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The airgun is often used by beginning hunters to learn shooting and safety skills. Modern airguns have designs, parts, and sights similar to sporting firearms. Airguns can be just as dangerous as larger firearms. Youngsters should always be supervised when using airguns.

There are three types of airguns.

  • Pneumatic airguns use a pump system that forces air into an enclosed chamber. The air is retained in the chamber by a valve that allows air to enter but not escape. When the trigger is released, the compressed air drives the pellet or BB out of the barrel.
  • CO2-powered or gas-powered airguns use compressed CO2 contained in a cylinder. The cylinder attaches to a chamber inside the air rifle or pistol. When the trigger is squeezed, a valve releases a quantity of CO2 that propels the pellet or BB out of the barrel.
  • Spring-piston airguns use a spring that is compressed by a lever. When you squeeze the trigger, the spring is released and thrusts a plunger forward. The plunger pushes a compressed column of air through the barrel, driving out the pellet or BB.