Best Air Rifle Information
Air Gun Types, Uses and Calibres
This is the most common way to power an air gun. Spring guns are either operated by a break barrel system or use an under-lever. Break barrel air guns are lighter but under-levers are thought to be more accurate as the barrel remains fixed at all times. With both mechanisms there is a certain degree of vibration and noise when the piston and spring are released.
Seen as the next step forward in air gun design. Here the guns are powered by compressed air stored in a chamber attached to the gun.
These are also known as Co2 gun, with a sound moderator these are much quieter than spring powered guns. Many pre-charged air guns also have magazines making them very quick to reload. You will also need to purchase a means to recharge the air gun, either a pump or a diving bottle.
The maximum legal limit for an air gun is 12 ft/lbs. An air gun at or about this power is effective for vermin control up to a range of 30 yards. For target purposes a gun does not need to be this powerful.
The 2 main pellet calibres in the UK are .22 and .177. The .22 is a larger heavier pellet, this is the most popular calibre for pest control. .177 is used for target shooting. It is a small, lighter pellet with a flatter trajectory.
CO2 Rifle Pros and Cons
One big advantage of using CO2 is that you don't have to stop and pump up your airgun before each shot. Just insert a CO2 cartridge and your ready.
Although varying among airguns, on average a 12 gram CO2 cartridge will give you about 50 shots before you have to pop in a new one. This estimate depends on the efficiency of the air rifle.
One of the most popular co2 powered air rifles is the Crossman 1077. Crossman produces Airsource air rifles. These rifles use an 88 gram CO2 cartridge which will give you up to 400 shots per cartridge before you have to change it out. A bonus is that you can also use the12 gram CO2 cartridges in them.
Another big bonus of using CO2 is that it allows for semi automatic fire (fire as fast as you can pull the trigger) if the air rifle is capable of it.
CO2 air rifles are great for ease of use and semi automatic capabilities but there are a couple of drawbacks. CO2 powered air rifles are usually not as powerfully as spring or pump powered rifles. The most powerful CO2 powered air rifle the RWS 850 AirMagnum shoots at 754 FPS (feet per second) Compared to the 600 FPS of most other CO2 air rifles. While this is decent power, pump and spring air rifles are capable of shooting at 700-1250 FPS. While CO2 is fairly inexpensive you must continue to purchase the cartridges the cost over time can add up.
Crosman is the leader in CO2 air rifles.
The model 1077 is a reasonably affordable semi automatic rifle.
In an air source model and standard model
For a premium CO2 air rifle the Walther lever action rifle is a great choice. It uses two CO2 cartridges and is the most accurate and powerful of all CO2 air rifles.co2 air rifles are great for plinking around the backyard and target shooting. They are also fun because of their semi automatic capabilities but they aren't the best choice for hunting. One CO2 pellet rifle that is good for hunting is the Crossman 2250b It shoots .22 cal pellets so it has enough knockdown power to do the job. Note that this rifle is limited to close range hunting (25 Yards).
Pneumatic (Pump) Air Rifle Pros and Cons
Pneumatic (pump) Air Rifles
These are powered by a pumping lever that pumps air into a chamber. You have to manually pump the rife 5 - 10 times after each shot and are able to shoot both bb's and pellets.
Pump air rifles are inexpensive and great for plinking or target shooting. You can even do some small pest hunting with them thanks to the fact that most of them shoot pellets and have the power to take down small pests.
Another advantage to a pump air rifle is the ability to vary the FPS by pumping less for a slower FPS or more for a faster FPS. This feature is great if you want to scare an animal away rather than kill or injure it.
For instance, you can pump it one or two times to give a deer for example a good sting in the hind quarter to scare it away. This is also good to train youngsters on how to shoot safely because they only get one shot before they have to pump it up again they are safer than a semi automatic rifle.
The biggest con to this type of air rifle is that you have to pump it up for each and every shot. This can be tiresome and can be time-consuming. They also tend to be a bit on inexpensive side so the quality of these rifles is not as good as some of the more expensive springers.
Spring Air Rifles Pros and Cons
Spring air rifles boast the most power of all. The two biggest pros of a spring powered rifle are power and ease of use.
These are the air rifles of choice for hunting. Air rifle hunting has grown in recent years.
You only have to cock the gun once to achieve maximum power.
Available in .22 and .177 cal, Most "springers" as they are commonly called to are rated at 1000 FPS and can be used for small game hunting, target shooting, and pest control. Higher velocity equals greater accuracy over longer distances so if you are going to be doing any hunting with your air rifle a springer is the rifle of choice.
There are few cons with spring-powered air rifles.
Some springers can be tough to cock for a younger person. Adult males will have no problem cocking the rifles but if you are buying the air rifle for your younger kids (Under 14) or some adults make sure you know the cocking pressure before you buy.
Most springers take about 25-30 lbs of pressure to cock and the more powerful ones use a bigger spring and therefore are difficult to cock.
Some are specifically designed for easier cocking such as the Benjamin Legacy and Tech Force 97 air rifles. These two models are easier to cock and still provide 900 -1000 FPS.
All springer air rifles except for a few are single shot which means you will have to load a pellet after each shot. Gamo makes a rifle called the Shadowmatic, which uses a unique loading tube that holds 9 pellets, and each you cock the gun a new pellet is loaded into the chamber.