Today’s Air Rifle Has Come A Long Way From Oupa’s Windbuks

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Today’s Air Rifle Has Come A Long Way From Oupa’s Windbuks


When you hear the word airgun or air rifle, you probably think back to your childhood. Shooting tin cans within throwing distance with your father or grandpa. Well, things have changed tremendously over the last couple of years, and the term air rifle no longer defines “Oupa’s windbuks.”

Sometimes referred to as an air gun, PCP pellet rifle, PCP airgun, pellet-gun, or “windbuks”, the air rifle is a gun that propels a projectile using compressed air, the air rifle has become the latest craze, and we are not surprised at all.

Today, air guns are used for pest control, plinking, and competitive sports like the 10m air rifle and 10m air pistol events, as seen in the Olympics. Air guns now come in various shapes and sizes, each with a unique set of features.

The three main types of airguns are spring-powered, gas piston, and precharged pneumatic (PCP)
Airguns can be broken down into two subcategories: springer/nitro-piston and PCP.

Springers use a spring to launch the projectile and nitro-piston rifles, a tube filled with air, and a plunger. Both these options sometimes fall under the umbrella term called springers. This is because they both load and cock similarly, usually by folding the barrel or an underlever.

PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatics) refers to airguns where the rifle is filled with air before firing. These models use an attached carbon tank or cylinder to store and supply air to the rifle. PCPs are becoming more and more popular.


There is no definitive answer to whether a.177 or a.22 air rifle is better. It depends on the individual shooter’s preferences and needs. When it comes to airguns, there is much debate about which calibre is the best. Some people swear by .177 guns, while others prefer .22 guns.
The .177 has lower muzzle energy and a higher starting velocity. Additionally, its effective range is around 5 meters greater. On paper, the .22 tests had a slightly lower beginning velocity, more muzzle energy, and a smaller effective range.

While the .22 will generally have a more significant impact and is less subject to tumble at higher speeds, the .177 is much lighter and will reach these faster speeds at the cost of accuracy. Let’s break each down.


.177 calibre / 4.5mm

Pellet weights for this small calibre range from 7.0 to 20.0 grains, with 8.0 to 10.5 grains. Due to the pellets’ small weight, air rifles may fire them at higher velocities, which results in a flatter trajectory. This is fantastic for people who aren’t comfortable holding over/under. However, it has the drawback of making the pellets less wind-resistant and subject to tumble at extreme velocities and ranges.

.22 Caliber/5.5mm

The .22 calibre is just as popular as the .177 calibre but has been a favourite for many years. This calibre is available in a weight range from 12 to 30 grains, and pellets are just as easy to find as the .177.

These pellets are easier to work with and much easier to load into the rifle than the .177 calibre. Due to the increased weight of the pellets, the .22 calibre is better at fighting the wind and can shoot ethically at longer ranges. This calibre works best with muzzle energies between 15 and 35 Ft/lbs.


Before you purchase, consider what you intend to use the air rifle for. Target practice? Pest control? Fun plinking? Sports Shooting? Once you know what you’ll be using it for, you can narrow your choices down by selecting an appropriate calibre and action.

For example, acquiring a slug-ready gun to compete in bench rest tournaments at 25 meters won’t be optimal as it will be a waste of the rifle’s overall potential. Therefore, you might look into something not as high powered, possibly a .177 calibre rifle with a sub 12Ft/lb muzzle velocity.

Air rifles are an excellent choice for shooters of all levels of experience, from casual to competitive. They are known for their accuracy and power, making them ideal for sharpshooters who want to improve their skills. You can practice your aim and improve your shooting precision with an airgun.


How do you choose the best air rifle for you with so many different models on the market? Here are two of the most popular brands and what they offer.

FX Airguns

At first glance, you may think that all air rifles are the same. However, there is a big difference between a run-of-the-mill airgun and a high-quality one like those made by the Swedish company FX Airguns. Since its small beginnings, the highly skilled team at FX Airguns has relentlessly introduced cutting-edge technologies with a commitment to innovation, making it a world leader in the airgun industry.

FX Airguns offer a wide range of airguns to suit the needs of different types of shooting styles, and with variety, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you.

Air Venturi

Air rifles are a great way to get into shooting sports without all the expensive equipment and ammunition. Air Venturi is a company that provides innovative airgun products to shooters everywhere. From competition-level products to historic airgun replicas and air tanks, Air Venturi has something for everyone who enjoys this growing sport.


When it comes to air rifles, there are many brands out there. Different types are made for various purposes. The Patriot Slugs team understands this and has made sure to offer a wide range of weights to choose from. This way, you can find the perfect gun for your needs.

Pellets are the classic airgun ammunition. For short ranges, they are accurate and are more cost-effective to use than slugs. They are better for target shooting and grouping at 50m due to its’ unique and aerodynamic shape.

Slugs are solid with the primary intention of being used for longer-range shooting and are preferred for pest control when using an air rifle. They can be pushed at a slightly higher velocity without tumbling (like a pellet would) and travel better at longer distances as it has a superior BC.

Once you have decided if you are opting for Airgun Pellets or Airgun Slugs, there are a few brands to look at.

JSB Match Diabolo’s precision airgun ammunition is perfect for various shooting needs. With Top-quality pellets, your air gun can perform at its best. Whether you’re a long-distance shooter, an extreme Benchrest shooter, or just a hobbyist, there’s an airgun pellet out there that will suit your needs. We have the perfect option for you, from lightweight ammunition to jumbo heavy pellets.

The Javelin Slugs from Patriot are designed and tested by a team of experienced marksmen, competition winners, and hunters who know what it takes to create top-quality products. These airgun slugs are perfect for longer-range shooting and pest control.


Scopes can be a long and tiresome topic, and there will always be one scope better than another. There is no absolute best scope. The best recommendation will be to choose a scope with high light transmission – meaning choose a scope with good clarity that will ensure the highest percentage of light that will reach the eye. Scope choice also includes purposes like long-range (lots of elevation dialling and magnification) or shorter-range shooting.

At best, you should choose a rifle scope that fits your budget and purpose. We recommend the Element Optics range. You have excellent clarity, plenty of elevation travel (depending on what scope you choose), excellent and precise dialling, and a variety of scopes to choose from, together with a lifetime warranty.

An old saying is that whatever your budget is for a scope, always add about R5000 to that budget. Remember, your rifle is the vehicle, and your scope is the steering wheel.


One of the great things about air rifles is that there are so many ways to customize them to your specific needs, and there are a few key air rifle accessories that can make a big difference in performance and customization.

With the vast array of airgun accessories available from various high-end brands, it can be tough to know where to start.

Here are a few essential air rifle accessories which we like that can help to improve your shooting. More minor upgrades and fine-tuning to your specific needs can significantly improve accuracy and performance.

Our top airgun accessories, which we typically pack into our bags, are:

  1. Good quality optics
  2. Air Supply
  3. Shooting bag
  4. Strong and sturdy bi-pod or gun rest
  5. Accurate ammunition that works with your rifle
  6. Other accessories include silencers, custom parts, rails, and airgun chassis


At Patriot, we pride ourselves on providing top-notch products and services. Whether you need assistance or more information about our air rifles or scopes, our team is more than happy to discuss various options with you to ensure that your needs are met.

And, for those who choose to buy an air rifle or scope from our retail store or online shop, we offer the option of having us tune your rifle and zero in your scope before it’s even shipped out to you. We have a team of experienced shooting specialists who can help you choose the right kind of ammo for your needs. Just contact us here, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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