How to Choose an Air Rifle
A) SELECTION OF AIR RIFLE ACCORDING TO its PURPOSE
A power of 7,5 J is absolutely enough for target shooting with iron sights. However, it is necessary to have the longest possible sight radius (the distance from the rear sight to the front sight), excellent accuracy and a well-designed stock with the possibility of adjusting moving parts such as the cheekpiece, buttpad, etc.
plinking and target shooting
The best choice for plinking and target shooting at short and long distances are PCP airguns with pressure regulator and larger air cylinder. That is because you need the highest possible power for long range shooting. Ambidextrous controls as well as a quality stock, which is easy to grip and use in all shooting positions go a long way.
For hunting purposes it is ideal to choose a more powerful caliber like the .22 (5,5 mm). The pressure regulator is not important here, but the shooting accuracy must be excellent. A quick reload or even a semi-automatic shooting mode will give you a great advantage. It is also important to choose the right kind of ammunition.
For Hunter Field Target Shooting (HFT), you need an outright sporting rifle, but with a power of 16 J. One with a fully adjustable stock, pressure regulator, large magazine and above all else, excellent accuracy.
B) SELECTION OF AIR RIFLE ACCORDING TO its powerplant
SPRING piston AIR RIFLES
Main advantage is their easy handling and cocking without the need for additional equipment or air reservoir. The main disadvantage lies in their slightly reduced accuracy when compared to PCP airguns. The spring propels the pellet differently each time and this inconsistency has a negative effect on the overall accuracy.
GAS PISTON Air rifles
These air rifles are powered by a pressurised piston instead of a more traditional spring. The piston is usually filled with air, nitrogen or other inert gas. This reduces the recoil and noise otherwise caused by the spring. A gas piston air rifle also achieves more stable performance. The most common systems are the Vortex (Hatsan) and IGT (Gamo).
Both of these categories can be further subdivided according to their type of action:
Break Barrel Air Rifles
The cocking of a break barrel air rifle is done by breaking the barrel, the rod connected by a joint to the barrel cocks the spring and the trigger mechanism. It creates a free space between the barrel and the gun body over time and that is the biggest disadvantage of this system because this space then negatively affects the accuracy of the airgun.
Fixed Barrel Air Rifles
The cocking is most often handled by a underlever or a sidelever. The fixed barrel guarantees long-lasting accuracy. They are suitable for competitive shooting. Their main disadvantage lies in their increased weight when compared to conventional airguns.
PNEUMATIC AIRGUNS, PCP Air Rifles
They are subdivided into two categories:
PCP Air Rifles (Pre-Charged Pneumatic)
PCP air rifles are among the most accurate weapons in the world. The gun has its own compressed air reservoir that provides several consistent shots. This is depending on the volume of the reservoir (air cylinder) and the technology that dispenses the gas (typically from 30 to 300 shots).
Multi-Pump/PCA Air Rifles (Pre-Charged Air)
The second type is the Multi-Pump. Their small air reservoir can be refilled with some sort of pump on the gun, most commonly a lever under the barrel. Due to the lower energy of the projectile, they are particularly useful in target shooting. These rifles are characterized by their high accuracy.
CO2 airguns are in many ways similar to their PCP counterparts. They are accurate, silent and shoot without any noticeable recoil. The main difference is that they are powered by carbon dioxide (CO2) stored in 12g or 88g single-use cartridges. Due to the small pressure and volume, CO2 airguns are used more for plinking and target shooting, especially pistols. Their biggest selling point is the excellent accuracy and shooting consistency. They are unfortunately temperature dependent and will only work at temperatures above 10°C, so you can't shoot them outside in winter.
If you are still hesitant about which air rifle is right for you, don't be shy to contact our customer support. Please also prepare answers to the following questions in advance:
How much am I willing to invest in a gun?
You should also take into account that in order to start shooting, you need additional accessories such as ammunition, cleaning kits, optics, etc. which will affect the final price.
For what purpose will I use the air rifle?
Are you looking for an air rifle for pest control, occasional shooting in your backyard, or do you want to win competitions?
At what distance will I be shooting most often?
If you only have a 10 metre backyard, you don't necessarily need the most powerful air rifle. The extra power can become more of a nuisance then.
