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Thread: 5.5 mm Springers - Useless or Not?

  1. #1
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    Default 5.5 mm Springers - Useless or Not?

    I read through the thread titled multiple questions and noted these posts, partially quoted below:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gertfrik View Post
    My limited experience has been that the 5.5mm in springer travels too slow, you really need to be super accurate on distance to get the drop right. It also has a longer cycle time making hold sensitivity worse.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuberboef View Post
    Just remember you need to tune them for serious FAC as a sub 12fpe they are useless.
    It started me thinking on this issue, so here are some thoughts:

    As you may well be aware, the UK has a limit on power for air rifles of 12 ft.lbs, above which a firearms certificate (FAC) is required for their ownership, this has been the case since 1968.

    So under 12 ft.lbs of muzzle energy air rifles of any calibre are freely available to purchase. In essence this means 4.5mm (.177), 5mm (.20), 5.5mm (.22) and 6.35mm (.25) calibres.

    The 5mm and 6.35mm have quite a limited following with few guns available and a fairly limited selection of pellets to choose from. In essence 4.5mm and 5.5mm are the main choices.

    So given our power limitation which calibre has historically been the favourite in the UK?

    Well, it is the 5.5mm, sure the 4.5mm has caught up in recent years and is the mainstay of the target disciplines (FT, HFT etc), but for the field shooter going after rabbits and the like the 5.5mm is still a strong favourite.

    My first quality air rifle was an HW77K bought brand new in 1986, just like this one:



    It was in 5.5mm it would run 14.5gr RWS Superdomes at a whisker under 600fps (JSB were not in existence at this time) and was nice and accurate at all sensible airgun hunting distances.

    That 77 and other 5.5mm air rifles I have owned over the years harvested a lot of rabbits, so I would scarcely call them useless and no doubt this would echo the experiences of thousands of other airgun shooters in the UK over many years.

    Taking the points Gerfrik makes, the 5.5mm is slower than a 4.5mm, so yes you do need to learn the trajectory and be good at assessing range to ensure clean kills, but that is just a matter of practice and any airgun is cheap enough to shoot to develop the appropriate skill level.

    As to a "longer cycle time making hold sensitivity worse" - well that is nonsense, the difference in time between tripping the trigger and the pellet leaving the barrel is so small as to be a non-issue.

    The 5.5mm air rifle is still a strong seller in the UK in both spring rifle and pre-charged pneumatic format, this does not support the idea of its being useless!

    In terms of accuracy, use the right pellet and the 5.5mm is as accurate as you could want, even at the UK power limit - I once owned a BSA Spitfire in 5.5mm - this rifle is a strange sort of pcp that outwardly looks like a break barrel spring rifle:



    This isn't my rifle but is an example of the type.

    Despite being a mere 12ft.lbs rifle, it was stunningly accurate, grouping sub 25mm at 65 yards.

    Even the mere springer, which is the primary subject of this thread can give stunning accuracy in 5.5mm and within the UK legal limit.

    In pest control applications there are cases where the sub 12ft.lbs 5.5mm rifle is preferred - particularly at shorter distances for rats or when shooting inside buildings as the pellets tend to be less penetrating giving cleaner kills and less likelihood of damage.

    So to sum up, the sub 12ft.lbs 5.5mm air rifle whether springer or pcp is not as useless as some would make it out to be, it does take more effort to learn though and this might be offputting to those who don't have the patience to learn.
    Last edited by Dale; 05-06-18 at 09:02.
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  2. #2
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    No 5.5mm Springers are not useless at all , in fact they are very , very nice rifles to shoot.

    People only say that they are useless because they cannot shoot , and then they blame the rifle-------an old story.

    I wish that I can find a Weihrauch HW30s in 5.5mm caliber.

    .
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  3. #3
    Sharp Shooter

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    Allo

    I own several 5.5mm springers and love em all.
    In SA where we don't have the sub 12fpe problem
    16Fpe can be achived with absolutely no problem.
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  4. #4
    Sharp Shooter
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    Yes, I am quite aware of that fact, but you said this: Just remember you need to tune them for serious FAC as a sub 12fpe they are useless.

