Shooting Deer with an Air Rifle?

Missouri firearms deer hunters will now be allowed to use .40 caliber or larger air-powered
rifles, following a regulation change unanimously (and somewhat quietly) approved
last year by the state conservation commission.

An article in the February 2008 issue of Missouri Conservationist Magazine reports
that legal air rifles for deer hunting must be charged only from an external high
compression power source, like an external hand pump, air tank or air compressor.

The article notes that prior to the regulatory move, MDOC staff members “tested large
bore air rifles powered by compressed air and found them suitable for hunting deer.”

The changes officially take effect March 1, but the rifles will not be legal for hunting
until regular-firearms deer season opens November 15.

“These firearms are not Daisy air rifles. They are high-powered, large-caliber, generally
very expensive firearms that carry the foot-pounds of energy necessary to take down
large game,” said commissioner Dennis Steward.

One of the leading makers of .308 and .50 cal. big game air rifles, Quackenbush Air
Guns, is located in Urbana, Missouri. According to the company’s Web site, its .50
cal. Bandit rifle holds 3,000 psi of air and shoots a 180-grain ball at a velocity
of 800 fps, depending on the gun and air temperature, and is lethal at similar ranges
to archery equipment.

I wonder how loud they are?