Airguns are the guns that use compressed air as a source of their energy and launch the bullet in projectiles pneumatically. They may use compressed air or any other mechanically pressurized gas that do not use any chemical reaction. They come in both long and hand gun form namely, air rifle and air pistol. They propel metallic pellets or spherical shots and some of the air rifles also propel arrows and darts.
As the history has it that the airguns are the oldest form of pneumatic technology. They are used since 1500 and have been very of significant help in hunting down deer and wild boar. At some point in the history, these were used in warfare as they were filled with air which gave it velocities up to 1000 feet per second. These were used in bad weather conditions also and were very useful for keeping the shooters position unknown as they created no noise or any smoke.
Airguns are used for recreational shooting at the target, hunting, pest control ,etc. These are also used in competitive sports such as Olympics 10m air rifle and 10m air pistol events. These are even used in many shooting ranges for people to enjoy recreational shooting.
There are three different ways to power up a airgun. The ways are as follows:
1.Spring piston: It is a piston pump arrangement which contains a compression chamber that is separate from gun barrel and is loaded with coil spring. This airgun can achieve velocities approximately about the speed of sound or greater. High power guns recoil due to the forward motion of the pistol. The recoil is less but it makes shooting a bit difficult and less accurate.
2. Gas Spring:Some airguns have gas spring instead of a mechanical coil spring. It is a piston pump in itself as it has a sealed cylinder with pressurized gas or inert gas such as nitrogen inside it which is further compressed when the gun in cocked. This type of airgun has smoother recoil, low vibrations and has more accuracy.
3.Pneumatic:These airguns use the potential energy of the compressed air that is pressurised before hand and stored in the gun. The air is then released through valves during shooting.
The ammunition used in air guns are pellets ,BB , arrows and darts. The pellets are the most popular ammunition for air rifles.The BB are metallic balls made ofSteel or Lead. They were originally called ’round shots’ and are commonly used in USA. Arrows and darts were popular in 18th and 19th century because they could be reused.
These airguns as in history were made for warfare but the modern airguns are also dangerous and can be deadly. If fired from close distance they can also kill someone and prove to be deadly. The modern airguns have also been a cause of death as in medical literature.
So these airguns must be used only for recreational shooting and hunting and should be handled with equal care . They may not be as deadly and dangerous as a firearm but they can do serious damage.