Armed With Knowledge: Airgunning 101

So you think you want to be an airgunner? Well, you’ve come to the right spot. Here we break down the basics of airgunning to set you on the right path—think “airgunning for dummies”—but with a whole lot more radness

Air Power redefines how we normally think about guns, reimagining the medium—from powder to air—unlocking new possibilities. But, where to start? Well, first let’s define the playing field so we can take decisive action.

Let’s start by breaking down the FOUR main types of airguns —pump, CO2, pre-charged pneumatic (a.k.a PCP), break barrel rifle, and pistol models.
  • Pump powered airguns are just what you would imagine—they are filled via pump action meaning you need to pump them 3-12 times for each shot.

  • CO2 powered airguns use disposable cartridges as a power source.

  • Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP)—think pump powered, but higher performance with a much larger, high-pressure reservoir. Fun fact: Did you know Lewis and Clark carried a PCP rifle called the Girardoni during their expedition?

  • Break Barrel Rifle/Pistol uses a cocking mechanism to retract a spring, which activates an internal piston to push air through the barrel and fire the pellet.


Once you’ve settled on the model type that speaks to you there are a few things required before you hit the range or field.

If you opt for a pump-powered airgun, all you need is the gun and pellets. Easy. For a CO2 airgun, don’t forget to add Crosman Powerlet CO2 Cartridges to your cart. If a PCP airgun speaks to you the most, you’ll need a filling solution to get things fired up.

Something important to note if you go the PCP route is that most PCP airgun reservoirs need to be filled to between 2000 and 4500 psi (pounds per square inch)—this is something that you can have done at a local dive shop. Depending on your budget this can also be done at home with the purchase of either a hand pump (for those that love a DIY) or for speed seekers there are high-pressure air compressors that’ll do the trick.

So, which speaks to your inner adventure seeker—because picking your first airgun is as unique as you are. Are you more of a sports-minded shooter that’s aching to shred paper targets, send spinners spinning, or eliminate pests? If so, shop the Air-Powered Sport collection which has a comprehensive lineup of airguns for every experience level from novice to highly skilled. Or, are you a hunter-at-heart seeking to take down large game or varmints? Then shop the Crossman Air Powered Hunt line for a selection of airguns to perfect your game.

Once you’ve made your choice, you’re well on your way to becoming the skilled airgunner you’ve always aspired to be—simply fill your reservoir, load your pellets, aim, and fire! Following all applicable laws and safety measures, of course. But like everything in life, practice makes perfect so be sure to check our blog post on Practice tips and tricks to elevate your game and make you the best in class.

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Here are a few pump, CO2, pre-charged pneumatic (a.k.a PCP), break barrel rifle, and pistol models to get you started: 

Crosman Freestyle 1077: Multi-Shot, Semi-Auto CO₂ Rifle

Crosman C11: CO₂ Powered, Semi-Auto BB Air Pistol 

Crosman 362: Single-Shot, Variable Pump BB/ Pellet Rifle

Crosman American Classic: Variable Pump, Single-Shot Air Pistol

Crosman Mag-Fire Mission: Multi-Shot, Auto-Loading Break Barrel Rifle

Crosman Icon: PCP Powered. Bolt-Action Hunting Rifle



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