It happens. I mean it really happens a lot. People call me on a regular basis having just bought their new airgun and they are looking to make it do something that it was never intended to do. They want it to shoot farther, harder, essentially they want to turn it up to 11.
If tinkering’s your thing…
If you like to tinker with things, then there are some great airguns for you to consider. The Air Force line of guns is a good example. They are designed from the ground up to be user serviceable and upgradeable. Swapping caliber, power settings, and much more is sort of what those guns are designed to do. You can buy 1 gun and turn it into half a dozen just by swapping around a few parts here and there. It’s one of the most versatile airguns on the market today.Another great line of airguns for tinkerers are the QB78 / QB79 variants. These CO2 guns have been turned in to everything from simple, low cost PCPs, all the way up to custom big bore airguns. It just takes time to pull all the parts together and patience to keep working on it until you get it where you want it. But what if tinkering is NOT your thing?
Getting the right airgun the first time…
For those that want to spend more time shooting and less time rebuilding their airguns, I’ve got a few pointers for you.
Here they are:
- Don’t buy an airgun based on what it can do WITH modifications. This is a major mistake. To purchase an airgun based on what you see on YouTube after someone’s modified the gun beyond the factory specifications, is just not prudent and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to duplicate the results.
- Look for consistency in the reviews and comments. If you find an airgun that seems to do what you want based on the marketing printed on the box, take a moment and look through what actual owners have to say about it. And, make sure to get a consensus based on several reviews. It’s not practical to form an opinion on an entire product line just on one person’s good or bad experience.
- Don’t buy based on the “up to” performance levels. Too many folks look at the box and buy based on what the manufactures state as its “up to” performance levels. These numbers are almost always inflated and/or based on the product’s best possible performance. Sort of like the MPG rating on a used car, but without regulatory control or oversight. I use the 90% measure. If a gun says 1000 FPS, you’re safe to bet that with “real” lead pellets and break in, it should shoot about 900 FPS. It’s actually safer to go with 80% of the stated “up to” velocities and leave yourself some room for error.
- Lastly, give your budget some breathing room. Take it from a guy whos bought a lot of airguns. The most memorable incidence is my quest for an airgun that shot like the RWS 350. I tried a lot of import guns that claimed to be “as good as” or post the same FPS numbers as my dream rifle, but the truth was that none of them delivered. The RWS 350 will run you about $450 +/-, based on the configuration. Most of the inexpensive imports come in around $250. But, if you buy even two of the cheaper guns trying to save money, you’ve cost yourself money, and a lot of time that you could rather be out shooting. In the end I purchased my RWS 350 and as expected, it has lived up to my expectations. Those Germans can really build some nice airguns.
What if it’s already too late?
If you’ve already got the wrong gun sitting in your living room, don’t panic. Most vendors will have a return policy to help you out. You may have to pay a restocking fee or shipping back, but you should be able to recoup most of your initial investment to put towards the right airgun for you. If you are asking yourself “what airgun is right for me?” Get on AirgunDepot.com and try out their Airgun Finder tool. And remember, you can always pick up the phone can give them a call for some expert advice.
Have questions? Drop us a line here on the Blog and let’s see if we can help you find the perfect airgun for you!