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Air Rifles Overview

There are many different types of air rifles available on the market today. On this page we'll go over each type of air rifle available and discuss the differences between each type. The aim of this page is to help you choose the best air rifle available to meet your needs. You should also read our article "Air Rifle Caliber Selection: Which caliber is best for you?" There are three main types of power sources for air rifles: CO2, Spring, and Pump. We'll discuss each type below.

PART I- CO2 Powered Air Rifles

This type of air rifle uses CO2 (compressed gas) cartridges. All semi automatic air rifles use CO2 as their power source.


One big advantage of using CO2 is that you don't have to stop and pump up your airgun before each shot. Just pop in a CO2 cartridge and your ready to go. Generally one 12 gram CO2 cartridge will give you about 50 shots before you have to change it out. However this number can vary from airgun to airgun depending on the efficiency of the air rifle. One of the most popular co2 powered air rifles is the Crosman 1077. In the last year or so Crosman has released it's new line of Airsource air rifles. These rifles use the new 88 gram CO2 cartridge which will give you up to 400 shots per cartridge before you have to change it out. A nice thing about the airsource rifles is that you can also use the 12 gram CO2 cartridges in them as well. Another big advantage of using CO2 is that it allows for semi automatic fire (fire as fast as you can pull the trigger) if the air rifle is capable of it.


CO2 air rifles are great for ease of use and semi automatic capabilities but there are a couple of drawbacks. CO2 powered air rifles are usually not as powerfully as spring or pump powered rifles. The most powerfully CO2 powered air rifle(the RWS 850 AirMagnum) shoots at 754 FPS and most other CO2 air rifles shoot at around 600 FPS. While this is decent power, pump and spring air rifles are capable of shooting at 700-1250 FPS. Another drawback is expense. While CO2 is relatively cheap these days the cost over time can add up.


Crosman is king when it comes to CO2 air rifles. As mentioned above the model 1077 is an affordable semi automatic rifle. It comes in an airsource version as well as the standard version. For a premium co2 air rifle check out the Walther Lever Action air rifle. It uses two CO2 cartridges and is the most accurate and powerfully of all CO2 air rifles. In conclusion, co2 air rifles are great for plinking around the backyard and target shooting. They are also fun because of their semi automatic capabilities but they aren't the best choice for hunting.