Hunting with a scope and range finder.
The most important factor for harvesting/hunting small game with a air gun is shot placement. Shot placement is more important than either caliber or the pellet design. If you consider the factors that the weight of a .177 pellet is any where from 7 to 10 grains and the .20 or .22 caliber pellets are only slightly heavier at 14 grains and the speeds a air gun produce are anywhere from 600 fps up to 1000 fps, we are not talking about a high power hunting weapon. Body shots are not are not the best humane shots, because vital points in the body of small game are small, missing a vital point in the body happens often and missing their vital points will cause the animal to suffer needlessly. A head shot is a more humane way of harvesting small game.
Let us think about what happens every time you miss a vital point. For one the animal suffers needlessly, this suffering may go on for days. The animal might run/fly away, suffer for days, die and rot. A rotting animal, brings stench, which is a nauseating smell, then it brings in flies which are pests, that are unsanitary, they bring in sicknesses and pester human beings. A lot of good reasons for doing a more precision humane head shot.
A budget air gun such as the B-4-2 or B-18, once sighted in with precision and using head shots for a clean harvest can be a formable hunting weapon for small game. Distance shots call for the use of a scope and a range finder for precision humane shots (head shots).
The right scope for a air gun is a scope that is designed for air guns. It should offer graduated target type adjustment knobs, a parallax adjustable objective for ranges from 10 meter to infinity and variable power. It should be designed especially for air guns to be able to take the punishment given out by spring piston air guns. Spring piston air guns produce a double recoil vibration that will destroy a normal scope.
On the market you will find quality air gun scopes, such as BSA, Bushnell, RWS, Beeman scopes and others. Using a range finder with your scope and practicing before hand is a must, you must study the cross hairs on your scope and know where on that cross hair on your scope will place a precision shot at each distance according to your range finder. This practicing will help you learn how to compensated the scope for the distance of the air rifle's trajectory. After practicing and studying your range finder and scope, a range finder becomes a practical tool in hunting at a distance.
Long distance hunting shots should not be taken with out precision, it is not humane and will cause the animal to suffer needlessly. Precision head shots are needed for a humane harvest. Study your air gun's trajectory limit, in other words know the limit of your air gun and do not pretend that it is a high power weapon. Lots of practicing with your air gun, scope and range finder will make the range finder a practical hunting tool in the future. Practicing and knowing your air gun's limit, your scope and using a range finder will make you a better hunter and a better target shooter.
You may purchase a budget short distance range finder to use as a practical tool for your scope and by all means use it to verify the distance to help you in compensating the air rifle's trajectories for precision distance humane shots (head shots) when ever possible.
For a better understanding of a scope and the pellet's trajectory check out this cool demo page.
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