Spring Piston Air Rifles

Air Guns
Lore of Guns
Site Index

Selecting An Air Rifle

Most spring piston air rifles sold today in your average department store are marketed according to muzzle velocity with some claiming supersonic speeds. If you look at the small print it will usually disclose that the state velocity is with a lead free alloy pellet weighing only two thirds the mass of a lead pellet of the same size.

Faster is not necessarily better from an accuracy standpoint, A pellet velocity of above 700 feet per second is excessivly powerful for target shooting at 10 meters and more than sufficient to put dents in the back of an inexpensive pellet trap.

For 10 Meter target shooting, a rifle producing a muzzle velocity of between 500 and 600 feet per second is about ideal.

How to get the most life out of your Spring Piston Air Rifles

Never fire a spring piston rifle while it is resting on a hard surface
Why? Permanent damage to the cylinder may result from the sudden deceleration of the piston. Use a sand bag or pad with some give as a benchrest.

Never dry fire a spring piston airgun.
Why? The presence of the projectile in the bore retards the escape of the air from the cylinder, causing the piston to slow before it reaches maximum point of travel.

Without this resistance, the full force of the spring loaded piston will be expended against the front of the cylinder, potentially damaging the gun.

To achieve the best possible accuracy from a spring piston air rifle, it is generally necessary to fire 500 to as many as 2500 pellets before the parts in the mechanism start to smooth out and mesh.

Chances are you will go through at least a couple of tins of pellets before things start to settle down.

Telescopic sights on Spring Pistol Air Rifles

A spring piston air rifle by virtue of the operation of its mechanism will recoil both forward and then backward when fired. This movement can and will destroy even an expensive well made scope in short order by detatching the reticle and lenses. For most scopes, the lenses are only braced to absorb recoil to the rear. They are not made to absorb the jarring forward movement of a spring piston air rifle.

If you wish to put a scope on a spring piston rifle, then use one that is designed to be mounted on a spring piston air rifle.
Alternatively many of the Leapers lightweight scopes made in China are able to take this punishment and are inexpensive enough that if they do fail it won't be a tragedy.