I am always looking for a gun that can be taken out for impromptu hunts when I am traveling. Looking at some of the online airgun shops I noticed the B-57, which is a breakdown spring piston air rifle.
The Specifications: This guns is a spring piston power plant that cocks with a side lever and has an anti-beartrap mechanism to prevent the cocking lever shutting accidentally. The cocking effort is fairly light, and the pellets are loaded through a large chamber when the cocking lever is deployed.
Performance: this rifle was chambered in .177 and the rifle generates about 620 fps with the light predator pellets. This yields a power of around 8fpe, which is adequate for small game and pests if the range is kept close.
Later that night, I met up with my brother at a friends place to shoot some rabbits that were overrunning their commercial nursery. Rabbits were everywhere, but we only had an hour to shoot before we had to meet up with some other friends. These guys were fairly used to people and if you moved slowly could get into twenty five yards. On the first shot I lined up on the head and nailed him. The rabbit dropped without a twitch. As a matter of fact, I shot three more rabbits at about twenty yards, and each one went down stone dead.
The last outing was a few days later in pursuit of prairie dogs, I went out to a property in central Colorado where I’d hunted in the past. There was an active prairie dog town that came right up to some of theout buildings and feeding troughs. Sitting inside if one of these structures and looking out the window, I was fifteen to twenty yards from the closest burrows. When the first one came out I waited for him to start feeding and move away from the hole. I shot and achieved a perfect headshot, at which he started flipping about but expired before reaching his hole. After a couple of hours I managed to take three more dogs, only one of which managed to make it back to the hole.
This gun is the minimum power that I would use for pest control, and to be effective it was necessary to select head shots and keep the range inside of twenty five yards ….. twenty being better. The Predator Pellets were effective even at these lower velocities. On the rabbits and prairie dogs this rifle and pellet combination was very effective. The most compelling reason to use it is that it was very easy to travel with. In the case that the QB 57 came in, I could just slip it into my bag and check it in for my flights. It served the purpose well, and is a viable option for a carry along kit for the opportunistic shoot
The B57 breaks down and packs into its own carrying case. It can be put together and broken down in a few seconds. It is an adequate small game rifle out to 25 yards, and was particularly effective with Predator pellets
I was able to keep my shot placement right where I wanted it, and each of these rabbits went down cleanly.
I took this gun with me on a trip out west, where I was going to have the chance to hunt jackrabbits, cottontails, ground squirrels, and prairie dogs. The rabbits I was going to pursue at night, so I also outfitted the gun with a scope mounted light. This gun is lower power, so I decided to use pointed polymer tipped pellets which I have found to be very effective.
The first chance I had to use the gun was to shoot ground squirrels one afternoon. I was in the foothills in an area with stands of scattered live oaks. I quietly walked up and sat down on the hillside beside a tree. After a few minutes I saw three or four squirrels moving around on the ground foraging. Lining up I fired and hit him right in the head, where-upon he started kicking then ran to a big oak tree and started climbing. I had reloaded and sent a second pellet for a second headshot and anchored him. After about a ten minute wait, I saw a second squirrel perched on a lightning damaged tree stump. I lined up and whacked him right in the head, he flipped around and rolled over and down a burrow. I took one more squirrel before calling it quits, but obtained quite similar results. Later that night, I met up with my brother at a friends.