It does not matter if it is a BB gun or a shotgun rifle, the compressed air gun is a fundamental element of aiming training for hunters of all ages. Not only that, in Mississippi there are valuable opportunities for hunters to bring their air guns to the forest. With the rising cost and limited availability of ammunition lately, those large cans of pellets are becoming increasingly attractive with each passing day.
BB guns are low power, but they are excellent for learning the basics of aiming (grip, visual alignment, trigger control) at low cost and in the comfort of your own home. Modern air rifles of good quality are by nature much more precise than most 22LR rifles. Rimfire rounds are naturally damaged due to low quality control when firing bulk ammunition and the use of a heel bullet. In comparison, even low-cost pellets and ammunition are more aerodynamic and, together with a modern compressed air rifle, will deliver consistent performance.
Compressed air guns are so popular for training young people in the basics of shooting that most hunter education courses taught in the state use one for the mandatory real fire section of the course. They are cheap to shoot, accurate and limited in scope.
Especially during the winter, there are always problems with mice, rats and other small bugs that are classified as pests. A good shotgun rifle even in 177 caliber can handle these without much trouble. Be sure to obey local laws, as some cities in the state have municipal ordinances about firing a gun of compressed air at the city limits, but otherwise, feel free. Obey the basic firearm safety rules with pellet guns, as they can still cause bodily harm, shoot windows and, in general, disturb neighbors. For these types of vermin, as well as annoying birds, a ball of good quality, medium weight, taco cutter (flat tip) will minimize the possibility of excessive penetration.
According to state laws, "all species of blackbirds, cowbirds, starlings, crows, crickets and English sparrows can be killed without a permit when such birds commit or are about to commit shadow predation or ornamental trees or agricultural crops" .
It is better to remember that Mississippi is home to a series of species of bats, turtles and rare snakes in danger of extinction, it is better to avoid them if you are not sure of the exact species in sight.
It is legal according to MDFWP regulations to hunt all small games (rabbit, squirrel, quail, raccoon, possum and lynx) with air rifles during the normal season by a licensed hunter.
While almost any BB gun or pellet gun will take animals the size of vermin (mice, rats) and pest birds such as sparrows, you'll need a high-powered air gun that shoots pellets just to go after something bigger.
These hunting level guns start at around $ 59 and rise quickly from there. To make sure you have a strong enough air gun, make sure the FPS rating (feet per second) is 700+ for a 22 gauge, or 950+ for a 177 gauge gun. The Benjamin Sheridan pump line and The Daisy Powerline series of rooster action can be obtained new for around $ 100. Slightly better rifles like the Gamo Big Cat and Crosman Vantage are only $ 30 more expensive but offer much more performance. Climbing the ladder are Ruger Air Magnums, German-made RWS guns, Hatsans, Sumatras and Benjamin Marauders that cost up to $ 400.
To hunt these tree rats and drooping ears, look for a good quality, medium weight domed pill, such as Crosman Premiere Light, RWS Superdome or JSB Exact. These can be obtained extremely cheaply, the 7.9 Grain Crosman Premier costs about $ 25 for 1250 granules, for example. Gamo has a new 0.36 gram pellet. 177 that can penetrate a 1.5 mm laminated galvanized steel sheet and continue. Called the "lethal", it is a two-body design granule with ultra-high ballistic coefficient, more terminal penetration, a stable flight path and a polymer skirt. These front-line pellets cost around $ 20 per 100. With high-end pellets and a high-powered compressed air rifle, lethal shots up to 50 yards away are possible.
When going behind wildcats, raccoons and opossums, 22-gauge or 25-gauge pellets of high-powered air guns should be the minimum.
With all the small games taken with an air gun, it is absolutely necessary to get good accurate shots in small death zones 1 to 2 inches from your target to ensure that it is reduced. Headshots are the rule to live. Unless you can hit a five-cent coin-sized target repeatedly with your 25-yard compressed air rifle, practice until you can before heading to the forest.
The state of Mississippi according to public notice LE6-3779 lists beavers, coyotes, foxes, otters, skunks and wild pigs as annoying animals. As such, hunting for annoying animals is allowed during the day on private land without gauge restrictions, which include compressed air guns. While 177/22 caliber guns can carry nougat without problems, going after some of the biggest games 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 guns, while practicing 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 shot. With precedents like that, it is probably only a matter of time before the whitetails are taken with air guns also in this state.
Just make sure you don't shoot yourself.