Air rifles are fascinating projectile weapons which use compressed air or gas to propel their ammunition. These are quieter than other firearms of similar caliber and can be fired and reloaded more rapidly than muzzle-loader guns. They can also be fired in the wet and damp. Air rifles can be used for hunting, pest control, recreational shooting, and competitive sports .
These weapons have been in use since the 1580s. The oldest known mechanical air gun is on display in the Liurustkammaren Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. The 17th century brought forth air guns in .30 to .51 calibers, which were charged using a pump to fill the air chamber and could shoot at velocities of about 650 to 1,000 feet per second. The most famous example of the air rifle is the Girondoni Air Rifle. When they first appeared, they had significant advantages over regular firearms since those tended to belch huge clouds of smoke, giving away the location of the shooter. However, the disadvantage, long since fixed, was that early air rifles were quite delicate and had various mechanical issues.
Now, these rifles are manufactured in a variety of different types meant for different purposes. Some of the options are the fixed barrel, the break barrel, and the pre-charged pneumatic air rifle. They can be made with either multi or single pump models. Shooters should be careful when using air rifles, as their misuse can have serious consequences. They are available for purchase in many stores and online for those over 18 years of age.