New Jersey Hunter Safety Course

 

Types of Air Guns

Unlike most modern firearms that ignite gun powder to create a rapid expansion of gas, an air gun uses stored compressed air, or CO2, to propel the projectile down the barrel. Air guns have come a long way in recent years. Some of the modern air guns are now performing with muzzle velocities greater than 1400 feet per second. Air guns that are allowed for hunting in New Jersey are broken down into four general categories. 

  1. Pneumatic
  2. Spring Operated
  3. CO2
  4. Pre-Charged Pneumatic

 

1. Pneumatic

Pneumatic Air Gun

The pneumatic air gun in pumped by hand, generally 10 pumps, to compress air stored in a cylinder. When the air gun is fired all the compressed air is released propelling the pellet down the barrel. This firearm needs to be pumped by hand between each shot. 

Positives:

  • Inexpensive 

Negatives:

  • Pressure fluctuates depending upon how many pumps you do
  • Takes time to reload
  • Slower than other types of air guns

 

 

2. Spring Operated 

Spring Operated

The spring operated air gun takes only one pump. By breaking the barrel of the firearm, this compresses a spring. While shooting, the spring pushes a cylinder of air down the barrel. The spring then needs to be re-cocked in between each shot. 

Positives:

  • Only one pump to reload
  • Consistent pressure with every shot

Negatives:

  • Air gun is usually heavy
  • Spring will get damaged if dry fired

 

 

3. CO2 Powered

CO2 Powered Air Gun

The compressed CO2 is stored inside a cartridge. Every time you squeeze the trigger, a small amount of CO2 is released propelling the pellet down the barrel. 

Positives: 

  • Quick to reload

Negatives:

  • CO2 is affected greatly by temperature (1000 psi @ 85 degrees F vs. 500 psi @ 32 degrees F)

 

 

4. Pre-Charged Pneumatic

Pre Charged Pneumatic Air Gun

This type of air gun uses extremely high pressured air, up to 3000 psi, stored in a tank loaded off a scuba tank or specialized hand pump. Every time you squeeze the trigger, a small amount of compressed air is released propelling the pellet down the barrel. 

Positives: 

  • Quick to reload
  • Compressed air acts the same at any temperature
  • Generally the fastest air gun available

Negatives:

  • Expensive 

 
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