Air rifle technology has advanced considerably in recent years, with manufacturers producing ever more powerful and, more importantly, accurate rifles. A visit to your local gun dealer will likely leave you in awe, if not slightly confused, by the array of available choices. Perhaps it’s time to retire your old Daisy and consider something more exciting!
You will note that makers now put greater emphasis on pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) rifles. The PCP design has several advantages over its spring-piston cousin, primarily enhanced accuracy and reduced recoil.
The spring-piston design uses a coil spring to drive a piston in a compression chamber that is separate from the barrel. Pulling the trigger of the cocked rifle releases the spring which decompresses, forcing the piston to compress a column of air into the chamber that holds the pellet. The action, while generally effective, involves multiple moving parts, and the violent force of the decompressing spring is not conducive to good accuracy. Furthermore, its double-recoil action is extremely hard on scopes. While most of today’s air rifles have scope-mounting facilities, it takes a very tough scope to withstand the recoil of a spring-operated model.
The PCP rifle has no such problems. It employs a built-in compressed air reservoir that’s sufficient for a multiple of consecutive shots without the need to operate a lever against a heavy spring. It comprises minimal moving parts, and its simple release of stored compressed air generates minimal recoil and vibration, thus greatly enhancing accuracy potential. The rifles can be made very powerful, yet they are light on scopes, and with a silencer added, are remarkably quiet.
Read the full article in the October 2016 issue of Magnum.