Welcome, to the Best Air Rifle Site on the Net!
This site aims to help cut out the crap and provide you the very best air rifle data available.
In todays market there are a lot of choices and it can be tough to find the best air rifle or the best pellet gun for your needs.
Before your next purchase ensure you get the right advice for what is suitable for your budget, skill level and shooting requirements. Our site will provide the very best air rifle reviews and information to help you make the most informed choice and get the best air rifle for the money.
Air Guns Overview
Below we will detail a few facts that you may already understand if you are experienced with Air Guns.
Please select from the menu any specific details you are after unless you wish to have an overview of the specifications.
The Basic Facts
Air Rifles, Air Guns fire pellets, balls (BBs) and some fire darts – usually metallic.
They are powered using air unlike a conventional rifle which uses gunpowder and expanding gassed to propel the bullet down the barrel.
There are various names for these air guns which can cause some confusion, I have listed them below so you know we are all talking about the same thing, I will also note what are NOT Airguns further down the page. The naming of the different type of air gun can cause confusion but we will do our best to give information about each throughout the site.
- Air Rifles
- Air Pistol
- BB Pellet Guns
- Pellet Rifles
- Pellet Guns
- BB Guns
- BB Pistols
- BB Rifles
Air Guns are primarily used for hunting, pest control and recreational shooting which is referred to as “plinking”. Air Rifles are used in the Olympics as well as other competitive games such as Field Target and Hunter Field Target, which is very fun if you get involved in a club.
What is not an Air Gun
There has been some confusion about the relationship with “AirSoft” amongst novices and children alike. THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP, Air Rifles can be lethal and these should never be used to fire on another human being.
If you want to check out more info on AirSoft here is the Wikipedia page.
AirSoft is a game where the players aim to eliminate each other using non-metallic spherical pellets, the Airsoft Guns are usually replica firearms.
Air Soft guns are usually sold on the same websites as Air Guns and the confusion comes due to the fact the AirSoft guns are referred to as AirSoft BB guns. All AirSoft Guns have ¼ of an inch of the barrel permanently colored in orange as they can quite easily be taken as real firearms.
Some of the types of Air Guns such as BB Guns are not designed for shooting certain types of ammunition and then some types of air rifle can shoot both – this can be a little confusing for the novice. One thing to note, there is a misconception that BB Guns (not AirSoft) are toys, I would strongly suggest you research the power of these if you are to provide one to a child.
Air Rifle Calibers
The standard Air Rifle calibres are:
- 0.25 or 6.33mm
- 0.22 or 5.5mm
- 0.20 or 5.0mm
- 0.177 or 4.5mm
What calibre ammunition you can shoot is dependent on the internal diameter of the gun barrel you purchase.
You must also know what type of shooting you are planning on:
- Hunting Air Rifles typically .22 and larger.
- Target shooting is typically .177 caliber.
- Pest Control and small game shooting .177 or .22 caliber air rifle.
- Competition shooting is generally in the .177 caliber category.
There are also some big bore calibers such as 0.45 (11.43mm) and 0.50 (12.7mm)
Air Rifle Power Sources
The various methods for powering air guns and each has a differences in the way the gun operates and has pros and cons depending on the application (budget).
Pre-Charged Pneumatic Air Rifles (PCP)
These guns use compressed air as the power source, with either an air tank pre built in to the Air Rifle or will one will screw into the gun.
If you are looking for the best PCP Air Rifle – check out this page for a comparison and further data [ENTER LINK TO PAGE}
The benefits of this type of Air Rifle are their multi shot power and accuracy. Depending on the type of Air Rifle you can get a number of shots without refills and this has led to semi-automatic and fully automatic PCP air guns.
There is also significantly less recoil in this type of gun due to the low volume of moving parts.
The disadvantage would be the extra equipment if you needed to carry an external Scuba tank with you. You can get incredible power and range from this type of setup and is used in big game hunting with large .45 calibre pellets
Multi pump Air Rifles - Pneumatic
Again using compressed air like the PCP models, but not using an external source. With this type of air rifle you would pump a number of times depending on the make and model and this pressurizes the air chamber.
These air rifles tend to be les expensive that then the others and there is little recoil because of the compressed gas allowing them to be very accurate.
Because you have the ability to pump these you can adjust the power achieved and this benefits the application.
Single pump Air Rifles - Pneumatic
Single pump air rifles only require one pump to or cock of the rifle to obtain maximum power. These are fast and easy to use and are often targeted as entry-level air rifles.
These are usually less powerful than the other types of power plant used in other rifles but great entry and beginner rifles.
Spring Piston Air Rifles – Break Barrel/Fixed Barrel
This type of air gun uses a coiled spring piston as the name suggests compressing air within a compression chamber. Cocking the gun by breaking the barrel is the usual method for setting these up to fire, but there are a number of other methods used such as under barrel levers etc.
These types of guns can have significant recoil due to the motion of the piston. These are one of the most common types of Air Rifle on the market; they are affordable and can produce FPS up to 1500.
Fixed barrel will be the most accurate of the spring powered air guns.
Gas Piston Air Rifles – Nitro Rifles
These use a nitrogen filled gas piston as the power source instead of a spring. There are some advantages of using this power source, such as the ability to cock the rifle easier and they are much quieter to use. There is also less recoil and can be a better option for those who are after greater accuracy.
The other major advantage for this type of power source is the ability to leave them cocked for extended periods of time. This is especially useful for hunting where you can go for hours without firing.
CO2 Air Rifles
As the name suggests these are powered by CO2 in the form of a small cartridge. One of the great things about this power source is it can fire multiple shots allowing a semi-automatic air rifle. You will often find this as a power source in Air Pistols and can be quite convenient and fun.
There are some quite powerful CO2 variants on the market and we will review in due course.
Air Rile Ammunition
There are 3 types of ammunition used in air guns, there are listed below - more information can be found on our Air Rifle Pellets page
Air Gun Legal Issues
This depends largely where you are located:
If you are based in the US then read the section under the United States: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_gun_laws
If you are in the UK then you should read these regulations: http://content.met.police.uk/Site/firearmslicensingairweapons