You intend to become an air gunner, then? You’ve arrived at the appropriate place. In order to get you started, we break down the fundamentals of air gunning here. Consider it “air gunning for dummies,” except with a whole lot more radness.

It doesn’t matter if you want to practice your target shooting or go air gun hunting; knowing your air gun well is essential. What are the many types of air guns and how do they operate? Let’s examine air gun fundamentals first.

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Let’s begin by dissecting the six primary categories of airguns.

The powertrain, or mechanism, of an air gun determines how it operates. There are several kinds of air guns available, and each has a unique powerplant. This is how they operate:

Pneumatic Pre-charged (PCP)

In order for PCP air guns to fire, air is pumped into a reservoir, and only a little portion of this reserve is used with each shot. This air pistol’s functioning mechanism allows you to leave your air gun loaded, reload quickly, fire several bullets without needing to recharge, and operate quietly. Because of their power, these air gun kinds are ideal for hunting.

Pump-Driven Air Guns

Simple hand pump, typically integrated into a movable foregrip, is used to replenish an air reservoir in pump-powered air guns. This compressed air is held in the air reservoir until the trigger is squeezed, at which point the air is released to fire your ammunition. Although these air guns in the conventional design are usually lightweight, they must be pumped up before each shot.

Pump-powered air pistols come in two varieties: single pump and variable pump. The primary distinction between these two air guns’ operations is that single pump air guns only require one pump for priming and always shoot at the same pace. Air cannons with variable pumps have many pumping cycles for charging. By adjusting the number of pumps, you may regulate the power. They usually need three pumps at the very least to shoot, and up to twelve pumps for a full strength shot.

Piston in Spring

The simplicity of the operation of a spring piston air cannon is genius. This platform is frequently seen in high-power break barrel air rifles that shoot pellets or low-power air pistols and lever action air rifles that discharge BBs. A cylindrical compression chamber with a spring and retractable piston is located behind the main chamber into which the primary BB is loaded. The air gun compresses the coil spring and retracts the piston until the piston engages the sear when it is cocked. The air in the compression chamber is rapidly compressed and forced through the transfer port when the trigger is squeezed, launching the pellet or BB.

In general, spring piston air pistols are less expensive than substitutes. The spring does, however, deteriorate with time. Shooting one of them can also be noisier than other kinds of air pistols due to the spring’s decomposition.

Both the Nitro and the Nitro 2 (Gas Piston)

Gas piston air pistol design is expanded upon by Crosman’s exclusive state-of-the-art technology, Nitro Piston. Spring piston and nitro piston air pistols operate similarly. It features a compression chamber just like an air cannon with a spring piston. The piston in the compression chamber retracts when the air pistol is cocked, but it compresses nitrogen gas rather than a coil spring. The piston shoots forward when the trigger is pushed, forcing air through the transfer port and projecting the pellet.

This has the benefits of lighter construction, significantly less vibration, quieter shots, and the freedom to leave your rifle cocked without worrying about wearing out your spring. With design enhancements that make Nitro Piston-powered air pistols even quieter and faster to fire, Nitro Piston 2 elevates this technology to a new level.

Shatter Barrel

Break barrel air guns are special because they are primarily used as a cocking mechanism for spring and gas piston air weapons rather than as a powerplant. What is the operation of a broken barrel air gun then?

You insert your pellet into the chamber, bend the barrel forward on a hinge (a process known as “breaking”), and then raise it back into position. The piston in the air gun’s compression chamber is retracted using this procedure. Pulling the trigger causes the piston to release and propels the pellet, just like with any other spring or gas piston air rifle.

Air Rifles with CO2

For more than a century, air weapons have been powered by CO2. In order to fire a pellet or BB, CO2 air pistols operate by releasing a brief burst of compressed gas into the chamber from a reservoir. It resembles a PCP air cannon, except instead of air, it uses CO2!

CO2 air guns were formerly connected to a tank by a hose, but such are no longer very common. Then, how does a contemporary CO2 air pistol operate? Using cartridges—Crosman invented the first air gun cartridges that offered the same power without the heft of a tank! These days, Crosman PowerletsTM are small, 12g cartridges that fit into any CO2 air rifle with ease, saving you the time and trouble of having to change out the cartridges.

Before you reach the range or field, there are a few things you must do once you’ve chosen the air gun platform that appeals to you.

All you need is the air gun and either BBs or pellets in the air gun’s caliber if you want to use a spring, Nitro Piston, or pump-powered air pistol. Simple.

Remember to include Crosman Powerlet CO2 Cartridges in your purchase if you want to use a CO2 air pistol.

If you wish to use a PCP air gun, you’ll need a filling solution because of the way they operate. If you choose the PCP approach, keep in mind that the majority of PCP air gun reservoirs require filling to a pressure of 2000–4500 PSI (pounds per square inch). A nearby diving shop is where you can get this done. This may also be completed at home with a high-pressure air compressor or a hand pump (for do-it-yourself enthusiasts), depending on your budget.

Which one appeals to the adventurer in you? Are you more of a competitive shooter who can’t wait to destroy paper targets, make spinners go crazy, or get rid of pests? If so, check out the Air Powered Sport line, which offers a wide range of air pistols suitable for all skill levels, from beginner to expert. Or are you an avid hunter who wants to kill varmints or medium game? Next, choose from a variety of air guns that have the necessary punch by browsing the Crosman Air Powered Hunt collection.

You’re well on your way to becoming the accomplished air gunner you’ve always wanted to be now that you’ve chosen your air cannon and understand how it operates! To improve your skills and become the best in your class, read our blog article on practice tips and techniques. After all, practice makes perfect, just like everything else in life.