Monday, 9 February 2009

Crosman 2250 Ratcatcher

I certainly wish I still had the Ratty; I had to flog it to get the cash for a full-power gun that - with my very rudimentary hunting skills - might at least allow me to get the odd, inattentive rabbit. Crosman air guns come from the factory as very basic but highly customisable guns; there's a giant network of people who seem to do little else than build upon the basic forms of the bog-standard Crosman. Here's a few links:

Crosman Airgun Forum (new)

Crooked Barn

Custom CrosmanParts and Spares

AirgunMod - Custom & Modified Crosman Airguns

Even six months later when I've learned a tiny bit more about stalking and suchlike, I'm still not at all sure that I'd be any use with a Ratty - even one with a souped-up range. The furthest I got into the world of Ratty-customisation was to get a set of springs which lightened the fairly hefty single-stage trigger pull and pushed the internal hammer a little bit harder in its flight toward the CO2 release pin - thereby releasing more gas and generating more push behind the pellet. So, more poke, but less shots per cannister as more gas was used in each shot.

My memory of using the Ratty after rabbits is this: I'm crawling between cow-pats, cold, slightly wet around the kneecaps and trembling with anticipation: there is a rabbit in the field ahead of me. I edge up to a steel fence and - trying not to breathe too loudly - edge the Ratty through the bars of the fence and plonk my head alongside so I can see through the scope with the gun pointing rabbit-wards. I wait - cold and nervous - while my breathing settles down and watch the rabbit looking around - he's presenting me with a perfect profile for a head shot and I'm aiming exactly at a point where an imaginary lines reaching back from its eye would intersect with one coming down from its ear, bang on the creature's brain for (what's known as) a humane kill. My breathing has settled, I'm spot-on on target so I squeeze the trigger and....

There's a 'phut'. The rabbit looks round, unperturbed and completely uninjured, decides that the present company is - by and large - unwanted and then proceeds back towards its burrow at no great speed.

In my excitement, I'd wildly misjudged the range and the looping trajectory of my heavy .22 pellet had resulted in it burying itself in the muck ten yards or so short of the rabbit.

I repeated this several times and started doing lots of searches on Google for "good air rifle for hunting rabbits".

Let me Google that for you.

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