In the Airgun universe, there are different pellet propulsion systems that are specific to certain weapons. Here we detail the 3 main families that you can find on our site.
The 3 types of compressed air propulsion
The essential pistons
Rifles and pellet guns can be used both for recreational shooting but also for sports shooting training because it is a very economical practice that can be carried out in the private context, while respecting well obviously the basic safety rules Luftpistol. The use you intend for this airgun, whether it is a rifle or a handgun, pistol or revolver, will partly define the type of weapon you need.
Compressed air rifles and pistols are very widespread, their air compression system is done by a spring piston or cylinder, after pressing the trigger, this cylinder or piston is released and propels the air to the chamber, which pushes the lead through the barrel. Note improved comfort with the cylinder systems which vibrate less, giving you increased confidence and precision during your shooting sessions.
This type of weapon generally has a tilting barrel, also called a “break-barrel”, which allows the piston to be reset between each shot and also to supply the barrel chamber with a pellet (98% of models) or several pellets such as Gamo models equipped with the new GEN10 system. In both cases, this solid and reliable system has proven itself year after year. This is a principle that we often find in shooting galleries at fairgrounds. More rare, some brands offer weapons with a fixed barrel with a cocking lever under the barrel “underlerver” or placed laterally “sidelever”
The advantages of these rifles are quite numerous, which explains their wide distribution. Indeed, the Gamo, Hammerli or Crosman brands offer very high-performance models in a price range of €150 to €300 in a complete pack with optics, pellets, targets and accessories such as a bipod, a shooting support, etc. . However, we draw your attention to the fact that on the internet you can also find much cheaper rifles or pistols that are very attractive, however, their reliability may leave something to be desired, prefer models that are at least renowned. These weapons are autonomous, that is to say that you do not need to buy additional CO2 capsules , pumps or compressors as for PCP rifles, you can use them whenever you want and do not will never run out of “fuel”.
You will find different powers depending on the type of weapon:
Compressed air guns have a power of between approximately 3.5 to 10 joules
The vast majority of air rifles range from 10 to less than 20 joules
Some models can reach 40 joules (Regulated sale)
There are different calibers for these weapons:
mostly chambered in 4.5 mm (.177),
you will also find some compressed air weapons in 5.5 mm (.22)
and more rarely in 6.35 mm (.25).
Ammunition is very affordable, which is an undeniable advantage unlike firearms. 500 pellets of 4.5 mm caliber cost you between €4 for entry-level and €10 for the very high-end, offering you the possibility of having a very large shooting volume even with a limited budget and of achieving very interesting details. For other calibers such as 5.5mm or 6.35mm the price of ammunition increases a little but remains affordable, including having a relatively large shooting volume.
With the aim of discovering the world of airguns or with a view to considering sport shooting later, the choice of a handgun, such as a CO2 pistol, proves to be a good choice. Very easy to learn, these weapons are accessible and have many advantages.
First of all, the power supply is done via CO2 sparclettes, allowing the pistols & revolvers to function almost like a real one, some models have internal operation with a fixed breech, others have a blowback system, with a movable slide, more realistic and giving a particular charm to use, it does not provide more precision but it is very fun to use, the sensations are very good. Most are semi-automatic repeater, which offers the advantage of not having to reload between each shot like a classic tilting cannon, you will just need to reload the barrels or the magazines and change the CO2 sparclette every 3 to 8 emptied magazines, depending on the weapon model used.
You should know that a gun with a fixed breech will have a much greater autonomy than a blowback model because the latter consumes much more CO2 due to the necessary movement of the breech to rearm the hammer and load a new ball. You will have an autonomy of approximately 120 rounds with a fixed slide compared to an average of 35 rounds for a blowback model. If we can find a single fault with CO2 sparclettes, it is that the pressure is necessarily decreasing, which at the end of its capacity can result in some less tense shots.
Concerning CO2 sparclettes, we can distinguish 2 formats: The most widespread remains the 12 gram sparclette which will be used for handguns and certain long weapons. Other types of weapons that require greater power can accommodate 88 gram sparclettes. Using this CO2 power supply is very simple, be sure to follow the basic safety rules to avoid any incident.
