The BB rifle is a staple for learning the ins and outs of shooting. It is usually the first step towards actual firearms or competitive air riflery. BB rifles are ideal training tools. They shoot BB projectiles at a relatively low velocity and many are sized at a smaller scale, suited for young shooters. They are realistic enough to teach proper gun handling procedures and marksmanship.
BB rifles are not just limited to youth. Adults can have a great deal of enjoyment with them as well. BB rifles are great for backyard plinking and target shooting. Its relatively quiet operation (as compared to firearms) and cheap ammo make them perfect for hours of shooting fun.
Most BB rifles utilize spring-piston power or multi-pump pneumatics. With the spring-piston, the gun is cocked via lever or breakbarrel action, compressing a spring. The spring is released via a pull of the trigger, which pushes a piston and forces air behind the BB projectile, causing it to eject out of the rifle barrel. With multi-pump, a lever is pumped multiple times causing a build up of air pressure in the rifle, which is released upon the trigger pull. This release of air behind the BB projectile, propels the BB. Another less common method of BB propulsion is compressed CO2 gas in the form of cylindrical cartridges. It simplifies the shooting process by eliminating the need to cock the rifle for every shot. There is, however, the added cost for the CO2.
American companies Daisy and Crosman are the predominant BB rifle manufacturers, having defined the market since its inception. Both companies hold regular shooting competitions to promote the sport.
As with all guns, safe practices are must, even for the BB rifle. They possess enough power to cause significant injury and look realistic enough to alarm a neighbor or passerby.