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The Difference Between Air Gun Magazines and Firearm Magazines

three rotary air gun magazines

Air rifles are similar to regular firearms because many of them also utilize magazines in order to shoot multiple rounds of ammo. The main difference between air gun magazines and firearm magazines is the type of ammo they carry. Since pellets are much smaller than bullets, air rifle magazines are typically smaller than firearm magazines. If a pellet magazine comes in a similar size to a firearm magazine, it will likely be able to carry a lot more rounds of ammo. 

Pellets Instead of Bullets

One of the big differences between air guns and fire arms is that pellets serve as air gun ammunition while bullets serve as firearm ammunition. Pellets are made up of one solid top section and a hollow funnel-shaped lower section referred to as a skirt. The most common design is the diablo pellet. Diablo pellets are often made of solid lead with the tips sometimes made up of other materials like brass or synthetic polymers.

On the other hand, bullets are projectiles made of a variety of materials, most commonly solid metals like copper and steel. Bullets are contained in a cartridge which includes a metallic case, a rim, propellant like gunpowder, and primer that ignites the propellant. In most cases, bullets are larger than pellets, especially when they are encased with their cartridges.

three rotary air gun magazines

Magazines With or Without Clips

A magazine is a device or chamber for holding a supply of ammunition to be fed into a repeating weapon. Internal magazines are built into the structure of the gun while detachable magazines can be removed for refilling. The first mass-produced magazines were internal tubular magazines that fed lever-action rifles. Most modern air gun magazines are detachable rotary magazines like the ones that come with the FX Impact 30 Caliber and the Brocock Commander Hi-Lite. Some air rifles also come with detachable box magazines, which are also called stick magazines.

A clip is a device used to hold a bunch of ammunition together as a unit which will then be inserted into a magazine. Due to undersized pellets, only a few air guns require clips. Many rotary magazines for air rifles do not require a clip such as the FX Crown Magazine. The rifle operator inserts the pellets directly into the magazine. There are stick magazine fed air rifles that use chain clips to hold together multiple pellets. Overall, clips are more common in firearms than they are in air guns.

Best Magazine Fed Air Rifles

Palm Beach Air Guns has a large selection of new air guns for sale as well as pre-owned air guns. If you are looking at repeat shooting air rifles, check out the Daystate Red Wolf HP with its 10-shot Daystate magazine or the FX Impact Power Plenum, which has a rotary magazine capacity of 40 shots! Contact us today for more information on what we have in stock.