Pneumatic weapons are one of the oldest. Humanity has learned to blow a “bullet” out of a wooden tube, almost at the same time as using arrows and a bow. With such primitive devices, small animals and birds were hunted. Several centuries later, there was an attempt to replace powder weapons with pneumatics. In part, the idea was crowned with success – such rifles, along with poisoned or incendiary “bullets”, were used by special services. And modern mechanical engineering has made the pneumatic automatic machine mass and affordable. Today, such weapons are used in sports matches, hunting, they are used in shooting galleries.
Pneumatic automatic with spring-piston circuit
Pneumatic automata vary in purpose, method of device and price. But the main feature by which they are separated is the principle of initial gas compression. The most running – spring-piston. This scheme is a hiking pair of “cylinder-piston” and is more understandable for children’s air. The principle of operation of such a machine is as follows – pressing the hook stimulates the spring to move the piston, the pressure in the cylinder increases, and the air, having accelerated, goes out through. It transmits to the bullet a speed noticeably higher than the speed of the piston. In turn, the energy of the bullet of a pneumatic machine depends on the strength of the spring, the weight of the piston, the dimensions and diameter of the cylinder. But the main thing is that this indicator is constant until the mechanism wears out.
The advantages of the spring-piston system of pneumatic automata are simplicity, ease of use. Minimal effort is required from the shooter because the rifle barrel is a long lever. But such a scheme has one small drawback – shakiness, which worsens the accuracy and accuracy of shooting. Therefore, spring-piston automata with a stationary barrel and cocking the piston with a lever that is located on the side or on top are more popular. This design does not affect the accuracy of shooting from the stop. Bullets for pneumatic submachine guns are placed in the receiver, from where they move into the chamber.
The problem of the spring-piston circuit is the distortion of the center of gravity of the rifle when fired. To level it, a design with a counterweight is used, which moves towards the piston. The counterweight of the machine gun is performed as a special cylinder or barrel with an air chamber.
A blowpipe is a primitive analogue of a compression machine
The most ancient weapon, judging by its first version – the blowpipe – is compression. Its important advantage is that only air and a bullet move when fired, and this increases accuracy. However, there are also problems – the high-pressure chamber, the load on the seals. To facilitate the opening of the valve, you will have to use a drummer. Pumping is carried out by one or a number of lever platoons. Although it is pneumatic machines with a compression scheme that are used at sports competitions, but with cocking at a time. In some versions, pumping is carried out by means of the forearm. Such machines are called pump machines. The compression scheme “with pre-pumping” takes its place in the line of air bags.
Air bag: instead of cartridges
Different calibers (indicated in inches) and bullet shapes are designed for pneumatic assault rifles. They are made of a variety of materials, depending on the purpose of application. For example, pneumatic markers are charged with soft spheres with paint coated with gelatin. Hitting the target, the ball bursts, leaving a colorful spot. Large–caliber weapons shoot syringes with tranquilizers – to immobilize animals.
Metered gas – gas cylinder pneumatic machines
The device of a compression weapon with pre-pumping is similar to a gas cylinder. In this case, it is not air that is involved, but liquid carbon dioxide placed in a balloon. A container with carbon dioxide is mounted to the pneumatic machine, gradually evaporating, it gives high pressure. When you pull the trigger, carbon dioxide, increasing in volume, pushes the bullet out of the barrel. Such weapons are easy to use, because you do not need to make efforts to recharge. Pneumatic machine guns with cylinders are in demand among female shooters. And carbon dioxide has no smell, it is used in different spheres of life, therefore it is cheap and affordable. The main thing to remember is that its thermodynamic parameters depend on the temperature around, and this affects the initial velocity of the bullet.
Pneumatic automatic – from air guns for team games to Kalashnikov analogues
The air gun can have a different barrel:
Rifled is found in versions for hunting and sports. For weapons used for entertainment purposes, a smooth barrel or small depressions inside the barrel are characteristic, twisting the bullet with a blow when moving.
The availability of pneumatic weapons gives rise to thoughts about acquiring it for self-defense. However, such an appointment is doubtful. It is not worth thinking that pneumatics is absolutely safe. Yes, it is safer than a firearm, but still you need to handle it correctly and take precautions. The most successful idea is to buy a pneumatic machine for sports and training purposes. It is accessible, does not need special shooting ranges, has minimal impact – in general, a good tool for initial shooting training. And choose a model that is as similar as possible to the combat versions, you can gradually get used to firearms. For example, you can buy a Kalashnikov air rifle in Ukraine to understand how its real version works.
A separate story – rifles for sports shooting. They should suit the user in accuracy and accuracy, comply with the rules put forward during the competition. Their execution should be at a high level, the handle with thoughtful ergonomics, there are (or may be) customizable sighting devices. Pneumatic submachine guns can be used in shooting at stationary and movable targets. Interestingly, the Olympic program for the first time included competitions with rifles, and only after with pistols.
Special requirements are put forward for paintball machines. By the way, for the first time this outdoor team game appeared in the USA, in the 80s. Pellets with dye have a low initial velocity, are safe. But protective clothing is mandatory for players: a mask, elbow pads and knee pads, a vest. For a paintball pneumatic machine, there are magazine and automatic gas cylinder markers, compression versions (for games in the cold). I must say that cheap plastic pneumatics are not suitable for such games. It is better to use high-quality products made of light alloys and plastics. Here you can find copies of most models of automatic machines. Some of them repeat the movement of the shutter handle or the shutter itself under the influence of recoil. To complete the picture, you can equip the machine with optical sights and laser pointers.