Recreational shooting was popular in Colonial America and it remains very popular today. One big difference between Colonial days and today is the density of the population. Most of us live in suburban or other highly populated areas that make going out in our own little Back 40 to do some firearm’s target practice both impractical and probably illegal.
Rifles and handguns are also expensive to buy and can be problematic to transport and store. For people who enjoy recreational shooting air guns are an inexpensive and practical solution. A single day at the range with a conventional hand gun can cost you more than $100 with fees and ammo costs Check out their Tumblr. For the same amount of money you can outfit yourself with a good performing airgun rifle or pistol that you will have forever. Air gun ammo is also very cheap, less than one penny a round in most cases, but there are some exceptions which I will explain later.
Here’s a short description of my four favorite air guns and the reasons that I enjoy them. I could easily double or triple the list but the short list will give you a good overview of some of the types of air guns that are readily available.
The Crosman 2240 is a CO2 powered single shot, bolt action pistol. It takes.22 caliber pellets and shoots at a respectable 460 feet per second (fps) muzzle velocity. The barrel is 10 in. long and it is rifled which makes this an excellent target shooter out to 30 yd. or so. The 2240 is very popular and there is a big variety of aftermarket parts that allow you to customize this target pistol into a one-of.
The Crosman 1077 is a.177 caliber CO2 powered pellet rifle styled after a military carbine. This is a fine rifle to shoot because it pops off 12 rounds as quickly as you can pull the trigger. It does not make much noise either so you will not disturb your neighbors. This pellet rifle is very popular in Europe too and also has many after market parts for your own customization.
Probably the most fun of the bunch is the Gamo Viper.22 caliber shotgun and rifle combination. This CO2 powered rifle fires airgun shotgun shells at 750 fps in a grouping pattern similar to a conventional 12 gauge shotgun. If you have a few hundred yards of safety down range you can shoot skeet with empty soda cans. The shotgun rounds are a little pricey at about 30 cents each but you can reload your spent shells to save some money. You can also mount a scope and use it with.22 caliber pellet rounds for accurate target shooting out to 50 yds.
The Gamo Big Cat 1200 is a break barrel.177 caliber single shot rifle. To charge the gun with compressed air you fold it at the barrel, hence the name break barrel. This rifle has a muzzle velocity of 1200 fps with the right ammo and is too dangerous to shoot in a back yard range because the pellet would go right through a fence board. It comes with a 4×32 scope and when you take the time to zero the rifle it becomes an extremely accurate range target shooter.
Air guns can provide a satisfying shooting experience without the noise and at a fraction of the cost of conventional firearms. That does not mean that air guns should ever be treated as toys, however. They demand the same safe shooting environment and range safety procedures as any other ballistic weapon.