Best optic setup for PCP pisol for close range hunting?

Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 4:02 pm

May 31st, 2017, 3:56 am #1

Confession: I just bought my first decent air pistol, and know nearly nothing about pistol scopes, reflex sights, etc.

Question: What would be a good starting point for optics/sights for a PCP pistol? Shots will likely be between 5-20 yards on rats and small birds. Low light performance would be a huge plus.

I used a cheap red dot sight once years ago, and the dot was too big for any kind of decent precision. Not sure the MOA dot size that it was, but it sure seemed big. Worried this will be a poor choice for longer ranges.

I don't see any pistol scopes with an AO? I assume they are present parallax at less than 100 yards surely? Will a 2X work at these ranges without a lot of fuss?

A small AO rifle scope was considered, but the short eye relief seems like it would be way awkward without a buttstock attachment, and I don't think there is one available for this pistol anyway.

The stock sights (from the pics I've seen) are just a notch and blade, and not a very precise one at that.

I've got 11mm rails to work with for mounting, and I'm sure a Weaver adapter could be mounted as well.

If you can be so kind as to look past my ignorance, I'd love to hear what works for you, lol!
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Joined: September 7th, 2001, 3:52 am

May 31st, 2017, 4:25 am #2

A non-magnifying red-dot sight is your best choice, for many reasons I've posted in the past. Just trust me on this.
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Joined: June 4th, 2013, 4:42 am

May 31st, 2017, 4:55 am #3

Confession: I just bought my first decent air pistol, and know nearly nothing about pistol scopes, reflex sights, etc.

Question: What would be a good starting point for optics/sights for a PCP pistol? Shots will likely be between 5-20 yards on rats and small birds. Low light performance would be a huge plus.

I used a cheap red dot sight once years ago, and the dot was too big for any kind of decent precision. Not sure the MOA dot size that it was, but it sure seemed big. Worried this will be a poor choice for longer ranges.

I don't see any pistol scopes with an AO? I assume they are present parallax at less than 100 yards surely? Will a 2X work at these ranges without a lot of fuss?

A small AO rifle scope was considered, but the short eye relief seems like it would be way awkward without a buttstock attachment, and I don't think there is one available for this pistol anyway.

The stock sights (from the pics I've seen) are just a notch and blade, and not a very precise one at that.

I've got 11mm rails to work with for mounting, and I'm sure a Weaver adapter could be mounted as well.

If you can be so kind as to look past my ignorance, I'd love to hear what works for you, lol!
Granted I haven't been shooting pistols for long, but as much as I like plenty of magnification on a scoped rifle, a red dot simply works better for me on a pistol. It just took some practice to get used to it and build my confidence. For your stated purpose of shooting rats and small birds, I think that is especially true because center mass shots with wadcutters will do the job with authority. For something larger and tougher like gray squirrels, I wouldn't recommend it unless inside of 10 yards where I can confidently keep the shot within a dime for a clean brain shot.

Regarding the size of the red dot, I do find it problematic but I discovered if I deliberately sight in such that my POI is actually just to the right (or left) of the dot, I can more reliably hit where I'm aiming. With just a little practice, I was soon hitting my spoon spinners at 25 yards with complete confidence. Frankly I would not have believed it if someone had told me just a few days before so if you're skeptical, it's not too expensive to try one and see how it goes. The one I'm using was only about $25.

Picatinny mount
https://www.amazon.com/Electro-Sight-Fi ... B019TBED30

dovetail mount
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0160EFOKA
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Joined: January 30th, 2009, 3:46 am

May 31st, 2017, 5:16 am #4

Confession: I just bought my first decent air pistol, and know nearly nothing about pistol scopes, reflex sights, etc.

Question: What would be a good starting point for optics/sights for a PCP pistol? Shots will likely be between 5-20 yards on rats and small birds. Low light performance would be a huge plus.

I used a cheap red dot sight once years ago, and the dot was too big for any kind of decent precision. Not sure the MOA dot size that it was, but it sure seemed big. Worried this will be a poor choice for longer ranges.

