The Different Types of Air Rifles

The Different Types of Air Rifles

One of the many types of air rifles on the ground near grass

Like any hobby, the terminology and information surrounding airgun shooting can be confusing for a newcomer, making it difficult to learn the ropes. This is especially true of choosing the type of air rifle you want to purchase. There are many different air rifles, each with advantages and disadvantages, but all of them got their names based on the way they operate. Which type you decide to purchase will ultimately depend on how much experience you have and what you plan to use it for.

A few of the most popular types of air rifles are:


This weapon is what most people think of when they imagine an air rifle. As the name suggests, a spring-piston is powered by a piston drawing back to compress the spring, then forcing the piston forward to expel the projectile. They commonly come in the form of a break barrel, which bends on a hinge to expose the barrel for reloading. They are a great option for beginners because they are inexpensive, easy to maintain, and do not require gas canisters or pumps to shoot.

Gas Ram

A gas ram, or gas piston, air rifle is similar to a spring piston but operates on a gas-filled cylinder rather than a coiled spring. The cylinder is filled with compressed air and when the rifle is cocked manually, more pressure is applied to the air. One big advantage to this type of air gun is that the same air will last years without needing to be refilled. This is because when the compressed air shoots out a projectile, it remains in the chamber.

Variable Pump

A variable pump air rifle is a classic choice for an air gun. Inside the chamber, air is compressed between a piston and a pressurized cylinder. Its major advantage is offering variable power to its shooters based on the number of strokes. They also do not require external devices to operate, making them short and light. Although the reload time is slow, a variable pump is still well-suited for hunting.


CO2 air rifles are powered by carbon dioxide capsules. They are a popular choice for hunting because they are quick and quiet to reload while also being light enough to carry long distances. These air rifles can fire projectiles at nearly 700 feet per second. While they are limited to the pressure produced by vaporizing CO2, they are powerful enough for hunting small game.


Similar to CO2, pneumatic air rifles store compressed air in a reservoir. The tank holds pressurized air that is compressed up to 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) inside a scuba tank or hand pump. This allows the weapon to fire up to 400 shots without requiring a recharge. There are a few types of pneumatic air rifles: single-stroke, multi-stroke, and pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) that vary based on how many pumps it takes to compress the air required for shooting.

PCP Air Rifles from AirFire Tactical

At AirFire Tactical, we are the only officially licensed importer and distributor of Aselkon premium PCP air rifles. We are proud to bring these products to the US market. We offer competitive wholesale pricing and can accommodate orders both large and small.

Contact us today to learn more about our air rifle selection.

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