A Beginners Guide to Air Rifles

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  • A Beginners Guide to Air Rifles

    This is intended to be a bit of a FAQ on Air rifles.
    Things you might need to know when considering your first one.

    For many folk, their first encounter with an air rifle is the shooting stand at a country show that uses an asthmatic chinese break barrel with crude open sights. If you're lucky, you might win that prize.
    I know the last time I saw one of these shooting booths, the price had risen to a few bucks for 5 miserable pellets.

    So you want to buy an Air rifle?
    You head for the nearest gun shop and query the salesman on what's good.
    That's your first mistake.
    Fortunately you have the good sense to go online and at least do a little bit of research.
    There's very few shops that specialise in air rifles and even less salesmen that know what they're talking about here in Australia.
    If you have a specific question - then post a thread and we'll do our best to give you some straight answers.

    As a rule of thumb look for something with British or German heritage.
    Why - Beacause they've been fairly well refined over the last few decades in countries where a limitation on the power means they have learned to squeeze the last drop of performance from them.

    There's two main kinds of air rifle getting around these days.
    Spring powered and
    Pre charged.

    I'll start with Spring powered guns.
    You can split this class into Break Barrel and Underlever (or sidelever)
    With a Break Barrel, the gun is cocked by pulling on the barrel to cock the gun.
    Pull it all the way back until the piston is latched by the trigger.

    With an Underlever, the barrel remains fixed in position while the action is cocked using a separate lever. either under or to the side of the gun.

    Pros - self contained action.
    Cons - takes a bit of skill to shoot them well.

    Precharged Pneumatic guns or PCPs for short.
    Two main kinds
    Those which are filled with high pressure air or CO2.

    High pressure Air- how high you ask?
    Well put it this way, your home compressor isn't even going to get you started.
    Car tires are around 30 PSI.
    Road bike tyre - around the 100 PSI mark.
    Modern PCPs are measured in BAR and are typically around 200 bar or 3000PSI.

    You need either a specialist high pressure pump or a Scuba tank from which the gun can be filled.

    Pros - No recoil makes them easy to shoot, very accurate.
    Cons - more expensive, requires pump / Scuba gear.

    CO2
    Simply put - these are charged up using CO2 as the high pressure gas.

    I'll leave that intro there and I'm sure a few other knowledgeable Airgunners will chime in.
    As to brands, If you do your research online, you'll find recurring themes of what's good.

    Ammunition or Pellets
    Well that's a whole other thread and a favourite topic amongst air gunners.
    Don't buy anything out of a shop until you check back in here first.

    Calibre???
    The 2 main calibres that get thrown around are .177 and .22 and you're probably going to choose one of these two.
    Comes down to what you intend to use it for.
    The .177 is more a of a target oriented pellet - it shoots flatter, competition requires this size good for paper plinking and feathered game.
    The .22 has a loopier trajectory - I think this makes it a touch harder to shoot well, however I think its a better choice for hunting larger rabbit sized game.

    There's loads of other calibres - some you wouldn't even think of.
    Other small calibres are .20 (in between the .177 & .22) and .25. Nothing wrong with either - a bit less mainstream is all.
    Larger calibres are now becoming more readily available in air gun from .30 up to .50 but since this intended to be a beginners guide, I'll leave that subject there till we're ready to explore it.

  • #2
    Nigel`s right - Another good tip for the first time Airgunner is before buying a rifle go out and equip yourselves with a really good book on the subject.
    The people who`ve written these books usually live and breath air rifles and many of them even make a living shooting them and writing about them (lucky buggers).

    My own personal Air Gun Bible is a book called TOTAL AIRGUNS by British Airgun Journo Pete Wadeson - http://www.amazon.com/Total-Airguns-Peter-Wadeson/dp/1904057381 - I`m sure that others here can recommend some more.

    Some good reasons on here from Aussie Shooters too on WHY to buy an Air Rifle http://shootingaustralia.net/forum/air-rifles/3040-why-air-rifles?limitstart=0
    "For it is the doom of men that they forget"

    Comment


    • Riz
      Riz commented
      Editing a comment
      No home should be without The Airgun from Trigger to Target by GM and GV Cardew. As far as I know it's the best (well, the only) technical study of the subject in print. There's a fair bit of sciency stuff, obviously, but nothing to alarm anyone who went to high school.

  • #3
    Something that may seem like a non issue for you guys but is actually really puzzling me, is what's the best (and easiest - even though those 2 don't normally go hand in hand) way of Cleaning your barrel - especially a choked barrel, and some pictures would also help.

