Want to discover the world of airguns, but you don’t know what to choose? Year after year manufacturers produced models more and more similar to the original models. You will therefore have the opportunity to shoot with ball or pellet models that are more real than life. The specialist in these products is the German manufacturer Umarex. Indeed, this company specializes in the design and manufacture of replicas of real weapons under official licenses, the best known are Beretta, Glock and Walther. These brands are pillars of the world of sports shooting and are now available in 4.5mm caliber to the general public Luftpistol.
Besides this airgun manufacturer, there is a countless variety of brands , models, operating types with various uses. So how do you sort and make the right choice so as not to be disappointed with your airgun? TOM Airgun guides you by explaining all the aspects of this exciting and very complete world of airgun, let’s go!
One of the first things to do when you want to get started with airguns is to define what you really need. If you only have access to a 10 shooting range, a PCP rifle seems unsuitable. On the other hand, if you already have a 30/40m shooting range it becomes more interesting and you will expand your opportunities. The budget is obviously important, because you can find steel ball guns in a price range between 30 and 50€ but also very technical PCP rifle configurations for more than 2500€. You must therefore make a choice based on your criteria and carefully target your search.
The budget for your first airgun
Set an overall budget to stick to and take into account that many airguns must be used with consumables and can/should be supplemented with optics such as red dots, scopes, bipods, shooting rest, reloading accessories for PCP, compressor, air bottle etc…
Almost all models of compressed air pistols and revolvers are equipped with a rear sight and a front sight for shooting at short distances on targets and in plinking (recreational shooting consisting of shooting at recovery targets, cardboard, cans, bottles, cans, metal plates, gongs, etc.).
Traditional air rifles are generally equipped with the same aiming systems, or even in a pack with scopes for medium distance shooting. However, if you want to practice precision shooting with a nice PCP rifle, you will need to choose a scope with greater capacity. A scope with a magnification range of 4-12 seems to serve this purpose, if you push accuracy to the extreme, a 6-24x is many precision shooters’ option.
Concerning PCP airgun rifles, you will almost have to add an optic with high magnification. These PCP airguns are very rarely equipped with open sights. Rather, they have an 11mm or Picatinny rail to easily attach an optic with suitable mounting collars.
The different uses of your airgun
You must also define what the primary and/or secondary use of your airgun will be. If you only want to practice plinking (shooting cans, canned bottles, balloons, etc.), shooting at targets at short distances in your garage, garden or in a hangar for example, you will not necessarily need an airgun with diabolical precision, ideally a CO2 handgun.
On the other hand, if you are more of a precision shooter and are looking to score on point targets, we recommend a match type handgun or a more precise compressed air long gun to attempt more interesting groupings, which will give you complete satisfaction. This airgun, based on precision, can also, if necessary, be used for plinking at greater distances for fun. A rifle will often be more powerful than a pistol, however, be careful not to confuse power and precision because it is better to have a 10 joule weapon which groups well rather than a 20 joule rifle which “waters”, the power does not doesn’t do everything.
In your choice of compressed air weapon, you will also need to target a context of use: At home, on a stand, indoors, outdoors? Will I shoot at 10, 20, 50 yards? Don’t forget to also take into account that a rifle can make noise, the noise pollution is often low but some weapons can be noisy, so be sure to choose a silent model if you have close neighbors or add a sound moderator.
Still relatively unknown, the use of a silencer is more and more widespread in the PCP world, you will be really surprised by the lack of noise from the release of air. The only audible sound is the lead hitting its target, it’s stunning and very calming if you shoot in a housing estate for example. The A-Tec brand and Still offer affordable solutions for your favorite airgun. Make sure you have a thread pitch of 1/2×20 or 1/2×28 UNF, these are the most common.
Ultimately, which weapons are the most suitable?
If your budget is quite limited and you don’t necessarily have the ability to shoot at more than 15 meters or go to the range, Tom Airgun advises you to start with a pump-type pistol like the Beeman P17 or the Gamo P900 which are very reliable and precise for plinking and some cardboard, we can also mention the Trevox from Umarex , very easy to use and modern in design.
In a different register, the CP400 from Artémis is also a safe bet. Although it uses CO2 sparclettes, it is both a pistol and a rifle, has 2 barrels, a short one, a long one, a sound moderator, it is a very complete weapon for a budget of around 110€. It also offers the possibility of mounting an optic on its integrated 11mm rail although open sights are in place as standard. It’s an excellent compromise to get started and have a 2 in 1 weapon!
For rifle enthusiasts, we advise you to choose a complete weapon + optics pack , directly delivered with a scope like the Gamo, Hammerli, Crosman se , which offer varied possibilities, good precision thanks to the included scope for a budget remaining affordable for the majority of budgets. These airguns are often spring piston rifles, their technology has evolved significantly in recent years, we therefore obtain precise weapons, with less vibration than weapons from 20 years ago.