I want to circle back on this notion of "backyard friendly". As you're fully aware at this point, I'm obsessed with making the quietest possible backyard friendly airgun, pellet gun... whatever you want to call it. There is a line though... quiet can't be at the expense of an animal suffering... even if it is a dumb rat ;). While I hate rats and chipmunks (well I hate the destruction they cause) I don't want them to suffer... otherwise, I'd just drown and/or poison them.
I continue to write about this topic as I keep getting comments and pushback... bottom line, like I was a year ago... dudes are tuning with their dicks, and not their brains!
Maybe I just have a different definition of what backyard friendly means. To me backyard friendly airgun equals lowest possible noise level at power level that meets your
needs. Additionally in this definition is shot pass-through. On paper targets that's easy... well hopefully you're shooting into a target that traps pellets with something quiet like Duck Seal (if not, get yourself some here
). On pests however, it's an important factor in shooting in a safe manor. I think we can all agree on noise level, but where things go south is the definition of power needed.
The people we all watch on youtube... Ted, Matt, etc... they all have pretty sweet setups. They have permissions
on farms where they routinely shoot 60-100+ yards at pigeons and starlings. The result of this is all of us tuning our airguns (Leshiy, FX Impact, Matador, Leyla, whatever you have) to what someone like Ted does for his needs with total disregard to ours. Suddenly these long distance, farm country scenarios are the baseline. Does shooting a 34gr JSB MK2 at 850 FPS work fine in a backyard... sure does. Does is it piss off your neighbors... yup, it 100% does/will.
When I tell someone I'm shooting a .25 pellet at 550 FPS, the first concern I hear is usually about pellet drop. To an extent, I understand that if you shoot long distance, but the question to ask is how often do you shoot over 40 yards?
The next is about accuracy. First, take the #1 video you see on youtube about the Leshiy with a giant grain of salt. I wasn't there, and cannot say with certainty... but I'm just gonna say it... In my opinion Ted 100% pulled those shots. Why? 2 reasons... well 3:
1) The last gun I owned was this one... why is this relevant... my skill level is limited ;)
... and after I returned the FX Impact, here were the groups I'm shooting with the EDgun Leshiy! Same distance, wind, whatever the excuses were in that video. With accuracy, It really comes down to the shooter at some point... and I have a hard time believing I can out shoot (over and over again) a guy who won Extreme Benchrest.
The Leshiy is crazy accurate, and the reality is... most airguns in the $1,000+ range are just as accurate. What really differentiates them is build quality... that's a whole other topic for another day, but here's a good video explaining what that means
Anyways... back to accuracy...
I got no dog in this fight other than I think my beloved EDgun Leshiy gets a knock it doesn't deserve in the accuracy column.
The next part, pass-through, is more about safety, but to me that's a critical part of any backyard friendly airgun tune, in any caliper, and any gun... EDgun Leshiy, Matador, FX Impact, whatever. I was talking to someone once who shot a squirrel on a golf course with an .25 R5M (I think) with a relatively flat trajectory (i.e. not up in a tree). The squirrel was at 50-60 yards. After reviewing the footage, he saw the pass-through and 2nd impact on a small hill another 100 yards behind it with a huge dust cloud from the impact!!
My thought process was to get to the desired energy using pellet size and weight vs purely speed. If I could do that at lower speeds, and maintain accuracy... then I was onto something. Shot count, and obviously noise levels were big parts of it too.
So the conclusion is it 100% works. .25 (JSB Kings) @ 542 FPS (16ft/lbs) at the muzzle. I get about 42 shots (w/o additional air cylinder), it's crazy quiet, accurate, and powerful enough to cleanly kill Rats, Squirrels, Chipmunks, Jack Rabbits, and Skunks.
Low power tune = plink all day, and still enough power to cleanly heart/lung punch larger backyard pests. Rats, Squirrels, Chipmunks... no brainer. This skunk is as big as I would go though... R5M setup for raccoon season if they become a problem.