Precision air rifles - any info?


June 2, 2003, 12:59 PM
My daughter has gotten interested in Biathalon (skiing & shooting), and I need to get up to speed on target airguns. I've had her using my Grandfather's old Crosman .22 pump air rifle, but she's going to need an accurate rifle pretty soon.

I'm trying to keep the cost down - as soon as it's practical, she'll begin using the standard biathalon .22s, so the air rifle will serve to get her some range time (on the back deck) when I can't get her to the range.

Any ideas / sources / forums I should know about?

Thanks in advance.


If you enjoyed reading about "Precision air rifles - any info?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
June 2, 2003, 01:41 PM
Lessee, here - Neal Johnson's (, or Champion Shooters ( or Pilkguns ( should get you started. Be prepared to pull out the old wallet, though!

June 2, 2003, 02:47 PM
If you want a gun that's fairly inexpensive, look at Gamo's rifles. I have a Hunter 440 and I believe their accuracy claims of .2" groups at 30 yards. Velocities are 1000 FPS. They also sell a 1250 FPS model. I also like the weight of the gun as well. Very similar to my hunting rifles. They have lifetime warranties to boot. I am extremely happy with mine. I got the combo version with the scope for $195 last year from Natchez.

Steve Smith
June 2, 2003, 03:03 PM
Neal Johnson's is in Colorado Springs. I know they have a lot of used air rifles for sale.

June 2, 2003, 03:41 PM
The wood's not as nice as the RWS or Beemans but the Winchesters go for $99 around here. I hear nothing but good things considering the price. Been thinking about getting one myself. I have a couple rifles including this one that originally had a peep sight on it. I paid $40 for it at Meijer. Definately accurate but I'd estimate the pellets are only leaving at about 300 fps, maybe 400. I'm more of a hunter though if I do get the Winchester, I'll put the peep sight back on.

June 2, 2003, 04:28 PM
You might check into the ballistics before deciding on 22 or 177 for the air rifle. At most ranges I would assume the flatter shooting 177's are a better practice arm to match a gunpowder 22. There's lots of info on-line. Interesting that they take their air rifles a bit more seriously in the U.K. than in the US. Must be the restriction on firearms and all that rabbit hunting.

June 2, 2003, 05:25 PM
i personally use a an £1200 airrifle kit. uses a divers bottle instead of spring as power supply, shoot to 75yrds. and i use it for rabbits etc. use it more that live round so i know what im talking about.

first off .177 is the target caliber for many reasons im not bothering 2 get into.

2nd dont bother with crosman or gammo trust me!

you need a proper spring air rifle 'not pellet gun' theres a difference.

aproper air rifles shoot @ about the 'toys' shoot @ about 4-8 power effects accuracy etc.

will have range 2 aboyt 40-50 yrds. look at this website for spring guns and email for specifc needs.


June 2, 2003, 05:28 PM
oh just read thread above mine. yea im in the uk we do take airrifles a bit seriously :) though mine is actually classed as a fire arm (on my lisence). instead of the norm its but thats a diff story for a diff day!

yes we like rabbits. though in my area there are none :(

June 2, 2003, 07:28 PM
You did it.... you convinced me I could no longer live without one. I went out looking for a Winchester air rifle and found one slightly used for $80. Saved a few dollars anyway. Put a BSA 3-12AO on it. I'll try to get pictures later this evening. Sighted it in and was shooting at my typical targets down and across my hill... I must say this thing is much more impressive than my little dinky Daisy 856. :D

June 2, 2003, 07:37 PM
Speaking of .22 cal air rifles... how do they actually perform on game? Compared to the higher velocity .177s? My range isn't much over about 60 yards and mostly is between 20 - 50 yards I'd guess.

June 2, 2003, 08:45 PM
Edited to remove un-related content. :p

June 2, 2003, 09:55 PM
Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT go out and buy a high powered spring piston air rifle for your daughter to practice with. The cocking effort is going to make extended practice sessions unpleasant. Besides, there's no need for that kind of power or noise.

If you want a relatively inexpensive, quiet, very accurate, easy to shoot rifle, you should look at the Russian match single pump pneumatics (IZH-XX rifle), or a lower powered (500-600fps) spring piston airgun.

If you want to spend some money, you should look into the Pre-charged Pneumatics (PCPs) which are filled from a SCUBA tank, or a special compressor. They will cost a bit more, but are very easy to shoot.

Ask your questions at the chat forum on:

June 2, 2003, 10:35 PM
Agreed. I doubt if my wife could cock this Winchester. In fact, since it has no bearing with the original subject, I'll delete what I posted and create a new thread.

By the way, I have no idea what price range you're looking at but the little Marksman trainer has little cocking effort. My six year old daughter can just about cock it. And it has a but shorter that 13.5" length of pull as well.

June 2, 2003, 11:14 PM

I didn't mean it to sound like I was coming down on you. I just wanted to make sure he understood about the cocking effort issue.

Sorry about that...


June 2, 2003, 11:29 PM
Oh... no problem. I did sort of drift away from an actual recommendation to what I was looking at. Plus almost all of the match level guns I've handled were relatively low powered so it would possibly detrimental to go towards a higher powered gun anyway.

June 2, 2003, 11:38 PM
For a low cost alternative you might consider a CZ Slavia 631 air rifle. They are not high powered but are considered to be accurate. I am considering one myself for target use. They would not be used for hunting. Price should be about $85 for the 631 and maybe $10 cheaper for the 630. Only difference appears to be the design of the stock.

You might also consider just going to a simple .22LR. An air rifle is not really a toy, and if you practice safe handling either would be OK. A .22 does not require cocking a spring. My suggestion there would be the CZ-451 Scout. A downsized CZ-452 LUX. Very accurate. The russian Biathlon Basic is also available for a little more $250. The CZ is about $175. I should note that the Biathlon Basic is just the Biathlon toggle bolt action in a sporter stock. It does not have iron sights. I don't think they use optics in biathlon competition, but it might be good for training. You might also be able to have it tapped for peep sights. It is listed at download current catalog. Last page.
Gotta love those Russian guns!

You really can't go wrong with a CZ of any type.

- Makarov

June 3, 2003, 08:44 AM
What this gentleman needs is a Target Rifle. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight and don't bring a high powered spring gun to a target rifle shoot . . .

There are some specific Biathalon trainers which are based on some of the best target air rifles avaiable, but investment will be in the high hundreds to a thousand dollars.

If you just want to work on shooting fundamentals, I suggests a Daisy Model 888 - sporter class target rifle. It is CO2 and the bulk fill tank uses the same fitting as a paintball gun, so it can be filled at any paintball shop, or your own tank. The sights are standard peep target sights with interchangable front inserts. And, she can use it to compete on a state and national level if you want.

See the earlier post about Neal Johnson or Pilkguns websites.

Failing that, just go to the range with your regular biathalon rifle.


Steve Smith
June 3, 2003, 09:41 AM
I suggest you call or go down to Neal's shop and talk with them about it. The Olympic Training Center is open to public use if you become a member, so you can go down there and shoot.

Steve Smith
June 3, 2003, 10:23 AM
DaveB, check your PMs NOW.

If you enjoyed reading about "Precision air rifles - any info?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!