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Air Rifle Guide

What air rifle can I purchase?

Any air rifle that does not does not exceed 12ft/lbs of muzzle energy

18 years and above

Those above the age of 18 can buy an air weapon and ammunition, which can be used wherever permission to shoot has been given.

Prevent anyone under the age of 18 from gaining unauthorised access to your air weapon. Which may mean attaching it to a fixed object using a security cord or similar device.

Where am I able to use my air rifle?

At any air rifle club in the country or on land where you have prior written permission from the landowner.

Can I use it in my garden?

Yes, as long as the pellets do not leave your property and you are more than 50 feet away from the centre of a public highway and are not causing a nuisance to your neighbours.

What does 12ft/lbs mean?

This is the maximum power an air rifle is allowed to produce in England, Scotland and Wales without a firearms certificate (F.A.C).

More than 12ft/lbs is only permitted if you apply for a firearms certificate from your local constabulary, 

What is calibre?

The size of the bore or hole running through the center of the barrel. In .22 calibre the rifle will require a .22 pellet, in .177 calibre a .177 pellet.

Gun Slips

These  are required to enable you to carry your air rifle in a public place and will offer a good degree of protection from the elements. 

Different methods of powering an air gun


These methods can be broadly divided into 3 groups: spring/gas ram, CO2 and pneumatic.

Spring Rifles 'Springers'


These are probably the most popular type of air gun and the one that most shooters will at one time have owned.


A spring gun has long been the standard entry route into the sport of shooting.

There are three different cocking mechanisms for spring piston guns: Break Barrel, Under Lever or Side Lever.

CO2 Powered Airguns


This is a good way of buying a recoilless gun at an affordable price.

They use small CO2 capsules or sometimes bigger 88gram CO2 bottles.

The main advantages are they are affordable to buy, recoilless and often lightweight.

No recoil and bolt action cocking makes them popular with beginners, younger shooters and shooters who struggle with the weight of a spring rifle.

One disadvantage is that you have to keep buying CO2 capsules.

Pre-Charged Pneumatic Airguns (PCP’s)

They use a reservoir built into the gun to hold a store of compressed air, usually about 2500-3000PSI.

This reservoir can hold anything from 30-500 shots worth of air depending on the size of the cylinder.

The compressed air cylinder is charged via a stirrup pump or divers bottle.

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