(C) THE ADVANTAGES AND PURPOSE OF AIRguns
The best PCP rifles are among the most accurate weapons in the world. Therefore, it is not surprising that airgun target shooting is becoming increasingly popular. In many countries, such as Germany and UK, shooting clubs are a common thing. They bring together friends of target shooting. The clubs organise tournaments and other competitions among shooters. Air rifle and pistol shooting is also an Olympic discipline for both sexes. Hunter Field Target (HFT) discipline is also becoming increasingly more popular around the world.
Where firearms are dangerous or prohibited, air rifles make taking down small pests easy.
A hobby that brings joy and trains fitness and other skills. You can shoot thousands of rounds a year cheaply and safely, right at home. It's no problem to take your air rifleon a trip, to shoot with friends outdoors or even at home. You can also find a safe place to shoot in the garden. You only need a space of approximatelly 10m x 10m. Just make sure you don’t endanger your neighbors.
Thanks to the possibility of shooting at home, you can practice at any time. You don't have to travel to the shooting range like with a firearm. The low energy of the round and the silence of the gun allow you to shoot even indoors. So you can shoot during daytime, at night or in summer and winter. Anytime. Thanks to the low energy of the projectile, you don't need hearing protection and similar equipment. Only eye protection is recommended.
TRAINING FOR competition shooters
Air rifle is an excellent training tool for sporting shooters. The training can really quickly became a form of informal entertainment.
Most target air rifles have a maximum range of 400 metres. The projectile is very light. Therefore, your neighbor can feel safe even if you are practicing shooting at home or out in the garden. A silent gun will guarantee that you will not disturb anyone. Having an air rifle at home is much less of a gamble than owning a firearm. Airgun ammunition is safe because it contains no explosives.
HOW TO IMPROVE your airgun shooting results
Inaccurate shooting is not always the fault of the shooter. Check out some tips that can help improve your results when shooting.
Inaccuracies occur with piston airguns due to loose screws that holds the metal body connected to the wooden stock. There are usually two screws at the front and one at the trigger guard. It is very important that the screws are tightened. Good tightening is a prerequisite for eliminating inaccuracies. Beware, however, of overtightening. Too much pressure on the wooden stock can lead to its destruction.
Make sure that the front and rear sights are firmly attached to the gun body. For iron sights, the rear sight must not move. When using optics, choose reliable scope mounts. The basic aluminum ones will not do for huigh-end scopes. You should use steel or aircraft grade aluminium mounts. It is best to entrust the entire mounting of the rifle scope to a professional workshop. Everything must fit exactly, with no compromises.
You can use decent optics even for a basic break barrel rifle. The cheapest 4x20 or 3-7x20 scopes are not the best option. Most of them are not made well enough, so they change their point of aim over time. Variable power scopes change the point of aim when you change magnification level. On the worst models, the optics inside the rifle scope break due to the recoil of the gun. If you own a precision PCP rifle, it's worth investing a little more in a quality rifle scope as well.
Important! In the case of the cheaper models without parallax correction, you have to look straight into the rifle scope because the eye needs to be in the axis of the scope. If you aim incorrectly with a rifle scope without parallax correction, considerable dispersion can occur.
Suitable pellets can reduce your dispersion by a surprisingly large amount. If you want to shoot with a scope on a target at a greater distance than 10 m, then even for a basic break barrel models you should choose higher quality ammunition. The basic and cheap pellets are not suitable for precision shooting. However, each gun can work differently with different types of ammo. Also, after buying an air rifle, buy multiple types of pellets of matching caliber and test them on a target at the intended distance to see which ammunition will give you the best results.
Use only high-quality ammunition. Do not use old, oxidised pellets. During a reloading, choose only good pellets, not damaged or oxidised. If the box contains a noticeably large number of damaged pellets, discard the whole box. Quality and clean pellets won’t damage the barrel of your gun.
REGULAR CLEANING OF THE BARREL
Regular maintenance is essential for the longevity of your rifle. After firing about 1000 rounds of pellets, clean the barrel. If you don't have a cleaning kit, just stretch fishing line from the muzzle of the barrel to the chamber. Here you make a loop on the line, insert a thin piece of cloth through the loop and pull it through the barrel. Pull the cloth through the barrel at least twice with a few drops of gun oil, then a few times with a dry cloth until it is clean when you pull it out of the barrel. Cleaning with wire and the like may damage the bore of the barrel.