Airguns are so much fun. But like everything, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about their capabilities. This article will hit some of the top airgun myths that have come across our desks.
Myth #5: Airguns are just toys and can’t hurt you
“Airguns are just toys” is a critical misconception that has put some people in the hospital, and tragically, caused the loss of life. Airguns should always be treated with the same respect and safety considerations as loaded firearms. While it is true that airguns, specifically air pistols, produce only a fraction of the power of a typical handgun, it does not take a lot of energy to cause severe injury or death. Don’t ever take gun safety of any kind for granted. It could mean your life or your buddy’s life.
Myth #4: Airguns are only for kids
If you’re reading this article, you already know this myth is busted, at least in your eyes. But, there are many shooters out there who still only see airguns as youth guns. Once they step away from a bb gun to a 22LR, some shooters never look back. It’s a shame because airguns offer so much to modern shooters. They are quiet without the need for a silencer permit. Most have little to no recoil. And many can outshoot firearms for accuracy out to 50 and 100 yards.
Myth #3: Airguns are the same as airsoft
The idea that high-powered air rifles are just another form of airsoft is far more typical than you may think. While airsoft products use compressed gas to propel their ammo, they shoot 6mm plastic bbs and not lead pellets or slugs. Modern, high-powered airguns are designed for extreme accuracy or power, sometimes both. Airsoft guns are generally used for skirmishes with teammates or training with 1 to 1 replicas of the actual firearm. There is a HUGE difference between the two.
Myth #2: All airguns are bb guns
The term “BB gun” is often used synonymously with “airgun.” Like airsoft guns which use compressed air (or gas) to send their plastic bbs downrange, BB guns also use compressed air, in some form or another, to send their steel BBs downrange. But airguns go way beyond just bb guns.
Airguns have been used as military arms; to take big game the size of cape buffalo, hunt deer, other game animals and wild hogs. The capabilities of today’s airguns go WAY beyond bb guns to the point where more and more states are recognizing them as valid means for taking game during various hunting seasons. BB guns are airguns, but not all airguns are bb guns.
Myth #1: Airguns are good for self-defense
This is a big topic that can’t be covered entirely in a fraction of an article. But, this is a serious topic that’s getting talked about more and more. Much of what you see is more clickbait and conjecture than actual science. We’d like to bring a little reality home here.
Simply stated, airguns are not a good alternative to firearms for self-defense.
Here’s the science behind that reasoning. As compared to firearms, airguns are simply not nearly as reliable. Additionally, they don’t generate the kind of energy you’d want in a self-defense situation.
Some airguns generate a lot of energy, but they are big, heavy, and not very useful, having to feed them one shot at a time. Additionally, you need to fill them and maintain them regularly as compared to a firearm. All the “magic” with a firearm happens within the bullet. It’s a self-contained bomb with a focused projectile. When the hammer hits the primer, the powder ignites and sends the round down the barrel. There’s no air cylinder to leak, o-rings to break, or hammer spring to wear out, amongst other things.
Airguns are just more technical and far more unreliable, and for that reason alone, they should not be your first choice for self-defense.
When you look beyond big-bore rifles, you come to replica handguns. These are an even worse choice. Not only do they produce a fraction of the energy produced by their firearm counterparts, but nearly all of them also use co2 as the propellant, which needs to be removed from the gun between shooting sessions to prevent wearing out the seals. It’s just a bad idea. And anyone telling you something different hasn’t taken everything into consideration. If you think you need something for self-defense, then for your own sake, look past airguns to other alternatives.
You can explore this topic a little further in our post Airguns for Self-Defense – A Good Idea?
That’s a wrap.
Do you have some more airgun myth questions, then please let us know your thoughts, and we’ll look to include them in our next “busting airgun myths” article. If you have questions in the meantime, please give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help.