Looking for something a bit lighter that will still do the job? Mat Manning advises.

The advice when buying an air rifle is to find one that suits you best, although what suits you is likely to change over time. If you’re finding your current air rifle a bit cumbersome for taking out into the field, then it’s worth seeing what’s around that could suit you better. New lighter airguns are coming out all the time and a different air rifle could revolutionise your outings. (Read how to get an airgun shooting permission.)

I thought of this recently when I received a letter from a reader who had started to find his PCP air rifle rather heavy. It was time for a change. (What airgunning kit do you really need – and how much should you spend on it?)

Investing in lighter airguns

Q: “I am in my mid-seventies and, while I still enjoy airgun shooting, I find it increasingly difficult to carry my heavy pre-charged airgun around the fields and woods. The time has come for me to invest in a lighter model. Can you recommend any possible contenders for me to try?”

A: Airguns are getting lighter and lighter, and there are plenty of full-power models that combine low weight with a respectable shot count.

Plenty of budget

If you aren’t on a tight budget and don’t mind modern styling, look at the Brocock range. All this British airgun maker’s PCPs are compact and robust, and the new Ranger XR, which costs around £1,200, only weighs a shade over 2kg.

Mid-range budget

If you don’t want to spend a fortune and fancy something that looks more traditional, the awesome BSA Ultra costs about half the price and is a hard-hitting, lightweight PCP with serious pedigree. I have owned an Ultra SE for years and it has never let me down. The new CLX model retails at around £600, is built for serious field work and even features the gunmaker’s super-accurate cold hammer forged barrel, among a host of other features that far exceed its modest asking price.