Air rifle question


August 31, 2004, 10:18 PM
It seems most of the spring type air rifles are of the break-barrel design. Why is this? What is considered the best cocking method? Break-barrel, under cocking, side cocking? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?

Is a break barrel type inherently less accurate because the barrel moves? I know many have both sights on the barrel it self. When a scope is used, are there problems with the zero changing everything it is cocked?

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August 31, 2004, 10:29 PM
Hmm. A quick search will yield excellent and informative results and save us here a lot of typing. FWIW, there are wonderful airgun forums (Straightshooters and Network54 immediately come to mind) that offer a plethora of information by extremely knowledgeable airgun enthusiasts, much more than a general firearms community typically possesses.

see here (

August 31, 2004, 10:53 PM
Don't know, but for low tech, high effectiveness, and reasonable price, the Sheridan Blue Streak air rifle in .20 cal is a real effective killer.

This is a stock pump type single shot - 8 pumps is the max. About 700fps for the pellet. It has a rifled brass barrel that is very accurate to 50 yards. About $130 bucks.

I have dispatched animals as large as raccoons with this rifle, albeit at close range. I once took out a very large crow at fifty yards with iron sights - admittedly a lucky shot.

Scopes on an air rifle must be purchased with that in mind. The air rifle is a lot harder on scopes than rimfires.

August 31, 2004, 11:50 PM
The air rifle is a lot harder on scopes than rimfires.

As a general rule, no they are not.

A Crosman 760 Pumpmaster is MUCH less demanding of a scope than a Ruger 10/22.

However, spring piston air rifles have a dual recoil that often destroys scopes that are only built (designed) for the rearwards recoil of even the most heavy centerfire calibers.

Got it?

Spring piston guns (Beeman r-9, Crow Magnum, Kodiak, BSA Supersport, etc) tear up scopes that are not "airgun rated." PCPs (precharged pneumatics such as an Air Arms s400/s410 or FX Tarantula) as well as multi-stroke pneumatics (Benjamin Sheridans) pose no more of a threat to riflescopes than say, a smelly fart.

August 31, 2004, 11:54 PM
The cocking method has no practical effect on accuracy unless the quality of the airgun is low.

Sidelevers and underlevers are slower to load but can be easier to cock. They are dangerous to fingers if something gives while you've got your fingers in the loading port.

Barrel cockers are very quick to load. The barrel will come back into position with a lot of force if something in the linkage gives while it's in the fully bent position. Enough to break a nose and certainly enough to break the stock and bend the barrel.

Ok, so it's not that likely that something's going to give out like that in a quality air rifle.

Barrel cockers are usually cheaper at a given quality level and are inevitably lighter and more compact at a given power level.

As you can see there are a lot of variables--oddly enough, accuracy differences aren't (or shouldn't be) a major consideration in this choice.

September 4, 2004, 11:21 AM
The tolerances and lock-up on quality modern break-barrels is amazing. Nothing to worry about there, with regard to accuracy. You do have to buy a quality scope, and mount it properly to have success with it on an airgun.

For reasons of safety, and ease of use, I would recommend a break-barrel as your first spring-driven airgun.

This site will provide you with more info than you ever wanted.;)

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