That .25 caliber "pellet" towards the right looks awfully similar to a standard .22LR projectile...

Rimfire rifles chambered in the ubiquitous .22LR caliber have roamed the earth nearly as long as dinosaurs and my Toyota Sequoia.

There are good reasons for that. Rounds are cheap. They have enough power to satisfy most plinking desires and to make mincemeat of tins of SPAM. They’re accurate. Their noise level is a fraction of that of a Megadeth reunion concert.

You know what? It seems to me that those attributes apply to airguns as well.

So, are today’s modern airguns the new .22LR? Perhaps they are. New air gunners stuck on comparing air rifles to Daisy Red Ryders now have a plethora of powerful choices in all sorts of action types. Centerfire aficionados who want the ability to crank off five, ten, or even more shots now can choose from powerful and accurate PCP rifles.

So how do modern air rifles really compare to the indomitable rimfire? To answer that question accurately we can’t just look at velocity or foot-pounds, we have to consider the whole picture. Hang on to your shorts, it's math time.

Looking at velocity, energy, and momentum metrics, this AirForce Condor SS .25 caliber came very close to matching the performance of a .22 rifle.


Comparing velocity is easy. Let’s look at .22 rimfire first. Using Federal Target grade 40-grain .22LR ammo, I measured velocity 15 feet from the muzzle at an average of 1,177 feet per second when fired from a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 rifle.

As for airguns, velocity depends on the caliber, pellet weight and the specific airgun in use. Here are a few examples I’ve tested recently.



 Pellet Weight 


Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 




Umarex Gauntlet




Umarex Gauntlet .177



Gamo Urban PCP




Airforce Condor SS




Airforce Condor SS




At a glance, some of the air rifle and pellet combinations offer velocities in the same zip code as the venerable .22 rimfire. Of course, that doesn’t tell the whole story because .177 and .22 caliber pellets weigh far less than their rimfire counterparts. Most .22LR projectiles weigh either 38 or 40 grains while a handful of specialty loads may be lighter or heavier.

I started my informal gel testing with a small airgun block. That was dumb as the .25 caliber pellets sailed right through and out the back.

Kinetic Energy

What happens if we consider the unit of measure language spoken by air power aficionados everywhere, foot-pounds of energy? Using some of the same pellet and rifle combinations, we can calculate the following.


Today’s airguns can do a lot more than your grandad’s old BB gun. In fact, they can lob powerful, big-bore projectiles like these .45’s a long way!

You know it’s gonna be a great day when the ring of freedom sounds an awful lot like your front doorbell. The other day when mine rang, I answered the call and discovered a big, fat package on my porch. It turns out that bundle of joy was a .45-caliber rifle. Oh, did I mention that it had an integral suppressor?

What? No fuss, no muss, no FFL transfers, no “no knock” raids by the ATF? No, it wasn’t a covert shipment from old kindergarten buddies currently serving a tour in MS-13. In fact, it was 100 percent legal. That’s because I was the fortunate recipient of a brand new airgun. No, we’re most certainly not talking about your daddy’s airguns. While Daisy Red Ryders bring back nostalgic memories of sending tin cans straight back to their maker with extreme prejudice, things have changed somewhat, and arguably for the better.

This handy little from Gamo is appropriately named the Urban 22. It’s perfect for backyard fun and pest control.

Hey, I used to be a snobbish aficionado of guns that make loud noises, spit fire, and create smoke by the metric ton. I still am, but I’ve broadened my horizons to include some of the most technologically advanced “guns” I’ve yet seen. The capabilities of today’s airguns just might surprise you. Let’s take a quick walk through High-Pressure Paradise to see what you can do with modern breeze-powered blasters.

Sweet, Discreet, Precise

Some of you are fortunate enough to have land on which you can shoot. Most of us suffer in quiet desperation and live in abject terror under the iron-fisted rule of a homeowners’ association. At least where I live, building a live-fire range in my front yard is seriously frowned upon, regardless of how large a berm I bulldoze next to the sidewalk. But never fear, airguns are here! While not completely quiet (balloons still make noise when you pop them after all), airguns are almost always hearing-safe and far less likely to send the neighbors’ Havanese yapper into therapy. I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but if an airgun fires in the confines of an HOA and no board members hear it … .

Finland, the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation claim the three individual titles up for grabs.

Four Running Target events took place at the Changwon International Shooting Range, where the 52nd ISSF World Championship in all events will close on Friday 14th.

They were the fastest in the junior men and junior women events held at the ISSF World Championship in Changwon, South Korea, today.

Italy’s Giovanni Pezzi won the Target Sprint Men Junior at the ISSF Target Sprint World Championship in Changwon, South Korea, today.

At the Changwon International Shooting Range, the two German athletes pocketed the gold medal: Herr doubled his 2017 success, while Schmidt prevailed over the former champion, Jana Landwehr.

The Target Sprint discipline took the stage today at the Changwon International Shooting Range, where Germany won both senior races with Michael Herr and Kerstin Veronika Schmidt.

Competing under some challenging weather conditions, the German teams secured gold in the three events contested today at the ISSF World Championship Target Sprint.

The ISSF World Championship Target Sprint closed today in Changwon (KOR) with three relays.

Target Sprint Men Team

After winning yesterday’s individual event, Germany’s Michael Herr led Germany to another victory in the Target Sprint Men Team event, where he, Paul Bottner and Felix Elsner took gold with the time of 13:56,18, only a few seconds ahead of Italy’s Giovanni Pezzi, Davide Ricco and Georg Unterpertinger, who won silver and finished their race in 14:02,34.

The qualification path leading to the next Games started at the 52nd ISSF World Championship in Changwon, Republic of Korea.

Sixty Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota Places have been awarded during the 52nd ISSF World Championship held in Changwon, South Korea, between the 31st of August and the 14th of September 2018, across the 15 Olympic events, in the disciplines of Rifle, PIstol and Shotgun shooting.

Fort the first time in the history of the sport, quota places were also distributed in the Mixed Team events, which were recently added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Programme by the ISSF and the IOC.

September 21-23
Pyramyd Air Cup

Tusco Rifle Club
New Philadelphia, Ohio

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October 5-7
2018 US Field Target Nationals

Pleasant Hill, NC

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October 11-14
Extreme Benchrest Competition

Sponsored by Airguns of Arizona
Rio Salado Shooting Range
Phoenix, AZ

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November 30 - December 2
Winter Air Gun

Colorado Springs, CO
USA Shooting

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