With ammo becoming scarce, air rifles are good options

One of our shooting pastimes, plinking, is fading quickly. Why? Because getting ammunition has becom

One of our shooting pastimes, plinking, is fading quickly. Why?

Because getting ammunition has become a major problem everywhere, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s rimfire or centerfire ammo. I recently tried to buy several boxes of .22-caliber ammunition at the regular sporting goods outlet and found “none.”

The reason I heard most frequently was a “rush on ammo” began when weapon controls became a major issue with our government.

Not knowing what new regulations were coming led many gun owners to start stocking/hoarding ammunition. I visited what’s probably the largest sports store in our area. They said they put up a red rope when they receive their ammunition deliveries so the buyers can stand in line early to get a number. And each buyer is limited to just three boxes a day. It reminds me of the gas lines years ago.

Last Monday, I decided to go online to buy my .22 ammunition from Cabela’s website. When I entered “.22 ammunition” in the search box, nothing popped up, but there was a statement about their ammunition-buying policy that said: “Cabela’s is limiting quant­ities of ammunition and reloading supplies. This limitation, which will be lifted once supply catches up with demand, will provide the best chance for the greatest number of our customers to fulfill their needs.” Bass Pro Shop was my next stop, and it was the same: “Out of stock.”

While on these sites, I noticed their centerfire ammunition in the more popular calibers was also on backorder with the exception of unusual calibers like the .218 Bee, .220 Swift, etc.

As a last resort, I went to www.gunbroker.com and found .22 ammunition, but I was not going to pay the price. The prices varied, but to provide an idea, you could buy 1,000 rounds for $300, 2,100 rounds for $480, etc. Wow! The ammo was going to cost twice as much as the gun.

To top it all off, I received an email from the March/April Schoharie County Conservation Association’s Newsletter that had some very interesting New York State Safe Act information on what’s in store for us, beginning Oct. 1. To purchase ammunition, a newly created, state-issued ammunition elig­ibility certificate or a pistol permit will be needed, both of which require a background check and a $35 fee to obtain. The New York State Police will issue this certificate.

Not only is it getting more expensive to buy those Modern Sporting Rifles (ARs), but the cost of shooting them is also skyrocketing.

Speaking of ARs, or almost any firearms right now, try to find or order one.

So what is the economical answer for plinking? My choice is still an AR, but in this case, it stands for “air rifle.”

Today’s modern air guns have come a long way since my Daisy Model 25 pump. They still have the pumps, but they now can send a .177 pellet off at 1,400 feet per second, and can be purchased for less than the cost of a brick of .22 rimfire ammunition. I saw a Crosman Venom Dusk .177 caliber break action pellet rifle with a fluted barrel and 3-9x32mm CenterPoint scope on sale for $130 and a carton of 1,250 Crosman pellets for $13. That’s considerably less than those $65 bricks of .22 rimfire ammo.


I’ve always liked the look and feel of these guns, and I have one I expect any day now on order. This gun will be delivered to my door by UPS and will probably have at least 500 rounds with it. According to the company’s product manager, this gun’s design evolved from the Vietnam-era service rifle.

I really like the removable magazine — it will hold 100 rounds. Those familiar with the New York State Safe Act are probably a bit wide-eyed at my last statement. How does this modern sporting rifle (AR style rifle) with a high-capacity removable magazine, pistol grip etc. get delivered to your door without any background check, or any intervention of a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer?

Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you this MTR77 NP .177 caliber is the new Crosman break-barrel single-shot air gun.

This little 40-inch gun weighs just 5.8 pounds and is powered by Crosman’s Nitro Piston technology that delivers the regular .177 pellet at 1,000 feet per second. Using their alloy pellet, the speed increases to 1,200 feet per second with 18 foot pounds of energy. Additionally, this technology gives it 70 percent less noise than other break-barrel air guns. It has a smoother cocking force, quicker locking time and much less felt recoil.

The magazine provides pellet storage. Other features include a steel barrel, two-stage adjustable trigger and sling mounts for easy carrying. When I placed my order, I opted for the CenterPoint 4x32mm riflescope, but you can order the gun with a carry handle version that incorporates a rear sight and elevation-adjustable pin sight.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the scoped model is $300, the other, $275. To see both these models, go to www.crosman.com and click on “airgun break barrel.” If you like it, and I think you will, click on the photo of the gun, then click on “notify me” like I did, and they will email you when they are available.

What is the future for my AR (air rifle)? Squirrels and rabbits this fall, sooner if I find some red squirrels.

Categories: Sports

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