Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:10 PM
MackeralBoy, Nice collection of air rifles. I like .177 because of the higher speeds and flatter trajectory, although I respect what a .22 can do. Here are my thoughts about hunting with my ProSport. My ProSport .177 is a very accurate hunter. I've taken doves and cottontails with it out to 55 yards. The dove was taken at 53 yards with a tripod stand while sitting in a folding camp chair. The cottontail was taken offhand shooting off my knee. Both were with JSB Exact 8.4 gr. And I'm decent with it offhand out to about 35 yards with small prey. My PS is zeroed at 10 yards and it returns to zero again at around 50 yards. So it's nice out to that range. Beyond that, I can hit can-sized targets pretty well out to 65 yards but the fpe's are starting to drop and I wouldn't want to risk wounding but not killing animals out beyond 50. So I tend to keep it to 55 yards or less. But here's why I like hunting with my R9 Goldfinger .177 better, even though it lacks the refinement and fit and finish of the ProSport.You hit on the main issue: weight. My ProSport weighs about 11 lbs. scoped and is just too heavy to lug around for hours out in the field, even with a sling IMO. The R9 is about 2 lbs. lighter. Less weight means less fatigue so I'm accurate over a longer period of time. And the R9 still has plenty of heft for good balance and accuracy. Another issue is that, while I started out airgun hunting using a tripod rest and a folding chair or stool, I presently enjoy much more walking around the fields in search of game and shooting offhand, usually standing or dropping to one knee. I'm not very good at offhand shooting and it's challenging to try to improve my skills. Realistically, I'm accurate to about 35 yards shooting offhand standing, although I've nailed birds at longer distances. The R9 is just easier for me to use in this manner than the ProSport. And my R9 chrons JSB Heavy 10.2 gr at 753 fps muzzle velocity, which makes it similar in power to the .20 Beeman FTS 11 gr. (My R7 is a dream to shoot on these walk-about offhand hunts but it's a bit underpowered. Although the R7 with a JSB Predator at 25 yards delivers a really solid hit on an English sparrow, and it loves JSB Exact 8.4 gr.) Also, since the R9 is a break barrel, it's much easier to preload with a pellet (without cocking) than my ProSport. And, once I spot my quarry, I can load, cock and shoulder the R9 without taking my eyes off the target, even if I haven't preloaded a pellet. I'm not as good at quickly loading a pellet in the ProSport without looking away from the target. That said, I'm probably just in R9 mode at the moment and will no doubt return to hunting with my ProSport in due course. But for now, I sort of view my ProSport as my longer range stationary sniping rifle, using a tripod rest and a chair. Cheers,RAP.S. One thing I noticed about the R9 is that my front stock screws loosen up pretty quickly and I have to snug them down after every hunt. I need to use some blue Loctite on them. The ProSport screws don't loosen as frequently but you do have to check them because mine loosened eventually.