Whether you are a competitor who is fond of wining tournaments, a novice shooter launching yourself in the world of air guns, or a part time small game hunter—the act of getting your hands on the “right” air rifle is one of the most important factors for the overall enjoyment of this sport. Today, there are many companies that are manufacturing and dealing with air guns. Gamo, Crosman, and Ruger are some of the most reputed names in this field. Their products range from $80 to $400 and higher. If you are aware of what to look for, you’ll end up saving yourself a lot of effort and money.
Hunting, Plinking or Competing?
First, it is important for you to have a clear idea with regards to why you need a gun. If you are a total novice in this field and simply need a gun to shoot pigeons in your backyard or drop a few mangoes (just to get a feel of the sport), then the factors to focus upon include cost (ammos and guns), noise levels (you simply cannot offend the others around you) and scope (you can go in for a lower magnification unless you are the owner of a huge backyard). An air rifle in the range of $100-$150 will be good enough and allow you to enjoy your passion. If you are considering the caliber, then a .177 is less costly than a .22 and will meet your requirements effectively.
On the other hand, hunters are best advised to pick up guns that are accurate, powerful yet lightweight. Here, a .22 caliber air gun is seemingly more appropriate than the one with a.177 caliber. This is obviously dependent on the kind of game that you intend to shoot. A scope that has a higher magnification is especially helpful if you intend to shoot long distances or small animals. Here, easy portability is another important factor that demands attention.
Competitive shooters demand the highest levels of precision and accuracy and have to consider their trigger, recoil, barrel and sights. Heavier guns do not prove to be difficult for bench rest shooting and lead to better recoil management because of their weight. It’s a good idea to go in for a gun that promises a crisp and light trigger. A high quality scope that manages to hold zero is essential too.
Once you get your rifle home, you need to mount the scope, keep your target in view, backstop and break your gun in by shooting pellets downrange. Soon you will realize that your chosen air gun is the perfect fit for you. Reputed ammo dealers will help you get your hand on the “right” pellets, 10mm ammo and all other products that you may require in due course.