Being the biggest and best UK shooting magazine, GunMart is one of the best resources for expert appraisals of new air rifles, introducing four new air rifle tests each month by leading shooting writers and having one of the most extensive archives of gun reviews.
The two main types of hunting and target air rifles are the traditional and extremely prolific spring/piston powered air rifles and the more modern pre-charged pneumatics which are powered by compressed air.
The power supplied by the humble metal spring and piston is still one of the most effective methods of propelling a lead pellet at a reasonable velocity and range. Spring powered air rifles are used for all sorts of shooting, including informal target shooting (plinking), hunting and Hunter Field Target shooting and even professional pest control. Most people start off their shooting career with a spring powered air rifle, and they are still extremely popular air rifles UK and worldwide , as they are mechanically powered (the shooter provides the energy output by ‘cocking’ the action) and therefore can be relatively cheap air rifles to buy.
However, the more technically advanced precharged pneumatics (or PCPs) are now becoming the rifle of choice for serious hunters, FT and HFT shooters, and even Olympic 10m match target competitors.
If you've always used spring powered air rifles, moving up to a PCP can daunting, nevertheless there's almost certainly a pneumatic to suit every shooters requirements and pocket. PCPs also have the advantage that most models are available in either single-shot or multi-shot versions. The main disadvantage of PCP's is the fact that they have a fixed air reservoir which has to be charged up fairly frequently from a compressed air power source, usually a divers' bottle.
Air Rifles For Sale
When deciding to buy an air rifle, what can be said for sure is that spring powered models are generally cheaper than PCP’s and a single shot PCP rifle is always less expensive than an equivalent multi-shot model. While talking about budget, it’s worth mentioning that as with most things, you get what you pay for in PCPs. However, because of the forgiving recoilless nature of these pneumatic rifles, even the lower priced models are usually capable of giving a good performance - with the correct shooter input of course. The vast majority of air rifles for sale in the UK tend to be under 12ft/lbs of muzzle energy and therefore legal to own without a licence. But any air rifle for sale with a muzzle energy over 12ft/lbs, you will need the correct Firearms Certificate before you buy it.
New air rifles for sale - as well as cheap second hand air rifles - are always available through the pages of GunMart. At one time it was possible to find air rifles for sale on ebay, but these are no longer available due to ebay’s internal policy of not offering guns of any kind on the UK ebay site. However there are no such restrictions with GunMart, where you can buy second hand air rifles or sell your used air rifles without restriction apart from those applied by UK firearms legislation.