What are airguns used for?

Airguns can be used for recreational shooting (“plinking”), competitive sports, pest control etc. They are also used in Olympic target-shooting (rifles and pistols).

How airguns work

Airguns propel projectiles by means of compressed and pressurized air or other gases. They can be operated by means of spring-piston, pneumatic, and compressed CO2 systems. Spring-piston airguns have a coil spring-loaded piston pump assembly contained within a compression chamber separate from the gun barrel but connected to it. The gun is cocked by flexing a lever connected to the pump assembly, which causes the pump piston to compress the spring. When the trigger is pulled the spring pushes the piston forward, compressing the air in the pump cylinder and propelling the projectile in the barrel chamber. Pneumatic airguns use internally stored compressed air. The air can be pressurized using a pump or be pre-charged. Compressed CO2 airguns are powered by prefilled removable and disposable gas cylinders filled with carbon dioxide gas. 

More information about airguns hunting and airsoft you'll find at the end of the page.


Hunting with airguns: can airguns be used for hunting?

High-powered airguns can be used to hunt small game like rabbits and squirrels, but also larger critters such as racoons and opossums. The most useful calibers for hunting are .20 and .22.  

Difference between airguns and airsoft guns

Like airguns, airsoft guns can be powered by spring or gas systems, but also by electric-driven pistons or hydraulics systems. Anyway, airguns are different since they operate at much higher pressures - typically twice than airsoft guns. Besides this, airsoft guns propel 6mm or 8mm diameter plastic pellets that are much lighter than the metallic pellets shot by airguns. This means that airguns are much more powerful and have longer ranges.

On we publish articles on airguns - including news and tests of airguns.