Ten reasons to shoot a modern air rifle

Many adults think air rifles are just toys and are useless beyond punching holes in paper. While traditional air rifles were anemic when it came to killing power, things have changed. Still unconvinced? Check out these ten reasons you should be shooting a modern air rifle.

1. They’re fun to plink with. With the cost of traditional ammunition climbing and availability next to nil an air rifle makes perfect sense to satisfy that urge to target shoot.

2. This isn’t your grandpa’s air rifle. While traditional models are still on the market, many shooters are going with higher-end air rifles. These newer models, like the Nitro Venom by Crossman are more accurate and have a higher velocity than older rifles. Many models match or exceed standard .22 rimfire velocities.

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3. New models are great for small game hunting. Just about anything you can hunt with a .22 rifle can be hunted with the new high-power air rifles, as long as you stay within its effective range.  Crossman has engineered an even larger and more powerful air rifle, the Benjamin Rogue and the new Bulldog .357 Air Rifle.


The .357 Bulldog has enough power to hunt small to medium game from raccoons to wild hogs.  Don’t believe me?  Check this out: the Bulldog matches the .38 Long Colt in velocity and energy.  Crossman has partnered with Nosler to produce a series of soft lead projectiles, some of which are polymer-tipped for better accuracy and expansion (ed. note: Air guns can only be used for hunting small game in Indiana- check latest game laws for updates)

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4. Many municipal codes that don’t allow traditional firearms, do allow air rifles. That means you can have fun in your own backyard or basement without getting a visit from your local law enforcement officers. (Be sure to check governing laws in your area before setting up a backyard range.)

5. Shooting an air rifle teaches positive shooting techniques. With little or no recoil shooters can concentrate on proper hold, trigger pull, stance, sight picture and more. These same techniques will be engrained in when advancing to higher-powered weapons, making for more accurate shooting when big-game hunting.

6. Competitive air rifle matches are rapidly growing in popularity. The matches vary from highly competitive to recreational shoots. Shooters of almost any age can compete and have fun.

7. Shooters of all sizes can enjoy shooting, often with the same weapon. Children and adults alike can enjoy shooting air rifles together. The bonding and positive memories will carry over from generation to generation and will help keep kids away from negative activities.

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8. Air rifles have a long and honorable history. It is little known that Lewis and Clark carried an air rifle during their adventure across the Louisiana Purchase. Their Girandoni .46-caliber “wind” rifle had already been in use by the Austrian Army since 1780. It had an affective range of 150 yards and was quickly reloaded from a 20-round tubular magazine of bullets in the gun. The explorers were so proud of their air rifle, they demonstrated it to every Indian tribe they visited.

9. Air rifles are virtually silent. Small game won’t get spooked as easy when using an air rifle. Plus there’s no loud report to damage your hearing.

10. Pellets have come a long way. We all remember the old thin-skirted pellets of our youth. Now the selection is much greater. From wad cutters to polymer-tipped hunting rounds, the selection is ever growing. There’s even non-lead pellets for locations where traditional ammunition is prohibited.

So what are you waiting for? A high-velocity, high-quality, high-end air rifle is still very reasonably priced. I’ve given you ten reasons you should be shooting an air rifle, so join me in this fast-growing sport and have instant fun!

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Alan Garbers
Alan James Garbers – Alan is passionate for the outdoors. He enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, photography, writing, woodworking, and more. He loves exploring the BWCAW in northern Minnesota, roaming the deserts of Arizona, or hiking the mountains of Colorado. He has lived in Minnesota, Hawaii, Mississippi, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, and Indiana. From hunting rattlesnakes to black bear and fishing for catfish to muskie, he loves it all. Since 1989 his writing credits have included Indiana Outdoor News, Indiana Game & Fish, Muzzle Blasts, Outdoor Guide Magazine, Fur-Fish-Game, Boundary Waters Journal, Boys’ Quest, Fun For Kidz, Mother Earth News, Cricket, Small Farm Today, American Careers, Arizona Hunter & Angler, Old West, and others. Fiction credits include StarTrek Strange New Worlds Anthologies IV, V, and 08. Alan recently complied an anthology of his popular column, Behind The Badge: True Stories of Indiana’s Conservation Officers. It is available in e-reader format and found at Amazon and other on-line book retailers. Alan is a member of AGLOW and HOW.


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