PCP Air Rifles: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

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Looking back to when I bought my first air rifle, I think it was a bewildering experience. But I have since learned the ropes and understand most things I should have known then.  One thing you should know is that there is a diversity of guns on offer that leads to confusion when it comes to deciding on which air rifle to buy. Well, if you haven’t yet checked our article on our favorite PCP air rifle, here it is.

FX Bobcat MK2

One thing I found useful before buying any kind of gun is a visit to local gun ranges. I find the time and opportunity to test a range of air rifles, and this makes me buy exactly what I need. I would recommend this to anyone wishing to buy their first air rifle. 

Simply put, you will find lots of different air rifles in the market today. Besides the many models produced by many companies, air rifles also have different categories. You will find out that air rifles work differently from one model to another. 

When you understand the characteristics of each air rifle, you will know who it is suitable for, and the kind of shooting it is for. You might buy a good rifle but not right for the job you have at hand. In this article, you will find the in-depth guide on how to choose a PCP air gun to ensure that your air rifle is not only great but perfect for you.

Understanding the PCP Air Rifles

Variation Types

The first step before buying any rifle is understanding the use you will have for it. What do you expect from the rifle? It can be for small game hunting or a gift to a youth who is ready for target shooting practice. 

For example, a Ruger Explorer is a great rifle for children to learn to shoot with, but a more substantial gun, say a .22 air rifle or .177 is the best for small game hunting.

Ruger Explorer

Air Rifle Propulsion Types

The next part of selecting your air rifle is considering its propulsion method. The propulsion method means how the gun powers BBs or pellets through and out of the barrel. The main methods are pre-charged pneumatic, CO2 powered, and spring piston.

Let’s take a closer look at all three main propulsion methods for air rifles

The Pre Charged Pneumatic (PCP) Air Rifle 

Now we start with the most popular and leading air rifle in the market today. The PCP is known for both types of shooting, either pest control or target shooting. Great for both types of shooting, target shooting, or pest control thanks to its recoilless action. 

A PCP air gun is powered by a compressed air cylinder usually on the front of the gun and it runs parallel to the barrel. The compressed air inside is usually pressured at 200bar, and this enables you to make a good amount of shots. Some air rifles can give up to 40 shots, while others can give in excess of 300 plus shots. It all depends on the size of your cylinder and if the air rifle is regulated or not.  

Most PCP Air Rifles are magazine-fed and cocked with either a side lever or bolt action. All leading rifle manufacturers make Pre Charged Pneumatic Air rifles. It is because most people consider it to be the best air rifle of all the three types available. 

The PCP air rifles are also accurate and powerful of all the types of air guns. They are