The Airgun Attraction
As the cost of firearm ammunition continues to rise, so does the popularity of airguns for recreation, small game hunting, and pest control.
Higher velocity air rifles, or “magnum air rifles” like the Ruger Air Hawk are attractive to those looking for maximum projectile speed. .177 caliber sporting air rifles are mostly used for plinking or paper target shooting, although shooters that acquire great accuracy with their .177 caliber air rifles do use them for small pest control. Small game hunting with air rifles is on the rise with the use of .22 caliber pellets. When properly placed, the impact from a high powered pellet rifle easily takes squirrel, rabbit, and other small game.
With the increasing cost of ammunition, sidearm owners that simply enjoy the sport of shooting are finding that some air pistols offer them an economical way to shoot. An airgun shooter can fire quality lead pellets or steel airgun BBs for a couple of pennies and there are some air pistols that offer near replica feel and performance. If the world’s most famous double agent needed to target practice today, he could choose a Walther PPK/S BB pistol that’s close in weight and function to his actual sidearm. It, along with the Px4 Storm and CP99 Compact, have slides that function, providing a realistic recoil action, and remain in the rearward position when the magazine is empty.
Another contributing factor to the attraction of airguns is that they don’t always have to be taken to a firing range. With the proper backstop and pellet or BB trap, they can be used within a home, garage, or secured property. There are several online resources for building your own airgun ammunition trap and backstop. Just be sure you’re not breaking any laws or ordinances before you set up and start target shooting, and as a safety precaution, make sure there’s no persons or objects that can be endangered by an unexpected stray projectile or ricochet.