How To Get Into Airgun Shooting For Beginners

Have you ever wanted to own an air rifle or air pistol and fancied getting started in the world of airguns and the sport of shooting? It is much easier than you think; let us help you with this short guide to starting out.

First off, you have to be 18 years or over to purchase an air rifle or air pistol and have a valid photo ID such as a passport or driving licence. If you want to buy online, Just Air Guns are one of the very few internet retailers that offer home delivery.

Secondly, the rifle or pistol must be below 12 ft/lbs, which is the legal limit for air weapons that don’t require a license. If you take a look in our Airguns category, then everything within there is below this limit.


The sport of shooting has more benefits than you may think. Air rifles and air pistols are a low-cost form of shooting, and there are many clubs across the UK that have large membership numbers and offer a variety of shooting formats. If you fancy joining one of these clubs, a great place to start is with our Air Gun Clubs and Shooting Directory and take a look at the website, which have details of numerous air gun clubs across the UK that would be more than happy to accommodate new members.

You don’t need to be a member of a club to shoot – you can quite as easily purchase several targets and shoot on your own land. A wide range of targets are available such as knockdowns, knock and resets, and standard paper targets with pellet catchers that are ideal for a garden setting. You can take a look at our full selection of shooting targets here on this website and start building your own home range today!

Many air rifle users also use them for pest and vermin control, such as rabbits and squirrels. However, they present the hardest of targets as they are prone to rapid movement, and shot placement must be spot on to ensure a humane kill. For more information about this, please see our blog to ensure you are effective when using air rifles for pest control.


The law is very clear on Airguns; they are classed as a firearm and hence carry heavy penalties for misuse. For this reason, you must ensure that you comply at all times!

The law is split down into different age groups as follows.

If you’re over the age of 18, then there are no restrictions on you purchasing an air rifle or air pistol and ammunition, but you must only use it on land that you own or have permission to shoot on. If you do get some land to shoot on with permission, I would suggest getting it in writing, as well as a map of where you are allowed to shoot. You must also remember that whilst shooting, no projectiles must leave the boundary of the land, so know your boundaries!

If you’re between the ages of 14 and 17 years old, then you can borrow an air rifle or air pistol and ammunition and use it without supervision on private premises where you have permission to do so. At this age, you can’t hire or buy an air rifle, buy ammunition, or receive one as a gift. Everything must be looked after by someone over the age of 18, such as a parent, guardian or other responsible adults. You also cannot have an air rifle or air pistol in a public place unless you’re with someone over the age of 21 and have reasonable grounds to do so, such as travelling to a shooting club.

The final age group is 14 years and younger. In this age group, you can use an air rifle on private land with permission, but you must always be supervised by a person over the age of 21. In addition, you can’t buy or hire an air gun or ammunition, nor receive one as a gift, and those who do buy an airgun for use for someone below the age of 14 must be sure to exercise control over it at all times.


When it comes to choosing either an air rifle or air pistol, there are a few different power sources to choose from, and each has advantages and disadvantages.

Spring power is the cheapest and easiest to use as it consists of a large spring moving a piston within a chamber to compress air in front of it to move the pellet along the barrel. These guns require very little maintenance and only need the movement of you cocking the barrel to make them ready for firing. They also don’t require any other accessories. Spring guns do have recoil, though, but this can be seen as an advantage, as it teaches you how to correctly hold the gun to deal with this, subsequently improving your skills right away.

Co2 power utilises Co2 canisters, which come in a couple of sizes. These are loaded into the gun, which is then released through a valve into the barrel upon each shot. This method reduces the recoil to practically nothing and cuts down on the noise from the action. This means in most cases that a silencer can be fitted to reduce the overall noise of shooting. However, Co2 does suffer from power fluctuations with the temperature and requires you to carry spare capsules for reloading when they run out.

PCP stands for Pre Charged Pneumatic, and these guns are based around an air reservoir, which is refilled with a dive bottle or stirrup pump up to pressures of 200 BAR. This high-pressure air is then allowed through to the barrel through a valve. The use of high-pressure air provides excellent accuracy and consistency similar to the Co2 guns, and a silencer can be used to reduce the barrel noise. The drawback of PCP is that they are expensive to buy, particularly with the accessories, but once set up, they are phenomenally accurate and simple to use, making them the number one choice for top-end competition and match purposes.


To get started, you need as little as an air gun, either an air rifle or air pistol, the necessary pellets, and other essential accessories such as co2 capsules, where required.

A great way to start shooting is buying one of our Just Air Guns custom Bundle Offers sets; we have a large number of sets put together at a great low price to get you started with everything you need.


Firstly, take aim at your target. The best technique with the air rifle is not to hold the stock too firmly, as you need to allow the rifle some room to recoil slightly. Instead, with a loose hold on the rifle, disengage the safety and slowly squeeze the trigger until the shot fires.

It is much the same with the pistol, except you will need to hold it slightly tighter to support its weight, and feel free to use both hands, one around the grip and one supporting the front of the pistol, to get the best accuracy.

From here, it is really down to you developing your technique over time and fine-tuning the scope/sights and practising hitting the centre of the target and learning your gun. Of course, you might consider upgrading to a high-quality rifle over time, but these basic tips are a great place to start.

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