging sport.
    Having done a fair amount of testing it is my opinion that if I’d had to generalize: 2 inch accuracy 50 yards, 45 hollow point  +185gr for heart and lung shots, will up the chances for a quick dispatch. Smaller calibers requires another level of accuracy and shot placement that only some of us are willing to obtain with extensive testing.

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    Goodtogo
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    “Willie14228”Extreme is one of them Thurman, Air Force offers the .308 in the same line up at the .45 and while if you look closer it does say that it is a great gun for coyote size animals it is still lined up with the same rifle that is being pushed as a big game hunter.
    I know many states that allow air rifles has put a .35 or larger ( I agree with Kip on this next part) what should be actually be used is a minimum FPE this would help make sure that substandard air rifles even .45 and .50 that are shooting slow FPS and Low FPE cannot be used.

    Northbound I can appreciate that you can shoot one inch groups at 65 yards, (I am going to assume that is what you meant instead of feet) The real question is, do you think it is a viable deer hunting platform. You said some key words that I want you to think about then put yourself in the shoes of a guy who is moving over to Air Rifles from a firearm.
    “At the Right Angle exactly”
    “Be Close Enough”
    And of course one that you didn’t mention “BUCK FEAVER” the bane of all hunters at one point or time
    This is most likely one of the hardest parts of the learning curve moving from Firearms to Air, Arch, and BP if the hunter already has some Archery or Classic Black Powder hunting experience it helps but there is still a fairly large learning curve as BP can offer you a bit more range and archery slightly more forgiveness in shot placement.

    The Biggest issue I have is that to a firearm hunter the .308 is almost a laser beam and a .45 a flying brick, because of that they will recognize the .308 as the better choice for dear hunting. While its true there are some hunters that do their own reloads most do not and many don’t even know what FPE is. Many firearm hunters don’t even own camo gear or if they do its more for show than actual utility after all you don’t need it if you can take a deer out at 200 or more yards. You add to this the ability to go online and order whatever caliber air rifle with out talking to a soul and you have yourself an uneducated proud owner of a .308 air rifle to sit beside his .308 deer rifle and as Thurman indicated one that he may not even be able to use to hunt with legally at all.

    Did you know there is no real guideline for how many Foot Pound of Energy per the Size or species of Animal, There are some very basic “use this caliber for this size animal” listings But in the Big Bore Class this can be Extremely misleading simply by the fact that you can find a fairly large verity of grain weight bullets for that caliber.

    You seem to paint hunters with a broad brush? You use many, some, most,  a lot? And even throw in “all” at times ;)  Are you a firearms engineer or firearms instructor?

    In my area of the country the tree stand is used a lot. And its not everywhere you can get  a 100 yard shot. And for this state you can take a deer with a 224 bullet.

     

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    Willie14228
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    The Bane off all hunters come on goodtogo at least once in our hunting we have experienced a little jitters and some buck fever it’s nothing to be ashamed of, after all if hunting doesn’t get your blood a flowing then why do we do it.
    My father was an at home Gun Smith and I grew up in a hunting family. I have also been doing a lot of market research for my own business. I have been promoting the use of air rifles here in my part of Texas and through my discussions with firearm hunters these “many”, “most” and “some” is what I’ve gleaned speaking to somewhere in the ball park of a hundred farmers, hunters and land owners and game wardon. Do you have a different opinion?
    Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying a firearm Hunter is stupid or anything negative about them at all.
    It’s all about Hunter education.
    I have spoken with 10 game wardens about air rifles and feral Hogs 2 of which came out while I was night hunting to check me out half of them couldn’t believe I was doing so with an air rifle.
    I live in East Texas where there are a lot of hay farms and I would say if not every Friday then close to it I will come up on a group of guys with four wheelers or sidebysides night lights, waders and a back seat full of A.Rs and what have you and as a growing business I make sure to introduce myself and offer to show them something unique and pull out my Texan and Bulldog.
    And even on a few occasions followed them out to where they are going and let them put some rounds through. I talk they talk and we both learn

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