The overwhelming number of people brought up in Soviet times used to consider an air rifle only as a mandatory attribute of shooting galleries located in parks of culture and recreation. How serious weapon no one took it, except as a means to show his accuracy to her friends and friends. Meanwhile, air rifles were not originally made as a toy, but as a completely normal weapon.
Airguns are widespread throughout the world and are striking in their variety of shapes and calibers. The legendary Leonardo da Vinci, in his writings, developed the principles of this weapon, taking as a basis the samples of the ancient Egyptians who built catapults, which were put into action according to a similar principle. Samples of the pneumatics of the 17 century have survived to our time. In the Vienna Museum there is a gun in which air pressure is generated by a piston that drives a compressed spring.
At the beginning of the 18 century, a type of pneumatics appeared with the use of a receiver, in which high pressure had previously been created using a pump similar to a modern bicycle one. 200 movements of the piston of this pump created pressure in the receiver of the order of 6 atm. The volume of the tank allowed to make up to 20 shots at the initial speed of the bullet to 330 meters per second. In weapons of this type were used calibers 7.62-12.7 mm.
In 1779, the gunsmith from Austria created an air rifle with a receiver that performed the butt functions, it was fastened with screws and, if necessary, could be easily replaced. Considering the rate of fire of the muskets of that time (4-6 shots per minute), his sample simply shocked everyone with his twenty shots per minute. Joseph II, having calculated that 500 soldiers with such weapons would surpass the same amount of flint barrels by the same amount of flint logs at least five times, ordered to rearm the army. However, due to the very labor-intensive technology and the extremely high cost of such rifles, the full transition of the army to a new weapon did not happen, and the entire order of 1500 barrels was released.
According to eyewitnesses, the Girandoni rifle maintained a slaughter range of around 45 m at the first 10 shots, then it gradually decreased, and after 20 shots the compressed air supply allowed to destroy the enemy at a distance of no more than 30 meters. But it worked perfectly on the enemy psychologically due to the absence of the sound of a shot and the smoke from the combustion of gunpowder.
At the beginning of the 19 century, due to the development of firearms, pneumatics lost its military significance, remaining only a means of self-defense and a hunting weapon. For example, in England at that time hunting was an extremely widespread occupation in noble circles, it was from here that hunting airguns became popular.
In our time, the manufacture of air rifles (and not only) is engaged in many companies around the world. In the prices of these companies you can find samples of the most different price categories, from the cheapest, in the area of 2000 rubles to "how much money is in the wallet." A rifle, normal in its characteristics, costs an average 30000-45000 rubles, add here the cost of iron for tuning and get its real price.
Now distributed three main types of rifles differing on the principle of action. Let's briefly focus on each individually.
Rifles using the principle of piston movement due to a pre-compressed spring are the most common type of airgun. The spring driving the piston in them is cocked either by a fracture or by a separate lever on the side of the rifle, in the latter case the barrel is fixed motionless in the bed. This layout of the rifle provides better accuracy and is used mainly in high-class sporting weapons (Fineverbach M 300).
Pump pneumatics. In this case, the “pump action” has a different meaning than in the case of a firearm, namely, in this type of airgun (in particular, rifles), the principle of air pre-injection into the receiver is implemented. It is usually located under the barrel in the immediate vicinity of the breech and is charged with a special handle. The pressure in the compression chamber depends on the number of movements of the pump piston. Pump weapons allow the shooter to independently set the working air pressure depending on the application conditions. Pump-action rifles are widely represented in the model ranges of Walter and Sheridan.
A relatively recent form using compressed carbon dioxide. His very idea was born a long time ago, back in 1889, Paul Giffard received a patent for air rifles using this principle, but because of the imperfection of the technologies of the time, he gained acceptance only now. The convenience of such weapons lies in the fact that compressed gas is contained in interchangeable cans, like the usual siphon ones, and the rifle does not take much time to charge.
Stand out among the pneumatic weapons are high-class samples with a high-pressure tank (PCP). The pressure in them is about 200 atmospheres, which provides a bullet speed up to 300 m / s. The disadvantage of such weapons is that you need to have access to the high-pressure pump to charge the receiver with compressed air.
Common ammunition for air rifles are today the following: DS-0.28 g bullets (hollow lead glass with a convex bottom, intended for recreational target shooting at distances around 10 meters), DS-0.40 (differs from the previous one with increased weight and improved ballistic characteristics), DS-0.50 (with a flat head, at short distances has a good shock effect on small game), MS-0.87g (solid brass core in a lead sheath, mm length 8. Is intended for high-powered rifled ruzhiya, due to the increased weight saves energy up to longer distances).
Like any weapon, pneumatics can be upgraded, the purpose of which is to improve characteristics such as accuracy and power. There are many ways to improve your rifle, and everyone chooses options that are acceptable for themselves. The classic set, which is included in any improvement of the rifle, includes strengthening the spring, improving the sealing of all connections, softening the work of the trigger, improving the aiming devices, and then everything depends on the hands or the availability of money. The air rifle, on which good hands have worked, is a serious threat to the lives of not only the crows, the hunt for which is now so popular, but also a man at a decent range. After all, permitted by law 7,5 kJ. The muzzle energy is easily transformed into 18-20 on the same domestic production of the MP-512. At the same time it gives accuracy within 10mm. on 25 meters and an initial speed of the order of 280 m / second.
So what is the air rifle?