Gas Piston VS Spring Piston Air Rifle || All You Need to Know

Are you in the dilemma of choosing between a spring-piston or gas piston air rifle for your next air rifle collections?

Then you are undoubtedly in the right place. Though it’s an old controversial question with a lot of bluster on both sides of the fence. The question is which is the best?

It is tough to say which is best as preferences and choices of people are different. But what I can do is give you an explanation of both types in the article to explain. You can decide from the article which is best for you.


What is a spring air rifle and it’s working procedure?

In the spring-piston air rifle, there are a cylinder and a coiled spring inside the chamber. It works by the power of a cylinder compressing the air before it to control a pellet. When you cock the gun, the spring is packed. Then when you pull the trigger, you make the spring decompressed so it makes the cylinder push ahead. That means, the spring is discharged and drives a piston forward, moving a pellet out of the barrel with the pressure of air.

When the gun fires, a strong spring or charge of compressed air drives the piston. The cylinder development makes the air compacted and the pellet is moved out of the muzzle because of the power from pressurized air. The majority of this occurs in a matter of seconds.

As it operates by using coil spring, so you can enjoy the smooth and easier shooting. The new shooters can enjoy the shooting for its mechanism of barrel loading. This spring-piston air-rifles are the simplest air-rifles to shoot, keep up and possess. So undoubtedly it is a perfect choice for the beginners.


What is the gas piston air rifle and it’s working procedure?

Are you looking for something exciting with new things? Then definitely this gas-piston air rifle is for you. You are cordially welcome to the world of gas piston air rifles!

The gas piston air rifle has a gas-filled cylinder instead of a coiled spring. At the time of cocking the air in the chamber is already compressed and you apply more pressure to it. So the pressurized air is held under strain until you discharge the trigger.

At the point when that occurs, the pellet is released out of the barrel because of the power of pressurized air.  A gas cylinder rifle has no spring weakness or spring torque, even if you left positioned for quite a long time. It furnishes you with smoother cocking and smoother shooting with less pull back. It also works superbly in low temperature than on account of the spring that can get influenced by harsh climate conditions and keeps going longer than the metal spring.

The gas piston air rifle is also known as a gas ram air rifle. It is also known as a silent air gun.


Basic Difference

A gas piston air rifle works similarly as the spring-piston air rifle does. Because both types are cocked and shot in the same procedure. But the main difference comes with the cylinder and coiled spring.

The spring-piston air rifle works by the power of a cylinder compressing air whereas the gas piston has a gas-filled cylinder instead of a coiled spring.

Proceed with search disclosed that gas piston air rifle have been used for about 40 years and the spring piston rifles are older than it. In the Olympic air gun competitions through the 1970s and 80’s use the spring-piston air rifle most.


Gas piston VS spring air rifle accuracy

Experts have different thoughts about the field accuracy potential of spring-piston or gas piston air rifles.

Gas piston air rifles had much faster lock times and equated that to greater accuracy in the field. But were that lock times significantly improved with gas piston technology? According to HAM publishers, shorter times didn’t necessarily translate into improved accuracy.

On the other hand, the spring piston air rifles can give more accuracy with each shot. By using different calibers you can get a deadly accurate result. Within 50 yards it can hit the target accurately. But the accuracy level is not consistent.

Gas piston VS spring air rifle velocity

From the various shooters’ experiences with different pellets, we get an average velocity of gas piston and spring-piston air rifle.

Spring piston can give higher velocity like- 1250 ft/s (380 m/s) for .177 cal (4.5 mm) pellets. If you can offer an ideal balance between power and pellet stability you will find the velocities in the 800-900 ft/s (240-270m/s) range.

At the same time, the gas piston can give an average velocity of 1000 fps with .177 cal (4.5mm) pellets. But by using other pellets the velocity will vary. Like if you use the heavy pellets like .22 caliber it can give you the 850 fps velocity.

So choose your air gun wisely according to your velocity and power preferences.

