The Air-Powered Fun Zone

AIR POWER:1,050 FPS @ 4,500 PSI!

We can’t always get to the range to shoot our fire and brimstone guns, and frontyard ranges tend to upset the neighbors — at least some neighbors. That’s where Air Power saves the day. Modern air pistols and rifles are technological marvels and offer realistic and accurate performance. Better yet, they can be safe for backyard, garage, or even indoor — if your spouse isn’t home — use. Or better yet, get her involved in the shooting! Here’s a few “must haves” and “wish I had thems” to get you going.


Umarex modeled the $120 Legends Ace in the Hole after the Colt Shopkeeper. However, it shoots BBs from realistic and removable cartridges. Load a BB in each cartridge, slip those cartridges into the cylinder just like the fiery version, and enjoy single-action in your garage or backyard. It “feels” like the original at many levels and is a great way to teach single action safety to new shooters and kids — as well as a nifty way to play “You talkin’ to me?” with an aluminum can.


Airguns need, well — compressed air. New from Crosman is a brilliant portable charging solution. The portable Traveler Compressor works at home or the range because it runs on AC or 12-volt power. This means cars, boats, ATVs, or a tractor will do the job. Trust me, using the “handy” manual pump can get old fast. Or make you old fast? Or both? This is a game-changer if you run high-pressure air guns. MSRP: $549.99

Benjamin air gun

The Benjamin 15″ charging system air cylinder is a must-have for pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) airgun use. Hint: Those are the guns with built-in air tanks. Small enough to tote and packs a whopping 4,500 psi. You can find one for about $330. The rifle you see is the BPF22s. It can send a .22 caliber pellet at up to 900 fps for alloy pellets. It’s got a genuine rifled steel barrel and 10-shot rotary magazine. MSRP: $399

SIG Sauer

Just between us, shooting paper can get boring, right? And recycling plastic bottles will make you popular with social justice warriors. Enter Umarex Big Blast caps. Screw the re-usable caps onto plastic beverage bottles, use a bike pump to add pressure, shoot, and boom! Pro tip: Add flour or colored water for more drama. These look and sound like a small hand grenade going off. Great fun and a sure-fire way to keep a kid interested in learning more about shooting — not to mention putting some of those zillions of empty plastic bottles to good use. About $10 on the street.

SIG Sauer

Who says airguns can’t have the “heavy” satisfaction of real wood and metal? SIG SAUER makes the new ASP 20 on the same factory floor as their center-fire guns. Break action means it’s ready to go and you can get one in either .177 or .22 caliber. The .177 can manage around 1,020 fps while the .22 shoves ’em out at around 850, both figures depends upon pellet weight. It’s shockingly accurate, scopes easily and the break-barrel action means no tanks to fill — but you do get an arm workout! MSRP: $349

MTC Optics

Airgun scopes are a different breed. You need short parallax adjustments and ability to handle the bi-directional airgun recoil. The MTC Viper Pro brings all these and a smart “windowed” turret allowing the use of customizable tapes. MOA, Mils, or Yard graduations are no problem. A crystal clear lens, illuminated reticle and sterling build quality round out this $650 scope. Remember, just like “real” rifles, don’t skimp on scope quality if you’re going to go this route. If you go cheap, you’ll always be frustrated and find they break fast too!

HN Sport

Like .22 rimfires, airguns are finicky about which ammo they like. When you get a new airgun, it pays to spend a bit of money upfront for a cross-section of pellets until you find “the” one your gun likes. Then you can stock up without wasting more money. Even the “bad” pellets can be used for plinking and casual target shooting. I’ve found the H&N Sport Barracuda Match pellets perform admirably in most any airgun. Available in both .177 and .22 calibers for about $11 per tin.


Is your paper target shooting life becoming dull and predictable? Spend $11.99 on a set of Birchwood Casey Battle at Sea Targets. Just like the old Battleship Game, you’ll have to sink your opponent’s ships — but by shooting them. Great for air rifles, but pistols make for a real marksmanship challenge, just move things in closer. The pistol is the Umarex “Browning” Buckmark URX pellet pistol. It’s a break-barrel single shot pellet pistol slinging ’em out at about 320 fps. Custom made for this sort of game too, and at around $50, easy to afford. We’ve found SIG pellets to be very consistent and well made and the URX liked ’em!

SIG Sauer

If it looks like a 1911, has a battle-worn real-metal finish, includes rough ’n tough stuff like “We the People” and “1776” on the side, and even field strips like a 1911, does it qualify for membership in John Moses Browning’s extended family? The SIG SAUER “We The People” BB pistol feels and acts like the real thing, reciprocating slide included. The only real difference is it shoots BBs. $119.99