We owe a lot to the air rifle. For many of us air gunning was our gateway into the shooting sports world. Through air rifles we learnt the basics of safe gun handling, how to zero a scope and the art of shooting straight.

Air rifles can be a fun and relatively cheap way of keeping your shooting skills sharp, plus they are the perfect introduction to shooting for young people. Having said all that, with an abundance of options on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start!

Here we have compiled some of the most frequently asked air rifle questions we receive at R&B Sporting. You might find the answer to a question you have here. If not, we’re always happy to help – get in touch here.

Air Rifle FAQs

How old do you have to be to purchase an air rifle or pellets? Can you own an air rifle without a license?

If you are 18 years or older there are no restrictions on buying an air rifle and ammunition, and you can use it wherever you have permission to shoot. There is also law specific to the use of air rifles, both with and without supervision, for those under the age of 18. BASC’s Air Rifle Code of Practice is a great reference tool if you are unsure.


What is an FAC air rifle?

A firearms certificate air rifle – known as an FAC air rifle – is a high powered air gun generating power over the legal limit of 12ft/lbs. They are a favourite with pest controllers looking for extra power in smaller spaces. You will need to hold a valid UK Firearms Certificate to own ANY FAC air rifle in the UK.


Why do you sell certain brands and not others? 

We carry a wide range of new and second-hand air rifles from a range of makers such as BSA, Weihrauch, Air Arms, Brocock, FX and Daystate.

But why do we choose to sell air rifles from these manufacturers? Well, they are reliable, accurate, they offer something for every shooter and are exceptional value for money. We have confidence in their manufacture and are usually happy to part-exchange when the time comes.

Let’s just say, if you miss, it’s not the gun’s fault!

Should I be shooting a .22 or .177?

There are a few differences to consider when choosing your calibre of air rifle. In general, .177 pellets have a flatter trajectory over a longer range, while .22 pellets have a loopier trajectory, but will hit harder. The smaller pellets usually cost a bit less, while .22 may be less fiddly to load. Target shooters tend to favour .177, while hunters are a bit more divided. If you’re unsure on what calibre is best for you, give us a call and we would be more than happy to help.


How often does an air rifle need to be serviced?

Regular servicing will prolong the overall life of your rifle. The frequency with which you should get your air rifle serviced depends upon how often you use it. Anywhere between 1 and 2 years is a typical time between services following regular use.

If you are using your air rifle for competition shooting, then it may be worth considering a more regular service to ensure it continues to shoot consistently.

Of course, if at any point you feel your gun is not performing like it should, or you think something might be wrong, it is better to be safe than sorry and get it checked out.

How long will my air bottle fill last for?

Generally speaking, you can expect to get between 50-100 shots from most standard sized tanks at full power. It can depend on the calibre of your air rifle. Typically, you will get a higher shot count out of a .22 than a .177. Having said that, the power setting of the gun will also have an impact on overall shot count. Can I bring my air bottle to R&B Sporting to be refilled? Unfortunately, we don’t offer a refilling service for air canisters. We can however recommend the team at Dive 90, Cheltenham.


Can I purchase a spare magazine for my air rifle from R&B Sporting?

We stock a range of replacement & spare mags for air rifles new and old alike, and if it isn’t something we have at the time of your visit, often it is a product we can source for you. Alternatively, we usually have a range of used magazines to fit the brief at a fraction of the price.


What air rifle pellets are the most accurate?

Air rifles are prima donnas when it comes to ammunition. They’re fussy! Sometimes it’s a matter of testing out a few brands before you find best pellets for your air rifle. The good news is that experimenting is reasonably affordable as air rifle pellets are some of the cheapest forms of ammo.

At R&B Sporting, we tend to stock brands such as H&N, JSB, QYS, Accupell & Bisley.


How much do I need to spend to purchase a decent scope for my air rifle?

By spending between £100 – £300 you will be able to source a scope suitable for most conditions. So, what’s the difference between a £100 and £300 scope? Typically, the more you spend, the better the quality of glass giving a clearer overall picture. The parallax adjustments will also improve, and the unit is more likely to hold its value over time.

As with our choice of guns, we offer a range of quality used scopes to give you a more affordable option whilst still getting the performance you need.