If youíre like many people, you canít wait to get an airgun.
The only problem is that youíre not quite sure where to start. There are dozens
of great options, so how can you tell which airgun is going to be best for you?
How to Choose the
Right Airgun to Purchase
Each airgun is different, so your final choice should depend
on several factors. The last thing you want is to purchase an airgun thatís not
right for your needs, so ask yourself:
What do you intend to do with the airgun? Many
first-time airgun buyers arenít aware that there are weapons designed
specifically for general use, hunting, competition shooting and other uses.
Youíll be able to further narrow your choices by price, size and power once
youíve answered this question.
How strong are you? While many airguns are
lightweight and easy to carry, some require cocking. Cocking effort is measured
in pounds, and some airguns are extremely difficult to cock. Gas-powered
airguns donít need to be cocked, so if youíre not willing to put in effort
between shots, you might prefer a precharged pneumatic or CO2 airgun rather
than one with a traditional spring.
Are you killing animals? Few air pistols are
powerful enough to kill animals, particularly over long distances. If you
intend to hunt small game or rid your space of pests, you will most likely need
an air rifle. Youíll also need to consider the type of ammunition youíll need
if youíre using an airgun to kill animals. Most experts regard .22-caliber ammo
as the best hunting caliber because itís more widely available than .25-caliber
ammunition. Smaller pellets arenít usually reliable for hunting and pest
Will you prefer a semiautomatic or single-shot
weapon? Your intended use will probably determine which type of airgun you buy;
itís fun to shoot a repeater, but semiautomatic weapons arenít usually good for
What type of accuracy do you expect over
distance? A small air pistol wonít have the distance of an air rifle. Remember
that high-powered airguns can be accurate at 80 yards or more; a light-duty air
pistol might only hit your target effectively at 35 yards.
What kind of trigger quality do you want? Most adult
airgun triggers require about 3 pounds of pull, and many of them can be
adjusted down to 1.5 pounds. However, you can purchase an airgun thatís already
set to the right pull for your needs.
PCPs vs. Spring
In many cases, precharged pneumatic airguns offer more
features than traditional spring rifles. Adjustable power, higher power levels
and more stock options are generally common with PCPs.
Other Things to
Consider When Choosing the Right Airgun
While aesthetics usually donít have any bearing on how well
an airgun shoots, some people consider it an important factor in the
decision-making process. Many people consider the quality of the bluing and
other cosmetic factors when theyíre trying to find the right airgun.
Other considerations include:
The shape of the buttstock
The length of the barrel (a longer barrel
usually represents higher accuracy)
Accessories or the ability to add sights, scopes
and other accessories
Ultimately, the right airgun is one that you enjoy shooting.
Whether this is your first, second or tenth airgun, itís important that you
pick something that makes you happy.