October 15, 2014 0:00

// Pneumatic weapons

The principle of operation of any pneumatic weapon is based on using the energy of compressed air or other gas to give the initial acceleration to the bullet. The instantaneous expansion of the pre-compressed gas ensures the transition of the potential energy of the compressed “working fluid” into the kinetic energy of the bullet flight.

Components of pneumatic weapons

By analogy with firearms , pneumatic systems include:

  • the trigger mechanism is in a simplified version, since there is no capsule in the cartridge case and there is no need to use a massive bunch of trigger – striker – firing spring. The trigger mechanism should protect against spontaneous triggering of the shock mechanism – an accidental fall of the weapon should not provoke a shot;
  • the safety system is designed for safe transportation and storage of weapons. There are automatic systems that block the shot until the end of the free movement of the trigger or when the barrel channel is loosely closed. Non-automatic systems are switched off manually, with a certain effort;
  • the dosing system is an element missing in firearms. It is a pressure regulator that supplies compressed air or gas to the working chamber in precisely measured portions;
  • the barrel of a pneumatic weapon consists of the same elements as in firearms: a bullet entrance and a rifled inner part. The chamber is present only in pneumatic weapons with a pumped cartridge;
  • the feeding mechanism supplies ammunition to the sending line. For pneumatic weapons, the range of ammunition used is very extensive, so the main requirement for the power supply mechanism is to ensure uninterrupted supply without delays and deformations of the bullet;
  • the ejecting mechanism in pneumatic weapons is used only in systems with cartridge pumping;
  • automatic firing systems. In such systems, the full cycle is automatically recharged after a single trigger pull;
  • sighting system of any type – mechanical, optical, laser-illuminated or collimator systems;
  • Ergonomics is an important parameter for air rifles. It depends on the balanced design of the retention organs – this is the rifle bed;
  • auxiliary devices in the form of compensators, shock absorbers and silencers are used in the design of powerful air rifles.

Types of pneumatic weapons

There are 6 main types of pneumatic weapons, differing in the pumping method and complexity of the design:

  • Spring-piston pneumatics are the most reliable and powerful, thanks to the simplicity of the design. The working piston provides the necessary pressure due to the energy of the pre-compressed spring. The air cylinder is combined with the receiver part. Bright representatives of the family of spring-piston pneumatics – IZH rifles.
  • Single pumping systems use the principle of single injection of air into a working tank closed by an exhaust valve. Advantages – good shot power. Disadvantage – it is necessary to ensure accurate and consistent operation of the valve system;
  • Multicompression systems are a complicated version of a single pump, with an additional reservoir to create increased pressure. They are distinguished by good power and the ability to carry out a series of shots without additional recharging. Representatives of multicompression systems are rifles from Air Arms manufacturers (for example, the Air Arms TX – 200 air rifle), Crossman (for example, the TR77 NP (4×32) model), Logun (a good option is the Logun MK 2 PCP air rifle).
  • Pre–pumped systems are the most powerful and complex. The tank contains purified and dehumidified air (sometimes nitrogen is used) under pressure up to 300 atmospheres, it can be a part of a weapon or a removable element. The accuracy of shooting is ensured by the high initial velocity of the bullet. Complex technical support and high price make weapons of this type sparsely distributed.
  • Systems using liquefied carbon dioxide as an energy source. A separate gas storage tank is used. The systems are distinguished by good repeatability of the shot, the possibility of introducing pressure stabilizers into the design and low cost when using disposable carbon dioxide cans. Typical representatives of such systems are pneumatic pistols from Crossman, Umarex, and Anix companies (one of these is the Crosman PC77B air pistol model).
  • Pneumatic systems with cartridge pumping are not widespread among the inhabitants. They are similar to firearms systems in every detail, but the main difference is that the energy for the bullet to be fired is provided by compressed air. A special cartridge in the form of a brass cartridge is used.
  • For pneumatic weapons using spring-piston systems and a system of bypass valves, one condition must be strictly observed – no blank shots. The destruction of the working spring and complex repairs are minimal damage from unreasonable “shooting” without cartridges, but with pressure in the working tank.

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