Numerous “replicas” of real existing models, very often manufactured under official license, very similar both mechanically and aesthetically, will allow you to start a collection for your personal pleasure but also to be able to use them for shooting. plinking type leisure.
From a budget point of view, a CO2 handgun starts at around €30 for an entry-level model up to almost €250 for high-end licensed blowback models. Beretta, Glock, Smith & Wesson for example. Sparclettes, for their part, can be purchased “in bulk” which will allow you to benefit from attractive discounts and to have reserves for your shooting sessions.
Once your shooting session is over, we advise you to empty the CO2 sparclette, as too much pressure on the joints could ultimately damage them. A small pass of silicone oil on them will keep your weapon in impeccable condition.
First of all, what is PCP? Meaning “pre charged pneumatic” in English, PCP is a real technological revolution in the world of air weapons, it can be translated as “pre compressed air”. That is to say that you must fill a tank or a bottle between 150 and 250 CC on average, with a pressure of around 250 bars, which is considerably high.
As a result, shooting comfort and precision are considerably better, we have very significant power and autonomy, which is also much greater than a classic piston-spring type compressed air rifle. We can hope with a mid-range PCP model to hit a target without too much difficulty at 80m. At a minimum, a PCP rifle gives you around thirty shots without needing to reload. Their operation is generally semi-automatic or with manual repetition, certain very specific models can offer full-auto, that is to say that pressing on the trigger causes the shots to start without any downtime, up to until the charger is empty. It’s really a lot of fun when plinking, you don’t have to count your weights or your air reserve.
Air recharging can be done in different ways. The simplest thing is to get a high-pressure hand pump , which will provide you with a quick solution but, let’s face it, very physical and will ultimately limit your use. If you are an occasional shooter, this solution might satisfy you, if you are a more recurring shooter, prefer our next option. The second common solution in PCP use is to obtain a diving type bottle of good capacity, approximately 3 to 6 liters, which can withstand a pressure of 300 bars / 4500 PSI, which will allow you to reload your rifle or rifle many times. PCP gun. This bottle must itself be recharged by a suitable compressor, expensive it must be admitted but you will have total independence. Otherwise, you can refill your air tanks in specialized diving or water equipment stores, etc.
Speaking of the compressor , you can, with the appropriate adapters, directly recharge your rifle reserve with the latter. This is a method that takes more time than with a diving tank but serves its purpose well if you do not need to have a very high rate of fire because loading can take a while depending on the capacity of the tank. compressor and that of the weapon’s air tank.
For the principle of compressing the projectile, the system does not change much from a conventional air weapon, a valve releases the pressurized air charge to propel the lead into the barrel chamber.
Where there is a fundamental difference in the use of a PCP rifle is that certain weapons have a pressure regulator, which releases a strictly identical quantity of air with each shot, allowing you to have superb precision and consistency of results making the 22lr blush. More precisely, this regulator traps the quantity of others between the chamber and the tank, which guarantees consistency from start to finish of the air reserve.
In terms of power, PCP offers many possibilities. Indeed, different calibers are offered ranging from 4.5mm to .50 (12.7mm)! The most widespread remains the 5.5mm caliber, which offers excellent performance for plinking and shooting at higher resistances, while maintaining greater precision than the 4.5mm. The 6.35 mm is also developing, with an interesting range of ammunition; according to specialists, it offers the best energy, stability and precision ratio in PCP rifles.
It is possible on PCP rifles to add a sound moderator, which very effectively reduces the noise of the “detonation”, significantly improving shooting comfort and therefore precision. Find one of our tests with a sound level meter here:
Some models also have the capacity to be improved aesthetically, changing the stock, barrel, chassis, adding a bipod, a whole range of customizations and personalizations are possible. These operations aim to improve the shooting quality of the weapon, its precision and its look so as not to have the same look as everyone else. At Tom Airgun, we offer you a custom service to offer you complete PCP packs, assembled and adjusted according to your wishes.
PCP rifles therefore offer a wide choice of uses and performances worthy of certain small caliber firearms. They remain expensive for high-end models but offer services and a quality of finish that are worth the price difference, making some firearms blush.