    I ask this of more so Druid or Billy as they have the MRod - and I'm getting one, so I wanna know how to clean it.

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    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi...

      Contact Matt W on this web site. His girls make and sell cleaning kits for air rfiles. Its really good to encourage kids and these kits really work!

      Paul

  • #4
    Just did a you tube search and saw this:


    Looks fairly simple. Anything to be concerned about doing it this way?

    Comment


    • #5
      I'm newish to airgunning being more than something you do here and there over a few years, but I'm a pro at looking at kill pics, and one thing I can tell you for sure is that a kill pic ALWAYS looks better with a classy weapon in it.





      BTW - you can't address yourself as the classy weapon either :P

      Comment


      • #6
        Morning all
        I find myself drawn to acquire an air rifle. Already own several rimfire and centrefires and a Steyr LP50 airpistol.
        PCP would be preference (all ready have the setup for my pistol) and I do like look and feel of the Steyr Hunter 5., it does however seem to come at a premium price.
        Any other suggestions for available in Australia, multishot, PCP, .177, full sized offerings?
        Mostly target / plinking / maybe silouette and the odd rabbit?
        Thanks Oz.

        Comment


        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          Off the top of my head, a Benjamin Maurader or Gamo Dynamax - both around $900 - $1,000, both with 10 shot mags, both PCP. Don't know anything about them other than they exist.

        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          Originally posted by Oz" post=10108
          Morning all
          I find myself drawn to acquire an air rifle. Already own several rimfire and centrefires and a Steyr LP50 airpistol.
          PCP would be preference (all ready have the setup for my pistol) and I do like look and feel of the Steyr Hunter 5., it does however seem to come at a premium price.
          Any other suggestions for available in Australia, multishot, PCP, .177, full sized offerings?
          Mostly target / plinking / maybe silouette and the odd rabbit?
          Thanks Oz.
          I can def recommend the webley raider, check out the raider topic in this forum. They are great value for money, mine was just under $600 with pump and a new transfer port was about $20 from memory. Took mine out for shoot this morning, LOVE IT.

          Chewy.

      • #7
        Thanks Nigel,

        I'm new to this forum and new to Air Gunning, its great to hear so many people are passionate about AR's
        I have been to the shop and selected a couple of springers to get started with this sport so I can learn how to shoot these first
        then move up to a PCP.

        1, Diana 350 magnum classic .22 b reak barrel
        2, Gamo CFX royal .22 under lever (not sure if I should change this to a .177 cal ??)

        just after your thoughts here mate will these be a good start? I live in Perth and im going to be hunting rabbits / plinking.

        cheers,

        Comment


        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          Originally posted by Jared" post=47072
          Thanks Nigel,

          I'm new to this forum and new to Air Gunning, its great to hear so many people are passionate about AR's
          I have been to the shop and selected a couple of springers to get started with this sport so I can learn

          1, Diana 350 magnum classic .22 b reak barrel
          2, Gamo CFX royal .22 under lever (not sure if I should change this to a .177 cal ??)

          just after your thoughts here mate will these be a good start? I live in Perth and im going to be hunting
          Firstly you should choose the one you like.
          You're the one that's going to shoot it and if you like it, you're more likely to use it.

          A .177 will shoot flatter than a .22.
          I prefer a .22 for rabbit hunting.

          I think you should have a look around at what is available for both of those in the after market department.
          Choose a model which is readily serviced, has spares available and someone makes a kit for.

      • #8
        Hi....

        I would suggest a TF79, but we are still waiting for those.

        You might like to consider the ease and accuracy of a Umarex 850. Just a little look at this would help:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkkkSzdrvPo

        and may I suggest that you get .22 cal. Beats the heck out of all that pumping and breaking of barrels, no matter what brand.

        Paul

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        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          Thought you guys might find this interesting...


      • #9
        The Latest version of the Marauder is ambidextrous. Seems like the bolt can be changed from left to right and vice versa.

        Probably not what you're after, but it is what it is.

        Comment


        • mykii_shooter
          stormtrooper1311 commented
          Editing a comment
          I think that's about as close as I can get. That's all the other 2 guns I listed were .. I'll look into chasing some info up on the marauder then.

          Mykii

      • #10
        That`s Cool Havoc
        "For it is the doom of men that they forget"

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        • #11
          Air rifles became popular over the course of the past years considering the handy appeal that it has. It has enough firepower to knock down small animals that can come in handy during hunting and for pest control purposes.

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