March 14, 2007

Getting Started with Airguns

If you’ve just found your way into the world of airguns, you might be asking yourself “What airgun should I get first? A springer? Maybe one of those really expensive, new-fangled scuba-tank guns? What about CO2?”

If you look around the website here at, you’ll find several kinds of guns with many different powerplants. The pros and cons of those powerplants are briefly discussed in an earlier article based in part on what you want to do with your airgun. However, let’s assume that you just want to get an airgun that you can enjoy, and you have little or no experience with airguns or firearms. Let’s also assume that you want to start small and work your way up the scale of airgun usage and possession.

 For a fast, enjoyable experience with your first airgun, and for a good experience in hitting your target right away, consider a recoil-less airgun such as the Chinese-made QB-78. This gun is a copy of a no-longer manufactured American-made gun from Crosman.  It uses CO2 as a power source, and is a straightforward, bolt-action design that is easy to understand and use. It comes in both .177 and .22, and gives amazing accuracy for such an inexpensive airgun. It is almost all metal and wood, with a bare minimum of plastic, and will last for a lifetime with proper care and the occasional renewal of the seals on the gun. And once you get more into airguns, you’ll find the QB-78 a modifier’s dream. There are lots of after-market add-ons and upgrades available for this little gem from China, which explains the devoted following this airgun enjoys on the internet airgun forums.

If pistols are your thing, then the Crosman 2240 would be a great choice for a first airgun. It is the pistol equivalent of the QB-78 in terms of having a cult following that loves to modify and bring out the best in this little pistol. However, in stock form, the 2240 is no slouch in accuracy or plain fun. Using one CO2 cartridge for power, it delivers can-crunching power that will give you hours of fun as you plink at targets or roll cans across the yard. It is also a bolt-action single shot, and is easy to use and understand.

Once you’ve been bitten by the airgun bug, and you feel you want to take on another kind of airgun to enhance your airgunning experience, consider a spring-piston airgun. In this category, there are an enormous selection to choose from. From the inexpensive Tech Force line manufactured in China, to the Gamo airguns from Spain, on up to the more expensive models from other European countries…..there are a lot of choices. Spring-piston airguns can take some getting use to, but once you’ve mastered the art of shooting a springer effectively, they offer one of the greatest sense of achievements to be found in the world of airgunning.

Pre-charged pneumatics are often the last step in an airgunner’s journey, simply because they require some extra gear and accessories in order to enjoy them. You have to have a source of air, which is an investment you must be willing to make in order to enjoy these airguns. But the accuracy….oh, the accuracy you can wring out of these guns is phenomenal! And the power levels achievable will leave some of your firearm shooting friends amazed! There are many quality airguns available in this category, from the American-made Air Force line of guns, to European models that exhibit some true Old World craftsmanship, and finally on to the powerhouse models from Korea.

So, if you want to dive into the world of airguns, and don’t know where to start…..try these suggestions. You should be able to have immediate gratification, as well as a plan for further airguns to enjoy.