    I am just pointing out that you are talking k*k (again ).



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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale View Post
    Yes, I am quite aware of that fact, but you said this: Just remember you need to tune them for serious FAC as a sub 12fpe they are useless.

    I am just pointing out that you are talking k*k (again ).

    That's all he is good for.....
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  6. #6
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    I got myself a artemis 1000 5.5 nitro piston which shoots beautifully... I think the nitro piston dampers the recoil so that's not a issue with the gun (not as much as most ppl think with 5.5 springer) + its shooting 750fps with 15 grain pellets... distance shooting does require a bit of shooting skill but my Bushnell scope is holding up nicely (not a scope killer at all)
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  7. #7
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    I personally have absolutely no desire to own a 5.5 springer, therefore, they are kak - in my book.

    I strongly maintain that they are collectors items rather than functional/practical guns, when it comes down to it.

    One must ask oneself 'What is this for?'. If there is a compelling argument for a 5.5 springer against everything else (relatively speaking), then get one.

    I highly doubt there will ever be a case for...other than from someone who has more money than attention span.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale View Post
    I read through the thread titled multiple questions and noted these posts, partially quoted below:





    It started me thinking on this issue, so here are some thoughts:

    As you may well be aware, the UK has a limit on power for air rifles of 12 ft.lbs, above which a firearms certificate (FAC) is required for their ownership, this has been the case since 1968.

    So under 12 ft.lbs of muzzle energy air rifles of any calibre are freely available to purchase. In essence this means 4.5mm (.177), 5mm (.20), 5.5mm (.22) and 6.35mm (.25) calibres.

    The 5mm and 6.35mm have quite a limited following with few guns available and a fairly limited selection of pellets to choose from. In essence 4.5mm and 5.5mm are the main choices.

    So given our power limitation which calibre has historically been the favourite in the UK?

    Well, it is the 5.5mm, sure the 4.5mm has caught up in recent years and is the mainstay of the target disciplines (FT, HFT etc), but for the field shooter going after rabbits and the like the 5.5mm is still a strong favourite.

    My first quality air rifle was an HW77K bought brand new in 1986, just like this one:



    It was in 5.5mm it would run 14.5gr RWS Superdomes at a whisker under 600fps (JSB were not in existence at this time) and was nice and accurate at all sensible airgun hunting distances.

    That 77 and other 5.5mm air rifles I have owned over the years harvested a lot of rabbits, so I would scarcely call them useless and no doubt this would echo the experiences of thousands of other airgun shooters in the UK over many years.

    Taking the points Gerfrik makes, the 5.5mm is slower than a 4.5mm, so yes you do need to learn the trajectory and be good at assessing range to ensure clean kills, but that is just a matter of practice and any airgun is cheap enough to shoot to develop the appropriate skill level.

    As to a "longer cycle time making hold sensitivity worse" - well that is nonsense, the difference in time between tripping the trigger and the pellet leaving the barrel is so small as to be a non-issue.

    The 5.5mm air rifle is still a strong seller in the UK in both spring rifle and pre-charged pneumatic format, this does not support the idea of its being useless!

    In terms of accuracy, use the right pellet and the 5.5mm is as accurate as you could want, even at the UK power limit - I once owned a BSA Spitfire in 5.5mm - this rifle is a strange sort of pcp that outwardly looks like a break barrel spring rifle:



    This isn't my rifle but is an example of the type.

    Despite being a mere 12ft.lbs rifle, it was stunningly accurate, grouping sub 25mm at 65 yards.

    Even the mere springer, which is the primary subject of this thread can give stunning accuracy in 5.5mm and within the UK legal limit.

    In pest control applications there are cases where the sub 12ft.lbs 5.5mm rifle is preferred - particularly at shorter distances for rats or when shooting inside buildings as the pellets tend to be less penetrating giving cleaner kills and less likelihood of damage.

    So to sum up, the sub 12ft.lbs 5.5mm air rifle whether springer or pcp is not as useless as some would make it out to be, it does take more effort to learn though and this might be offputting to those who don't have the patience to learn.

