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Types of Air Guns

Types of Air Guns

If you are looking at air guns it is important to understand what types of air guns are on the market today.  Each type has its advantages and disadvantages and understanding This will help you find the perfect match for you and your needs.Here is a brief description of the different styles of the most popular air guns available today.

Air Gun Powerplant

Most airguns and rifles have one of 5 types of power plant. These are the gas piston, spring piston, pump pneumatic, CO2 gas and pre-charged pneumatic or PCP. 

Gas Piston

The gas piston or gas ram rifle is a type of break-barrel, underlever, or side lever gun that uses a pressurized chamber filled with compressed air which, when you cock the gun, the pressure is increased. When you release the tension of the gas pressure by pulling the trigger, the pellet is fired out of the barrel with the pressurized air.

Spirig Piston

The spring piston air gun works in the same basic fashion as the gas ram. The difference is that instead of a gas-filled cylinder, it uses a coiled spring inside the chamber that when compressed and released will propel the projectile out of the gun. Both the gas and spring piston have advantages such as they are simple to use, relatively inexpensive, and convenient as they have no need for external CO2 cartridges or a pump, Some of the disadvantages are that they have a stronger recoil compared to their counterparts and they require practice to cock and shoot properly. With the spring piston the gun cannot remain cocked as the spring can become fatigued and may not function properly. This can also happen over the lifetime of the air gun.

CO2 Gas

CO2 gas airguns use a separate carbon dioxide cartridge to power the gun and when the trigger is pulled, this CO2 air is released and propels the pellet.  One advantage is that they can be fired many times before the cartridge needs to be replaced. Other advantages are that they are virtually recoilless, easy to cock, and are consistent. Disadvantages include unreliability in extreme temperatures, less power when compared to similar air guns, and if you shoot a lot the cost of the CO2 cartridges can really add up.

Variable Pump

The variable pump, or pump pneumatic air gun uses a pump on the gun to fill a reservoir within. The pressurized air in the chamber is what then discharges the pellet. The number of strokes that it takes to fill the chamber can be varied and this in turn can change the power of the rifle to meet the shooters’ desired usage. It is self-contained so there is no extra equipment required to fire it, and they are lightweight and recoilless. It can take some practice to master how to effectively pump the rifle, and the pumping action can be tedious and time consuming.

Precharged Pneumatic

PCP or precharged pneumatic airguns use highly-pressured air in a tank, or that is pumped into a chamber to power the pellet. When the trigger is pulled it allows only part of the pressurized air to escape which allows the gun to be fired multiple times before needing to be re-charged. PCP air guns are high powered and accurate because of their fixed-barrel design. They take very little effort to cock and have almost no recoil. These rifles do require an external means to charge them, either a tank or a hand pump, and can take a significant amount of time and effort to effectively fill the reservoir if using a pump.

Air Gun Caliber

The most readily available air gun calibers on the market today are the .177 and the .22, Both calibers have their advantages and disadvantages, but it mostly boils down to what you are planning to use your air gun for. The .22 is lager and heavier than the .177 and is most often used for hunting. This caliber tends to be more accurate at longer range and has more stopping power. The .177 is perfect for competition target shooting and everyday backyard plinking.

Different types of air guns at Armory.net


Armory has a vast selection of different types of air guns and air rifles including our new line of premium Aselkon PCP rifles, as well as ammunition and accessories. Whether you are a serious hunter, looking to go target shooting, or just out for some casual backyard plinking, we have what you need

Contact Armory today for all your air gun needs.
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