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Thread: Getting closer to Unlimited with Air

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    331

    Getting closer to Unlimited with Air

    I posted a while back about the start of my journey with getting an air rifle to shoot slugs/bullets. The lofty goal was to compete with unlimited class rimfire in a meaningful way. Iíve leaned a lot, and things are still evolving...but Iím having good success that is beginning to come up to unlimited rimfire levels.

    Since air is not legal to compete in ARA...we also began a new sanctioning body known as National 50 Benchrest League. Rather than be an all air body....we allow and encourage factory and unlimited class rimfire. Our target is inward scored and shares a x ring size with IR 5050 and Wrabf. The big difference is that the 10 ring is a little bigger. .3150Ē. The larger 10 ring allows rifles and shooters of greater difference to compete more closely.

    Here is a good card I shot yesterday in decent conditions that were about 2-4 mph. The 2 previous cards were 250 19xs. This 250 21x would have yielded the same score on IR5050, and a 2400 on the ARA target. This isnít my best target....but it is my best 3 card agg at 750 59x.

    The biggest difference with air is that you swage your own bullets at a cost of 3 cents each....and every bullet made is the right one for your gun. Iím shooting a 40gr bullet that has very similar wind drift characteristics as good match 22lr round. The barrels used are the same that most rimfire guys are used to. .900Ē Muller, Shilen, and LW.

    Itís exciting times for us guys that are trying to step up to the big leagues with air and hang with rimfire.

    For you rimfire guys that want some more range time...there are some clubs running N50 events that may be near you. Rio Salado, Open Grove, Tacoma rifle and revolver....etc. There are 2 classes....basically factory and unlimited....but we call them sportsman and pro.

    National50.org

    Mike
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    upstate, N.Y.
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    3,030
    Nice update Mike.
    If that can be shot on any kind of regular basis,itís going to be a tough act to beat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    417
    Really Cool Mike....color me impressed!

    Landy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Augusta, Maine & Palm Coast, Fl
    Posts
    6,471

    Thank you for doing this

    It is high time something new was tried and I'm glad it's looking good. How many shots can you get from a filling of air?

    Thanks,

    Pete

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    331
    Thanks, guys.

    That kind of card can be shot in the right wind. Averages are around 16-17x in most normal conditions.

    Pete, the gun is tethered so you can shoot until you get tired of it.

    Mike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SW Arkansas
    Posts
    216
    Amazing results! At a time when rimfire shooting is getting out of hand this is starting to
    look like a viable alternative. While the initial expenditure may be high, air is free and not
    subject to shortages and illusive case lots.
    I like where this is going!
    Regards,

    Joe McNeill
    SW Arkansas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    481

    Good news!

    Mike your progress is impressive.

    Could you give a break down of the cost of getting into air rifles with this type of capability?

    In the past start up cost has been the main reason many haven't went into air rifles.

    If the cost has become reasonable I'm sure many will want to follow your lead.

    TKH

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    331
    Thanks....

    Here is a rough breakdown of what you can expect to spend.

    Rifle. 4250.00-4500.00

    Bullet die. 550.00
    1 ton arbor press 75.00
    Sizing die holder 30.00
    Sizing dies. 15.00
    Lee single stage press for sizing. 65.00
    Wire chopper. 75.00.
    Total about 800$

    Air tank. Ranges 200.00-800.00
    Regulator 425.00
    Hoses. 100.00
    Air compressor. 350.00-3500.00

    Low end compressor and tanks 1100.00

    High end compressor and tanks
    5000.00

    My local fire department will fill my tanks for free, but I prefer to have my own compressor. Mine was about 1200.00.

    Total cost for everything with high end compressor setup 11,000.00
    Total cost for everything with low end compressor setup 7,000.00

    Lead wire cost 120.00 for 4000 bullets

    Cost to shoot air 20,000 per year (3c each) 600$

    Rimfire ammo 20,000 per year. (40c each) 8000.00$

    Of course the return on investment all depends on how much you shoot. I like shooting and practice whenever I can. I will shoot 75,000 rounds per year.

    If I was a Rimfire shooter I wouldnít be shooting very much since I couldnít afford 30k in decent ammo to put 75,000 shots down range per year....and shooting crap ammo wouldnít be very helpful or much fun.

    75,000 shots costs under 2,500 for air....and they will all be good.

    Mike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Augusta, Maine & Palm Coast, Fl
    Posts
    6,471

    Thanks Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelthomas View Post
    Thanks, guys.

    That kind of card can be shot in the right wind. Averages are around 16-17x in most normal conditions.

    Pete, the gun is tethered so you can shoot until you get tired of it.

    Mike
    that's good news.

    Pete

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ca.
    Posts
    960
    One of the fellows in our club started shooting rimfire shilloutes with an air rifle several years back. I know its not directly related but competitive air rifles have become very popular over the years.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    114
    I believe the air rifle will be more accurate than the unlimited rimfires due to the fact that you have absolute control over the velocity and can dial it in to be the same shot after shot. Rimfire will always be limited by the variableness of the ammo, something we have no control over and only hope to contain to some extent.

    Steve

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    331
    Well, so far itís not more accurate. I wish it was. It may be more accurate than some unlimited rimfire guns...but itís certainly not as accurate as others.

    I can hold velocity spreads around 12....but we only shoot 840-860 FPS. You can double the spread and still keep the same theoretical calculated vertical at 1050 FPS. Any advantage gained by tighter velocity spread with air is lost due to shooting 200fps slower.

    Mike

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    17

    Unlimited with Air

    This is intriguing. I shot one of your cards with a Factory CZ at Open Grove with Joe F back in Feb during a Friday practice session. I did not actually go down range and retrieve the tgt after but scoring thru the scope it looked like about a 247. Don't recall the x count but the wind did pick up a little during the afternoon. I was tired having gotten up a 3am to fly cross country to come and see the Open Grove gang and play with them for a few days. Joe shot at least a 249 with his air rifle at the same time. I was pretty impressed with it. I have a budget 22 PCP rifle but it is not nearly that accurate but I was not shooting match grade swaged pellets either. Keep pushing the envelope.

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