All of Crosman and Benjamin airguns can be used for target shooting and plinking. Whether it’s a friendly backyard competition, competition practice or simply seeking out some trigger time, airguns save you the expense and hassle of driving to a shooting range and are quiet enough not to disturb the neighbors and ideal for most ages.
Pest species include sparrows starlings, mice, crows, rats and pigeons. Relatively low energy is required to dispatch these species but it is recommended that an air rifle produce sufficient power to deliver that energy beyond 10 yards.
These air rifles and pistols are specifically designed for competitive shooting include 10 meter, silhouette and field target. These guns are purpose-built with features to meet particular class requirements
Rabbits and squirrels are typical small game animals popular among airgun hunters. Generally, break barrels and PCP airguns produce the minimum recommended energy to dipatch small game species. Most small game is regulated so be familiar with local game laws before hunting
Varmints are a larger variety of pests and include woodchucks, raccoons, nutria, opossums and prairie dogs. Many furbearers fall into this category as well. The ability of Nitro Piston-powered break barrels and PCP rifles to deliver significant energy downrange makes them the recommended platforms for this category of hunting. Calibers of .22 and higher are recommended. Check local regulations before hunting.
This category refers to coyotes, fox and bobcats. Airguns that qualify for these species are also suitable for other similarly sized game species including hogs and turkeys. Calibers of .25 and higher are recommended. Confirm local regulations before hunting.


Although modern airguns differ markedly from early versions, the basic principles utilized in the construction of airguns have been employed for centuries. The essential feature is that compressed air is stored in the gun until the time of firing. At that time, the gas is released behind the projectile which propels it down the barrel. The major difference between types of air rifles is how the air is compressed and where it is stored. Some of the early air rifles had a reservoir (in some cases, the rear section of the stock and in others a hollow sphere located below the action) in which air compressed by use of an external pump was stored. Part of the air could be discharged behind a projectile to drive it forward. Some of the early air rifles utilized projectiles of .30, .35, or even larger caliber. Air rifles of this type were used in Europe in the late 1500s, and Lewis and Clark took such an air rifle on their historic Voyage of Discovery in 1804-1806.

Production of American BB guns began in the late 1800s. Most of these low-powered models are cocked by some sort of lever which pulls back a piston against a spring. The piston in some cases is little more than a washer with a leather collar that makes the piston have an almost air tight seal inside the barrel. At the time of firing, the piston is pushed forward by the spring to compress air behind the BB which projects it out of the barrel. Most such guns are low in power and they are used for recreational shooting and pop can punching.

From a technical point of view, any gun that launches projectiles utilizing compressed gas rather than producing gases burning a propellant (powder) is considered to be an “air” gun. In some cases, the propelling gas may be carbon dioxide in which case the gun is actually a “gas” gun, but the term airgun is still generally applied to them. One of the great American airgun designs is the multi-pump (sometimes called a “pump up” gun) in which air is compressed by a series of pump strokes. When the gun is fired, the compressed air enters the breech behind the projectile driving it forward. This type of rifle has been produced for well over a century, and with a maximum number of pump strokes, some of these rifles are powerful enough to be useful tools in hunting.

Another popular type of powerful air rifle is the break action (also known as the spring piston or break barrel). With this type of air rifle, the barrel functions as a lever that is pulled downward to force a piston inside the receiver backward by means of a linkage. This moves the piston to the rear as it compresses a strong spring or, as in the case of the Nitro Piston®, a gas. At the moment of firing, the piston that compresses the air is driven forward by the spring which compresses air behind the pellet driving it down the barrel. Other variants of this design utilize a lever along the side of the rifle or under the barrel as the cocking lever.

About half a century ago, Crosman Corporation pioneered the use of a small cylinder that contained compressed carbon dioxide (CO2) as the power source in pellet rifles. Known as the Crosman Powerlet®, each cylinder holds 12 grams of CO2 and that amount is sufficient to fire a considerable number of shots simply by cocking the rifle and loading a pellet. This characteristic is shared with the PCP rifles in which a reservoir holds enough compressed air for firing several shots


As urban sprawl continues, some types of hunting are conducted in somewhat congested areas. Even a rimfire firearm chambered for the .22 Long Rifle fires a bullet that can carry up to a mile so taking a shot at a squirrel in a tree may result in a bullet going a long way unless it strikes the target. However, a pellet fired from even a high powered airgun has much shorter range and there is much less potential danger should the pellet miss the target. Because many people do not like to hear the report of firearms near their dwellings, places of business, or farm animals, hunters using firearms may not be welcome in those areas. However, the use of a quiet, efficient air rifle may cause much less concern so that the hunter using an air rifle may have opportunities to hunt in areas where the use of a firearm would not be allowed.

Many hunters choose to use some sort of equipment that has limited capability just for the challenge. This situation applies to archers who choose to use a traditional recurve or long bow instead of a high tech compound bow. Another illustration is the hunter who chooses to use a muzzle loading rifle instead of a modern high powered rifle chambered for a centerfire cartridge. Quite naturally, hunters looking to test their skill and technique often elect to hunt with an air rifle that has lower power and more limited range than a firearm affords. The additional challenge makes the hunt more satisfying and exciting even if the bag contains less game. Hunting is practiced for the sport rather than for the spoil. As hunting areas decrease, going afield with an airgun provides the challenge without some of the concerns that accompany the use of a firearm.



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