Like pellet rifles, pellet pistols are used in a number of different ways starting with plain old backyard plinking and target shooting. Some are ideal for pest control or small game hunting. There are also pellet pistols made for competition.
Pellet pistols come in a variety of different propulsion methods. The most basic are powered via spring-piston, single-stroke and multi-pump pneumatics. Compressed CO2, in the form of cylindrical cartidges, is also widely used. More sophisticated pellet pistols are powered using pre-charged pneumatics (PCP).
Most pellet pistols shoot in the 300 to 500 fps range making them great for plinking and target shooting. They have rifled barrels, unlike most BB guns which have smooth bore barrels. The rifled barrelling provides added accuracy. Most pellet pistols are sized for .177 caliber pellets although some are available in larger sizes for greater impact power, particularly those used for pest control and small game hunting.
Pellet pistols generally do not pack as much of a punch as pellet rifles. However, there are a few models that are powerful enough to be used for small game hunting. The Benjamin Marauder, the Evanix Hunting Master AR6, the Hatsan AT P1 and the Hatsan ATP2 are some that are most suitable. They are all PCP powered. While some folks like the ease of toting a pellet pistol around as opposed to a pellet rifle, power and accuracy are sacrificed.
Pellet pistols used for competition are designed with accuracy in mind. They shoot .177 caliber pellets. Most have five-way adjustable match triggers. PCP power is the preferred method of propulsion for competition pellet guns because of its accuracy.
Semi-automatic pellet pistols, made for plinking and fun, are widely available in styles that mimic their real gun counterparts. These pistols are typically CO2 powered allowing them to be shot multiple times without re-loading or re-cocking. They will shoot off rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger, until the magazine is emptied.
As with all guns, safety practices are advised for pellet pistols. They are capable of causing significant injury if not handled properly.
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