Pre-Charged Pneumatic Airguns (PCP's)
This is the group of rifles and pistols that has advanced the most in the last 10 years. They use a reservoir built into the gun to hold a store of compressed air, usually about 2500-3000PSI. This reservoir can hold anything from 30-500 shots worth of air depending on the size of the cylinder. The compressed air cylinder is charged via a stirrup pump or divers bottle. NOTE that a regular spray compressor, garage pump or foot pump will NOT do the job as they do not run at high enough pressure.
These guns have many advantages. They are recoilless so they are very easy to shoot accurately. They are very quiet when fitted with a silencer. There are many different models on the market to choose from, so you should be able to find just the right specification for your purpose - multishots, single-shots, lightweight, large shot-capacity, fully adjustable, whatever you want! PCPs do have some disadvantages such as cost, the extra investment in charging equipment and the inconvenience of charging the air cylinder.
Advantages of Pre Charged Pneumatic Airguns:
Disadvantages of Pre Charged Pneumatic Airguns:
Advantages of Spring Piston Airguns:
Disadvantages of Spring Piston Airguns:
Spring Piston Rifles and Pistols or"Springers"
This is probably the most popular type of air gun and the one that most shooters will at one time have owned. A spring piston gun has long been the standard entry route into the sport of shooting. There are three different cocking mechanisms for spring piston guns: Break Barrel, Under Lever or Side Lever
Spring piston guns or "Springers" generally have a very simple operation.
Spring-piston guns operate by means of a coiled steel spring-loaded piston contained within a compression chamber, and separate from the barrel. Cocking the gun causes the piston assembly to compress the spring until a small hook on the rear of the piston engages the sear; pulling the trigger releases the sear and allows the spring to decompress, pushing the piston forward, thereby compressing the air in the chamber directly behind the pellet seated in the barrel. Once the air pressure has risen enough to overcome any static friction and/or barrel restriction holding the pellet, the pellet moves forward, propelled by an expanding column of air. All this takes place in a fraction of a second.
The movement of the spring and piston leads to recoil, which can affect the accuracy of the gun. The lighter the gun usually the more recoil. Hence heavier spring guns are often easier to shoot and more accurate than their lighter counterparts. You may have to compromise with weight though, especially if you are hunting.
To shoot a recoiling gun accurately, techniques must be learned to compensate for the recoil. Learning and improving these skills is all part of the hobby, and a huge amount of satisfaction can be gained from learning how to get the best performance from your gun.
Spring guns are usually relatively cheap, simple and self-contained. They can be made to be very accurate and powerful. They are also quick to load. An average weight for a rifle is around 7-8lbs.
Types of Air Rifles
There are different methods of powering an air gun. These methods can be broadly divided into 4 groups: spring-piston, gas ram, CO2 and pneumatic (PCP). These methods are used in both air rifles and air pistols (with the exception of the gas ram which is only available for rifles).
Our Airgun Buying Guide
Buying your first airgun can be a bewildering experience. The sheer diversity of guns on offer can easily lead to confusion when it comes to deciding on a purchase.
We would highly recommend that you visit our club and take the opportunity to try a range of airguns before you go out and buy one.
Below, we have attempted to provided an introduction to the diverse world of the airgun. Hopefully it is not as confusing as it may first appear!Type your paragraph here.
BSA R10 with Buddy bottle
Wickham & District Rifle Club
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Air Arms FTP 900