Different Types of Air Rifles | All You Need to Know

As you know air rifles come in different shapes and forms with a different mechanism, so you can be puzzled easily if you are planning to buy a new air rifle. Before purchasing the desire air rifles according to your preferences you need to know the types and the activities of the air rifles first. If you get a clear idea about the types and their procedures it will be easy for you to choose the best air rifle for you.

There are four main types of air rifles. Among these four, three are used some form of a compressed air tank and the other is different from the three. The four types of air rifles are-

  1. Pneumatic air rifle
  2. Spring-piston air rifle
  3. Gas Piston air rifle
  4. CO2 air rifle


#1. Pneumatic air rifle:

Pneumatic air rifle drives the shots by using the pneumatic potential energy within compressed air. And this compressed air is pressurized beforehand and put away inside the gun and after that discharged through valves during shooting.

There are various ways to get the air compacted in the air-rifles. How to get the air compacted in the air-rifle relies upon the sort of pneumatic it is. Depending on the designs there are mainly three types of pneumatic air rifles-

  • Single-stroke air rifle
  • Multi stroke air rifle
  • Pre-charged Pneumatic air rifle


Single-stroke pneumatic air rifle:

You can probably guess from the name that this rifle requires just one pump to compress the air for shooting. It is low fueled, yet unimaginably exact, which is the reason it’s utilized in 10-meter rivalries. Though it can be incredibly accurate over distances up to 20 meters.

The air rifle is self-contained, easy to cock and are highly consistent. The intensity of these air rifles is generally low, shooting moderately light match-grade .177 pellets at 500 to 600 fps. It also needs very low maintenance for lasting long.


Most of the time the single-stroke pneumatic air rifles are used in plinking, short-range shooting.


  • These are relatively inexpensive.
  • Need less effort to shoot.
  • Best for close-range plinking
  • Easy and simple to cock


  • This air rifle provides very low power.
  • There are problems with accuracy


Gamo Compact is the well-known name for single-stroke pneumatic air rifle. Also, Beeman P17 is praised by the users for several years. Daisy 753, Zoraki HP01 (Webley Alecto), “Izzy” 46, FWB 65 or 80, Diana LP6 are the widely used single-stroke air rifles.


Multi stroke or multi-pump pneumatic air rifle

Multi stroke air rifles are the most common pneumatic air rifle. For the multi-stroke air rifle, you need to pump a lever several times to increase the pressure to get the air to be compressed. Then at the point when the trigger is pulled, a hammer spring pushes the hammer into the valve which discharges the stored air and drives the pellet out of your air gun.

Most multi-stroke pneumatics take somewhere in the range of two and ten strokes to get the internal weight expected to control the pellet. These rifles are normally recoilless, minimized and extremely lightweight. They’re in the light to medium power extend. The self-contained system of the air rifle offers adjustable power and velocity.

This multi-pump air rifle can shoot .177 calibre pellets with a velocity of up to 700 FPS. As you pump up a Multi-Stroke air-rifle, every dynamic pump-up requires more exertion. There are such a large number of factors in the pumping procedure to take into consideration excellent execution beside the human mistake.


This air rifle is ideal for target shooting, plinking. 


  • It is light-weight
  • The recoilless feature makes the rifle user-friendly
  • It is a budget-friendly product


  • It needs a lot of  strength to pump the gun to get the required pressure 
  • It needs some time to get the air to the required pressure before shooting
  • It is not suitable for beginners as well as young 


According to your budget and requires, Crosman can give you the best product. Crosman 760B Pumpmaster,  Crosman 760C Pumpmaster are some well-functioned air rifle. Also Daisy 880 Kit, Avanti 753 is recommendable.


Pre-charged pneumatic air rifle

The final sort of Pneumatic Air-rifles is the Pre-Charged Pneumatic air rifle. The pre-charged pneumatic air rifle is mostly known as PCP air rifle. It is considered as the king in the air rifles field.

These air rifles are powered via a compressed air cylinder that is built into the action of the rifle. Also, the air inside the reservoir can be pressurized up to around 2900 PSI and can be refilled using a diving cylinder. Mind-blowing precision, simple positioning, no backlash and heaps of shots from the rifle makes it one of the best choices for the shooters.

From 10-meter rivalry air guns to extensive bore chasing PCP air rifles, pre-charged pneumatics are reforming the air-rifles business. It has astounding shot-to-shot fps consistency and less reloads/repeating shots. Pre-charged rifles are commonly amazing and furthermore precise because of their fixed barrel structure. 


Pre-charged pneumatic air rifles come in various configurations like- competition air rifles to general target shooting and plinking to sporting guns for hunting and pest control.


