Air rifle



The first air rifle was made in Sweden in the 16th century. But air rifles were not common until the late 19th century. An air rifle involves air being stored mechanically. It is the release of this air which makes the pellet shoot. Air is stored and compressed before firing and air rifle or airgun.

An air rifle is loaded with a small metal pellet. This is unlike a gun where gas is released chemically to make a bullet shoot.

An air gun pellet can travel at a speed of up to 300 metres per second. This is much slower than a bullet. Airguns do not have a long range. But they are quite accurate. An airgun is usually used for shooting targets. Moreover, this is good training for using an actual gun. An airgun can be rifle or a handgun. A rifle has a long barrel. The inside of the barrel has ‘rifling’ which means it is twisted on the inside. This causes the pellet to come out spinning. This means the pellet travels further and straighter. It is like spin passing in rugby. Spinning makes the projectile go faster.

An airgun can kill a small animal. The pellets can usually not kill a human. But if the pellet hits  person on the temple it might kill a person. A pellet could blind a person. Never shoot a person with an airgun pellet! Even if it does not cause serious injury it will still hurt and it is a crime.

In the United Kingdom you need to be 18 to secure an airgun licence. People have sometimes effected robberies using airguns. That is because it looks like a real gun. You are not allowed to take them into banks for that reason.



  1. Does an air rifle involve a chemical reaction?
  2. Does an air rifle fire a bullet?
  3. Where was the air rifle invented?
  4. Is is acceptable to shoot a pellet at a human?
  5. What does ‘rifling’ the barrel of a gun mean?
  6. What is the top speed of an air rifle pellet?
  7. What is the purpose of an air rifle?
  8. In which century did air rifles become common?
  9. What sort of building are you not allowed to take an air rifle into?



About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

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