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Global Skywatch

air rifles

10-meter air rifle targetInternational 10-meter air rifles are amazing precision tools. With a “10-ring” the diameter of a standard pencil lead, top shooters can hit that ring with 99.9% consistency… from 33.8 feet away. These are not hunting rifles. They are specifically designed to punch holes in paper EXACTLY where they were told to.

On my short list is an old-school side-cock Feinwerkbau. For all practical purposes, it has the accuracy of modern Olympic-grade rifles, but requiring no compressed air equipment. Compressed air guns replaced the side-cock rifles not due to significant improvements in accuracy, but because the shooter no longer had to change position to cock the rifle between shots.

Which brings up compressed air. These are refilled from scuba tanks with very high pressure. A friend whose daughter won a full-ride 4-year scholarship shooting International Rifle geared up his 3 kids. Lyle was a 6’4″, big and powerful man. He bought one of the hand pumps so he could skip getting the scuba tanks refilled, certified, etc. He used it once. “Way too much work”. Don’t go down that road.

CO2 is awkward, expensive, inconsistent from full to near empty and essentially obsolete. Certainly a poor choice for a post-apocalyptic plan.

There are now modern hunting air rifles that come close to the accuracy level of International 10-meter air rifles. There is even a shooting sport that, as with all sports at high levels of competition, push the envelope and improve the technology.

Most air rifles are sold by and to people ignorant of the accuracy potential air rifles can have. Attractive price, nice power/velocity specifications on the side of the box are all the information either of them have. These rush out of the mass market retailers into the hands of people who then figure they just aren’t all that good at shooting rifles.

CALL one of the specialty houses. These people study, test and regularly shoot air guns. Talk to someone who knows the tools about what your objectives are.

I really like what I read from Air Guns of Arizona. They would be my first call. But a good, accurate, hunting air rifle is still on my want list. I have no experience actually purchasing from them or anyone else.

Web search “air rifles”. The popular Internet suppliers are all probably good. They love their products and know them a ton better than your local stores whose shelf-stocking specialists sell them alongside toy slingshots, lawn darts and air mattresses.