Air guns represent the oldest pneumatic technology compared to what’s on the market today. The oldest existing mechanical air gun known to man, which is a bellows air gun dating back to about 1580. Most historians recognize this as the beginning of the modern air gun. During the 17th to 19th century, air guns in calibers .30–.51, were used to hunt big-game deer and wild boar. These air guns were charged using a pump to fill an air reservoir and gave velocities from 650 to 1,000 feet per second (200–300 m/s). Let’s not forget they were also used in warfare! During that time, they had huge advantages over primitive firearms.
For example, air guns could be fired in the rain and discharged much faster than muzzle-loading guns. Moreover, they were quieter than a firearm of a similar caliber, had no muzzle flash, and smokeless. Thus, they did not disclose the shooter's position or obscure the shooter's view, unlike the black powder muskets of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Back in the 1890s, air rifles were used in England for competitive target shooting. Matches were held in public houses, which sponsored shooting teams. Prizes, such as a leg of mutton for the winning team, unfortunately, were paid for by the losing team!
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What is an Air Guns?
An air gun or air rifle is a gun that shoots projectiles pneumatically with compressed air or other gases that are mechanically pressurized without involving any chemical reactions, in contrast to a firearm, which pressurizes gases chemically via oxidation of combustible propellants that generates propulsive energy by breaking molecular bonds.
Both the "long gun" (air rifle) and "handgun" (air pistol) forms typically propel metallic projectiles that are either diabolo-shaped pellets or spherical shots called BBs, although in recent years ball-shaped cylinder-conoidal projectiles called slugs are gaining more popularity. Certain types of air guns (usually air rifles) may also launch fin-stabilized projectile such as darts (e.g. tranquilizer guns) or arrows (so-called "airbows"). Since they aren’t used for airsoft anything can be used as a projectile for air guns!
The first air guns were developed as early as the 16th century, and have since been used in hunting, sporting, and even warfare. There are three different power sources for modern air guns, depending on the design: spring-piston, pneumatic, or bottled compressed gas (most commonly carbon dioxide or co2).
Can an Air Gun Kill You?
Though air rifles or pistols are indeed powerful weapons, their rounds cannot penetrate human skulls. But you can certainly kill someone with an air gun! These deaths aren't caused by a gunshot to the head, but rather through lung perforation, heart damage, and/or bleeding out. Hence that’s why air guns are not used for airsoft as it is a lethal weapon.
Do You Need a License for an Air Gun?
Back in the good old days, no license was required to own air guns and air rifles or even toy shops could sell these, the new rules state manufacturing and selling air rifles will require a specific license under the Arms Act. Also, the license will be required for any air rifle generating more than 20 joules of energy.
What is an Air Gun Used For?
Air guns are used primarily for hunting, self-defense, or competitive shooting, but airsoft a big no-no as they can cause serious harm to humans. If you do consider getting an air gun do so responsibly and don’t bring it to an airsoft game just to get revenge on someone or for funs. This will impact the way airsoft will be seen! Stay safe and we hope this gives you an insight into what air guns are all about.