The ignorance some shooters may display against rimfire is about x10 when you show up with a PCP air rifle. All the air rifles for sale
around here have been those trashy springers, except for one Benjamin Discovery at Big Bear Sports. It was in .177 cal, not a good hunting caliber.
I prefer air rifles to shotguns for bird hunting. One neat hole through the bird. No need to dig out lead shot. Of all the birds and varmints I've shot with my .25 cal PCP, up to skunk and jackrabbit size, I have never recovered a pellet.
The Benjamin Marauder is a good PCP rifle made in the USA, and it comes in .22 and .25 cal for hunting. Should be able to get close to 60 fpe out of the .25 cal. The new Benjamin .357 Rogue has 250 fpe for big varmints like bobcats. Nosler makes a ballistic tip bullet just for it.
Air rifle discrimination may start to fade away, since you can now get good PCP rifles at affordable prices. BTW, the .357 Rogue is about $1000 less than an English Daystate .22 cal that has the similar adjustable electronic valving system. And the Rogue has 3 times the power. It runs with a .22WMR in the power department, but a big .357 cal for knockdown smack.