Many of us will have an old airgun we rarely use kicking round in our gun cupboard, but there are lots of reason to dust it off and use it. Here are ten of them, says Matt Clark, Editor of Sporting Gun



  1. Using an airgun regularly, especially a springer, can improve your marksmanship. This will also improve your shooting skills with any rifle, even a full-bore. If you can manage the adverse recoil of a spring-powered airgun and shoot accurately with it, you will find shooting a full-bore rifle a cinch.
  2. Target practice with an air rifle is much cheaper than with an air rifle than a full-bore or rimfire and the more you practice you have, the better you get.
  3. If you are shooting to provide meat for the table, then a clean headshot with an air rifle will mean that the meat has not been peppered by shotgun pellets, so you are less likely to damage a filling by crunching on a bit of shot.
  4. When you want to control vermin like rats in the confines of a farmyard, an air rifle means you are less likely to cause damage to expensive farm machinery and building due to over penetration or a ricochet.
  5. An airgun fitted with a moderator can be a silent killer, making pest control less anti-social than it would be with a shotgun or a .22 rimfire.
  6. Legal limit airguns are the most accessible form of shooting because you don’t need a licence to own one in the UK (apart from Scotland), which means young people can easily get in the sport.
  7. Airguns are great fun and can be used for informal target shooting, called plinking, which can keep your friends easily entertained.
  8. Airgunning is good for your health. The zen-like concentration required for target shooting can reduce stress.
  9. Unlike shotguns and rifle, airguns require little cleaning after use because they don’t use chemicals as a propellant.
  10. Precharged pneumatic airguns have relatively little recoil, so there is very little stress on the body when using them. This makes them ideal for shooters who are elderly or who have a disability.