Gas piston VS spring air rifle Shot Cycle

If you need to concentrate on the shot cycle then you’ll find the differences by own.

A quality steel spring can effortlessly give you above 10,000 shots and some that are well over 20,000 with exceptionally reliable power. After consistent 10,000 shots, it can work smoothly.

The gas piston air rifle has less shot cycle comparing to that spring-piston air rifle. It can give you the 3000 shot cycle. The gas piston air rifle’s shot cycle is a bit sharp.

Gas piston VS spring air rifle Noise

Noise is the part that disturbs shooters in their shooting or practicing time in various ways. So try to gather the information of noise level in the gas piston and spring-piston air rifle.

Spring-Piston air rifles are pretty loud, especially the first time you shoot. After using it for a while it reduces the noise level and gets quieter. So this is not a backyard friendly air rifle.

On the other hand, the gas piston air rifle uses Sound Suppression technology.  That provides noise dampening chambers encased in a fluted shroud surrounding in the rifled steel barrel. A lot of noise delivered by break barrels and originates from the spring-piston air rifle.  This design can quiet down the noise level through this technology.

This air rifle is, therefore, backyard friendly. It is also popular among the shooters worldwide for this amazing feature. When the noise level is low you can practice for hours without disturbing others and feeling any hesitation.


Which one is more User-Friendly?

The shooters or hunting lovers want to get an air rifle that is more user-friendly with the best performance. The easiness of shooting is the most important thing for choosing an air rifle.


Spring Piston Air Rifle

Usually, spring-piston air rifles are a little easier to cock and shoot. At first, you need to grab the muzzle, break and pull it down until the cocking mechanism latches. Then for loading, the pellets insert the pellet into the breach.

Now you are in the position of returning the barrel until it clicks. Finally, you are ready to fire. By turning off the safety try to take your best shot.

With the single-shot design, you need a minimum 32 lbs. of cocking effort to cock the gun and every time needs to be cocked.

Gas Piston Air Rifle

At first, insert the pellets into the magazine with the tip facing down and then insert the very first pellet into the magazine. Then before inserting the second pellet, rotate the magazine pellet holder towards the bolt set apart on it. Until you insert 10 pellets in it you need to repeat these steps.

Also if you loaded your pellet backward then insert new pellets into the magazine in the right direction. Next, insert the magazine into the breach and push it down until the locking mechanism engage. When the air rifle is loaded that means it is ready to shoot.

Until the magazine is an empty repeat this operation for the 10 times mostly as it has a maximum capacity of 10 pellets.

For removing the magazine push the button that is in front of the magazine groove and thus the way the magazine will be easily released and ready to remove.

Comparing these two air rifles’ operations one can easily find out that the spring-piston air rifle is more easy to use.


Where to use?

Spring Piston air rifle

For any kind of long-distance shooting, target shooting, hunting this spring-piston air rifle serves best. This air rifle is best for any kind of competition. Through the 1970s and into the 1980s most Olympic air gun competitions were shot with the spring-piston guns. Nowadays the air rifles that are used at the highest levels of competition are fueled by compressed air.

Gas Piston air rifle

It is a serious air rifle which is used by the professional shooters. It is also ideal for pest controlling and also for recreational shooting. For the ultimate impact and penetration, it can deliver accuracy with high energy and that is best for small game hunting. Consistent performance is suitable for both training and competitive shooting. It is also used in long-range targeting. But the basic uses of the gas-piston rifle is small game hunting, pest controlling, indoor shooting, etc.



Spring Piston Air Rifle

Most of the spring-piston air rifles require very little maintenance to keep them long-lasting. Many have lifetime greased up rings and seals. This is one of the most significant things to investigate about your weapon.


If it needs to be oiled, you put the makers prescribed a portion of oil down the exchange port and let the rifle remain on its stock for 30 minutes or so. Moreover, you need to utilize an amazing silicone chamber oil.

The only thing you may need to investigate cautiously is the cocking mechanism. These need some grease which helps in making it simple to cock and lessen friction.

