We'll spare you the suspense: No, shooting a hornet's nest with an airgun isn't a very bright idea.
Let's be honest, airguns are pretty sweet, and can serve some legit purposes.
Hunting with them is no longer taboo, and they're great for places that aren't set up for full-fledged firearms, or where big guns aren't even legal to use in the first place.
That being said, there are some circumstances that might seem prime for an airgun assault, but in retrospect should probably be handled a different way.
Take this hornet's nest for example. In a video we know very little about, a nest in a tree gets pummeled by airgun pellets. Should a nest like these be right outside your front door, by all means, get rid of it. Just maybe think about alternative methods.
Would you do this?
Whatever kind of airgun it is, it sounds automatic. What starts as a series of slow, calculated shots (which immediately get the insects' attention, by the way) develops into a full-auto slaughtering of ammo.
A hole literally rips right through the center of the nest, and eventually leads to the bottom half breaking off. The rest of the nest, minus a small portion that was attached to the tree limb, is gone by the end of the video.
Now, to say it's a little anticlimactic and ultimately not that amazing isn't a stretch, but the video did raise some questions. We're going to assume the best, but the questions bring up a few of the good reasons this is a bad idea. We're all about our American 2nd Amendment rights, but there are some times guns get used for dumb reasons.
We've got to assume this is done in a safe environment, with ABSOLUTELY nothing in the background of the shot that shouldn't be there. This includes but isn't limited to houses or structures, people or pets, vehicles, bodies of water, innocent animals that don't deserve a pellet in their side, etc. You're probably getting the idea.
Since the shot was almost certainly taking an upwards trajectory, and going through thick vegetation, the potential for a ricochet or through-shot was really high. Unless the shooter was 100% sure there was nothing behind his target, with a wide berth, we can't condone doing this with an air rifle. We definitely wouldn't suggest doing it for a nest that's attached to a home or building, either.
Granted, a pellet gun is less lethal than a real firearm, but the same principles and rules should apply.
This nest is attached to a tree, and we can't see anything else. Is this posing a threat to a family home or a business? Is it near a developed plot of land? If not, why are you bothering yourself with its destruction? Is it even necessary? Should it even be considered a "Dangerous hornet nest" like the video's description implies?
Listen, I hate bees and stinging insects as much as the next guy. If some global event happened and they were wiped off the face of the Earth, and somehow the larger ecosystems wouldn't be affected, I'd be for it. But beating up on a nest from long distance just for the sake of self-satisfaction isn't worth much in my eyes.
If you're harvesting some honey (or game meat, for that matter) with an airgun, then you're doing things more purposefully. Otherwise, find something else to use for target shooting.
Another disappointing thing about this whole notion is that anyone, despite skill or experience with genuine or less-lethal guns, can walk into a Walmart and buy a BB gun or an airsoft gun. I don't want to infringe on anyone's rights to do such things, but think about it for a minute.
They might be semi-proficient before too long, because that's how these guns built and designed. They have an easy learning curve to overcome, virtually no recoil, and can be accurate even in rookie hands.
Though airguns can be tossed in the bucket of potential aids in the recruitment needs of new hunters, it also opens the field to inexperienced newbies who've yet to bide their time. Again, an airgun for the sake of destroying a nest to seem cool is dumb; an airgun for the sake of introducing someone to the joys of sport shooting is awesome.
It's not really even a matter of the weapon that's used. It could be a .50 BMG, a rimfire .22, or a slingshot and it wouldn't change much for me.
So take it for what you will, and we'll stand by our opinion that it's not that useful of a video from a gun enthusiast's standpoint.
But still, did you see how that hornet's nest got absolutely obliterated?!