Break Barrel airguns are powered via an internal spring or air cylinder you charge by “cocking” the barrel itself. They are loaded with pellets or BB’s one at a time by setting that projectile in the breech. Break barrels are the most popular airgun for several good reasons. They are inexpensive, simple to operate, always ready to shoot, require no fillers or cannisters, and throw .177 pellets as fast as 1,450 fps, .22 pellets at 1,250 fps. This makes them a good choice for small game and varmint hunting.
They have a unique recoil. They kick backwards and then forwards. To get any degree of accuracy you need to use something called The Artillery Hold. Hold the rifle tightly with your trigger hand, but only cup the fore-end lightly in your off hand. Let the gun slide backward and forward when you shoot. Hold your off hand in the exact same spot every time. Different holds will alter point of impact.
With a Break Barrel you can shoot slightly more aerodynamically efficient pellets with polymer tips.
The major pain with hunting with a BB is that every shot you have to dig in your pocket, open a can, pull out a pellet and load it. (Although I do have a small canvas pouch that I can dump pellets into which does speed up the process immensely). But, a few companies have come out with air rifles that utilize a rotary magazine. This is great. Buy 2-3 extra mags and you can hunt and shoot high speed. Right now I’m in love with the UMAREX Synergis which is actually an underlever gun but to me is somewhat of a hybrid break barrel because it compresses a gas piston for its power source.
PRE-CHARGED PNUEMATICS (PCP’s)
These are my most favorite air rifles because they’re the most accurate. I get 3/16” groups with some of mine. So they are the ultimate hunting airgun. They don’t travel as fast as a BB, most of them probably 900-1,100 fps but accuracy trumps speed.
The Three Popular Airgun Models — Ron Spomer Outdoors is written by Tom Claycomb for www.ronspomeroutdoors.com