Pneumatic rifles have been around since the 15th century. It has been well documented that Austrian soldiers sniped and killed French soldiers under Napolean Bonapart with them. There are several type made today. These include multi-pump pneumatic, spring piston,air piston, CO2, and PCP (pre-charged pneumatic). The spring piston/air piston type is probably the world's most common type. It can be used for plinking, hunting small animals and formal competitions such as "field trap'.It seems to have a practical upper limit of 1200 fps for .177 cal pellets. Pneumatic guns are commonly considered the most accurate so are used extensively in Bulleye and Olympic competitions. They can be used for hunting small common pest and birds, but tend to be on the low power side (<600 fps, .177 Cal pellet) (there are exceptions). The multi-pump and CO2 pneumatics has been made popular in the United States. These are typically viewed by other coutries as children toys. There are exceptions to this as companies such as Benjamin Sheridan, Crosman, and Daisy market sophicated systems. Most airguns can be practiced in a backyard or garden, and even indoors with the proper baxkstop.Some of the stronger power "springers" can propel a pellet beyond 1100 fps. (approximately the speed of sound) and will produce a noise similar to a .22 cal rimfire. These pneumatic rifles can be found in the following calibers, .177 (most common), .20 (Benjamin sheridan), .22 (most common for hunting), .25 and even 9mm.
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