Pennsylvania Game News - July 2017 - 54
of town. But, remember, an air rifle is
still considered a firearm and meets
the 150-yard safety-zone criteria. Hunt
The lack of a rifle report is another
benefit to air guns; shooting will not alert
or chase nearby game.
Air guns also are cheaper to shoot
since there is no live ammunition to buy,
or cartridges to reload. They also have
proven to be lethal out to 75 yards, which
is really where a lot of small game is shot.
And, you don't have to go to a rifle range
for a little practice.
With a proper backstop, you can use
your own basement or backyard.
Selecting an Air Gun
If you want an air gun for hunting, you
have a choice of a variable-pneumatic
pump, spring-powered piston, gas-powered piston, pre-charged-pneumatic and
CO2-driven air gun.
Any air gun used for hunting should
deliver velocities from 700 to 1,500 fps.
A variable-pneumatic pump rifle uses
a manually operated, piston-driven pump
Today's air guns are precision
machines that share little
in common with the simple
BB guns many of us grew
up shooting. Pre-charged
pneumatic air rifles like this one
are filled with a hand pump
or specialized tank, and might
be equipped with a gauge that
allows the shooter to tell how
much air - and how many
shots - remain. While empty air
chambers need to be refilled,
these air guns hold the major
advantage of offering nearly
- often the rifle's forearm - to push air
into a storage chamber every time it's
pumped. The chamber usually holds up
to 10 pumps.
These guns offer the versatility to
shoot pellets from about 200 fps to the
maximum velocity they were designed
to deliver. The variable-pump's down
side is that, after every shot, you pump
repeatedly to again achieve the desired
velocity. That limits follow-up shots and
usually gives your position away. Even
while practicing, you'll spend more time
pumping than shooting.
These guns should not be pumped
more than recommended by the manufacturer. Doing so puts undue stress on seals,
reducing shot-to-shot consistency. They
also shouldn't be stored fully pumped for
the same reason.
Spring-piston air guns are normally
single-shots that use a break-barrel, sidecock lever or an underlever to compress a
heavy, piston-driven coiled spring.
They are popular, given their affordability, and are pretty accurate. Their
knock is when the spring releases, it cre-