Less plastic than the bunnies in Playboy
Six years ago the yard of my newly built home was comprised of dirt and scattered stone from the temporary drive. Having it rock hounded and grass planted was the first milestone in its development.
Once the lawn came in it was certainly better than the moon-like surface it replaced, but it was an almost sterile environment. That would change quickly with almost weekly plantings, I tried not to go overboard, but admittedly I am a bit of a plant junkie.
The original .20 caliber platform
Now under contrary circumstances, my reaction may have been different, but seeing the first rabbit in my yard I felt joyful, even proud that I turned the former waste land into a habitat worthy of a visit from Peter Cottontail. Shortly after, I would discover a nest of bunnies under a Barberry bush in my front yard. I was like a proud father, and punished the murder of crows that attacked one of my babies.
Soon, I would care for bunny nests in the front yard and back a couple times a year. The backyard nests I would fence off to protect from Petey, who has no hunting skills but a strong prey drive. I still feel bad for Speedy my daughter’s gerbil, but I'll save that story for a later date.
Pretty, but this one would not group even after being sent back to Crosman, because of that I would seek out a .20 caliber R7 to use all the pellets I had stockpiled
Now some of you may see where this is headed. A half a decade of nurturing bunnies led up to my current garden frustration. Previously, I ignored the munched flowers and vegetables as the amount was minor. But this year things changed, I planted my third pack of green beans and was less than happy about it. The planting wasn't due to such a large garden, but the constant eating as soon as they sprouted. The pepper plants were stripped of all leaves and the cabbage was turned into an appetizer. Now this may not seem so bad, but the Irish half of me relishes fresh green beans and potatoes cooked with ham and served with a thick slice of crusty bread slathered in artery clogging butter. Meanwhile, the Italian half demands fried peppers and sausage on a chewy bun.
So I order the hit. Since this is personal, I will take care of it myself. Timing will be the key; my family must know nothing about it due to delicate sensibilities and my desire to not hear their whining. The other piece is that the rabbit must be caught in the act. Of the dozens I have helped raise most stay in the outer perimeter of the property. The garden is very near the house, and this guy displays fearlessness that I respect, but it will also certainly be his downfall.
Now this twenty caliber shoots
I keep a close eye out and spot him chomping on the flowers that dot the outside edge of Eden, but he takes off at full speed when I open my patio door. Score one for the bunny. Another week passes and I peek out the bedroom window as soon as I awake. He is there, stripping the leaves off a new pepper plant. The circumstances are ideal, I am home alone.
According to Dr. Beeman you need 5 ft lbs of energy to kill a rabbit, so starting out at 7 ft lbs the .20 caliber R7 would seem to be up to the task at the modest distance I anticipate this shot to be. But I have to admit I am hesitant, I have always used much greater power when eliminating critters. I walk quickly and determinedly but don't run, being out of breath and shooting a light rifle is not a winning combination.
A quick check before I load shows he is still wreaking havoc on my tender young plants. A single Beeman \ H+N FTS will be the prescription for his illness. I make it out the door unnoticed and get into position. Prior to going outside I dialed in the distance on the AO scope which I estimate at just less than 40 feet, and set the corresponding number for the elevation from memory.
He is facing me sideways and the eye makes a tempting aim point, but I want him to be able to have an open casket so I pick a point about inch behind the eye. I am standing and shooting off hand, but at this close distance I have little doubt about connecting. The R7 pops and sounds so mild outside, I am sure no one is the wiser. I believe this .20 caliber version makes even less noise than the .177.
The rabbit goes down instantly and after a brief bout of back leg twitching has expired. I am happy that the R7 performed so well. On closer examination I find the entrance wound exactly as planned, and no exit wound. I still can't say that I would pick an R7 as a primary hunter, but it certainly can be called on to protect a backyard if needed. I would think that the Eastern Cottontail is at the top end of its limit, with the key being surgical precision. I would deem body shots out of the question. I wipe the Beeman R7 with an old oil stained t-shirt and give it a nod as I stand it up in the rack.
Forgive the lack of an actual kill photo. Perhaps a Jack-a-Lope would need confirmation, but I don't feel the need to show small game once it has been terminated.
In a better place, fyi the Mums to the right should be a foot tall by now...
I find a nice shady spot by a hosta, and say a few simple words, Petey looks on with curiosity. I imagine I hear a bell as the bunny gets his wings and goes off to that endless garden in the sky.
Recap on the .20 caliber R7:
My example shoots just a little faster then these numbers published by Straight Shooters.
I think the FTS are the ideal given the power level; also they are second only to the Beeman Double Gold FTS in accuracy.
I am playing this video non-stop in my garden. I think I can give the R7 a rest.
Not funny to a bunny