Pennsylvania Game News - July 2017 - 56
gun is that it's almost vibration-free.
Available in single-shot or repeating
models, it's very accurate.
Repeating models can provide fast
follow-up shots with minimal movement;
semi-auto guns require none. They work
well in all calibers.
The down side of pre-charged air guns
is their expense, and your immediate need
for an external air-pressure source: highpressure hand pump, a small air charging
cylinder or a larger compressed-air tank,
like a scuba tank.
These guns have an air-pressure gauge
that shows "standing psi" so it's easy to
know where you stand with pressure. If
it's low, you can top off the charge to shoot
at the optimum pressure.
CO2-powered guns use a 12- or
88-gram CO2 cartridge that is loaded
into the air gun as the power source.
With every pull of the trigger, a consistent
amount of CO2 is released to propel the
pellet without recoil. These air guns come
in single-shot or repeater models. Caliber
size determines how many shots a CO2
Recoil is nonexistent with CO2-powered guns and accuracy is very good. They
are great training tools, because they are
made to look, feel and act like centerfire
firearms: Colt Model 1911, Beretta M92,
AR 15, M1A.
Many of us use .177-caliber AR15- and
M1A-facsimile air-rifles at scaled down
ranges, to keep sharp outside of the Civilian Marksmanship Program competition
CO2-competition guns don't have the
velocity and power of better power-source
air guns, so their range is limited. Extreme
ambient temperatures also will affect
velocity. Cold temperatures give less
velocity, warmer temperatures give more.
Also, if you shoot a lot, it's best to buy
CO2-cartridges in bulk. They might not
seem expensive at first, but after a while,
they add up.
Not long ago, you could page through
the latest update to the annual firearms
book Gun Digest, and find only a limited
presence of air guns.
The latest edition overflows with airgun content. The prices of these guns
range from $50 to $2,000.
I have seen several of the high-end
guns shoot half-inch to 1-inch groups at
No, they don't have the range and
power of our powder-driven arms with
high BC match bullets shooting out to
But they do have their advantages.
Air guns can be accurate, a lot of fun,
inexpensive to shoot, and can be shot
almost anywhere. That's good news for
anyone who loves to shoot and hunt.