    Well said Dale .........

    I always ask myself .... useless as measured / compared against what ? .... throwing stones, shooting a ketty, 375 H&H ??

    In the mid 90's I bought a 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mausers and sportified it ... was the most accurate powder burner I ever owned ... at the time everyone I hunted with had a lot to say about how this was not a 243 nor a 30-06 or whatever. I only smiled as I had a lot of biltong to eat every year ................

    Today many use some variant of the small 6.5mm for bench shooting etc .......


    BUT


    Having said all of that, except for a very specific reason, I would also not buy a 5.5mm springer under our (SA) current regulations .........
    Last edited by Wannebe; 11-06-18 at 20:59.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale View Post
    Yes, I am quite aware of that fact, but you said this: Just remember you need to tune them for serious FAC as a sub 12fpe they are useless.

    I am just pointing out that you are talking k*k (again ).
    Well an opinion I have formed over years of shooting them, and I stick to it
    under 16fpe it is like throwing a brick downrange
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuberboef View Post
    under 16fpe it is like throwing a brick downrange
    Learn the trajectory of the brick and it will serve you well.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannebe View Post
    In the mid 90's I bought a 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mausers and sportified it ... was the most accurate powder burner I ever owned ... at the time everyone I hunted with had a lot to say about how this was not a 243 nor a 30-06 or whatever. I only smiled as I had a lot of biltong to eat every year ................

    Today many use some variant of the small 6.5mm for bench shooting etc .......
    Slightly off topic but I had the exact same experience. Bought and sporterized an original military Swedish Mauser in the 90's (mine a Carl Gustaff M96 circa 1899) and it is still one of the tightest shooters I own. For years the 243/270/30-06/308 manne scoffed at my little Swede whilst I happily hunted anything I could afford with great success.

    Today they are making big whoo-ha about the .260Rem/6.5Creedmore/Grendel but all they are really is some limited imitation of the good old Swede...
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bludlust View Post
    I personally have absolutely no desire to own a 5.5 springer, therefore, they are kak - in my book.

    I strongly maintain that they are collectors items rather than functional/practical guns, when it comes down to it.

    One must ask oneself 'What is this for?'. If there is a compelling argument for a 5.5 springer against everything else (relatively speaking), then get one.

    I highly doubt there will ever be a case for...other than from someone who has more money than attention span.

    Blud, there are times when you speak a lot of sense, but on this occasion you are talking from your rectum.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kuberboef View Post
    under 16fpe it is like throwing a brick downrange

    Well, a good man should know his limitations, however, you would rather blame the equipment.


    A simple fact is the collective experience of the airgun community in the UK is a whole hell of a lot greater than what either of you two will learn in your lifetimes.

    Spring or pcp in 5.5mm at sub 12ft.lbs has been and remains very popular, that speaks more than you will ever be able to say on this matter.
    Last edited by Dale; 12-06-18 at 15:01.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannebe View Post
    Having said all of that, except for a very specific reason, I would also not buy a 5.5mm springer under our (SA) current regulations .........
    Now this statement I cannot fault - under your laws why would you.

    The difference is that choosing not to have is not the same as saying something is shit.
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  14. #14
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    Having shot both .177 ft in the uk in the 80s and 90s and 5.5mm sub 12 ftlbs
    you work with what you’ve got , or you bitch and do nothing .
    old discussion 5.5mm causes larger hydraulic leaks and impact energy . .177 better penetration for the same power with flatter trajectory, you choose your weapon.
    .25 or .30 is to slow for pest control at sub 12.
    yes the law is crap n daft and run by numptys and will only get worse everywhere (apathy and bunnie huggers)
    .22 lr has assinated more people than any other caliber (ask mosad) so can it work in situations ?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale View Post
    Now this statement I cannot fault - under your laws why would you.

    The difference is that choosing not to have is not the same as saying something is shit.
    Lol... agreed.

    You may agree to part of my argument however, that if it were a case of 'choice' for function, then a 5.5 springer would easily / most likely be classed as 'shit-for-purpose' - when weighed up against a 4.5's 'fit for purpose'.
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