As a hunter, I’ve actually tried quite a few rifles out. I’ve fired short, medium, and long ranged guns for small to large game. Today I wanted to share my thoughts on a few of the short range hunting rifles that I’ve picked out. Now keep in mind these are just my opinions based on…
Believe it or not, there is a 50 caliber pellet rifle out on the market today, and that is the Sam Yang Dragon Claw. Not too long ago, I decided to pick up one of these because I wanted to see how powerful they were and if they could be used for hunting. The nice thing about pellet rifles is there are not nearly as many strict laws involved in the purchase on them, and because of that they’re much easier to get your hands on and use. Initially I started to use this gun as just a way to get some additional cheap shooting practice in (pellets are ridiculously cheap) and to work on my overall accuracy. While it’s true that it doesn’t fully simulate the power and recoil of a true 50 caliber gun, it still was successful at what I wanted it to do.
So I went out on a hunting trip and we were hunting some larger animals in the feral hog size and these we will usually hunt with a normal hunting rifle, but I wanted to see what this pellet gun was capable of and if it could be considered one of the best available air rifles on the market. We had finally setup up an ideal spot in a tree to allow us perfect vision out into the forest and I had charged the gun up to the full 3000 PSI maximum pressure (one of the downfalls of pellet guns is the need to pre-pump them). I hadn’t installed a scope on the gun yet because I wasn’t completely sure I was going to be using the gun for the long hall and I didn’t want to put a huge investment into it until I was sure. So I was using the sights that were already installed on the gun.
About 35 minutes after I had situated myself in the treestand, I caught site of my first target, and lined it up in my sights. I was using some hollow point pellets as they appear to be the best as far as pellet gun hunting was concerned. I finally got the hog to where I felt I could pull off a shot, and I squeezed the two-stage trigger. I was actually fairly surprised to see the animal fall to the ground with one shot. I guess the 230 ft/lbs muzzle energy and the top velocity of 679 FPS were more than enough to easily and humanely dispatch the hog.
Now, it’s important to fully understand this isn’t a typical 50 caliber rifle as those are some of the most powerful guns you can legally own, but these pellet guns use 50 caliber pellet and that’s really just the size of the pellet the gun shoots. But, that doesn’t mean this isn’t a powerful gun. Being able to take down a large feral hog with a single shot is definitely something to not shake your head at. Also, since it’s obviously a very powerful pellet gun, you want to treat it with the respect it deserved and treat it like a real fire arm as far as securing the rifle goes.
So overall my experience shooting a 50 cal pellet rifle was a very positive experience and I would suggest to other that it’s worth it to have this in your collection. You will be able to practice shoot with very cheap ammo and you won’t have to deal with the very strict gun laws that are placed on regular handguns.
As I’ve often said, I became a huge fan of guns and firearms at a young age. There was just something that I found very intriguing about them, from the pure power of them to the small intricate pieces that make up a gun. Since that point, I’ve actually done a great deal of searching to learn as much about how they are constructed, deconstructed, modified, and all of the cosmetic touches that you can apply to a gun. There’s just something incredibly appealing to me about the whole process.
Some of you may not know much about how guns are produced or made, or don’t know the origins of firearms. Well I wanted to share some of my knowledge with you and granted, I’m not an expert on the subject, but I’m more than happy to share with everyone what I have learned in my spare time. If you want a basic introduction to the art of gunsmithing, continue reading and you’ll learn just a little bit more about that gun you have sitting in your gun safe.
What is a Gunsmith?
A gunsmith is a tradesman skilled in repairing, building and designing firearms. Usually they also know how to modify firearms, as well as make engravings and other alterations. Gunsmiths work in small family owned shops, sporting good stores, firearm manufacturies and are even hired by the military. A gunsmith requires a wide variety of skills to become a gunsmith, including woodworking, metalworking, ballistics, engineering, and more.
History of Gunsmithing
The history of gunsmithing is reported to have been in China during the 14th century, five centuries after the invention of gunpowder. It is unclear how gunpowder made its way to Europe, but once it did, the Russians began making small, hand-held cannons. By the 15th century firearms became a normal part of war thanks in part to the Ottoman Empire.
The late 15th century saw the introduction of the matchlock gun, which used a match instead of a wick to ignite the gun powder, leading to faster ignition times. After the match lock gun came the wheel lock gun, which fired instantly. These were the first mechanically firing guns ever made.
By the 17th century, gunsmiths discovered the flintlock- a mechanism that revolutionized the firearm industry for almost two hundred years. The flintlock was a simple to make gun, it was easy to fire, it shot quickly and it was easily accessible. The flintlock was famous for its wide-spread use during the American Revolution.
Right after the American Revolution, a new firearm replaced the flintlock, percussion-cap guns. One of the most famous percussion-cap guns was, and still is, the colt revolver. The percussion-cap mechanism allowed gunsmiths to design muzzle-loading firearms able for use in any type of weather. Percussion-cap guns were popularly used in both the American Civil War and the Austro-Prussian War. For decades gunsmiths worked tirelessly to perfect the percussion-cap gun, with new designs appearing constantly. The creation of the back action lock mechanism in 1830 led to the creation of the Colt Revolver in 1835.