Gas Piston Air rifle

The gas piston air rifle needs to follow some steps to maintain the air rifle. Gas-Piston air rifles don’t require the degree of oil a spring-piston needs, however, right oil of moving parts is significant here. Also, make sure to keep your mounting screws tight to avoid scope movement.

A couple of drops of RWS Silicone chamber oil need to be utilized for greasing up the cylinder seal, for every 1000-2000 shots though use it sparingly.

Try not to Leave Your Airgun Cocked for more than a couple of hours. Try to de-cock it as soon as possible.

The more dominant the weapon, the harder the cocking effort. Also the shorter the barrel, the harder the cocking effort you get.

Pellet seating can support your exactness! So try to get the perfect pellet and give it a shot (Available in .177 and .22).


Price difference

Spring piston air rifle is a bit expensive compared to the gas piston. You can get a good quality spring-piston air rifle within $200 or more than it. If any parts of the rifle get weak or some other problem gets occur then you’ll be able to fix it by yourself.

However, a gas piston air rifle costs less than $200 with all the amazing features. But the fixing part is spendy. You need to get a specialist or get a new one.

So take a deep breath and think which one is more budget-friendly and preferable for you!!!


Which one is more popular?

Both the air rifles are equally popular. But the preferences and choices are variable for men to men.

Gas piston air rifles are easier for beginners. It allows you to lock more quickly and that translates to more accuracy. You’ll prefer the gas piston air rifles most if you are a newbie. For plinking, small game hunting, pest controlling this is best.

But if you are a skilled person then you’ll love the spring-piston air rifle. It’ll help you to improve the accuracy level. Mostly in competitions, this air rifle has a huge demand. Also in target shooting or serious hunting, you can apply this air rifle.


Pros and Cons of gas piston VS spring air rifle

Each piston air rifle has both advantages and disadvantages. So have a look at it –

Spring Piston air rifle


  • It is a budget-friendly air gun
  • The accuracy, power, and consistency are amazing on a shot-to-shot basis
  • It is fully self-contained
  • It is simple to use
  • The availability of gun parts are made the air rifle more user-friendly
  • The performance of the air rifle is incredible


  • It needs more recoil compared to other types
  • It requires practice to cock and shoot properly


Gas Piston Air rifle


  • It is a fully self-contained gun
  • It works very smooth as it needs less recoil
  • It lasts longer than a spring-piston air rifle
  • It is very light-weight
  • It doesn’t affect by weather
  • It is very easy to cock


  • It is very hard to find the gun materials if it needs any modification


Some well-known rifles of these two types

Spring Piston Air rifle List:

1. Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle

2. Beeman Silver Kodiak X2 Air Rifle

3. Ruger Explorer Air Rifle


Gas Piston Air Rifle List:

1. Benjamin Trail NP XL MAGNUM Air Rifle

2. Gamo Swarm Maxxim Air Rifle

3. Benjamin Prowler Air Rifle


Gas piston or spring air rifle. Which one is best?

It is hard to find out which gun to go with.  So before deciding which one is best you need to consider some points –

  • Do you want higher velocity?
  • Are you willing to grow with higher levels of accuracy?
  • Do you need the test that a springer will offer?
  • Do you want to invest the effort to get familiar with the basics?
  • Are you in need of a quiet gun?
  • Are you in search of an easy operating rifle?
  • Do you want the faster locking air rifle?

According to these points with higher velocity and accuracy with the easiness of use, the spring-piston air rifle is best for you. Moreover, if you want to take challenges the springer is best for you.

On the other hand, if you want a quiet gun with faster locking and smooth recoilless shooting then the gas piston is for you. It is best for basic pest removing, plinking or small game hunting.


Final Verdict

Now it’s time to get into the conclusion. Try to find out according to your choices and preferences which air rife speaks for you. Then grab it without any hesitation.

Happy shooting!!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Kym Gari - January 17, 2020

A very thorough piece. Well done.


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