Air rifles have a very long and interesting history that every air shooting enthusiast should read. Its beginnings may come as a surprise to us. It is worth knowing that air rifles were not designed for sports shooting. Their history began in the Austrian army.
Military lineage of airguns
They were introduced to military equipment in 1779. The models of that time were equipped with a PCP drive, which was characterized by very high precision and energy efficiency. It was a solution that proved so that PCP drives are used today in airguns intended for target shooting or hunting, in countries where it is allowed. Although air rifles were only used in battle during the war between Austria and Turkey in 1789, they are still used in many armies around the world in addition to combat conditions. All because using them is a much cheaper alternative to firearms, and they are much friendlier for beginners, due to their low weight and low recoil. For this reason, they have found their application during the training of soldiers. Of course, the models that began to be used for training purposes had completely different characteristics than their counterparts used in combat conditions. The combat models had a caliber of 12.7 mm, while those intended for training only 4.5 mm.
Iconic Polish airgun
The popularity of air rifles made that almost every country has created a model that has become an iconic model. In case of our country, it was a long KL87 spring carabiner and a Łucznik WZ70 pistol.
Various types of drive
Over the years, air rifles have changed significantly. One of the most important modifications was the change in the way the shot was speeded up. Originally, high pressure tanks filled with air were used. However, this was an inconvenient solution for sports rifles. For this reason, spring-driven and piston-driven models were developed. Their development was shaped in such a way that the strength needed to accumulate adequate energy was as low as possible. At one time, models powered by liquid carbon dioxide tanks, known as "bombers", were very popular. They are especially fondly remembered by older air-shooting enthusiasts who remember them from their childhood. The next step was the development of the PCA drive, i.e. pre charged air. This type of air rifle has a special pump that compresses the air before each shot.