A Brief History
The history of air rifles goes back in the middle of the 16th century, when European gunsmiths developed rifles which did not use gunpowder and were relatively silent. These Pre-charged Pneumatic air rifles (known as PCP air rifles ), could shoot a projectile up to a half inch more than 300 m/s. Like the majority of firearms, they evolved from the hand of armed conflicts.
The Austrians used PCP air rifles against Napoleon during the Tyrolean rebellion at the end of the 18th century. These repeating rifles were shooting lead ammunition caliber. 44, with effective range of up to 130 m. However, due to loading and other problems, gunpowder rifles inexorably became the firearm of modern conflicts.
In the early twentieth century appeared the some of the first break-barrel type usually used in North American fairs for target shooting. For most of these guns, the calibers were reduced considerably to a range of .5 to . 22.
By 1984, air rifles were essentially dubbed a “toy firearm” and was used to categorize the shooting sports as an Olympic discipline. Currently, several factories engage in the production of these weapons. However, current technogical advancements have led to the introduction of PCP Air rifles, a weapon far superior to spring or piston air rifles.
Types of rifles
Spring or piston air rifles…These are relatively economic, since manufacturing costs are reduced by not having an advanced charging system. Their precision is acceptable, and when used properly do not require excessive maintenance. They have some respect in the community of marksmen, since they represent the “old school”, an almost rustic gun that evokes something handmade in their construction and use.
These rifles, like the majority of compressed air rifles, are made in 4.5 mm, 5.5 mm and 6.35 mm. The speed of exit of the canon, on average, will be around in them 220 m/s in 4.5 mm, 180 m/s in 5.5 mm and 140 m/s in 6.35 mm. This appearance will depend on the quality of the materials used by the manufacturer and, usually, will set the price of the weapon. The operation of these models is through apiston, to break the gun to load, pushing a spring back and prepares to shoot.
To pull the trigger, the spring is released, this pushes the piston forward, generating an important force of air that ends up shooting pellet down the barrel of the gun, while the piston returns to its place for a new charge. Recommended firing theweapon only if there is ammunition in the barrel, since use in vacuum could severely damage the piston head, because it will collide violently against the bedroom where pellet should be hosted.
After years of use, these weapons can lose some more power due to the wear and tear of spring. Depending on the brand, usually the replacement is cheap and replacing it is a simple job for any gunsmith.
PCP or air pre-compressed
PCP rifles are currently the elite of the shot by compressed air. Without a doubt, provide the highest speed out of the barrel and have pinpoint accuracy, although they are somewhat noisy (some are fitted with suppressors incorporated).
If you want to practice hunting sports, the top rated are Pre-Charged Pneumatics, since these can generate significant speeds in excess of 1000 FPS. The shooting for PCP rifles is similar to that of spring rifles. Pre-compressed in a tube (usually down the barrel), air is released through a valve by pressing the trigger, propelling the pellet in the chamber.
Modern rifles valves allow to regulate the amount of air injected into each shot, allowing you to lose some power, but achieving greater amount of shooting or vice versa. The speed of these rifles is quite high, with values that can exceed, on average, the 340 m/s in 4.5 mm, 270 m/s around 220 m/s in 6.35 mm and 5.5 mm Even if they seem complex, the maintenance of a PCP is rather simple, limited to general cleaning with a cartridge of compressed air. Depending on the ammunition (quality, features, form), will remain in the barrel remains of lead, a pellet flow quality is misshapen and sometimes fails to conform to the barrel. There are several ways of filling the air tank, but the most efficient and inexpensive