Air Rifles: how to pick the right
If you've shopped for air rifles lately,
you know that there are a lot of them on the market these days. What makes it
even more confusing is that there are many different kinds of rifles, from CO2-powered models,
guns. So how do you decide which air rifle is a good match for you?
It's really not difficult, once you know the basics. There are
essentially three styles of rifle, based on what powers them, what
ammo they fire, and their intended uses.
CO2 Air Rifles
While they are something of a dying breed, you can still find some rifles
these days that are powered by CO2 cartridges. The
advantage is that they're small and last a pretty good amount of time for the
average air gun shooter. They also provide decent power (700-900 fps)
to propel pellets accurately over relatively long distances. But there
are a couple of negatives that every potential air rifle buyer should be aware of.
First, if you live where it gets cold for a
good portion of the year, understand that rifles powered by CO2
are significantly less consistent in colder conditions. Expect slower
muzzle velocities from your air rifle, which means less effective distance from each
shot. This can throw off your aim. The other downside is that the cost to replace
the air cartridges can add up quickly if you fire your rifle frequently. Still, on
the whole, these types of rifles are widely popular and a good choice for hunters and
those needing pest-killing power.
Here are some of the best-selling CO2 air rifles we
Break Barrel Air Rifles
A growing number of modern
rifles use large, coiled springs to power the pellets they fire.
Advances in metal technology have allowed for the creation of an air
rifle spring that retains its elasticity and power for a long time,
even in rifles that get heavy use. Combined with an ingenious "break barrel" design that cocks the gun in one simple motion, it's easy
to understand why these rifles are so popular. No CO2 cartridges to
replace...no pumping a lever over and over before each shot.
These rifles provide the highest muzzle velocities
available in an air rifle (up to 1250 fps), so they're the choice of
small game hunters, varmint pest killers, and long-range target
Here are a few of the best break barrel air rifles
on the market today:
Pneumatic Pump Air Rifles
Pneumatic pump pellet rifles are a good choice for
kids and adults who really just want an air rifle for fun - plinking
tin cans or paper targets at close range. They work by pumping a lever
(usually located under the barrel) several times to charge the firing
mechanism for a single shot. They produce the lowest muzzle velocities
(500-800 fps) and can be annoying because you have to crank away on
the lever between shots. However, they are by far the least expensive
rifles you'll find - and they're very durable. A good first air rifle!
Here are some of the most popular pneumatic pump
air rifles of all time:
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