When you branch into the world of hunting with air rifles, the term most frequently used is foot-pounds of energy. In this video from American Airgunner , Jim Chapman, Tom Gaylord, Rossi Morreale, and Rick Eutsler discuss the term and what it means.
- One take away from this video is the understanding that buying an air rifle based on the Feet-Per-Second is not how you should make your purchase since the weight of the bullets for hunting you shoot will change that during the shot.
- Everyone is used to looking at feet per second. Speed does not tell us what it will do on game animals. It is a part of the calculation.
- We think in terms of speed but need to look at what type of energy the pellet produces it produces when hitting a target. When hunting for big or small game, we need to look at the pellet’s weight multiplied by the Velocity Squared, divided by 450395. Conventional wisdom has held that 1,000lbs foot-pounds of energy are required to kill a deer. However, users of the Umarex Hammer are easily killing big game as large as cape buffalo with a 550-grain bullet shooting 790 fps producing 705 foot-pounds of energy.
- Tom Gaylord wrote in an article for Pyramid Air saying, “A .45-caliber lead bullet generating 250 foot-pounds of energy will kill a medium-sized animal such as a whitetail deer just as dead in the same amount of time as a .45-caliber lead bullet that generates 1,500 foot-pounds of energy. That’s because most of the more powerful bullet’s energy is not expended in the animal — it slips right through and keeps on going! Most of the energy is excess to your needs.”
- The energy of your bullet or pellet, not the speed, is what you rely upon in airgun hunting. Penetration and blood loss is what you must consider when preparing for a big game hunt.
This great video from American Airgunner is a fantastic breakdown directly from the experts on foot-pounds of energy in airgun hunting.