What is the difference between an air rifle and a firearm?

The primary difference between an air rifle and a firearm is that an air rifle works pneumatically while a firearm works with chemical reactions. The projectiles fired from an air gun are compressed air or other gases. When you pull the trigger of an air rifle, the pressurized air is released which in turn releases the pellets (not bullets).

Uses of air rifles

Air guns are great for the usual hunting. Both novice and expert hunters can use it to bring down prey. Air guns help to teach gun marksmanship. If you want to learn how to shoot, start with an air rifle.

Air guns are safer. You can use them to practice shooting in front or behind your house. There is a catch for the experts too. Even the professionals need a little practice now and then. They can use air rifles to practice and perfect their shooting. Also, air rifles are used to teach novices and kids about gun safety. More parents are buying popular air rifles online and using them to teach their kids gun usage and safety.

People also use air rifles to chase pests like rats, raccoons, squirrels, and even rabbits in infested areas. You’ll also find air guns in use at shooting competitions. Olympic shooters use air rifles during competitions.

How do modern air rifles work?

There are several types of air rifles, and we cannot run through all of them. However, we will use the Pre-Charged Pneumatic Air Rifles (PCP) to gauge how modern air rifles work.

The Pre-Charged Pneumatic Air Rifles (PCP) are simple in their mechanism. You pump air into a reservoir (tank) in the gun (also called precharging the gun), and that air escapes when you fire it. Yes, it is a gun that requires pumping, and this is a disadvantage that people mention. They need to constantly pump the gun to a certain level before they can fire a limited amount of shots, then they have to reload/recharge/repump. It means that users have to carry a pump all the time.

The concept is not new and dates back to early innovators, but the mechanics are polished for a more modern standard. Other factors like the strength of the gun’s hammer, the firing valve, and the amount of pressure also affect the workings of the gun. Despite the need for a pump, the PCP continues to be a popular choice for enthusiasts. Why? They are powerful, more accurate (because they require only air pressure), and shoot with lesser recoil while remaining noiseless. Characteristics that make it the perfect hunting gun.

Air guns work in different ways, but the primary differentiation is in the pressurization method.

Safety first

Remember, air guns pack a punch. They may be pellets or slugs and not real bullets, but they can still be dangerous. Be careful. Read on shooting guidelines and get acquainted with the workings of your gun before ever pulling the trigger. An air gun is no child’s play. They should be treated with the same respect and safety considerations as all guns.