New To Shooting Or Just New To PCP Air Rifles?
Either you have been shooting pistols, rifles, shotguns, maybe even break barrel air guns a long time. Or you have never shot anything at all. Maybe somewhere in the middle? Doesn’t matter where you stand, precision air rifles can offer anyone a lot of joy and productive uses. You may still be wondering just how powerful and accurate are these PCP air rifles really? What do I need to get started? Welcome to Palm Beach Airguns, we will give you a head start!
Just How Much Power?
The power range can start off at the same level as your average .177 caliber break barrel air rifle, approximately 8-12 FPE (foot pounds energy). To upwards of 600+ FPE which is twice as powerful as a .45 ACP. Law enforcement carries them because it is a proven stopping system. So whether you are the average guy/girl plinking in the yard or a big game hunter, there’s a rifle for you! Hey, you can even attend competitions similar to what they have for real firearms. I have an FX Impact by FX Airguns. I have it set up chucking 34 grain .25 caliber pellets at around 865 FPS, that’s somewhere around ~55 FPE at the muzzle and ~730 FPS/40 FPE at 50 yards. Plenty to take out small game with no problem. Even medium game with well placed shots! If you wanted to stretch that out to 100 yards then it would be at approximately 30 FPE, still plenty for small game and the accuracy is still there. This is just one example of one of the most popular calibers, shot out of a proven PCP air rifle. If you want peak power hitting the high triple digit FPE numbers you can go for the .45 or .50 caliber larger “big bore” rifles. These can take out large game no problem. Easily at 100 yards and even further! A few states have actually started to recognize this. They are approving .30 caliber and up PCP rifles for hunting large game. We are one of the lucky ones. Thank you swampy Florida, hope to see you guys out there!
Are They Really That Accurate?
Now we are at the topic of accuracy. PCP air rifles didn’t earn the term “precision air rifles” just because they are more accurate than single shot break barrels. Overall they are actually more accurate than comparable center fire rifles! In the same ballpark as those costing over several thousands of dollars. Of course you won’t reach out to the same distances with air rifles. But those of you who usually hunt or target shoot at moderate distances, up to 150-200 yards then you may still find air rifles just as effective! The majority of PCPs can do some amazing things up to 100 yards! Remember the FX Impact I have? I can literally hunt flies with that Swedish piece of art, easily at 50 yards! Consistently have pellets within a half-inch group without even trying. At 100 yards it averages about 1 MOA which can easily put a smack-down on some prairie dogs or other small game. There are plenty of other PCP air rifles in that realm just begging to be put to the test by you!
I Have Or Picked A Rifle Now What?
Picking A Scope And Rings
Assuming that you have already read 20 articles and watched 32 YouTube reviews and have made the decision (at least i’m known to do that every time), now what do you need? Next step would be picking an airgun scope. Picking a good scope is very important. Luckily for you, I have narrowed it down to Just 4 choices that are available at Palm Beach Airguns. For airgun scopes you do not need to look further! First determine what reticle and features you prefer. Then based on what distances you will shoot most choose the optical zoom that suits you best. Since PCP air rifles barely recoil you can honestly get away with almost any scope rings. As long as they are decent quality and fit your rail properly (make sure to ask us which rail your airgun has) then you should be golden. We offer the FX No Limit rings which in our opinion are the BEST. They will do what you need them to do, hold your scope. Then if you ever need to reach further out than the scope elevation turret allows you to, you can add elevation through the mounts.
You have your shooting platform now what are you going to shoot? The domed pellet is the most popular ammunition. Very universal in its applications. Target/competition, hunting or just plain fun at the range. Then we have slugs, a more “bullet” style projectile. Slugs are mainly used for hunting, seems like they usually come with a loss of accuracy but are heavier and have higher a bullet co-efficient. Therefore they hit harder (higher FPE) and are affected less by the wind. Larger caliber “big bore” air rifles usually shoot slugs but their barrels have the ideal twist rates which allows them to shoot slugs very accurately. So as a rule of thumb domed pellets will be most accurate out of smaller caliber rifles and slugs will be more accurate out of large-caliber “big bore” rifles. When choosing the ammunition it’s a balance between the barrel’s twist rate, the power of the rifle and the weight of the pellet. When you match those correctly you will be next to me sniping flies! Palm Beach Airguns wants you to be satisfied, ask us which pellet we recommend. We are here to help skip the trial and error frustration!
Once you have your ideal or dream setup how do you keep shooting it? PCP air rifles require high pressure air (compressed air) to make all this good stuff work. PCP air rifles demand pressures ranging from 2900 psi – 3650 psi. Hand pumps can manually pump up to 4500 psi. But we do not recommend hand pumps other than for back up. I started out with one but quickly moved on to the portable 4500 psi carbon fiber tank. Seems like the pump took a lot of the enjoyment away from shooting and also requires more care to prevent moisture from entering your rifle which isn’t ideal. You will eventually need a 4500 psi tank. If you use a diving SCUBA tank it will not be sufficient, their standard max pressure is around 3000 psi. People will say SCUBA but they really mean SCBA (no U), which are the tanks firemen use and hold 4500 psi. We carry Omega tanks which I use myself, great reliable tanks. I you decide to go the tank route then you will need to figure out how to refill it. If you are thinking hand pump, I would recommend you to become an Olympic athlete if you can fill one with that! Your best bet is to find a local paintball field or fire station/fire supply department or scuba shop. I would strongly recommend calling them and confirming they can fill it before purchasing one. I learned that the hard way. Your most convenient option would be to buy a quality compressor which could fill your tank. If you do you won’t have to commute or depend on a shop that charges you per fill and is open only during their business hours. You can even get the compressor alone without a carbon fiber tank and fill your rifle straight from there! They just aren’t as portable and convenient as the tanks because they fill slower, are larger, heavier and require a power source.