What to Look for When Buying Your First Airgun

What to Look for When Buying Your First Airgun

Posted by Jared Taylor on Jun 14th 2024

Owning an airgun combines excitement with practicality, suitable for hobbyists refining shooting skills, homeowners needing pest control, or hunters seeking reliable tools. Selecting the right airgun is essential for meeting specific needs and ensuring safety, enhancing shooting skills and responsible usage.

Understanding Airgun Types

Airguns come in several different mechanisms, each offering unique benefits depending on your needs:

  • Spring-Piston: The most common type, known for its simplicity and reliability. It uses a coiled spring-loaded piston pumped by a lever, suitable for beginners and all-purpose shooting.
  • Gas-Piston: Similar to spring-piston but uses a gas-filled cylinder instead of a spring. It offers smoother shooting and less recoil, making it great for both target practice and hunting.
  • Pneumatic: Includes Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) and CO2 guns. PCP airguns are known for their power and accuracy, ideal for serious target shooting and hunting. CO2 guns are easier to handle and good for quick, repeat shots.
  • Multi-Pump: Allows the shooter to control the power of each shot by pumping air into a reservoir. These are versatile and suitable for younger shooters due to adjustable power levels.

Each type has its place, whether it be in competitive environments, casual backyard plinking, or field hunting. Understanding these types will help you choose the best fit for your intended use.

Caliber Choices

Calibers in airguns vary widely, influencing both the gun's purpose and performance. Common calibers include:

  • .177: Ideal for target shooting and small pest control. It's the most popular caliber for its high velocity and flat trajectory.
  • .22: Offers more knockdown power than .177, perfect for hunting larger pests and small game.
  • .25: Balances power and range, suitable for medium game and offers a significant impact at short to medium ranges.

For those looking for more substantial firepower, larger calibers like .30, .35, .45, and even .50 are available. These calibers are typically used for hunting larger game and provide considerable stopping power. As the caliber size increases, so does the impact and the necessary handling strength. Each caliber has a specific role, affecting performance, range, and impact. By understanding the characteristics of these calibers, you can select one that best suits your shooting style and needs. Always consider the intended use, whether it's precision target shooting or more robust hunting applications, to find the caliber that aligns with your objectives.

Power and Velocity

Power (FPE) and velocity (FPS) dictate performance. High velocity ensures a flatter trajectory for accuracy in target shooting, while sufficient power is crucial for ethical hunting. Adjustable power airguns offer flexibility for various shooting activities.

The intended use of your airgun plays a significant role in selecting the appropriate power and velocity:

  • For target shooting, higher velocity can ensure a flatter trajectory, improving accuracy at various distances.
  • For hunting, sufficient power is necessary to ensure ethical kills. Small game typically requires at least 12 FPE, while larger game will need higher energy levels, sometimes exceeding 30 FPE depending on the target species and distance.

Selecting an airgun with adjustable power can provide flexibility, allowing shooters to tailor the gun’s performance to their current activity, whether plinking cans in the backyard or pursuing game in the wild.

Accuracy and Precision

Accuracy is paramount in any shooting discipline. Several factors influence the accuracy of an airgun:

  • Barrel Quality: A well-crafted barrel is essential for maintaining consistent accuracy. Rifled barrels are common in airguns and help spin the pellet to stabilize its flight towards the target.
  • Sighting Systems: The choice between iron sights and scopes depends on your needs. Iron sights are suitable for short-range shooting and learning fundamental aiming techniques. Scopes, however, are better for long-range accuracy and detailed target acquisition.
  • Ammunition Quality: Consistent weight and shape in pellets can significantly impact accuracy. Using high-quality, well-matched ammunition for your specific barrel can improve performance.

Test accuracy by shooting at a target from a fixed distance and adjusting as necessary.

Safety and Legal Considerations

Understanding and adhering to safety protocols and legal regulations is essential for any airgun owner:

  • Legal Considerations: Airgun laws vary by location, covering aspects such as age restrictions, permissible shooting areas, and transport requirements. Always check the local regulations to ensure compliance and avoid legal issues.
  • Safety Tips:
    • Handling: Always treat the airgun as if it is loaded. Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
    • Storage: Store airguns unloaded and locked away, separate from ammunition, to prevent unauthorized access, particularly by children.
    • Shooting: Use appropriate backstops to ensure that missed shots or pass-throughs do not cause unintended damage or injury.
    • Maintenance: Regularly clean and maintain your airgun to ensure its safe operation. Inspect it before use for any signs of wear or damage.

By incorporating these elements into your article, you'll provide readers with a comprehensive guide on selecting an airgun that suits their needs while emphasizing the importance of safety and compliance with local laws.

Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance is crucial for ensuring your airgun remains reliable and performs at its best. Here are some basic maintenance practices:

  • Regular Cleaning: Keep the barrel and action clean to prevent build-up that can affect performance. Use a cleaning rod with a soft cloth attachment for the barrel to remove dirt and residues.
  • Proper Lubrication: Apply oil sparingly to moving parts to ensure smooth operation and protect against rust. However, avoid over-lubrication, especially in pneumatic and gas-piston airguns, as this can lead to damage.
  • Check Seals and Screws: Periodically check and replace worn seals to prevent air leaks. Tighten any loose screws, especially those on the stock and scope mounts, to maintain accuracy.

Suggested Tools and Cleaning Kits:

  • A basic airgun maintenance kit should include a cleaning rod, a selection of brushes, mops, and a good quality airgun oil. For deeper maintenance, consider a small set of screwdrivers and Allen keys specifically sized for your airgun.

Additional Features to Consider

When selecting an airgun, consider these features that can enhance your shooting experience:

  • Noise Level: Especially important if you are in a suburban area. Look for airguns with integrated sound moderators.
  • Recoil: Lower recoil can improve accuracy and is less tiring during extended shooting sessions. Gas-piston airguns typically offer reduced recoil compared to spring-pistons.
  • Ease of Use: Features like an automatic safety, an easy-to-load magazine, or a simple cocking mechanism can make shooting more enjoyable.
  • Adjustable Triggers and Ergonomic Designs: Adjustable triggers allow you to customize the pull to your preference, improving control and accuracy. Ergonomic stocks make the airgun more comfortable to hold and shoot, which is particularly beneficial during long sessions.

Where to Buy and What to Expect

For those looking to purchase their first or next airgun, consider visiting airguntitans.com. Our website offers a wide selection of models suited for various needs and preferences. We provide:

  • Expert Advice: Our knowledgeable staff can help guide you to the perfect airgun that meets your requirements.
  • Comprehensive Customer Support: We offer dedicated support for any queries or issues you may encounter.
  • Reliable Warranties and Return Policies: Shop with confidence knowing that your purchase is protected.


Choosing the right airgun is about understanding your needs, whether it's for target shooting, hunting, or general plinking. Consider the type, caliber, power, and additional features like noise level and recoil. Remember, maintaining your airgun is crucial for its longevity and performance. Safety should always be a priority, and it's essential to adhere to local laws and practice responsible shooting.

We invite you to visit airguntitans.com for detailed reviews, expert advice, and the best selection of airguns tailored to a wide range of shooting activities. Explore our offerings and take the first step towards a rewarding airgun shooting experience today.

By following this guidance, you'll be well-equipped to make an informed decision on your airgun purchase, ensuring it meets your expectations and serves you well in your shooting endeavors.