Air guns for hunting in Mississippi
No matter if it is a BB gun or a pellet rifle, the air pistol is a critical component of marksmanship training for hunters of all ages. Not only that, in Mississippi there are valuable opportunities for hunters to take their air pistols into the woods. With the rising cost and limited availability of ammunition lately, those big shot cans are looking more and more attractive with each passing day.
Air pistols are underpowered, but great for learning the basics of aiming (grip, sight alignment, trigger control) inexpensively and in the comfort of your home. Good quality modern air rifles are by nature much more accurate than most 22LR rimfire rifles. Rimfire rounds are by nature impeded due to poor quality control when firing bulk ammunition and the use of a heel bullet. In comparison, even inexpensive cast-iron pellets and BBs are more aerodynamic and, paired with a modern air rifle, will deliver consistent performance.
Air pistols are so popular for training youth in shooting basics that most hunter education courses taught in the state use one for the required live fire section of the course. They are cheap to shoot, accurate, and limited in range.
Especially during the winter, there are always problems with mice, rats, and other small critters that are classified as pests. A good pellet rifle even in caliber 177 can handle these without much trouble. Make sure to obey local laws, as some cities in the state have city ordinances about firing a BB gun in city limits, but feel free otherwise. Obey the basic safety rules for firearms with pellet guns, as they can still cause bodily harm, blow up windows, and generally annoy neighbors. For these types of pesky critters and birds, a good quality, medium weight dowel cutter granule (flat tip) will minimize the possibility of excessive penetration.
According to state law, “all species of blackbirds, thrushes, starlings, crows, carrots, and English sparrows can be killed without a permit when such birds are committing or about to commit predations on shade trees, ornamentals, or agricultural crops. “.
It is best to remember that Mississippi is home to a number of endangered species of bats, turtles, and rare snakes; they are best avoided if you are unsure of the exact species in view.
It is legal under MDFWP regulations to hunt all small game (rabbit, squirrel, quail, raccoon, opossum, and bobcat) with air rifles during normal season by a licensed hunter.
While almost any BB gun or pellet rifle will accept vermin-sized animals (mice, rats) and pest birds like sparrows, you will need a high-powered air pistol that shoots pellets just to chase something bigger.
These hunting-grade weapons start at around $ 59 and go up quickly from there. To ensure you have a strong enough air pistol, make sure the FPS (Feet Per Second) rating is over 700 for a 22 caliber, or 950+ for a 177 caliber gun. The Benjamin Bomb Line Sheridan and Daisy’s cock-action Powerline series can be purchased new for around $ 100. Slightly better rifles, such as the Gamo Big Cat and Crosman Vantage, are only $ 30 more expensive, but offer much more performance. Moving up the scale are Ruger Air Magnums, German-made RWS pistols, Hatsans, Sumatras, and Benjamin Marauders that cost up to $ 400.
To hunt down these lop-eared tree rats, look for a good quality, medium weight domed pellet like the Crosman Premiere Light, RWS Superdome, or JSB Exact. These can be extremely cheap, the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier costs around $ 25 for 1250 pellets, for example. Gamo has a new 0.36 gram.177 pellet that can penetrate 1.5mm rolled galvanized steel sheet and continue. Called “Lethal”, it is a two-body design pellet with ultra-high ballistic coefficient, more terminal penetration, a stable flight path and a polymer skirt. These top-of-the-line pellets cost around $ 20 per 100. With high-end pellets and a high-powered air rifle, lethal shots up to 50 yards away are possible.
When chasing bobcats, raccoons, and possums, the minimum for 22- or 25-gauge pellets from high-powered air pistols should be the minimum.
With all small games taken with an air pistol, it is absolutely necessary to get good, accurate shots in the small 1-2 inch kill zones from your target to make sure it lands. Headshots are the rule for life. Unless you can hit a nickel-sized target repeatedly with your air rifle at 25 yards, practice until you can before heading into the woods.
The state of Mississippi by public notice LE6-3779 lists beavers, coyotes, foxes, otters, skunks, and wild pigs as nuisance animals. As such, hunting nuisance animals is permitted during daylight hours on private land with no caliber restrictions, including air pistols. While 177/22 caliber guns can catch polecats with no problem, chasing some of the bigger sets on this list can be problematic unless you have a large caliber air rifle.
Speaking of which hunting deer and turkeys with large-caliber air pistols, while practiced in some states, is currently off the board in Mississippi, for now. In 2007, an Alabama man took two deer, including a 9-point trophy with a 50-caliber air rifle and a 200-grain pellet. With precedents like that, it’s likely only a matter of time before whitetails are also taken with air pistols in this state.
Just make sure you don’t shoot your eye.