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Nitro Piston Air Rifles

For many years, the spring piston power plant has been the main force behind the performance of the break barrel, side lever, and underlever air guns. It is a tried and true power plant that has performed for many, many decades. Variations of the spring-powered air rifle have refined and brought the firing behavior of the spring piston to unbelievable levels of performance, as can be observed in so many of the beautifully designed 10-meter competition air rifles.

Not too many years ago, the Theoben company brought out a new twist in the power plant design of the piston rifle. Rather than a spring, they used a gas-filled strut, and it has been nicknamed the gasram, a term commonly used for this type of powerplant. Instead of having a spring that is subject to kinking, metal fatigue, and some twang (when not properly fitted), Theoben substituted the gasram and pretty much made history. The results were a definite difference in firing behavior, one that was quite enjoyable straight from the box. I've owned several rifles over the years that were equipped with Theoben's gasram, and found them to be exceptional performers and wonderful guns to shoot.


Now Crosman has introduced the Nitro Piston series of air rifles that use the same idea. Filled with nitrogen, the gas piston technology is now offered in nearly a dozen different configurations in the Crosman line of rifles. Here's a link to the page containing those selections:

Nitro Piston Rifles

Recently, Jim Chapman of the American Airgun Hunter website performed some tests on the Nitro Piston rifles from Crosman. Jim is the airgun editor and columnist for Predator Extreme Magazine, as well as some other outdoor magazines and venues. Click on the links below to access his initial reports of his testing section. You will find some very useful information in regards to the performance and accuracy of the Nitro Piston design.

Jim Champan's Nitro Trail Report

Squirrel Hunting with the Nitro Piston Air Rifle

Jim and I have had the pleasure of hunting together over the years, and enjoy getting together for small and big game hunts. I have found Jim's insight into the many different air guns that he gets to test both useful and accurate when making purchases of my own, or offering advice to others who are in the market for a new air gun.

As Jim notes in his articles, two of the main advantages of using a Nitro Piston air rifle are that you can leave the gun cocked for extended periods without damaging the power plant, and you will realize a decreased effect of the bi-directional recoil that is a proven scope killer. The firing behavior of a Nitro Pistol air rifle versus the traditional spring piston is noticeable, and if you get the chance, I urge you to test them side by side in order to readily notice the differences.

On Airgun Depot's website you will find several configurations of Nitro Piston powered guns. Synthetic stocks, wood stocks, and wood laminates offer a nice range of options for the shooting enthusiast. Be sure to drop by and take a look at all they have to offer the air gun shooter!


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