I don't see any pistol scopes with an AO? I assume they are present parallax at less than 100 yards surely? Will a 2X work at these ranges without a lot of fuss?

A small AO rifle scope was considered, but the short eye relief seems like it would be way awkward without a buttstock attachment, and I don't think there is one available for this pistol anyway.

The stock sights (from the pics I've seen) are just a notch and blade, and not a very precise one at that.

I've got 11mm rails to work with for mounting, and I'm sure a Weaver adapter could be mounted as well.

If you can be so kind as to look past my ignorance, I'd love to hear what works for you, lol!
[/IMG]

Centerpoint multi tac
Works great on all my pistols. Both air and powder
Taco hold and standard pistol hold

1 moa dot!
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Joined: October 11th, 2016, 2:27 pm

May 31st, 2017, 10:52 am #5

A non-magnifying red-dot sight is your best choice, for many reasons I've posted in the past. Just trust me on this.
I have to align my elevation of course but the P17 w/ a 7.9 is a laser out to 15yrds. Now if I want to take it to 35 yrds, it'll drop them into the same cloverleaf shot after shot. Bench rested that is. I'm not as good with a pistol as I am a rifle.
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Joined: October 11th, 2016, 2:27 pm

May 31st, 2017, 10:58 am #6

[/IMG]

Centerpoint multi tac
Works great on all my pistols. Both air and powder
Taco hold and standard pistol hold

1 moa dot!
I want your pistol
I want a .30 Velociraptor
I want a $950 decent compressor. And the word decent was used by a compressor competitor who knows I don't have the 4K for the one I really want from him. American made and even if I blow it up 5 years down the road, pay shipping both ways and I'll rebuild it. I don't think I'll get that service with a $950 Chinese one; but it's a good design and affordable. Plus if I fill 1-4 30 minute 4500psi bottles a month, then 4 is A LOT, and 1 is normal counting 1/2 of my shooting is spring guns.
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Joined: August 22nd, 2001, 3:27 pm

May 31st, 2017, 11:25 am #7

Confession: I just bought my first decent air pistol, and know nearly nothing about pistol scopes, reflex sights, etc.

Question: What would be a good starting point for optics/sights for a PCP pistol? Shots will likely be between 5-20 yards on rats and small birds. Low light performance would be a huge plus.

I used a cheap red dot sight once years ago, and the dot was too big for any kind of decent precision. Not sure the MOA dot size that it was, but it sure seemed big. Worried this will be a poor choice for longer ranges.

I don't see any pistol scopes with an AO? I assume they are present parallax at less than 100 yards surely? Will a 2X work at these ranges without a lot of fuss?

A small AO rifle scope was considered, but the short eye relief seems like it would be way awkward without a buttstock attachment, and I don't think there is one available for this pistol anyway.

The stock sights (from the pics I've seen) are just a notch and blade, and not a very precise one at that.

I've got 11mm rails to work with for mounting, and I'm sure a Weaver adapter could be mounted as well.

If you can be so kind as to look past my ignorance, I'd love to hear what works for you, lol!
Tasco Bantam, 2.5x or Simmons 4x shotgun scope, both are relatively short and light.
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Joined: November 28th, 2010, 2:13 pm

May 31st, 2017, 11:49 am #8

Confession: I just bought my first decent air pistol, and know nearly nothing about pistol scopes, reflex sights, etc.

Question: What would be a good starting point for optics/sights for a PCP pistol? Shots will likely be between 5-20 yards on rats and small birds. Low light performance would be a huge plus.

I used a cheap red dot sight once years ago, and the dot was too big for any kind of decent precision. Not sure the MOA dot size that it was, but it sure seemed big. Worried this will be a poor choice for longer ranges.

I don't see any pistol scopes with an AO? I assume they are present parallax at less than 100 yards surely? Will a 2X work at these ranges without a lot of fuss?