The Crimean War in 1854 was the last war on record to use muzzle loaded guns in battle. By the start of the Civil War, gunsmiths had designed the Spencer repeating rifle, a lever-action gun that used cartridges. This firearm was lighter and smaller than the percussion-cap guns and were capable of firing seven shots in only 15 seconds. The first cavalry to use this type of weapon was the United States Navy during the Civil War.
Right before the end of the 19th century, famous gunsmith Joseph Laumann created the first automatic pistol. It was soon replace by the next big innovation for gunsmiths- the Winchester automatic rifle. Prior to 1907 when the automatic rifle came out, Winchesters had already became the gun of choice among western settlers in the United States.
In the early 1900s, gunsmith Theodor Bergmann invented the first sub-machine gun. This fully automatic firearm fired pistol cartridges and was used by the German Army during World War I.
By World War II, gunsmiths discovered a way to create the first assault rifle, a powerful firearm with a long range, increased comfort for the shooter and capable of firing in any kind of weather condition. Shortly after WWII, the assault rifle became the gun of choice by every major world power.
Skilled in manufacturing, modifying and repairing a wide range of firearms, gunsmiths work for both firearm enthusiasts, as well as military personnel. As technology advances, so does the trade of gunsmithing.
Now, in the initial history of gunsmithing, the skills you learned for gunsmithing were done through apprenticeships, such as you would see for armorers and other weapon makers back in the day. They would learn all of the skills they required by shadowing a master gunsmithing, and by doing the more basic tasks that the master would require. Normally it would take several years for an apprentice to learn the skills required to branch out on their own, and at some point, have their own apprentice.
Today, there is much more availability to learn about gunsmithing. You’re able to learn it through an apprenticeship, military work, or even regular schooling. To be honest, I’ve even taken some of the more basic classes just so I have the skills I need in order to take apart and put back together my rifles. I decided to learn the skills because I want to make sure that I maintain my guns to the best of my ability, but I didn’t want to risk the chance of destroying a gun I invested several hundred dollars in.
We all have seen the clamoring for gun control in the political circle as well as other “celebrities”. Now I’m a firm believer that you do not need gun control to the extent that everyone outside of the gun owner circle wants. The only thing that we, as gun owners, need to do is to be more responsible with our firearms. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 50 caliber rifle or a 9mm beretta handgun. Both of those firearms are dangerous in the hands of those that aren’t trained, or aren’t fully capable of owning a firearm (be it a mental condition, or criminal). Not only should you secure the guns themselves, but it’s important to also store the ammo somewhere safely as well. That’s where gun safe reviews and reviewing your gun safe options becomes important. You need to make sure that you’re purchasing the best fit for you.
Now, yes there is a big difference in size between a handgun and a 50 caliber rifle, but there are still options out there that would allow you to safely secure a gun that size, but there are definitely certain things you will need to factor in when finding storage solutions with a gun the size of 50 cal: the size of the gun vs the size of the gun safe, will you be able to store the ammo along with the firearm, and the scope rests of the safe.
The primary factor is obviously the size of the gun vs the size of the gun safe. As these rifles tends to be pretty big and bulky, you will need a safe that will be able to hold the length with the barrel. Not only are these weapons longer than a normal AR, but they’re also much wider in many cases, and that is something that you will need to factor in because it could take up 2 or 3 spots in your safe. So you will definitely want to over estimate how many guns you’re planning to store. Instead of purchasing a 16 gun safe, buy a 24 gun safe because you will effectively only be able to store 12 other guns plus your 50 cal. Also, to help add some flexibility, you will want to find a gun safe that has an adjustable interior design because this will allow you to remove shelving so you aren’t forcing such a large gun in places that it doesn’t want to fit.
Next, you have to take a look at the very large bullets that this rifle shoots because it is not a typical gun clip or small individual bullets. A 50 cal bullet is often a couple of inches long and this may make it difficult to store the ammo, especially if you remove any shelving to allow you to be able to fit the gun inside the safe. This is where you want to take some reviews of gun safes into account as you determine what is the best option for you to buy. The best gun safe reviews will include the specs of the safe, and you will want at least a 60″ tall gun safe if you want any hope of fitting both the gun and ammo in a single storage solution. One potential idea to allow you a bit more storage is the purchase of a door organizer. Door organizers will normally contain little pouches or gun holsters that will allow you to fit smaller accessories or ammo that doesn’t take up any storage space of the main compartment. Many higher end gun safes will come with these, but if they don’t, then it would be wise to invest in one.
Finally, bulky scopes can sometimes be an issue with the rests that are built into the majority of gun storage solutions on the market. So you will want to read safe reviews very carefully on the gun safe before you decide to purchase because if the rests are small, then that might either cause you to have to remove the scope, or you may need to make modifications to allow you to make it fit. Most scopes for larger guns tend to be larger than an AR scope or a handgun scope. Shelving and door organizers may help if you decide to remove your scope, but you will want to make sure that they are even able to fit it because some organizers may not come with a compartment that will allow secure placement of those expensive optics.
It’s important that you take all these different factors into account because not only do you want to protect your multi thousand dollar high end rife, but you want to keep that gun out of everyone elses hands. Be a responsible gun owner, and research some storage options for your firearms so everyone can be kept safe.