by B.B. Pelletier
You’re reading this posting because the title is intriguing, and maybe you agree with it. You don’t understand why anyone would like a wimpy little gun that puffs out a tiny little bullet with just air. Well, partner, perhaps you don’t really know what airguns are!
They’re NOT wimpy…
Unless you think deer rifles are wimpy, airguns have NEVER been wimpy. Men have been hunting deer, elk, boar and similar large game with airguns since the 1600s. Lewis and Clark carried an air rifle on their expedition in 1804-1806, and it may have been the deadliest gun they had! It was .51 caliber and could fire 20 times in one minute. Compare that to the .54 caliber muzzleloading muskets they also carried!
On this site, you can find big bore rifles like the .50 caliber Career Dragon Slayer and the.45 caliber Big Bore 909S from Sam Yang. These airguns and other big bores like them have successfully taken deer and boar in dozens of states. The 9mm Fire 201S is another great big bore, though a little too small for deer.
…But they ARE very accurate – if YOU are!
Take a look at a dime. That’s Roosevelt’s head on the front. The best sporting air rifles, like the FX 2000, can hit a target that size five times out of five at 40 yards on a good day. Can you do that with your .22 rimfire? The extra accuracy air rifles offer make them the perfect guns to sharpen your shooting skills and to keep them honed. While all airguns are not silent, some, like the Talon SS from AirForce, have reduced reports that keep the neighbors from complaining.
Maybe you like REAL guns
Airguns are as real as they get. One-third of the shooting competition in the Olympics is held for airguns, and the airgun shooters are regarded as the finest in the world. They have to be, because the size of their targets leaves nothing to chance. The ten-ring for the air rifle event is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. And, that event is shot offhand!
No airgun will recoil as much as a Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum or a .500 A-Square rifle, but I kind of like that. Of course, no current air rifle is as powerful as a .50 BMG, though in 1898 the United States had several pneumatic cannons aboard gunboats. They shot 2,550-lb. dymamite shells! So, don’t tell me how big your Weatherby is! Airguns are real enough that inner city SWAT teams are using them to kill guard dogs when they go in on major drug raids.
But none of the above is what airgunning is really about
Airgunning is a pastime for personal satisfaction – not for macho points or an “in your face” statement. Airgunners leave their attitudes at home when they shoot. They’re interested in knowing how good they are, and they use the lowly airgun as a tool to measure themselves. If they can hit with an airgun, they know they can hit with a firearm, because everything is simpler with firearms. The airgun is the trainer that sharpens skills.
That’s what airguns are really all about: A personal expression of shooting.