Types Of Air Rifles

Types of Air Rifles

There are 4 types of air rifle available in the UK. These are: Spring Powered, PCP, Gas Ram and Co2.

In this article we’re going to explain what each is and give some pros and cons to each. So by the time you finish reading, you’ll know which type of air rifle is right for you.

Spring Powered Air Rifles

Weihrauch HW 57 K Spring Powered Underleaver Air Rifle

Spring powered air rifles are the most common type of air rifle in the UK. As the name suggests, they use a coil spring and a piston to compress air inside the chamber. When you squeeze the trigger, the spring is decompressed – forcing the piston forward and expelling the pellet.

These are usually the cheapest air rifles to buy, making them incredibly popular among beginners. But don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re only for beginners! Many seasoned professionals, hunters, plinkers and more prefer springers over the other types of air rifle.

One of the main advantages spring powered rifles have over the others is that you don’t need to worry about gas canisters or pumps when shooting – you just pick it up and use it.

PCP Air Rifles

Gamo Coyote Tactical PCP Repeating Air Rifle

PCP air rifles (also known as pre-charged pneumatics) have large air tanks built into the rifle that get filled with regular, breathable air.

This air is used to propel pellets out of the rifle, without taking too much time/effort to cock between shots (like it does with a break-barrel or underlever springer).

These air rifles are usually more popular among the more experienced shooters as they are more expensive than most other types of air rifle.

The only real downside to PCP rifles (if you could even call it that) is that they do require you to carry either a hand pump or air tank if you’re going shooting for a decent length of time. With that being said, filling your rifle’s air tank will give you between 30 to 400 shots before you’ll need to refill it, depending on the model.

Gas Ram Air Rifles

Weihrauch HW90K Hunting Gas Ram Air Rifle

Gas ram air rifles (also known as gas piston air rifles) are similar to springers, in that they need to be manually cocked before firing each pellet. The difference is that gas rams use a gas filled cylinder (that works similar to your car boot) instead of a spring piston to compress the air.

Cocking a gas ram is considerably easier than cocking a springer, making them ideal for those who like the traditional feeling of cocking an air rifle before shooting, but don’t enjoy the shoulder ache from a full day of firing.

The only downside to buying a gas piston rifle when compared to a springer is that there is more to go wrong. Frequent use over many years of firing a springer can cause damage to the spring, which doesn’t cost too much to repair. Whereas with gas rams, the gas cylinder is a little bit more involved to fix.

This is something you don’t have to worry about when buying gas ram air rifles from us at The Airgun Centre, as all our new air rifles come backed with our lifetime guarantee and service pledge that guarantees your rifle stays shooting as good as new for as long as you own it.

If you had any issues with your gas cylinder (or anything else), we would get it fixed free of charge for as long as you are the original owner.

Co2 Air Rifles

Sig Sauer MPX CO2 .177 Air Rifle

Co2 air rifles are similar to PCP air rifles, but instead of using regular air, they use Co2 (also known as carbon dioxide). These are great fun with a few downsides when compared to PCP’s. An important factor to consider is that the Co2 capsules are not refillable, meaning you use them once and throw them away.

With that being said, you will get a good amount of shots per capsule/tank. For a standard 12g capsule that fits into a Co2 pistol, you can expect around 60 shots. And for the 88g tank that fits into a Co2 air rifle, you should get about 170 shots.

Finally, if you do buy a Co2 air rifle, it’s important to point out that you cannot use any other type of condensed air. Doing so can damage your gun and even be dangerous in some circumstances.