He lent me the rifle to try it out and I have found it to be good to use, as it is quiet and has no recoil, but I don’t consider its power to be ideal for normal shooting.
It may be suitable for close shots at rats in a barn, but it does not produce enough energy for rabbit or pigeon shooting.
Is it possible to obtain a full-size rifle, powered by CO2, that can be used for general shooting?
UMAREX AIR MAGNUM
A sporting rifle fitting your description, the Umarex Air Magnum, is now imported into the UK.
It is a full-size rifle in .22 calibre and takes either an 88g CO2 cylinder or two 8g bulbs that fit into a special adaptor.
This rifle weighs just around 5lb and provides 50 to 80 shots per charge.
It is totally recoil-less and, when fitted with a small silencer, is extremely quiet.
However, like all CO2-powered firearms, its power is affected by temperature — in cold weather it drops considerably.
It will still produce more than 9.1⁄2ft/lb, but at higher temperatures almost 12ft/lb can be obtained.
Your local gunshop is likely to have this rifle in stock, and should be able to demonstrate it for you, which is highly recommended.