A small AO rifle scope was considered, but the short eye relief seems like it would be way awkward without a buttstock attachment, and I don't think there is one available for this pistol anyway.

The stock sights (from the pics I've seen) are just a notch and blade, and not a very precise one at that.

I've got 11mm rails to work with for mounting, and I'm sure a Weaver adapter could be mounted as well.

If you can be so kind as to look past my ignorance, I'd love to hear what works for you, lol!
I have two Airmax pistols. My .177 cal is used for up to 25 yd and I have a Tasco red dot sight on it. It's fine for close up work. On my .22, I have a Leapers 2-7X scope because I shoot with a bunch of plinking buddies at 55 yards. The red dot just doesn't hack it at those distances. BTW, did I say my Airmax pistols are accurate? You betcha.
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Joined: October 5th, 2007, 3:58 am

May 31st, 2017, 12:08 pm #9

Confession: I just bought my first decent air pistol, and know nearly nothing about pistol scopes, reflex sights, etc.

Question: What would be a good starting point for optics/sights for a PCP pistol? Shots will likely be between 5-20 yards on rats and small birds. Low light performance would be a huge plus.

I used a cheap red dot sight once years ago, and the dot was too big for any kind of decent precision. Not sure the MOA dot size that it was, but it sure seemed big. Worried this will be a poor choice for longer ranges.

I don't see any pistol scopes with an AO? I assume they are present parallax at less than 100 yards surely? Will a 2X work at these ranges without a lot of fuss?

A small AO rifle scope was considered, but the short eye relief seems like it would be way awkward without a buttstock attachment, and I don't think there is one available for this pistol anyway.

The stock sights (from the pics I've seen) are just a notch and blade, and not a very precise one at that.

I've got 11mm rails to work with for mounting, and I'm sure a Weaver adapter could be mounted as well.

If you can be so kind as to look past my ignorance, I'd love to hear what works for you, lol!
You said both "best" and "good starting point" so I will address the latter. I had an inexpensive NC Star 2.5x30 pistol scope lying around, and mounted it on a Gen 1 AirMax PCP when it arrived.

I have to say, it works very well, and is nicely focused at 10 m. For $35 or so, I will call it a "good starting point". I have only used it for bag shooting with two hands so far, but it is clear and with fine crosshairs. I would not want any more magnification for this setup.

http://www.opticsplanet.com/ncstar-pist ... 2530b.html

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Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 4:02 pm

May 31st, 2017, 12:09 pm #10

Confession: I just bought my first decent air pistol, and know nearly nothing about pistol scopes, reflex sights, etc.

Question: What would be a good starting point for optics/sights for a PCP pistol? Shots will likely be between 5-20 yards on rats and small birds. Low light performance would be a huge plus.

I used a cheap red dot sight once years ago, and the dot was too big for any kind of decent precision. Not sure the MOA dot size that it was, but it sure seemed big. Worried this will be a poor choice for longer ranges.

I don't see any pistol scopes with an AO? I assume they are present parallax at less than 100 yards surely? Will a 2X work at these ranges without a lot of fuss?

A small AO rifle scope was considered, but the short eye relief seems like it would be way awkward without a buttstock attachment, and I don't think there is one available for this pistol anyway.

The stock sights (from the pics I've seen) are just a notch and blade, and not a very precise one at that.

I've got 11mm rails to work with for mounting, and I'm sure a Weaver adapter could be mounted as well.

If you can be so kind as to look past my ignorance, I'd love to hear what works for you, lol!
Thanks for all the pointers guys!

One thing about the "red dots"...

What's the biggest deal about the scope-styled red dots, and the little holographic "reflex" style? I notice the scope-style tend to have smaller dots, that may be the best choice.

The pistol in question is an Ataman AP16 doing about 14fpe. I may find that this pistol will hold it together for further distances, I'll have to wait and see. In that case, I may look into a scope but for now I think a red dot is the ticket.

Great tips guys thank you for your help!

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