How to choose an air rifle
A) SELECTION OF AIR RIFLE ACCORDING TO PURPOSE
For target shooting in the classical way, thus via iron sights, a power of 7,5 J is absolutely enough. However, it is necessary to have the longest possible aiming distance (from the iron sights to the target), excellent accuracy and a well-designed stock with the possibility of adjusting moving parts such as the cheekpiece, buttpad, etc.
FUN SHOOTING AND TARGET SHOOTING
The best choice for fun and target shooting at short and long distances are PCP guns with excellent accuracy, in 4.5 mm calibre, with air pressure regulator and larger air reservoir. This is because you need the highest possible performance for longer range shooting. The reloading device is a great advantage. A quality stock, easy to grip and use in all shooting positions should be sure thing.
HUNTING SMALL PESTS
For hunting pests it is ideal to choose a more powerful calibre like 5,5 mm. The air 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 pay increased attention to the choice of ammunition.
AIR RIFLE SPORT SHOOTING
For Field Target Shooting, you need an outright sporting rifle, but with a power of 16 J. One with an adjustable stock in all directions, an air pressure regulator, a large magazine and excellent accuracy. A reloading device is not necessary.
B) SELECTION OF AIR RIFLE ACCORDING TO THE FIRING SYSTEM
SPRING piston AIR RIFLES
Main advantage is their easy handling and cocking without the need for additional equipment or air reservoir. The disadvantage is slightly less accuracy than air rifles. Because the spring ejects differently each time and the piston has quite a low efficiency, which depends on many other influences.
AIR RIFLES WITH GAS PISTON
These air rifles are powered by a pressurised piston instead of a spring, which is usually filled with air, nitrogen or other inert gas. This eliminated 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 the method of cocking:
Break barrel air rifles
The loading of a break barrel air rifle is done by breaking the barrel, the rod connected by a joint to the barrel tensions the spring and the trigger mechanism. The disadvantage of this system is that it creates backlash between the barrel and the gun body over time. This backlash then causes greater dispersion of the firearm.
Air rifles with fixed barrels
The loading is most often handled by a bottom or side cocking lever. The fixed barrel guarantees long-lasting accuracy. They are suitable for precision sport shooting. The disadvantage is the higher weight compared to conventional rifles.
PNEUMATIC AIR GUNS, PCP GUNS
They are classified into two types:
PCP air rifles (pre-charged pneumatic)
PCP air rifles are among the most accurate weapons in the world. The gun has its own compressed gas (usually air) reservoir that gives several consistent shots. This is depending on the volume of the cartridge and the mechanics that dispense the gas (typically from 30 to 300 shots).
Multi-Pump air rifles
The second type is the Multi-Pump. They allow a small air reservoir to 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 AIR RIFLES
The gas source is a disposable pressure cartridge (for example, the well-known co2 cartridge). Due to the small pressure and volume, CO2 air guns are again used more in target models of weapons, mainly pistols. The large advantage is the excellent accuracy and consistency of the shooting. The disadvantage is the temperature dependence, they 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, 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 hunting pests, for occasional shooting in the garden, or do you want to win competitions?
At what distance will I be shooting most often?
If you only have a 10 metre yard, you don't immediately need the most powerful air rifle, then the extra power is more of a nuisance.
(C) THE ADVANTAGES AND PURPOSE OF AIR WEAPONS
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 England, shooting clubs are a common thing. They bring together friends of target shooting. The clubs organise tournaments and other measurements of strength among sport shooters. Air rifle and pistol shooting is also an Olympic discipline for both sexes. Around the world, target shooting is beginning to be joined by hunting shooting at metal silhouettes and running targets.
HUNTING SMALL PESTS
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. With fun shooting you can shoot thousands of rounds a year cheaply and safely, right at home. It's no problem to take an air rifle on holiday, on 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 10 x 10 m without endangering your neighbours.
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 day, night, 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 ATHLETES
Air rifle is an excellent tool not only for sport shooters during training. It becomes an 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. The very quiet 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. Even the gun itself will not become a target for a thief who wants to do something crooked with it.
HOW TO IMPROVE AIR RIFLE 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 have no backlash. Good tightening is a prerequisite for eliminating inaccuracies. Beware, however, of overtightening. Too much pressure on the wooden stock can lead to its destruction.
Check that the front and rear sights are firmly attached to the gun body. For fixed sights, the rear sight must not move. When using optics, choose reliable mounts. Plain aluminum ones will not do for better optics. Here use duralumin or steel mounts. It is best to entrust the entire mounting of the rifle scope to a professional workshop. Everything must fit exactly, with no backlash.
Even for a classic czech air rigle Slavia you can use decent optics. The cheapest 4x20 or 3-7x20 rifle scopes are not the best option. Most of them are not made well enough, so they change over time. Variable magnification changes the priming 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 rifle scope as well.
Beware in the case of the cheaper models without parallax correction! You have to look straight into the rifle scope, the eye is in the axis of the rifle 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 classic breaking barrel Slavie I would choose better ammunition. Diabolo Standard and other types of ammo available are not suitable for precision shooting. However, different ammunition may suit each gun. Also, after buying an air rifle, buy multiple types of ammunition of your caliber and test on a target at the intended distance to see which ammunition you get the least dispersion with.
Use only high quality ammunition. Do not use old, oxidised pellets. During a reloading, choose only good pellets, not distorted od oxidised. If the box contains a noticeably large number of distorted pellets, discard the whole box. Quality and clean pellets also benefit the barrel of your gun.
REGULAR CLEANING OF THE BARREL
It is essential for very accurate shooting. 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 entrance hole for the pellet. 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 little 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. See the detailed article for how to properly care for your guns.