  • It is next to recoil
  • The accuracy is very impressive which can be said much better downrange accuracy
  • It has a high velocity
  • It has high power and virtually recoilless
  • It is very versatile and can be used in high calibre rounds also
  • It needs less effort to shoot
  • It doesn’t impact by the weather 


  • It is more expensive than other types
  • It is not self-contained
  • It needs lots of charging equipment so the costs increase


When it comes to finding the right PCP air guns for your preferences and activities there are some great choices on the market. Among them, Benjamin Wildfire, Benjamin Marauder, Gamo Urban, AirForce Texan SS are the best reviewing air rifles.


#2. Spring-piston air rifle

Spring-piston air rifle is the most traditional air rifle and the mechanism used in this rifle is probably the simplest one. Most people are familiar with this spring-piston air-rifles. Spring-Piston air-rifles are the simplest air-rifles to shoot, keep up and possess.

 In the spring-piston air rifle, there is a cylinder and a coiled spring inside the chamber. 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. 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. Basically it is able to give higher velocity like- 1250 ft/s (380 m/s) for .177 cal (4.5 mm) pellets. Also, the accuracy is incredible.

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. This rifle can give long services with a little maintenance.

Spring weapons are normally cocked by one of the accompanying systems: 

Break-barrel — It is like a break activity gun, the barrel is pivoted at the intersection with the recipient and can be flexed downwards to uncover the breach and furthermore fill in as a cocking lever itself. Read my review about top break barrel air rifles.

Fixed-barrel — In this rifle the barrel is fixed to the recipient, and the cocking is finished with an extra cocking lever

Underlever — In the underlever rifle the cocking lever is situated underneath the barrel and is flexed downwards during positioning. Also I’ve written about some top class underlever air rifles in a different post. You may read this.

Sidelever — The cocking lever is situated to the side of the recipient and is flexed sideways during positioning and this is the mechanism of the side lever air rifle.

Overlever — The cocking lever is situated over the barrel and is flexed upwards during positioning, found in some air guns are known as over lever

Mechanized positioning controlled by a battery-powered battery (rare)


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.


  • 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


Crosman and Gamo are manufacturing the best quality spring-piston air rifles which can be recommended for the shoot lovers without any thought. Crosman 760 Pumpmaster, Gamo TC35, Gamo TC35 are very well-known for their services and quality. Diana RWS 460 Magnum, Hatsman 85 Sniper is also recommendable name.


#3. Gas Piston air rifle

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


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. 



  • 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


Benjamin is the first choice for Gas Piston air rifles. Benjamin Trail NP, Benjamin Prowler is a good review rifle. Also Gamo Swarm Magnum, Gamo Swarm Maxxim has a good reputation in the field of spring-piston air rifles. Hatson Mod 135 Vortex QE, Weihrauch HW90 is also recommendable if you are looking for gas piston air rifles.


#4. CO2 air rifle

CO2 air rifle is a unique one in the market. The procedure of CO2 is the same as how PCP airgun works. It uses carbon dioxide cartridges (CO2) as the power source rather than the pressurized gas. When you pull the trigger, the compacted CO2 is discharged and it causes the pellet to push ahead inside the barrel.

The gas itself is put away as a liquid inside the container and relying upon the size of the canister, you will get around 60 shots for the run of the mill 12g case and around 220 for an 88g size.

CO2 air guns have turned out to be progressively prominent as of recent and this is because of the sort of weapon that the power source allows you to utilize. The CO2 air rifle is normally temperature sensitive. It doesn’t work in the cold weather. It can shoot at 700-1250 FPS.


This air rifle is suggested for plinking and target practice. For medium, to long-distance shooting, this air rifle can work great with the maximum velocity along with great accuracy.


  • This air rifle is recoilless to shoot
  • It is a highly accurate air rifle
  • This CO2 air rifle allows semi-automatic fire
  • It is consistent on a shot-to-shot basis
  • It is easy to cock and shoot
  • It is very convenient for repeated shooting


  • It is not that much powerful air rifle comparing others
  • The cost can increase if you shoot a lot
  • Weather can affect the air rifle


Crosman is the best choice if you are looking for CO2 air rifles. Crosman 1077 is an affordable air rifle and it has also a standard version nowadays. And if you are looking for a premium CO2 air rifle Walther Lever Action air rifle is best. It is the most powerful and accurate of all CO2 air rifle. RWS 850 Magnum is also recommendable.


Which air rifle is best to use?

There are no standards to judge which air rifle is best. As different people have different criteria along with their budgets, so it will vary men to men. According to preferences and activities different people choose different air rifles as per their required. So it cannot be said which air rifle is best to use.


If you go through the whole article it will help you to get the points that which air rifle has what trait. As you can see all the types have both pros and cons so at the end of the day it will be up to you that, which air rifle will get more preferences according to your choice and others.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: